Meet Our Fellow: Heather Hwalek
Why did you join the Fellows program?
When I was about to move to Seattle, I spoke with a friend living there. I told him that I wanted to meet people and get engaged with the internationally minded community. He highly recommended the Fellows program and helped me apply.
What did you gain from the experience?
I learned a lot about a wide range of topics from the expert speakers the World Affairs Council brings. It helped me stay connected to my interest in international affairs. And I made some great friends!
What was a program highlight for you?
I love the format where there is some time for networking, time for learning, and always a lot of time for questions. I also love the wide range and consistent quality of speakers - some really high-level people come through. One memorable event was a book club discussion with Ambassador Bill Burns, a few months before he was appointed as the CIA Director.
What would you say to incoming applicants?
The more you put into the experience, the more you get out of it! Attending as many events as possible, reading the materials sent beforehand, bringing your questions, and actively engaging with colleagues makes the program particularly valuable.
Why is it worth staying engaged with the World Affairs Council?
I don't think there's anything else like it in the city of Seattle. When you live in New York or DC, there are always a lot of speaking programs and networking opportunities. But in Seattle, the World Affairs Council is THE place to get connected to current issues in international affairs and an amazing community of people who are interested in them.