Recently, Wellesley College senior Siwen Chen, from Hungary (Li Po Chun UWC) joined about 40 fellow Wellesley undergrads from 12 countries as Fellows of the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Citizenship. The three-week immersion in short courses, discussions, and presentations focused on pressing issues facing world leaders, and engaged the Fellows with a variety of experts — including Madeleine Albright, the former U.S. secretary of state.
“The Wellesley women of the future have to understand how today’s global challenges are connected,” said Albright, a Wellesley alumna who served under President Bill Clinton.
On the institute’s opening day, “in the morning we debated about moral philosophy; in the afternoon we had a person from the UN Security Council brief us about a current crisis; then the undersecretary general of the UN talked to us about global governance,” said Siwen. “It was very intense.”
As her project for the institute, Siwen is part of a team that prepared an hour-long briefing on how the world’s energy demands can be met more safely and efficiently.
“I’m a native of Hungary, but both my parents are Chinese,” said Siwen, who hopes to build a career that connects European and Chinese affairs. The Albright fellowship involves an institute, and in summer ’10 Siwen served as a governmental affairs intern for the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
“I can imagine, one day,” Secretary Albright told the Fellows, “you will be sitting across the table from each other, negotiating for your governments, your organizations, your causes. But you will know how to talk to each other — most importantly, how to listen to each other.”