Natalie Malouf was a Council Membership Intern in fall 2012. She received her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Rhodes College in 2012 and received her Master’s degree in International Development in 2019 at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.
She is now a legal assistant at the Law Office of Edward Wayne Malouf in Dallas, Texas.
When asked to describe her role as a legal assistant, Malouf responded by saying, “my role is to ensure things run smoothly. I manage all the day-to-day activities of the office and keep case files organized. I also keep track of schedules, conduct light research, draft correspondence, and run office errands. It’s a wide range of responsibilities that keep me busy all the time!” She hopes to move in a role in international relations or development within a few years, and she has many other interests, including sustainable development, foreign policy, and solving development issues by empowering local communities and groups.
Malouf has been fortunate to be able to travel and visit many places in her lifetime and has no plans of stopping soon.
“So far, I have been to 28 countries on 6 different continents (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia). I would like to visit Lebanon, Iceland, or Antarctica next.” Looking back at her experiences, she believes that traveling near and far, and meeting others from all kinds of backgrounds, allows one to become more globally competent.
“Keeping up to date with the news, particularly from reputable and credible sources that attempt to stay as balanced and unbiased as possible, is important. Additionally, reading articles from a variety of periodicals and journals that touch on international topics is equally important.” Additionally, it is essential to challenge “our assumptions of what we think we know about other countries and places and always stay open to learn new information and discover new ideas. Joining groups like the World Affairs Council and other globally-minded associations keep us constantly connected to the outside world and inspire ongoing conversation.”
What better way to apply this idea of global competence than to some of the most pressing issues in the world today! Malouf believes that three of the most pressing issues today are climate change, economic inequality, and the push and pull between globalism and populism.
Malouf elaborated, “climate change affects everything from the weather, the environment, natural disasters, and food production, to migration, civil conflict/war, and how humans ultimately view their place in the world,” Malouf elaborates. “Climate change will impact nations across the globe in a myriad of ways, and it’s one of the few universal threats to our global world which reminds us that we’re all in this together.”
Similarly, when elaborating on her thoughts on economic inequality, Malouf expresses her opinions on how there “will be a moment of reckoning for everyone if we do not address the increasingly widening gap between ‘rich’ and ‘poor.’”
Also, a shift in perspective from some country leaders and populations will contribute to the “interesting and challenging focal point of politics for a while to come. This will continue to affect everything from international trade, immigration, political economy, and domestic and foreign policy,” she concludes.
Malouf hopes to move into a position working for an international organization, non-profit, or a company that solves urgent development concerns. Wanting to live her life by her principles of eco-consciousness and social responsibility, she would also like to inspire others to live by their beliefs and follow their passions.
Leaving some wise words for future leaders, Malouf says, “If we could all remember to be global ambassadors within our communities, as well as authentic representations of our communities when we traverse the world, we would all leave it a better place. Remember where you come from, but never forget how large, wonderful, and interconnected the world is, and how much it relies on the insight, compassion, and ingenuity of us all to keep it that way. Strive to be a life-long learner in travel and international affairs and let your optimism be your guide.”
As to her experience as a Council Intern, she says, “I loved being surrounded by colleagues and friends that were as interested in global affairs as I was! It also had such a fun and inclusive atmosphere that made me feel very much at home. Attending so many interesting events and lectures by virtue of helping out was also wonderful! I greatly benefited from my short time at the Council, and I feel that it helped propel me in many ways as a global citizen within my local community.”
To future interns, Malouf leaves one message: “Enjoy your time at the Council as much as possible, because it goes by fast! Stay connected with the people you meet there, as you never know what life-long friend you may make or networking opportunity will come up. Connect with various departments and don’t just stick to your own, so that you can learn about all the different aspects of what the Council does for our community. Most importantly, have fun!”