Sandy Alkoutami ’18 selected as James C. Gaither Junior Fellow

News | April 4, 2019

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has selected Sandy Alkoutami ’18 for the elite James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program—providing her a year of work experience in international affairs research.

“Sandy is a perfect example of the next generation of innovative researchers and problem solvers who will make an impact on a global scale,” said Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. “I believe the work experience she gains, and the life-long contacts she makes, will help advance critical international peace initiatives that will make a lasting and positive impact on our world.”

Sandy is one of only 11 fellows selected this year for the program. She will work full time at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, D.C., as a paid research assistant to the endowment’s senior associates in the Middle East Program.

“I am beyond thrilled to work with scholars in the Middle East Program and contribute to research on a region so deeply important to me,” Sandy said. “I could not have achieved this accomplishment without the endless support from UNC-Chapel Hill. My studies and experiences while a student at UNC-Chapel Hill have led me to pursue critical issues facing the Middle East—I can’t wait to continue this work as a Junior Fellow.”

During her time as a Carolina student, Sandy served as a foreign service intern for the U.S. Department of State and the Embassy of Lebanon, a legislative intern with the House Judiciary Committee, and a federal service intern at the State Department’s Global Engagement Center. Since graduating in May 2018, Sandy has been serving as an English teaching assistant at the Islamic Educational College in Amman, Jordan, while interning with the refugee resettlement agency Questscope under a J. William Fulbright Scholarship.

A Syrian-American who grew up in Hickory, Sandy graduated from Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in public policy and economics and a minor in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies. She is UNC-Chapel Hill’s third recipient of the Gaither Junior Fellowship.

For more information, visit UNC’s press release about Sandy.