| by Daniel Delgado MAIPD '21


Daniel Delgado
Daniel Delgado MAIPD ‘21 helps to promote innovation and entrepreneurship at his current role as the Senior Innovation Project Lead at FedTech.

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 Daniel Delgado and I graduated with an MA in International Policy and Development from the Middlebury Institute in 2021. My language of study was Spanish and I specialized in evaluation and analysis. I interned with GOAL Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale, California, and now I am a senior innovation project lead at FedTech in San Diego, California.

I lead innovation programs for NavalX’s Inland Empire Tech Bridge, with a heavy regional focus on building a dual-use innovation ecosystem for Southern California-based entrepreneurs, federal and university labs, and tech-based startups to promote national security.

Networking and hands-on experience are key! During my time at the Institute and immediately after graduation, I spent three years in Silicon Valley at Plug and Play Tech Center running international market access programs for overseas startups and governments looking to expand into the United States. I had the incredible opportunity to work with hundreds of government agencies and entrepreneurs working on the coolest up-and-coming technologies from 10+ countries from Southeast Asia to Europe, and even traveling to South Korea and Singapore to meet with critical stakeholders.

Networking and hands-on experience are key!
— Daniel Delgado MAIPD ’21

Focus on Communication and Build Good Relationships

My best advice for current students is that it’s not all about work—build good relationships! Group projects prepared me for my career working in innovation and technology, especially at the international level. I spent my time at the Institute during the COVID-19 pandemic working with classmates based in every corner of the world. Maximize this time you have in groups to build real relationships, and learn how to communicate cross-culturally.

I developed these skills at MIIS so that when I stepped into my very-global role at Plug and Play, I at least had exposure to working on that level. With every government agency, startup, and entrepreneur, whether international or domestic I worked with, I led with one motto: Get to know them as a human. It’s incredible how building just one tie can impact both your professional and your personal life.