#IncomingElliott: Timor Nawabi

Timor Nawabi, #IncomingElliott Student, M.A. Security Policy Studies, Class of 2023

Timor Nawabi is a first-year Master’s candidate in the Security Policy Studies program at the Elliott School, concentrating in Cybersecurity. He received his bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Polytechnic University.
He started working at a very young age and worked for more than a decade with international organizations, mainly NATO, in different strategic capacities. He has spent over five years working as a Business Systems Analyst for various companies in the DMV area. He is currently working as a Business Systems Analyst III for the NFCU HQ in Virginia. Before shifting his career towards business analysis, Timor worked as a Senior Media Analyst and Public Diplomacy Adviser for the Public Diplomacy Division of NATO HQ in Brussels. Timor has written several articles in different languages focused on the US Election, US War in Afghanistan, and the current pandemic. Timor enjoys practicing Arabic/Persian calligraphy, learning new languages, following a healthy lifestyle, and watching current affairs programs, documentaries, and tech shows in his free time. Timor also enjoys meeting new people from different ethnicities and backgrounds. He hopes to graduate with his MA in Security Policy Studies in 2023.

What has been your most rewarding academic or professional experience so far?

By far, the most rewarding thing I have experienced professionally was when I got to lead a team of journalists from different news outlets during numerous NATO conferences and, more importantly, during NATO’s Heads of States Summit both in Wales, UK – Dec 2014 and Warsaw, Poland in July 2016. My over a decade of work experience as the face and voice of the NATO’s Public Affairs Office representing over 50 nations as well as working in leadership positions like senior media analyst and public diplomacy adviser to NATO Ambassadors and military flag officers from different NATO member countries inspired me of the importance of this profession and how personally I relate to this discipline and enjoy reading and researching on related subjects. Overall, I enjoyed every day of my professional life for over a decade, and it was an unmatched experience for me. 

What made you interested in your graduate program of choice?

I’ve always been interested in public diplomacy; international and security affairs and chose the Security Studies Program as my graduate course of study. While I was immersed in studying this field, I had the opportunity to work in different countries like Afghanistan and NATO headquarters in Brussels. Meanwhile, I was lucky enough to work in one of the DOJ projects as a business systems analyst, which was an unmatched experience for me during which I learned a lot about the US judiciary systems from the immigration courthouses to the detention centers across the country. Through this experience, I got to work with the Department of Justice’s attorneys, judges, courthouse administrators, and interpreters. Meanwhile, my past and current work experiences have inspired me to pursue my master’s in Security Policy Studies with a concentration on Cybersecurity, which is the essential need of today’s world.

If you could be a paid intern anywhere in DC during your program, where would you want to intern and why?

I would love to intern with any of the below-mentioned places, and I would genuinely enjoy working with them as an intern or, eventually, as an employee in the future. Those places are the United States Institute of Peace, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Department of State, and Department of Defense. I believe that my over a decade of experience with international organizations, including NATO in a strategic communication and public diplomacy level and over five years of experience as business analyst, along with my language skills, can help me accomplish some of my goals and working with the above organizations undoubtedly adds up on to my knowledge. I have chosen these esteemed places for an internship because of their contributions to the peace, security, and stability of today’s world.

Why did you choose to commit to the Elliott School for your graduate program?

My perception of SPS began to evolve during the “Bon Conference” following the international intervention in Afghanistan, the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11. As a result, the new Afghanistan emerged in the world arena after decades of unrest, instability, and isolation. We are now celebrating countless achievements of the past decade that have changed the lives of millions of women and men across the country and the world; besides, we have new ways of interacting with potential partners at national and international levels and developing new understandings to maximize mutual benefits. As a young man involved in the political process and democratic practices in the past 12 years, I was devotedly inspired to pursue my graduate studies in Security Policy Studies at GWU. I am excited to take advantage of everything this program has to offer.


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The #IncomingElliott profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights newly enrolling students to answer common questions posed by prospective and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at esiagrad@gwu.edu.

The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs.”