Given the current dearth of American Muslims and other minorities in policy spaces, AMI & Georgetown MSA organized a panel of American Muslims involved in the think tank space.
The panel’s aim was to provide insight into the role in which graduate Muslim students can play in influencing domestic and international policies. The panelists shared their own personal experience working in their fields, and the role policy making played in their careers.
Georgetown student, Habon Ali introduced the panelists and AMI’s Executive Director Shahid Rahman.
The first speaker Amb. Islam Siddiqui of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) shared his experience about growing up in India and deciding to study agriculture in the United States. As a minority, Amb. Siddiqui mentioned he had to work 120% compared to others. He further the highlighted the importance of having communication skills over technical abilities in order to grow in any position.
Mr. Shuja Nawaz of the Atlantic Institute shared his experience of coming to America from Pakistan and working his way up from a copy boy at the NY Times to the assistant to the editor. Mr. Nawaz also indicated the importance of having a thirty-second pitch ready, when opportunities present themselves. He also encouraged all the participants to be well read and to be subject matter experts and to write about those subjects regularly. He also noted, it is important to start with a local perspective to build momentum but to work toward national and international priorities.
Following the opening remarks, students had the opportunity to ask poignant questions to the panelists.