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Task Force Alum interns at State Department in the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs

Choe & Gourley
Victoria Choe and Julia Gourley, Senior Arctic Official of the United States and U.S. representative to the Arctic Council, pose at a breakfast at the Canadian Embassy, Washington, DC to celebrate Canada Day.

October 31, 2013

In winter of 2011, I participated in Task Force on Arctic Governance. During a week-long research trip to Ottawa, Canada, I learned about a career in the Foreign Service. That same year, I applied for the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship to pursue a career in the Foreign Service and to acquire Master’s degrees in Public Administration and International Relations at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. My task force experience has greatly influenced where I am today! Currently, I am interning at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs. I am working with Julia Gourley, Senior Arctic Official of the United States, who was the evaluator for the 2011 Task Force on Arctic Governance. My main responsibilities in the office are to assist with strategic planning for the U.S. Arctic Council Chairmanship in 2015-2017. It has been very rewarding to see how scholarly work contributes to the policy-making process.

Task Force is the capstone course for the International Studies major. The first Task Force on Arctic Canada was offered in 2009. The Winter 2011 Canada Task Force was entitled, “Melting Boundaries: Rethinking Arctic Governance” co-instructed by Vincent Gallucci, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center. Victoria served as Coordinator. In Winter Quarter 2013, the Arctic Canada Task Force, “Arctic Securities,” will focus on Québec’s role in the Arctic.

Canadian Studies Center

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington
Box 353650
Seattle WA, 98195-3650