Weiser Diplomacy Center announces new diplomacy fellows

November 3, 2022

The Weiser Diplomacy Center (WDC) is excited to announce four impressive recipients of the 2022 WDC fellowship. 

The four 2022 fellows, Jacob Gillis (MPP ’24), Gerardo A. Méndez Gutiérrez (MPP ’24), Gabriel Sylvan (MPP ’24), and Oieshi Saha (MPP ’24), all will be given the opportunity to expand on their interests in areas including international security, development, and human rights. 

The WDC fellowship is a competitive award that offers tuition support to admitted MPP students with demonstrated academic achievement who express deep interest in pursuing knowledge and practical policy skills related to diplomacy and foreign affairs.

“Without the fellowship I would not have been able to pursue my graduate studies,” Méndez Gutiérrez said. “As a fellow, I have intended to make the most out of each opportunity that the WDC and the Ford School have offered to further my understanding of international policy.”

Fellows regularly contribute to WDC events and participate in activities (symposia, conferences, seminars, policy simulation exercises, workshops and career talks among others). They meet with top international policy practitioners who speak at events, and often benefit from the WDC’s many funding and research opportunities and contacts.

"The Weiser Diplomacy Fellowship enables me to expand my engagement with the foreign policy community as it equips me with the tools to build on my foundational knowledge of matters concerning human rights and international affairs,” Sylvan said. “I am excited by how the fellowship provides me with practical training through faculty, diplomatic speakers, and courses to better craft solutions to combat issues of precarity among refugees and asylum seekers."

Meet the fellows

Gillis graduated from the University of Chicago, where he studied public policy with specializations in economics and international affairs. During his time in Chicago, he served as the US State Department’s Foreign Affairs Campus Coordinator and worked as a research assistant on a diverse set of projects, including those addressing global terrorism and domestic public health challenges. As a WDC Fellow, Gillis hopes to explore his interests in international policy issues and learn from experts in the field.

Gutiérrez studied international relations at El Colegio de México. He then worked for Mexico's Secretariat of Public Education and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, where he specialized in North American issues. His interests include security and intelligence studies, as well as foreign policy analysis and the practice of diplomacy. 

Originally from Geneva, Switzerland, Sylvan is passionate about European politics, development, and refugee policy, with a hope to be a policy analyst for one of the EU directorates or an international NGO. He graduated from Bowdoin College where he studied  government & legal studies and mathematics. Sylvan interned at the Borgen Project, a non-profit organization that emphasizes the importance of poverty reduction in U.S. foreign policy. 

After receiving her bachelor of legislative law from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Saha obtained her master of law at the University of Cambridge, specializing in public international law. She is now an assistant lecturer at Jindal Global Law School, and research associate at the school’s Centre for Justice, Law and Society. Her primary areas of interest are human rights law, public health and ethics, biopolitics and the dialectics of control, gender and sexuality, and the jurisprudence of decolonization, which she hopes to explore through her research and teaching.

The 2021 WDC fellows have already proved to be impressive, taking advantage of opportunities at the Ford School and interning all across the country and world. They include Radhika Arora (MPP ‘23), Hannah Cumming (JD/MPP ‘24), Alhan Fakhr (MPP ‘23), Jonathan Garon (MPP ‘23), Michael Hauser (MPP ‘23), and Margo Steinhaus (MPP ‘23).

Read more about all of the WDC fellows.