EVENT REPORT: Well Attended SFCG and JHU Jointly Sponsored Career Event, 6/14/18

Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Service and Search for Common Ground jointly hosted a career networking event today, June 14, 2018.  It was held as part of programming for the  CPRF – Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum. Links are in text.

The format was an informal one where those looking for work could meet with potential employers one-on-one.  There was no panel or presentation, only networking and coffee.  It seems about 50-75 individuals looking for work attended.   The employers, representing mostly DC-based NGOs and think tanks, worked from standing tables providing short briefings on their group and printed materials.  I saw several of those looking for work (mostly in their mid to late 20s) giving out resumes and business cards.  Many seemed prepared to engage in conversation with representatives of possible employers (possibly using a  2-minute strategic share!).

About the employers:

The Fund for Peace is based in DC.  It is an independent 501c3 working to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable peace.  I talked with Christina Murphy who is a programs associate.  I was glad to see her again: we had met a few years back at a conference to Ohio State, and she was an undergraduate peace studies major at Goucher College, where I once taught.

FHI360 was represented by Allison Coppola, a program officer.   FHI360 is dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions.   Right now they are looking for French speaking candidates for positions.

Freedom House is a well regarded NGO that focuses on advancing human rights and promoting democratic change.  Freedom House has offices in DC, New York, and South Africa. The group was represented by Anna Martin. Freedom House is looking for individuals who might be good at proposal submission.

Internews works to ensure access to trusted, quality information that empowers people to have a voice in their future and to live healthy, secure, and rewarding lives. Internews envisions a world where everyone can communicate freely with anyone, anywhere, and exchange the news and information they need to shape their communities and the world. I talked with  Chris Wild and Galen Winey.  You don’t need a journalism degree to work at Internews.


The American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative was represented by Nolen Deibert. The mission of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative is to promote justice, economic opportunity and human dignity through the rule of law.  One need not have a legal background to work at the Rule of Law Initiative.  There are currently several program assistant and program officer positions open there.  There is also an internship program in the Rule of Law Initiative. 


Christina Golubski represented Brookings.  She shared about the Africa Growth Initiative. Brookings often hires research assistants and program assistants.  Having a data analytics background is important for current hires.

Search for Common Ground, the event co-sponsor, share about their work.  Search was represented by Katie Smith and  Janice Freeman. Many of Search’s active positions involve working overseas.    Erica Henderson, who was not there, is the senior talent acquisition specialist.

The UN Foundation was represented by Michael McCole. The United Nations Foundation links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and U.S.-UN relations.

With it’s main office in San Francisco, the Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Working through offices in 18 countries and informed by deep local expertise and six decades of experience, it addresses the critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century by: strengthening governance, expanding economic opportunity, increasing environmental resilience, empowering women, and promoting international cooperation.  Diana Kelly Alvord shared about the organization’s work.  She recommended the Luce Scholars program for those just starting out in the field.

The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) was represented by Tina Hegadorn. USIP is America’s nonpartisan institute established to promote national security and global stability by reducing violent conflicts abroad. Its staff guide peace talks and advise governments; train police and religious leaders; and support community groups opposing extremism—all to help troubled countries solve their own conflicts peacefully.  USIP is continually looking to hire program assistants and research assistants. I worked at USIP from 2005-2012.

PACT is a nonprofit international development organization founded in 1971. It works on the ground in nearly 40 countries to improve the lives of those who are challenged by poverty and marginalization. PACT’s primary peacebuilding projects are currently in Myanmar and Somalia. PACT strive’s for a world where all people are heard, capable and vibrant. It was represented by Chris Feddersen.

Finally, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was represented by Deborah Leter. It is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,600 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries. (Tai Davis is the talent acquisition officer).

The program overall was coordinated by Isabelle Taipain-Long, who coordinates the conflict management program at Johns Hopkins.

David J. Smith is a career coach and consultant  working with professionals and graduate students looking to advance careers in peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and related fields. He is the author of Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016).

Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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