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

Student-Focused Events Add Depth to Learning

Fall 2022

The Belfer Center is pleased to support a number of events organized by and/or for students at Harvard Kennedy School and the greater Harvard community. Activities this semester ranged from several defense, diplomacy, and development events to the 14th German American Conference and “Ask Me Anything” conversations with current and former members of the U.S. State Department and elsewhere.

3 people holding shirts that say "the future is female"

W3D Community Happy Hour (November 17)

Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (W3D) is an innovative network dedicated to connecting and cultivating global leaders who work together toward sustainable peace. W3D collaborates with the Belfer Center and this semester organized events with staff and fellows from Belfer’s Intelligence, Defense, and Future of Diplomacy projects. W3D’s senior advisory board includes Belfer Center Co-Director Eric Rosenbach, Acting Belfer Executive Director Lauren Zabierek, and HKS Professor Zoe Marks. W3D also works closely with other student groups at HKS and across the Harvard and MIT communities to strengthen connections inside and outside of the HKS community.

In September, W3D hosted Maryum Saifee, Senior Advisor in the Secretary’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S. Department of State, for an Ask Me Anything event where Saifee shared insights on current diversity and inclusion initiatives at State and the importance of women’s leadership at all levels of foreign policy. W3D also hosted Ellen McCarthy, former Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, for a small group discussion. McCarthy shared her insights on her career as a women working at the intersection of diplomacy and intelligence. In November, W3D hosted Intelligence Project Fellow Kristin Wood and Kelli Holden, two former CIA senior officers, for a discussion on Careers in Intelligence. 

Ask Me Anything” session with former CIA officials Kelli Holden and Kristin Wood

"Ask Me Anything” session with former CIA officials Kelli Holden and Kristin Wood (November 2)

This November, W3D launched its fourth annual mentorship program which brought together more than 100 mentors and mentees. This program pairs current HKS students with seasoned Harvard alumni mentors to learn from shared experiences and build skills to support career development. 

In the spring, W3D plans to continue cultivating its mentorship program, hosting events and speakers, and building a strong community that elevates and supports women interested in pursuing careers in defense, diplomacy, and development.


Co-Chairs Bethan Saunders and Brittney Vevaina tabling at the HKS Student Fair

Co-Chairs Bethan Saunders and Brittney Vevaina tabling at the HKS Student Fair (September 9)

For the past 14 years, Harvard Kennedy School students have hosted the German American Conference for discussions of some of the world’s most pressing issues. The late October conference included a series of panels, workshops, and networking sessions and brought together leaders, politicians, students, and a range of changemakers. The conference featured a keynote speech by Jörg Kukies, Germany's State Secretary for Financial Market Policy and European Policy and panels on topics ranging from rebuilding Ukraine, changing democracy, and the role of cybersecurity in global conflicts to a workshop on translating scientific discoveries into clinical applications in the life science industry.

Belfer Center programs and projects also hosted multiple student-focused events. The Future of Diplomacy Project—along with the the Kennedy School's Colombian and Venezuelan Student Caucuses—organized a conversation with Iván Duque Márquez, the former President of Colombia. The British Irish Caucus had an event with General Sir Nick Carter, the former Chief of the Defense Staff of the British Armed Forces, and the Brazilian Caucus had the opportunity to lunch with Ricardo Zúniga, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs within the U.S. Department of State.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Student-Focused Events Add Depth to Learning.” (Fall 2022).