Tag Archives: internship

Student Spotlight: Liya Khalikova at the United Nations’ Counterterrrorism Executive Directorate

Liya Khalikova (IPED ‘18) is an intern with the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) at the UN Headquarters in New York City. CTED  was created in 2004 to strengthen and coordinate the global terrorism monitoring process and to support the United Nations’ Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, established in 2001. CTED currently employs approximately 40 individuals, primarily holding roles as legal, political, and human rights affairs officers.

Liya Khalikova, IPED Class of 2018

Liya’s position is in the public information section, helping CTED’s communications advisor. Her daily responsibilities include compiling media digests, assisting with social media, drafting posts/documents, assisting in the organization of briefings and meetings, taking notes in said briefings, helping with research, etc. LIya says of her work: “Tasks are not limited to anything in particular and are based on the sphere of my interests. I can [always] find something exciting to do!”

Liya, who is a Fulbright Student from Russia, says that the internship has allowed her to become more comfortable writing in English and has exposed her to the unique “UN language.” She continues to say, “Part of my internship was helping to translate committee’s website into Russian which took a lot of time and effort. The Russian version of the website should be online sometime soon.”

Liya and her fellow interns at the CTED

Liya found the internship through the UN careers website and applied by filling out a standard UN application on Inspira. After several weeks she was called for an interview. The whole process took around a month. Initially the position was for three months, but was then prolonged for an additional three months.

Liya shared the following advice for those applying for internships. “Apply for positions that have a direct interest to you and can impact your future career, and be patient – sometimes the recruitment process, even for an internship, can take several months.”
Liya pursues her studies with IPED as a full time student and Fulbright Fellow while fulfilling her internship duties on a part-time basis.

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Student Spotlight: Alex Zakrzewski at the United Nations’ Department of Public Information

Alex Zakrzewski (IPED ‘18) is interning for the United Nations’ Department of Public Information, NGO Relations & Advocacy Section (DPI/NGO). The office is tasked with serving a liaison between civil society and the United Nations. The NGO Relations Section within the United Nations’ DPI is the link with approximately 1,500 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) who are partners and members in association with the Department of Public Information and support the UN efforts to disseminate information on the priority issues on its agenda, including sustainable development, creating a safer and more secure world, the importance of prevention, helping countries in transition, empowering women and young people, and addressing poverty, among others.

Alex at the DPI/NGO

Specifically, Alex is on the association team which includes reviewing documentation of NGOs’ applying for formal association with DPI. His tasks include reviewing and verifying these NGOs’ documents and work and fielding questions concerning the attainment of association status. He also works with the association team on examining their current NGOs annual reviews, reports demonstrating their continued commitment to the UN’s agenda and goals.

Alex’s work-space at the DPI/NGO office

Alex shared his thoughts on his most recent weekly briefing: “Last week’s [briefing] was a particularly successful gathering with over 400 attendees and focused on faith-based NGOs and their work with refugees. The briefing was led by a strong multi-faith panel including individuals from Islamic Relief Society, UNICEF, the US Department of State, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was very well received and particularly poignant given the state of current world affairs.”

Alex found his position through an email received from the Fordham Alumni Office and applied via the United Nations Inspira portal with the engagement and support of a Fordham staff member who frequently participates in UN activities.  

The United Nations Headquarters

Alex is a part time student in the IPED program while he performs his duties with the DPI.

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Student Spotlight: Maggie Hutchison at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations

Margaret “Maggie” Hutchison (IPED ‘18) is an intern with The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The Holy See is the political entity of the Vatican and is an “Observer State” to the United Nations, which means they do not have voting privileges, but they can still make interventions and participate in debates.

United Nations Headquarters

Maggie’s work as an intern involves covering issues of migration and other topics that the Nuncio and Monsignors find important to the Mission. In these meetings she is engaged in taking detailed notes that are later compiled into a report that is eventually sent to Rome for the Vatican Holy See officials read.

Maggie standing in the General Assembly

Maggie spoke about the advantages of working the Holy See at the UN: “During my time as an intern, I have been able to take advantage of many UN opportunities such as evening events and language classes. These activities have improved my learning outside of the classroom and I am grateful for the experience.“

Maggie was introduced to this internship through Dr. Schwalbenberg, Director or the IPED Program, as part of her fellowship to the program, however she mentioned that her fellow interns at the Mission found the internship through reaching out, making connections with someone in the Mission and passing along their resume. She says, “It is wonderful UN experience and allows you to understand the system better and to make strong connections.”

Maggie out in front the General Assembly at the UN

Maggie is a full time student in the IPED program while she carries out her internship duties at the Holy See Mission.

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Student Spotlight: Luther Flagstad at the Council on Foreign Relations

Luther Flagstad standing outside the Council’s subtle entrance in Manhattan.

Luther Flagstad (IPED ‘18) is the U.S. Foreign Policy Volunteer Intern at the Council on Foreign Relations and in the David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR’s “think tank”–under Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy. The CFR is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher. The U.S. Foreign Policy program at the CFR seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities the United States faces overseas and to assess the pressures and political dynamics shaping its foreign policy choices. The program’s goal is to provide insightful analysis and recommendations that help policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and the general public better understand how the United States weighs its interests and values when it makes foreign policy decisions.

One of the meeting rooms at the Council.

As an intern, Luther works closely with Ambassador Blackwill’s Research Assistant, Ted Rappleye, researching current U.S. foreign policy issues. The CFR provides interns with expansive opportunities for professional development.  Luther writes: “At CFR I’ve been able to listen in on “not-for-attribution” meetings delivered by policy makers from around the world, attend sessions on writing and research skills, practice writing policy memos, and learn and absorb as much as I can from fellows, researchers, and other interns.” Luther was involved in the research for a piece published by Ambassador Blackwill in Foreign Policy titled, “Fact Checking Trump’s ‘Alternative Facts’ About Mexico”.

Luther Flagstad at his desk in the interns’ “pit.”

Luther obtained his position, initially, by attending the CFR’s back-to-school event where he created a network with the other research assistants. He was able to draw on these connections when positions when he submitted his applications.

Luther had this advice to offer: “If you are interested in a career in policy, I couldn’t recommend an internship with CFR enough. The exposure it provides to the field is outstanding.”

Luther maintains his status as a full-time students while performing his internship duties part-time.

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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.

Nathan standing in the main lobby of UNICEF.

Nathan standing in the main lobby of UNICEF.

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.

Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF Justin Forsyth (left), Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake (center), and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Management Fatoumata Ndiaye (right) discuss current developments within UNICEF during an all-staff meeting.

Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF Justin Forsyth (left), Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake (center), and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Management Fatoumata Ndiaye (right) discuss current developments within UNICEF during an all-staff meeting.

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.

Nathan stands with his supervisor, Officer-in-Charge of Policy Planning Yulia Oleinik,

Nathan stands with his supervisor, Officer-in-Charge of Policy Planning Yulia Oleinik


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.

IPEDers at the United Nations

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.


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