Riley Mistrot attends 2018 West Point Conference

Thanks to the Department of Politics and International Affairs faculty, I had the privilege and the pleasure of attending the 70th Annual Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA) hosted by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point last fall. The theme of the conference was “Cooperation Reimagined: American Influence in a Complex World.” As a delegate on the Middle East and North Africa round table, I worked with my civilian and military counterparts to draft a memo of policy recommendations for U.S. involvement in Yemen that addressed U.S. national security objectives in the context of internal, regional, and supranational dynamics. Jasmine El-Gamal, an Atlantic Council Senior Fellow and former Department of Defense Acting Chief of Staff for Middle East Policy,  and Dr. Steve Galpern, senior analyst in the Office of Near Eastern Affairs at the Intelligence and Research Bureau of the Department of State guided our group’s endeavors with wisdom and patience.

Riley is shown in the front row, second from left

The conference also featured a keynote address by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and a panel discussion with Ambassador Reuben Brigety II, Washington Post correspondent Greg Jaffe, Ambassador David Miller, retired Lieutenant General Terry Wolf, and Ambassador Douglas Lute. I enjoyed the unmatched opportunity to learn from such established and esteemed practitioners of foreign policy, as well as students who share my zeal for international relations. Moreover, spending time with the cadets gave me a deeper understanding of the historical significance of West Point and renewed appreciation for the U.S. military. I am so grateful to have had such a formative and rewarding experience!

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