Hopefully, both research projects will have a meaningful impact by helping Colombian and US decisions-makers to better grasp what would entail a successful implementation of the peace agreement with the FARC insurgency. In this regard, several challenges address by the research I was involved with arise. Including organized crime becoming a more prominent threat, the unemployment of former combatants as pressing security obstacle, as well as the open question about the how the designation of new roles and mission of the security forces will impact civil-military relations in the country. Personally, it was an opportunity to apply skills learn during my SSP classes to assess policy and strategic decisions. Plus, I got an opportunity to experience how think-tanks and research centers are able to influence policy in DC.
I choose this internship program because of its regional focus, its heavy research requirements and because it was an opportunity to work with scholars and practitioners of different professional and ideological backgrounds. As an SSP student I had little chance to take classes or share a classroom with international students from the region I come from – Latin America. Therefore, I sought an internship program where I was sure I could learn from professors, practitioners and fellows from all over Latin American countries – I was not disappointed as I had the chance to meet professionals form Basil, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and the Caribbean. Also, I thought the summer was an opportunity to learn about how US policy-makers view my country, my region, and what type approaches and issues they were concern with. In this regard, I was also lucky to work with scholar that had advice both democratic and republican administrations, heling me to better understand the scope of US- Latin America relations.
As an international student in SSP professional development has been full of different obstacles if compered to my US classmates. Thus, working for an organization connected to the Latin American professional community in DC, has certainly be very helpful to expand my professional network beyond SSP and Georgetown. I am certain that both the experience and connections I have made during my time at the Perry Center are steps in the right direction regarding professional development.