How does your internship sponsor or agency contribute to the mission of national security?
OUSD-P is tasked to “consistently provide responsive, forward-thinking, and insightful policy advice and support to the Secretary of Defense, and the Department of Defense, in alignment with national security objectives.” In that context, the organization drives national security policymaking from a defense perspective. The NATO directorate, specifically, supports decision-making and engagements by the Secretary of Defense and other senior officials dealing with issues related to the NATO alliance. Key priorities for the summer include preparations for the June NATO Defense Ministerial and July NATO Summit in Brussels.
Why did you choose this particular country/internship? Please be specific.
I chose this internship to gain insight into the processes governing defense policymaking that set the priorities for how the Department and individual services operate and plan for the future. Personally, as a veteran, I value the opportunity to better understand the strategic and geopolitical objectives that set the agenda for our military at all levels. Academically, I hope this experience will provide firsthand knowledge to help guide future research on the durability of Cold War institutions, such as NATO, in the context of emerging security challenges of the 21st Century.
How will this experience help you in your job search and career?
Professionally, this internship offers excellent opportunities to explore future career options. Within my office alone, the mix of career civil servants, political appointees, and uniformed personnel have provided a diverse range of advice and perspectives on how to manage a career in defense policy. Furthermore, OUSD-P works closely with counterparts across the Department of Defense and interagency, including the Joint Staff, military services, State Department, and National Security Council. Each interaction has broadened my understanding of the opportunities that exist for recent graduates in the national security field.