Two Georgetown seniors and a recent alumnus are among 145 Schwarzman Scholars from around the world selected to pursue master’s degrees in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.
Ning Bao (C’20), Tomás Álvarez Belón (SFS’18) John Rindone (SFS’20) will use their prestigious graduate fellowships for their degree programs focusing on three pillars – China, global affairs and leadership. They will enroll Tsinghua’s Schwarzman College as part of the Class of 2021 in August.
“I am inspired by these remarkable, accomplished and dynamic young individuals,” says Stephen A. Schwarzman, founding trustee of Schwarzman Scholars. “I am excited to see how they contribute to both the Schwarzman College and greater Tsinghua University communities, and ultimately how they will apply themselves as people of consequence in their generation.”
Beyond the classroom, the scholars will gain exposure to China and access to important professional relationships through internships, mentors, high-profile speakers and opportunities to travel throughout the country.
Bao, a political economy major from Zhejiang Province in China, wants to build bridges between China and the Middle East.
The Georgetown senior spent her high school years in Jordan, where she initiated a music outreach program for children of Syrian refugees. She also worked with disadvantaged children in China.
“I wanted to use my passion as a means to help others in need,” says the classically trained pianist.
The summer after her first year at Georgetown, Bao returned to Jordan to learn Arabic at the Qasid Arabic Institute, and again to intern at a Chinese private equity firm during the summer of her junior year.
Bao is an active member of the Georgetown University Arab Society, which presents cultural events, professional development workshops and academic panels and discussions to raise awareness of Arab culture.
“The unfolding cooperation between China and the Middle East is not limited to the lenses of international security and economy,” Bao says. “We should also take into account China’s engagements in cultural and social spheres within the Middle East region.”
Exploring Urgent Questions
Álvarez Belón, now an associate consultant at Washington, DC management consulting firm Bain & Company, wants to leverage technology to address pressing social challenges – mainly immigration.
The School of Foreign Service (SFS) alumnus co-taught U.S. civics to formerly undocumented immigrants at the nonprofit CARECEN to prepare them for their citizenship interviews. While at Georgetown, he co-led a 14-person trip to the U.S.-Mexico border through the Kino Border Immersion.
“Governments and businesses are racing to deploy AI technology at the border. Although such actions raise serious ethical questions, these organizations are pressing ahead with little accountability,” Álvarez Belón says. “I can think of no better place than China, a global powerhouse in AI, to explore such urgent questions.”
Building on Foundations
Rindone, an international economics major from New York, has researched Chinese soft power for the U.S. State Department and provided World Trade Organization litigation support to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
He is currently a student fellow at Georgetown’s Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues and also serves as an SFS Junior Centennial Fellow.
The senior studied in China this past spring at the Zhejiang University of Technology in Hangzhou, where he wrote a Chinese-language thesis on the current Sino-American trade dispute.
“I’m very honored to have been selected for the Schwarzman,” Rindone says, “I’d like to thank all of my professors, colleagues and advisors from Georgetown and elsewhere for their dedication and support.”