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Political Science Student Accepted to Panetta Congressional Internship Program

Imahn Daeenabi
Imahn Daeenabi

Imahn Daeenabi, a third-year political science major from Menlo Park, California, will serve as Cal Poly’s 2020 representative to the Panetta Institute’s Congressional Internship Program.

After a two-week training period at the Panetta Institute at CSU Monterey Bay, Daeenabi will work in the capitol office of a California congressional representative in Washington, D.C., for 11 weeks in the fall.

“At a time when there are so many crucial issues that require a public policy solution, I believe this will be a great opportunity to learn from the experienced leaders working in Congress,” Daeenabi said. “I’m thrilled and grateful for this hands-on experience that will equip me with the skills and knowledge needed to become a public servant.”

Daeenabi’s previous experience includes internships with California State Senator Jerry Hill, San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum, and the SLO Legal Assistance Foundation. In addition to his work experience, Daeenabi anticipates that his Cal Poly coursework, including classes on the U.S. Congress and on American politics, will be a major benefit when working at the Capitol.

“My experience working at the county and state level in district offices was incredibly beneficial,” he said. “Working at the federal level will be a new challenge and will hopefully provide a holistic view of how all of our levels of government operate.”

Daeenabi plans to graduate from Cal Poly in June 2021 and attend law school. He is the 20th student from Cal Poly to participate in the Panetta Institute program since 2001.

Daeenabi will join 25 other students, all nominated by the presidents of each CSU campus, as well as Dominican University of California, Saint Mary’s College of California and Santa Clara University. The program is open to all academic majors and is recognized as one of the leading internship courses in the nation because of the rigorous training it provides.

The Panetta Institute covers program costs, including course registration fees, campus services during orientation, air travel and housing in Washington, D.C. By covering these expenses, the institute can make the program available to interns from all socioeconomic levels. Cal Poly awardees are supported in part through the Ed and Jan Slevin Congressional Internship Endowment.

About the Panetta Institute for Public Policy

Founded in 1997 by Leon and Sylvia Panetta, the Panetta Institute serves the entire California State University system plus several other schools. Under the direction of Secretary and Mrs. Panetta, the institute provides a variety of study opportunities in government, politics and public policy, and sponsors a range of other programs. These include the Leon Panetta Lecture Series, which brings national political leaders and policy thinkers to the Monterey Peninsula to discuss important national and global issues; a Policy Research Fellows Program; and the Leon E. Panetta Archive, a resource for scholars interested in the workings of Congress. The institute is located on the campus of CSU Monterey Bay in Seaside, California. Visit

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