| by Ellen Kincaid MAIEP ’13


Ellen Kincaid
Ellen Kincaid ‘13 pictured with her colleagues from Highland Pellets, LLC.

Middlebury Institute graduates discuss where they are working today, how the Institute helped them get there, and what advice they’d give to current and future MIIS students.

My name is Ellen Kincaid and I graduated from the International Environmental Policy (IEP) program at the Middlebury Institute in 2013. My language of study was Japanese. Before the Institute, I attended Washington State University. I am currently working as the Chief Sustainability Officer at Highland Pellets, LLC. In this role, I am essentially the catchall for sustainability at the company. During my time at Highland, my work has grown from maintaining certifications for the company to working strategically on where the certifications are moving in the future, what ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and GHG (greenhouse gas) reporting we need to do, and what policies are coming out around the world.

When I look back on my time in Monterey and how it translated to my career, the diversity of courses is one aspect that has been very useful for me. I’m using a bit of everything I learned at MIIS including GIS, back-of-the-envelope calculations, policy review and implementation, and forest management strategies. I also got my first job in my current field through the Middlebury Institute network. 

Try New Things!

The best advice I can give current students is to enjoy the ride and try new things while you are at the Institute. There are a lot of opportunities for growth at MIIS, and I recommend all of them. But even without all the extra opportunities, you’ll have a great network and wonderful experiences to guide your career through your life.