Stacy Lemery, '13 MAIR
Policy Planning & Coordination Intern
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Stacy Lemery, a current MAIR student, is interning at the US Department of State in the Policy Planning and Coordination Office of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA/PPC). WHA/PPC coordinates among the other regional offices of the Bureau and also handles any issues that cross boundaries within the hemisphere, such as human trafficking, narco trafficking, transnational crime and violence, religious freedom, LGBT equality, and women's empowerment.
In her role as WHA/PPC Intern, Stacy has helped coordinate events that have brought together representatives from multiple offices, bureaus, and agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, USAID, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security. Stacy has also created or contributed to documents that the Bureau uses as talking points or policy references. Most of her work, both in writing and in meeting coordination, has involved citizen security and combating narcotics trafficking, but she has also facilitated or briefed on meetings involving UN resolutions and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Previously, Stacy interned at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Geneva during the summer of 2012. UNFPA is a UN Agency that uses population data to make policy recommendations for member states, emphasizing that populations are made of individuals who deserve the opportunity to create the life they want for themselves. They work to empower women and young people, especially regarding reproductive and sexual health. Some examples of UNFPA work include aiding women giving birth in rural or combat areas, educating about family planning methods and HIV/AIDS, and collaborating with communities to end harmful traditional practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation.
In her role as External Relations intern, Stacy represented UNFPA at the UN Human Rights Council, Press Briefings, Member State Working Groups, Human Rights Council Side Events, and several other meetings relevant to UNFPA. External Relations is a critical part of UNFPA's operations, because promoting family planning and women's empowerment are still controversial subjects for some member states. UNFPA constantly has to defend its mission, especially as it faces regular backlash from religious groups, aiming to influence member states to limit women's access to reproductive health. External Relations staff are critical to respond to any misinformed accusations and to educate the general public along with high-level country leaders.
In addition to representing UNFPA at meetings, Stacy also created briefings and educational power point presentations, all while continually advocating and promoting the ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) Beyond 2014 Initiative.
In reflecting on her choice to attend Maxwell, Stacy says, "Maxwell was the perfect fit for me, because it introduced me to the world of International Relations theory, allowing me to explore practical applications in class as well as through internship experience outside of class."
Stacy's advice for current students? "If you are interested in working at the UN or within the US Government, doing an internship is a great way to learn the system, experience the work, and network with potential future employers."
Stacy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.