Schar School Students Gain Valuable Insights at Council on Foreign Relations Visit

A group of nicely dressed people stand in front of a modern green glass building.
Schar School learning community students and their professors pose in front of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gretchen Curry/Schar School of Policy and Government

More than 30 students from three of the Schar School of Policy and Government’s student learning communitiesDemocracy Lab, Pillars of Research, and International Relations Policy Task Force—recently had the opportunity to visit the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is a leading U.S. think tank specializing in foreign policy and international relations. The Council is typically made up of secretaries of state, bankers, lawyers, academics, and others, who focus on issues promoting diplomacy, trade, military cooperation, and other challenges that affect national security in dozens of regions around the world.

Schar School students explored the Council's headquarters located near the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is adjacent to the White House. Students toured the expressively decorated building, where an array of murals and historical artifacts depitc significant scenes from American history, including the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the signing of the Treaty of Paris, and the Battle of Gettysburg.

The students also had the privilege of meeting and engaging with Esther Brimmer, the James A. Binger senior fellow in global governance, and an expert on transatlantic relations and U.S. foreign policy. She shared insights on international organizations and her experience at the State Department. Students had the chance to discuss current events and foreign policy with Brimmer, gaining knowledge about potential career opportunities in international law and foreign policy-related fields.

Schar School senior Shafuq Naseem attended the visit and asked Brimmer about her experience.

“It was interesting to hear about topics I've learned about in courses at the Schar School being applied in a professional setting,” she said.

Caroline McCarry, assistant director of human resources at the Council, encouraged students to apply for the vast number of internships the think tank offers and also invited them to seek employment with the Council after they graduated from the Schar School.