During the spring of 2016, Tyler Falish (IPED 2017) is serving as an intern at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). CFR is an independent, non-partisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.
Currently, Tyler supports the work of Ambassador John Campbell–the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies–and Allen Grane, a research associate. The CFR Africa Studies program covers sub-Saharan Africa generally, but has a specific focus on Nigeria and South Africa. As an intern, he edits and cross-references the facts on posts that get published on the “Africa in Transition” blog, and conducts background research on articles and book chapters that Ambassador Campbell is writing. In addition, he monitors major political and economic events in sub-Saharan Africa and updates CFR Africa’s Twitter account.
In his spare time at CFR, Tyler researches and writes on African issues of personal interest. He recently published a blog post about the African Union and the limits to its power and efficacy in the context of the current instability in Burundi related to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term.
Tyler shares that working at CFR is a great experience, as CFR has a specific professional development program for their interns and provides them with opportunities to attend events hosted at CFR headquarters in New York City. “So far, I’ve attended a talk by Stanley Fischer, and most recently, Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton,” he adds.
Tyler learned of this internship opportunity with CFR from Samantha Andrews (IPED 2016) during the fall 2015 semester and applied as soon as the position was posted on the CFR website, as they hire on a rolling basis. He notes that there are a number of think tank internships at CFR each semester in New York and a few more in their DC office. He recommends that, in applying to think tanks generally, one must have and show a genuine interest in the subject matter, and emphasize one’s editorial and research skills, as those are the primary tools required in such positions.