The Institute of World Politics, housed in a historic and quaint mansion in northwest Washington, D.C., serves as the best-kept secret for college students in the national security and international affairs field. Once part of the internship program, you become part of the IWP family. The internship program serves as an intriguing option for interns to earn vital, practical experience and to interact with distinguished staff, faculty, and alumni.
For the research component, I worked closely with Professor Aaron Danis, a counterterrorism specialist with experience in the U.S. Army, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Along with fellow interns, I helped implement a simulation matrix scenario, which combined tactical and strategic approaches to counterterrorism – akin to the strategic games that American intelligence agencies use to forecast trends and instabilities of terrorist insurgencies abroad.
As an intern, I had the opportunity to audit two graduate-level courses during my twelve weeks with IWP. First, I attended an international relations course with Dr. Frank Marlo, a former counterproliferation assistant with the Department of Defense, in which I was exposed to the various elements of statecraft and the importance of these mechanisms in diplomatic negotiations with allies and adversaries. Second, I attended a course with Professor Paul Schilling, a former member of the CIA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC). I learned about American intelligence, the legal system, and the tension that exists between the executive and legislative branch in regard to covert intelligence activities. Since each course is taught by scholar-practitioners in their respective fields, the lecture format provides ample opportunity to expand your knowledge and accumulate valuable insight.
Additionally, the internship program allows for numerous opportunities to network with professionals and IWP alumni in the public and private sector. From lecture lunches with Dr. John Lenczowski, founder and president of IWP, to tours of the Pentagon and State Department, the program allows interns to expand their professional network, attain indispensable knowledge, and experience the nation’s capital. Even the administrative shifts provided me with impromptu encounters and casual discussions with the Institute’s staff, faculty, and other high-profile visitors to the Institute.
In the past three months, the internship program has helped affirm my interest in national security issues and established the framework for the future of my professional career. I strongly recommend The Institute of World Politics internship program to any young professional eager to network with notable members of the U.S. national security or international affairs realm – while inevitably adding new, lasting friendships along the way.
IWP Research Assistant, Summer 2019