Ioulia Fenton

Ioulia Fenton


Professional Development Advisor 


Ioulia received a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Bath in England. After completing her degree with honors, she worked as a headhunter in London's corporate sector for two and a half years before embarking on an MSc in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. She built her development experience by taking two research internships in the middle of her MSc studies: one with the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) in La Paz, Bolivia and another with the trade and investment team at the United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand. Her Master's fieldwork was funded by the Tropical Agriculture Association Fund and took her to the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala, where she researched undernutrition and food security, leading to a research consultancy and research brief publication for Action Against Hunger. 

Ioulia stayed in Guatemala for a year and a half after her research was completed, supporting herself through research and writing work, including professional CV and cover letter writing for the world's largest network of development professionals, DEVEX, and writing articles for the likes of Americas Quarterly and Global South Development Magazine. During her time in Guatemala, Ioulia started Development Roast, a weekly blog providing accessible analysis of pertinent development issues. On its one year anniversary, the blog was bought by INESAD and Ioulia joined the Institute once again, but this time as the head of international communications and outreach. 

Ioulia embarked on her PhD in Anthropology at Emory in the Fall of 2013. Her research interests lie mainly in issues of sustainability, food and agriculture. She spent this summer back in Guatemala working on a Global Health Institute (GHI) funded Multidisciplinary Field Scholars project, whereby her and three other Emory students delivered participatory research workshops to community health workers in three different Lake Atitlan communities. She also used that time for a pilot study of her academic interests, investigating the nascent but growing local organic food production movement in the country.