- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Field Experience in Pursuit of a Richer Understanding

  • Celia Carbone
| Fall/Winter 2017-2018

Elizabeth Philipp’s passion for international relations sprouted at a young age. When learning to walk, she was also learning the French language from her Montessori school teachers. Global priorities have always been part of her life. 

During her college years at the University of Illinois, Philipp earned a double major in Global Studies and Psychology, a minor in French, and a certificate in Global Security. She also gained a deep interest in the Korean Peninsula as a result of a semester-long assignment on South Korea for her first international relations course. Philipp went on to apply for and receive a Fulbright grant that would take her to South Korea.

“If a researcher has a regional focus,” Philipp said, “it’s important to go to the region so that you have your own context and not just a second hand understanding of what the place is like.”

The Fulbright grant allowed Philipp to move to Jeonju, South Korea, where—from 2013 to 2015—she taught conversational English at a local high school, tutored North Korean defectors in English, and led a conversational English group focused on international issues with young adults.

Philipps’s experience in South Korea and her continuing interest in global affairs brought her to Harvard Kennedy School where she is a Master in Public Policy 2020 candidate and a Belfer Center International and Global Affairs Student Fellow.

Last academic year, Philipp worked with the Center’s Project on Managing the Microbe where she co-authored a paper that is getting significant attention—North Korea’s Biological Weapons Program: The Known and Unknown

Currently, Philipp is assisting with research at the Center’s Project on Managing the Atom. To enrich her knowledge of nuclear issues, she interned during the summer at the Department of State’s mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria.

“I foresee many opportunities for incremental problem-solving and improvement of global peace and security,” she said, “that can come through the process of addressing nuclear and biological weapons threats.”

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Carbone, Celia. "Field Experience in Pursuit of a Richer Understanding." Belfer Center Newsletter, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Fall/Winter 2017-2018.

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