Theresa Puhr awarded Raymond C. Offenheiser Fellowship for Active Citizenship

Author: Heather Asiala

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Theresa Puhr, a master of global affairs student in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the Raymond C. Offenheiser Fellowship for Active Citizenship. Puhr is the second individual to receive the award, which was created in honor of Ray Offenheiser, director of the Pulte Institute for Global Development, an integral part of the Keough School. 

The Offenheiser Fellowship is one of two fellowships awarded annually by the Keough School, the other being the Hesburgh Global Fellowship. Both are designed to support the professional development of graduating master of global affairs students by subsidizing their employment with organizations that foster human dignity and equality.

As a master of global affairs student, Puhr was part of an Integration Lab student team that collaborated with Oxfam America to examine a savings program for women in Cambodia to enable economic empowerment. In her new role as a full time Oxfam employee, Puhr is working with the organization’s aid effectiveness and gender justice teams, focusing on women’s economic rights related to unpaid and underpaid work carried out by women. She also is focusing on building a relationship with Oxfam Hong Kong to facilitate more collaboration between the US and Hong Kong offices, developing a foundation for a future role in supporting US-China relations.

“I’m really excited to be working on two issues I care deeply about—US-China relations and gender justice issues,” Puhr said. “I’m looking forward to now approaching them from a policy perspective, tapping into my previous experience on the programmatic side of the issues.”

Puhr is currently working remotely and will eventually relocate to Washington, DC. 

Before joining the MGA Class of 2020, Puhr served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps at Women’s Resource Center in Pennsylvania, providing services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She also spent a year in the Maryknoll China Teachers Program, where she taught English at Jilin Medical University and worked with local grassroots organizations serving rural communities. Puhr holds a BA from Notre Dame in political science and Chinese and is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

The Offenheiser Fellowship is awarded to eligible Keough School graduate students following the completion of their master of global affairs degree. Recipients work for one year at Oxfam’s offices in Boston or Washington, DC.

Before joining the Pulte Institute, Offenheiser served for 20 years as president of Oxfam America. Under his leadership, the agency grew eightfold and repositioned itself in the United States as an influential voice on international development, human rights and governance, humanitarianism, and foreign assistance. In addition to serving as Pulte Institute director, Offenheiser is a distinguished professor of the practice in the Keough School.

The Keough School’s Master of Global Affairs program prepares students for skilled, effective leadership and careers in government, nongovernmental and civil society organizations, and the private sector. The program integrates rigorous coursework, close engagement with policymakers, multi-disciplinary faculty and students from around the world, and extended field work around the globe. 

This piece was developed from an extended piece originally published by the Keough School of Global Affairs at on July 7, 2020.

The Pulte Institute for Global Development—an integral part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame—works to address global poverty and inequality through policy, practice, and partnership. 

Contact: Heather Asiala, communications program manager, Pulte Institute for Global Development,