Dear Friends of SIG,
As my undergraduate career and year as SIG Chair concludes, I pause to reflect not only on this year, but also on the last four. When I joined SIG freshman year I was excited for the speakers we’d host and the internships we’d fund. This year we hosted Sudanese activist Mohamed Abubakr, Director of the OMB Mick Mulvaney, Senator Barbara Boxer, and Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, ’12, among others. We spent even more time discussing politics late into the night – conversations I value as much as the events themselves.
This year SIG hosted 35 events spanning topics from the civil-military divide to Russian-Ukraine relations. Some featured the most important public servants in Washington–SIG members met Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We also held “We the People Day,” through which SIG members registered voters, organized a taco truck, and asked the Stanford community what, “we the people” means to them.
Many of these student-led events are offered by our Public Policy Forum, a new committee started during my years with SIG and one of the initiatives of which I am proudest. The PPF team is dedicated to engaging all students, no matter their level of knowledge, in public policy. Notable events this year included an Inauguration Day reflection event, which asked the question, “what do you hope for in the next four years?” and the third annual “We the People” Day. PPF is the largest team in SIG, and one of the most vibrant.
This summer SIG supported 74 students to pursue public policy opportunities as part of Stanford’s Cardinal Quarter program. We placed fellows with diverse offices such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland and the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. Four students are serving through our partnership with Santa Clara County. One stipends recipient will work for the Federal Communications Commission Engineering Division, and students we support on both sides of the aisle in the U.S. Congress will return to campus in the fall and share their experiences.
My freshman year, SIG had 40 members. Today we number well over one hundred! Many underclassmen contributed exciting new projects, including a “Silver Linings” year-in-review video, an event with Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef, and service engagements with our local community to gain an understanding of such issues as the need for affordable housing.
It is my privilege to introduce 2017-2018 Chair Alexis Kallen. Alexis is a current SIG fellow, the former Vice Chair of Programming, the inaugural director of the Community Service committee, and a former member of PPF. Her passion for public service is sure to inspire many SIG members to pursue government as public policy.
While my time as chair is over, I look forward to staying engaged with SIG as an alumna in the years to come. See you at Reunion Homecoming Weekend!
Chair, Stanford in Government, 2016-2017