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International Relations Alumni Profiles

Christine Getzler Vaughan, Class of 2002

My name is Christine Getzler Vaughan and I graduated in 2002 with majors in both International Relations and Political Science.  I currently am in my last year of coursework for my PhD in Public Administration at Arizona State University, where I completed my MA in Political Science.

At Syracuse I was a member of the Women’s Rowing team, as well as campus groups like University 100 and Phi Sigma Pi. Rather than study abroad in my junior year, I moved to Denver to work as a grass-roots organizer for Mark Udall, and I also managed statewide candidates in the Denver area. In my senior year, my mentor, Goodwin Cooke, presented me with the award for the top graduating senior in IR and I was also awarded the Clements Award, which enabled me the funding to move to New Zealand, where I worked as the Country Coordinator for Democrats Abroad, registering American ex-pats to vote, as well as helping them find their local candidates in the US; a perfect combination of my love of international affairs and political organizing! This funding also allowed me to travel through Thailand and Australia, meeting with the DA Representatives in these countries and really see how Americans live and work overseas.

After returning from abroad I enrolled at ASU while also being fortunate enough to work as a Production Assistant for CNN during the Democratic Primary Debates, the Democratic Convention in Boston, as well as the final Kerry/Bush debate. These experiences allowed me to work with people like Wesley Clark, John Edwards, Ann Richards, and even the chance to spend 10 minutes talking with my hero, Madeline Albright!

I am currently a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for the Future of Arizona, a think-tank run by the President Emeritus of ASU, Lattie Coor. My research is primarily concerned with our visioning and indicators project, as well as with transportation and quality of life policy. Our group is quite small, so I am given a great deal of responsibility and hands-on experience doing policy research, as well as advocating for the interests of Arizona and interacting with high-level policy makers.

Because I specialized in Foreign Policy at SU, I was strongly encouraged to apply for the Foreign Service, and I am happy to report that I was accepted into Public Diplomacy on my third try; I am currently undergoing the security background check and I hope to start in late 2006.

I get great peace of mind knowing that when a professor, co-worker or fellow student hears that I went to Syracuse and studied at the Maxwell School, they grasp the quality and rigor of the program that I completed- this has opened doors and has helped me succeed in the challenging world of doctoral studies!