IDPP Student Spotlight: Nathan Banks

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Nathan Banks is a Research Associate at the American University Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP).

He is a first-year Master’s student in the School of International Service at American University, where he is concentrating Global Governance, Politics, and Security.  

During his undergraduate years at Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU), he worked for three years in their International Involvement Center where he assisted in expanding and increasing inclusion in the university's study abroad program. His studies concentrated in global affairs, with a particular focus on government-sponsored social development projects.

How would you summarize the focus of your work at IDPP?

Currently I have been looking at disability-inclusive disaster risk management, and more specifically at the Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network (DiDRRN). I have been researching the ways in which the network produces and distributes learning materials and resources. I’m also assessing how DiDRRN advises other international organizations regarding disaster risk reduction. 

What inspired you to pursue work with IDPP?  

At the start of my graduate program, I was eager to engage in some sort of research-based work opportunity. IDPP was the first office that responded to my application. Since working with persons with disabilities at NWMSU, I have had an interest in studying international issues through the lens of diverse stakeholders like minorities, women, and persons with disabilities of course.

What do you find most rewarding about your work for IDPP?  

The most rewarding part of working for IDPP is the opportunity for practical engagement with issues discussed in my classes. The work we do here will be able to significantly help persons with disabilities, and that is very exciting. 

What do you hope to pursue after your time at AU/IDPP? 

I hope to work in international governance and assist in the creation of policies that are more inclusive of persons with disabilities, women, and minority groups.