Meet Our Fellow: Caesar Kalinoski
Why did you join the Fellows program?
Throughout a decade of service with the federal government that took me to dozens of foreign countries, I found a deep appreciation for the impact of US diplomacy and military operations on international affairs. Although I now serve the US as an attorney defending constitutional and civil rights, I still have a great interest in understanding and helping influence our nation’s work abroad. I applied for the Fellows program because it seemed like an amazing opportunity to do both, while connecting with others in the Washington community who share the same interests and concerns.
What did you gain from the experience?
As part of the Fellow program, I gained key insights into the US’s foreign policies and programs that are currently impacting its actions abroad and relationships with its allies and adversaries. The breadth of knowledge and background of the speakers was outstanding and I feel much more empowered to speak on issues ranging from humanitarian relief to trade relationships.
What was a program highlight for you?
As a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and someone who felt frustrated around the manner of our recent withdrawal, I was particularly excited and thankful to speak with Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Ambassador Crocker’s discussion about his history of service, which covered nearly every major nation and conflict and administration during the past few decades, gave me a better understanding about the background of our nation’s involvement in the region. In short, it was nothing less than spectacular to meet and learn from him.
What would you say to incoming applicants?
While passive participants in this program will undoubtedly gain great insight into the current state of international affairs around the world, it really has the most impact on those who are interested in the backgrounds of the speakers and fellow participants. I’d therefore most strongly recommend this program for those who are looking to dig deep into the local and international community, and who can commit to being an active and engaged Fellow throughout.