Tesa is a young professional who is well-versed in human rights, international relations, and SDG-related issues. As a co-founder and researcher for SDG18 Voices, Tesa aims to embolden today’s youth and provide a platform for speaking on SDG-related topics and experiences. Youth Equity is an essential component of achieving the UN SDGs and creating a better world in the present and for the future.
Tesa Hargis received a Bachelor of Arts International Studies from University of North Texas in 2017 with subject focuses on security and diplomacy and a minor in French and she received a Master of Arts Human Rights degree from University College London in 2019 with subject focuses on conflict resolution and accountability. She was inspired to focus on the study of human rights after taking a course on International Criminal Tribunals during her junior year of college and subsequently having her research published in the Texas Undergraduate Law Review. During her undergraduate degree, Tesa also interned with numerous organizations including the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security.
She received a Rotary Global Grant to pursue a master’s degree in a foreign country. Between her undergraduate and graduate programs, Tesa interned at the U.S. Embassy London where she assisted the Economics Foreign Service Officers and assisted on numerous government-wide briefs including independently writing a report on Chinese telecom integration in the UK infrastructure. For her postgraduate dissertation, Tesa researched and wrote on the subject of transitional justice and post-war reconciliation.
After completing her degree, Tesa moved back to Dallas, Texas where she was an advocacy intern with IRC Dallas and a part of an Ambassadorial Program with the Institute of Economics and Peace. While interning with IRC, Tesa spearheaded a program titled ‘Refugee Voices’ where she developed a curriculum to assist current and former refugees in the Dallas Metroplex with public speaking and storytelling in order to equip them with the skills and confidence to tell their own stories and represent themselves. Simultaneously, Tesa participated in the IEP Ambassadorial Program where she studied the IEP Global Peace Index and Positive Peace Framework and presented her findings to local organizations. Tesa participated in the UNITE 2030 Youth Delegate Program this year where she focused on youth participation in achieving the SDGs and worked on the partnership team and learned about creating and maintaining strategic partnerships.