The Junior Fellow Experience

The Pacific Council’s Junior Fellowship program is a great opportunity for students and recent graduates to gain valuable experience behind the scenes of a non-profit foreign affairs organization. Learn more about what our Junior Fellows do here at the Pacific Council by reading their profiles below, impact statements from the previous cohort of Junior Fellows, and the published articles by current and previous Junior Fellows here and here.

Also, check out our Facebook Live video presentations! Our Fall 2017 Junior Fellows presented on water scarcity while our Summer 2018 Junior Fellows talked about Los Angeles and immigration, Hollywood and the #MeToo movement, the environment, and the California effect for their Junior Fellow Term Project presentation.

Profiles of our Current Fall 2019 Junior Fellows

Impact Statement from our Summer 2019 Junior Fellows

Xania Bytof worked as the Membership Junior Fellow in Summer 2019. She holds a B.A. in International Development Studies and a minor in Global Health from UCLA. At the Council, she compiled demographic data from all past Junior Fellows and Junior Fellow applicants to present to the Staff Committee on Inclusivity. She also helped with the planning and organization of the annual member summer outing. Other projects included creating a list of community partners and their contact information, updating member information on the Pacific Council website, and entering new contact records into Salesforce. She also collaborated with the other Junior Fellows in her cohort to evaluate the Pacific Council’s presence and reputation among the Los Angeles and foreign policy communities. For the term project, Xania decided to focus on Central American immigration to the United States, specifically from the Northern Triangle region. She outlined current challenges Central American immigrants face when living in the United States, historical reasons for conflict and unrest in the Northern Triangle, and how the Pacific Council is uniquely positioned to further the inclusion of Central American immigrants in LA and address the root issues that contribute to migration from this region today. 

Amora Haynes worked in the Summer of 2019 as a Special Initiatives Junior Fellow. She is a senior at UCLA pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Political Science, with a concentration in International Relations. At the Council, Amora worked on a range of projects, including conducting a staff survey analysis for the Special Initiatives Department rebranding process, compiled a data collection of Guantánamo Bay Observer lists as a precursor to a demographic analysis, created a presentational overview conference, in addition to compiling member profiles for a career panel event collaboration with local high schools. She also collaborated with her peer Junior Fellows on a Stakeholder Analysis project, in which they conducted a multi-tiered step survey, collected data, analyzed the data, and produced a report with highlights and recommendations. For her Junior Fellow term project, she looked at the fashion and garment industry and how it poses an international crisis as it causes environmental hazards and violates human rights of garment workers. Following her internship, Amora will be entering into her senior year at UCLA and will continue to take the many skills and opportunities she gained from the Pacific Council into her future development. 

Nikki Burnett worked during the Summer 2019 term as a Communications Junior Fellow. At the time, she was pursuing a graduate degree in USC’s Public Diplomacy program and served as a Graduate Student Fellow at USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy. At the Council, she helped to keep the Newsroom up-to-date with engaging content, including crafting summaries of events and conducting interviews with Council members and partners. Nikki also sharpened her design and multimedia skills through video production and graphic design featured on the Council’s website, social media platforms, and printed materials. Throughout the term, she worked on two projects, including working with other Junior Fellows on an analysis of stakeholder sentiment as well as presenting an individual term project showcasing the impact of the digital divide at the local, national, and international levels. 

Leah James worked in the Summer of 2019 as a Development Junior Fellow. She is a junior at University of Southern California pursuing a Bachelors in International Relations and Global Business and East Asian Languages and Cultures. As a Development Junior Fellow, Leah helped to support the growth and retention of the Council’s portfolio of donations from individual donors, corporate sponsors, and foundations. She analyzed donor data for the sustaining membership portfolio to create a presentation on the status of the donor portfolio. She also assisted staffing events such as GLAS and a dinner with Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. In addition, she worked with the other fellows on continuing the Stakeholder Analysis Project for the Council. For the Summer 2019 Junior Fellow term project, Leah researched China’s rise and the potential effects on the Los Angeles community and the rest of the world, with an end proposal to work with a community partner to extend the Pacific Council’s Edgerton Series on Responding to a Rising China.

Jure Erlic has worked as the Summer Fellow for the Project to Strategically Protect Soft Networks a partner of the Pacific Council. He was a recent graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with Bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Politics, and Social and Political history. At the Council, Jure pursued a wide variety of tasks from administrative matters such as updating the SPSN website and composing newsletters for its subscribers, to aiding the development of SPSN’s mission by continuing its research on the issues that plague soft network protection and writing an article on the situation of soft networks in regards to an Afghanistan peace deal. For the Junior Fellow term project, Jure researched the issue and value of watershed management internationally and in Los Angeles and examined the possible avenues of outreach for the Pacific Council with a community partner to bring further light to this issue. After the Fellowship, Jure will be heading back to Pittsburgh to complete an extra year of studies at Carnegie Mellon University where he plans to get his master in International Relations and Politics with a focus on Security.

Impact Statements from our Spring 2019 Junior Fellows

Tamzin Astani is a recent high school graduate who has a passion for international policy just like her parents who have been members at the council for a long time. Tamzin worked as an intern broadly helping out the whole staff of the Pacific Council when help was needed. She did a range of projects from labeling the disorganized supply cabinets to logging data from charts into salesforce to prepping for events. For her Junior Fellow Term Project, Tamzin talked about the refugee crisis highlighting experiences from her recent trip to the Moria refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. Following her internship, Tamzin will be attending the American University of Paris in the Fall and will continue to use the skills she learned at the Pacific Council.

Manjun Hao worked in the Spring of 2019 as a Special Initiatives Junior Fellow. She was a senior at Occidental College pursuing a Bachelors in Diplomacy & World Affairs and a minor in Urban Environmental Policy. At the Council, she conducted landscape analysis for the Mexico Initiative, the Leaders of Tomorrow Program, and other special initiatives concepts, in addition to compiling corporate interest lists and speaker lists for programs and initiatives. She also analyzed the high-growth industries in LA, supported events, and conducted research on climate equity for her Junior Fellow term project. Manjun wrote her undergraduate thesis on colonialist biases in US study abroad program materials, and aspires to tell stories and study the needs of the most underprivileged in the age of globalization by being a social anthropologist! 

Damian Ortega worked in the Spring of 2019 as a Development Junior Fellow. In May 2019 he will graduate from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a double minor in German Studies and Economics. As a Junior Fellow in the Development department, Damian compiled, visualized, and analyzed donor data for the sustaining membership portfolio for EOY 2018, giving insight into the performance of each giving level. Additionally, he researched corporate sponsorships for GLAS and provided support in sustaining member engagement tracking. For the Spring 2019 Junior Fellow term project, Damian researched the issue of sex trafficking in the Los Angeles area and conceptualized a potential partnership and speakership with a community advocacy group to tackle the issue of trafficking. After the Fellowship, Damian will be moving to the Washington DC area to work in non-profit development and subsequently apply to law school where he plans to specialize in International Law.

Gemma Stewart has worked as the Communications Project Fellow. Gemma is a SoCal native and has a Master of Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California, with a B.A. in International Studies and Communication from Boston College. Her love for diplomacy and international affairs began when she studied abroad in Glasgow University in Scotland and was the only American in a course titled, "The United States' Foreign Policy and the World." Since then, she has taught English in Costa Rica, worked at an immigrant rights NGO in Dublin, Ireland, and interned at the Mexican Consulate of Los Angeles in the Cultural and Educational Affairs Department. As the Communications Project Fellow at the Pacific Council, she writes newsroom articles, manages social media, and creates media lists and pitches for events. In addition, she has developed and managed a stakeholder analysis project for the Council. For the fellow term project, Gemma created a program proposal based on the issue of climate change and how the Pacific Council can engage with the local Los Angeles community on this issue. 

Impact Statements from previous Junior Fellows

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