Major: International Affairs
School: Columbia University
Sponsor: Islamic Scholarship Fund
Bio: Leyth Swidan is a Master of International Affairs candidate and Pickering Fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. There, he serves as the President of the Middle East & North Africa Forum and an Admissions Ambassador with the Office of Admissions.
Prior to his graduate studies, Leyth received his BA in International Relations from Pomona College where he discovered his interest in diplomacy and public service after studying abroad as a Gilman Scholar. During his time at Pomona, he served as the first LGBT President of the Muslim Student Association, organized vigils for Syria with the United Nations Association, and worked at the White House, the Embassy of Jordan in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Department of State in different capacities. These experiences have reinforced his desire to contribute to U.S. foreign policy as a Foreign Service Officer in the Middle East where he hopes to better understand public opinion, formulate more effective policies, and advance regional stability. Leyth will enter the U.S. Foreign Service upon graduating from Columbia in 2018.
Leyth believes the U.S. Foreign Service must be representative of the diversity of the United States. As an ISF Recipient, he is honored to join the ISF community to work towards improving policies and representation of Muslim Americans.
Areas of Interest:
US Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Middle East Politics