03 June 2016

The Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 William H. Crook Fellowship awards. This year the Center is funding seven outstanding LBJ School students, who will be spending their summer working in the Dominican Republic, Nepal, Switzerland, Uganda, and Washington, D.C.

Over the past nine years, the Crook Fellowship program has enabled sixty-two students to spend the summer interning with nongovernmental and multilateral organizations focused on economic development and poverty reduction throughout the developing world. The program was founded in 2008 through a generous gift from Mrs. Eleanor Crook in honor of her late husband, Ambassador William H. Crook. Ambassador Crook was a prominent public figure in Texas politics and a pioneer in global development, establishing the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity at the request of President Lyndon B. Johnson and serving as national director of Volunteers in Service to America, now known as AmeriCorps.

Former Crook Fellows have gone on to establish impressive careers in the development arena, now working at the Brookings Institution, Development Gateway, Innovations for Poverty Action, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the World Bank.

The 2016 Crook Fellowships have been awarded to the following seven students:

Anna Koons will be interning with Modern Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) this summer in Washington, D.C. MFAN is a reform coalition composed of international development and foreign policy practitioners, policy advocates and experts, concerned citizens and private sector organizations. Anna’s work will focus on providing support related to the strategic and advocacy work of MFAN, as well as assisting in the organization’s recommendations for streamlining and enhancing U.S. investments in the health, stability and economic growth of developing countries.

Aaron Milner will spend his summer in Washington, D.C. interning for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Aaron will research how to scale development innovation technology such as smart cities to countrywide levels. In coordination with the Japan International Cooperation Agency's Research Institute, the effort will focus on the Philippines and Indonesia. By the end of the summer, Aaron will make policy recommendations through publications on how to scale new technological innovation in Southeast Asian developing countries.

Brent Perdue will be based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with the Foundation for Environmental Sanitation of Zurza, a community development organization serving the informal community of Zurza. Brent’s internship focuses on solid waste collection, management, and economic development. He will assist in development of the nascent recycling materials separation facility, as well as further development of the existing solid waste collection program.

Laura Richards will be interning with the Women of Uganda Network in Kampala, Uganda over the summer. The organization focuses on the intersection of gender and development and equality, and Laura’s work will include conducting surveys of program participants. Laura will also assist in implementing GIS software in the communities where the organization is active in order to evaluate the online participation of the organization’s members in local governance activities.

Paul Ryan will spend his summer in Kathmandu, Nepal interning for the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), an organization working to address resource loss and climate change. Paul’s duties will include providing instructions and training on geocoding systems and assisting ISET to graphically track and display climate change information through the use of geocoded systems.

Lauren Toppenberg will intern with Bread for the World in Washington, D.C. this summer. In her role, Lauren will contribute to the organization’s annual Hunger Report, which analyzes the state of world hunger. This includes focusing on issues of systematic inequalities, encouraging in collective impact and community partnerships, and engaging in advocacy and education for grass roots to further the organization’s mission.

Patricia Zavala will be based in Geneva, Switzerland for the summer while interning with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Her work will focus on the UNDP’s the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a South-South cooperation initiative involving countries highly vulnerable to climate change from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. The projects include a range of activities including policy research, technical assistance, online communications, stakeholder outreach and web publishing.

The Crook Fellows will be blogging about their experiences over the summer. Check back on the Strauss Center website and LBJ Baines Report site throughout the coming months for updates on their work in the field!

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