UN Intern Reflection: Julia Shufro, UNA-USA Fellow

Julia Shufro serves as Public Affairs Intern at the United Nations Information Center (UNIC), within the Department of Global Communications (DGC) of the UN Secretariat in Washington, D.C. Julia is supported by a grant from the UNA-USA Fellowship Initiative.


This past week marked the halfway point of my Summer 2023 Internship with the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Washington, D.C. Little did I know, my time with UNIC would fly by while welcoming me into a United Nations (UN) Family in D.C. For the past two months, I have felt honored to become part of such an engaging and kind community. UNIC has indelibly changed my perspectives about US-UN relations, and, from this, I have gained a deeper insight into politics and global affairs.

I have always loved international affairs and history, and as a graduate student in international law and diplomacy, I feel that I have a strong foundation in foreign policy and international organizations. From my courses in the International Legal Order, to my involvement in Model UN and NGO work experience, I recognized the importance of multilateral organizations such as the UN. However, it was not until my time at UNIC that I truly grasped the depths of the UN System, which I plunged deep into during my first week.

I will never forget my first days at UNIC. While I memorized the UN System Chart, familiarized myself with leadership, and learned about my role as a Congressional Liaison, I also experienced firsthand the unique excitement of working at UNIC. The office has three main roles: to disseminate UN information across the Americas, to understand the dynamics of The Hill and its relation to the UN, and to assist in official visits of UN personnel to the US government. On my second day of work, I went to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relation’s emergency hearing on the crisis in Sudan. Amidst protests and complaints regarding international assistance, I reported back to the Department of Global Communications regarding US and UN humanitarian goals, and criticism from Congress. Immediately after, I rushed to meet my colleagues across town, where we welcomed the Secretary General, António Guterres, to D.C. Since then, I have attended meetings with Deputy Special Representatives, had coffee with Special Envoys, and even practiced my French with an Under-Secretary-General. Working at UNIC has exposed me to important UN officials while also giving me the opportunity to publish web stories, write weekly reports, attend think tank events, and send out UN-wide newsletters. I am excited to use my extensive knowledge of the UN for my upcoming work at the UN Geneva headquarters, where I will begin working in September.

I feel so fortunate for my time at UNIC, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of my summer has in store!