Summer Fellows

The ILAR Summer Fellowship was established in 2012 to assist GPS in conducting high-caliber summer internships related to international law and regulation. ILAR helps fund two to four students each year for work broadly related to careers and research in international law and regulation. Awards range from partial to full support, evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


  • Ashley Halabi, MIA ‘18

    Ashley Halabi, MIA ‘18

    Halabi completed a B.A. in political studies with a minor in human rights and transitional justice and another in international law. Interested in human rights issues during conflict, she worked at a Syrian refugee school on the Lebanese-Syrian border. Upon arrival at GPS, Halabi helped to start a new human rights student organization called Ceasefire that sheds light on war-torn communities, and now serves as its president. She is also the vice president of communications for the Development Club and the publications director for the Journal of International Policy Solutions at GPS. In the summer of 2017, she completed two internships in New York at Physicians for Human Rights, a Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate, and Justice Rapid Response. Both organizations are dedicated to investigating and holding perpetrators accountable for mass atrocities in countries that need assistance. Halabi aspires to work on bringing justice to war-torn communities at an international tribunal and establish an NGO that provides education to refugee children.

  • Yaroslav Makarov, MIA ‘18

    Yaroslav Makarov, MIA ‘18

    Yaroslav is a native of Moscow who came to GPS after spending five years in Japan working as a foreign correspondent for a leading Russian news agency. He is interested in the interaction between public and private sectors and political risk analysis for heavily regulated industries; including energy, healthcare, telecommunications and trade. At GPS, Yaroslav is serving as the communications director for the Journal of International Policy Solutions, vice president of social media for the UC San Diego Net Impact Graduate Chapter and vice president of internal affairs for the GPS Asameshikai club. In the summer of 2017, Yaroslav interned with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok, Thailand, working on policy, regulatory and econometric analysis of ICT infrastructure development in the region.


  • Darang Candra, MIA '16

    Darang Candra, MIA '16

    Darang Candra is pursuing a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus in international politics and public policy. His regional concentration is Southeast Asia. During summer 2015, Candra participated in the Regional Security Studies Intern Program in the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS). As an intern in APCSS, Candra’s primary responsibility was to support courses in the College of Security Studies. He also helped with course development and execution, including assisting faculty members in lectures, course logistics and exercises and in seminars, as an assistant seminar leader. In addition to course support, he also assisted professors in performing research on pressing regional issues, coordinating workshops and interacting with security practitioners from across the Asia-Pacific region. Candra intends to transfer this experience into his future work in academia.
  • Joaquin Vallejo, MIA '16

    Joaquin Vallejo, MIA '16

    Joaquin Vallejo is pursuing a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus in international environmental policy and the Latin American region. He spent the summer of 2015 working with the World Wildlife Fund project “Amazon Vision: Protected Areas as Natural Solutions to Climate Change,” specifically developing and negotiating a declaration on the role of protected areas in the fight against climate change. He promoted a global declaration during the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris. His duties included stakeholder engagement with governments and civil society, as well as support for policymaking and advocacy on protected areas as strategies for climate change adaptation and resilience building in the Amazon biome countries. At GPS, Vallejo is a Dean’s Fellow, president of the Pacific International Affairs Student Organization and co-director of the Environmental Policy and Business Forum.
  • Leila Ahlstrom, MPIA '15

    Leila Ahlstrom, MPIA '15

    Leila Ahlstrom pursued a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus in international development, nonprofit management and international environmental policy. Her regional concentration was in Latin America. During summer 2014, Ahlstrom worked in Malawi, Africa, for the Millennium Challenge Corp., whose mission is advancing U.S. values and interests by reducing global poverty through economic growth and focusing on policy reforms that deliver tangible results. She worked closely with the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)—Malawi on the development of modalities for the Shire River Basin Management Trust and the related payment for ecosystems services approach. To do this, she worked directly with MCA-Malawi staff to assess the state of development, using the Trust Feasibility Study and consultation with stakeholders. This work helped serve as an initial exposure to the energy sector, preparing her for a career in development.

  • Firas Ayyad, BA/MPIA '14

    Firas Ayyad, BA/MPIA '14

    Firas Ayyad pursued a master's in international affairs with a focus on international economics and a regional concentration in Latin America. He spent 14 weeks as a protection mainstreaming intern at the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Jerusalem, analyzing and projecting proposals for needs of Palestinian refugees in the the West Bank. Possessing a native fluency in Arabic, he frequently visited refugee camps to assess health, education, safety and other service needs, which he then articulated in proposals aimed at addressing the identified issues. Ayyad hopes to use this experience to advance a career in economic development, both in the Middle East and Latin American regions.

  • Elaine Chen, MPIA '15

    Elaine Chen, MPIA '15

    Elaine Chen pursued a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus in international politics and a regional concentration in Latin America. She spent summer 2014 as an intern at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean office in Washington, D.C. Her duties included research and data collection on trade trends and social responsibility, drafting reports and assisting in document distribution, and producing daily news clips and briefings. Engaging in this type of economic analysis helped in her overall career goals of advancing social and economic development of developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. While at GPS, Chen served as president the Pacific and International Affairs Student Organization.

  • Gregory Lekich, MPIA '15

    Gregory Lekich, MPIA '15

    Gregory Lekich pursued a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus international politics and a regional concentration in China and Japan. His summer 2014 internship was in Tokyo with the Mitsubishi Research Institute, Japan’s largest privately funded think tank. Lekich helped research the development of an international legal regime to govern data transmission across national boundaries, including laws related to taxing cross-border electronic transactions, protecting personal data and intellectual property rights, and supporting arbitration mechanisms. He intends to apply this experience to a career in the public sector related to international trade.

  • Renata Pinedo, MPIA ’14

    Renata Pinedo, MPIA ’14

    Renata Pinedo was pursued a master’s degree in public policy with a regional focus on Latin America. She interned at the Human Development Network of the World Bank as part of the Education Resilience Approaches Program team. As part of her internship, she analyzed data related to risks and resilience in education communities facing adversity. The project seeks to contribute evidence-based policy advice and program design for countries in conflict situations so that education can remain uninterrupted for young generations despite a hostile environment. Pinedo hopes to use her experience to enhance her knowledge on program design and evaluation, as well as the processes by which policy is shaped and implemented.

  • Manish Sharma, MPIA '15

    Manish Sharma, MPIA '15

    Manish Sharma pursued a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus in international politics and a regional concentration in Southeast Asia. Sharma attended a weeklong session with the U.N. Intensive Summer Program hosted at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University. There, Sharma attended official sessions at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, including meetings of the current Security Council. During the week, Sharma also participated in a series of seminars led by U.N. officials on a range of global issues, including peacekeeping and disarmament, human rights and refugees, the status of women and children, the role of civil society in the private sector, U.N. reform, and the environment and development. 

  • Dawson T. Tang, MPIA '14

    Dawson T. Tang, MPIA '14

    Dawson Tang earned a master's of pacific international affairs, focusing on international politics as it pertains to China and Southeast Asia. He interned with the Department of Commerce, specifically the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in Washington, D.C. While there, he worked with the Office of International Affairs in preparation for upcoming technology policy conferences held by the International Telecommunications Union to address issues such as global internet governance, spectrum allocation and data privacy. Eager to contribute to telecommunications policies that will make for more efficient and effective use of technology, Tang intends to pursue a career in technology policy in the public or private sector.