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Jennifer Oreta had heard of the Schar School of Policy and Government’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) even on the other side of the world in her native country of the Philippines. When Oreta applied to and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for research, the Schar School was her first choice.
“I was looking for a university where there is a program on terrorism and anti-terrorism,” Oreta said. “And the track record of TraCCC is very solid when it comes to anti-corruption and anti-terrorism.”
Terrorism, Oreta notes, is a major problem in her home country.
“Terrorism is a major challenge when it comes to security, therefore it is really necessary for countries that are allied and working together be more synchronized and harmonious in their anti-terrorism operations,” Oreta explained. “I want to look into the efforts and the reforms done in the security sector—meaning the military, the police, the intelligence bodies of the countries that are allied together: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and the U.S. The U.S. is a major partner when it comes to issues of anti-terrorism.”
Oreta aims to use her research with TraCCC, led by founding director Louise Shelley, to help guide policy in the Southeast Asia region. She also hopes to submit her findings to regional partners.
“I want to make policy recommendations to the Philippine government on how we can further improve our cooperation with other Southeast Asian countries,” she said.
Additional reporting by Buzz McClain.