Archive for IPSS

Friday, September 11th, 2015

IPSS Info Session this Tuesday


This Tuesday, September 15th, there will be an informational session about the International Professional Service Semester (IPSS).  The IPSS program is offered through the Graduate School of International Policy and Management (GSIPM) during the Spring Semester.  IPSS is an immersive learning experience, in which fellows secure internships with international organizations in the US and abroad and earn up to 12 units of academic credit.  This session will cover IPSS requirements, syllabi, and stories from Spring 2015 IPSS fellows.

When: Tuesday, September 15th

Time: 12-1pm

Where: Morse B106

To learn more information about IPSS visit or email

Friday, September 4th, 2015

IPSS Fellow Cervando Banuelos worked to verify and deter state sponsored cyber attacks

Cervando Banuelos

Cervando graduated from the Institute in August 2015 with a masters in Non-proliferation and Terrorism Studies and is now pursuing a masters degree in Computer Science at the Naval Post Graduate School.

IPSS Fellow Cervando Banuelos, worked at the Verification Research Training and Information Center (VERTIC) in London this past spring.  Based on his experience at VERTIC, Cervando believes, “Cyber security is an issue in economics, finance, infrastructure, nuclear power, and his ability to view adorable kittens online.  In other words, cyber security is now a fundamental part of everything.”

The question is, can we stop all  cyber attacks today with a deterrence agreement?  Unfortunately, no we can’t.

Cervando believes that our first step should be to deter state-sponsored cyber attacks, “these are attacks carried out by foreign government agents and members of foreign intelligence communities and they could be for disruption, theft or damage.  And I say that an agreement for the deterrence of state sponsored cyber attacks with international cooperation and an overseeing and enforcing body, and compliance through verification would limit the amount of attacks and the destructiveness of the attacks.”

Read an article that Cervando co-wrote during his IPSS fellowship at Vertic, in Trust and Verify, Issue 148.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

IPSS Fellow Victoria Bell tracked illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing(IUU)

Victoria Bell

Victoria Bell recently completed her IPSS fellowship and graduated from the Institute with a masters degree in International Environmental Policy.

Victoria Bell believes, “Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and proves to be a food security, human security, and economic issue.”

For her IPSS fellowship, Victoria worked as an Ocean Policy Fellow at the Marine Conservation Institute in Washington, D.C. in an effort to accurately assess the issue of IUU fishing that generates over 20 billion dollars annually.

Victoria’s fellowship was unique because it coincided with the start of the 114th Congress.  Her task was to push a bill first proposed by Madeline Bordallo of Guam to regulate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU).

Victoria participated in a team effort to rally democrats and republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate to sponsor a bill that will lessen the economic incentive for IUU fishing.  In order to make her pitch, Victoria became very familiar with IUU fishing stories including those of egregious human trafficking offenses of the Bandit 6 that Sea Shepard had been tracking in the southern ocean.

Victoria shared, “this current Congress is as close to passing (IUU) legislation as we have ever come and it’s very exciting.”  Victoria and her team were responsible for 15 members of Congress that have co-sponsored IUU legislation. Read more about her fellowship on her IPSS student profile page>>>

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

IPSS Fellow Theresa Gauvreau worked to improve legal apparatuses in Pakistan

Theresa Gauvreau Picture

IPSS Fellow Theresa Gauvreau recently completed her last IPSS deliverable and graduated from the Middlebury Institute with a Masters degree in International Policy Studies with a concentration in Human Security and Development.

Theresa Gauvreau, 2015 Dunspaugh Dalton recipient spent her last semester at the Middlebury Institute as an International Professional Service Semester Fellow and worked for the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in the office of Pakistan.

Gauvreau was tasked with strengthening  legal education programs in Pakistan to improve the capacity of legal apparatuses, improve student’s opportunities and their access to practical training. She was also involved in an initiative to improve conditions for female police officers.

Through her IPSS experience at the Bureau,  Theresa has gained new skill sets and the insider knowledge desired for a top level State Department employee.  She is currently pursuing a career as a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service.

Interested in learning more about former IPSS participants?  Check out our student profiles page>>>

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Congratulations to 2015 IPSS Graduating Fellows



Congratulations 2015 IPSS fellows! 

This Spring, 30 International Professional Service Semester fellows set off to work in Austria, Italy, Myanmar, Namibia, Peru, Romania, Samoa, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Washington D.C., and Monterey County.  These students worked for some of the most well known organizations in the international policy world, including The United Nations Development Program, UN Women, The Food and Agriculture Organization, The World Trade Organization, World Wildlife Fund, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, The Marine Conservation Institute, The International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Organization for Migration.

IPSS fellows have written that their internships were tremendously valuable, both academically and professionally.  Students were able to expand on their academic studies through trainings, conferences, and field-research.

Several of these semester long internships have resulted in job offers for IPSS 2015 fellows!  We wish all fellows the best in their new careers!


Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

MIIS IPSS Fellow Liz Martinis researches financial inclusion in Peru

For her IPSS fellowship, Liz Martinis worked with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development and conducted field research with IPSS fellow, Gaelen Hayes.


Imagine hiking up a mountain, finally arriving to a house, flipping a coin that ultimately lands heads instead of tails, and continuing up the mountain to the next house. Such research has been conducted using dice and flipping a coin in order to maintain randomization. For the last 6 months, IPSS fellow and Dunspaugh Dalton recipient Liz Martinis has been hiking around the Sacred Valley of Peru conducting research centered on financial access and inclusion.  Fortunately, Liz has had the support of IPSS fellow Gaelen Hayes and the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development, a non-profit started by MIIS Alumni, Aaron Ebner and Adam Stieglitz, to conduct this immersive research project.

Liz’s interest in the region began with an initial research project with Team Peru in January 2014.  Since then, she’s been determined to learn more about financial culture within historically marginalized communities.  She believes that, “a key asset for insuring health of communities is access to financial resources.  These resources allow families to invest in livelihoods, education, and health, as well as fortifying them against unexpected shocks and times of hardship.”  Through her research with Hayes, Liz has experienced surprises and challenges in the field, and her study has evolved based on responses from surveys, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews.  Ultimately, her hope is to “help families gain resources which can be used in a manner they deem most beneficial.”  Read more about her findings here.


Thursday, June 18th, 2015

MIIS Center for the Blue Economy fellow gets surprise visit from MIIS staff at Nairobi UNEP Headquarters

IMG_1707On the day of my departure from Nairobi, I ventured to the Gigiri neighborhood of Nairobi to visit the 140 acre United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON). The complex houses over 20 UN offices including the headquarters for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). Both UNEP and UN-Habitat headquarters were established in Nairobi in the late 1970s.

After you pass through UNON security you are greeted by a beautiful winding walking path lined with international flags ending at life-size bronze elephants and 10 meter high “KaribuUN” letters. The compound offers the chance of observing local wildlife such as red duikers, squirrels, marsh mongoose, vervet monkeys and olive baboons.

As I toured the conference center, I made my way to the new UNEP offices to visit our unsuspecting Center for the Blue Economy Fellow, Emma Tonge, currently serving as an intern on the Marine Litter Project. Emma follows in the footsteps of 2015 CBE fellow, Kelsey Richardson (IEP ’05) whose summer 2014 UNEP Marine Litter Project research is now being used in two published UNEP reports including: “Valuing Plastics: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry” and a second report on the use of microplastics in personal care and cosmetics products. Kelsey is now serving as a MIIS International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) fellow at the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa.

Click here to read more

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

MIIS IPSS alumnus tracks illicit weapons trading around the world

Information provides governments and policymakers with arms data previously never available.

It was my first year working at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey when I met MIIS IPS ’06 alumnus Jonah Leff. He was studying the effects of conventional and small arms violence under the tutelage of MIIS professor Edward Laurance, a pioneer in the field of small arms and light weapons trade treaties and research. Jonah was also a fellow serving an internship at the United Nations Office for Disarmament Research (UNODA) through the MIIS International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program. The IPSS program is designed to help students jump-start their careers through junior-level internships in their field during their final semester of graduate schoo.

Jonah currently serves as Director of Operations at Conflict Armament Research and is based out of Nairobi, Kenya (where we recently met). It’s been wonderful reconnecting with Jonah over the years and to see the MIIS and Middlebury College students he has supported in entering the important field of preventing armed violence.

Click here to read more

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

IPSS Fellow Blog Featured on LinkedIn

Aileen Yang

Check out current IPSS fellow and International Policy Studies student at MIIS, Aileen Yang’s blog article featured on LinkedIn.  Aileen is spending her last semester at MIIS as an intern at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a distinguished IPSS fellow.  She is blogging about her experience in Geneva, relevance of MIIS classroom simulations, and life at the WTO.

You can check out the story here,

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Follow a Current IPSS Fellow’s Blog



Tom Gray, is in the Nonproliferation & Terrorism Studies (NPTS) graduate program here at MIIS.  His final semester at MIIS he is working at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria as an IPSS fellow.  Follow his journey through his blog, Every Wich Way.

Tom’s Blog offers an insightful perspective of what it is like working for a large international organization in the nonproliferation domain.

Enjoy the Blog!


Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Analyst Program with the World Bank Group


Check out this great opportunity with the World Bank Group!







Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Upcoming Info Sessions for IPSS, DPMI, and Tunisia

IPSS 2016

Info Session: Thursday, February 12, 2015, 12-1pm @MG100

Application Deadline: September 1st, 2015



Info Session: Thursday, Feb 26, 2015, 12-1pm @CF452

Application Deadline:

Summer 2015: Early Review – March 1st, 2015; General Application Deadline – April 1st, 2015

Winter 2016: Early Review – September 1st, 2015; General Application Deadline – October 31st, 2015


Tunisia’s Transition to Democracy – June 2015, and more info here.

Info Session: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 12-1pm @ MG100

Application Deadline: May 1st, 2015


Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

IPSS 2015 Placements Announced


The International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) is excited to announce the placement of 30 Middlebury Institute of International Studies students to the distinguished semester-long assignment with premier international organizations around the globe.  Since the IPSS program’s inception in 2002, more than 200 students have served in over 150 organizations. 2015 is another promising year for many students and we wish them the best of luck in their semester long assignments. Below is a list of current fellows, the organizations they will serve, position location, and major.


Good luck Fellows!


Fellow Organization Location Major
Arnold Africot Santa Lucia Preserve Monterey County IEP
Mary Elizabeth Miller FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) Rome, Italy IEP
Jordan Sanchez Wild Coast San Diego, California IEP
Victoria Bell Marine Conservation Institute Washington D.C. IEP
Kelsey Richardson Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Apia, Samoa IEP
Burton Julius Gaiseb WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Windhoek, Namibia IEP
Frank Lin The World Bank Washington D.C. MPA
Julio Noguera Pact-Yangon Myanmar IPS
Sean Peck Consortium for Terrorism & Responses to Terrorism (START) University of Maryland NPTS
Thomas Gray IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Vienna, Austria NPTS
Ani Saakyan-Peck FINCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) Washington D.C. NPTS
Angel Quintanilla Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Livermore, CA NPTS
Lily Vaccaro VCNDP (Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation) Vienna, Austria NPTS
Cervando Banuelos CTBTO (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) Vienna, Austria NPTS
Adam Proveaux U.S. State Department and the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation Washington D.C. NPTS
Cassandra Peterson UNODA (United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs) New York City NPTS
Shant Krikorian U.S. State Department of Proliferation and Financing Washington D.C. NPTS
Charles Odorfer UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Istanbul, Turkey IPS
Joshua Fleming UNECLAC (United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) Washington D.C. IPS
Oscar Grijalva FINCEN Policy Division Washington D.C. IPS
Theresa Gauvreau U.S. State Department Washington D.C. IPS
Audrey Metcalf International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional office Bangkok, Thailand IPS
Kendra Haugh FINCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) Washington D.C. IPS
Kathryn Krueger UN Women Istanbul Turkey IPS
Gaelen Hayes Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development Calca, Peru IPS
Terri Pugh Ihangane Project Rwanda IPS
Benjamin Volscko NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Romania NPTS
John Gebbia Mercy Corp. Washington D.C. IPS
Aileen Yang Tesla Freemont, CA IPS

Monday, November 17th, 2014

IPSS 2015 January Pre-Departure Workshops Announced

The International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program at MIIS recently announced its January 2-16, 2015 workshop schedule. A summary of workshop offerings is as follows:

High-Value Organizational Consulting (IPSS 8530 A, 1-2 credits, Pass/Fail) Jan 2-3, 10:00am-5:50pm

This workshop will be taught by organizational expert and successful government, nonprofit, and private-sector consultant, Dr. Beryl Levinger.  Participants will learn tools for analyzing an organization, its culture, its approach to meeting mission, and ecosystem analysis.  They will also master key skills for effective organizational consulting including client reconnaissance; client relationship management; and the creation of value-added consultant deliverables.  The 15 contact hour workshop in January can be taken for 1 or 2 credits. Students wishing to earn 2 credits for this workshop will turn additional deliverables in the first month of their internship – these deliverables will help them apply the tools they have learned in this workshop to better understand their host organizations. Instructor: Dr. Beryl Levinger.

Designing and Evaluating Interventions (IPSS 8531 A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan. 5-6, 10:00am-5:50pm

This workshop will cover basic tools and steps involved in designing successful interventions (i.e. projects and programs) and effectively evaluating these interventions.  This workshop will prepare students to assist the growing number of organizations across various specializations that are trying to establish more systematic design and evaluation systems. Instructor: Emily Morris; Monitoring, Evaluation & Research Technical Advisor, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC).

Quantitative Data Analysis in a Professional Setting Using Excel (IPSS 8532A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan 9-10, 10:00am-5:50pm

This course is designed to meet the needs of graduate school level students who are looking to improve their understanding and abilities to collect and analyze data using Microsoft Excel. Collection and analysis are covered in the same course because proper planning and collection of good quality information requires understanding of data analysis and vice versa. The course will be broken up into three distinct modules that are each catered to the skill set of the respective audiences: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Instructor: Kevin Morenzi.

Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (IPSS 8533A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan. 15-16, 9:00am-5:00pm

Students will acquire and practice tools essential for systematically analyzing qualitative data as a professional in the government, nonprofit, or private sectors. “Learning by doing” will be the main instruction approach. Examples from typical assignments from professional setting such as needs assessment, policy analysis, and M&E will be used to facilitate learning. Instructor: Erika Takada, Senior Research Associate at Harder+Company Community Research

Networked International Organizations: Using Networks, Measurement, and Social Media for Learning That Leads To Impact (IPSS 8534A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan 15-16, 8:30am-3:30pm

This two-day workshop will help create an integrated communications strategy that makes effective use of social media and mobile tactics and tools to get results for their host organizations.   Those results may be increased brand awareness, fundraising, inspiring and mobilizing stakeholders to take action, or outreach.  The course will also help students develop a professional learning and networking strategy that will help them deepen the impact of their internship and support their career goals. Instructor: Beth Kanter, an author who was recently named “One of the Most Influential Women in Technology” by Fast Company.

These professional skill workshops will be open to students and professional outside of the IPSS program space-permitting. Please email to express interest.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Lets get Sprintensive.



IPS and MPA students

Join us tomorrow evening to learn more about the upcoming change to DPP and the alternative learning semester, Sprintensive!

Wine and Pizza reception will follow! 


Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

USTR Representative to Speak at MIIS



Trade club brings MIIS Alum and Director of Europe and Middle East Affairs of the United States Trade Representative to campus.

Trade club blog

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Come learn about IEM organizations!

IEM Poster Fair Invite copy (1)

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Trade Club hosts special guest Bryan O’Bryne

Bryan Flyer Final copy (1)

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Apple Pie and Pineapple Sorbet: U.S. and Cuban Nationalism

Why is Cuba such a contradiction? Because Cuba is characterized by everything I was told the world should not be!  Socialist not democratic, communist not capitalist, systemic human rights violations, a dictatorship, inefficient, unproductive; should I continue?  I was able to get a sense of this notorious island during a seven day immersive learning excursion with twenty-seven other MIIS students and the renowned Professor Jan Black.

There was a time when I imagined Cuba as a socialist utopia. I had thought Cuba was going to be the national anthropomorphization of Eugene V. Debs famous quote that is “opposing a social order where it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives to secure barely enough for a wretched existence.  But, there is no substitute for actually visiting the country – after seven days in Cuba, I’ve realized that the little island nation, and the United States, are a lot more complex than I was led to believe in the comfort of my Midwest upbringing.

As an American, I grew up on the smell of apple pie; lightly toasted crust, crisscrossed across the top, somehow evoking feelings of liberty, justice…righteous stuff. You see, Cuba, at least for United States citizens, is one gigantic contradiction and trying to digest and make sense of the country through the nationalistic viewpoint from which my mind has been programmed to think, whether I like it or not, is no easy task. Close your eyes and think about apple pie. Now, envision biting into pineapple sorbet.  So, I apologize now if, and that is a big if, you get to the end of this blog and you walk away more confused than you started. That’s fine though. Cuba could be the poster child for the phrase; the more you know the less you think you know.

Our professor and guide Dr. Jan Black told us to experience Cuba using our five senses. I would like to take the liberty of taking you, my reader, along for the ride with the idea of trying to engage your five senses. Unfortunately, I am less likely to engage your sense of smell.  But, here we go:

We met with all different types of people, from Cuban foreign ministers to a diplomat from the U.S. Interest Section. We also met with individual Cubans, both pro-government and oppositionist. We met with U.S. expats working with the Cuban health system and Cuban students studying international relations. What was so trying after listening to all of them was that you could easily pick each one up and place them into two buckets, Cuban Nationals (CN) or U.S. Nationals (USN). Whether we were speaking to Cuban oppositionists or expat sympathizers of the Cuban government their rhetoric fit, nicely, within these two buckets. Their world-views and indeed those of us students had been systematically crafted by the nations from which they grew up and regardless of their support for either side or not they continued to use rhetoric that perpetuated the conflict between the United States and Cuba. What was most contradictory of all was that these two worldviews of the same conflict were like hearing two completely different stories for two completely different historical events told perpetually for generations upon generations without change.

How are these national worldviews constructed within a citizenry? It is often much more subtle than one would assume.  Irrespective of whether we understand nationalism as a positive or negative force, it is generally acknowledged that nationalism places the nation on the highest pedestal and viewed as the supreme agency of meaning, collective identity, and moral justification.  Critically noting that one of the powerful ways in which nationalism becomes historically instated is through its presumption that the nation is sacred, likening it to be equivalent to the church.  Interestingly, if nationalism is being valued as sacred within the population we can see its physical manifestation in the ritualized images of national leaders and national public ceremonies that are underscored by the nations presumed history of greatness. Harry Anastasiou, a professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and world-renowned leader in the settlement process in Cyprus, goes as far to claim nationalism can be a justification for divine election.


Click here to read more

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

TEAM PERU: Is it right for YOU?


The Who, What, When, Where, Why & How!
TeamPeru_201415 copy