Chia-Chia Wang is the Civic Participation Coordinator at the American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program in Newark, NJ. She received her Master’s in International Relations in 2000, and has a bachelor’s in Public Administration from Tunghai University, Taiwan.
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. The Immigrant Rights Program of the AFSC empowers immigrants through legal services and community organizing with the belief that those who are impacted by broken policy should be the driving force for change. Chia-Chia supervises organizing staff and interns, and most recently is working to address issues related to immigration and local law enforcement collaboration and privatization of prison and immigration detention.
Chia-Chia enjoys her current job: “[The organization] has a global perspective; we have international programs around the world. I am constantly learning, and it is a progressive and principled organization. I am able to use my professional knowledge to the fullest and have found my niche in policy and advocacy from the angle of civil society.”
While Chia-Chia chose Maxwell for its reputation, and because it was more affordable compared to other programs, she also found that a Maxwell degree was helpful for her career: “I had a good experience there. The people who work within the public sector, government agencies, and non-profits know about Maxwell. I highly recommend it. I still feel like it is sort of home to me. The faculty and administrative staff make you feel welcome.”
Her favorite experience while at Maxwell was getting an internship in Geneva. Despite the fact that it was difficult to get things done, “Just being there made a difference. My favorite professor was Jeffrey Brudney, he really validated people’s experiences. He was very knowledgeable about public and non-profit sectors. Also Jeremy Shiffman, whose curriculum and perspective in Developmental Administration was brand new at the time. Professor David Richardson, who taught Microeconomics, was a very interesting professor; strict, the course was hard, but it was challenging and I learned a lot. Students tend to challenge themselves and each other.”