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Summer Interns Reflect on AHI Experience

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) summer internship program is designed for college students who wish to gain experience in government affairs and foreign policy. AHI prides itself in preparing college students for the next step in their international relations careers. During the summer, Vasili Ioannidis and Anthony Katsaounis took full advantage of their time as AHI’s remote interns.

Ioannidis is a senior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan where he is majoring in economics with minors in Modern Greek language and culture, and business administration through the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He is a six-term University Honors recipient, a four-term James B. Angell Scholar, and a winner of the 19th Annual Contexts for Classics Classical Undergraduate Translation Prize. Ioannidis serves as an undergraduate research assistant for a graduate student in LSA Sociology and was a member of the Public Service Intern Program’s (PSIP) 51st cohort. Additionally, he participated in the 11th annual AHIF Foreign Policy College Student Trip to Greece and Cyprus. Following graduation, Ioannidis is planning on pursuing research opportunities or graduate school in international economic policy. 

While interning at AHI, Ioannidis conducted daily scans of various news and social media platforms as well as covering virtual events related to the Eastern Mediterranean region. He also conducted independent research regarding the 3+1 framework between Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and the United States, and the framework’s role in promoting energy cooperation and regional stability. Additionally, he contributed to numerous projects on the upcoming national election and its impact on U.S. policy in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

“I would like to express my gratitude to AHI for adapting to these unprecedented circumstances to allow me to gain meaningful experiences during my internship,” Ioannidis said. “The internship was instrumental in furthering my knowledge of the Eastern Mediterranean region and its role in U.S. foreign policy. I am certain the skills and knowledge that I acquired during my time at AHI will have a positive impact on my future, both professionally and academically.”

Katsaounis is a senior undergraduate student at the Max M. Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, OH, majoring in Business and Economics. He is also a member of the Politics, Society, and Law Scholars program and the Sigma Epsilon Phi Greek Orthodox student organization at OSU. Katsaounis has made the Dean’s List academic honor roll at OSU for several semesters and enjoys being active in his local church community. Last summer, he had the great privilege to attend a month-long study abroad course on the Geography of the European Union at the Neapolis University in Paphos, Cyprus. This course gave the unique opportunity to see the physical and political geography of the island and provided a great context for this summer internship. Katsaounis plans to graduate in 2021 and to attend graduate school in a field related to economics and public policy to eventually pursue a career in law or entrepreneurship.

During his time interning at AHI, Katsaounis attended and reported on events and discussions focused on the Eastern Mediterranean and the current developments in the region. Daily news updates and checking for official statements on important events were also part of his role. He also conducted a research paper on the current state of U.S.-Cyprus relations focused on security, economic, and educational cooperation. Additionally, he worked with Ioannidis to create timely reports on the upcoming national election and highlighted what each candidate’s stances are on U.S. policy in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

“Even though it was remote, the opportunity to be a summer intern at the American Hellenic Institute brought me closer than I had ever been to real policy experts and government officials,” Katsaounis said. “This experience has opened my eyes to the great opportunities available for business and cultural exchange between the United States, Greece, and Cyprus. I hope to be able to advance this exchange in some capacity, whether through my personal or professional life. I would like to especially thank Nick, Yola, Elias, and Emily and everyone involved with the American Hellenic Institute for all the helpful advice and support that you gave. I will be sure to tell my friends and family about the great work that you do.”

“We could not be happier with what our interns have accomplished this summer,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “Although they were working remotely from Michigan and Ohio, Vasili and Anthony made the most of the opportunity and gained tremendous experience and insight into public policy development in Washington by attending several important virtual events on U.S.-Greece-Cyprus relations. More specifically, I want to thank both Anthony and Vasili for their invaluable work and tremendous substantive contributions to the AHI on multiple fronts.”

He added, “Educating our youth in the field of public policy and government is vital. We wish them success in their studies and career.”

More information about AHI’s internship program, the remote internship possibilities, and applying for the fall semester is available online: https://www.ahiworld.org/internships.

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