Jeffrey Joseph '15ILR Experience: Intern, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellow in International Affairs Global Service Learning, Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement, Mysore, India U.S. Department of State
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR)
USCCR is a federal agency that works on a range of civil rights issues, bringing academics and professionals together with government officials to formulate policy. One of the matters addressed during my time there was sexual harassment in educational institutions, particularly higher education. I worked on background research to help inform the commissioners and aid their questioning of panelists and preparation of their final report.
My time at ILR has been focused on studying social issues with an emphasis on disability inclusion and awareness. It was then really exciting to work on disability issues at the Commission and expand my knowledge of other issues—for example, harassment in educational institutions and the treatment of detained immigrants.
The Commission gave me a better understanding of the interplay between academia and policy implementation. At hearings on sexual harassment, we had people from the Department of Education and different educational policy groups—it was interesting to see how representatives utilized research and referenced it in their testimony. I was able to see how academia and, more broadly, research can help inform policy making, and how people on the academic side can drive the conversation forward by doing interesting research. I got a firsthand look at how government policy is implemented and improved.
U.S. Department of State
After completing a Masters in Public Affairs at Cornell, I began working as an Economic Offer for the State Department. I served as the Environment, Science and Technology Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. In this role, I worked to engage with the Mongolian government and civil society on a range of issues from climate change and air pollution to renewable energy and conservation.