I have largely enjoyed my time working at the East-West Center. It has been a great first job experience and has proven to me that my interests do indeed lie within the education and public diplomacy field. I have great and passionate colleagues and have been able to improve my communication skills. Furthermore, I am glad that here we are free to pursue our own interests and projects when we have time and that self-starter-ship is encouraged.
However, over the past year it has come to my attention that there are many things that could be improved upon in the workplace culture, particularly at our home office in Honolulu (I am based at the same DC office). Our office, despite increasingly becoming the face of the organization given its location on the US mainland, is often passed over for budgetary considerations. As a result, our salaries remain extremely low relative to our experience (we are started at G7 on the government scale despite all being Master's graduates who typically start with at least a G9). This also inhibits our ability to move up the hierarchy, including changing titles (we are all generically called Project Assistants which has nothing to do with what we do as a staff of 6). Additionally, the low budget that we do receive makes it difficult for us to fully implement our mission of getting our materials and personnel out into the US and Asia to further understanding and educational opportunities given the high cost of travel etc. All of this has been quite frustrating.
So, at least for the near future, the East-West Center is a great place to start out and build up your knowledge, contacts, passions, etc. But it is sadly not some place that could be a long-term job.