Program Assistant, Asia, Human Rights
Symone is the Program Assistant, Asia for the Human Rights team at Vital Voices. She provides regional knowledge about Asia to the Voices Against Violence Urgent Assistance Fund. She also assists with programmatic logistics and implementation of the Global Freedom Exchange, a two-week, three-city program that brings together women leaders who are at the forefront of anti-human trafficking efforts in their communities worldwide. Before assuming her current role, Symone was an intern for five months on the Human Rights team, helping to research and gather supporting materials for various programmatic planning. Symone is a DC native and was shocked when she first learned about the high prevalence of human trafficking in her hometown, catalyzing her interest in anti-trafficking initiatives.
Prior to joining Vital Voices, Symone lived, worked, and studied in South Korea for 2.5 years. During her first year, as a Fulbright Research Fellow, she investigated the human rights of people with disabilities, specifically methods to increase social inclusion of the marginalized group. Following the conclusion of her research grant, Symone worked as a digital media consultant and English-Korean translator at top media companies. Living aboard gave her the opportunity to experience firsthand the diversity among Asian countries, from Kazakhstan to Thailand, Singapore to Japan. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in East Asian Studies and International Relations from Smith College.
What makes a great leader?
A great leader is someone who turns criticism into a growing opportunity, is compassionate to those she works with, and doesn’t take ‘no’ as answer.