This summer I worked in the district office of Congressman David Price who represents Raleigh, Chapel Hill and a small portion of Durham. Congressman Price’s advocacy in the areas of transportation, education and national defense were among the policy areas I wanted to learn more about while working in his office. This internship helped me to gain a unique perspective on district office operations, and the nomadic existence of members of Congress and their staffs. I was able to attend events with Congressman Price in the triangle area, and spend a few days in Washington, DC as well. I was also able to work on policy memos in the areas of national defense, transportation, and education. My overall focus this summer was on learning about the legislative process firsthand but also broadening myself professionally.
Another day in the Raleigh office!
Midway through the summer I took a brief leave in order to take a course on Humanitarian Action and crisis response in Geneva, Switzerland. I was selected as a Duke Global Policy Program Fellow in the Spring of 2018, which afforded me this opportunity. This experience allowed me to explore the issues of NGO access, the role and power of donors, and civilian-military relations in the humanitarian sector. This course blended varying perspectives of the humanitarian field and its future with lectures from practitioners currently working in the field. In addition to lectures, there were also numerous site visits around the city to include the Palais Wilson, the current office of OHCHR (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) and the original home of the League of Nations, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the ICRC. This experience was invaluable to my knowledge and understanding of humanitarian action and crisis response; I will be able to immediately implement this knowledge as I transition to becoming an instructor in the American Politics sector at the United States Military Academy.
The culmination of the Humanitarian intensive course week was a pitch to a panel of judges seeking to implement a refugee camp in their country. Our group (pictured below) won!
The capstone of my summer was to help plan and staff two roundtable discussions, led by Congressman Price, on Autonomous Vehicles and First Responder issues/legislative priorities. As the triangle area, and many other cities make the decision as to whether to adopt a light rail transit system, continue to develop autonomous vehicles for mass transit, or both, this roundtable was essential to bringing all of the key leaders together to discuss the way ahead at the Federal and State levels. Additionally, after taking a course on criminal justice policy in North Carolina last semester, the First Responder’s roundtable presented me with a fascinating perspective on police/community relations, and First Responder issues.