How I Spent My Summer

An Interview with Margaret Meiman, ESIA BA ’20

We caught up with Elliott School junior Maggie Meiman at the start of the semester to chat about her summer internship at the Atlantic Council, a major think tank focused on strengthening the transatlantic alliance. A New Jersey native, Maggie honed her critical-thinking skills debating global issues as a member of her high-school debate team. At the Elliott School, she is a double major in international affairs and economics. When not in class or writing papers, she is often engaged in service work with members of her professional foreign-service sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon. A stipend from GW’s Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund made it possible for Maggie to accept this prestigious internship.

Tell us a bit about your work as a summer intern at the Atlantic Council.

I worked in the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, which focuses on democratization, economic development, and disinformation within the post-Soviet space.

What issues did you work on?

My research focused heavily on Kremlin-led disinformation and misinformation in various countries, as well as the legal remedies countries use to combat them. For example, I explored how Estonia’s situation differs from scenarios in Germany and Moldova.

Why was the Atlantic Council internship a good fit for you?

The internship combined my regional interest in Europe and Eurasia with my focus on economics.

A highlight from your experience?

An off-the-record roundtable we held with the former Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Kasyanov. This event was a chance for top Russia experts in D.C. to gather for a frank conversation about the current state of affairs in Russia, with an emphasis on predictions for the future.

A key takeaway?

I expanded my horizons, literally! I learned so much about Europe and Eurasia – especially about Russia, Moldova, and Georgia – that I just declared an additional concentration in this region. And I plan to use my enhanced regional knowledge and research skills when it comes time to write a thesis next year.

A point of pride from your internship?

My piece on the long term effects of the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia was published on the Atlantic Council’s blog, the New Atlanticist.

A Message from the Dean…

Dear Elliott School students,

Welcome back! For those of you who are new to the Elliott School, we welcome you and look forward to getting to know you.

Over the past few days, I have been excited to see many of you return to campus. Elliott School students are some of the most talented, enthusiastic and service-oriented students I have met. And I am reminded that international affairs practitioners are a special breed. They are problem solvers, bridge-builders; they care deeply about the state of the world, and seek to find solutions to global challenges.

Many of you chose the Elliott School with the ultimate goal of a career in public service, possibly in the diplomatic corps or in the policy world. Others of you will find fulfillment in the private sector and, hopefully, use your financial success to the benefit of others. This week on Saturday, September 8, the George Washington University will host the tenth annual Freshman Day of Service and Convocation event. I encourage all of you to participate. Find a cause that you feel passionate about and give your time and energy in support of it. Gandhi once said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others.

You have the power to change the world. We are here to help you figure out how. Have a wonderful academic year and remember that you are part of an inclusive and diverse community of learners. We here to support you, don’t hesitate to reach out.


Good luck and welcome home!

Reuben E. Brigety II, PhD, U.S. Ambassador (ret.)
Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs

 

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