Graduates of our International Policy and Development (IPD) master’s degree program pursue rewarding careers researching, analyzing, and creating effective solutions to the world’s most pressing policy and development challenges.

Alumni Careers

Why the Institute: Make Your Career Count

I came all the way from Ghana in 1999 to the US. Landed in New York first, went to Florida, and then eventually to Minneapolis, and then to school in Iowa. And then four years after going through studies with languages I came to Monterey. At MIIS, I loved the opportunity to really apply what I was learning to real issues.

And I got an internship with UNICEF and I started working for the social protection for children and women. That was when I really dug deep. And since then I have been doing work with women and girls and children. Currently, I serve on the board of the African Women’s Development Fund USA.

Really raising visibility within the diaspora about the contributions of African women, about getting resources into their hands to do what they have to do. Looking at how do you build movements, vigorous, vibrant, women’s movements. And then looking at feminism in it’s own space and what does it mean to be an African feminist.

What does it mean to be a young woman leader? Women do hold the solutions in their hands. Seeing how resourceful women are, how resilient they are, how courageous they are, how bold they are. I learn so much even about myself as a woman. I started something called being a whole woman, which means I bring all of who I am to everything I do.

I bring my trials, my successes, my failures, my faith, my intellectual capacity, my passion, my talents, my gifts. I bring all of that, so when I show up I don’t show up in silos, but I show up in the fullness of who I’ve been created to be. For me feminism is not about a power struggle, it’s about recognizing the values and the assets and the contributions.

Women realizing that they can be carpenters, they can be engineers, they can be masons, they can be whatever they want to be. You give them the freedom and the permission to live boldly, to live powerfully, you allow them to also show up as that whole woman or as that whole leader.

Because I strongly believe that the power to lead comes from the commitment to serve.

Cassandra Otero MAIPD '20

Cassandra Otero

Current Employment: Mind Over Border Community Organizer, La Cocina (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Internship: Centro Legal de la Raza and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (Oakland, California)

Institute Advantage: The career management course offered by the Center for Advising and Career Services as well as meetings with my advisor definitely helped a great deal.

Story: How I Got Hired

Onaba Payab headshot

Onaba Payab

Current Employment: Community and Partnerships Manager, Here East (London, England)

First Job after Graduation: Director of Advancement, American University of Afghanistan (Kabul, Afghanistan)

Internship: Gender Fellow, the Asia Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Institute Advantage: Career consultation with professors at the Institute helped me grow professionally.

Story: Leading from the Front

Claire Potdevin headshot

Claire Potdevin

Current Employment: Fiscal Policy Expert, United Nations Environment Programme (Malmo, Sweden)

Previous: Lead Consultant for Open Data Portal Development, United Nations Development Programme (Dili, Timor-Leste)

First Job after Graduation: Research Intern, United Nations Development Program-IICPSD (Istanbul, Turkey)

Institute Advantage: I took general courses, which gave me a broad view of theoretical and practical challenges in the world of development, and core courses on policy evaluation and assessment tools, which I still use today. I applied firsthand what I was learning in class to real-life issues, including a “water challenge” competition to solve the water shortage in Monterey.

Story: Dispatch from East Timor

Manique Rao, International Policy Development graduate

Monique Rao

Current Employment: Grants Specialist, ClimateWorks Foundation (San Franciso, California)

First Job after Graduation: Program Associate, the Erik E. and Edith H. Bergstrom Foundation (Atherton, California)

Internship: Evaluation Intern, UNICEF (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Experiential Learning: January Term Practicum, Chile

Institute Advantage: There was definitely no way I could have gotten my position with UNICEF if I hadn’t earned my degree from the Institute. A professor suggested I apply for internships in Cambodia so that I’d be eligible for the Freeman Foundation Award, which I ended up getting.

Ariana Sawyer headshot

Ariana Sawyer

Current Employment: U.S. Border Researcher, Human Rights Watch (Los Angeles, California) 

Institute Advantage: I think that the aspects of my Middlebury Institute education that are critical to my work today are the language courses and immigration classes. I now regularly draft policy memos, and to do so I must frequently refer to and understand international human rights law and interview Spanish speakers.

Story: How I Got Hired

Jorge Silva headshot

Jorge Silva

Current Employment: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, D.C.)

First Job after Graduation: Hispanic Press Team Intern, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (Washington, D.C.)

Internship: FIFA World Cup in South Africa

Institute Advantage: The range of people who choose the Institute—the tremendous diversity of backgrounds and experiences—is what made my time there meaningful. They helped me understand issues from different points of view. I gained valuable knowledge about how policies are developed and the consequences they carry. This wealth of insight combined with a knowledgeable faculty helped me process complex concepts and be able to communicate them simply to a diverse group of people.

Check out more profiles on our development, policy, and trade career insights blog.

One Year After Graduation

Many of our alumni are in rewarding careers around the world; scroll down to see where they are and what they are doing within one year of graduation.

Mouse over charts to see details.

Data sources and terminology

Location (Employed or Continuing Education)

Afghanistan; Canada; Chad; Georgia; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Nepal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Switzerland; Syria; Tunisia; United States

Select Employers

  • 18 Coffees
  • Access Media Productions
  • Accion
  • Administration Of Georgian Government
  • Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Red Cross - Monterey Bay Area Chapter
  • ANC Consult
  • API legal outreach
  • Atira Women’s Resource Society
  • Bank of the West
  • Bluelabs Analytics 
  • Bosnian American Genocide Institute and Education Center
  • Charisma on Command
  • Color Factory
  • Deloitte 
  • Democracy Fund
  • Facebook
  • Family Violence Appellate Project
  • Freedom House
  • Google
  • Government of Kazahkstan
  • Green Plus Consultancy
  • Guidehouse
  • help2kids
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Immigrant Defenders Law Center
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • International Organization for Migration
  • International Republican Institute
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Kharon
  • Literacy Pittsburgh
  • Lutheran Services Carolinas
  • Marion County
  • Middlebury Institute
  • Mission Asset Fund
  • Moveworks
  • Namati
  • NOVACT - International Institute for Nonviolent Action
  • Office of the First Lady 
  • Oxfam
  • Pan American Development Foundation
  • Parliamentarians for Global Action
  • Pinkerton
  • Research Partnership
  • San Francisco AIDS Foundation
  • Search for Common Ground
  • Sebie Management
  • She Grows It
  • Shortlist Professionals
  • Sierra Leone National Investment Board, Office of the Vice President
  • Teach For America
  • The Carter Center
  • The Coalition of Homeless Services Providers
  • The Institute For Criminal Justice Training Reform
  • The Mark USA
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Department of State
  • United Nations
  • YWCA Monterey County


Select Positions

  • Communications & Engagement Manager
  • Compliance Officer
  • Consultant: Technical Advisor
  • Criminal Justice Researcher
  • Cultural Orientation Caseworker
  • Data Operations Analyst
  • Digital Data Analyst
  • Director of Operational Excellence
  • Economic Development Specialist
  • Evaluation Associate
  • Field Manager
  • Human Trafficking Staff Member
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Monitoring & Evaluation Associate
  • Product Director
  • Program Officer
  • Project Manager 
  • Regional Manager
  • Research Associate
  • US Border Researcher



The Middlebury Institute has partnerships with the following employers for unique internship opportunities—click on the link for more information:

Employer Testimonial

“[The student] consistently went above and beyond to complete her assignments … preparing a complete two-day training … to accompany a new advocacy guide we were developing. [She] worked efficiently and was always prepared with materials. She took ownership of the project, often exploring new ideas on her own time. On numerous occasions, [she] would share a new idea she’d found by talking with professors, colleagues, etc.”

International Professional Service Semester Supervisor, Mercy Corps

Summer 2019–2021

Secured Opportunity: 88% (several opportunities canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

Locations: Armenia, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Rwanda, Senegal, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United States, Viet Nam

Select Internship Employers

There are 60+ employers of recent IPD interns, a few are highlighted below:

  • Amnesty International
  • Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Center for International Policy 
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • City of Los Angeles
  • Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture
  • FinClusive
  • Human Rights Watch
  • ILC Africa
  • Institute for Security Governance
  • International Organization for Migration
  • International Rescue Committee
  • IREX
  • Kroll
  • Mercy Corps
  • Namati
  • National Bureau of Asian Research
  • ReThink Media
  • Rwanda Ministry of Education
  • Search for Common Ground
  • Toniic
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United Nations Human Rights Office
  • United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
  • United Nations Population Fund
  • Volta Revival Foundation

Select Internship Position Titles

  • Africa Business and Social Change Fellow
  • Asia Pacific Fellow
  • Business Outcomes Research Analyst Intern
  • Business Intelligence and Investigations Intern
  • Compliance Analyst
  • Conflict Resolution Evaluation Fellow
  • Donor Relations Intern
  • Economic Empowerment Intern
  • Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative Intern
  • Global Support Intern
  • Mayoral Aide
  • Migration Research Intern
  • Monitoring & Evaluation Consultant
  • Political Affairs Intern
  • Program Associate
  • Public Information Resource Coordinator
  • Research and Evaluation Fellow
  • Researcher and Policy Analyst
  • Resource Mobilization Intern
  • Strategy Consultant