Brian Harper and the Council on Foreign Relations

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

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