PhD Candidate Hashemi Selected for International Security Symposium

Layla M. Hashemi, a Public Policy PhD candidate at the Schar School of Policy and Government, is spending the week at the 2019 Next Generation Symposium hosted by the Washington, D.C.-based Women in International Security (WIIS). The competitive program saw some 500 applicants from around the world apply to be part of the five-day event; one in 20 were selected. Participants will tackle a range of security issues, including power politics and competition, arms control and nuclear security issues, and gender equality in the security field.

What being selected means to her:
Being accepted into the Women in International Security Next Generation Symposium is a wonderful opportunity and I am excited to represent George Mason's Schar School during this week long workshop. The symposium is part of a larger WIIS initiative to bridge existing divides between the traditional security community and the Women, Gender, and Security community.

What she hopes to gain:
I look forward to meeting and networking with young academics and professionals who are passionate about finding solutions to today’s pressing policy issues. I am excited to improve my professional profile and to learn more about the career opportunities available to me upon completion of my doctoral dissertation.

The chance to work with a talented group of scholars and researchers dedicated to promoting a gendered perspective of international peace and security issues comes at a perfect time in my doctoral studies. In addition to attending receptions hosted by ambassadors and meeting with members of WIIS and the broader Washington policy community, I will also have the opportunity to present and workshop my dissertation research and gain feedback from regional and subject matter experts to help connect my work to broader gender and security agendas. I am looking forward to providing feedback on the presentations of my fellow cohort members and planning post-symposium collaborative research and writing projects through my connection with the WIIS network.

I have found presenting my research to various groups extremely useful for my progress in the program. This is one of the several opportunities I have had to do so this year. 

Thankful for support:
I am grateful to all of the mentors and scholars who have taken the time to discuss my work and provide advice on how to best move forward. I owe a special “thank you” to Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center founder Louise Shelley who has always supported and advocated for my research.

I am currently working with several computational social scientists to collect, process, and analyze my project data. I will be presenting at a few more conferences this fall and next spring in preparation for my final defense in 2020. Participating in the Next Generation Symposium is just one of the many incredible opportunities I have experienced as graduate researcher at the Schar School's TraCCC, giving me confidence that I will be able to apply the skills and knowledge I have gained in the program toward a fulfilling and impactful career in policy after graduation.