Nahom Benyam is from San Leandro, California. Before attending the University of Michigan, he completed a BA in global studies with a minor in human rights from San Jose State University (cum laude). Nahom earns his second degree from the Masters in International and Regional Studies (MIRS) program with a specialization in African Studies.
Nahom treasures the opportunity to be surrounded by others who care deeply about the state of the world and, more specifically, Africa. Through academic lectures and intimate interactions with professors, The MIRS program has been instrumental in providing numerous opportunities for Nahom to explore his fascination with Africa. He is especially fond of the African Languages Day this year, in which all Swahili and Yoruba students came together to provide performances in their language of study. The joyous performances provided an intimate opportunity to learn about the strong cultures that powered Africa and reinforced why Nahom cares so greatly about the continent.
Working under Professor Justine Davis, his research focuses on exploring the effects of political federalism on conflict outbreaks in Ethiopia. He argues that ethnic federalism has increased the prevalence of ethnic conflict outbreaks within the country, and future policy decisions curtailing this issue and must foster greater political participation from the local populace. During his time in MIRS, Nahom received a South African Initiatives Office (SAIO) Fellowship and a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for Swahili. After graduation, Nahom will gain work experience in the public sector before pursuing his ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer. In the future, Nahom intends to attend law school and work in international law, where he hopes to use human rights law to protect marginalized African communities.