My name is Marisela Rivera, and I am a Master of Arts candidate at Seton Hall`s School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Over the summer I had the pleasure of serving as the Sergio Vieira de Mello Fellow for the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) in Geneva, Switzerland, the international capital of the world. The fellowship honors a former United Nations Diplomat, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was killed in the Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003. Mr. Vieira de Mello is remembered for his long and distinguished career with the UN as well as his efforts to promote peace, human rights and humanitarian aid.
Like Mr. Vieira de Mello, I am passionate about fulfilling peace and security for all. I specialized in two eminent concentrations to promote peace and security: International Law & Human Rights and International Security. My two specializations and my keen interest in Latin America have well prepared me for the fellowship. My host organization, DCAF, is an international foundation that is well-known for its support of security, development, and the rule of law.
Within the DCAF, I worked for the International Security Advisory Team (ISSAT). ISSAT was created to increase the capacity of the international community to support Security Sector Reform (SSR) processes, enhance the effectiveness and quality of SSR programming, and facilitate the coordination and coherence of international assistance for nationally-driven SSR processes. It focuses on four key services: advisory field support, training and capacity development, knowledge services, and advocacy and outreach.
Prior to my arrival, DCAF created a Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) department dedicated to Security Sector Reform. I worked with the director to set the foundation and sustainability flow for this particular department. Together, we created a strategy for LAC, as well as an overview of donors to the region. I utilized my social media and advertising skills to create a memorable LAC webpage, and I wrote country background notes, particularly in Latin American countries. In addition, I was tasked to develop a knowledge product for the Gender and Security section that applied a gender lens to explore the application of local ownership in SSR. The case study analyzed two countries and explore the lessons learned to increase the discussions on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS).
One of the most challenging and gratifying experiences was familiarizing myself with international security and human rights dialect in Spanish. Being of Colombian descent, Spanish is my first language. However, growing up in America and being part of the public education system, Spanish was not a priority. Through DCAF, I learned the importance of bilingualism and the various opportunities that it brings.
Overall, my time with DCAF was insightful and rewarding. I fulfilled many assignments in my area of study, and I was trusted with the duties of a Project Assistant as well as the work of an SSR Officer. My position at ISSAT offered first-hand experience in SSR, specifically in the international security aspect of my career. Given that this is the second year the Sergio Vieira de Mellow Fellowship was offered to a Seton Hall Graduate student, I would highly recommend my fellow peers to apply for this position in the future, and I know I will cherish the knowledge and experience gained with DCAF forever.
Emily Fox, M.A. May 2017
Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs Internship
This spring, I had the opportunity to intern with the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs (EIA). I worked for Ethics & International Affairs, a journal publishing articles on current normative and ethical issues in foreign policy and international relations. One of my duties as an Editorial Intern was to act as the first point of assessment for all incoming submissions. In order to succeed at this task, I needed to have not only a strong theoretical background, but also a degree of familiarity with a wide array of current events. Thankfully, the School of Diplomacy has prepared me for these topics.
One of the most prominent debates in international relations ethics regards the policy and principle of the Responsibility to Protect, and many of the submissions I reviewed dealt with this topic. The knowledge I gained at the School’s United Nations Summer Intensive course was incredibly valuable for formulating assessments of these articles. Being able to hear firsthand from experts such as Hugh Dugan and Ed Luck really strengthened my background on the complexity of these issues and the opportunities and constraints the UN must navigate.
My skills in writing and editorial judgement were strengthened considerably by this internship, and I expanded my knowledge of international affairs by reading articles and essays by scholars. I learned a great deal about publishing and the peer-review process, and am able to participate and contribute in high-level meetings. Though I was lucky to have several years of professional experience prior to being hired at EIA, I have found that each professional environment teaches me something new about organization, communication, and workflow.
Should I choose to pursue a career as an editor, I will be prepared as my internship with EIA taught me a great deal about the requirements and challenges in the field, and has shown me the best practices for working through different stages of publication. As an intern, I often juggled several projects at once. My team at EIA was ready to provide guidance on prioritization and organization, which allowed me to complete my tasks efficiently without sacrificing quality.
The assignment I was most excited to complete at EIA was my book review. Each intern is invited to contribute a short review of a book of their choice for publication online and in the print journal. Because I could choose my book, I was able to pick something in an area in which I am interested. Not only was I able to read a book that interested me, but I also gained valuable writing experience from the exercise.
During my time at the internship, I tried to incorporate feedback whenever possible and volunteered for additional work when able. While I still have many opportunities for improvement, I think that applying these principles helped me to be successful thus far.
I would highly recommend my internship to others. The Carnegie Council is an excellent institution and a great place to be connected to. My coworkers have made me feel like a true member of the team, and their advice and guidance has been incredibly helpful for my professional development.
We are proud to announce three Seton Hall University finalists for the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF), Class of 2013: (1) Dalal Nadir, (2) Paige Fetzer, and (3) David Tucker. All three finalists are students of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy, exemplifying the School’s consistency to preparing quality graduate students.
Overall, this year there were 663 finalists from a competitive national pool of 12,000+ applicants.
‘Bearing the Presidential moniker, the PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. It was created more than three decades ago by Executive Order and has gone through many changes over the years. The Program attracts and selects the best candidates possible, but is really designed with a more narrow focus – developing a cadre of potential government leaders. It provides some sustenance during the first years of employment and encourages development of leadership capabilities. The PMF Program inculcates a lasting bond as well as a spirit of public service, ultimately encouraging and leading to a career in the government.’
Learn more about PMF by visiting the official website here.
We’re proud to share Whitehead alumna, Emily Coady’s latest blog post on her experiences as an American India Foundation Fellow at RIVER, an experience made possible by AIF’s William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service.
Read Emily’s post here.