Dear Friends of IWP,
You know that you are in the right line of work when your wife, who is two hours into labor, yells at you to stop writing your term paper on foreign-influence operations and instead pay attention to her. (True story.) The possibility that my knowledge and expertise could one day affect America’s standing in the world was more than enough motivation for me to work hard. And I am not alone. Ask virtually any IWP student, and they will tell you that statecraft is a calling.
My professional experience leading up to my full-time enrollment as a Statesman Scholar at IWP was as a development officer with the Leadership Institute (LI) in Arlington, VA. As an IWP student, I quickly drew parallels between my profession and the fields of public diplomacy, human intelligence, and counterinsurgency. The common theme among all of these is the importance of developing trust between individuals. Trust and positive human relationships can open doors to mutually beneficial outcomes.
I also began to see LI’s international training programs for what they truly are: highly effective tools of public diplomacy. After all, I taught at these schools and saw first hand how current and future political leaders from Europe, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere developed positive impressions of America because of the experience. I still remain friends with many of the program’s graduates.
Lastly, my MA honors thesis, “Neutralizing China’s Student-Spy Network,” is an example of how IWP helped me to tie together my professional experience and graduate knowledge. In addition to its political training programs, the Leadership Institute also works on campuses to assist students with their creation of independent groups that focus on strong national defense, America’s founding principles, the defense of Western civilization, and other important topics. My paper highlighted weaknesses in China’s on-campus student-spy network in order to show college officials and counterintelligence professionals how they can work together to move toward a proper balance between academic freedom and U.S. national security. Please keep an eye out for the paper in the spring or summer issue of the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.
You may be interested to know that after graduating second in my class, I accepted an offer to transition from a full-time student to the Leadership Institute’s full-time Director of Regional Development. In this capacity, I manage a team of development officers, and in 2012, I intend to teach courses in political rhetoric and public diplomacy.
My experience at The Institute of World Politics was one I will never forget. IWP’s faculty, staff, and courses cultivated within me a deeper appreciation for our country, my organization’s strategic role in the American public policy process, and the practice of statecraft guided by sound moral principles.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I extend to you my gratitude for your support of The Institute of World Politics. You should know that without a doubt you have made — and continue to make — a positive contribution to my life and the moral and intellectual foundation of American society.
All the best,