NLSD Banner

Allison Petrozziello


Allison Petrozziello graduated from NL in 1999. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies with a Spanish minor from Smith College and a master’s degree in International Development & Social Change from Clark University, both in Massachusetts. She is also a PhD candidate in the field of Global Governance from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. Petrozziello is an internationalist who has spent much of her career outside of the US, researching and advocating for the human rights of women, migrants, children, workers, and stateless people. For the past 15 years she has engaged with actors working at multiple levels: grassroots, NGO, private firm, think tank, international agencies, government, diplomatic missions, and United Nations.

Petrozziello spent a year in Spain during college, travelled the world as a Spanish teacher aboard the Japanese NGO Peace Boat upon graduation, then went to Honduras for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. There she grew interested in applying her education in gender equality for local development and also began paying attention to migration dynamics. She came back to the US for a stint in Washington DC, and then to pursue a master’s degree in International Development & Social Change. Her thesis research on gender and remittances in Honduran-US transnational families led her to work with a UN research institute upon graduation, UN-INSTRAW in the Dominican Republic. She spent 8 years there researching gender and migration, Haitian-Dominican migration with a local think tank, and consulting for different UN agencies, including UN WOMEN and the ILO. Gender on the Move, which she wrote for UN Women, has been published in four languages and used around the world to shift thinking and action on the migration-development nexus from a gender perspective. In 2017 Petrozziello moved with her family to Canada to pursue a PhD in Global Governance, with a concentration in global social policy and migration governance. Her dissertation research takes a feminist approach to the study of statelessness and citizenship rights within the context of international migration.

Petrozziello currently resides in Kitchener, Ontario. She is married to a Cuban violinist and has two daughters. She is an avid explorer, reader, writer, and yoga practitioner. The thing that Petrozziello most appreciated about her time at NL was that “I got to develop my leadership skills in Student Council and Model UN, and enjoyed the mentorship and support of a number of teachers. Mr. Rahalewich fostered my interest in international relations, Mrs. Stoddard helped me on my way to becoming fluent in Spanish, Mr. Donmoyer built my confidence and civic awareness, Mrs. Grimes and Mr. Hunter strengthened my writing. Learning to drive and type were also crucial skills! I also learned to recognize racism, sexism, homophobia, social inequality and have made fighting these part of my life’s work.” The following is Petrozziello’s advice for current NL students: The world is sorely hurting for people who are compassionate, committed to social change, and engaged. Learning how to develop your talents and offer them in the service of a better community can take many shapes. Not everyone has a clear-cut path laid out before them – I didn’t even know that what I do now existed when I was in high school. Opportunity follows passion! “Caminante, no hay camino; el camino se hace al andar”: “Traveler, there is no path. A path is made by walking” – Antonio Machado.

If you would like to nominate a Viking for Life so that they appear on this page, please click here.

View all Viking for Life features