The Pickering Program staff are dedicated to serving the needs of Pickering Fellows and alumni. Meet our staff!


Lily Lopez-McGee – Director


Lily Lopez-McGee currently serves as the Director for the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs program.  Previously, she served as the Deputy Director for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program.  Prior to her work at Howard University, Dr. Lopez-McGee served as manager at Diversity Abroad where she managed the Diversity Abroad Network, a professional network of institutions of higher education, and oversaw the development of the Access, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in International Education (AIDE) Roadmap, the first assessment tool developed to evaluate diversity and inclusion efforts in study abroad offices at U.S. institutions.  Dr. Lopez-McGee also previously worked at UNCF Special Programs Corporation where she managed an internationally focused fellowship for undergraduate students and worked with minority serving institutions on capacity building efforts related to campus internationalization and grant management.  Dr. Lopez-McGee serves as a Co-Chair of the Global Access Pipeline and has helped coordinate the Conference on Diversity in International Affairs sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations.  She is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she earned her bachelor’s in International Relations and master’s in Public Administration. She completed her doctoral work at George Mason University where she studied students’ perceived self-efficacy gains from study abroad.  She is deeply committed to equalizing access to education and increasing opportunities for young people to gain international credentials.  Dr. Lopez-McGee is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Nijhier-Aleem Lattimer –  Program Coordinator


Nijhier-Aleem, also known to his colleagues and peers as Ni (Nh-EYE), is a native of the Jersey Shore and graduate of The Howard University, College of Arts and Sciences. There, he studied Classical Civilization and African American studies with a particular focus in Hieroglyphics, Sahidic Coptic, and Latin, in addition to art history. Nijhier-Aleem recently joined the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship team as Program Coordinator; bringing to the team several years of coordinating experience with executive and corporate programs from the Howard School of Business. Currently, he holds his Sherpa Executive Coaching Certification and is in pursuit of his PMP certification as well as his Master’s in Public Administration focusing on Public Policy and Cultural Sustainability. Nijhier-Aleem is an avid lover and supporter of the Arts. In his spare time, he enjoys reading various non-fiction and fiction literature, discussing various topics or “thesis,” as he calls them, with friends, and painting.

Sydney Sparrow –  Program Assistant


Sydney Sparrow currently serves as the Program Assistant for the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs program.  She is a graduate of James Madison University, where she earned her bachelor’s in International Affairs with a minor in Asian Studies. Sydney has lived and studied abroad in Japan as an international exchange student and as an Assistant Language Teacher in Toyota City, Japan. She is deeply committed to promoting cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, civil discourse, and respect for cultural diversity within the university and beyond.