Camisha Johnson earned her MA International Affairs with a concentration in International Security Studies and Conflict Resolution from the Elliott School in 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies from Midwestern State University in her native Texas. She previously interned with the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium and spent Spring 2017 studying abroad at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea. An opportunity she encourages all students to take. Currently, she works as a legislative assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. Prior to joining the Committee, she was the program assistant for Community and Global Initiatives at the GWU School of Nursing. Her hobbies include trying new restaurants, traveling and a Korean boyband known as BTS.
Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?
I am currently a Legislative Assistant for the House Committee on Homeland Security. A typical day involves researching particular issues that affect Americans such as eminent domain, writing oversight letters to the Executive branch, and generally contributing to other oversight or legislative committee materials.
What professional organization, websites, or events would you recommend for students interested in your field, and why?
If you are genuinely interested in the field of Homeland Security, I would recommend attending events or seminars specific to that interest. Whether it’s a Cybersecurity Threats Seminar at the Wilson Center, a panel on Domestic Extremism hosted by GW’s Program on Extremism, or a Discussion on the Border Wall’s impact on property rights live streamed by New America’s Future of Property Rights Program, attending these events will not expand your knowledge of the particular issue but your network. A network that will hopefully help you secure a position in the field.
What was your favorite Elliott School course and why?
My favorite “course” at Elliott, was the many appointments, site visits, and events organized by the Graduate Career Development Office. While I entered Elliott with a plan, their guidance allowed me to broaden my viewpoint and see other career & learning opportunities I could miss by focusing on only one plan. Their continued support after graduation has also been extremely valuable as I enter the workforce.
What part of your career do you find most challenging and how do you stay motivated?
Hill staffers work very long hours, but it is always rewarding to see a bill passed, a letter bear fruit or a hearing go smoothly thanks to the work you and other staffers have put in.
The best compliment I’ve received … ?
“Thank you for your energy, thoughtfulness, and ambition.”
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