A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

GIS intern navigates world of opportunity


GIS intern navigates world of opportunity

Intern Spotlight: Kadeem Khan

August 26, 2013Emily Smith

Kadeem Khan plans on going places.

The Caribbean native and avid traveler has enjoyed putting his international and geographic information systems (GIS) expertise to the test this summer as a START intern.

"I look forward to my work each day and that's not normal for me," he said. "This internship is everything to me."

Khan attends the University of Maryland as a government and politics major with a GIS minor. He hails from Trinidad and Tobago, where he says opportunities for international development and GIS education are sparse.

"A lot of great minds come from Trinidad," Khan said, "but I felt the need to come here to continue my education."

Khan enjoys his coursework and leaves little free time for himself; he is involved with several organizations on campus, including Habitat for Humanity and Amnesty International, and is vice president of the university's geography club, where he learned about internship opportunities at the Consortium from START Researcher Ruth Bluestone.

Khan's position as a GIS Special Projects intern involves creating maps, supplementing geocodes to spreadsheets and conducting research about specific areas' susceptibility to terrorist attacks.

"Ruth, my supervisor, and my GIS colleagues have really permitted me to grow in terms of my GIS skills and applications. I leave no stone unturned when it comes to my work," Khan said.

Khan also interns with the West African Medical Missions (WAMM), an organization focused on alleviating health problems and poverty in areas such as Sierra Leone. He is able to incorporate the GIS knowledge he has acquired at START into his work with WAMM, he said.

Khan plans on attending graduate school to further pursue GIS, and ideally would like to work for an organization that examines conflict in South Africa, such as the World Health Organization, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank or the United Nations. Khan hasn't ruled out founding his own organization, either.

Khan maintains a "bucket list" of places he would like to visit; among them are Rio de Janeiro, Giza, Prague and Tokyo.

Wherever he goes, Khan said he plans "to map out a bright future."