Ishani Mehta, University of Pennsylvania, United States Agency for International Development
This summer I had the opportunity to work at the USAID where I worked as a communications and social media intern for the digital technology hub of the Bureau for Democracy, Development, and Innovation (DDI). As a communications intern one of my main tasks was to interview 32 members of my division over Google Meets to understand their communications needs. At the end of the summer I presented my findings to 75+ members of DDI and created a concept note to help my colleagues create a “Communications Corner” that will have all the communications materials the members of the technology division need. ILF was my highlight of this summer and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this community.
Victor Ficarra, Temple Beasley School of Law, U.S. Department of the Interior
“My experience as a member of the 2021 ILF Civic Fellows program was priceless. As an aspiring attorney, working with the US Office of Insular Affairs is the perfect position for me as I have been doing research and communications in a key federal office on behalf of the Pacific US territories and our freely associated states. Outside of my job, every Friday we spoke with leaders who have worked in many capacities with the US government and even in private practice when Andrew Chau of Boba Guys shared his experience with us. During our D.C. fly-in, we connected with our entire cohort of civic fellows in person, met former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and toured all over D.C. including a visit to the White House.
Soo Kyung Koo, Former Executive Director of ILF
“”The ILF encouraged me to pursue a career in public service and inspired me to help communities who need increased representation. This personal mission grew out of my interactions with legendary Asian American leaders through ILF who have made a difference to all other communities. However, there is still an on-going disparity in Asian-American leadership representation across the board in both the private and public sectors.
“The eye-opening experiences I gained through ILF lead me to a mission-driven life, and helped propel me to where I am today, as the Communications Director of Maryland’s Hogan Administration at the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. ILF taught me the great potential of both diverse communities as well as leaders with different perspectives for our nation and future.”
Alex Wu, 2014 Fellow
“When I separated from the active duty Marine Corps in 2013, I hoped to gain a little experience in the federal government before attending law school. Four years later, I had served as an intern and staffer in the White House Office of Management and Administration, and as the senior legal assistant in the Office of the White House Counsel. In those four years, I met lifelong friends and mentors, contributed to an administration in which I deeply believed, and validated my goal of becoming a lawyer. The ILF made all this possible. They gave me my first post-Marine Corps job – managing the ILF’s Civic Fellowship program; assisted me through my own internship application process; generously supported me through my internship; and guided me through the decision of whether to postpone law school to continue working in the White House. The ILF opened my eyes to an entirely new world of opportunity and service. They quite literally changed my life, and I will be forever grateful.”
Ed Chen, 2002 Fellow
“My ILF fellowship in the summer of 2002 gave me a head start in politics and government. This program enabled me to serve in an elected school board position, work for both houses of the California Legislature and work as Deputy Coalitions Director on Gov. Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign in 2006 and Deputy Regional Communications Director for seven states in Senator John McCain’s campaign in 2008. Currently, I am serving as Director of Governmental Services at Athens Services. Where I am right now would not be possible without the support and resources that ILF gave me, and I am so pleased that the leaders at ILF are continuing this tight-knit community of friends who will take Asian American civic leadership to the next level.”