PlacementVice President Kamala Harris: Foreign Affairs
InterestsImmigration, human rights, and United States/European Union foreign policy
Fellowship Presented By
Kyilah Terry is a Chicago, IL native and her family’s immigrant roots serves as her motivation and advocacy for multiple policy agendas including immigration reform and human rights. Kyilah earned a B.A. in International Studies from UCLA in 2019 and an M.A. in International Relations with a concentration in asylum policy from Georgetown University in 2021. During her graduate studies, Kyilah also worked as an intern and research assistant at the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), and the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM), where she focused on forced displacement and migration management with a regional focus in Europe and Africa. These experiences culminated in her master’s capstone, which was later published and focused on EU institutional constraints and cooperation on migrant externalization with third countries. As a result of her desire to gain more practical experience, she became a policy associate for an immigration consulting firm, where she authored legal and advocacy reports for non-profit immigration organizations in the D.C. area on projects such as climate induced displacement and temporary protected status for Haiti, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan. In the future, Kyilah hopes to pursue a PhD in political science and continue to study the intersection of race, migration, and asylum.
As part of the Fellowship program, all Fellows complete a Social Impact Service Project (SISP). These projects allow Fellows to partner with a nonprofit organization to implement or support an initiative that aligns with their areas of expertise and the needs of the organization. For example, Kyilah is working with Oxfam America’s Government Relations Team to research the best strategies to provide life-saving assistance to displaced people worldwide. This includes rebuilding the asylum system, offering resettlement in the United States, and increasing diplomatic efforts to prevent the conflicts and human rights abuses that force people to flee in the first place. Currently, Kyilah is writing a literature review for a future report that will focus on how the U.S. can provide relief to those displaced by climate change, many of which are people of color from developing countries.