Dialogues in D.C.
Those Haverford College students who choose to take on two majors, and, in most cases, two theses, are lauded for their ambition. Jake Weisenthal '13 is no exception. The rising senior, who is majoring in political science and Spanish, has cultivated a strong interest in transitional justice, which he explains as,“the process through which countries move from periods of internal conflictâ€¦ to stable, often democratic government.”
This summer, Weisenthal will be able to delve into the issues that surround transitional justice thanks to funding from Haverford College's Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC). He is a month into his internship in Washington, D.C., working with Inter-American Dialogue, a not-for-profit group that focuses on policy analysis, exchange and communication on issues that span the Western Hemisphere.
Weisenthal is working with the organization's Special Events and Congressional Program. He is currently arranging a congressional dinner that aims to foster conversation about key issues in U.S.-Latin American relations. The internship, thanks to its location in the U.S. capital, has already provided Weisenthal some unique opportunities.“More than once I've walked around the corner at my office and bumped directly into former Latin American presidents,” he says.
Over the last several weeks, Weisenthal has also been able to attend conferences that address Latin American security issues, particularly the drug trade and proliferation of gang violence that grips much of Central America.
Inter-American Dialogue also recently hosted the Sol M. Linowitz Forum. The event brought in a number of high-profile participants, including a retired four-star general who served as director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Clinton and a former president of Bolivia. Also in attendance was Haverford alumnus Andres Rozental '66, who is the permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva for Mexico, a former deputy foreign minister of Mexico and the founding president of the Mexican Council of International Relations.“The beauty of the forum was that it offered me the opportunity to engage some of these people,” Weisenthal says.
The forum allowed for open and one-on-one discussion of many issues, from Canada's role in the region to the U.S.-Mexico debate on drugs. The Haverford student was even able to discuss his thesis and interest in transitional justice.“All in all,” says Weisenthal,“it was pretty incredible.”
â€”Erin Adaline Seglem '14