July 4th in the Nations Capital (and a surprise meeting with RBG!)

The week leading up to July 4th had things here finally slowing down a bit. We had the 4th and the 5th off at the office, so most of that week was spent painstakingly looking forward to the long weekend! I did, however, manage to attend some interesting events despite the distraction of the holiday. At the Smithsonian Zoo, I was able to attend the IUCN Regional Conference with my office for preparations for the 2020 World Conservation Congress in Marseilles, France. The IUCN World Conservation Congress is a two week long international conference that occurs ever four years with the purpose of connecting governments, ngo’s, businesses, academia, communities, and indigenous groups together to collaborate and harness solutions for the biggest global climate challenges we face. It was truly amazing to be in the same room as the majority of the current heads of conservation issues and even more so to hear the ideas and concerns they had for what this next conference should bring to the table. Events such as this one are increasingly important as climate change continues to escalate and temperatures continue to rise – hopefully I can find a way to attend the conference next June!

To my pleasant surprise, I found myself in the same room as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Georgetown Law School’s event “A Legacy of Gender Equality” last week after receiving a last minute invite from an intern in another office. Alongside two of her former law clerks, Justice Ginsburg spoke of how she advocated for gender equality in both her personal life and in the law. The most powerful topic that she discussed was how a woman can be successful in both motherhood and her career and how balance with ones partner is crucial – “Why should the woman have two jobs and the man only one?” Her former clerks, Ruthanne Deutsch (L’04, LL.M.’16)  and Dori Bernstein (LL.M.’89), added in how Justice Ginsburg aided them and other clerks in their success while they raised their families. Overall, it was inspiring to hear from Justice Ginsburg and attending this event will definitely be one of the highlights of my time here in DC.

For the 4th of July, I managed to avoid any huge crowds or events by spending the day in Georgetown. It rained all day but thankfully that seemed to be enough to cool things down for fireworks later in the evening. Along with a friend, I was able to watch the capital’s fireworks while hammocking in a park across the water. I’d definitely recommend spending Independence Day at least once while in the city!


  1. anharris01 says:

    This seems like it was a fun week! It must have been exciting to meet such amazing people and be able to network. Meeting Justice Ginsburg must have been amazing. I would have been nervous. It is also exciting to hear you met so many people in your field at this conference. My summer research does not involve traveling off campus or networking in the field, at least not yet, so I love reading about exciting encounters others are experiencing. These experiences can really make an internship fun and informative.