Category Archives: Alumni

Council on Foreign Relations: African Policy Studies Intern – Nathan Birhanu

Over the 2016 summer, I interned at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) within the Africa Studies Program. CFR is one of the primer think tanks in the world that promotes better understanding and independent research regarding foreign policy that affects not only the United States but countries across the world. CFR accomplishes this in three manners: as a membership organization, publisher, and think tank. CFR has nearly 5,000 members and 170 corporate members that it helps bring together via influential forums. CFR also publishes information through various avenues, with the prominent publication being Foreign Affairs, a leading magazine on foreign policy and global affairs. Finally, as think tank, CFR has nearly seventy fellows that research, write, and analyze leading global issues across various regions and sectors.


Nathan attends a roundtable discussion at CFR.


I was fortunate enough to work under Ambassador John Campbell, the senior fellow for Africa Policy Studies. During my time working with Ambassador Campbell and his research associate, I worked to support the Africa studies department by editing and drafting publications, gathering research on policy issues, and completing administrative tasks. As an intern, I was encouraged to write independent research pieces that were relevant with my academic and professional experiences to be published on the Africa studies blog. I was able to publish online on topics related to Ethiopia and Eritrea security issues, Africa and China relations, and challenges people with albinism face in Southern and Eastern Africa. Interns also have access to general meetings and roundtable discussions with prominent experts speaking on contemporary global issues.

Nathan and Allen Grane, research associate, pose with Ambassador Campbell’s new book, Morning in South Africa, which is used in IPED’s South Africa course.

Nathan and Allen Grane, research associate, pose with Ambassador Campbell’s new book, Morning in South Africa, which is used in IPED’s South Africa course.


The exposure I had while at CFR has contributed tremendously to my goal of eventually working on the African continent, be it in economics, business development, or international relations. It also provided me the opportunity to utilize the knowledge I gained in my course studies in International Political Economy and Development (IPED) at Fordham University and five years working in sub-Saharan Africa. More importantly, my CFR internship was made possible because of the Summer IPED Fellowship I was graciously awarded. Because of the fellowship, I was able to completely immerse myself at CFR and participate fully in the research, events, and work.

Nathan and Allen Grane, research associate, pose with Ambassador Campbell’s new book, Morning in South Africa, which is used in IPED’s South Africa course.

President of CFR Richard Haass (left) discusses Ambassadors Campbell’s (right) new book, Morning in South Africa, and political and economic affairs in South Africa.


IPED has a strong relationship with CFR and sends interns to the various departments. Applying online to African Policy Studies, the Center for Preventative Action, or other internships that align with one’s experience is the best way to gain an internship at the institution, as it is meritocratic and selective based on academic and professional experience.


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Fordham Graduation 2016

Congratulations to IPED Class of 2016!








We are proud of your successes. Good luck and see you in future alumni events!


IPED Class of 2016 during orientation back in August 2014.

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Filed under Alumni, Class, Community & Culture, Uncategorized

Three IPED Graduates selected for CRS International Development Fellows Program

3 crs fellows

Three recent Fordham IPED graduates were selected for the Catholic Relief ServicesInternational Development Fellows Program (CRS IDFP) for 2016. Camille Tacastacas, Veronica Muoio, and Josh Voges (IPED 2016) were among the roughly 25 fellows selected from hundreds of applicants for this year’s IDFP. The IDFP is a year-long program that provides a fast-track for people interested in careers in international relief and development via experience working in CRS’ programs overseas.


Joshua Voges

Josh was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. As an Arrupe Fellow in the Fordham IPED program, he interned with the UNDP Equator Initiative.  Josh is currently interning with CRS’ office in Senegal, where he serves as Program Quality and Growth Fellow.


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Pictured here in the Philippines, Veronica served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan. She joined Fordham IPED on a Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship and interned with the Fordham Road Business Improvement District. Veronica currently works with the United Nation’s Development Programme’s Gender Team.


Camille was Jesuit Volunteer from the Philippines, and joined the Fordham IPED program on a Presidential Scholarship. Camille is currently interning with CRS Sierra Leone, where she assists in their Infant and Young Child Feeding and Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition Program.

Veronica has received an offer to join CRS’ office in Lebanon, Camille in CRS Malawi, and Josh in CRS Rwanda. Their deployment to these country offices is set to begin in August.

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Filed under Alumni, Career, Internships, IPED Fellowships, Prestigious Awards

2016 IPED Alumni Networking Night

The 2016 Fordham IPED Alumni Networking Night was an unmitigated success. It took place on Thursday, March 10 in the Fordham Lincoln Center campus.


Dr. Schwalbenberg welcomed current IPED students, professors, alumni, and guests to the event.


IPED alumni Ramon Fuentebella (L), Jane Wilkins, Thomas Moviel, and Claudia Pessagno discussed their impressive careers in the public and private sectors, and indicated the role Fordham IPED played in advancing their careers.


This year’s Language Immersion Study Awardees (LISA). Ryan Barthel (L) will study Mandarin in Taiwan. David Masagbor will study Arabic in Egypt. Jaclyn Yap plans to study French in France. Andy Munn will study Quechua in Bolivia. Lastly, Armand Acquino plans to study French in France.


This year’s Arrupe Overseas Field Placements include Katie McCann (C), who will be taking a French immersion course in France, and Daina Ruback, who will be pursuing entrepreneurship research with TechnoServe, Emory University, Oxfam, and Value for Women in Mexico and Guatemala.


This year’s Public Service Field Placements include Grace Avila (L), who will be working with the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Mission in Myanmar, and Tyler Falish, who will be pursing policy centered research focused on sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, among others.


Dr. Jonathan Crystal provided the closing remarks, and once again questioned his decision not to pursue the grueling career path of a stand-up comic.


Alumni night is a great opportunity for current IPED students to mingle with alumni from past years.













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2016 Private Sector Career Trip

U.S. Trust - group shot

On Friday, March 11, Fordham IPED students traveled to Midtown Manhattan for the annual Private Sector Career trip. Although many IPED students pursue careers in the nonprofit and public sectors, IPED is also well represented in the private sector.


The first meeting was with alumnus Joseph Quinlan (’84) at U.S. Trust. Many of the students had read Joseph’s book, The Last Economic Superpower, in advance of the meeting, and the group discussed that, as well as Joseph’s career path and current work in wealth management.


Over a delicious a lunch at Antalia Turkish restaurant, alumnus Santiago Mejia (’07) discussed his experience as a commodity trader, and demystified the coffee market.


The day wrapped up at the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA), where Mario Carias discussed the process of becoming Certified Financial Analysts (CFA), and the test prep scholarships available to students at NYSSA.


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Filed under Alumni, Career, Trips