Alumni Enclaves Everywhere!
Last issue’s article about a group of alumni from the same era working at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey seems to have started a trend, spurring a flurry of e-mails from groups of MIIS alumni working closely together around the world!
Christine Carlson-Ajlani (MPA ’13) wrote to tell us about what she calls “the MIIS enclave” at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT) in the International Labor Affairs Bureau. After serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco as part of her MIIS Peace Corps Master’s International degree, Christine landed her “dream job” last year.
Christine attributes her success directly to the skills she learned in the Peace Corps and the instruction of Professors Edgard Coly and Beryl Levinger. She recently helped secure a $5 million grant to combat child labor in Morocco and will be travelling back there to help create their monitoring and evaluation plan. When she arrived at her new job, she discovered that two out of 45 new colleagues also graduated from MIIS: Rachel Rigby (MBA ’03) and Lorena Davalos (MAIPS ’05).
A competitive fellowship program specifically designed to hire MBA graduates brought Rachel to the Department of Labor in her last year at MIIS; Lorena brought experience from working on youth employment issues in Brazil to the job. All three are tireless advocates of reducing child labor and forced labor around the world. As Christine says, “It’s pretty great working across the street from the Capitol Building in the heart of international policy making in D.C., especially with two other talented colleagues from MIIS!”
Four classmates working in three different embassies in neighboring countries recently got together in Bangkok, Thailand. The hosts, Jennifer Green Matlock (MAIPS ’02) and her husband Dean Matlack (MPA ’01), both work at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. Yekta Noyan (MAIPS ’02) works for the Turkish Embassy in the same city. Their friend Darby Parliament (MAIPS ’03), who works at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, also flew over from Malaysia with his wife Adanys.
Another MIIS get-together was held in Berlin recently, when Lara (Tozawa) Sullivan (MAIPS ’02) and John Kastning (MATI ’05), who both work at the U.S. Embassy, met up with fellow MIIS alumna Nicola Kim (MAIPS ’05), who works in the Canadian Embassy.