Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them to Iraq and its people. Please join us in welcoming our Fall 2017 interns: Brennan and Yaniv!
Brennan Smith is a graduate of Hamilton College, where she double majored in American Studies and Government. Her focus was on the relationship between the United States and the Middle East. Her interest in the Middle East began after taking a class on Counterterrorism with retired Ambassador Edward Walker. She spent the summer of 2015 at the University of Virginia’s Summer Language Institute studying Arabic. She recently completed a year of AmeriCorps, working at a youth center in West Virginia. While there, Brennan led a weekly club that taught children both introductory Modern Standard Arabic and basic information about the Middle East.
Yaniv Cohen grew up in Israel, where he served three years in the IDF. He moved to the United States in 2012. Yaniv’s education at home and continuous reflection on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict throughout his life inspired him to observe conflicts critically from the multiple perspectives of the involved parties. He continued to do so in his undergraduate studies and mediation training, wanting to gain tools that increase understanding and transform conflicts. Yaniv obtained a Mediation Certification from SEEDS at Berkeley, CA in 2016, and he volunteered as a case developer and mediator at the Center for Human Development in Concord, CA. In 2017, Yaniv graduated with honors from UC Berkeley with a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies, with a concentration in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. He conducted an independent research leading to his honors thesis, which examined the use of people-to-people (P2P) activities by NGOs as a conflict intervention strategy in Israel-Palestine.