Student Spotlight: Camille Meshack - Advocating for meaningful change around the world

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February 7, 2024
Camille Meshack, 2024 Barbara Jordan National Forum student-chair.

Camille Meshack is a dual-degree Master of Global Policy Studies/Law student from Dallas, Texas. One of three student chairs for this year's Barbara Jordan National Forum, Camille completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Howard University in Washington, D.C. The Graduate Archer Fellow was drawn to the LBJ School after attending a PPIA Summer conference on-campus and the potential it would provide.


Camille Meshack, MGPS

Policy interests: Security, International Law, and Diplomacy 

I am particularly passionate about human rights and civilian security issues because these issues are broad, allow for interaction with marginalized groups around the world, and support my interests in global equity. 

I was inspired to pursue a degree in public policy after taking courses in Race and Policy, Diplomacy, and Middle Eastern Politics at my undergraduate institution and through policy internships in Washington, DC. After attending a PPIA Summer conference at the LBJ School, I knew this school was right for me to continue my academic journey due to the students and faculty I interacted with and the tailored program opportunities I saw." 

"I believe the resources provided through the MGPS/JD program, such as renowned lecturers, insightful mentors, and meaningful coursework on global crisis simulation and policy research, will support me in my career endeavors. 


Please share your academic and professional journey. 

I completed my undergraduate education at Howard University, earning a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Spanish in the Fall of 2022. I have gained valuable experience through internships at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where I worked with the State Department Management/DEIA Team, The Daschle Group, focusing on policy related to critical minerals, financial innovations, and foreign affairs, and in the Office of Rep. Colin Allred, where I assisted with constituent affairs and communications. Additionally, I volunteered for a local State House campaign in 2020.

Please share your background in public service.

I think my interest in public affairs comes from my family legacy of work in public service. I grew up in a home where my mom taught in public schools and my dad was a pilot in the Air Force; their careers showed me how important public service is to maintain the community I want to live in. The example they set for me is the driving force behind my interest in public affairs. Later through various internship experiences, I was able to narrow my specific interest to global policy affairs.

While I was an undergraduate student, I served as the Civic and Political Engagement Coordinator at my university. In this capacity, I led community fundraising events, food drives, and a voter education event.

How else do you participate within the UT Austin community and the city of Austin?

I am currently serving as a Barbara Jordan National Forum Co-Chair where I have been able to collaborate with my fellow chairs, LBJ staff, and Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation leadership to plan and execute this year's forum focusing on civic engagement and the legacy of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Additionally I work as a Teaching Assistant in the History Department.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing US or global policy today? 

The increasingly polarized state of our democracy and the lack of accountability from elected officials represent the most significant challenges for domestic and global policymakers. These issues contribute to gridlock in both state and federal governmental institutions, impeding the policymaking process and hampering our ability to serve as a leader on the global stage.

What goals do you hope to achieve in your career? 

I hope to create meaningful change for minority communities facing challenges related to racial and ethnic discrimination in Latin America and Africa. 

Are there any mentors, role models, or leaders in public affairs field who inspire you?

I've found that I am most inspired by the unseen leaders in public affairs and global policy who do the work behind the scenes to ensure outward leadership is prepared to succeed in their positions. I have been inspired by fellow interns, supervisors, and the brilliant LBJ students in my classes.

The 28th annual Barbara Jordan National Forum will hold student-led events throughout the month of February. The Forum will be highlighted by a keynote address from educator and public servant, Dr. Ruth Simmons on Wednesday, February 21 at 12:15 p.m. in the South Lobby of the LBJ School. Additional details and registration are available on the BJNF event page. 


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