In April 2019 I was invited to attend the Naval Academy’s Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC 2019). Over the course of the week, 150 delegates attended lectures and participated in round table discussions surrounding the conference’s theme Coming Apart: the Fate of the Rules-Based Order. I participated in the round table titled “The Age of Ideologues: Examining the Beliefs Driving Dissonance.” Over the course of the conference, my breakaway group discussed the nature of ideology, and how ideologies have been employed by different political factions across the world to support and disrupt the rules-based order.
The conference was a valuable learning perspective. Every delegate was passionate about foreign affairs, but held differing perspectives and areas of interest, yielding lively discussion that broadened my consideration of my perspectives on how individuals from the US and other countries perceive the rules-based order and how they anticipate its future.
In addition to learning from student leaders and experts in foreign affairs, the conference provided insight into military perspectives. The conference is student-run by midshipmen at the Naval Academy, and the conference housed several delegates who attend military academies in their respective countries. NAFAC provided me with the opportunity to engage with individuals who intend to engage in public service within the military arena and learn from their different perspectives. As someone interested in pursuing a career in public service, I found this exchange invaluable.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and mentorship that have been provided to me by the Politics & International Affairs Department. I am honored to have represented Wake Forest at the conference, which would not have been possible without the Department’s support.