Miguel de Corral has worked, studied, and conducted field research in 16 countries around the globe, with a particular focus on social and political trends in the Middle East.
In short, the senior international affairs major is the quintessential global citizen.
“If you really want to understand a region, then you have to go there,” said de Corral, who was selected by members of Northeastern’s senior leadership team to deliver the student address at the university’s 111th commencement at the TD Garden. “When I study the Middle East, I see a region with an incredibly rich history and a great opportunity for development.”
His resumé reads like the curriculum vitae of a veteran foreign policy adviser. He has completed co-ops as a research assistant at the Geneva Forum, in Switzerland, and the NATO Defense College in Rome; Dialogue of Civilizations programs to Egypt, Geneva, and the Balkans; and field research programs in Israel, Palestine, and Arabian Gulf, for which he received an undergraduate research award from the Office of the Provost. He has penned two peer-reviewed articles on the Middle East and more than a dozen editorials on topics ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to the role of Arab states in defusing the civil war in Libya.
Small wonder de Corral was named a Presidential Global Fellow in recognition of his stellar background in global co-op, study, and research. “I have always tried to be a good representative of the Northeastern community,” he said, “and my experiences and achievements are certainly a testament to the university’s mission to educate students from a global point of view.”
De Corral, who was born in Madrid but grew up in Grafton, Mass., is eager to impart his worldly wisdom to some 3,200 graduating students at commencement. The bulk of his speech will focus on the vast accomplishments of the Class of 2013 and the opportunity to achieve even greater success from both a personal and professional perspective.
“We can push our limitations and do more than we could ever imagine,” de Corral plans on telling his peers. “If we are not complacent and always moving forward, then we can produce the change we want to see throughout the world.”
After graduation, de Corral plans on taking a well-deserved vacation and then presenting his research on political reform in the Arabian Gulf at the 2013 Gulf Research Meeting at the University of Cambridge in July.
His short-term educational goal is to earn a master’s degree in international relations with an eye toward becoming a foreign policy adviser. “I love fast-paced and high-pressure environments like NATO or the United Nations,” he said. “Working there would be a dream come true.”