| by Jason Warburg

News Stories

Muradi, Fazila
Fazila Muradi MPA/MAIEM ’23 at United Nations headquarters in New York while working with the UNICEF Innocenti Project in fall 2023.

If you’re passionate about supporting the next generation, there’s no better career preparation than an internship with UNICEF.

Over the past two years, 18 Middlebury Institute students have interned at the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.

“Working with UNICEF helped me gain valuable insights into the challenges faced by youth around the world,” says Fazila Muradi, who has since earned a joint MPA / International Education Management degree. “I learned nuances of conducting key informant interviews and researching in my second language, English. Through these activities, my skill set expanded, which is necessary for building a successful path in the development field.”

International Policy and Development / International Trade now graduate Michael Coughlen had a similar experience interning with UNICEF’s nutrition team in Abuja, Nigeria.

“I met and worked with people from a variety of backgrounds and specialties, as well as had the opportunity to work and network with UN staff outside of the Nutrition Section. The staff was very friendly and helpful and gave me great advice about a career in the field of development.”

The 18 students and their internship assignments were as follows:

Chia Aygoda MAIPD ’24  UNICEF ESARO WASH/Climate Section (Nairobi, Kenya)

John-Matthew Conely MAIPD ’24  UNICEF Responsible Data for Children, Division of Data, Analytics, Planning, and Monitoring (New York City)   

Michael Coughlen MAIPD/MAITED ’23  UNICEF Nigeria Nutrition Section (Nigeria)

Jennifer Goodson MAIPD ‘24  UNICEF ESARO Green Yoma (Nairobi, Kenya)

Elena Klein MPA/MAIEM ’23  UNICEF Nigeria Nutrition Section (Nigeria)  

Nancy Kwang Johnson MAIPD ’24  UNICEF WCARO Partnerships (Senegal)  

Xiaojing Liu MAIPD ’23  UNICEF Evaluation Team (New York City) 
Lameese Madi MAIPD ’22  UNICEF Madagascar (Madagascar) 

Emma Miller MAIPD ’24  UNICEF Programme Planning and Monitoring (Nairobi, Kenya) 

Dion Miller MAIPD ’22  UNICEF Cambodia (Cambodia) 

Fazila Muradi MPA/MAIEM ’23  UNICEF Innocenti Global Office of Research & Foresight (New York City)
Salma Rashid MPA ’23  UNICEF Child Protection Unit (Ghana)        
Stephanie Smittkamp MAIPD/MAITED ’24  UNICEF Evaluation Team (New York City)  

Katherine Treat MAIPD ’23  UNICEF Evaluation Team (New York City) 
Steven Vetarbo MAIPD ’22  UNICEF Ghana (Ghana)     
Eryn Wang BA/MPA ’22  UNICEF Evaluation Team (New York City) 

Maria Zaharatos MPA ’23  UNICEF ESARO Innovation (Nairobi, Kenya)
Katarina Zomer MAIPD/MPA ’23  UNICEF Turkey (Turkey)


Coughlen, Michael
Michael Coughlen MAIPD/MAITED ’23 (right) and colleague at UNICEF Nigeria in fall 2022.

Muradi found it was an advantage to complete the internship while still enrolled in her master’s program. 

“The projects I worked on contributed to my education at the Institute by providing me with hands-on experience in education management and communication.”

“My experience working with UNICEF gave me a very in-depth look at the realities of working in development in a country like Nigeria,” says Coughlen. “I also appreciated the opportunities to work with and meet people who are actively working across the world of development in a variety of contexts such as the UN, NGOs, and national embassies and consulates.”

The Middlebury Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNICEF in 2021 that provides internships for current Institute students.