During the 2018 spring semester, Brian Harper ’19 is serving as an intern in the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Latin America Studies Program. Founded in 1921, CFR is an independent, nonpartisan think tank and membership organization. It is responsible for publishing Foreign Affairs, a renowned journal covering international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.
Brian works with Dr. Shannon O’Neil, the vice president, deputy director of studies, and Nelson and David Rockefeller senior fellow for Latin America Studies at CFR, as well as Dr. O’Neil’s research associate, Sofía Ramírez. He conducts research for Dr. O’Neil’s articles, blog, and book chapters. This includes gathering information on political and social events in Latin America, in addition to studying historical and contemporary trade policy. Brian also writes memos and news digests to help keep Dr. O’Neil updated for her own writing and research.
Brian first learned about CFR’s internship program through Luther Flagstad ’18, who interned with CFR during the 2017 spring semester. Brian attended CFR’s Eighth Annual Back-to-School Event on Globalization in October 2017, networked with one of CFR’s recruiters at a career fair, and applied to several volunteer internship posts at CFR. He encourages anyone interested in CFR to attend any external events open to the public, to keep in touch with contacts from those events, and to use CFR’s materials for classes and to stay updated on current events.
“CFR is constantly publishing insightful articles that can serve as resources for political science and economic classes,” says Brian. “In the fall, I often cited CFR in papers and was thus more familiar with the organization’s work when it came time to apply for an internship. As an intern, I have had the opportunity to attend roundtables and do research on issues that are relevant to the topics we discuss in our classes. With six presidential elections taking place in Latin America this year, it is an exciting time to be working with a regional expert like Dr. O’Neil at CFR.”
Photos by Sofía Ramírez
By: Mahlatse Ramoroka ’19
I am a South Africa national, currently part of the IPED program through the South African Centennial Scholarship. I am interning with United Nations Women at the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). The mission of UN Women is “to enhance accountability, inform decision making and contribute to learning on gender equality.” The IEO facilitates the monitoring and implementation of wider gender stratification throughout the bodies or agencies of the United Nations. The primary focus of the office is on adopting gender-responsive, decentralized and cooperative evaluation systems at a national level that strengthen the capacities of women and girls across the board. My responsibilities as an intern include handling administrative duties, conducting research on the UN’s System Wide Action Plan (SWAP), taking notes in meetings, and analyzing evaluation reports. I have been doing some detailed research on goal 6 – clean water and sanitation – of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with particular attention to applying the UN-SWAP framework to the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) sector, gender equality and institutional governance.
One of the most significant highlights of my internship is being able to participate and observe, by attending and helping at events, how gender equality is championed. On the 22nd of November 2017, I attended the launch of the campaign that seeks to end violence against women and girls, led by the Executive Director of UN Women, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ncquka. The campaign was launch under the theme “Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls”.
Interacting with people from different countries, at different levels of the organization has been another life-changing experience for me. I am enjoying my experience at UN Women, at it continues to afford me various learning opportunities.
Five Fordham IPED students are working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York City. Two of our students, Greg Fischer ’19 and Sarah Garwood ’19, are Arrupe Fellows and have been supporting the UNDP Global Program on Nature for Development since August 2017. Masud Rahman ’19 and Stephanie Swinehart ’19 joined the Nature for Development team this January 2018. Starting this semester, Mariam Tabatadze ’19 supports the UNDP Innovation Facility at the Bureau of Policy and Planning Support.Greg Fischer ’19 is an Arrupe Fellow with the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development. He currently supports the Equator Initiative through work on their e-learning modules, translations of Equator Prize winners’ case studies, and Impact Investing. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Fordham University’s International Political Economy and Development (IPED) program with a concentration in International Development Studies. He completed his undergraduate degree at Augustana College in Secondary Education and History. Prior to working with the UNDP, Greg spent almost five years in São Paulo, Brazil, as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner where he coordinated a social advocacy campaign project for immigration and refugee issues and held a public office position to represent the immigrants in his borough.
Sarah Garwood ’19 is an Arrupe Fellow with the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development supporting the Equator Initiative and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net). She is a graduate student at Fordham University studying International Political Economy and Development with a concentration in International Development Studies. Her research on biodiversity experts expands the capacity of UNDP platforms. She also manages communications and social media campaigns for various projects. Prior to working with the UNDP, she spent two years in Belize City, Belize as a Jesuit Volunteer, supporting education and holistic development programs for at-risk youth. She holds a B.B.A. in International Business and Management from Villanova University.
Masud Rahman ’19 is a Programme Assistant with the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development, and he is assisting the team in Equator Initiative and private finance endeavors, focusing extensively on impact investment matchmaking. He is a Fulbright recipient from Bangladesh currently pursuing M.A. in International Political Economy & Development at Fordham University in New York. He completed his undergraduate degree in business administration before focusing on development economics. He has years of experience working in international development, trade and conservation projects largely in developing countries and underprivileged communities. Sustainable cross-border trade policy and alternative financing vehicles are his fields of interest.
Stephanie Swinehart ’19 is a Programme Assistant with the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development supporting the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) and knowledge sharing of strategic programming, including ecosystem services and illegal trade in wildlife. She is a graduate student at Fordham University pursuing an M.A. in International Political Economy & Development. Prior to joining UNDP, she worked in ecological economic research and agricultural consulting and has field experience as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal and as an assistant project manager for a food security and microfinance initiative in Malawi. Stephanie holds a B.S.B.A in Business and International Studies from Saint Louis University. Research interests include resource economics with a focus on sustainable agriculture and ocean initiatives.
Mariam Tabatadze ’19 is a Fulbright scholar from Tbilisi, Georgia and an intern at the Innovation Facility at the Bureau of Policy and Planning Support of the UNDP. Mariam’s work experience as the government counterpart to the UNDP Georgia team on innovation projects enables her to have an in-depth understanding of her current internship. At the Innovation Facility, Mariam helps research cutting-edge technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, to understand their policy implications. Additionally, Mariam assists in monitoring of the projects funded by the Innovation Facility and formulating the stories to be featured in the 2017 Annual Report.
Catholic Relief Services has selected three graduate students from Fordham University to participate in the 2018 International Peace and Development Travel Scholarship Program. All three students are graduating from Fordham’s Graduate Program in International Political Economy and Development and are being assigned to work with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Haiti, Burkina Faso, and the Philippines.
Starting in January 2018, Ms. Theresa Hart will be working at the CRS Office in Manila in the Philippines. She will be assisting in the monitoring of various developing projects that CRS is sponsoring in Indonesia, Micronesia and in East Timor. Prior to her studies at Fordham, she served as a Jesuit Volunteer in Micronesia. Tess is from the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph in Missouri.
After the Christmas break, Mr. Owen Fitzgerald will be heading out to Burkina Faso in West Africa, a very arid nation that faces serious agricultural issues. He will be assisting CRS on promoting both food security and better sanitation through the school system. Prior to his studies at Fordham, Owen served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in neighboring Mali. Owen is originally from the Diocese of Metuchen in New Jersey.
Finally, Ms. Liia Khalikova is being assigned to CRS in Haiti. Haiti has suffered a number of natural disasters in recent years and Liia will be assisting them with their communications strategy. Liia comes from Tartarstan which is part of the Russian Federation. She is studying at Fordham on a Fulbright Fellowship.
While at Fordham these students have specialized in international development as well as in the management and assessment of development projects.
By: Michael R. Johnson ’18
Michael R. Johnson ’18 was an intern at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under the Department of Compact Operations on the Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI) Team. The MCC is an innovative, independent U.S. aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. Since 2004 the MCC has partnered with countries committed to good governance, economic freedom and citizen investments to identify priorities for achieving sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
DCLI is the MCC’s partnership with the President’s Emergency Action Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that aims to support innovative and country-led approaches that promote evidence-based decision making for program and policies that address HIV/AIDS, global health, gender equality and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Data Collaboratives projects are strengthening the availability and use of data to improve lives and empower citizens to hold governments and donors more accountable for results.
As an intern, Michael provided support to the DCLI team in the Washington, DC office as well as project managers in Tanzania. A focus of his internship was aiding the replication of the Tanzanian program into Cote d’Ivoire through stakeholder mapping, root problem analysis, data ecosystem assessment, program logic creation and contributing to project development. Michael also handled the logistics of the MCC’s participation in the biennial African Open Data Conference involving programmatic formation and speaker outreach as well as leading the social media campaign and conducting post-session engagement analytics.
The MCC is very supportive of interns getting familiar with different departments, the processes of country investment as well as external partner organizations and events for exposure and networking opportunities around the capital. “The internship experience and living in DC for the summer has been constructive and pleasurable,” says Michael, “I can’t wait to go back to interact with my new colleagues and friends.” Michael will be staying on with the MCC virtually through the end of the year.