School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Graduate Student Makes International Strides with National Security Fellowship  

Chimdi Chukwukere

National Security Fellowship student, Chimdi Chukwukere, presented research to the U.S. State Department with team. 

Coming from Nigeria, it was surreal for Chimdi Chukwukere to be in the Pentagon the day he and fellow students presented their research findings as part of the School of Diplomacy and International Relation’s National Security Fellowship Team

Chimdi and his team briefed the U.S. State Department and presented their work to the diplomats and analysts who had commissioned their research. The paper they presented was titled, "Enhancing the U.S. Strategic Relationship with Pakistan," and Chimdi’s research examined water insecurity. 

The team addressed five lines of effort: strategic messaging, public diplomacy, security, environment and climate, and the economy to strengthen the relationship between the two states. The presentation was shared across offices affected by Pakistan and Indian affairs and referred to the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Office of Pakistan Working Bureau.

Following the presentation, students had the opportunity to meet with the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State, Jessica Thompson. With her extensive career in the government as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling and Chief of Staff for New York City's Mayoral Office of International Affairs, she provided career advice and discussed the role of high-level communications within the State Department.

Connecting one-on-one with world-class faculty and great students from all over the world and learning from them is priceless. "Seton Hall offered a good fulcrum for these relationships to flourish. The caliber of expert speakers and mentors we had access to through the Fellowship took us much beyond the classroom experience," said Diplomacy graduate and National Security Fellowship participant, Chimdi Chukwukere. 

Events through the School of Diplomacy also helps students like Chimdi to connect. "As a leader of a student organization, I helped host a screening of the documentary, The American Diplomat, about the first Black diplomats in the U.S. State Department, with the director and the author of the research that inspired the documentary."

Student organizations are an important way to contribute and promote engagement on campus. "As Graduate Chair of the Black Diplomacy Student Organization, I reach out to graduate students to try to give Black students a place to be heard." But that’s not all, Chimdi also wrote for the school’s student newspaper, The Diplomatic Envoy, and was a technical producer for the radio news show, The Global Current, reporting and publishing international news. 

Chimdi graduated from Seton Hall with his M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations in 2022, in which he specialized in foreign policy analysis and international organizations. He currently serves as a Global Security Operations Center Analyst at a leading global cybersecurity company.

About the National Security Fellowship

The National Security Graduate Fellowship at the School of Diplomacy is a unique, experiential learning opportunity whereby students engage in a comprehensive research project led by Seton Hall University alumnus Mohamad Mirghahari, a former Presidential Appointee under the Obama Administration at the Transportation Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security and former Department of Defense official.  

Each year, Professor Mirghahari leads a research team of School of Diplomacy and International Relations graduate students to support a mission requirement provided by one of the vital agencies of the U.S. government: Department of State, Department of Defense, or the White House.

Categories: Alumni, Nation and World, Research

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