Meg Shutzer '10

Meg Shutzer profile photoDocumentary Filmmaker

Thesis Title: Operation Return Home: The Resettlement of Kenya's Internally Displaced

As an undergraduate, I chose Social Studies so that I could examine what I believed to be the most pressing socio-economic challenges of the time. I was able to apply an understanding of historical and political context to poverty, social justice, humanitarian crises and human rights, gaining a fluency in these topics that I continue to draw upon in my work today. In particular, I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to spend six weeks doing thesis research in Kenya, where I learned that I love the hustle of field work and the intellectual pursuit of weaving together theory and the material world.         

The deep subject knowledge and experience doing self-directed, complex research and storytelling allowed me to launch a career in social impact consulting at Dalberg Advisors, where I worked as a project manager. At Dalberg, I had the chance to work all over the world, advising foundations, nonprofits and foreign governments on gender, the environment, financial inclusion and even homelessness in the Bay Area, where I have been living for the last four years.                  

Recently I made a career shift, directing and producing an award-winning documentary called New Generation Queens: a Zanzibar Soccer Story, a feature film about Zanzibar’s women’s soccer team. Though my medium has changed from academic research to strategic advising to film, all of my projects examine the same issues that I was inspired to learn about as an undergraduate and all rely upon the skills that I developed in the Social Studies program. I can’t imagine a better way to have gotten right to the subjects I most wanted to learn about in college - with the tools and support to learn - than the Social Studies concentration.