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2018 Professional Development trip to Washington DC



Each year we offer a professional development trip to Washington, D.C. This annual visit to Washington, D.C. gives our Fellows an opportunity to meet with prominent specialists from international organizations, think tanks, consulting firms, the World Bank and NGOs. Fellows are learning more about the international development and peacebuilding field while some are exploring options for internships for summer 2019.


Day 1: Sunday, January 6, 2019


Orientation and Networking Session

Branka Panic and Natalie Emery, both second-year Rotary Peace Fellows studying within the MIDP program, began the evening by facilitating a networking session. Branka and Natalie asked fellow students to think about the give and take of networking – it is not only what you get, it is also what you give. Fellows then spent time working on their “elevator pitch”, in which they later introduced themselves to others in the room. This networking session gave students the opportunity to reflect on how they want to present themselves to others in their field.



The Many Roads to Careers at the United Nations

To begin the discussion, Susan Carroll, Managing Director of the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center, asked the panelists to speak about their backgrounds, the part of the United Nations they worked for and their experience leading up to that position. Joining us on the panel were three current MIDP fellows, Natalie Emery (Rotary 2nd year), Asha Asokan (Rotary 1st year) and Liridona Osmanaj as well as one alum, Muyatwa Sitali (Rotary ’14). All panelists agreed that networking was critical and that the skills obtained from the academic program are essential for putting yourself on a positive trajectory.  Sitali stressed the importance of being able to highlight 4 key things in an interview, a project or the Background, an Action that was taken, a Change that occurred and the Knowledge you gained. 



Day 2: Monday, January 7, 2019

Opening Plenary Session

The plenary session was moderated by Jon Abels, Executive Director of DCID and board member of the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center. We were fortunate to have Tony Pippa of the Brookings Institution and Vijya Ramachandran, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development join us to share their thoughts and visions around current trends in international development. Discussion centered around collective agreements and efforts, specifically around the BUILD Act of 2018. Both Tony and Vijya talked not only about the current global challenges but also about the remarkable ideas and innovations that are coming from the ground level in order to reach the SDG’s.


Concurrent Panels – Morning

On the morning and afternoon of January 7th, Fellows had the opportunity to attend varying panel discussions depending on their interests.

Networking Lunch

A networking lunch was held between the morning and afternoon panel discussions. Fellows had the opportunity to engage with panelists as well as alumni of the MIDP program and the Rotary Peace Center. Fellows also enjoyed hearing from Cory Krupp, Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Concurent Panels – Afternoon

Site Visits

Various organizations hosted small groups of MIDP and Rotary Fellows at their offices in the DC area. Each visit provided the opportunity to talk about the organization, its role in the field of development peacebuilding, current key projects, its plans for the future.

  • Brookings Institution
  • Counterpart International
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
  • Global Financial Integrity
  • Oxfam America
  • PATH
  • UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


An evening reception was held at Le Pain Quotidien for all MIDP students, current Rotary Peace Fellows, alumni of all Rotary Peace Centers, Rotary Global Grant Scholars and Duke Center of International Development faculty and staff. It was a nice opportunity to re-connect as well as meet others in the field of peace and development.


Day 3: Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Site Visits to the World Bank & the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

On Tuesday morning, many Fellows visited the World Bank where they were given overviews about current programs, as well as advice on seeking employment and internship opportunities. Four divisions within the World Bank and two with the IFC arranged meetings for Fellows.

  • World Bank, Global Indicators Group (Doing Business)
  • World Bank, Global Partnership for Education
  • World Bank, Taxation, Public Finance and Development Strategy
  • World Bank, Water and Sanitation Program
  • International Finance Corporation, Economic and Private Sector Development
  • International Finance Corporation, Environmental, Social and Governance Development
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