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14 July 2021

War Studies Alumni recognised at King's Distinguished Alumni Awards

International Relations alumni Lena Schubmann and Marta Welander are recognised for their professional work and commitment to the King’s community.

Lena Schubmann and Marta Welander

Lena Schubmann, who graduated with a BA International Relations alumna in 2016, was awarded the prestigious King’s International Alumni Award. The prize recognised her passionate commitment to improving food security and nutrition for communities in Guatemala.


Lena currently works as a Programme and Policy Officer with the World Food Programme of the United Nations in Guatemala. Lena’s team works on different programmes and projects including promoting climate-smart agriculture, strengthening the national school meals programme and food assistance.


The award also commended Lena’s contribution to mentoring at King’s, where she has gone above and beyond in supporting King’s alumni and students internationally through mentoring opportunities.


Reflecting on her time at King’s and in London, she spoke of the opportunities and inspiration she found that helped her pursue a successful career:

One of my main takeaways from King’s is the opportunity to engage with students from across the globe, professors, academics and professionals with different experiences; and to see all the possibilities, which has been a wonderful inspiration.

Lena Schubmann, BA International Relations alumna, 2016

Marta Welander, MA International Relations alumna, 2010, was highly commended for her work with the human rights and humanitarian sector, most notably establishing a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Refugee Rights Europe.


She set up Refugee Rights Europe as a small project five years ago in the wake of the Refugee Crisis in Europe, and has now expanded to become an established NGO that advocates for human rights for all individuals on European territory irrespective of legal status.


In conversation with Professor Mervyn Frost, Marta highlighted how Mervyn’s work helped her to conceptualise space for ethics in international politics and make a real difference:

The modules that you taught me at King’s gave me a lot of inspiration and hope that it is possible to achieve change.

Marta Welander, MA International Relations alumna, 2010

The 2020/21 ceremony was hosted by comedian and King’s alumnus Rory Bremner with performances from the King’s Bhangra Society and DJ Cuppy.


Watch the full awards ceremony on YouTube.


The King’s Distinguished Alumni Awards launched in 2017 to recognise distinguished alumni and students who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, civic leadership, or service to King’s and society.