By: Ana Blatnik
Eva van Ophem is one of the 2021 Gender and Global Security program assistants at WIIS.
She grew up in White Plains, a suburb of New York City, where she is currently spending her
summer. Despite calling White Plains home since her childhood, she has extensive experience
abroad. Her dad comes from the Netherlands and her mom from Belgium. She speaks Dutch
and has travelled a lot outside the US.
Her desire to experience the world does not end there. Eva has just finished her third year of
undergraduate education at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She chose McGill as her
temporary home because she wanted to live abroad while still being close to where she comes
from. She is majoring in Political Science (Honors) and has two minors, one in Sociology and
one in Gender, Sexuality, Feminist and Social Justice Studies. Her courses focus on gender
and international relations, Canadian political science and political theory.
Much like her academic interests, her work experiences have also given her a breath of
knowledge. In high school, she worked for a medical malpractice law firm as an assistant. This
was a steppingstone in her desire to go to law school, which she is working towards right now
by preparing for LSATs. She has also visited Brazil for six weeks as an English teacher through
AIESEC. Her positive experience motivated her to become the VP for the AIESEC branch at
McGill. At the same time, she has been actively involved in her university’s WIIS club as their
VP external last year and now their co-president. Last summer, she also spent some time with
the now very familiar company Pfizer, where she worked in their regulatory affairs department.
Lastly, she assisted at the 12th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations. A common thread in all these
experiences seems to be their international focus and the desire to connect with people who
could benefit from her help.
Having had all this experience, Eva is also keeping her options for the future open. While hoping
to go to law school after McGill, she is alternatively also interested in pursuing an international
security and conflict studies master’s degree in Europe. Considering her parents’ connection to
the Netherlands, this would ideally be a university located there. Down the line, Eva would love
to work for an NGO that would send her abroad to different countries, integrating her passion for
helping and travelling into her career.
In her free time, it will not come as a surprise that Eva has visited many exciting countries like
Egypt, Iceland, and Peru. Besides travel, she also enjoys going to music festivals and has kept
a neat record of artists she still wants to see. When festivals were possible, she would attend up
to three every year. At McGill, she also spends her free time reflecting through a creative writing
club. But, whenever she does make it home, her cat Sugar is happily waiting for her there.