This spring semester I had the opportunity to intern at the American Security Project (ASP) in Washington D.C., as a Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communications Intern. ASP is a non-partisan research organization that aims to inform Americans—representatives, opinion leaders, and the general public alike—of the ever-changing nature of national security concerns in order to forge a bipartisan consensus on a national security strategy for the 21st century.

Sarah Forland
Sarah Forland

As a student interested in exploring public diplomacy’s role in national security strategy, this internship was the perfect opportunity to research topics from Russian disinformation to the growing importance of subnational diplomacy to the future of internet and tech regulations. Each week I worked on writing various articles about issues in public diplomacy, building a solid writing portfolio that matched my career and academics interests. I also assisted with other ASP projects, such as the organization’s podcast and other perspective and strategy reports.

In addition to my internship with ASP, I was able to complete my academic research consultancy (a component of the Public Diplomacy program) with the Global Engagement Center (GEC) at the U.S. Department of State. I worked specifically with the Technology Engagement Team to research and create reports on social media regulation around China’s treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region and on the emerging threat of deep fake technology.

While both of my experiences were virtual, I was still able to safely explore Washington, D.C., attend many virtual events, and even meet other interns that I collaborated with for various projects. Both opportunities provided insight into public diplomacy’s role in national security strategy and addressing new and emerging threats to the information space, helping inform my future career goals.

Sarah is a recent graduate of SU’s Public Diplomacy and Global Communications program between the Maxwell and Newhouse Schools.

Sarah Forland on the National Mall
Sarah Forland (C) on the National Mall
Sarah Forland in DC with friends
Sarah Forland (C) in DC with friends
Public Diplomacy and Global Communications Program