| by Sahara Saude MAIEP ’08


Saude, Sahara
Sahara Saude MAIEP ’08 diving off Bali, Indonesia’s Nusa Lembongan, where Conservation International established the first Balinese Marine Protected Area (MPA). 
  (Credit: Sterling Zumbrunn, Conservation International )

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 Sahara Saude, and I graduated with an MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute in 2008. My language of study was French, and I specialized in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management at the program inception. Today I am the director of development for Conservation International.

A highlight of studying at MIIS was interning with Conservation International (CI) in Bali, Indonesia, through the Institute’s International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program. While in Indonesia, I was able to apply what I learned from my subject expert professors in Monterey into reality. I happened to start the IPSS internship with CI the same day their new Indonesia marine program coordinator—who was also from California—began work. Together, we learned how to drive on the opposite side of the road, speak Bahasa Indonesian, and navigate Conservation International.

Over the years, I stayed in touch with her and many of the Conservation International staff that I worked with in Bali. After more than a decade, my friend, who now manages the global marine program for CI’s Center for Oceans, reached out about an open position that was a perfect fit. Last spring, I accepted an offer to work again with Conservation International as director of development for the Center for Oceans—a dream job. My position is based in Washington, D.C., and I work remotely from California.

Networking and Alumni Connections

I now work with many of the same staff that I interned with while at the Institute, as well as a few alumni. What I learned at MIIS regularly translates into the work we do at the Center for Oceans as we develop global solutions to keep our oceans healthy and inform global decision makers.

My best advice for current students as they think about future job possibilities is to trust in what sparks interest and stay in touch with those who make you spark.