By: Kelly Cannon ’19
This summer, I worked as an intern at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with the Global Programme on Nature for Development. At the UNDP, my work focused on the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), “a partnership of governments, multinational companies, civil society and indigenous peoples who strive to halve deforestation by 2020 and to end it by 2030.” The NYDF focuses on ten global goals related to the protection and restoration of forests. “If realized, [these goals] have the potential to reduce annual carbon emissions by 4.5 to 8.8 billion tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to the annual emissions of the United States.” As a part of the NYDF team, I researched and consolidated resources to populate the Global Forum for the NYDF, a space for endorsers of the declaration to interact and share best practices that promote the ten goals. I also created knowledge products, including photo essays, showcasing outstanding examples of community initiatives working to end deforestation and promote alternative livelihoods. Furthermore, I managed endorsers and potential endorsers of the declaration in order to ensure effective communication. My role also required event planning support, which provided me the opportunity to attend a High-Level Dinner at the UN General Assembly on “Innovations and Solutions for Safeguarding Life on Earth” (see photo above with my wonderful team).
In addition to my internship at the UNDP, I worked as a Graduate Assistant for the IPED Program. I undertook two primary projects. The first involved developing the Fordham-Francis Index report, a human needs assessment tool designed in response to Pope Francis’ address to the United Nations. I consolidated and organized research for the publication and utilized a variety of software tools including Tableu, Prezi, and Microsoft Publisher. The second project was the Annual IPED Alumni Directory. This required reaching out to IPED alumni throughout the summer and collecting data in order to compile their contact and employment information and organizing it using Microsoft Access and coding it in Microsoft Word to prepare the directory for publication. As I put together the Alumni Directory, I enjoyed learning about all the amazing work IPED alumni do all over the world! My summer internships taught me new skills, developed old skills, provided networking opportunities, and fostered new friendships.