Meet PAAIA’s Fall 2013 CHIP Fellow

September 17, 2013, Washington, D.C. – There is a new Iranian American on Capitol Hill this fall. Parnia Zahedi is the recipient of PAAIA’s Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP), working at the office of Congressman Gerald Connolly (D-11th/VA).

The PAAIA CHIP program recognizes that congressional internships are often the inspiration and launching point for the careers of some of the most distinguished public servants in the nation. Serving as a congressional intern gives Parnia an important vantage point on American public life, valuable professional networking and communications skills, and an important credential to work full-time as a congressional staffer or elsewhere in federal or state government.

Parnia is a junior at Georgetown University double majoring in government and English, with a minor in Spanish. On campus, she is Vice President of the College Academic Council, on the Executive Board of the Blue and Gray Tour Guide Society, and a member of the co-ed professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. As an intern in Congressman Gerry Connolly’s office, Parnia attends congressional hearings in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, prepares memorandum from hearings and briefings, and drafts constituent correspondence. She has previously interned for the lobbying firm Manatos & Manatos as well as the Terry McAuliffe gubernatorial campaign. Upon graduation, Parnia hopes to work on Capitol Hill and attend law school to pursue a career in foreign policy.

The purpose of the CHIP program is to promote increased civic participation among young Iranian Americans by offering college students or recent graduates of Iranian descent the opportunity to get a firsthand look at our nation’s legislative and political process. The program is enhanced by access to PAAIA D.C. events as well as opportunities to network with and be mentored by Iranian American staff on Capitol Hill, in the administration, and in non-governmental organizations throughout Washington, D.C. In addition to providing interns with highly desired experience in the public sector, this opportunity also allows interns to identify and secure career opportunities in public service that may be otherwise difficult to find.

CHIP is made possible by generous contributions from PAAIA Members and IAPAC Board members Roshanak Ameli-Tehrani and Dr. Akbar Ghahary. The recipients of the CHIP program receive a stipend of $2,000 each.

Click here to learn more about PAAIA’s CHIP program.

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