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Institute for Emerging Issues

IEI Welcomes Hunt Intern to Project Resilience Team

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) is pleased to announce that NC State University senior Hannah Braun has been selected as the Hunt Intern for the 2022-2023 academic year. The Hunt Internship is a program for NC State undergraduates interested in a career in public policy and public service.

During her internship, Braun will provide innovative thinking and programmatic leadership with IEI’s Project Resilience program, a multi-year public policy initiative that explores personal finance themes including employment, healthcare, debt and safety nets. Over the course of the year, IEI will arrange a series of meetings between Braun and professionals with deep experience in public policy, including Governor Hunt.

“Hannah will be a great addition to our team,” said Project Resilience lead Alicia James. “Her studies and civic participation will help integrate public policy and community engagement related to Project Resilience issue areas. She brings a unique lens and energy to this work. We’re excited to have her on board.”

Braun is studying political science with a public policy concentration. She is also minoring in Spanish and non-profit studies. After graduating, Braun plans to pursue a J.D. and a masters in public policy.

“I hope to help IEI make an impact and am so excited to work alongside some of North Carolina’s change makers,” said Braun.

The Hunt Internship, now in its second year, is made possible through an endowment supported by Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr and his wife, Carolyn. 

Get to Know Hannah Braun

  • Graduation year: May 2023
  • Major/minor: I am majoring in political science with a public policy concentration. I also have minors in Spanish and non-profit studies.
  • Hometown: Cleveland, OH
  • Extracurricular activities: I enjoy everything outdoors: I love to hike, camp, kayak, trail run, and do yoga! I am a member of NC State’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action club and just finished up my responsibilities as NC State’s student lead for IEI’s PILOT 21 program. I also work as an office services assistant at Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP.
  • What are your goals after you graduate? I plan to take a gap year to travel, work towards Spanish fluency and engage in more community based public service. Afterwards, I plan to pursue a dual degree program where I will earn my masters in Public Policy and my J.D. I also have the goals of getting my scuba diving certification the summer after graduation and hiking some of the Pacific Crest Trail!
  • What made you interested in the Hunt internship? I have always had a strong passion for community centered advocacy and social justice work, and incorporated these values in my activities throughout college. I was interested in finding an opportunity where I could explore a wide range of public policy areas and engage in meaningful work that connected me to potential career paths in the field of public policy. I had become familiar with IEI through participating in the PILOT 21 program and fell in love with the organization’s culture and mission; I learned about the Hunt internship and saw an opportunity to continue doing the exact work I wanted to be aligned with! Due to IEI’s work in addressing a diverse array of social issues, the Hunt internship provides a unique opportunity for me to explore different policy areas and find a more targeted focus for my values and interests. Lastly, IEI’s community centered approach also means that the Hunt internship will connect me to community leaders who I can learn from.
  • What do you hope to get out of this experience? I hope to gain a greater understanding of the intersectionality of certain issues facing North Carolina, particularly regarding solutions that consider these complex relationships. I also hope to learn more about what a career in public policy research and advocacy looks like. My main goal is to be a part of programs that help stakeholders long after my Hunt internship experience is over. I hope to help IEI make an impact and am so excited to work alongside some of North Carolina’s change makers!
  • What do you believe is the biggest emerging issue facing our state? I think that the biggest emerging issue facing North Carolina is the ever increasing magnitude of toxic partisanship. It is preventing community collaboration and legislative action in nearly every public policy area. While this is a national issue as well, North Carolina is a pivotal battleground state with a multitude of conflicting stakeholders and high levels of partisan conflict. Toxic partisanship discourages compromise, accountability, and a compassionate approach to other social issues that affect North Carolinians; this makes it really challenging to work across party lines and create meaningful change for all of us. Issues like gerrymandering and asymmetric polarization are good reflections of this loss of political integrity. I think that more bipartisan action needs to be taken to encourage both voters and politicians to put the well-being of North Carolina before their personal party loyalty!