245785

#97721

Steve Ressler
Keymaster

From Lauren Seyfried:
Kids want to be astronauts or firemen, famous rock and roll stars or superheroes. Few, if any, child will tell you they want to be a Disaster Relief Coordinating Officer for Somalia, or
a Regional Program Development Officer in Pakistan. At least I’d like to think
I am not the only person it took 20 plus years to figure out such a career
choice is not only possible, but maybe is a more realistic definition of one of
those idealistic childhood fantasies.

As of December 2009, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre reported that 27.1 million people were displaced by conflict or violence from their homes, with 23 countries reporting an
emergence of internal displacement in 2009 alone. The majority of these IDPs
continue to be women and children. International society is not experiencing
increased stability; it continues to be faced with deadly conflicts driven by
ethnic, religious and political differences within the borders of modern
nation-states. However, I believe these numbers can be reduced and that
prevention is in fact possible. I want to help alleviate the impacts of
internal conflict, especially on women and children, through the creation of
more pro-active and development-oriented international policy. This is the main
impetus behind my current pursuit of a Masters in Public Policy, focused on
International Policy and Development in Africa, at Georgetown University and my
future aspirations of working within the United State government.

The most affected region of the world for IDPs continues to be Africa, with over one million people displaced in each of the following countries, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and
Somalia. In some instances displacement is a result of a crisis or immediate
cause, but for many people displacement is the caused by systematic violence,
on-going ethnic conflict or perpetual political upheaval. Focusing on Africa development and
displacement is crucial for aiding the evolution of the most practical and
ethical international practices possible for future disaster and conflict
relief work.

Immediate and on-going causes are both tragic sources of dislocation, but all can be mitigated. Disasters will continue to occur, but pro-active prevention tactics can reduce the incidence
of negative outcomes. Political uprising and armed conflict will not be eradicated
in the near future, but stronger institutions of governance, better-trained
peacekeeping forces and emergency relief assistance can be improved to reduce
human rights’ violations and loss of life.

Specifically, the work of the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance contributes to the overall goals of
mitigating conflict and protecting maternal and child rights. These are the
goals I am committed to and desire to espouse through my personal, future
career activities, hopefully through these or similar governmental
organizations.