Gaining Valuable Policy Experience in Washington, D.C

October 12, 2018

The Swearer Center at Brown University in collaboration with the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs is pleased to announce the prestigious internships secured by the current Fall semester cohort of Brown in Washington program participants.

The program offers students a semester in Washington, D.C., interning with top public and nonprofit sector agencies. Complimentary coursework with Brown University faculty provides students with the course credits to stay on track. Meetings with distinguished scholars, alumni, and practitioners along with visits to government agencies and organizations, including the US Department of State, the UN Foundation, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, are also a part of their experience in D.C.

The Swearer Center is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2019 semester! For more information about the program and to apply, visit The priority application deadline is October 19.

Fall 2018 Program Participants & Internship Placements

Jacqueline Agustin, Research Intern for the Bureau of Strategy and Innovation
Executive Office of the Mayor: Department of Employment Services

As a first-generation college student, Jacqueline cares deeply about providing access to higher education to low income families. She has interned at Raising a Reader, an organization that is focused on supporting low-income families develop helpful reading routines with their children and on-campus she is a Research Assistant for Brown's Education Department. Jacqueline spent this past summer interning at the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), through the Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship program where she worked to provide summer employment opportunities for young people in the District. She is continuing her work there through the fall semester. Jacqueline is a senior concentrating in Health and Human Biology with a focus on Brain Health and Behavior.

Andrew Castillo, Intern
Office of Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

A first generation college student from Los Angeles, CA, Andrew cares deeply about educational equity. On campus, he is involved with Brown Elementary After-School Mentoring (BEAM). Outside of Brown, he is involved in the Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF), a non-profit organization dedicated to this issue and promoting the civic participation and representation of Latino communities in the United States. He is also involved with the Economic Progress Institute, a nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to improving the economic well-being of low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders. Andrew is a junior double-concentrating in economics and sociology.

Kimberly Davila, Program Intern
Common Cause

At Brown, Kim is a research assistant at the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy focusing on applied education policy. Previously, she interned for Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and at the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. This past summer she interned at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles as an Arthur Liman Undergraduate Public Interest Fellow through Yale Law School where she helped serve Los Angeles’ most vulnerable populations. Kim is a junior concentrating in political science.

Yvonne Diabene, Policy Intern
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Yvonne has a background in grassroots advocacy, community organizing, and data analytics and is committed to impacting policies that lead to equitable opportunity. She has been an active volunteer in the Rhode Island community through after-school tutoring and working with local labor groups. At Brown, she is a mentor to many and has served as a leader in Student Government, the Black Student Union, and as a Residential Peer Counselor. Originally from Ghana, Yvonne is fluent in 4 languages including French. Yvonne is a senior studying Public Policy.

Alexa Enríquez, Policy Intern
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

Alexa’s interests lie in issues relating to have immigration rights, education policy, and criminal justice policy. She has interned at the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Office of the Chief of Staff. At Brown, Alexa has taken interdisciplinary course load encompassing immigration policy, Economics, and Urban Studies. She also studied abroad in Barcelona for a semester. She is a member of Women in Business, Fashion at Brown, La Alianza Latina, and volunteers at Carl Lauro Elementary School with Inspiring Minds. Alexa is a Senior at Brown University concentrating in Public Policy with a focus on urban policies.

Lina Lalwani, Policy Intern
Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Lina is particularly passionate about advancing the rights of Asian Americans and communities of color and education equity. She has previously interned at the California State Assembly, conducted research on mixed-Asian families, and worked extensively on community and cultural sustainability in San Jose Japantown. At Brown, Lina served as an Asian American Heritage Series Programmer and is a member of a Japanese drumming group, Gendo Taiko. Lina is a senior concentrating in ethnic studies and public policy with a specialization in education policy.

Ijahala Pottinger, Education Policy Intern
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Ijahala is interested in law, government, and social justice as a means to promote educational equity and close the achievement gap that marginalized student groups face. On campus, she participates in Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring & Enrichment (BRYTE), the Swearer Classroom Program (SCP), and the Black Pre-Law Association. This summer, she interned at College Access: Research & Action with the City University of New York to confront the post-secondary enrollment gap experienced by NYC students. Ijahala is a junior double-concentrating in Political Science, with a focus on American Politics, and Economics.

Elizabeth Tran, Communications Intern
Office of Senator Kamala Harris

Elizabeth is passionate about policies that seek to address housing affordability and income inequality. She has previously served as a communications intern for the Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra, an immigration services intern and a Vietnamese interpreter for the International Rescue Committee, and a research intern for the City of San Jose. At Brown, she is a member of the Undergraduate Student Council, Vice President of the Pre-Law Society, and Vice President of Brown’s chapter of UN Women’s gender equality movement, HeForShe. Elizabeth is a junior concentrating in Public Policy.

Sabrina Whitfill, Intern
Office of Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema

Sabrina is an active member of the Brown Asian Sisters Empowered organization, Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Mixed Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Student Heritage, and the Asian American Political Alliance. She spent this past summer interning at the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, where she worked on fighting misconceptions surrounding affirmative action. Sabrina is a senior studying Classics and Public Policy with a focus in education policy.

Clare Zaytoun, Research Intern
DC Policy Center

Clare has worked for the tech company TravelClick, the U.S. Senate, and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development along with serving as a research intern for the non-profit organizations, Read and Feed and Literacy Inc. Both organizations focus on early childhood development—specifically, early childhood literacy—an area Clare is passionate about and wishes to pursue post-graduation. While at Brown, she participates in Brown Elementary After-school Mentoring program (BEAM), and really enjoyed co-leading the Game Club with her class of 2nd graders this past spring. Clare is a junior concentrating in Economics and Public Policy.