Thursday, August 21st, 2014

GSIPM Welcomes New Interim Dean – Jeff Dayton-Johnson

 

As a GA in the GSIPM office, I like to try and stay in-the-know about what’s going on in my department and around campus.

As it turns out, fall 2014 will usher in some changes. Yuwei Shi will begin to turn his attention to the new Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL), and teaching in the MBA program. As the founding dean of GSIPM, Yuwei Shi has shaped the Institute in significant ways, helping meld the separate policy and business schools into one school (GSIPM) in 2009. He will officially step down at the end of December, and in the meantime Jeff will serve concurrently, and then continue as interim dean from January 1 through June 30, 2015.

I had a chance to sit down with Jeff recently to chat about what’s going on, and what this means for us students.

During fall semester, he’ll be a busy guy – still chairing the IPS department and teaching classes in addition to job shadowing the current dean. He feels pretty fortunate for the overlap, and is looking forward to “learning what the rules of the game are,” getting to know colleagues from other parts of campus.

I asked him if he’ll continue teaching in the spring and he mentioned that none of the deans currently teach any classes. So if you haven’t had a class with Jeff yet – get in on one this semester before he’s off the market! There’s also a chance he’ll teach a J-Term class or two, but nothing’s been decided for sure.

What new policies or priorities is the interim dean eager to tackle first? He says he’ll be pushing for the immersive learning programs. “We have an exciting portfolio for students, and a lot of them are working really well,” he said. “DPMI and DPMI Plus are great examples. The challenge is the monetary one – it’s so exciting, but students ultimately opt out for financial reasons.” He also mentioned that sometimes students have trouble fitting them into their schedules or finding enough credits to participate. “If we really believe these are such valuable programs, we should find a way to make them more accessible.”

This is certainly something I can agree with, and I wish him the best of luck! President Ramaswamy encouraged Jeff to think long-term in regards to his new role, and reflect on what’s working well, and what could be replicated. If everything goes smoothly, Jeff will likely apply for the official position in the spring.

In the meantime, he says, “If anybody is reading this and has something to share, please come see me, or email me, I’d be happy to talk.”  jdaytonjohnson@miis.edu

You can also make an appointment through Lauren Patron-Castro, Dean’s Assistant:  lpatron@miis.edu

 

 

Faculty-Profile-Jeffrey-Dayton-Johnson   Jeff’s Bio:

As program chair of the International Policy Studies program, Jeff has been working with faculty, students, and staff to bring the IPS and MPA programs together within a larger, stronger and more focused program in Development Practice and Policy.  As one of the architects of a major piece of curricular reform, he is well positioned to lead and oversee the implementation of new and revitalized programs.

Jeff came to MIIS in 2011, following seven years as a senior economist at the OECD in Paris. At the OECD, Jeff was the first Head of the Americas Desk at the organization’s Development Centre; the Desk has now overseen the publication of seven annual Latin American Economic Outlook reports on topics ranging from international migration, to fiscal policy to the middle class. In Paris, Jeff built a team of 20 professionals, led policy relevant research and dialogue processes, interacted with policy makers and experts in Latin America and beyond, and oversaw fundraising efforts totaling millions of euros.

Jeff’s experience as a policy researcher, manager, and fundraiser in the hyper-politicized bureaucracy of an international organization provided him with a mix of soft skills and thick skin that will serve him well as dean in the comparatively upbeat realm of GSIPM.

Prior to moving to the OECD, Jeff was a tenured associate professor of economics and international development studies at Dalhousie University in Canada. At Dalhousie, he coordinated the university’s Master in Development Economics (MDE) program, which, much like many of GSIPM’s degree programs, trains professional policy analysts with a passion for global issues. Jeff earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Celebrating its First Decade, DPMI Goes through Renewal, Reinvention!

dpmi_kenya

At its core a cutting-edge institution, the unique, intensive, development-focused three-week Development Project Management Institute (DPMI) program seems ageless. Nonetheless, as “nae man can tether time or tide” (in the words of Robert Burns), 10 years have passed since its inception, and that is worth celebrating. “A decade of DPMI has produced over 1,000 alumni using their skills everywhere in the world,” remarks founder and fearless leader Professor Beryl Levinger.

This year also marks the change of the official name of the program from Development Project Management Institute to Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation – still DPMI! Levinger shares that the “process of renewal and reinvention means seeing ourselves not only as responders to international development trends, but also shapers of them.”

The DPMI alumni network is vibrant, diverse, and a source of wonderful social capital for past, present, and future program participants, says Levinger, noting also that there is “nothing more rewarding than seeing a DPMI team in action responding to a development challenge by drawing on culturally diverse perspectives, deep social interaction, and a rich toolbox of tools and approaches.” Apart from Monterey and Washington D.C., the program has been offered in Ecuador, Egypt, Rwanda, and beginning this year, in Kenya.

DPMI alumni are encouraged to share their stories on the anniversary website found at go.miis.edu/dpmi.

 

Friday, August 15th, 2014

USAID Releases guide to Strengthening Civil Society Through Social Media

303627-SMGuide4CSO-1_0

 

Social Networking: A Guide to Strengthening Civil Society through Social Media has been developed as a reference guide for civil society organizations (CSOs) working in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and its implementing partners in advancing their critical missions. In line with the USAID Strategy on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (June 2013), this manual is designed as a blueprint for CSOs to:

• Integrate and use technology to promote democracy, human rights and governance;
• Utilize social media to support greater citizen participation and transparent political
processes; and
• Strengthen mutual accountability among CSOs, government institutions and
citizens by creating real-time and direct interaction and organizing.

Social media operations are most effective when they are strategically incorporated as part of an organization’s outreach, program design and implementation, and monitoring and evaluation efforts. With this in mind, the guide is intended as a local capacity building tool to strengthen the ability of entire organizations, their staff and members to deliver greater impact. This guide (Version 1, 2014), presents an overview of the most widely-used and accessible

social media tools. Future manuals will capture developments in the social media.

Social Networking: A Guide to Strengthening Civil Society through Social Media includes interactive features such
as links to multimedia content, websites and workouts to help civil society organizations engage and share information.
View the flipbook and download a PDF version at www.usaid.gov/SMGuide4CSO.  Use #SMGuide4

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

How do MIIS students feel about the future?

IPS Student at MIIS and GSIPM Front Desk Extraordinaire

IPS Student at MIIS and GSIPM Front Desk Extraordinaire

Be the solution…now, that is a daunting idea. So, where do we start at MIIS given that this is our core goal? Here’s an idea, let’s start by asking ourselves who we are as people and what motivates us to act.  I’ll begin by sharing  my latest inspiration in honor of the United Nations International Day of Youth – please chime in with your comments below! 

Youth, Optimism and Peace

Young people living in less peaceful countries tend to be far more optimistic about the state of the future than their pessimistic peers living in more peaceful countries.

Originally published by Vision of Humanity on 12 Aug 2014

As the world celebrates the International Day of Youth, we ask how the 1.8 billion young people around the world feel about the future, and what this means for peace.

Using our own measures of internal peace and comparing them to qualitative data on levels of optimism and pessimism about the future, we were able to determine if levels of peace in a society impact on the optimism of the youth. The results might surprise you…

OPTIMISM, YOUTH AND PEACE

From a range of survey data is seems that young people living in countries with low levels of peace are, on average, pretty optimistic about the future.

While this may be surprising as those living in less peaceful countries tend to face greater barriers to development and often have less opportunities, their optimism about the future is promising, as future leaders this is the kind of thinking we like to see.

Not only that, but optimism is a key ingredient in the recipe for high levels of human capital, meaning it is one of the essential stepping stones on the path to a more peaceful future.

IEP estimates that 86% of the youth living in less peaceful countries (purple) are optimistic about the future, compared to 50% in relatively peaceful countries (yellow). Additionally, only 1% of people in low peace countries are pessimistic about the future, compared to 7% in high peace countries (see image below).

PESSIMISM AND PEACE

On the flip side we see that young people living in peaceful countries are more pessimistic about the future.

Having said this, it’s not all doom and gloom for those fortunate enough to live in peaceful countries.

In fact, if we look at relative response rates we can see that optimism across the board is about 10 times more prevalent than pessimism.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

If you are living in a peaceful country then…  brighten up! Yes you have a long way to go in creating a more peaceful world, and better life for yourself than the generation that proceeds you, but you also need to recognise that living in a peaceful country gives you access to a lot more opportunities.

Living in a not so peaceful country? Explore what makes a society peaceful and take a look around your local community to see what can be done at the grassroots level to start creating a more peaceful and prosperous future for you and the generations to come.

– Published by Vision of Humanity – http://www.visionofhumanity.org/#page/news/1067

Do you have any opinions or inspirations you’d like to share with the GSIPM team? We’d love to hear from you, please email us at gsipm@miis.edu. Thanks!

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Job Openings in Policy Research and Data Analysis

kroc_logo

Policy Studies, Research Associate

Open Society Foundations

Open Data Analyst

Research Associate in Policy Studies, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame

The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame seeks applications for the position of Research Associate in Policy Studies.  The Research Associate will work closely with the Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute on research projects, curriculum development, and organizing research and education events both at Notre Dame and elsewhere.

Application deadline: August 8th

Open Data Analyst, Open Society Foundations, London or New York

The CODEX program seeks to leverage a wide range of open (and sometimes not-so-open) information relating to the extraction of oil, gas, and mineral resources in developing countries. The purpose of the work is to demonstrate, using innovative techniques and creative approaches to data-storytelling, how open data can be a powerful tool in the fight against mismanagement and plunder of natural resource wealth in the world’s poorest countries. This work would constitute a contribution to the growing field of “Open Government.”

Application deadline: August 17th

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Courage Under Fire: An Intimate Look at UN Peacekeeping

UNA-USA – Nationwide conference call on Wednesday, August 6 at 2 p.m. ET

with

Ken Payumo
Chief of the Peacekeeping Operations Support Section for the Department of Safety and Security, United Nations

Wednesday, August 6, 2 p.m. ET

U.S./Canada Dial-in: 866-454-4208
Passcode: 8136862

Please RSVP via email to membership@unausa.org.

What do you do when you are up against a government trying to harm its own people? As men with guns tried to enter the UN camp in Bor, South Sudan, Ken Payumo, a civilian officer in charge, stood up to the South Sudanese military when 12,000 refugees fled to the UN base for safety. His brave actions are thought to have saved thousands of lives.

Join us for a conversation with Mr. Payumo, who will provide a closer look at the day-to-day challenges of UN peacekeeping and give an update on the current crisis in South Sudan.

About our speaker:

Ken Payumo is currently the Chief of the Peacekeeping Operations Support Section for the Department of Safety and Security. This section is responsible for overseeing the security of all UN peacekeeping missions. Having more than 14 years of experience in the United Nations, Mr. Payumo’s UN service includes that of Legal and Policy Advisor, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET); Political Officer, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)/Asia Middle East Division (AMED); Mission Management Officer (DPKO Police Division), and most recently Head of Office for Unity and later Jonglei states, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Prior to the UN, Mr. Payumo had served as a police officer in the New York City Police Department. Mr. Payumo is a citizen of the United States of America and was born in New York City.

-Text taken directly from e-mail from UNA-USA Membership membership@unausa.org

 

 

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

MIIS Resource Centers and Initiatives: A world of possibilities just around the corner from you!

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Alex Amling during IPSS in Cambodia

The concept of Immersive Learning is a significant component of the MIIS experience. Every student is encouraged to take advantage of the many venues available to expand his/her skills and knowledge beyond the classroom setting. Luckily, students do not need to look too far, as the Monterey Institute is home to an important number of research centers and initiatives available for students to explore innovative and original approaches to pressing global issues.

From the possibility of participating in relevant internships and fellowships, to the opportunity to conduct further research and the chance to be published in scholarly journals, faculty and staff at each of the eight research centers and initiatives are available to supplement the students’ learning process, by exposing them to specialized resources and tools.

  • The Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) explores the economic contributions of the oceans and coasts to human welfare, as well as the current economic drivers that undermine ocean health.
  • The Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) develops programs and publications contributing to the exploration of conflict, from understanding its causes to developing tools and skills to resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner.
  • The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) sponsors research, seminars and lectures relating to contemporary issues pertaining to the region of East Asia (China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan).
  • The Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL), the newest research center on campus, provides programs for budding social entrepreneurs and conducts research on management issues in social ventures and impact investing.
  • The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) is the largest nongovernmental organization in the world devoted to curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and is the only organization dedicated exclusively to graduate education and research on nonproliferation issues.
  • The Mixed-Methods Evaluation, Training and Analysis Laboratory (META Lab) aims to capitalize on the flourishing importance of data-science as a discipline, and the rising demand for evidence-based policy evaluation.
  • The Monterey Cyber Security Initiative (MCySec) addresses the impact of the information age on security, peace and communication through multidisciplinary research, key-leader engagements and public-private partnerships.
  • The Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program (MonTREP) conducts in-depth scholarly research, assesses policy options, and engages in public education on issues relating to terrorism and counterterrorism, extremist groups, regional studies of terrorism, and related aspects of international and homeland security.

 

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

U.S. TIP Grant Solicitation for research on Trafficking in Persons

 

Email from TIP Office Public Outreach [TIPOutreach@state.gov]USA

U.S. Department of State

Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

 Competitive Grant Solicitation for Research on Trafficking in Persons in Supply Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons announces an open competition for funding of one or more projects to answer the following research question:  How do supply chains that touch sub-Saharan Africa operate and intersect with trafficking in persons, and prevent trafficking in sub-Saharan Africa?

Using the results of this research question, the successful applicant will develop a highly detailed typology across sectors, commodities, regions or other subdivisions that become apparent during the research.  The goal of the research is to enable governments and businesses to identify risks and best practices of programs, policies, and laws to combat those risks.

The request for proposals is posted on www.grantsolutions.gov and www.grants.gov under funding opportunity number AT-ATC-14-009.  To be considered for funding, proposals must be submitted by Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

U.S.-based and foreign non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public international organizations (PIOs), and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.

 

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Democracy Now! Interviews Monterey Institute GSIPM Student Amer Shurrab

Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman interviewed Monterey Institute MA International Policy Studies and MBA student Amer Shurrab yesterday.

The interview was titled “What Do Gazans Endure? A Palestinian Student Who Lost 2 Brothers, 4 Cousins Tells His Story“. Amer also earned a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and is a graduate of the Davis United World College of the Adriatic. He is from Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.

Amer2

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Tesla Pitch Continued: Cobalt, Graphite and Lithium

Peace, Trade, and Development Students Visit Tesla

Peace, Trade, and Development Students Visit Tesla

Last week the Peace Trade and Development (PTD) students met with Tesla’s global trade team at the factory in Fremont. The students were there to offer their pitch to the Tesla Challenge which called for proposals on sourcing raw materials for the new Gigafactory. In addition to the pitch session, the students were treated to lunch and a VIP tour of the Tesla factory, an impressive and re-purposed building conveniently situated in a California Free Trade Zone. “I was treating the presentation like a final exam, but when it came time to present, I had realized that we were speaking to real individuals with genuine concerns about their long-term acquisition of critical minerals. This wasn’t a quiz–my team had done in-depth research, provided a reasonable strategy, and were ready to have a conversation about alternatives.” -  Shruti Korada, PTD summer 2014 student What was the best part of the Tesla challenge?  Well, that’s subjective but things definitely got intriguing when one team suggested sourcing Lithium from the moon and another proposed a corporate-backed coup d’etat… Learn more about the PTD program via: go.miis.edu/ptd.

Monday, July 28th, 2014

DPMI: A learning journey

Josh Fleming (MA IPS '15) participates in a facilitation exercise during the second week of DPMI Monterey this June.

Josh Fleming (MA IPS ’15) participates in a facilitation exercise during the second week of DPMI Monterey this June.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had heard repeatedly on campus that DPMI (Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation) is one of the most useful courses you can take. I found this hard to believe at first, but now I agree. If you haven’t taken this leadership training in international development project management and social change then you should reconsider.

You will walk away from the DPMI training having learned some ground-breaking and ‘tried and true’ tools to solving your next problem, motivating your staff or making your next big partnership. Tools that break down these processes  into quantifiable, qualifiable methods to be used at a given moment or throughout the lifespan of a project.

If you are a non-profit guru, a development practitioner in training, or a social change maker then you will notice, quickly, that these tools and capacities that DPMI finds so important are actually pretty important. This is how USAID, and other major non-profit employers do it, and whether you like it or not USAID often sets the standard. Additionally, from the United Nations to grassroots organizations, from CSR departments to State department recruiters–most are looking for project management skills. DPMI fits them nicely into the longest three weeks of your life (Yes, I’ve thrown in a bit of sarcasm). It’s worth it though. I implore you to find one job posting that doesn’t ask for project management skills.

Click here to read more

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Incoming MPA Student Reaches-out to Faculty To Develop Ultimate International Development Summer Reading List!

The Ultimate MIIS Reading List

The Ultimate MIIS Reading List

Returning to school after some time away from academia is a precious challenge. However being in school is also a commodity. While most of my undergraduate peers are beginning their careers, perhaps even starting to put down roots, graduate students choose to go back to school in order to further their education and get closer to their career goals. As a recently accepted Master of Public Administration (MPA) student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), I understand the initial fears and concerns students may have upon starting a new program. It has been about four months since I received the good news and I have had plenty of time to determine how I feel about attending MIIS in the fall. Although I am overall excited and grateful, I am honestly a bit nervous. Seeing that my academic skills seemed rusty I took it upon myself to email the MPA program faculty requesting ideas, readings, books, articles, and any other resource I should look at before classes start in August. Unsurprisingly, the faculty was supportive and accommodating. The following is a list of 18 recommended readings from Monterey Institute MPA and MAIPS faculty:

  1. Take a look online at William Arrocha’s and Nuket Khardam’s syllabi for their development theory courses here at MIIS.
  2. Study and absorb UNDP’s concept of human development.
  3. Browse the last ten years of the World Bank’s World Development Report.
  4. The Anti-Politics Machine by James Ferguson
  5. Ideas for Development by Robert Chambers
  6. Provocations for Development by Robert Chambers
  7. The Honor Code by Kwame Appiah
  8. Capital by Thomas Piketty (Editor’s Note: The GSIPM Dean may take you out to lunch if you read every word of this 600-page monster!)
  9. The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly
  10. Social Physics by Alex Pentland
  11. Humble Enquiry by Edgar Schein
  12. Power of Development by Jonathon Crush
  13. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  14. The Routes of Man by Ted Conover
  15. Why Nations Fail by Daren Acemoglu
  16. Encountering Development by Arturo Escobar
  17.  “Organizational Assessment: a Framework for Improving Performance” (Free book available here http://www.idrc.ca/openebooks/998-4/).
  18. To get more immersed in policy, review the articles in https://www.project-syndicate.org/ (This website publishes policy concerns and ideas of leading global thinkers and policymakers).

After taking a look at this list, it became apparent that in order to succeed at MIIS, students must be engaged and passionate about their programs. Without a passion and thirst for knowledge, completing a graduate degree program would be an insurmountable task. Incoming MIIS students may be a bit hesitant or nervous about the challenge ahead. Although these feelings are natural, it is necessary to rise above, be proactive and start to materialize your short and long-term goals. MIIS provides the resources and opportunities; it is up to us, the incoming graduate students to bring the passion and innovation. It is time to start preparing and planning for a bright future here at MIIS. About the Author: Chris Callaghan is an incoming Master of Public Administration (MPA) Candidate for the fall 2014 semester. He is a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz.

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

FMS Field Placements and DPMI Plus: Taking the MIIS experience to the world

Immersive learning

This summer, the name of the Monterey Institute has been heard in over 15 countries in 5 continents as 27 fellows are participating in a series of immersive learning experiences.  Each of those placements have been ensured thanks to MIIS’ immersive learning options offered to participants of the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) and, the newly renamed, Design, Partnering, Management & Innovation (DPMI) program, in its optional practicum – also known as DPMI Plus.

FMS provide participants with a specialized 2-week training for those interested in a career in social enterprise management and impact investing. The training happens twice a year in Monterey and Amsterdam. After the training, participants have the option to apply their recently acquired knowledge in a 2-12 month placement in which the fellows are expected to help conceptualize a business idea, develop a business plan and an entrepreneurial team, provide due diligence, obtain investment capital, and scale businesses. This summer, the program have helped place 14 fellows who are supporting social entrepreneurship ventures in Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, the Netherlands, Rwanda and the United States. To learn more about FMS Practicum Placements visit the FMS Blog.

DPMI is a professional certificate training program that prepares participants for a career in managing international development projects.  The training has several offerings in the winter and summer in Monterey, Washington, DC, Rwanda and Kenya. After the training, MIIS-enrolled participants have the option to complete a 3-9 month internship in which they apply DPMI skills to benefit the host organization, while earning academic training towards their degree program. This summer, the program have placed 13 fellows in internships supporting development ventures in Burundi, Colombia, Fiji, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and the United States. For the full list of DPMI Plus Fellows and placements, click here.

Both DPMI Plus and FMS, are just two of the many Immersive Learning options that MIIS offers to students of all Degree Programs in order to foster learning through real-world situations. Besides, the unique opportunity that represents interacting with real clients and beneficiaries, participants also develop their inter-cultural competencies while creating memories that will sure last for a life-time.

Applications for FMS and DPMI are currently open for their Winter 2015 sessions. To apply for these programs, please visit:

DPMI: Apply Here!

FMS: Apply Here!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

PTD Breaking Ground for Local Development at the Homeless Garden Project

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Last Friday, PTD students were able to actively experience Development, one of the three pillars of the Peace Trade and Development program.  Their first site visit was at the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz. The Homeless Garden Project is a non-profit and an organic farm that provides job training, transitional employment and support services to the homeless.  The peaceful atmosphere and creative projects offered a healing and transformational environment.  Many of Santa Cruz’s homeless population come to the garden to relax, receive a meal and even work for minimum wage.

The Peace Trade and Development students spent the morning touring the site and weeding rows of plants.  They also joined community volunteers and farm employees for lunch—an organic and vegan meal sourced mostly from the garden. After lunch the students had a blast washing dishes.

ptd dishes

Click here to find out more about the Peace Trade and Development program.

http://www.miis.edu/academics/short/trade-development

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The IPSS Experience: Jia Ren

The Sun sets behind the port of Oakland

The International Professional Semester Service (IPSS) program has provided hundreds of MIIS graduates with the opportunity to head start their professional career, while serving in an international organization as junior professional staff member.  Some fellows have even used the IPSS experience to catapult themselves to become subject matter experts, as it is the case of Jia Ren (MAIPS Trade, Investment & Development 2014).

For her placement at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI), Jia contributed to a report entitled: Trade in the Bay Area: Investment and Global Financial Flows. The work, led by BACEI and sponsored by HSBC Bank USA, analyzed the trade, investment and commercial relations between the Bay Area and its major global trading partners, especially China, focusing on informing business leaders and other decision-makers about the potential for increased business growth in the region.

International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) is an immersive learning experience, integrating academic work with professional experience.  Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit.  The IPSS program is offered through the Graduate School of International Policy and Management (GSIPM) during the spring semester. For more information about IPSS please visit: go.miis.edu/ipss

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The Tesla Pitch

MIIS PTD students meet with Tesla to  pitch ideas for the new battery.

MIIS PTD students meet with Tesla to pitch ideas for the new battery.

Our friends from Tesla visited the MIIS campus last week. They started off the day by meeting with the Peace, Trade, and Development (PTD) summer program students. PTD students learned about what it takes to snag a job at Tesla and work under the driving force of Elon Musk’s vision. This is just the beginning of the MIIS-Tesla exchange. Next week, PTD students will visit the Tesla Gigafactory in Fremont where they will present ideas for the next electric car battery innovation.

The Challenge

The efficiency of the car battery is the lifeblood of moving Tesla forward. PTD students are posed with the Gigafactory challenge question – what are the optimal raw materials to source for battery cell manufacturing?  To arrive at a solid pitch, students will analyze a broad scope of factors, including:

  • From where and from whom can the materials be sourced?
  • What locations are optimal from a customs duty/tax and logistics cost perspective?
  • “Outside the box” ideas and key factors to consider in the sourcing decision

Interested in hearing about how the pitch goes? Stay tuned for an update in the next few days. In the meantime, you can enjoy this video!

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) Accepting applications now!

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is now accepting applications for their International Affairs Fellowship (IAF). 

Designed to assist mid-career scholars and professionals in advancing their analytic capabilities and broadening their foreign policy experience the International Affairs Fellowship aims to strengthen career development by helping outstanding individuals acquire and apply foreign policy skills beyond the scope of their professional and scholarly achievements.

This distinguished 12-month fellowship, launched in 1967, is different from traditional internship/fellowship experiences in that the program contrasts professional experiences fellows obtain through their twelve-month appointment. Selected fellows from academia and the private sector spend fellowship tenures in public service and policy-oriented settings, while government officials spend their tenures in a scholarly atmosphere free from operational pressure. 

“CFR awards approximately ten fellowships annually to highly accomplished individuals who have a capacity for independent work and who are eager to undertake serious foreign policy analysis. Approximately half of the selected IAFs each year spend their tenures working full-time in government; the remaining half are placed at academic institutions, think tanks, or nonprofit organizations. CFR’s Fellowship Affairs Office assists all fellows in finding a suitable affiliation for the year.” – www.cfr.org

How to Apply: MIIS students should apply online directly with CRF

Interested candidates who meet the program’s eligibility requirements can apply online between July 1 and October 31 on an annual basis.

Eligibility

The IAF Program is only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents between the ages of twenty-seven and thirty-five who are eligible to work in the United States. CFR does not sponsor for visas. While a PhD is not a requirement, selected fellows generally hold an advanced degree and possess a strong record of work experience as well as a firm grounding in the field of foreign policy. The program does not fund pre- or postdoctoral research, work toward a degree, or the completion of projects for which substantial progress has been made prior to the fellowship period.

Fellowship Award

The duration of the fellowship is twelve months, preferably beginning in September. The program awards a stipend of $85,000. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR, and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance.

Contact CFR

For more information, please visit www.cfr.org/fellowships, or contact fellowships@cfr.org or 212.434.9740.

 

 

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

StartingBloc: Eleven fantastic opportunities for change-makers

According to StartingBloc these are 11 opportunities that should be considered for those who consider themselves change-makers:

 1. StartBloc NYC: The NY Institute happens on Aug. 14 and applications close on July 10 at midnight (EDT). Another session in Washington, DC is scheduled for October 2014.

2. ProInspire Fellowship: ProInspire help private-sector professionals transition to the public sector through a 1-year fellows program and placement at a non-profit.

3. Atlas Service Corps: Atlas Corps finds leaders from emerging economies and places them in 12-18 months positions at US-based non-profits.

4. ThinkImpact Winter Institutes: ThinkImpact takes students to rural villages in Africa and South America for 2-3 weeks to work on and experience social innovation first-hand.

5. New Sector Alliance: 11-month Fellowship for social sector leaders, provides $20K stipend and a work placement in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco or the Twin Cities.

6. CORO Fellowship in Public Affairs: Demanding, 9-month, city-based leadership program that provides multiple field placements with access to public-sector leaders.

7. City Year: Now in its 25th year, City Year Fellows work directly with students for 11-month assignments in high-poverty communities around the country.

8. Kiva Fellows: Fellows are placed as volunteers for 4-12 months with local microfinance organizations in 70 countries around the world.

9. Emerge America: A 7-month training program designed to get more Democratic women candidates elected to public office across the country.

10. SOROS Fellowship: Up to $45,000 in grants to support 2 years of graduate studies for new Americans (green card, naturalized citizens).

11. SOCAP: The Social Capital Markets conference in San Francisco, from Sep 2-5. Great community, worth attending even just the extra-curricular events.

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Announcing IPSS Placement Presentations on August 19

For 3 to 6 months, each of the 2014 IPSS (International Professional Service Semester) participants have engaged in a series of internships and short term positions. These experiences have allowed them to utilize the concepts and tools learned in previous semesters, in a real professional setting. From working towards building resilience of coastal areas in Monterey county to eradicating polio in rural India, each of the IPSS participants have had the unique opportunity to use their skills, capacities and passion to “Be the solution” of the world’s more pressing issues.

On August 19, the twenty-three 2014 IPSS participants will have the opportunity to present the work they have been carrying out previous months to the MIIS Community. Each presentation will be 15 minutes long and it would be either in-person, over Skype or through an engaging and creative video. After the presentation, each participant will have the chance to answer questions or to take some feedback from faculty, staff and other members of the MIIS community.

Further information on times and location for each of the presentations can be found here (locations and times might change).

Even though all presentations are open to the MIIS Community at large, seating is limited, so we encourage anyone interested in attending to RSVP by sending a short note to ipss@miis.edu indicating the session(s) they would like to attend.

International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) is an immersive learning experience, integrating academic work with professional experience.  Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit.  The IPSS program is offered through the Graduate School of International Policy and Management (GSIPM) during the spring semester. For more information about IPSS please visit: go.miis.edu/ipss

Friday, June 20th, 2014

22 Tips for Living in a New Country

MIIS and FMS Alumna Danielle Steer Shares Tips on Living and Working Abroad

Over the course of the next two months, 21 Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) Fellows will be heading into emerging markets as scouts, business development consultants, and impact investing associates. FMS fellows come from a variety of backgrounds and have very diverse international experiences.  For some, the FMS field placement is a first exposure to living and working in an emerging market.

Ready, Set, Travel!

As an alumna of the Monterey Institute MPA program, I can’t begin to count the number of experiences my colleagues and I have shared about being a development practitioner including “how to cope” and “methods for success”.

I decided to enlist the help of fellow FMS and Monterey Institute alumni to give our fellows advice for living and working in the developing world. Their collective advice stems from experience in Nigeria, Cameroon, Rwanda, Peru, Ecuador, Philippines, and India.

Tips for Living and Working in an Emerging Economy

  • Talk to your taxi driver!  They have some of the best suggestions for local places to check out and more generally just some great stories about life.
  • Get close to a family or two, especially if you’re in a more rural area.  This will give you so much more insight than just hanging with the expat crew.  Have meals with these people a lot.  They will also look out for you.
  • Invest in a good fan that oscillates, embrace crowded bus rides, and keep a good sense of humor.
  • It’s okay to be homesick. There may be moments when you long for the safety of “home.”  Find a way to bring a piece of home with you to self-sooth when need be (i.e. a DVD, favorite book, cooking spices and ingredients, or Siracha).
  • When family and friends visit have them bring you items from “home” like cheddar, mac & cheese boxes, and socks.
  • Take part in four things that can expedite building relationships – playing sports, music/dancing, food, & drinking (albeit not to excess or to the point where you cannot make sound judgments).
  • Be prepared for reverse culture shock.  Sure, there will be some initial culture shock when you move out of your home country.  But no one ever prepared me for the reverse culture shock.  It might hit you when you order a coffee in Swahili at Starbucks or when you are overly cautious trying to cross the street in your hometown.  If you can, get in touch with other people who might be experiencing it at the same time or who can sympathize.  That community of people “who get it” when you are stunned by consistent electricity or hot running water is comforting. 
Sierra Leone Peacebuilding J-Term Trip

Sierra Leone Peacebuilding J-Term Trip

Money & Safety

  • In a taxi, lock both back doors. Sometimes people try to open them while you are sitting in traffic.
  • Keep your money in two places on you. If a thief tries to steal from you, pull out your stack with less money and say that’s all you have.
  • Keep $50 USD in small bills stashed away in your luggage.
  • Try to find out before arriving at your assignment whether or not credit/debit cards are commonly accepted.  More often than not, you’ll need to carry cash, so finding an ATM in a well-lit, secure location is key.
  • Put together a thoughtful budget before you leave.  How much are you willing and/or expecting to pay for housing each month?  Groceries?  It adds up quick, and if you’re traveling with a fixed amount of cash in the bank, you don’t want to find yourself in a sticky financial situation without a backup plan.
  • A steripen is a great small investment. You can use it anywhere and it saves a bunch of money as opposed to buying bottled water.  It’s also good for the environment.
  • If you are a single (read: unmarried) female, regardless of having a boyfriend or not, be prepared to frequently explain your lack of husband.  (Side note: You’re not likely to convince an inquiring man to change his stance on the matter, but don’t let it keep you from sharing your point of view.  “Some of my female colleagues chose to wear fake wedding rings to avoid this, but I personally didn’t feel right pretending to be married just to avoid these conversations.”)
  • Keep your bag or backpack in front of you down by your legs or on your lap when traveling or at a restaurant.
Taksi

Lock the doors!

Keeping in Touch

  • A picture is worth a thousand words.  Take as many pictures as you can of your community, your work, and your travels but know when to be discreet either out of respect or for your own safety.  It might feel vain, but ask people to take pictures of you in the field as well. It makes for better storytelling and helps your family and friends to better understand what you did. Not to mention when you’re feeling nostalgic upon your return, it’s nice to look back.
  • Post about your travels via social media. Someone in your network will always have a good recommendation for a connection, place to eat, or site to visit.

Work Life

  • Patience is a virtue: In Peru, everyone is late, and people have different professional standards. In the end these are all cultural differences and shouldn’t be taken personally.
  • Take your colleagues out to lunch!  You’ll get a taste for local cuisine, build relationships, and hopefully pick up on some local slang!
Team Peru- Youth in Cacchin

Team Peru- Youth in Cacchin

Final Advice

  • During rainy season, don’t walk through flood water in the street. There may be a hole in the ground that you don’t see.
  • Don’t be scared to rock a fanny pack!
  • Never travel without the following:

                              Pocket knife & sewing kit                                                                      
                              Lighter
                              Small padlock
                              Charcoal pills (for tummy aches and intestinal issues)
                              Calendula cream (for mosquito bites and burns)
                              Duct tape (It really fixes everything!)

Have any intriguing travel tips or stories of your own? Please share them via: professional.dev@miis.edu

 

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