Introducing the first class of Think Tank LINKS Fellows

As the nation’s capital celebrated the second inauguration of President Obama this past weekend, CIPE and Atlas Corps also had our own celebration: welcoming the first class of Think Tank LINKS Fellows.

From now until early July, three young researchers will participate in the CIPE-Atlas Corps sponsored Think Tank LINKS Fellowship. A leadership development program, the three fellows will shadow researches and experts at leading Washington, DC-based think tanks to learn about how successful think tanks operate in the U.S. while conducting research in issues of democratic or economic reforms.

We are excited to introduce our first group of Think Tank LINKS Fellows to everyone!

maksimMaksim Karliuk from the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Studies (Belarus) will be hosted at the Cato Institute to conduct research on regulatory and fiscal issues in Eastern Europe.

Question 1: Please describe your background.

I have four years of research experience and earned an LL.M in European Law from the College of Europe, Bruges Campus in Belgium. I have been involved in a number of research projects on the issues of regulatory impact assessment (RIA), legal approximation and Eurasian integration and pursue my own research in the philosophy of human motivation. I cooperate with the Ecole National d’Administration in France, University College London in the UK, work as analyst at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, and lecture at the Belarusian State University. Through these and other experiences, I have developed strong research, leadership and productivity skills and reinforced my motivation to bring about a positive change in my country and region.

Question 2: Why did you decide to apply to the Think Tank Links Fellowship?

The first time I learned about the Think Tank LINKS Fellowship I was stunned – the proposal simply impressed me so much. This kind of fellowship is exactly what I wanted and needed to do and experience. It fits so well and so timely into my career and personal development path. Many of my research activities were focused on learning the best international experience and the ways to implement those in Belarus and the region. It seems that the way to make this research more efficient and viable in practical implementation it is absolutely necessary to learn from the best specialists. The Think Tank LINKS Fellowship is a perfect opportunity for this kind of experience. I therefore hope to get first-hand experience from one of the world-leading think tanks. It is crucial for me to learn from the best specialists working in such distinguished institutions. I’m also excited about the opportunities that Washington DC as such provides for self-improvement, getting new knowledge and communicating with new people. I think that first-hand knowledge of best practices is absolutely crucial for future development of Belarus and the region.

Question 3: What do you most look forward to doing in your fellowship?

I’m excited about the opportunity to shadow a researcher from one of the world-leading think tanks, to learn best practices in managing a think tank, understand how the work of a research team is organized efficiently, and how a robust and uninterrupted workflow is ensured. Therefore I’m interested in many practical sides of think tank work. However I’m absolutely looking forward to get new knowledge, improve and acquire new skills in analytical and research work. The issues of better ways of organizing the whole research process from start to the end, organizing and dealing with the information, structuring research papers and other analytical documents are of great importance. I would also like to acquire as much as possible of new theoretical knowledge in the fields of my research interests.

Question 4: Anything you look forward to doing as you live in Washington, DC?

I really would like to take advantage of being in Washington, DC in terms of getting as much of knowledge and experience as possible. Therefore apart from activities at the host organization I would like to visit other think tanks, organizations and universities, to be involved in conferences, meetings and other events. I would also like to continue my research at the distinguished Library of Congress which could be particularly helpful in achieving my goals. However one of the most important things I’m looking forward to is meeting new people, sharing experience and ideas, and simply having great time together. I therefore hope to make many new and long-lasting friendships.

sallySally Roshdy from the One World Foundation (Egypt) will be hosted at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and will work closely with the advocacy and partnership teams to help expand POMED’s initiatives in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.

Question 1: Please describe your background.

I have three years of experience as a researcher in the nonprofit sector. I earned a Bachelors’ degree of Political Science from the University of Cairo in Egypt in 2009. While working as a Policy Researcher at One World Foundation for Development and Civil Society Care in Cairo (OWF), I contributed to the transition-focused research work of Refa’a Al-Tahtawy Forum, an independent Egyptian think tank of OWF. My area of research focuses on the transition issues in Egypt with an emphasis on the Democratic Reform and Security Sector Reform (SSR). I have participated in the assessment of Egyptian civil society needs concerning engagement in SSR through coordinating the joint program of SSR learning exchange in collaboration with Policy Association for an Open Society (PASOS). I have also coordinated a study visit to Serbia on an exchange of Egyptian and Serbian experiences of SSR. Throughout my career, I have gained vast experience in Democratic Reform with a focus on electoral processes. I also contributed to voter education through interacting with groups of citizens in number of provinces in Egypt during the last election.

 Question 2: Why did you decide to apply to the Think Tank Links Fellowship?

I decided to apply to the Think Tank Links Fellowship because it is a good opportunity for me to learn more about the work of distinguished think tanks. The chance to engage in daily activities of leading think tanks is appealing because it’ll give me the chance to learn from best practices and to improve my organizational capacity and research skills as well to be more effective in my Egyptian think tank (Refa’a Al Tahtawy Forum).

 Question 3: What do you most look forward to doing in your fellowship?

I am looking forward to gaining new skills and knowledge and to contribute to the success of my POMED’s activities. Meanwhile, I hope to build strong relations with the researchers and stakeholders involved in the Arab region affairs.

 Question 4: Anything you look forward to doing as you live in Washington, DC?

I am looking forward to visiting the most effective think tanks and research centers in DC particularly those interested in the Egyptian and Middle East Affairs. In addition, I’m excited to learn and explore the city of DC!

sergioSergio Daga from the Políticas Públicas para la Libertad (Bolivia) will be hosted at the Heritage Foundation to conduct research for the Index of Economic Freedom.

Question 1: Please describe your background.

I have five years of experience in the nonprofit sector. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Catholic University of Bolivia, and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Chile. I am currently the Director of the Economic Program in POPULI (Políticas Públicas para la Libertad), a public policy independent think tank that promotes well-designed public polices for a free society. Previously I have worked for various different institutions as an economic researcher, including at the Development Bank of Latin America in Venezuela, the research department of Bolivia’s Ministry of Planning (UDAPE), and the research department of Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Santa Cruz (CAINCO).

I am very fortunate to have a magnificent family, a wonderful wife and a gorgeous little daughter.

Question 2: Why did you decide to apply to the Think Tank Links Fellowship?

I am passionate about helping my country become a developed nation, and a few years ago I realized the best way I can contribute to this is by becoming one of the best Bolivian researchers for public policies. In order to achieve this goal, I need to learn first-hand from the works of researchers in leading think tanks in the developed world. So when I first heard about the Think Tank Links Fellowship I said to myself, “this is what I was looking for.”

Question 3: what do you most look forward to doing in your fellowship?

My ambition is to make my home organization the best think tank in Bolivia, and one of the most recognized in the world by its well designed public policies ideas. My intention is to bring all the managements skills needed to make my home organization the leading think tank in Bolivia.

Question 4: Anything you look forward to doing as you live in Washington, DC?

I have heard that besides the politics and economics, Washington, DC is full of art, history, and multicultural environments. I look forward to exploring these things during my six months in Washington, DC.

Find out more about the Think Tank LINKS program.

Maiko Nakagaki is Program Officer for Global Programs at CIPE.

Comments are closed.