Consulting Practicums

Giving students applied learning opportunities with real-world partners.

Consulting practicums place students in real world situations, working under faculty supervision for the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, non-governmental organizations, and private firms on projects of immediate importance. These practicums exist across our eight concentrations, are full credit bearing, and have become a key element in our commitment to bridge classroom learning with practical applications.

Practicum Partner: Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) of the United Nations

For the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate CTED) of the United Nations, CGA has collaborated on 16 projects over the last 8 years, on a range of terrorism and counter terrorism topics. They include ISIS use of social media to recruit and incite; how UN member states deal with terrorist fighters returning from Iraq and Syria; how the UN can work with the private sector and academic institutions to track emerging terrorist threats; the role of technology in countering terrorist threats; and currently, the rise of right-wing terrorism and member state responses. 

Deliverables are shaped by our UN client needs. We have written papers, held workshops and conferences, delivered briefings, and built processes for collaborating with non-UN experts, firms and state political actors. These deliverables have shaped UN Security Council resolutions, made their way into CTED briefings for member states and other UN bodies, and helped CTED keep abreast of emerging trends and disseminate these trend reports to their global network of experts.

Practicum Partner: Institute for Healing of Memories

Project: Building Sustainable Peace

In close cooperation with IHOM’s Executive Director, students conduct research and analysis of current and past peacebuilding and reconciliation processes and practices in IHOM’s current focus countries—Bosnia Herzegovina, DRC, Nepal, and the US—specific to current IHOM projects that focus on trauma healing, capacity-building, women’s self-empowerment, child soldiers, adverse childhood experiences, sexual violence in the US military, and the ethnic/religious composition of a country’s political institutions.

Deliverables were determined by our client’s needs, principally the objective to facilitate effective trauma healing and healing of memory workshops, and included three reference/background chapters for IHOM workshop facilitators, and two workshop intake surveys for women survivors of sexual violence in the DRC, in partnership with the DRC-based NGO, Heal Africa.

IHOM

Practicum Partner: Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

GNWP event flyer
Project: Investigating Challenges in Gender-responsive Peacebuilding

These are research projects investigating questions posed by the client.  The client provides students with knowledge, information and guidance to shape research methodology, and increase their understanding of the gender dimensions of peacebuilding. In 2019, students developed an analysis of 51 peace agreements to assess the impact of gender-sensitive provisions on women’s post-conflict economic and political inclusion in the years after the signing of the peace deal. In 2020, they studied the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activism of women peacebuilders in Colombia, South Sudan, the southern Philippines, and Ukraine.  

Deliverables:  Research outputs include reports, infographics, and statistical analysis.  The 2019 research report:  'Gender-sensitive provisions in peace agreements and women’s political and economic inclusion post-conflict has been published online and picked up by the Council on Foreign Relations.  The 2020 report on the impact of COVID on women’s peace work was converted to an academic paper submitted to the Journal of Social Politics, and presented in international meetings including the 2021 UN Commission on the Status of Women.  The client uses the research findings in its advocacy work to obtain funding for women’s peace work in fragile states.

Practicum Partner: United States State Department, Global Engagement Center

Project: Countering State and Non-State Actor Propaganda and Disinformation

Projects center on the Global Engagement Center’s mission of exposing and countering state and non-state actor propaganda and disinformation that “undermines or influences the policies, security, or stability of the US and its allies and partner nations.” Previous projects have focused on identifying the nexus between state and non-state actor disinformation as it pertains to the rise of racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism, investigating what vulnerabilities make individuals and entire societies more susceptible to disinformation, responding to Islamist and far-right violent extremism in the Western Balkans, and countering radicalization and recruitment into terrorism in Somalia and Nigeria.   

Deliverables are determined in close consultation with the client and have included infographics and reports that are disseminated across US government agencies and to US embassies and partners abroad to inform policy and practice. Participants also have the opportunity to share their findings with an inter-agency audience in Washington DC.

GEC

Practicum Partner: New York City Cyber Command

Cyber Command

Students provide hands-on research and consultation on a topic of critical importance to New York City Cyber Command (NYC3). NYC Cyber Command is a centralized organization created by NYC Executive Order to lead the City's cyber defense efforts, working across more than 100 agencies and offices to prevent, detect, respond, and recover from cyber threats. NYC Cyber Command is committed to protecting NYC infrastructure and critical systems from malicious attacks through the use of the latest technologies, public-private partnerships, and regular training and exercises for City employees.

Deliverables: Executive level recommendations for policies and procedures as well as action plans for how NYC3 can best provide cybersecurity services to the City of New York.

Practicum Partner: Department of Defense, Hacking for Defense

Description of Projects: unique and forward-thinking educational model engages teams of university students to solve some of the nation’s toughest national security and defense problems using Lean LaunchPad® principles. H4D is offered at premier private institutions of higher education, large public universities, and small public and private universities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

H4D pushes students beyond their comfort zones and stretches them intellectually and practically as they navigate the difficulties that naturally arise from working in multidisciplinary teams into an unfamiliar (to many) field at a faster tempo than what is common in most university classes.

Government problem sponsors value the course for the perspective and ingenuity the students bring in responding to problems, often finding that input from the student teams allows them to arrive at a not-yet-thought-of solution.

More information can be found at the Hacking for Defense Website: https://www.h4d.us

Hacking for Defense

Practicum Partner: MasterCard

mastercard logo

The Global Business Consulting Practicum allows students to work closely with leading companies that tackle global challenges, and to embark on action research that benefits the company, students, and society alike. Mastercard made a commitment to bring one billion people into the digital financial system by 2025. Alongside these efforts, the company aims to support 50 million small and micro-merchants and provide 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that help them to grow their businesses. This project focuses on Mastercard’s efforts in the financial inclusion, humanitarian/international development, and/or sustainability space, and students work on specific projects that are directly responsible for delivering the above-mentioned goals of the company. Students also benefit from immersive sessions with the directors of the CGA Global Economy, CGA Global Gender Studies, CGA International Development, and SPS Human Capital Management programs.  

Students work together as a team and conduct significant academic research with deliverables in the form of a report/white paper, including a set of practical recommendations. The project culminates with a presentation to Mastercard executives summarizing the key findings.

Practicum Partner: International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

The International Center for Transitional Justice Practicum gives students the opportunity to work with a pioneer in the promotion of transitional justice around the world. The ICTJ seeks to bring justice to societies emerging from armed conflict or repressive rule, striving to prevent the recurrence of violations and ensure the dignity of victims. It addresses the challenging task of putting the pieces of broken societies back together on a foundation of justice and rule of law. This requires exposing the truth about past atrocities, holding perpetrators accountable, providing reparations for victims, and fundamentally reforming the state and social institutions that allowed or participated in atrocities. To achieve these goals, the ICTJ partners with activists and victims, provides governments with advice and expertise, conducts innovative research, and convenes groundbreaking forums and discussions.

 

Students in the Practicum will aid these efforts by providing research, writing and analysis for current ICTJ projects, such as researching the modalities of victim participation and reparations in proceedings at different international justice institutions.

ICTJ

Practicum Partner: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (DANY)

district attorney logo

CGA students have been invited to work on a research-based project with important policy and practical implications for the Fall 2021 semester in consultation with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (DANY). Although subject to change depending on the DANY’s needs, the focus of the project will be on: 1) helping the DANY to establish criteria around hate crimes charges in cases of gender-based violence, 2) identifying the role, indicators, and symbols of misogyny and gender-based violence in the radicalization and mobilization processes of violent extremists (especially far right and Islamist), and/or 3) investigating the role of women within violent extremist groups domestically in the US – especially the paradox between propaganda and ideologies that suppress women and their participation and roles in these movements. Students will be expected to produce a longer report as well as 1-3 one-page, digestible infographics for distribution not only to the DANY’s office, but other partners including the Joint Terrorism Task Force, NYPD, and FBI.