The $1,000 award is given to Global Affairs undergraduates who have demonstrated a deep interest in and commitment to global affairs. 

The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs has selected Yale College junior Isha Dalal for the 2020 Douglas A. Beck Prize.

The $1,000 award is given to Global Affairs undergraduates who have demonstrated a deep interest in and commitment to global affairs. Winners are selected based on high academic achievement, leadership potential, personal integrity and commitment to public service.

Dalal, who is concentrating in data policy, says she chose the global affairs major because it is an interdisciplinary field that allows her to explore many dimensions of an issue. The opportunity to take part in a capstone project was also a draw. 

Dalal has also taken advantage of the opportunity to attend public talks at Jackson and take classes with Senior Fellows. Learning from practitioners has been especially valuable, Dalal says. She developed a close relationship with Jackson Senior Fellow Robert Ford, a retired U.S. ambassador, by taking his “Turning Points in American Foreign Policy” class this spring. 

“He’s one of the professors that I would genuinely say has been an incredible mentor,” Dalal said. “He has taught us how to think like diplomats, to understand what the history of U.S. foreign policy looks like, and how to analyze it moving forward. His class and his insight have really informed my career path,” she said. 

Outside the classroom, Dalal is involved in South Asian Americans in Public Service, a new student organization that she founded at Yale. The organization, part of a growing national movement, hosts guest speakers, produces a political magazine, and facilitates mentorship opportunities for its members.

She also devotes time to research projects with faculty members, including research on data policy for social media platforms. Her interest in data policy furthered when she took Jackson lecturer Nathaniel Raymond’s course, “Data Governance in the 21st Century.”

Last summer, Dalal interned at the United Nations World Food Programme in Italy working on food security in Level 3 Emergency countries. She performed statistical analyses to answer questions in the Mobile Vulnerable Analysis and Monitoring Team and created deliverables and live monitoring tools for the Chief of Staff of the World Food Programme. 

Dalal’s career interests include policy-building, policy analysis, and data policy and governance.