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Cara Eckholm '14

Cara Eckholm '14

Cara Eckholm ’14 was raised in New York City, with the exception of the elementary school years she spent with her family in Beijing and the high school semester in Rome. The years were formative in ways that shaped her time as a concentrator in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs .

Eckholm, who wrote her senior thesis on the effect of monuments on reconstructing national identity in post-communist Eastern Europe, has received a grant from National Geographic’s Young Explorers program to study the post-war rebuilding of Sarajevo.

She will lead a trip to the region to create content for National Geographic's media outlets and work closely with a photographer to help illustrate the stories.
Following her project with National Geographic, Eckholm will be working in Copenhagen for ReD Associates, an innovation consulting firm, conducting ethnographic research for companies ranging from Adidas to Samsung.

Named to Glamour Magazine’s 2013 list of the “Top Ten College Women of the Year,” Eckholm’s research interests as an undergraduate were diverse, ranging from constitutional law to cultural policy.

In her junior year, she went to China for a team taskforce project on relations between the European Union and China. The findings were presented as policy recommendations to the European Union Commission to the United States in Washington, D.C. For her work, Eckholm received the Wilson School’s R.W. Van De Velde award, which is given to one junior per policy taskforce. In her senior year, she led a taskforce on the possible role of the U.S. in building a rule of law in China, and the results were presented to the National Security Council.

As a rising senior, Eckholm received a grant from the Wilson School to travel to Hungary, Estonia and Poland for her  independent research. As a rising junior, she spent a summer in Paris as a fact checker for the opinion page of the International Herald Tribune. Later that year, a class called “ Anxious Megalopolis: Shanghai's Urban Cultures ," took her to Shanghai for onsite studies of Shanghai architecture.

“The Shanghai course was out of this world and the type of experience you could only find at Princeton,” she says.

At Princeton, she debated in the Philippines and in Oxford, England, for world championship events. She spent a year as president of the  American Whig-Cliosophic Society , an organization with a rich history dating back to James Madison’s day as an undergraduate debater. Her duties included budgeting and organizing events for the society and its subsidiaries, including the  Princeton Debate PanelMock TrialPrinceton Model Congress  and the  International Relations Council . She also arranged speaking engagements for several luminaries, including author Walter Isaacson and then-New York Times education reporter Jacques Steinberg. During her tenure, Whig Clio grew to more than 500 members, making it the largest student organization on campus.

Eckholm recommends Princeton to anyone interested in her passions – politics, international relations, debate and service. For her, all roads led to Princeton.