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Turning Passion for Security Into a Career

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Anjali Kalaria

While pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy degree through the School’s BA/MPP program, Anjali Kalaria delved into the world of human trafficking as she worked directly with the State Department during her project course.

“My partner, Michael Maiden, and I worked with the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking,” Kalaria says. “We supported Mary Ellison, a public engagement officer focused on Latin America, with research on human trafficking in migration populations.”

Kalaria learned about the nature of migration and human trafficking in Latin America throughout the project. “The lessons that surprised me were related to learning about the process that went into writing the annual Trafficking in Persons report (a report that I have used to inform countless college assignments) and understanding the State Department’s conventions when writing about human trafficking.”

Throughout her project, Kalaria and Maiden worked on writing two literature reviews--one on populations vulnerable to trafficking in Latin American migration crises and another on the nexus between human trafficking, drug trafficking and migration. “We also wrote two papers highlighting best anti-trafficking practice domestically and internationally that we believed could be replicated in Latin America,” she says.

When I took my first public policy classes as part of the BA/MPP program, I realized that public policy was a way I could translate my passions into a career.
Anjali Kalaria '19

“It was very exciting and unique to work so directly with the State Department and know that our work was directly impacting the office’s mission and annual report,” Kalaria adds. “I really enjoyed diving deep on the topics of human trafficking and migration--two issues that I was always interested in but had never gotten the chance to explore.”

After completing her undergraduate degree in government and politics at Maryland, Kalaria decided to get her master’s through SPP’s BA/MPP program. “I have always been passionate about security issues and making change,” she says. “When I took my first public policy classes as part of the BA/MPP program, I realized that public policy was a way I could translate my passions into a career.”

Kalaria graduated in May 2019 and accepted a Presidential Management Fellowship position.

“The project course experience taught me a lot of great lessons on research, writing and policy analysis for a government audience,” Kalaria adds. “Additionally, it taught me the importance of being able to write in accordance to the style of a government department. These lessons prepared me to succeed in any future career.”


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