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July 08, 2011
GW Today catches up with Jim Core, the new president of the Alumni Association.
When Jim Core, M.A. ’96, learned in June 2010 that he had been named president-elect of the GW Alumni Association, he decided to celebrate in grand Colonial fashion. Mr. Core, a senior management analyst at the U.S. State Department, and his wife, Wendy, M.A. ’94, shared a bottle of champagne from the GW alumni-owned Foggy Bottom Grocery.
“We believe it is important to support small businesses,” he said, “especially those run by GW alumni!”
Mr. Core, who earned a master’s in international affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs, said the decision was a no-brainer when Elliott School staff asked him in 2007 to serve as one of the school’s representatives to the board of the Alumni Association.
“It was easy to say yes, because I’m grateful that the Elliott School Career Center connected me with alumni in D.C. when I began a job search in 2001 after living in Seattle for four years,” he said. “I benefited from the kindness of strangers who were willing to help out a fellow alumnus at a time when the economy was reeling.”
The connections GW helped him form gave him faith and confidence during his job search. “That experience underscores the importance of a vibrant alumni community,” he said.
Mr. Core decided to attend the Elliott School for its reputation as a “prominent place to study and hone the skills necessary to succeed as a foreign affairs professional.”
He took advantage of the school’s central location – virtually across the street from his current employer – and interned for Senator Ted Kennedy and worked for the Resolution Trust Corporation, while taking classes at night. “GW enabled a powerful combination of academic and professional development that contributes to my success today,” he said.
Asked to what extent he draws on his training at the Elliott School in his current work, Mr. Core said his GW education helps him on a daily basis. The interdisciplinary nature of his degree particularly helps at his job, where his responsibilities include “analyzing management issues and resource planning for a department with a worldwide footprint.”
“My courses at GW in political science, international business and economics provide a strong foundation for tackling challenges at the office,” he said. “GW benefits accrue to this day.”
Mr. Core attends several foreign policy lectures each year at GW, he said, and the lectures help him develop professionally and stay apprised of emerging trends in his field.
“Beyond the classroom experience, there is a great network of GW alumni in Washington,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to see classmates in meetings or in the halls.”
Serving as president of the Alumni Association, which represents more than 225,000 GW alumni in 150 countries worldwide, is both thrilling and humbling, Mr. Core said, and he initially found it a bit daunting. Now he is mostly excited and energized.
Over the course of his two-year term, the Alumni Association will focus on three main objectives: engaging alumni of graduate programs more effectively, strengthening GW’s volunteer network and connecting better with alumni-to-be, Mr. Core said.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to make a positive impact for our fellow alumni, current students and the university,” he said.
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