As the International Campaign for Tibet’s inaugural Lodi Gyari fellows, Tenzin Rangdol (left) and Tenzin Nangsel have summer internships with the US Congress.

Two Tibetan American college students are starting prized internships on Capitol Hill this week, thanks to a new Tibetan empowerment program from the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).

Tenzin Rangdol and Tenzin Nangsel are the first participants in the Washington Internship Program for Tibetan Americans, which ICT launched this year in an effort to give the burgeoning Tibetan American community meaningful experience in the US political process.

As the first people chosen for the program, Rangdol and Nangsel are beginning six-to-eight week summer internships in congressional offices in Washington, DC.

They are known as Lodi Gyari fellows in honor of ICT’s former executive chairman and president Lodi Gyari, who passed away in October 2018.

The participants

Tenzin Rangdol is interning with the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rangdol is a master of arts candidate in conflict management and international economics at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2016.

Rangdol has experience working for the United Nations Department of Public Information and the election campaign of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), as well as Students for a Free Tibet and the Young Educated Tibetans Initiative.

Tenzin Nangsel is interning in the office of Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), one of the driving forces behind the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which was signed into law at the end of 2018 as the most important Tibet-related legislation in more than a decade.

Nangsel is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has experience working as a teen leader at Sub/Urban Justice, and she served as secretary for the UMass Amherst chapter of Students for a Free Tibet.

What they said

Tenzin Rangdol, Lodi Gyari fellow and intern with the House Foreign Affairs Committee:

“As a student of international affairs, my understanding of international relations stems primarily from the workings of inter-governmental politics and institutions. However, I understand the significant role the United States plays in guiding the international system. I am excited to be interning at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and I believe this opportunity will allow me to better understand the inner workings of domestic policy formation and, more broadly, how those decisions transcend into the international arena through norms, values and practices.”

Tenzin Nangsel, Lodi Gyari fellow and intern in the office of Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.):

“This internship has given me a closer and in-depth view on the American political system. I’ve been able to learn many things applicable to so many different aspects of my life, ranging from classes I take at school to future jobs. One of my favorite events held for interns on the hill has been the hearings and lectures that are given by different people from congressmen to professors—all with unique views—so you’re always hearing new ideas. I’m excited for the weeks to come as there is much to do and learn on the Hill!”

Tencho Gyatso, ICT director of outreach:

“As the Tibet movement experiences new momentum from the passage of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, the next generation of Tibetans will have a crucial role to play in carrying this cause into the future. The Washington Internship Program for Tibetan Americans gives young Tibetans in this country meaningful exposure to the legislative process and equips them with the tools to advocate for policies and laws that help the Tibetan people. ICT is proud to welcome Tenzin Rangdol and Tenzin Nangsel as our first Lodi Gyari fellows, and we thank them, Rep. Jim McGovern and the House Foreign Affairs Committee for bringing this new program to life this year.”