Keely Swan, IDEAS Global Challenge Program Administrator

Keely Swan

IDEAS Global Challenge
Program Administrator

Keely Swan

If you could travel anywhere in the world to take part in a service project, where would want to go and why?

I'd love to go back to India to help out with a service project there. Back in 2007, I lived in Mumbai for a year while studying Gender & Development issues on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Many of my former classmates are now working for awesome NGOs across the country, so it would be fun to head back and spend some time with them. At the same time, I also enjoy working on service projects in our local Boston community. Many of the challenges one encounters in international development work also happen right here at home!

What do you do for fun outside the office?

On weekends, I love getting out of the city to go for hikes—still lots of places left to explore up in Vermont and Maine. I'm definitely a foodie and really enjoy baking, cooking, trying new recipes, and sharing it all with friends. Although I'm a bit of a slow reader, you'll pretty much always find me with a large adventure/fantasy novel in my bag—Tolkien, Dune, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, etc. I'm also still trying to teach myself to knit :).

What's the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is getting to work with students that are passionate about using their talents, skills, and know-how to make the world a more fair, equitable, and safe place. I'm inspired every day by the great ideas people come up with. I love helping to connect people with the resources they need to make things happen!

About Keely

As the Administrator of the IDEAS Global Challenge, Keely works closely with student teams throughout the competition cycle—assisting them with brainstorming, networking, and finessing their proposals. She also coordinates the competition’s major events, collaborating across departments and centers at MIT, working with a large team of volunteers, and assisting teams as they implement projects.

Prior to joining the PKG Center, Keely spent several years managing an international campaign on human rights and gender-based violence at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University. Keely also worked at Brandeis University as the coordinator for the Brandeis-India Initiative and South Asian Studies Department, where she managed a fellows program, a speaker series, and alumni outreach. In 2007-08, she spent a year at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Keely holds an MA in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University and a BA in International Studies from Franklin & Marshall College.