On the Ground in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Thanks to a fellowship with the International Leadership Foundation (ILF), Louis Lin, C’20, spent the summer in Washington, D.C. The ILF fellowships cultivate the next generation of Asian-American and Pacific Islander leaders who want to develop their policy interests.

Louis Lin, C’20

“There’s a gap in representation of Asian-Americans in the government, and the International Leadership Foundation Civic Fellowship helps AAPI students grow into future government leaders,” says Lin, who was elected Judge of Elections in Division 20 of Philadelphia’s Ward 27 in 2017. “This experience bridges vastly different disciplines and will allow me to not only explore more options for careers in government but also to become a better public servant.”

As an ILF Civic Fellow, Lin learned how politics, policy making, and public service can work for marginalized populations, while strengthening his skills as an advocate for low-income AAPI and immigrant communities.

The fellowship includes seminars and workshops on career, personal, and leadership development, as well as civic engagement. The training also offers briefings on policy priorities important to AAPI communities, résumé writing, public speaking, finance, and entrepreneurship.

For 10 weeks, Lin also served as an intern in the Office of the Chief Counsel at the Federal Aviation Administration. Although it doesn’t seem related at first glance, the experience connects back to his academic path at Penn.

“My FAA internship ties in with my health and societies and political science majors and my environmental studies minor,” says Lin. “I’m interested in the impact of aviation on the environment and health.”

Lin came to Penn as a pre-med student—the first in his family to go to college— and then he says his world of possibilities opened up even wider. “I found that my true passions were in education and health policy.” 

Lin has since has been hired by the FAA Office of the Chief Counsel to serve as a Management and Program Analyst.