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

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Ramtin Rahmani '16

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This series introduces the 2015-2016 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

 
As a senior, I have experienced a variety of different jobs on campus, and joined many different organizations, before I found a few that fit my interests. My freshman year was filled with weekly meetings of clubs that I was not particularly passionate about. However, I think this was necessary; otherwise, I may have missed an organization if I only focused on a few in the beginning. Now, having lived in Hanover for three years, I have found three volunteer organizations which I am very passionate about. Every week now, I have the opportunity to help children on the Autism spectrum develop greater social skills with ASPIRE Autism, and to help at-risk children with homework and act as mentors through the Haven Homeless Shelter homework club. In addition, on campus I am the President of Dartmouth Quest Scholars, a club which has helped me better define my concept of leadership.

Born in Esfahan, Iran, my mother and I left 16 years ago as refugees because of our religion and the aggressive persecution that occurs. As a Baha’i, we are not allowed to attend college, hold many private or public jobs, and many Baha’is face imprisonment as “prisoners of conscience.” Given my heritage, I had been interested in foreign relations and international security coming into the College. My involvement with the Great Issues Scholar program (and later a GIS mentor), and now the War and Peace Fellows program, both through the Dickey Center, has increased my interest in foreign policy. It has provided a real-world component to the theoretical topics I have studied in class, and as a research assistant. Reconciliation, diplomacy, and global events research and analysis are topics that engross me, and are what I will focus on in my government thesis. I hope to pursue a career in diplomacy at the State Department or initially at a think tank in D.C. after graduation.

The Rocky Leadership Fellows program appeals to me because of my interest in a career in policy and diplomacy. From speaking with a previous fellow, and from information I gathered informally, the ability to improve my negotiation, adaptation, and team skills will be invaluable, regardless of my future career. As a leader, I enjoy the challenge of incorporating different ideas in a team setting, to create a consolidated view, and translate that view into a goal for the organization. At the Rockefeller Center, and through the Leadership Fellows program, I hope to add my diverse views, given my dual identity as an Iranian-American and my deep passion for Middle East – American foreign policy. From the other Fellows and through the structured program, I hope to develop a more nuanced understanding of the world, by having my own convictions challenged, and learning from the positions of other Fellows.

Ramtin Rahmani is originally from Esfahan, Iran, but grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he graduated from the Catlin Gabel School. At Dartmouth, he is majoring in Biology and Government. His interest in international security originates because of his heritage and grew at Dartmouth through the Great Issues Scholar program, and currently his affiliation as a War and Peace Fellow. On campus, he has been a Research Assistant for Professor Garrod in the Education Department. He is currently a Research Assistant for Professor Nyhan in the Government Department, and at the Tuck Center for Digital Strategies. Additionally, Ramtin is the president of the Dartmouth Quest Scholars, and organization which helps increase awareness of socioeconomic disparities in the nation, and specifically, at Dartmouth. Furthermore, he mentors kids at the Haven Homeless Shelter and works with children on the autism spectrum, helping them with social skills.

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