Girl of the Week – Britt

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Aaron: What brought you to DC?
Britt: I came to DC for my current job at the US Institute of Peace working on their Sudan and South Sudan program. After studying international security and peace and conflict studies in college, I knew USIP was one of the top organizations where I wanted to work. I was lucky enough to get the position, and it’s been a fantastic experience so far. My heart will always be in New York, but all of the jobs for me are in DC. And now most of my friends are here as well!

Aaron: We heard you travel. Tell us about your most recent adventure?
Britt:I do! Most of my adventures these days are in South Sudan supporting capacity development in various South Sudanese government agencies and civil society groups. It’s long hours in 115-degree weather in one of the most underdeveloped places on the globe, but I’ve learned so much and met some really fascinating characters. And it’s not all work. On my last trip, I found myself dressed up in a blast suit made for a South Sudanese man twice my height and tripping down a mine detection course. It was quite a sight, and I was undoubtedly the entertainment for the day! In addition to South Sudan, my upcoming trip will take me to Kirkuk, Iraq for some volunteer work, so technically, that’s my vacation this year, but I’m hoping for a more leisurely adventure abroad next year!

Aaron:What do you want your legacy to be?
Britt:That’s a tough one! The first female Secretary of Defense? And in case that doesn’t work out, in the words of Walt Whitman: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; (I am large – I contain multitudes).” I loved the movie 300, but I’m known to have cried during the final scene. I love dancing ballet, but you’ll often find me in conflict zones. I try to balance the two extremes by filling my days with everything in between!

Aaron: What is something your grandmother/grandfather instilled in you?
Britt:I’ve always attributed my love of travel, art, and theater to my grandma. All through my childhood, my grandmother took me to museums and shows in New York. After I became a Bat Mitzvah, I traveled with her on my first trip out of the country. My life since and especially since I moved to DC has very much been one she would have cherished – finding time in my busy schedule to take a Bob Fosse dance class, to explore the theater scene, to fawn over photography at the Phillips, and to travel to exciting places abroad.

Aaron: Where will you be in 10 years?
Britt:Earning my Million Miler membership at United Airlines.

Aaron: Where can we find you on a Friday night?
Britt: On most Friday nights, I try to make it to Chabad. I find that’s where I can truly breathe while being surrounded by genuine people (and delicious home-cooked food!) after a long week. Otherwise, I’m usually watching an old Jimmy Stewart movie or hosting a game night playing competitive Uno with friends.

Aaron: Where are you for the High Holidays?
Britt:This year, I’ll be splitting my time between Rosh Hashanah with my family in Philly and Yom Kippur with my friends in DC. I’m currently doing research on the perfect bagel for breaking fast – recommendations welcome!

Aaron: What is the best part about being Jewish in DC?
Britt: Gather the Jews! Upon first moving down to DC, I was worried that I wouldn’t find a community that fit my Jewish identity. Instead, I’ve been amazed by how many wonderful and ridiculous things I’ve done with the GTJ crew: choreographing a flash mob to Call Me, Maybe; singing on “We Only Sing Six Minute Songs” for District Karaoke; playing celebrity at game night; and baking my first ever babka!

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