Lucy Nason was a Research Intern with the Foreign Policy and Defence Program.
What is your education background? What was it that drew you to said degree?
I am a passionate student of humanities and social sciences. I recently graduated from the University of Oxford, where I read for a bachelor’s degree in History and Politics. I concentrated primarily on twentieth century political history and international relations, with a particular focus on the United States and China. I wrote my Honours thesis on understanding the nature of power in the Roman Empire and was partly inspired by my coursework on US hegemony. While studying overseas I also completed a Certificate of Languages in French from the Oxford University Language Centre. I am currently a Juris Doctor candidate at the University of Sydney. I chose to study law to complement my background in international affairs with legal knowledge, with the intention of working in public policy.
What have you been working on in your time here at the USSC? Has it complimented your study?
At the USSC I’ve had the privilege of working on a diverse range of projects. Following the release of the Trump Administration’s National Security Strategy, I conducted research into the potential future of alliances in the Indo-Pacific and on the US’ regional economic strategy, including co-authoring a piece on US infrastructure investment. I have also learnt a lot about contemporary US domestic politics, which I wasn’t previously that familiar with, having done work on the 2018 mid-term elections and the defense budget.
Overall, the biggest lesson for me has been how to transform in-depth academic research into concise and current insights about US foreign and defence policy that are useful to Australian policymakers and other key audiences. It has been wonderful to apply some of the research skills I’ve learnt at university to a practical think tank setting.
What does the future hold? What do you hope to do with your experience from the USSC?
After finishing law school I hope to work in a policy or consulting role. I’m open to pursuing further study and am interested in looking into a master’s of global affairs or public policy in the US. In the long-term, I want to be contributing to the community by informing impactful policy in foreign affairs or education, and the experience I’ve gained from the USSC in effective communication and research is a valuable starting point.