The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Alayna Kasuri '22 RGLP Reflection:

Article Type 

Globalism and globalization, two phenomena that are picking up more speed than ever during the age of the internet, are increasing our interactions and interdependencies with and on environments that are so different than those in which we were raised. At the same time, the challenge with the rise of a globalized world, as well as easy (surface-level) access to other cultures, makes it difficult for us to know what we do not know. It is crucial that we recognize the importance of delving deeper into our intercultural understandings to resist the temptation of letting our actions be guided by stereotypes and generalizations that have been made prevalent by the internet and mainstream media.


As someone who was born in Virginia and then moved to Pakistan at the age of eight, I am an example of someone who learnt that there was more to a place than how it looks in the movies. Following several years of learning to love Pakistan and a return to the United States for higher education, I am now able to see both countries through the eyes of the other’s citizens. Constantly having to shatter generalizations can be burdensome but it has helped me to discern reality from rhetoric, and to appreciate the role that people to people contact can play in clearing up misconceptions.


My experience in RGLP has not only supported me in expanding this skill, by increasing my cultural intelligence and helping me self-reflect using frameworks like the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), but has also taught me how to apply these understandings into my collaborative and leadership interactions with others through lessons on intercultural communication and conflict management. One of the most important things I learnt during RGLP was that global leadership is not about just knowing about other cultures, or just acting respectfully, but instead, that global leadership requires a holistic approach that begins with awareness (of both the self and the other), progresses with open-mindedness and learning, and finishes with respect, kindness and thoughtful actions.


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences