Katherine Snyder, MDP Director

I have been serving as the director of the MDP program since August 2016, having come from over a decade out of academia working in NGOs and international research centers, focusing mostly on land, natural resources and agriculture in several countries in Africa. 
The mission of UA MDP is to bring together talented students and faculty who have dedicated themselves to addressing the complex challenges of social and economic inequities that result in poor health, food insecurity, and pressures on natural resources. The UA MDP provides a comprehensive foundation, strives to provide practical experience and to produce professional and well-trained graduates who understand and respond to the complexities of development both at home and overseas. UA MDP is also a member of the Global MDP network, made up of 26 universities globally. This membership allows our students to interact with students from around the world on issues important to us all. 
Unique to Arizona’s MDP is our partnership with TANGO international, a local consulting agency that provides technical assistance in assessment, design, monitoring and evaluation for development and recovery programs world-wide. Additionally, MDP students also have access to a wide variety of community organizations and internships in our border community. For instance, students have the opportunity to work with the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology on border and health issues, or to work with school and community gardens on food security and nutrition programs.
UA MDP also assists students in gaining real world experience through our summer practicum. Students spend 8-12 weeks working for small and large NGOs, companies and governments on real world projects. Our students have been placed in nearly 20 counties over the past 4 years. Through these practicum, they develop important skills desired by employers and are able to apply the knowledge they learn from their academic courses. 
We look forward to the program growing and attracting students from diverse backgrounds and from countries around the world. 


Tim Finan, UA MDP Co-Founder

I am both elated and humbled to have led the Master of Development Practice (MDP) program at the University of Arizona (UA). For many years, numerous faculty and students at our university have dedicated themselves to reducing the grinding impacts of global poverty; defining the pathways to enhanced well-being for the under-resourced and unlucky; advancing the urgent need for social and economic justice; and raising the awareness of basic human rights. Through teaching, applied research and practice, UA has embraced its responsibilities in the global community to which it belongs. The UA MDP represents a milestone in this effort, a point around which the expertise and experience our diverse faculty and student body can coalesce and mobilize.

The University of Arizona is a public, land-grant institution of higher learning with a mission of service to both communities of knowledge and communities of practice. Located in the desert that links the US to Mexico, our global commitment is as much a mission as it is a matter of history and tradition. In the academic areas that have firmly rooted our reputation—environment, health, science and engineering, social sciences, law—the University has always looked outward across borders to the broader global community, and the MDP here at Arizona takes full advantage of the deep tradition of teaching, research and applied practice that has earned Arizona its international distinction.

Our MDP is founded in the MDP Global Network, which envisions the development practitioner as a broadly-trained, multi-talented individual who combines a solid knowledge base with a skill set honed in the reality of field experience. At the same time, we feel that our MDP adds unique value with its distinct Arizona character. We are particularly keen on our partnerships with TANGO International, a highly-regarded development assistance firm located here in Tucson, and with the range of international institutions in Africa, Latin America, and Asia which participate in our program.

The MDP at Arizona carries the promise that our university assures the quality of this learning-in-action experience and exposes our MDP students to the best of what we offer. I am confident that our MDP graduates will leave the University ready to engage and make contributions, with their professional credentials already established. The MDP program is a big moment for us at UA, the culmination of much effort and reflection, and we invite all of you to share in our success as it prepares the development practitioners of the future.

Tim Finan, MDP Founding Director