Watson Institute at Brown University
Public Policy

"Taking a wide variety of classes has helped me think more creatively and get a more nuanced, contextually-informed view of today’s policy sphere."

Laura Henny '19

Student Spotlight: Laura Henny '19

Hometown: Scarborough, Maine

Concentration: Public Policy

Tell me about your time at Watson. What led you to the institute, and how has it impacted your undergraduate education thus far?

From a young age I’ve been interested in policy, international relations, and politics, and Watson has been an excellent venue through which to further explore those interests. One of my favorite things about the Public Policy concentration is how interdisciplinary and applied it is. Taking a wide variety of classes has helped me think more creatively and get a more nuanced, contextually-informed view of today’s policy sphere. Being able to apply the knowledge I gained through opportunities like Watson’s 2017 BrownThink competition has allowed me to further integrate academic policy information with real-world events, and has given me a solid foundation for future jobs and internships.

What are your responsibilities at your internship in the Hague?

During my semester abroad in The Netherlands, I am interning in the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The broad mission of the TFV is to implement reparations awards ordered by the ICC against a convicted person, in addition to providing assistance to victims in ICC situation countries through material, physical, and/or psychological rehabilitation. As an intern, I’ve been involved in editing implementation plans, researching reparations and forms of assistance, and drafting written statements and memos. I’ve also been helping manage public outreach and institutional perception through the TFV’s social media, website, and newsletter, as well as assisting with preparations for high-level roundtables, meetings, and events.

What do you hope to do after Brown and Watson?

I’m not completely certain yet what I will end up doing after Brown and Watson. Directly after graduation I want to take a few years off to work before going to grad school. I’m contemplating law school, but could also be interested in an MPA program. The dream would be to ultimately work at the intersection of foreign relations, politics, and law, maybe by going into diplomacy. Whatever path I end up taking though, I feel that my time at Brown has given me the knowledge and skills I need to succeed.

--Amalia Perez '18