A View from the Class: Ally Tang

The SIPA Office of Alumni and Development is pleased to share another installment of A View from the Class, a SIPA stories series featuring current SIPA students, recently graduated alumni, and SIPA faculty. In this issue, we feature recently graduated SIPA student Ally Tang MPA ’18, concentrating in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with a specialization in International Conflict Resolution.

What were you doing prior to attending SIPA?

I practiced commercial litigation in New Zealand for close to three years and also interned in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, working in the Office of the Prosecutor.

Why did you choose SIPA?

I liked its strong focus on global policy, the caliber of SIPA’s faculty with expertise that aligned with my areas of interest, and its location in New York City, a hub of international activity and organizations.

Why did you choose to focus your studies on Human Rights and International Conflict Resolution?

I wanted to build on my legal background to work on human rights policy, particularly in the area of atrocity prevention. The International Conflict Resolution specialization also provides a good mixture of practical skills and theoretical knowledge.

What are some highlights of your SIPA experience?

I have really enjoyed being part of a diverse cohort of students, which created a rich learning environment for sharing experiences and ideas through a comparative lens. I interned with the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch and was part of the Business and Human Rights Clinic for my capstone project. I have also been a teaching assistant for Professor Robert Jervis and Professor Vicky Murillo at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

How has SIPA impacted you?

SIPA has really broadened my skill set and allowed me to build on my legal training to work in policy areas I am passionate about. The intellectual environment at Columbia is excellent; events and talks on campus have exposed me to an array of ideas and policy discussions from high-level policymakers, heads of state, and leading academics. I’ve also made a number of exceptional friends over the two years.

What are your plans after SIPA?

I will be working as a Research Analyst at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect here in New York.