Alumnus Ross Parker

At Israeli consulate, alum helps cultivate relationships

Northeastern alumnus Ross Parker is the director of press and political affairs for the Consulate General of Israel to New England.
December 17th, 2013

North­eastern alumnus Ross Parker, SSH’13, and his friends jok­ingly agree: if Birthright Israel develops a major adver­tising cam­paign, then he would make for the quin­tes­sen­tial spokesperson.

Birthright is a 10-​​day edu­ca­tional trip to Israel aimed at strength­ening young Jewish people’s interest in the country’s cul­ture. After going on Birthright two years ago through North­eastern, Parker is now working for the Israeli gov­ern­ment as the director of press and polit­ical affairs at the Con­sulate Gen­eral of Israel to New England.

“I’m kind of the poster child for Birthright,” Parker said with a laugh.

When he came to North­eastern, Parker intended to work in crim­inal jus­tice after grad­u­a­tion. But it was a co-​​op at the Mass­a­chu­setts State­house, where he interned for a state sen­ator, that inspired him to pursue a career in pol­i­tics rather than law. Parker said it was inter­esting to see con­stituent issues trans­form into leg­isla­tive action.

In his final semester this spring, he interned with the Israeli con­sulate, an expe­ri­ence that later turned into a full-​​time position.

“I was kind of all in at that point after I worked in pol­i­tics for the first time,” Parker said.

At the con­sulate, his respon­si­bil­i­ties range from main­taining rela­tion­ships between his office and politi­cians throughout New Eng­land to mon­i­toring local media cov­erage about Israel and the Middle East. He even returned to campus last month to attend an event marking the pub­li­ca­tion of Prof. Bill Miles’ newest book, Afro-​​Jewish Encoun­ters: From Tim­buktu to the Indian Ocean and Beyond.

“There are def­i­nitely a varying degree of views [among the Jewish-​​American com­mu­nity],” said Parker, a former member of Huskies for Israel, Northeastern’s pro-​​Israel stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion. “You have to appre­ciate everyone’s opinion for what it is. That just comes with job of working for an Israeli gov­ern­ment office.”

Parker noted that his co-​​op expe­ri­ences have pre­pared him for his role at the con­sulate. “It was a seam­less tran­si­tion between school and work,” he explained. “Get­ting that expe­ri­ence doing intern­ships or co-​​ops equipped me with the skills to take on this kind of respon­si­bility a month after graduating.”

In the future, he hopes to return to Israel in a pro­fes­sional capacity, but he could not be hap­pier in his cur­rent role. “As a first job out of col­lege,” he said, “I couldn’t really have asked for more than this.”

- By Joe O’Connell


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>