The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center continued its long-standing Area Studies Pathways careers and professionalization series this semester by holding an event themed around alumni involvement in the non-profit sector on April 6, 2021. This year’s presenters were Stevie Pactor, Amita Vempati, and Rebecca Gordan. The event not only attracted students, but also included several faculty and staff members who were keen to gain new insight to share with students when providing career advice.
Stevie Pactor currently serves as a staff attorney at the ACLU of Indiana. Pactor’s career has spaned both the public and private non-profit sectors, including time spent working for the U.S. Department of State. Pactor emphasized the importance of planning ahead to take advantage of future career opportunities and balancing those opportunities against one’s own interests and personality. Pactor noted that her interest in human rights is the common thread linking her earlier studies with her current professional activities.
Amita Vempati is a non-profit consultant specializing in matters related to diversity and inclusion. Vempati has worked at numerous non-profit organizations involved in issues related to rule of law and human rights in Central Asia. Vempati stressed the importance of networking and personal connections in navigating the tightknit world of the relatively small organizations engaged in policy and advocacy work.
Rebecca Gordan is the Program Director for the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College. Gordan has had an interest in global affairs since beginning her own educational journey, and the Albright Institute’s mission to cultivate future generations of global leaders resonates strongly on a personal level. Gordan spoke about the benefits of broad thinking, adaptability, and a wide skill set for success.
The next event, occurring in the coming academic year, will focus on alumni currently working in federal government positions. The IAUNRC hopes to continue hosting this series for many years to come, with each iteration featuring a new and talented group of graduates.