Old Citizen (2009 – 2014) Sam Jaffe moves to New York to start a career in politics


23 July 2018
Old Citizen, Sam Jaffe’s first-class degree in International Relations and involvement in the UN award-winning ParliaMentors leadership programme, should prove beneficial as he embarks on a career in American politics later this year.

Focusing on American government and inequality during his three years at the University of Nottingham, Sam’s passion for ‘understanding the connection between the political forces of governments, NGOs, and people’ developed through his human rights orientated coursework and internships with Citizens Union, The Advance Group, and the Connecticut General Assembly.  

Reflecting on how his interest in politics developed at City of London School, he says: ‘Studying British politics for my AS levels and American politics for my ‘A’ levels really got me interested in studying politics at University. As an American citizen born in the U.S, but educated here, it was fascinating to learn the political system of my country of origin, and I loved the enthusiasm that two British history teachers brought to teaching American politics.’ 

Sam’s participation in the ParliaMentors programme began because ‘I'd sought to get in touch more with my Jewish faith that I had started to rediscover at university. The ParliaMentors programme appeal was that it was an interfaith program, based on students from different faiths and beliefs, but at the same university, working together to make a difference at the university or in the local community.’

Run by an interfaith organisation, recently renamed the Faith and Belief Forum, ‘the programme is designed for groups of different faith students to create a social action project within the nine-month duration of the programme, under the mentorship of a local MP and the guidance of the organisation,’ says Sam.

The project Sam (pictured below with his team) was involved in was to raise the aspirations of 16 to 18-year-old BAME (British black, Asian and minority ethnic) students: ‘The project was based around a platforming event, which meant inviting the target audience of BAME students and BAME community leaders. We thought this was an important and impactful step given that, despite having two great universities, many young BAME students in Nottingham have low educational and career aspirations, often not considering university as an option. This is partially due to a lack of role-models and a lack of information about these opportunities. So, we thought we'd offer both at this event by inviting aspiring BAME members of the community to speak and offering skills and networking workshops. The event was a success despite many logistical difficulties working with the university, and I look forward to working more with young people from minority communities as a campaigner for Democratic candidates.’

The MP mentoring the scheme was Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South. Sam says: ‘Lillian was supportive of our project offering us guidance and a wealth of contacts. I haven't yet had time to shadow her as the Brexit bill affected many of our proposed meeting times but I plan to do so even now that the programme is over.’

Sam moves to New York in July this year and is currently going through the interview process for a position working on the electoral campaign of a US Democratic Candidate. He hopes to continue working in politics, preferably in diplomacy or in a foreign policy position.