NCUSAR Employee Spotlight: Katie Grandelli, Student Programs Coordinator

Katie Grandelli

What is a day like for a Student Programs Coordinator at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR)? How has your work been going in building the “Model Arab League into even more of an accessible learning and leadership opportunity for interested students all across the nation as well as at international universities”?

Each day is different as the Student Programs Coordinator! A day’s work varies between preparing Model Arab League conference logistics, to overseeing work done by the intern team, and even to working on larger programs for the Council. I consider it a very good day if I get to chat with my intern team or with other student leaders from our Model Arab League program.

The shift to online conferences has allowed Model Arab League to reach more interested students than ever before. We have seen our numbers for online conferences exceed all expectations! Several conferences achieved their largest attendance numbers ever, new teams have been formed, and we have been joined by several international schools given the ease of “attending” an online conference. I have seen the leadership capabilities of students skyrocket as they help their peers through this new era of online conferencing. While we all wish we could be at conferences together, students are proving to be more resilient, determined, and committed to learning as much as they can throughout online conferences. I know that the enthusiasm for Model Arab League will continue when we return to in-person conferences.

The shift to online conferences has allowed Model Arab League to reach more interested students than ever before.

NCUSAR’s Model Arab League

What is the NCUSAR internship experience like?

An internship with the National Council gives students an opportunity to work as a team and individually on a variety of projects for different programs. For example, a project for one week might be creating social media posts for our Annual Arab-US Policymakers Conference, and the next week could be researching and writing crisis simulations for Model Arab League conferences.

Is there anything you find interesting about NCUSAR that maybe an outsider or someone who isn’t familiar should know?

We might be a small organization, but you would be very surprised at the reach we have!

NCUSAR Zoom call
A Zoom session for the Summit of Arab Heads of State council, Appalachia Regional Model Arab League conference, November 2020.

Do you have any advice you could give if someone were to get a job at NCUSAR?

Be ready to jump right in!

I would encourage students to watch clips from our Annual Arab-US Policymakers Conference on the National Council’s YouTube channel to get a glimpse of the incredible cross section of Arab and American diplomats who are committed to the Council’s mission of education. It’s important to remember that the National Council’s goal is to educate and improve understanding of the Arab world, and that goal should carry over into all the work we do.

Are you interested in working for NCUSAR as an intern? Apply for our internship placement program now or email us at

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