Working in Washington to Advance Democracy Worldwide

August 30, 2013

Working in Washington to Advance Democracy Worldwide


Erik Leiden, a third year in Political Science, spent his summer as an intern at the International Republican Institute (IRI) in their Latin America and Caribbean division. During his time at IRI, Erik worked on democracy and good governance programs in Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru, and Cuba.  Between working on planning and hosting political exchanges with parliamentarians from around Latin America, assisting in writing program grant proposals, and developing briefs on political situations around the region, Erik was able to get an holistic view of the work of a Washington-based International Non-Governmental Organization.

Erik explained, "Whether I was developing a brief on a new Cuban Labor Law or Security in Central America, or explaining the rules of Baseball at a Nationals game to a group of Peruvian congressmen, my internship gave me insight both into how DC organizations operate and also into the political realities facing many Latin American countries. I would highly recommend this internship to anybody with an interest in learning about how governments work in other countries that also have a passion for democracy."

Now that he is back in Columbus he is looking forward to future internships in D.C. and abroad for next summer, with the goal of promoting Democracy and Human Rights internationally for his career. He would love to help people learn about the work of IRI and the National Endowment for Democracy. To learn more about IRI please visit their website