The Australian National University’s latest World Bank Group fellow, Kieran Pender, has returned to Canberra after spending two months working with the Special Litigation Unit of the Group’s Integrity Vice Presidency in Washington DC.
Kieran, who is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts (Honours)/Bachelor of Laws, was the 2015/16 recipient of the prestigious scholarship.
“Working at the Bank was a fantastic experience, and I am incredibly grateful to the ANU College of Law for supporting the program,” said Kieran.
Working closely with Senior Litigation Specialist and ANU alumnus Matthew Harvey, Kieran reviewed investigative reports, drafted pleadings and undertook research tasks as part of the Bank’s efforts to combat fraud and corruption.
“Assisting on cases in countries all around the world was eye-opening, and I saw firsthand the terrible negative impact of corruption on development,” he said. “There was certainly no hand-holding: I was immediately given challenging substantive work, such as drafting a Statement of Accusations and Evidence for a collusion case, and it was very satisfying to see the end product.”
Kieran also spoke highly of the many opportunities presented by living and working in the United States capital.
“My team really encouraged me to enjoy the whole DC experience, and not just spent two months behind a desk,” he continued. “I attended seminars, met with a range of interesting people and even witnessed a Supreme Court hearing.”
During the Fellowship, Kieran and Matthew presented a guest lecture via video conference to an ANU School of Sociology course on corruption. To Kieran, this opportunity was another reminder of the benefits of cross-disciplinary studies at the ANU.
“My time with the Integrity Vice Presidency provided a great platform to combine my passion for international law developed at the ANU College of Law, and regional interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus stemming from courses undertaken at the university’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies,” he said. “It demonstrated how seemingly divergent academic interests can collide in the professional world.”
Kieran has excelled academically at the ANU, winning two subject prizes and serving as a student editor of the Federal Law Review. He interned with Senator Scott Ludlam as part of the Australian National Internships Program in 2014, and captained Team Australia in Tokyo last November at the Intercollegiate Negotiation (and Arbitration) Competition. Alongside part-time work at a Canberra law firm, Kieran is a freelance sports writer for The Guardian.
Further information on the World Bank Group’s Integrity Vice Presidency Fellowship can be found here. Applications for the 2016/17 Fellowship will open in May.