Director Lisa García Bedolla on IGS, Students and Service
How do you think IGS can and should contribute to political discourse?
At IGS, we are hoping to shine a light in the places throughout the state where government is working, places that show how institutions really matter, including governmental agencies, elected bodies, and the state’s universities. I believe that our job is to show that government can work and to provide evidence-based solutions to big policy issues of the day.
We also want to be the go-to place for addressing California’s policy issues. This October we’ll launch a series of events on the 2018 Gubernatorial Race that will conclude with the primary in June. We anticipate more events examining the November general election and its aftermath, as well.
As a research unit, where do students fit in at IGS?
Students play a central role here: scholarship and public service are central to our mission. It’s important to me that IGS is a place where we train graduate and undergraduate students looking for experience doing research and working in government. We actively support student research through a number of IGS fellowships and we have robust public service internship programs at the Matsui Center. I believe IGS can prepare the next generation of leaders, young people who reflect our society from all walks of life. People with varied perspectives and life experiences can ensure more effective and representative government moving forward.
Can you share your experience as a public service intern?
As a Cal undergrad, I participated in Cal in the Capital where I interned in the Organization of American States (OAS). In that role, I learned about international diplomacy and the role of international organizations in advancing global well-being. As a graduate student, I spent a year on the Hill in then-Congressman Xavier Becerra’s office. Both experiences deepened my commitment to public service and to working in politics. I know firsthand how transformative public service programs are and I am thrilled that we have so many wonderful opportunities for students here at IGS.