Anna Dorman ’14, Faith James ’13, Samantha Tripoli ’11 and Brynna Trumpetto ’14 recently attended a conference on women and international policy sponsored by the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN).
Each year, PLEN hosts female students from colleges and universities across the country, bringing them to Washington, D.C. to experience firsthand how public policy is shaped and implemented at the national level. Students choose one of many discussions related to public policy and other sectors, such as law, international relations, science and technology, and more.
The conference opened with a resume workshop that allowed students to receive feedback from professional women in public policy positions on constructing the perfect resume. The day wrapped up with “A Conversation with Women in International Affairs” led by chief of the U. N. Population Fund and the principal assistant to former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell.
During the course of the conference, students could choose from two tracks: “Global Health & Education” or “Human Rights.” Each session was led by women specializing in each field. The women also participated in site visits to a number of leading organizations in the public policy arena, including: Winrock International, the World Bank, and the World Food Programme. Additionally, the group visited to the U.S. Department of State, where women specializing in both foreign and domestic politics were invited to weigh in on current debates about U.S. relations with China, U.S. businesses overseas, and potential career opportunities with the State Department.
They also met on Capitol Hill to hear from women who currently hold positions in Congress, as well as organizations that are affiliated with Congress. The event ended with a networking reception attended by women and men from organizations such as the United Nations, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and other private firms in the D.C. area.
“The Networking Reception helped to secure my confidence in speaking with and learning from women and men of great stature. As a recent graduate, I was able to learn about interesting, up and coming positions within the public policy arena as well as make connections that will be beneficial to my future career,” said Tripoli.