In April, over two hundred professionals and students from diverse backgrounds gathered in Washington, DC for the Conference on Diversity in International Affairs, hosted by the Council on Foreign RelationsGlobal Access Pipeline, and the International Career Advancement Program. The event featured Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, the US Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States,  and Charles Bolden, Jr., Administrator of NASA and attendees benefited from workshops on topics ranging from “World Demographics & Economic Challenges” to “Making yourself Marketable for International Careers.” Thanks to its involvement in the Global Access Pipeline, PPIA was able to share this unique opportunity with seven outstanding alumni.


Michael Cruz, UC Berkley ’11, and Tasneem Chowdhury, Princeton ’12.

They came from different Junior Summer Institutes and different years but this event was a chance for PPIA alumni to make new connections. According to Michael Cruz (UC Berkeley, ’11), “Meeting some of the other PPIA alumni from other institutes and years was extremely enlightening about the diversity that PPIA brings to the table. I look forward to more events such as this one in the future.” In summing up his experience, Liban Ahmed (Princeton, ’10) said he “…was inspired by the bright and tenacious youth who were present.” He explained that for him, ” this conference demonstrated that globalization isn’t just a diffusion of ideas and information, but the joining of lives and professions on a global scale.”

Networking didn’t just happen between the PPIA alumni, participants had the opportunity to engage with accomplished professionals who provided insight on opportunities in international careers. Ronnell Perry (Carnegie Mellon, ’07), connected with the director of the Global Language Project to talk “… about how she works to provide language learning opportunities for youth who would otherwise not be exposed to foreign languages and culture.” He followed up with her after the conference and has been asked to submit a guest blog post for the Global Language Project’s website.

The experiences of these alumni captures a fraction of the valuable interactions and connections that were made over the course of this day and half long event. PPIA looks forward to continuing to support our alumni with access to professional development opportunities like this one and hopes to be able to bring more alumni together at next year’s event!

For a look at the full conference agenda, click here.