PFP fellow Tatiana Puiu's first impressions from Washington, DC

May, 11 2015

Washington, D.C. is a great place with the variety choices of recreation and lifestiles. There are always a plenty things to do. But it's one thing to visit D.C. as a tourist and it's something else to live and work in this amazing city.

First orientation days were full of new information and events. We visited American Councils for International Education office and were introduced to each other. On the 29th of April I attended an event organized by the National Democratic Institute in Washington, DC where was a discussion on the Moldovan Political Climate ahead of the Local Elections. There was a presentation by Kristy Pultorak of Lake Research Partners on recently completed public opinion research in Moldova. The conversation was featured NDI Moldova Director, Andrew Young, and Deputy Director, Andrei Rusanovschi, who joined the discussion via video conference. In the evening my host mother, Mrs. Joan Countryman took me to her home located in Chevy Chase, which is a neighborhood in northwest Washington, D.C. It borders Chevy Chase, Maryland, a collection of similarly affluent neighborhoods. On the 1st of May I was introduced to the Justice at Stake' team by Scott Greytak, Policy Counsel and Research Analyst and my supervisor. A general description of the PFP Program and about my professional experience was provided. I was familiarized about the goals and objectives during the internship at Justice at Stake, about the projects conducted by the organization and about culture experiences I will be involved. As well, I was introducing into the focus of Justice at Stake's work, specific issue areas for Justice at Stake and other valuable resources. On weekend I manage to explore some of DC' museums and had an adventure on the water by kayaking on the Potomac River in Georgetown.

On the 4th of May I researched in the Justice at Stake' office the documents regarding variations on Judicial Retention across 27 states of the USA, Legal Reform on Alabama, Judicial Elections, Judicial Impartiality and Legitimate Judicial Lawmaking: Williams Yulee v. The Florida Bar and The O'Conor Judicial Selection Plan by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. On the 5th of May I attended the staff weekly meeting and was asked to contribute to the Draft Criteria for a Model Merit Selection System of the Judges. On the 6th of May I was working on drafting the Criteria for a model Merit Selection Justice System and have attended the procedure of hiring the new personnel at Justice at Stake team. On the 7th of May I participated at the Justice at Stake‘ strategy planning meeting and attended the Webinar Research Presentation "Bridging the Democracy Issue divide" with David Marmin and Celinda Lake, partners at Lake Research Partners. In the evening with the host mother and my supervisor we have a great Happy Hour event hosted by American Council, where we met wonderful people and had interesting discussions.

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