Author Archive for Columbia SIPA

Upcoming External Fellowship Opportunities

The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external funding opportunities, and we wanted to alert students to some with upcoming application deadlines. For more external scholarship awards, go to our External Fellowships and Funding Sources page.

Please be aware that some organizations may have changed policies for this upcoming year. We check regularly to keep our listing up to date, but would appreciate feedback if you come across an outdated posting.

Upcoming Fellowships

Bush Foundation Fellowship

Requirements: Applicants must be at least 24 years old at the time of the application deadline and lived for one continuous year immediately prior to the application deadline in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or one of the 23 Native nations that shares the same geographic area with these states.
Deadline: September 17, 2020

Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Requirements: Applicants must be immigrants or children of immigrants —who are poised to make significant contributions to US society, culture, or their academic field.
Deadline: October 29, 2020

Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT) Trust Scholarship
RequirementsApplicants must identify as female and be currently enrolled at an accredited U.S. university or college, either full-time or part-time.  Applicants must be Juniors or Seniors in undergraduate or enrolled in graduate studies.
Deadline: November 1, 2020

Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program
: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application, and pursuing a career in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Deadline: November 1, 2020

Harvey Fellows Program
Requirements: Applicants must be Christian graduate students who possess a unique vision to impact society through their fields and who are pursuing graduate studies at premier institutions (top five) in their disciplines in the United States or abroad.
Deadline: November 1, 2020

American Association of University Women International Fellowship
Requirements: Applicants must be women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the U.S. who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Deadline: November 15, 2020

Navajo Nation Scholarship
Requirements: Navajo students attending graduate school.
Deadline: November 25, 2020

Summer Stories: Saiful Salihudin MIA ’21 at the United Nations, Princeton, and with AOC

Thanks to Saiful Salihudin MIA ’21, concentrating in Economic and Political Development, for this post.

Apart from learning the culinary art of my native land of Malaysia, I spend my COVID summer days as a Political Affairs intern, at the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, in the Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch. There, I conduct research on political issues and countries, as they relate to the mandates of the Security Council.

Since March, I attended and covered various Security Council meetings on agendas including the Middle East and the Palestinian Question, Afghanistan, Non-proliferation, and Threats to International Peace and Security; analyze the evolution of the discussion and the working methods of the Security Council; and contribute to the drafting of the Repertoire of the Security Council.

I have also been working as a Researcher at Princeton University’s Empirical Studies of Conflict (ESOC) for their joint project with Microsoft Research Group. I research and analyze various misinformation narratives emerging globally surrounding COVID-19, led by Professor Jacob Shapiro, ESOC co-director and professor of politics and international affairs, at Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. The project aims to contribute ground truth on narratives to help researchers develop better knowledge about the source and impact of misinformation. This also helps industry to develop better tools to prevent their systems from spreading it.

An article I co-authored with my colleagues, as well as ESOC specialist, Jan Oledan, and Prof. Shapiro, based on this analysis, has been published and is now available on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

I also spent some time working with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez re-election campaign doing check-in calls with the residents of the Bronx and Queens during COVID-19, phonebanking, tabling, and (socially-distanced) canvassing during the primaries. It was a fun experience and I learned a lot about community organizing and political campaign management during this period.

Eduarda Zoghbi MPA ’21 is helping Brazil shape its Green New Deal

Thanks to Eduarda Zoghbi MPA ’21, concentrating in Energy and Environment, for this post.

I decided to study energy and environment at SIPA because I knew it would be the best institution to offer me the opportunity to connect with world-renowned and international faculty experienced in climate negotiations and advising governments. Growing up, I always considered climate change to be the world’s most pressing challenge, and my goal going to SIPA was to learn from the best and make an impactful contribution to my country – Brazil.

This summer I had an opportunity that took me one step closer to this goal. It all started in February, when I learned Brazilian Senator Jaques Wagner was coming to New York to showcase his new mandate to drive the ECLAC/UN Big Push for Sustainability in the Federal Senate. Through the student group “Brazil Talk”, we decided to organize an event and I invited my two employers – the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) and the Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) – to host a discussion about the Brazilian Green New Deal for students.

During this event, Jonathan Elkind and Mauricio Cardenas, Senior Research Scholars at CGEP, highlighted the importance of international cooperation as he moderated the senator’s presentation on the potential of renewable energy in Brazil to generate jobs and foster economic development. After meeting the senator and his team, I offered to support the Big Push framework in Congress by providing research and policy recommendations based on the US and the EU Green Deals to ensure a cohesive climate strategy that conformed with Brazil’s political context.

The Senator’s team welcomed my idea and I started seeking for financial support within SIPA. I was thrilled to go back to Brasilia – my home city and capital of Brazil – to interview legislators and work inside Congress. Then, COVID-19 changed everything. Even though I couldn’t travel to Brazil, I was still fully committed to this work. Thanks to Columbia University, I was honored to receive CGEP’s Women in Energy and the Whitman Family Foundation grants to help Senator Jaques Wagner and enhance Brazil’s environmental legislation.

Over the course of this summer, I have broken down the Big Push framework down into concrete action points, identified which were aligned to US/EU Green Deal targets and categorized them into short, medium, and long-term priorities for the country. Next, I carried out a robust legislative mapping of all existing congressional bills in alignment with these priorities. Finally, I recommended a strategy to help his team prioritize voting and sponsoring new pieces of climate legislation.

My work supported the consolidation of three major environmental campaigns: the ECLAC/UN Big Push for Sustainability, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement. I am very thankful to Senator Jaques Wagner’s team for trusting me with this work and for undertaking such a crucial program to advance climate targets in Congress. Furthermore, I deeply appreciate Columbia University and SIPA for seeing the potential impact of this work and supporting my academic and professional goals. I hope they will continue to support internships and projects promoting a sustainable future for the next generation, and I can’t wait to learn more about the new Climate School!

Update on CPT and Hybrid course for international students

As you know, SIPA’s 21-month full time Master of International Affairs (MIA) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) require students to complete an internship. Beginning with the cohort matriculating for the first time in Fall 2020, SIPA will require students in these programs to fulfill their internship requirement after completing two semesters (in this particular example, as early as Summer 2021).

  • International students enrolled in the hybrid program in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) as early as Summer 2021
  • International students who enroll in the online program in Fall 2020, then enroll in the online or hybrid program in Spring 2021 will be eligible for CPT as early as Summer 2021

Students who first matriculate in the four-semester MIA program or four-semester MPA in Spring 2021 will be eligible for CPT after completing two semesters (in this particular case, after Spring 2021 and Fall 2021).

We encourage our international students to keep up to date with Columbia’s International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO), the best resource on current travel and visa issues.

Ruby Khan (MPA EPD – MA Quantitative Methods ‘21) is uncovering key trends among impact investors during the covid-19 crisis as a Summer Research Associate at The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and pursuing her passion for impact investing at SIPA.

The coronavirus pandemic unexpectedly changed and challenged the way we planned to live, work, and learn in 2020. And internships are no exception to that. The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 22% of employers rescinded internship offers in light of COVID-19. The pandemic, financial crisis, and social justice movements have presented a challenging time for us. While vulnerable groups have suffered more than others during this distressing time. 

My peers at SIPA and I have very candidly discussed how we are struggling to reconcile the feeling that we are not doing enough, with the reality that under these circumstances, we are doing the best we can. Therefore, before I jump into highlighting my job experience over the summer, I’d like to acknowledge that our normal expectations to be productive at school or work are only secondary to our mental, emotional and physical well-being during this unprecedented time. 

After endlessly scrolling through SIPA’s online portal for applying to jobs and internships (SIPA Link), cold emailing, speaking to professors, virtually connecting with SIPA alumni, and submitting countless applications — I landed a summer associateship at The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). I was thrilled to land a summer job in a space I am passionate about, and within an organization I have long admired. 

At the GIIN, I am working with their dynamic Research department on measuring the financial performance of impact investments, conducting research on the impact of impact investments in agriculture and financial inclusion, and performing qualitative and quantitative analyses on how impact investors are responding to COVID-19. 

We recently issued our second brief in a series of sector first reports entitled “The Impact Investing Market in the COVID-19 Context”. This series of reports aims to deliver market intelligence on strategies and financing needs to impact investors. As impact investors are needed now more than ever to address the socio-economic consequences of this pandemic. This series of reports is being published in association with the R3 Investment Coalition, Ford Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Rockefeller Foundation, and Sorenson Impact Foundation.

Before my summer associateship, as someone who already has a finance degree under her belt, I found the Methods for Development Practice class taught by Professor Eugenia McGill instrumental in expanding my views on impact investing. The course helped me go beyond traditional financial metrics and apply key socio-economic frameworks to impact investing.

In addition to my summer associateship and the classroom, I have continually been able to engage with my passion for impact investing, SRI, and social finance after being selected to serve as an Advisor to Columbia University’s Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing. In this role,  I advise Columbia University’s Trustees on ethical and social issues that may affect investments of the University’s endowment ($10 Billion), review selected shareholder proxies, and monitor the divest/non-invest lists for Sudan, tobacco, private prison operators, and thermal coal.

My time at The GIIN, SIPA, and Columbia at-large has opened doors to resources and opportunities to pursue my passions within impact investing and actively engage with the most challenging questions of our times that have been amplified due to the pandemic. During such challenging times, many SIPA students and I are being called on to serve beyond ourselves and actively engage with organizing, protesting, policy-making, researching, writing, and speaking out on the most pressing issues. And I hope we show up to do so!

Thanks to Ruby Khan, an MPA ’21 and M.S. Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences ’21 dual-degree candidate, for this post.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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