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

 

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

DPMI in DC – Cultivating Innovative Agents of Social Change!

This post contributed by Kelly Quackenbush, MPA candidate ‘15

I find myself in a very familiar place: An airport. As a current MIIS student and former Peace Corps volunteer, the fact that airports are familiar to me is surely no shocker. The airport I am in today happens to be Reagan International, just a quick metro ride from the exciting, even intoxicating city of Washington, DC, where I have just spent three incredible weeks with an incredibly diverse and inspiring group of people.

That’s right, I was at DPMI DC, building my network and learning practical tools and concepts for development work from some of the most highly respected professionals in the field. As someone in her 30s who has already been involved with development work, I initially wondered if this training was for me. It was. It was also for the recent college grads, and the current development workers. One participant, who works in the social responsibility department of his company, told me this was “the best training his work had ever sent him to.”

Click here to read more

Friday, June 13th, 2014

FMS Alum makes Headlines with his Social Enterprise in Brazilian Favelas

 

FMS alum Elliot Rosenberg has had great success with his own social enterprise, “Favela Experience.”  This is a way for tourists to stay in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas and experience the local culture. Elliot’s personal experience staying with host families is what inspired his business model. By staying in the authentic and culturally rich Favelas, tourists gain a unique perspective and learn about the way of life of their hosts. Additionally, the local hosts earn a sustainable income and get the chance to meet culturally diverse guests. With the World Cup approaching, his business is growing and was featured in Next Billion Blog. http://www.nextbillion.net/blogpost.aspx?blogid=3670

When asked why he decided to start Favela Experience, Elliott remarked, “When I first visited Rio’s favelas, I was overwhelmed by the exciting culture and hospitable people.  I knew I had to open these communities to the world in an immersive way that contributes to local development.” By promoting tourism within the favelas, the negative connotations are also improved.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that during the World Cup, over 600,000 tourists are expected to visit Rio and compete for 55,400 hotel rooms. There lies an excellent opportunity for business and sustainable development within Rio’s favelas. Hotels are rapidly increasing prices, and tourists are even willing to pay more to stay in the home-stays.

When asked about the role of profit in a social enterprise, Elliot reports that, “Social enterprises should aim to be wildly profitable, in order to have the most social impact.  Profitable businesses get the best talent, they garner the most investment, and they expand.  If people can improve the world and become incredibly wealthy at the same time, why shouldn’t they?  It’s a destructive cultural norm that we censure social change agents who make a lot of money; it’s backward how we accept that the people who most harm society and the environment have the highest salaries. If we can reverse that mindset, we’ll see a radical shift in capital toward ventures addressing the world’s most pressing problems.”

Elliot’s social enterprise has been mentioned in CNN, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the Wall Street Journal. To learn more about the Frontier Market Scouts training, visit go.miis.edu/fms

 

 

 

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Two MIIS Students Intern at the UNDP Pacific Centre in Fiji

fiji

The Graduate School of International Policy and Management would like to congratulate Madeline Stoeri and Deniz Firat for landing internships at the UNDP’s Pacific Center in Fiji. The Fiji Office of the Pacific works with the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands (sub office), Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Madeline Stoeri, MPA Candidate for Fall 2014 will be working on the Corporate Management Team at the UNDP Pacific Centre. Deniz Firat, IPS Candidate for Fall 2014 will be working in Effective Governance.

The UNDP Pacific Centre works with the 10 Pacific Island territories and countries toward the Millennium Development Goals. Starting in 2015, the UNDP Pacific Centre will also help the countries build on outcomes of the UN Convention on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to address emerging focuses, such as the sustainable use of oceanic and other resources.  The initiatives will focus on empowering the women and the youth by recognizing their rights and responsibilities. Learn more about the UNDP Pacific Centre’s work here: http://www.fj.undp.org/content/fiji/en/home.html

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

PTD Webinar: Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Peace Trade and Development Program

This week, Special Programs Manager Erina McWilliam-Lopez and MIIS Professor Jeff Dayton-Johnson hosted a webinar to deliver a deeper understanding of the Peace Trade and Development program. The webinar elaborates on the uniqueness of the program’s combination of classroom learning and diverse site visits. The top tier graduate faculty will teach in depth the three pillars of the program, Peace building, International Trade, and Economic Development. The central and northern California region also provides a wealth of organizations that the program participants will visit to complement the classroom learning.

Professor Jeff Dayton-Johnson is a development economist with years of experience in international development, including being the head of the OECD Development Centre’s Latin America and Caribbean Desk.  Other professors of the Peace Trade and Development program include Professor Iyer, Professor Scorse, and Professor Rheusen.

The webinar can be viewed at this link: http://middlebury.adobeconnect.com/p1swohwsohi/

Apply to the PTD program by 6/7 http://www.miis.edu/academics/short/trade-development/node/172

Questions? Contact emcwilliam@miis.edu

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Applications for the Peace, Trade, and Development are due Monday, June 9!

PTD at Google

It’s not too late for you or your colleagues to take part in an engaging global summer experience and apply to the Monterey Institute’s Peace Trade and Development Program. The PTD program utilizes the richness of the areas of Central and Northern California as a laboratory to explore the dynamics of global systems. From start to finish, you will be engaged in active and immersion learning experiences. You will leave the program with a solid and holistic understanding of global affairs, experienced first-hand within a 60-mile ratio from the Institute. This program is designed for upper-level undergraduates, prospective graduate students, and new professionals to expose them to challenging learning experiences in order to master key concepts and tools in human security, global trade, social change and development.  Please share this bog with any interested or qualified candidate for the program.

Here is what program participants can look forward:

        Gain a comprehensive understanding of trade and economic development by visiting innovative businesses in Silicon Valley and by interacting with trade policy professionals at the San Jose Free-Trade Zone.

        Learn firsthand about issues pertaining to social justice and youth violence and strategies for building community resilience through a multi-stakeholder process.

        Join an impressive global network of previous participants and like-minded professionals propelling social change around the world.

        Walk away with an Academic Certificate from a globally recognized top tier graduate school

Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIK6tgRJy80

Dates: July 7-31.

Application Deadline: June 1, 2014

Location: Monterey Institute campus with site visits to Silicon Valley, and San Francisco Bay Area.

Contact: Erina McWilliam-Lopez, (831) 647-4645 or emcwilliam@miis.edu

http://go.miis.edu/peacetrade

Monday, May 26th, 2014

DPMI Celebrates 10 Years with a Toast from Freedom from Hunger CEO Steve Hollingworth

May 22, DPMI alumni and friends gathered in the DLC to celebrate 10 years of DPMI, and the many partnerships that nurtured the program’s achievements and innovation.

Honored guests in attendance were Beryl Levinger, Ed Laurence, and CEO of Freedom from Hunger Steve Hollingworth who offered the keynote toast.

The evening kicked off with attendees breaking the ice by answering the question, “if you could have a super power, what would it be?” Below are just a few things that would change as a result of DPMI super powers:

  • No more income disparity
  • Environmental damage would be reversed
  • Steve Hollingworth would be able to slam dunk a basketball…every time!

DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program are invited to attend the D.C. 10 year anniversary reception:

In Washington, D.C.:
When: Thursday, May 29 from 6:15 – 8:00pm
Where: Middlebury office in DC, 1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1225
Who: DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program
Guest Speaker: Michelle DeFayette, Integrated Learning Systems Practice Area Director at Engility Corporation/International Resources Group
Contactdpmi@miis.edu or call 831.647.6417

About: DPMI is a three-week professional training program that prepares participants for managing development projects around the world. Since its’ founding in 2004, DPMI has accomplished many milestones, including trainings in Ecuador, Egypt, Rwanda, and a training that will take place in Kenya this summer. All programs combined have cultivated approximately 970 new development leaders, from 40 different countries.

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

World Bee Project

Sanghata Global co-founder and early FMS partner and supporter, Sabiha Malik recently traveled to Malaysia to speak about the World Bee Project she recently started with the help of FMS Alum, Ravi Kurani, current FMS scout, Peter Nawaneri and MIIS’ Director of Immersive Professional Learning and Special Programs’ Carolyn Taylor Meyer.

The World Bee Project, a UK-based social enterprise is tackling the global challenge of declining honeybee populations through an innovative and scalable model for indigenous honeybee conservation.

Partnering with local communities and enterprises, the World Bee Project aims to increase agricultural productivity, conserve biodiversity and improve livelihood opportunities for the rural poor by creating and supporting beekeeping projects worldwide.

To hear more about the World Bee Project, watch Sabiha Malik’s interview with William Morris on THE ENGLISH HOUR

photo.1

Sabiha Malik talking with M.A. students at Limkokwing University in London.  Limkokwing is a private international university with 13 campuses worldwide which awards full scholarships to Malaysia’s brightest talents.

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

DPMI 10th Anniversary Celebrations

Come out and help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Development Project Management Institute! This summer’s cohort will bring the total participants trained to over 1000!

There are two events happening this month to commemorate the occasion:

In Monterey:
When: Thursday, May 22 from 6:00 -9:00pm
Where: Monterey Institute, Digital Learning Commons
Who: DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program
Guest Speaker: Steve Hollingworth, CEO of Freedom from Hunger
Contact: dpmi@miis.edu or call 831.647.6417

In Washington, D.C.:
When: Thursday, May 29 from 6:15 – 8:00pm
Where: Middlebury office in DC, 1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1225
Who: DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program
Guest Speaker: Michelle DeFayette, Integrated Learning Systems Practice Area Director at Engility Corporation/International Resources Group
Contactdpmi@miis.edu or call 831.647.6417

Food and beverages provided.

About the Monterey Speaker:

steve-hollingworthSteve Hollingworth has served as President of Freedom from Hunger since September 2011. An expert in international development, his fields of expertise include: microenterprise and microfinance, health, education, agriculture, environment, civil society strengthening, local capacity-building, governance and emergency relief and rehabilitation.

Prior to joining Freedom from Hunger, Hollingworth spent 26 years with CARE, most recently as Chief Operating Officer, based in Atlanta, GA. In this capacity, he was instrumental in developing and implementing organization-wide strategy and was responsible for direct line management of global operations and programs with a total of 13,000 employees and a budget of $650 million. He has also held senior field positions in Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), Africa (Lesotho) and Latin America (Bolivia), building collaboration between practitioners, technical assistance providers, donors and government agencies.

Mr. Hollingworth has an M.S. in Economics, Development Studies, from Victoria University of Manchester, UK and a B.A. in Economics from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

About the D.C. Speaker:

Michelle. EngilityMichelle DeFayette has worked for Engility/IRG – a leading provider of training, systems engineering services, program management and operational support for US Government-funded development projects – since 2009. An expert in international development, her fields of expertise include: facilitation, training, capacity building, organizational development, strategic planning and e-learning.

Prior to joining Engility/IRG, DeFayetter spent 8 years with USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance as Training Manager. In this capacity, she was responsible for designing, developing, facilitating, and managing instructor-led and online courses in new employee orientation, grant-making to relief organizations, safety and security, direct disaster response activities, team management, and coordination with US Government and international entities. Her impressive body of work in the Agency made her the recipient of the USAID Superior Group Award, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) in 2008, and the USAID Meritorious Honor Group Award, OFDA Training Unit for Iraq, Sudan, and Tsunami disaster response in 2005.

Starting in January 2015, Ms. DeFayette will join DPMI as a faculty member thanks to a strategic partnership developed between Engility/IRG and the Monterey Institute, which also include a number of DPMI+ placements.

Ms. DeFayette has an M.A. in International Communication from American University in Washington, DC and a B.A. in Political Science from Iowa State University.

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

DPMI Plus Colloquium – Webcast!

DPMI Colloquium

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Alex Amling IPSS Cambodia

From posting these blogs to writing them! 

 

IPSS in Cambodia

It seems like ages that I was working at the GSIPM front desk, driving my boss and other staff “insane” with my preparation-related anxieties and emotional outbursts for my IPSS applications. I am sure they were as much relieved as I was when the Cambodia Office of The Asia Foundation approved my application.

Today, 93F/62% humidity (and climbing!), Cambodia feels already like home and it’s only been 7 weeks. Why does it feel like home? When I came back to Phnom Penh from a weekend visit to Siem Reap a few weeks ago, I was sitting at the back of a motorbike taxi driving me home from the bus station. I was directing him, and I got this strange feeling of coming home. I knew my way around, recognized buildings and streets. Anybody slightly familiar with Phnom Penh knows that the streets in this city are a nightmare. House numbers do not make any sense. The only way to communicate where you are is you or a building in relation to a street intersecting. You get the hang of it pretty quickly: “Hey, I live at Street 278, close to street 143, third building on the left, next to a school. Our house has a green iron gate. Walk east towards the Olympic Stadium if you get lost and call me.”  Or, “my work is on Street 242, between Monivong Blvd and Street 63.” I communicate with motorbike taxis and tuk tuk drivers the same way, “Just head towards the Royal Palace, I will show you.” Fascinating!

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It was scary to hop on a motorbike at first but now I have a bike. It is a lot of fun to bike through Phnom Penh especially on the weekends when traffic is slow. Most of the time, however, it feels like committing suicide when I merge into the traffic. There are no apparent rules, except for one: Be reckless and inch your way forward at all cost! This is particularly evident at traffic lights when the time is ticking down. At 10 seconds, you can feel the vibe of hundreds of motorbike drivers around you, getting itchy, accelerating – vroom vroom –  and rolling forward inch by inch, hitting your tire, and releasing a bunch of exhaust fumes into your face. Not that it will do anything for them – and it certainly does not do anything for me except speeding up the decay of my inner organs – but it is hilarious to watch. Then the traffic light hits 3 seconds. Oh boy! The patience has come to a sudden death, an invisible conductor begins to direct the honking concert and the chaos unfolds. The bus coming straight at you, no problem. People here can manoeuver very well. There is also a panacea for this: drafting behind a big SUV or within a group of 10 motorbikes which are forcing their way through traffic and I am good to go. Or, change lanes to the opposite side and wait on the sidewalk (the 3 or 4 in this city that actually earn the name sidewalk) and take any opportunity to make a left turn even though
the traffic light for the left turn lane is still red. I am afraid I have to re-learn how to drive when I come back to the US.

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MIISmafia reunion in Phnom Penh from left: MPA alumna Alex Murga, IPSS Candidate Alexandra Amling, IPS alumni Meg Fukuzawa and Robin Narcisso.

I was very fortunate when I got here because the arm of the MIIS Mafia reaches very far. During my preparations, I bombarded two MIIS alumni and friends working and living in Phnom Penh with hundreds of questions. We are currently four MIIS alumni because the fourth rejoined in March. They can take credit for having made my stay here so comfortable and relaxed. The first day, we went out to a local market and despite signs of a culture shock for me, my friend’s nonchalant demeanor made walking the streets of Phnom Penh almost normal. Thanks to them, I have come to love Phnom Penh very quickly.

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Cambodia is host to a plethora of NGOs, both local and international. Any non-Khmer person you meet on the streets introduces him/herself as “I am working for XYZ.” There is an obvious “invasion” of French people in Cambodia, and then, of course, the Aussies who openly call Southeast Asia their backyard. Honestly, however, Australia is the backbone of many projects here and the biggest donor. If it wasn’t for their support, many things in Cambodia would still not work very well. Not to advocate donor dependency or dismiss foreign aid as something inherently bad, the work that’s being done in Cambodia is incredible. The country is changing rapidly, economically and socially. Just the structure is still limping and has not caught up yet.

My work for TAF (yes, acronyms and abbreviations are not just a MIIS specialty!) is very challenging and inspiring. The first-hand experience of the “real thing” is amazing. The NGO field is so diverse and development has many facets. Networking is fantastic and I have met so many interesting people with very diverse backgrounds. It is an eye opener for the different possibilities and niches out there.

I will be working on a project on Intimate Partner Violence which is quite severe in the Asia-Pacific region with current studies indicating very high prevalence rates.7 Going beyond the nominative aspects of focusing on attitudes towards acceptance of violence against women, I will support a project that will look at the macro-level. I already participated in a workshop from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs,
experiencing the dynamics between donors and recipients. I am very excited to work on a project that is contributing to tackling such a serious problem.

Coming from a strictly academic and research heavy background, I have not been oblivious to the technical hurdles of policy design, implementation and evaluation, but working with people in this field makes the rather abstract discussions in a Policy Analysis class a lot more tangible.6 That being said, I have finally made my way to
Asia after all these years and, as my wonderful Australian coworker put it the other day, I am “finally becoming important.”

I am growing on many levels with IPSS. It is a good start for navigating the abyss of career development, applying knowledge and learning to know who you are.

 

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Room to Dream: A Reflection on Rwanda

Earlier this year, the Development Project Management Institute took approximately 25 MIIS students to Rwanda for an intensive, culturally immersive training. They were joined by 9 Rwandans, as well as participants from places like Russia, Germany, and Haiti.

Minister of Youth and ICT DPMI Rwanda

The trip was co-facilitated by Dr. Beryl Levinger and Marie Kagaju Laugharn, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. 

Marie writes, “During the 1990s, the world equated Rwanda with genocide. This was the lens through which the media and the world saw my country. Today, I want people everywhere to know more about the positive changes happening in Rwanda, as these changes are more nuanced and not well documented or reported. Rwanda is clearly very resilient, working hard, and aspiring to make it. Like Jane and many others like her in Rwanda, the whole country has big dreams and hopes for its future, and it felt great to witness that first-hand.”

For an thoughtful reflection on Rwanda and the experience of DPMI participants, please check out the rest of Marie’s blog here: http://skees.org/foundation_news/136-room_to_dream_a_reflection_on_rwanda 

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

If I could change one thing in the world….

GSIPM is pleased to introduce a new blog series – One Change (#onechange).  The series will be a collection of multimedia stories featuring staff, faculty, and students, all given their answer to the question “If I could make one change in the world, it would look like this….”

Our first GSIPM faculty member to be a part of this series is Kent Glenzer, the Associate Professor (MPA/MBA) and Acting Program Chair for Master’s in Public Administration.  After many years working with non-profits all over the world, Kent became an instructor so that he could, “help students avoid the mistakes my generational colleagues and I made.”  In this #onechange video, Kent highlights the importance and effectiveness of long-term goal setting for organizations.

Please be sure to add your reactions to Kent’s video in the comments section below!

Do you have one change in mind? Submit your #onechange stories to: professional.dev@miis.edu

 

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

MPA Capstone Participants to host a Showcase Fair on May 8, 12-2pm, McCone Atrium

MPA-CapstoneMPA students will present their capstone projects during an innovative 2-hour poster fair in the McCone Atrium on Thursday, May 8, 12-2pm. Presenters will offer up new ideas and share key takeaways in their quest to provide creative solutions for pressings issues – in our local Monterey neighborhoods and in various corners of the world.

 

Featured MPA Capstone Projects include:

Crowdfunding Campaign Design and Management

Implementing a Successful Innovation Center in Salinas

Integrating Social Wealth Indicators into Monterey County Performance Measures

Promoting Entrepreneurship in Afghanistan

Click here to download a complete list of excellent work on showcase.

The 2014 MPA capstone class invites the entire MIIS community as well as interested local community members. Guests are encouraged to ask questions, share feedback, join the dialog.

A reception will follow the showcase fair starting at 2:00 PM at the Digital Learning Commons accessible at 411 Pacific Street, Monterey CA, 93940. Light snacks and drinks will be provided.

The MPA Showcase Fair is an informational networking opportunity open to the public. Interested friends and colleagues are welcome. Support our amazing student achievements by helping us to spread the word and most importantly – be there!

Please send inquiries to: mbaimyrz@miis.edu

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