Welcome to my blog! My name is Noa Seligsohn and I am a rising senior studying political science and policy management. This summer I am an intern at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington D.C. AFPC is a non-profit, national security think tank that focuses on informing members of Congress, the Executive Branch and policymakers on new developments in the foreign policy world.

In my current role as a research intern, I am working on a number of different projects. First, I am assisting various AFPC fellows in researching issues relating to countering Islamic extremism, and the political and economic obstacles facing the Middle East. Secondly, I am finding articles and writing summaries for AFPC’s monthly publication, the Global Islam Monitor. Lastly, I am editing chapters of AFPC’s World Almanac of Islamism which is a comprehensive resource designed to track the rise or decline of radical Islamist movements on a national, regional and global level.

During the first week at my internship, I had the opportunity to work an AFPC-hosted conference at the Senate. The event was called “Countering China’s Security State: A Bipartisan Approach” and consisted of a number panels by China experts and members of Congress. The panels focused on understanding China’s intentions from a security standpoint and its technologies of repression and influence. This conference was especially exciting to me given the current protests over Hong Kong’s proposed extradition bill.

Congressman Ted Yoho (R), House Committee on Foreign Affairs, gives his opening statements.

Panelists Melanie Hart, Director of China Policy at the Center for American Progress and Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center answer questions on the first panel.

Later this week, I will attend a second conference focusing on U.S.-Ukrainian relations. This yearly summit brings together government and key non-government representatives from Ukraine, Canada, the EU, and the U.S., to track Ukraine’s progress in areas including developed market economies, viable social cohesion, general security and established national identity. I am especially looking forward to the sessions focusing on energy security and hearing the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States give his opening remarks.

As far as living accommodations, I am staying in the George Washington University dorms in Foggy Bottom, steps away from the National Mall and a few metro stops away from dozens of world renowned museums. My goal is to visit at least one museum every weekend since many of them are free of charge! Last weekend, I visited the National Portrait Gallery, which was the first on my list of museums to visit. I was able to see portraits of both Barack and Michelle Obama – truly breathtaking in person. I am enjoying the grind of an (almost) full-time job and look forward to exploring more of the capitol this summer.