Baruch's Aspiring Diplomats Awarded
Prestigious Fellowships at U.S. State Department
New York, NY – May 21, 2008 – Shirley Temple Black was one. So were Benjamin Franklin, the first President George Bush, Pamela Harriman, Richard Holbrooke, and Jeane Kirkpatrick, to name a few. And maybe one day, Baruch College junior Simon Mairzadeh (’09) will add his name to that list.
What do they have in common? All were United States ambassadors at some point in their careers. Whether or not Mairzadeh will ever join their esteemed ranks remains to be seen, but his future certainly looks bright, now that he’s been named one of only six undergraduate students nationwide to win the prestigious Council of American Ambassadors (CAA) International Affairs Fellowship.
The Fellowship program, which runs in tandem with a summer internship at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. pairs each of the six participants with a former U.S. ambassador, who acts as a mentor dispensing career advice and his expertise on international affairs. According to a spokesperson for the CAA, Mairzadeh will work with Julia Chang Bloch, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal from 1989-1993.
A Long Island native, Mairzadeh is the first Baruch student to win this award. The other five winners are from institutions that include Harvard University and Wellesley College.
For his State Department internship, Mairzadeh said that he has been assigned to the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, where he will spend at least eight hours each weekday working on various projects.
A self-described Asia buff, Mairzadeh has already had a lot of exposure to various aspects of that continent. He just finished this semester at Hong Kong University, spent last semester interning at the Asia Society in New York, and last summer teaching English in Shanghai, China. He has also traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and the Philippines.
In addition to the CAA Fellowship, Mairzadeh and Sean Perryman (’08) are this year’s winners of the celebrated Colin Powell Fellowship in International Diplomacy. Perryman will join Mairzadeh in Washington, D.C. next month, but will work in the Intelligence and Research Department. Both students said they are thrilled to have won this award.
The Colin Powell Fellowship program was established and funded by Baruch alumnus and former U.S. Ambassador to the Slovak Republic, Carl Spielvogel (’52). He has said that its purpose is to “interest outstanding young people in the possibility of pursuing careers in the State Department.” Powell is also a graduate of City College.
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