Meet Prue Pickering - 2015 Congressional Research Fellow

28 February 2015

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The Congressional Research Fellowship Program (CRFP) places outstanding Australian honours and postgraduate students, and recent graduates in the offices of United States Senators.

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Prue Pickering is a 2015 Congressional Research Fellow and Crawford School International Policy Studies Placement student currently working in Washington in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office assisting senior staff in the developing policy advice and assisting with the day-to-day functioning of the office.

It’s been a great time of year to be in the US capital and my first few weeks here have been jam-packed!

President Obama’s annual State of the Union Address was given recently and the Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop was in town. On top of my work in the Senate, I was fortunate enough to attend a handful of events that Minister Bishop spoke at including a breakfast hosted by the Australian Embassy and the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, as well as the annual Alliance21 and Brookings Institute event on the strategic relationship between Australia and the US where Minister Bishop gave the keynote address.

I am completing my internship in the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Senator Gillibrand represents New York State and has a real passion for gender equality and transparency in government. Her approach to the very partisan nature of American politics is to always try and build bridges rather than create chasms, and I’m looking forward to watching this process more closely over the next couple of months.

On Capitol Hill there are a lot of interns who are only placed for a few weeks, but I am so happy that I am able to work in Senator Gillibrand’s office for a few months so that I can really sink my teeth into some legislative research. One of the research assignments on my plate this week for example is to prepare a brief for the Senator’s office on a Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing that will be addressed by the formidable diplomat and former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.

In addition to the many goings on of Congress, DC is an absolute hive of think-tank activity and I’m looking forward to exploring all that they have to offer over the next couple of weeks.

For more information on the Program visit: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/current_students/content/npip/crfp/

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