Emory Report
February 16, 2009
Volume 61, Number 20



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February 16
, 2009
Ambassador for Emory, on campus and abroad

Evan Goldberg ’08C is conferences coordinator for the Office of International Affairs and The Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning.

I spent my senior year at Emory the way most students without plans for graduate school did: looking for jobs. The last place I thought to seek employment was on campus. However, by chance I ended up back at Emory in a position that fits me perfectly.

In the second semester of my senior year I was fortunate to take a political science course with Professor Holli Semetko, vice provost for international affairs. Although I had already secured a job with a consulting firm in Washington D.C. shortly before graduation, with my parent’s encouragement, I changed my plans and became a member of the staff of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and The Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning.

As a part of the Office of the Provost, OIA is Emory’s central base for international initiatives and is an administrative umbrella for a number of key academic and service units. OIA promotes Emory internationally through diplomacy, publications, Web sites, events and networks. OIA is home to Emory’s International Student and Scholar Programs office, which serves more than 2,800 international students and scholars at Emory and their host departments. OIA is also home to The Halle Institute, which brings policymakers and public intellectuals from around the world to Atlanta and Emory, and supports faculty research and student engagement.

My position is interesting because it combines political science with event planning, which are both passions of mine. I do research and use my international studies background often in my position, but at other times my function is specifically planning all the details of events, ranging from catering to travel.

Emory has great relationships with foreign institutions, which allow for many benefits including study abroad, coordination on research and international fellowships. However, these connections do not come without effort. It takes a lot of work to develop and maintain them.

This is a big part of what OIA does. We often host foreign delegations aimed at fostering our existing partnerships and creating new ones. In October I organized the visit of a delegation of university educators and administrators from Mumbai, India, who met with faculty from various schools looking to create new international relationships.

In my short time with OIA and The Halle Institute, I have worked with visitors from many countries, including Germany, India, France, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Japan and Sweden. I often act as an escort for our guests while they visit Atlanta, and am able to interact with them closely. These experiences have developed my understanding of international issues, whether it is the health care system of Russia or Japan’s efforts in Iraq.

I represented Emory in Paris, where I had been an exchange student in my junior year. In October I traveled to Paris to assist with a major event held at the incredible city hall or “l’hotel de ville,” under the auspices of the French presidency of the European Union. The event brought together leaders from nongovernmental organizations in developing nations, Emory alumni, and an exhibition and series of presentations.

The Halle Institute cosponsored a “Cartooning for Peace” portion of that event and I worked with political cartoonists Jean Plantu of Le Monde and Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Our alumni abroad were very grateful to have an opportunity to reconnect with Emory and fellow alumni: 800 people, including many Emory alumni, attended.

In November, I organized Emory’s Turkish Lecture Series luncheon with the visit of Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Nabi Sensoy. This included an evening event at the Miller-Ward Alumni House where the Turkish Honorary Consul General for Georgia presented a check to Emory College Dean Bobby Paul to complete the Turkish Lecture Series endowment.

I also worked with Emory School of Law to host a delegation led by the president and vice president of the constitutional court of the Republic of Georgia. By the end of their visit I had come to know them so well that they invited me to visit the court, which is in the beautiful coastal city of Batumi.

The events I organize are not limited to internationals. In cooperation with professor Greg Berns, distinguished chair of neuroeconomics, and his Center for Neuropolicy at Emory, I organized a conference in Washington, D.C. on the neurobiological mechanisms of political conflict, cosponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

My position is helping me develop professionally and academically. It has opened my eyes to many possibilities. My interactions with diplomats and scholars from around the world have had a profound impact on my plans for the future. Ultimately, I would like to become an ambassador for the United States.
I encourage everyone to explore our programs. Information can be found online at www.international.emory.edu, www.emory.edu/ISSP and www.halleinstitute.emory.edu.