NEF Summer Interns Gain Experience and Make a Difference Abroad

Syracuse, NY (August 22, 2011).  Two students from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School are gaining substantive experience in international development through summer internships with the Near East Foundation (NEF). The internships are made possible through a continuing partnership between SU and NEF.

As a program assistant intern at NEF, Sheila Muthemba has conducted research and developed training modules for projects in Sudan including work with re-integration of ex-combatants in South Kordofan, as well as conflict and natural resource management in Darfur. Sheila has also helped develop proposals for projects in Sudan and the West Africa region. At the organizational level, she has worked on advanced social media communications and updated website content.

Sheila has a Masters in Public Administration and is currently finishing her Masters in International Relations at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Her research concentration areas include conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction, global security and transnational organization leadership, with a special interest in women’s issues in Africa.

After graduation, Sheila wants to work with an international or non-profit organization that promotes peace and development in Africa.

During Janette Akhilgova’s summer internship at NEF, she is responsible for helping to develop NEF’s monitoring and evaluation framework and policy. The design components of this complicated system include: approaches, methodology, program indicators, and guidelines for the NEF country offices in the Middle East and Africa. This process is building the capacity of country teams in program performance measurement and results-based management. Moving forward, all projects will be developed with a standardized monitoring and evaluation process built into the project design.

Janette is currently pursuing her Executive Master’s degree in Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Her primary interest is development policy analysis and program/project evaluation.

For more information about internship opportunities with NEF email


The Near East Foundation (NEF) leads innovative, grassroots social and economic change in impoverished communities throughout the Middle East and Africa. NEF empowers citizens to take control of their futures, giving them the tools they need to combat poverty and to thrive independently of foreign aid. This approach brings “knowledge, voice, and enterprise” to the region’s most vulnerable populations – among them women, at-risk youth, the rural poor, and urban slum-dwellers. Our vision is simple: help build a more prosperous region, with equality and economic opportunity for all, one community at a time.

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