Summer 2023 Fellow: Sonya Epifantseva ’25

Office Description

The Center for Peace Diplomacy (CPD) is an independent non-partisan mediation strategy non-profit located in New Orleans, Louisiana. We help mediators and peace negotiators identify pathways to peaceful settlement through strategic problem solving. We work both as a partner for peace negotiators, mediators and communities seeking to strengthen their peacemaking strategies and as a facilitator and convener of our own mediation processes.

CPD’s key area of expertise is the nexus between geopolitics and intrastate conflict. CPD operates in both dimensions simultaneously, drawing on our extensive experience of intrastate and geopolitical negotiations. We pride ourselves on our ability to employ a rigorous model of analysis that captures and synthesizes data that is as diverse as the parties to our mediation processes.

Description of the Work

  • Provide analytical support for CPD’s active mediation programs and peace processes.
  • Prepare and deliver reports, briefings, and presentations on special topics, as assigned.
  • Participate in team-wide strategic brainstorming and planning sessions.
  • Other duties as assigned.

CPD interns will be tasked with assisting with the collection, organization and analysis of open-source information that supports and informs CPD’s ongoing international mediation and peace processes. Interns will also have the opportunity to engage in problem-solving exercises that bridge the gap between theory and practice and will have a direct impact on ongoing international and intranational mediation efforts.

Interns will be given access to CPD’s secure messaging platform and will be required to be online and available during their scheduled hours. Every week CPD interns will monitor political, social and economic developments related to one of CPD’s specific mediation files. Each week CPD’s interns will provide an in-person briefing to CPD’s staff – referred to as “The Weekly Brief” – on their specific area of focus.

Specific thematic and subject areas of responsibility will be determined in partnership with each CPD intern prior to the start of their internship. It is CPD’s aim to align the individual interests of the interns with CPD’s current operational needs whenever and wherever possible.

Desired Skills

CPD places an emphasis on the ability to use synthesized information to develop creative solutions. As such, CPD internship candidates do not necessarily need to have a background in international affairs, but rather should have an interest (though not necessarily experience) in mediation and an eagerness to learn. Please note that CPD’s interns are viewed as valued members of the team and are expected to exemplify the highest standards of discretion and professionalism. Foreign language proficiency is not required, but it is highly valued.

Specific skills that are helpful to have include:

  • Coursework in any of the following: International Relations, Political Strategy, Conflict Studies, Organizational Psychology, International Security Policy, Conflict Mediation/Negotiation, Regional Coursework, Data Analysis
  • Data organization and analysis
  • Open source research methods
  • Attention to detail and organization
  • Willingness to think outside the box and be creative

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