Thursday, September 10, 2009

House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Today has been one of the more exciting days I've had since arriving in Washington. I work in the Public Information department of UNHCR's Washington office. However, this week everyone else from my department is on vacation so Intern Bryan has been adopted by UNHCR's External Relations. What's the difference? PI does educational outreach to the general public and the media and ER deals with the politicians in DC. Today, I got a little taste of politics myself.

I woke up extra early this morning to get a good spot in line outside the room where the House Committee on Foreign Affairs meets. Today, they had a hearing on Iraq, the expert witness being none other than US Ambassador to Iraq Chris Hill. My job was to take notes and report on anything that would be relevant to UNHCR. Turns out Iraq has plenty of problems with refugees and Internally Displaced Persons. To tell you the truth, the hearing itself wasn't any more interesting than CSPAN, but the experience of being in that awesome, ornate room, within spitting (or at least heckling) distance from some of the House's most powerful congressmen was amazing.

Two things made my day even better:

1. My temp-boss told me that my notes/summary were super perfect and that she was going to use mine as an example for all other interns from now on.

2. I was able to track down a video from the Today Show from 1985 (I'll explain a few posts down the line) that no one else in the office could find. I got kudos for that too.

In summary: awesome. Tune in next time when I get a weekend!