Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

(Gabrielle Hsi '20, Center)

"By attending various meetings, report launches, and brown-bags, I was not only able to familiarize myself with ongoing conflicts globally and UN efforts to address the conflicts but also see how different bodies approached the issue through questions asked and points discussed."

Gabrielle Hsi (IR, '20)

A Taste of UN Advocacy Work

Brown Student Complements IR Studies through Crisis Group Internship

September 5, 2019

Gabrielle Hsi (IR, '20) spent her summer in New York City interning with the International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) as part of an internship program established by the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (formerly the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative), which provides the opportunity for Brown undergraduate students to learn about and engage in the work being done at the Crisis Group. The Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization with some 120 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict. We checked in with Gabrielle to hear how their internship experiences went and to learn more about what she worked on. 

Tell us about your internship experience. What kind of work were you involved with?

This past summer, I interned for the International Crisis Group supporting their advocacy efforts at the UN and various country missions. Day to day work involved monitoring the Security Council by sending out daily emails on the SC and SG’s schedules, watching and taking notes on Security Council meetings and Senate FRC hearings, and summarizing relevant documents such as the SG’s reports. Research projects involved fact-checking and citations, in addition to compiling research from online sources and summarizing key points; research topics included violence reduction in the Philippines’ Muslim Mindanao, the UN’s Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), Women, Peace, and Security in Libya, the future of UN peace operations, and 10 priorities for the UN General Assembly.

What was a rewarding or interesting aspect of your internship?

A particularly interesting meeting was at the US mission to the UN on the issue of North Korea. After engaging in a mock negotiation between US and the DPRK during a course at Brown, I was able to hear first-hand the difficulties faced by the US in negotiations and gain insight to the Trump administration. Furthermore, being cognizant of the US and DPRK’s positions and the history of failures by the international community to curb the DPRK’s weaponization greatly facilitated notetaking during the quick-paced discussion. Other interesting events included a two-day POC20 Policy Dialogue on the issue of the protection of civilians (POC) in armed conflict where ICG’s UN Director spoke on the nature of the SC and POC.

How do you envision your experience with the Crisis Group will inform your studies at Brown in the upcoming year?

Internally, brown-bag lunches with ICG employees allowed interns to hear about different career paths and ask questions on professional development. As a rising senior undecided on my next step, it was very beneficial to receive mentorship from my bosses while also getting career recommendations from different ICG employees. Overall, I had a fantastic experience interning for the International Crisis Group and would highly recommend this internship to anyone hoping to learn more about the UN or global conflict prevention!