Anisha Mudaliar, '15
Opportunities, not obstacles
In February of my freshman year, I had a chance to sit around a table with former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold and other students in Stanford in Government (SIG) to discuss the US's responsibility to engage in sub-Saharan Africa. As former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on African Affairs, Senator Feingold shared with us the nuances and challenges of U.S. policy in Africa as we delved into case studies ranging from diplomatic efforts to create an independent South Sudan to the use of military force in Uganda.
Through this experience, among many others with SIG—including hearing from global leaders like Kofi Annan and Al Gore—I have had the opportunity to gain deeper insights into the role of policy as a tool to effect change at a large-scale level. SIG has exposed me to the intricacies of the policy-making process, not only through discussion seminars and speaking events, but also through real-world applications of my learning through a SIG Fellowship with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
SIG has established a range of fellowships in public service and policy around the world in institutions like RBI, the California Department of Education, NYC Economic Development Corporation, and UN High Commission on Refugees. At the core of these opportunities is the belief that individuals—and especially young individuals like ourselves—have the power to engage with policy and wrestle with some of our world's toughest challenges. SIG has encouraged me to see the enormity of these challenges not as obstacles, but as opportunities—opportunities to learn, work, and serve alongside others to contribute to a more just and sustainable world.