Lauren Rhode '12 MPA '16, of Brookline, Mass., is a Woodrow Wilson School graduate who pursued certificates in Chinese Language and Culture and Near Eastern studies. As the 2011 Tom A. and Andrea E. Bernstein '80 Scholar, she focuses on security dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region. Rhode speaks Chinese and Arabic and has lived and studied in Xi'an and Beijing, China; Fes, Morocco; and Jerusalem. Following the MPA1 year, Lauren completed her two-year SINSI fellowship at three rotations: first on the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy’s China team; next with DoD’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office; and finally on the planning staff at U.S. Navy Third Fleet. Outside of professional pursuits, Lauren is an avid reader, sailor, and rugger; a fly-half on the USA Rugby team, she earned her first three “caps” against England, Canada, and New Zealand in July 2015.
SINSI placed me in a dynamic and influential office at DoD, where I was a full member of OSD Policy's China team. My responsibilities included crafting U.S. policies in the Asia-Pacific region, briefing senior DoD leaders and engaging directly with Chinese counterparts from the PRC's Ministry of National Defense. Despite the current climate of intense government job competition and multi-year hiring freezes, SINSI placed me in an office that would otherwise have been unapproachable until many years later in my career. SINSI has reinvigorated my commitment to service and rejuvenated my intellectual curiosity not only in East Asian affairs, but across a spectrum of issues relevant to my work including cross-cutting technological progress that addresses national and international security concerns.