Profile | Catching up with the McHenry Fellows
As the new academic year begins, we caught up with our inaugural cohort of McHenry Fellows to learn about how they spent their summers.
This summer, I joined the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center team as a Young Global Professional. As a new member of the team, I had the opportunity to work on a series of initiatives and different issue areas, including: #BalkansForward; E.U.-U.S. digital policy cooperation; the Three Seas Initiative; U.K. and French security and defense initiatives; and the German federal elections. Among many highlights of working with the Europe Center team, was the opportunity to work on Belorussian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s first visit to the Atlantic Council.
Working for the Council was a unique opportunity to enhance my policy writing skills and improve my knowledge about European affairs. It also gave me a strong appreciation for the role of think tanks in facilitating and jumpstarting foreign policy debates, and reaffirmed my belief in the importance of transatlantic coordination and cooperation in reviving and strengthening the liberal world order.
Over the summer I completed the Center for Latin American Studies summer program remotely with Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago de Chile. The program consisted of a month of classes on different themes, such as: challenges to governance during COVID-19; human rights and diversity in Latin America; the interplay of society, religion and conflict; as well as the current crisis and transformation that the region is experiencing. All classes were in Spanish and featured professors and practitioners from different specialties from Latin America.
The second component of the program was a virtual internship at Universidad Diego Portales in Chile. I worked with their Gender Department to conduct research on masculinity in Latin America. My work on masculinity and gender was especially timely in Chile, as the country is drafting its new constitution and is considering ways to improve women’s participation in the workforce.
I also had the opportunity to publish several blog posts, including one arguing for a shift in current cultural conceptualization of masculinity in order to make bigger strides towards gender equity in the workforce.
This summer, I worked at the Council on Foreign Relations as a Korea Studies intern. I assisted Scott Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, with writing his book that focuses on the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance.
I primarily conducted research on a range of topics like: South Korea’s judiciary system; electoral, and media reforms; as well as Korean conglomerates’ investment in the semiconductor, battery, and electric vehicle industry. Fact-checking was also a big part of my work. I looked at publicly available government documents, news articles, financial statements of major conglomerates, academic papers, and various statistical data.
This summer, I interned at the World Bank’s Data and Evidence for Justice Reform Unit under the Impact Evaluation Department. I was able to enhance my research and communications skills, as well as develop a keen global understanding of the intricacies of justice dispensation.
A highlight for me was authoring three opinion pieces distilling complex econometric analysis into easily digestible public articles that explored concepts like effective altruism and implicit bias. Although the fully remote nature of the job meant I did not have the privilege of meeting my coworkers and supervisors, I was recruited into some impressive research projects, the most memorable of which was preparing a Google-funded grant to tackle judicial bias in historically underrepresented groups globally. The most important lesson the summer internship gave me was about the importance of rigorous research and how data can improve the decision-making process for the good of public service.
This summer, I worked as a stabilization and transition intern for DT Global, an international development company based in Washington DC. I embedded with their Yemen program management unit, helping to administer a program that builds the capacity of local media organizations and journalists through funding and training.
In my time there, I got to work on a variety of projects that allowed me to put into practice the things I have learned in my GHD coursework so far. I helped the team design an impact evaluation to measure the effectiveness of the program, I translated, coded and analyzed interview and survey data to help refine the program’s approach, and I contributed to a $5 million grant proposal to expand the program’s reach in Yemen. I also published a blog post about the media landscape in Yemen based on my analysis of survey and interview data.
The Donald F. McHenry Global Public Service Fellows Program seeks to enhance Georgetown University School of Foreign Service’s (SFS’) recruitment of exceptionally qualified graduate students from all communities within the US and globally who are committed to careers in transformational global public service. Learn more about the program, including current Fellows and the application process at: https://www.mchenryfellows.com/
Read ISD’s profile of the new director of the McHenry Fellows Program, Dr. Maria Rendon: