Archive for MPA

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Spotlight on Philip J. Murphy

phil-murphy-profileAssistant Professor, Development Practice and Policy

Here at MIIS, students can participate in a wide range of international and domestic immersive learning opportunities. Whether students travel during January-term, spring break, summer or do an independent practicum, students have a number of options at their fingertips. The faculty who lead these trips recognize the value of these immersive professional experiences. We at GSIPM wanted to sit down with another faculty leader and let them share their story.

Why did you decide to enter your field?…Tell me about your journey.

I got a BS and MA in History. I decided there was no future in that after I finished a thesis on the Holocaust. I felt powerless. So I decided to pursue something more proactive: policy. When I started that degree, I found that I was lacking in quantitative skills. So I spent a great deal of time acquiring them. When this position opened up, I thought it was a great fit. I was interested in having an international focus. And, my mentor was the same person whose book was used for the course I would be teaching–William Dunn.

How would you explain your practicum course a/o fieldwork?

The topics and locations are subject to change from year to year. In our first iteration, we had two students: Aaron Ebner and Adam Stieglitz, the founding members of Team Peru. They were established in Peru; had their own NGO, the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development; and they were very successful at grassroots organization.

Robert McCleery came up with the idea of conducting research involving Team Peru. Then, I suggested involving students. We were soon joined by three other colleagues: Fernando DePaolis; Kent Glenzer; and Jeff Dayton-Johnson. The plan soon evolved from sending students down during J-term to a three course progression. First, students would be prepared to conduct research. Next, they would actually work in the field to gather the information we need. Last, we would work with the students to evaluate and analyze the information and create a deliverable for a client. That started the “wraparound” progression that we have today. We now have a 2 credit course during the fall semester (Field Methods) where students train in building surveys, and conducting focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The second class is the J-term Fieldwork. The last class, Advanced Policy Analysis, focuses on analyzing the collected data and preparing reports based on our findings. Not everyone has to take part in all three courses. But, all three courses together constitute a project, and students have an actual client, for whom they prepare a policy deliverable. Students must not only learn, but also apply skills for research and policy analysis from these and other classes. This is one of the most practical field research opportunities that we offer at the institute.

Peru was our original program location, and this year we are doing the same process in Nepal and Salinas. Each location will likely interest different groups of students. In Nepal, the research question will focus on communicating and building support for NGOs. There might also be work with the local population. In Salinas, the Mixed-Methods Evaluation, Training and Analysis (META) Lab has been hired to do a program evaluation. This is centered on Why’D You Stop Me (WYSM), a program that teaches locals about what the police are up against while also teaching police how not to escalate or how to deescalate a situation. We will be really looking for the source of tension in the community. This is a primarily Hispanic community and it will be interesting and lively especially in light of what is happening across the country. There has been a lot of buy-in with the Salinas Police Department and we try to work a lot with them.

Why Peru vs. Ecuador vs. Honduras?

We used to do Peru and El Salvador. They already had students going and we just helped analyze their data. With Nepal, we had two students familiar with the country.  And one had been a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) who served in Nepal who was able to get extra training. One student has agreed to come back and lead it this time. It always depends on whether you have an NGO and a client to help do logistics and gain access to populations. And, it makes it valid research. It’s a service learning approach, so we need to be in service to somebody if we are giving the final deliverable to someone who counts on what you are giving them.

What connections do you have there?

In Peru we have past leaders from Team Peru. Adam and Aaron, were my students years ago and when they graduated they maintained their relationship with Middlebury and MIIS, so that was easy. The other NGOs have people we are very familiar with. We continue building rapport with some of them. And now we are in discussions with a new NGO. They supplied all the interpretation last year.

In Salinas we had been working with the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace (CASP). We still attend all of their network meetings. MIIS and the META Lab are well known there. We want to be present so we can work with them and pick up projects and give back to the community. I mostly go on my spare time and sometimes are able to cover the cost of travel for META Lab staff attendees who represent MIIS. Because of that several NGOs know us well. We were asked specifically to participate in the grant that supports our evaluation work. Fernando DePaolis will be the faculty lead for the project.

What draws you back?

I like being in the field. If you can’t get your feet dirty, why do you even do this stuff? If you talk with native Quechua speakers and talk with the people who have been there for thousands of years, it is amazing. It’s the kind of experience you don’t get any other way. I’ve always loved being in a research environment. I’m very dedicated and interested in methods of doing research. If I’m going to teach it I’d better be able to do it.

What would a student get out of this experience?

Every place they could go and get a degree they would have an opportunity to do projects. Very few would allow them to do actual fieldwork with actual deliverables with someone who really needs it. Being able to collect data in person is unmatched. What you will see is that some of the well known institutions will take students to do some professor’s project. This isn’t that. This is something students develop, vet, manage, execute and analyze. There is no other school doing this.

How would you advise a faculty interested in leading a class abroad for the first time?

Play to your strengths. Team up with someone who is interested so you can distribute the load. This started as the effort of 5 faculty members, so don’t take it all on yourself. Use those who are knowledgeable in the area, and come up with a compelling question so you can motivate students. In your recruitment the main thing you are looking for is motivation. Brilliance is something they can work on, but motivation you can’t get any other way.

Can you tell a story or share some of the challenges you’ve faced leading these programs?

One is just trying to help with another site while on-site myself. We happened to have some truly talented people available last year and that was our great luck. But when you are out there actually leading one of these, you have to be HR, IRB, an instructor and a manager. So there is a lot to balance at this time. And people have to realize that you are in charge not the NGO. You have to keep logistics straight, keep research valid – do the work to get a random sample and keep people motivated, though that could be a challenge.  It’s a stressful environment. People get rest, but not enough. Nerves get frayed. People realize that this isn’t what they want to do with their lives while others fall in love with it. You have to be ready to help someone see how they fit in and get people into the right tracks that will keep them and keep the project functioning.

Is there a story that captures one of your most rewarding or significant moments or could you share what drives you to do these types of programs?

For me the most rewarding part comes in the third course when people look back at what they’ve done. Normally it’s not me telling them but the students themselves realizing what they’ve accomplished. This is a year of effort and people realize the scope of what they’ve been through and what they’ve produced. The flip-side is that they realize that actual research is messy business. And they get a better idea of what they can and cannot do with field research. You might realize later that the questions initially asked were totally useless or the people on the ground weren’t interested.

What research or practices guide your approach to offering these programs?

[Looks over at bookshelf and laughs] There are a lot of resources. About seven to ten of these are great books that I go to all the time. I also troll the web. One thing is that you can’t expect to find what you are looking for in one book. Check two to three sources to get an idea of what is meaningful to you.

Is there anything you’d like to add/share?

I find this rewarding, but don’t take my word for it. I’d rather you go and talk to someone who went. It really is real work and it will feel like it, but that has a lot of rewards. It’s a whole lot better than Disneyland.

For more information on Phil Murphy, read his MIIS Faculty Profile.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

DPMI+ Fellow Jeanine Willig on her experience at Social Impact

Jeanine Willig (far left), DPMI+ Fellow & IPS 2016 student

Organization:  Social Impact

Title: Performance Evaluation Intern

Location: Washington, D.C.

Social Impact contracts with lots of different organizations, mainly for performance and impact evaluation and capacity building.  As a Performance Evaluation Intern, Jeanine’s been working to support the impact evaluation team on Social Impact contracts with USAID.  Last month, Jeanine helped conduct a literature review for FHI360’s Rural Teacher Retention Program in Ghana.  She also worked on an impact evaluation of a WASHPlus project in three districts of Bangladesh that are highly impacted by climate change and experience constant flooding.  Jeanine loves the variety of projects she gets to work on at Social Impact and says she never gets bored.  “I have days where I look up and I haven’t noticed the time go by,” Jeanine says.  “It’s been a HUGE learning curve.  I can’t believe it’s been a month already.”

Jeanine has recently signed up to assist with the evaluation of a Millennium Challenge Corporation anti-corruption project in Honduras.  The goal of the project was to help the Honduran government meet anti-corruption standards in order to be eligible for funding for development.  The evaluation with which Jeanine will assist involves quantitative and qualitative methods to measure impact and entails a comprehensive 23 evaluation questions (typically impact evaluation involves three to six evaluation questions).

How did MIIS prepare you to succeed as a Performance Evaluation Intern at Social Impact?

Jeanine credits Beryl Levinger’s Program Evaluation class with preparing her most directly for her work with Social Impact, which so far involves heavy use of data-evaluation methods, understanding and analyzing qualitative data, and “really getting into the nitty-gritty.”  Another class that was particularly useful was Ed Laurance’s Intro to Human Security & Development.  The “on-time assignments” in this class gave her the skills to be able to research and sort through information rapidly and effectively.  When asked what advice she had for MIIS students interested in similar work, Jeanine recommended that all students take Data Analysis (she wishes that she had).  She also said, “Finance and budgeting is such a NEED in this industry.  People who currently do it are doing it because no one else can and they have just taught themselves.  Skills in finance or budgeting will make your job application stand out.”

Any other advice for current students?

Jeanine wants other MIIS students to keep in mind that “people will care about you and last minute stuff is okay.  When an advisor says that you’ll find a spot, have faith.  Having a good attitude about the job search is important.  You’ve got to keep it in perspective.  Keep your ears open – there are things out there you don’t know about and opportunities you can’t even imagine, so just keep an open mind.  There’s so much out there.”

Find out more…

You can read more about Jeanine’s experiences on her blog.

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Reminder: Apply for IPSS 2017 by March 31st

IPSS 2017! (1)

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

D.C. Online Summer Internship Fair

dc career fairDon’t miss your opportunity to participate in the 2016 Online DC Summer Internship Fair and connect directly with employers in government, public policy, international affairs, communications, and philanthropy. This event is great for those exploring opportunities in Washington DC.  The event will take place on March 1, 2016 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

MIIS Alum Julia Belliard Featured in “The Californian” Article

Julia Belliard MPA ’05 has become the a point person for human resources related information in the California agricultural sector through her position as executive director of the Agricultural Personnel Management Association (APMA).

Take a look at this article in which she shares her journey from Belarus to MIIS and beyond.

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Join Prof. Olsen for ‘Emerging Discipline of Impact Accounting and Management’

sara olsen

Are you interested in social impact, social investing, stakeholder assessment, and/or environmental impact assessment? Would you like to pursue a professional certification in ‘Introduction to Analysis of Social Impact’? Why not bolster your knowledge of these topics in a course taught by a leading professional in the field?

Join Professor Sara Olsen in the three credit course MBAG 8616 Emerging Discipline of Impact Accounting and Management. The course is open with no pre-requisites, and will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm throughout the entire term, starting February 10th.

The course will provide students with an overall framework within which to understand the social/environmental impact of any enterprise, and will then equip students with a practical toolkit. This toolkit can be applied to any entity to gauge its impact, and to manage impact as a strategic asset and/or risk factor.

In addition to other topics, Professor Olsen will cover content to prepare you to sit for an optional professional certification in ‘Introduction to Analysis of Social Impact’, awarded by Social Value International (SVI). Pursuing the optional certification requires an exam fee of $100.

Register for MBAG 8616 Emerging Discipline of Impact Accounting and Management today!

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Vote for MIIS in The Economist Case Study Competition!


Help MIIS defend its title!

The Economist Case Study Competition is now live! That means that the People’s Choice voting is now open, so be sure to vote for MIIS, and tell your friends!

Students Hesham AlSaati, Thomas Gilmore and Michael Mahoney are representing MIIS with their Real Vision Investment Case Study. View their presentation! Don’t forget to vote and share!

For more information on the challenge description and prizes, check out this link.

Friday, May 8th, 2015

OpenIDEO – Accepting Ideas for Refugee Education Challenge

Refugee Education Challenge is now accepting ideas to improve education opportunities for children in refugee camps.


“Now is the chance to share an idea you have for how to improve education for refugees. We’ve partnered with UNCHR and UNICEF – so even if you aren’t able implement your idea yourself, there’s an opportunity you to submit a winning idea that could be implemented through partnerships with organizations already working with UNICEF and UNHCR.

Winning ideas on our shortlist will attend a design support bootcamp hosted by designers, where participants will learn how to apply human-centered design to their challenge idea. A handful of these ideas will be selected to receive a share of $500,000 in funding and design support.”

Design Principles for Refugee Education:

  • Focus on what we can do now
  • Design for gender equality
  • Keep resource limitations in mind
  • Design for uncertainty
  • Take an inclusive approach
  • Be culturally sensitive

Click to find out more about OpenIDEO and to submit an idea!

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Immersive Learners Champion Seven Countries through Nine Programs

I sat down with Maritza Munzón (MPA/IEM ’15), and Rafael Hernandez (MPA ’15) at a local coffee shop last week to interview them about MIIS’s Immersive Learning Programs. Maritza has traveled on five trips to six countries through MIIS (Peru, Cuba, Kenya, Mindanao, and East Asia), and Rafael has gone to four (Peru, Cuba, Rwanda, and East Asia). Both had a lot to say, much more than I can fit into this interview; I can’t encourage you enough to talk with your peers about their experiences abroad.

Q: What made you choose the immersive learning programs you chose?

Maritza: For me it’s always about “why not?” It is always a question of “if I don’t go, will I regret it?” And the answer is almost always “Yes”. So I do everything I can to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. MarRafFurthermore, because I am in the IEM degree program and want to conduct these trips myself one day, the best way to learn how to do this is to go on as many as I can!

Rafael: I was eager to begin traveling right away when I got here. That was the reason I picked this school over many other options – the traveling component. Right off the bat I could go on this Peru trip, that had a practical application of policy analysis, – and so I went.

M: I don’t think many people have traveled the way we travel here at MIIS.

There is only so much reading you can do about culture, practice, and so on, but you need to embed it in your muscle memory to learn and understand.

Q: Have you gone on any trips together?

Both went to Peru (but in different communities), as well as Cuba, and East Asia.

M: Peru started my obsession with these trips; the experience got my feet wet and then I wasn’t scared, anymore, to do the others.

Q: Are there any programs you especially wish you could have gone on?

R: I would have liked to go to the Philippines.

M: I would have done the El Salvador trip if I had the time. But I am always torn between what is familiar and what is less accessible. El Salvador is within my reach because of language, so I decided to take the leap and go on trips that I was less likely to do on my own:  Kenya, East Asia, and the Philippines.

Q: How did the programs and learning styles compare?

Both: Cuba was more like learning tourism, while Peru and East Asia where more research based: we did academic research in Asia, and field research in Peru.

M: I was a guinea pig for many of the trips – for example:  Kenya, Peru, and East Asia. Cuba was established. Being on a program in its first incarnation is a valuable experience for someone learning about how these programs are conducted.

R: I learned a lot about different types of intelligence and understanding. You know there is the computer competency type, where you either know it or you don’t. And if you don’t, you can ask help from someone who does – and there are no ego problems associated with that. Cultural competency, on the other hand, and especially at this school, is more complicated in that way. Then there is emotional intelligence (EQ) versus the IQ. When you go to speak to someone in a village, everyone on these trips is so concerned about being politically correct, which makes them all self-conscious. I found that the best way to take to people is honestly and openly.

Q: Since you have gone on so many of these programs, do you have any constructive feedback?

R: Like I said, these trips are one of the reasons why I chose this school. And we are so grateful for these experiences.

M: Growing up the way I did, I would have never been able to do this on my own. And I am grateful, and the best way I can give back is by applying my IEM knowledge and skills and giving constructive feedback. I was able to design a pre-departure training for the Peru trip, which was very well received, but not yet implemented. Based on our experience in Peru, Cortney Copeland and I designed a pre-departure workshop and assessment for that trip through our IEM Design and Assessment Class. In the workshop we wanted students to bond with the people in their groups, learn each other’s working styles and strength, while also getting to practice giving the surveys and entering the data. There are always hiccups with international travel and our goal was to develop cohesive groups before departure to help student better work through some of those unpredictable moments. The assessment consisted of a simple survey that students took before and after the trip to better inform staff and faculty of what is working and what needs improvement.

One of my frustrations with the organization of these trips is that the system that puts these trips together does not value the experience that the students going already have. Because the information isn’t coming from a respected magazine or periodical, but from the mouth of a student, who has had the personal experience or cultural experience growing up – but they didn’t write a paper on it, so…. We don’t get a diploma for growing up bilingual or for living similar lives to that of the people we are studying.

R: So if professors and institutions have a way, for better or worse, of validating those experiences, for example, “here is Maritza, she grew up in a culture that…..” and by doing that, it validates the person, and symbolically validates the peers that have experienced this. People come back like “I was shocked to see this and that”, and that is the only thing that gets the spotlight. But there are people who have lived this their whole lives.

M: Out of the bad comes the good. MIIS is proud of its international diversity on campus, but now there are also conversation on national diversity and socioeconomic diversity as well, which is something that came out of a critique on one of these trips. We go on these trips, and learn, and some things are difficult, but the important thing is to take the bad with the good and make something out of it. For some of us, that meant creating the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which highlights domestic diversity on campus and is working on assessing the needs of all students, whether international students, first generation college students, student of color, LGBTQ, or second career seekers. We not only wanted to address diversity by identifying the needs of all students on campus but to make sure it is something that continues to be addressed in the institution after we are gone.

Professors should also make a point to make focus groups mandatory. A format of how to measure the trips as a whole, but also each trip individually, so it can be improved upon, but that responsibility also shouldn’t sit solely on the professor’s shoulders.

Q: Any advice for students who will travel on these programs in the future?

M: Some things you can’t prepare for. Keep an open mind, don’t sweat the small stuff. Like dirt, bugs-

R: – and cold showers –

M: – and so on because it distracts from the experience. Don’t fight the discomfort.

R: You don’t need language to communicate with people. You shouldn’t necessarily know a language perfectly – keep the willingness to go at the forefront. Don’t be catered to: we chose to go, to help. Be the one helping, not the helped. Own your decision to go.

Language should not be a barrier to communicating with people. In fact, I learned from my inability to speak the local language, which became a resource of information, connection, and interaction. When I ask you, “how do you say this?”, I become your student and switch the power dynamic. People love to teach you, to speak from authority. There is laughter, and it breaks the ice and opens new things. They think, “Here is a person who wants to know my language.” It helps equalizing the playing field.

Q: Is there something you never travel without?

M: I carry medicine for altitude sickness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, congestion, and allergies; but I also carry hydration salts and EmergenC to try and prevent getting sick as well. You never know how sick you are going to get and might not be able to get to a pharmacy right away or be able to communicate what you need so its good to carry some meds you trust. Oh! and Baby wipes.

R: Baby wipes! Pen and notepad.

*shows us his pen and notepad, which, sure enough, are in his back pocket*

M: That’s what I picked up, now I’ll do that.

R: I like to record sounds from the trips, it brings you back. *plays recording*

M: Learn how to say a greeting, and please and thank you in the local language.

R: So important!


smaller headshotKatya Gamolsky (joint BA/MA ‘17) is a first year student who works for the Immersive Learning Programs Office. She recently went on the Los Angeles trip that focused on Homelessness, with Dr Iyer, and will be attending DPMI DC this summer. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to know more about our Immersive Learning Programs, please email her at

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Team El Salvador Looking for a Team Leader!

Students from all MIIS Programs are encouraged to Apply!

TES Leader

TES Leader 2

 Description of Responsibilities 

TES Leader 5

Leadership term lasts early May 2015 to early May 2016

For more information check out the Team El Salvador Blog or email any questions to teamelsalvadormiis@gmail !

Send Resume & Cover Letter to by Sunday, April 14th!


Thursday, March 26th, 2015

A Student’s Reflection on the 2015 Regional Hult Competition


– Blog contributed by Kelly Quackenbush, MPA ’15

On Friday, March 13th, my team and I piled into Tim’s van for the drive up to San Francisco, and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have butterflies in our stomachs. We were on our way to compete against nearly 50 other schools in the 2015 Regional Hult Competition. The challenge this year was “How can we provide quality early education to ten million children under age six in urban slums?”

My team consisted of Timothy Cunningham, Katie Barthelow, Noah Halton, and myself, and we had been working together for 6 months on our social enterprise, the Learning Roots Network. Our idea was to use technology to facilitate real-life interaction between caregiver and child. We would organize workshops about holistic early childhood education, and facilitate activity design sessions whereby residents in slums would create activities that made sense to them. These would be simple, short activities, such as stacking cups, identifying colors around the house, or counting grains of rice. Our idea was based on the premise that knowledge already exists in slums. What we wanted to do was shine a light on those local ways of knowing and nurture them to create a marketable product (which we call an “activity-based app”). Ultimately, we hoped, we would challenge people’s ideas about where knowledge comes from (doesn’t have to be from “experts”), and how value is created (value can come from slum communities).

Friday afternoon we arrived for registration and were handed folders, asked to pose for pictures, and shown to our very own break-out room, where we could relax and prepare. Half the teams would present in the morning, and half in the afternoon. We were scheduled for the morning, which meant that we would hear other teams’ pitches in the afternoon. Our friend Nicole Manapol volunteered to accompany us for the day as our “team advisor” and it was wonderful to have the extra support as we practiced our pitch the last few times. Finally, we were called.

Click here to read more

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Update on the Sarah Meek Travel Grant for Research in Africa

Summer and Fall Applications Invited

In January several students applied for this grant but none were awarded. In every case the requests were for the summer because there was little time for anyone to prepare a travel grant proposal for the spring immersive learning programs.

The result is that all the money available for travel grants is now available for summer and fall travel for research on social change in Africa. The research must be conducted in Africa for a duration of at least 2 and a half months.

To receive this grant students must submit a research design that focuses on a social condition in Africa of the applicant’s choosing; e.g., poverty, environment, crime, armed violence, gender inequality, conflict, disease, education, refugees, etc., with the goal of making policy/program recommendations that can change that condition.

The application must include the following elements:

  1. Dates of research
  2. Location of research, to include a letter of support from an organization which is hosting or assisting you with your project.
  3. A two page statement that includes a complete research design, to include a research question, a literature review that shows a need for this research, evidence generation methods, and its potential impact on the social condition.
  4. A description of the deliverable and date of completion.

Applications must be received between now and 1 April. A committee of faculty judges will evaluate all applications and determine the recipients of the award by 15 April. Awards will be given as reimbursement for travel to Africa. Only enrolled students may receive a travel grant. If two students will be conducting the research together, the award will be split between the two students with a cap of $1500 per award. Travel will not be awarded for an internship, unless appropriate research will be conducted as part of the internship.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss the eligibility of your planned research for this award, please make an appointment with Professor Ed Laurance at He can also be reached at 831-402-2631.

These awards are made possible by a continuing donation from the family of Sarah Meek, a MIIS alum of 1996 whose life was cut short while working to improve social conditions in Africa.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

DPP Welcome Wine & Cheese Mixer

Development Practice and Policy: One Program, Two Degree Options 


(Source: DPP Facebook Event Page

So, you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the DPP program – and now you can finally get the full scoop!

DPP will be hosting a wine & cheese mixer at the McCone Atrium (outside Irving Auditorium) on Wednesday, March 4th, at 5:00PM. If you are MPA, IPS, or IDP, you are now part of the larger umbrella of DPP. Join us at the mixer to hang out with DPP colleagues and faculty and hear more about the program!

Date: Wednesday, March 4th

Time: 5:00PM-7:00PM

Location: McCone Atrium (Outside Irving Auditorium)

RSVP on the Facebook Event! Or feel free to just show up!

And check out the MIIS DPP page for more information about the Program!


Monday, February 23rd, 2015

New Internship Opportunity in Uganda!

Looking for a summer internship opportunity in Africa? Check out ISLA – and feel free to join tomorrow’s info session from 12pm-1pm in Morse B206!

*MPAs – this could count for DPMI Plus!

isla Uganda

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Analyst Program with the World Bank Group


Check out this great opportunity with the World Bank Group!







Monday, January 26th, 2015

2015 Colloquium Theme Focus: Commercializing Impact Investing

Practical and Inspiring Thought Leadership

A graduate course and high-profile speaker series featuring leaders and practitioners working to provide solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Impact Investment is investment made with the intention to generate measurable social, environmental and financial return. Impact investing deploys multiple sources of capital – private, philanthropic and public to address pressing global challenges. Impact investing has the potential to unlock significant sums of commercial capital, but challenges to the commercialization of impact investing remain significant. The struggle, however, may shed light on how capitalism as we know of today can and will be transformed and leveraged for maximizing welfare and wealth creation. This course engages students with thinkers and practitioners in the impact investing sector who will share their perspectives and experiences in bridging the gap between commercial and impact investments, and explore and envision a better future.

Learn more:
Course Information: Register via Banner (IPMG 8593); 
2 or 3 Credit Option.

Timing and Location: March 12 – May 14, 2015 . Thursdays, 6-9pm, MG102

Featured Speakers


 Sonal Shah, Former White House Director of Social Innovations
Sonal is Professor of Practice and the founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation. Sonal, an economist and entrepreneur, has spent her career focused on actionable innovation in the public and private sectors. Most recently, she was the Deputy Assistant to the President and founding Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
Follow Sonal on twitter: @SonalRShah

Robert Rubenstein, CEO of TBLI (Triple Bottom Line International)
Robert is a social entreprenuer and the founder and driving force behind TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investing) Group, an organization that specializes in environmental, social and governance ESG and impact investing, using Triple Bottom Line principles.
Follow Robert on twitter: @tbli

Cynthia Muller, Senior Director at Arabella Advisors
Cynthia leads Arabella Advisors impact investing practice. She has an extensive background in social enterprise and mission investing includes connecting public policy, programs, and capital for emerging social innovations to increase economic opportunities for under-served and marginalized communities.
Follow Cynthia on twitter: @cynmull

 Mike Lin, CEO of Fenix International
Mike is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded an award-winning design firm, and B.MIMIMA, an eco-solutions company. He has consulted for Apple on climate change and environmental toxins and worked with Al Gore on the “Inconvenient Truth” presentation. Mike is a LEED accredited professional, a recipient of the EPA’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Award, Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award and BusinessWeek IDEA Award. Mike earned both his BS and MS in mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
Follow Fenix International on Twitter: @fenixintl

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Boren Awards: Scholarships and Fellowships

Upcoming Application Deadline for Fellowship – January 27th, 2015

Great opportunity for those who are studying or who want to study less commonly taught languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili – among MANY others. Boren Awards also has an African Flagship Languages Initiative, for those interested in studying Akan/Twi, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Wolof, or Zulu. Check out Boren Awards website for a complete list of languages as well as Country Preferences, fields of study, and length of study.

Boren Fellowships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.”

“Boren Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.” – Retrieved from Boren Awards Website

Not just national security:

Boren Awards views National Security  broadly, to include “the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.” – Retrieved from Boren Awards Website

This is a great opportunity to study a unique or uncommonly taught language – perfect for MIIS Students!

For more information check out their Website:

Application Deadline: January 27th, 2015

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Hult Prize at MIIS – Tomorrow!

Join us tomorrow at 4:30 in the Irvine Auditorium as student teams present their social business ideas to tackle President Bill Clinton’s 2015 Challenge of Early Childhood Education in the Urban Slum and Beyond.  The event will be Emceed by Program Chair Jeff Dayton-Johnson and our panel of judges will include:

– Yuwei Shi (Dean, GSIPM)

– Jerry Hildebrand (Director of the Center for Social Impact Learning)

– Beryl Levinger (Distinguished Professor and Program Chair)

– Eric Stephenson (Portfolio Manager, The Cordes Foundation)

– David Dobrowski (Evaluations Officer, First 5 Monterey County)

Come out and support your classmates as they take on one of the world’s greatest challenges and look to become the official MIIS team in the Hult Prize Regional Final in the Spring.  We will have a hosted reception in the Irvine Atrium after the final presentation where the winning team will be announced.

Friday, November 14th, 2014

2014 Fall Graduation Group Photo Session

On Tuesday, November 18 GSIPM will be holding our 2014 Fall Graduation Photo Session beginning at 11:45 a.m. The pictures will take place on the steps of City Hall, adjacent to Friendly Park. The photos that will be taken are group photos, so we are asking that you arrive as close to 11:45 a.m. as possible. Our photographer will not be taking any individual photos.

Due to professional courtesy, family and friends will not be permitted to take photographs while our photographer is working. Shortly after the photo session, GSIPM will follow up with an e-mail explaining ordering and payment options.

The dress code for this event will be business attire. So please be prepared to dress appropriately for the occasion.


Friday, November 14th, 2014

GSIPM Dean’s Seminar: Design Thinking to Design Doing