2015-2016 Luce Scholar

Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA

Aubrey Menard will be placed with the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where she will work with the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination. Originally founded in 1960, the MNCCI has established itself as the leading non-governmental institution devoted to the development of trade and investment in Mongolia. It has 19 subsidiary branches throughout Mongolia countryside and actively cooperates with more than 40 international chambers of commerce and trade promotion organizations. MNCCI also houses the Mongolian National Arbitration Center. Aubrey is interested in extractive industry governance, and the MNCCI counts among its 4,000 members all the companies engaged in the mining and extractive sectors.

Aubrey Menard recently finished her M.Phil. degree at the University of Oxford with a concentration in Politics. Her thesis focused on extractive sector governance in Eurasia. She first became interested in the politics surrounding oil, gas, and mining while on a trip to Azerbaijan with a delegation of young professionals in national security. As the group toured oil fields and schools, hospitals, and various other community resources sponsored by British Petroleum, she began to wonder what impact such a high level of foreign direct investment had in a developing country. In graduate school, Aubrey explored these questions with a focus on the politics of former Soviet states and their political and economic transitions. In pursuit of her research, she spent the summer of 2013 as a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholar in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia. Aubrey also spent several years working in U.S. domestic politics. She was the Associate Director of Development at the Truman National Security Project, a D.C.-based non-profit that brings young progressive leaders in politics, policy and the military together to articulate a strong national security policy. She led a team of three employees to raise the organization’s annual operating budget of $4 million. Prior to her work at the Truman Project, Aubrey worked on several political campaigns in New York, Virginia, and Michigan, and learned how to organize communities, work with volunteers, empower unlikely activists, coordinate with allied organizations, and gain buy-in from community leaders. Aubrey spent many years working as a volunteer and employee of the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, helping rehabilitate survivors of landmine accidents in Central America by providing them with prosthetics, wheelchairs, sustainable employment opportunities, and reintegration services. She was awarded the Ruth D. Tuttle Prize for International Relations and Peace Studies for these efforts. Aubrey was awarded the Kennedy Prize for Promotion of Democratic Values and the University of Indiana’s Everett Helm Visiting Research Fellowship. She presented her research at the 2014 Tamkang World Forum in Taiwan. She is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society, was a Replenishing Democracy Institute Fellow with the Ford Foundation, and is a 2008 graduate of Smith College. She lives in Washington, DC where she is a political consultant, yoga teacher, and music blogger.