I'm focusing more on how civilians are engaged in, and impacted, often unfairly, by conflict.
Today, more and more conflicts are happening in urban spaces, where untrained, unarmed civilians, find themselves in the dead center of hostilities.Alisa Laufer
My grandfather has had a huge influence on my personal and professional life in terms of the impact I want to have on the world. He was a Holocaust survivor. He was only 12 or 13 when he was sent to the concentration camps. When he was at his absolute worst, he’d remind himself that the one thing the Nazis couldn’t take from him was what he already knew. He also had an incredibly strong will to survive.
That’s what inspired me to pursue a graduate degree at Princeton — my grandfather’s will and the way he cherished knowledge and education. Over the years, I’ve come to realize the horrible atrocities he faced gave me more thought into the ethics of foreign policy, like civilian protection, which looks vastly different today than it did during World War II. I did my undergraduate studies at George Washington University where I studied international affairs and security policy. When I was applying to graduate school, I thought a lot about what I wanted to take away from the experience. I did some reflecting on what I felt like I was missing from my undergraduate experience, and that was the ethical conversations around foreign policy objectives. Now that I’m at SPIA, I can’t stop reading about ethics in policymaking. I am relieved to go to a school where we can have these hard conversations in the classroom.