On March 23rd, many members of the IPED family got together to meet, catch up, and chat for the IPED Alumni night. IPED alumni were asked to speak about their experiences working in the non-profit, government, and private sectors and gave advice for current and recent IPEDers starting their careers. Following the alumnae panel, current students were presented with their study and internship awards. Congratulations to all of you!
Category Archives: Alumni
On March 8th, Fordham IPED had the honor of hosting the Swanstrom-Baerwald Award Ceremony on Rose Hill Campus. In conjunction with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Fordham awarded Elizabeth “Liz” Pfifer the prestigious award in honor of her selfless dedication to her relief and development work throughout Africa. For a full synopsis of the ceremony and Ms. Pfifer’s accomplishments, please follow this link to the Fordham News article covering the event.
Later in the evening there were two more awards presented to Mr. Osvaldo Hernandez and Ms. Lois Harr. Mr. Hernandez was awarded the Cardinal McCarrick Fellowship Travel Award, honoring the Cardinal’s work with CRS on behalf of peace and development. The fellowship will enable Mr. Hernandez to visit Fordham IPED graduate students completing field assignments with CRS in Africa so that he can experience first-hand the official international humanitarian work of the American Catholic community.
Of course, it was an IPED event and we found time to have some fun, too.
On Thursday and Friday, November 3rd and 4th, IPED went to Washington, D.C. for the annual Washington, D.C. Career Trip
The IPED students began the trip at Elephant and Castle to meet with representatives from the International Trade Administration (ITA). The discussions began with Israly Echegaray, an IPED alumna, who now works with the ITA and was able to work on both the TTIP and TPP trade agreements.
Israly had two pieces of advice for those seeking a job with the government: 1. Read the job description and be sure to use keywords when answering the question. 2. When answering, don’t be too high level with your answers initially.
Next to speak was Constance Handley, another IPED alumna, who is now the Deputy Director of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC). Her career began with the ITA in the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties office from which she moved around a little bit before her current position.
The final speaker from the ITA was Shane Subler, IPED alumni, who spoke briefly about his work with Ms. Handley in the ITEC doing analysis.
After lunch the IPED students spent some time at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The first speaker was Anthony Cotton, RPCV, IPED alumni and Peace Corps Fellow who went on to get the double Master’s degree in IPED and Economics. He was a Presidential Management Fellow before he began his work with USAID. He has had an exciting career so far, holding seven jobs in seven years within the agency.
His tips were: 1. Spend time meeting people and having informational interviews. 2. Make business cards as a means to induce someone to give you theirs. 3. Apply to everything because it helps you learn your own narrative and to nail your resume.
Next to speak was Sarah Webber, RPCV, IPED alumna, Arrupe Fellow, and Fulbright Fellow to Botswana. Ms. Webber works with the Health section of USAID coordinating and organizing health initiatives for USAID.
Her tip was to apply for the Presidential Management Fellow as it was an excellent way to get a foot in the door at USAID.
The last speaker of the day was Tracy O’Heir, a Jesuit Volunteer Corps alumna, IPED alumna and Arrupe Fellow. Ms. O’Hare is the team lead for the southern and western Africa Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Her tip was to study French because it is super useful for a career with USAID.
On Thursday evening IPED had its annual Washington, D.C. Alumni Dinner at Tortilla Coast. IPEDers, both current and past, mingled and discussed opportunities and shared tips.
Friday morning IPED students went to the United States Department of Agriculture. First to speak was Matt Pavone, an IPED alumni and recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy. Mr. Pavone works with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) as an Outreach Specialist working to implement credit and community support programs to small-scale US farmers.
Next to speak was Hoa Hyunh from the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). Mr. Hyunh is the Director of North Asia in the Agricultural Trade Office working in promotion of agriculture products overseas.
Hoa was followed by Jane Wilkins from the FAS. She is an IPED Alumna, and works as an analyst for foreign banks in order for them to take part in a US funded development program. She is a Civil Service Officer as opposed to a Foreign Service Officer.
Next was Brian Gruse who also worked for the FAS as Assistant Deputy Administrator. His focus was in capacity building in developing countries.
Finally, Brian Dutoi wrapped up the information session with a discussion of his with the the FAS in Food for Progress. He is also an IPED alumni and works on monetizing food commodities.
Following a lunch at the USDA cafeteria, the IPED students wrapped up their D.C. trip with a visit to the Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC).
First to speak was Kari Nelson, formerly with the MCC, but recently moved to Social Impact. Ms. Nelson gave an overview of what the MCC does and the metrics used to determine country eligibility for “compacts.”
Representatives from human resources, Tom Wyke and his co-worker, Gigi, spoke about internship opportunities and hiring process.
Next to speak was Melissa Griswald from the implementation section of MCC. She works on the actual compacts (projects) from the development stage to implementation.
We finished the session with Sarah Lane from monitoring and evaluation, who spoke about her work and some of the metrics used to evaluate the work done in the field.
It was a wonderful trip and the IPED first years were even able to do a little bit of sightseeing.
On Friday, October 21, the Fordham IPED Class of 2018 was invited to the United Nations Headquarters in New York for the annual United Nations Career Day.
The students began their day at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where they heard from Dr. Jamison Ervin, the manager of the Global Biodiversity Programme, about the Equator Initiative. Next Verania Chao spoke about mainstreaming gender issues and the UNDP’s effort to ensure that development initiatives are benefiting both men and women for more effective and efficient results. Last, Maria Fare Garcia from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Initiative spoke about her role in creating awareness of the SDGs and connecting with people the goals are meant to support in an effort to ensure their needs are being considered. Each of these phenomenal women also spoke about their career paths and how they found themselves working for the UNDP.
Next, the IPEDers visited the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and met with Yuka Yakamoto. Ms. Yakamoto spoke about the different positions within UNICEF and discussed avenues through which one can find a position with the organization.
Following the visit to UNICEF was lunch at the Delegates Dining Hall at the UN.
After the delicious fare, IPED headed off to their last meeting with former IPED graduate Kevin Lynch and Jason Laurence at the United States Mission to the UN. Messrs. Lynch and Laurence told of their journey to their current positions and then answered questions.
The students ended their day touring the UN.
IPED Internships: UNICEF: Policy Planning Intern in Data, Research, and Policy Division – Nathan Birhanu
This summer, I had the pleasure of interning at the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as part of its Data, Research, and Policy Division. UNICEF is centered on advocating on the rights and development of children across the world, which also extends to mothers, fathers, and members of society as a whole. UNICEF works in child survival and development, basic education, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, child protection, policy advocacy, research, and data analysis to name just a few. Although UNICEF’s headquarters are in New York City, a majority of its activities are in the field and extends out to over 190 countries.
During my time at UNICEF in the Data, Research, and Policy Division, I worked in the Policy Planning Unit (PPU). The PPU is focused on foresight and forward thinking to analyze emerging trends globally that are then incorporated into UNICEF’s global policy and strategic plan. My task in PPU included researching topics and writing briefs to be distributed to UNICEF staff, helping to develop foresight analytical methods by establishing relationships with schools and firms that focus on future trend analysis, and organizing speaker series of prominent thought leaders. An important brief I was able to write that was distributed to the organization was on the future of food, high lighting the important variables that will have the most impact on the world relating to food, climate change, health, and population growth. Other topics covered by the PPU include rapid urbanization, the future of philanthropy, and the role of institutions.
Much of the work conducted in UNICEF’s Data, Research, and Policy Division and the PPU allowed me to analyze an expansive array of topics pertinent to the coming decades. My work also included accessing the data and publications of UNICEF, along with having the ability to consult with experts across the entire organization. Such experiences allow me to grow and be effective in any work I pursue in the future.
I felt prepared to jump in headfirst into my tasks assigned at UNICEF due to the classwork and fieldwork I was able to complete in International Political Economy and Development (IPED). The work done at PPU also requires diligence and considerable amount of time; I was able to allocate the necessary dedication to my work at UNICEF and the PPU because of the Summer IPED Fellowship I was given by IPED and Fordham University.
IPED alumni are employed in UNICEF, and IPED and the Department of Economics at Fordham have a special relationship with UNICEF. If students are interested in interning there, it is good to apply early on UNICEF’s website. IPED and the Department of Economics regularly send out postings for available positions at UNICEF, and that is a fantastic way to apply for an internship position.