Graduates of our International Policy and Development degree find rewarding careers in policy, international development, and human rights organizations around the world.

The D.C. Advantage

Many of our students plan to work in Washington, D.C., after they graduate. Our large and influential alumni network in the capital is eager to help you prepare you for your next steps. Our Middlebury in DC office is centrally located and provides the entire Middlebury community with a wealth of resources. Furthermore, our annual Career Exploration Week in the nation’s capital gives you facilitated and direct access to D.C.-based employers. 

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.

Wesley Laine

Wesley Lainé

Current Employment: Lawyer, Financial Institutions Regulation and Enforcement, Skadden (New York, New York)

First Job after Graduation: Founder, Haiti Philanthropy, Inc.

Institute Advantage: Policy Analysis with Professor Jeff Dayton-Johnson, International Law with Professor Warren Small, and other rigorous policy courses. Group work on case studies with brilliant classmates from various backgrounds.

Expertise: Financial institutions regulation and enforcement

Story: From Haiti with Love

Onaba Payab

Onaba Payab

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.

Expertise: Sustainable development

Story: Leading from the Front

Claire Potdevin

Claire Potdevin

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

Previous Employment: Economist, ODI Fellow, Timor-Leste Ministry of Finance (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. I also worked directly with a social change NGO in San Jose. The Institute gives students the chance to take a first step in the professional world while still in school.

Expertise: Public policy planning (with a focus on public financial management policies), and performance monitoring and evaluation

Story: Dispatch from East Timor

Manique Rao, International Policy Development graduate

Monique Rao

Current Employment: Consultant, Ipas

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

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

Immersive 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. It was Institute Professor Akaha who suggested I apply for internships in Cambodia so that I’d be eligible for the Freeman Foundation Award, which I ended up getting. The Institute course work prepared me for a position at UNICEF Cambodia as an evaluation intern. There, I did work such as program evaluation, leading capacity development, and proposal writing for international development, women’s human rights, social sector needs assessment, and social asset mapping. I’ve used elements from each of my Institute courses in my current position.

Headshot of Ariana Sawyer, a 2019 graduate of the MA in International Policy and Development

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

Jorge Silva

Current Employment: Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Advisor for Jacky Rosen, U.S. Senator from Nevada (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.

Expertise: Communication

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 12 months of graduation.

Mouse over charts to see details.

Data sources and terminology



Afghanistan; Chad; Georgia; Kenya; Malawi; Nepal; Switzerland; Syria; Taiwan; United States

Select Employers
  • Accion
  • Administration of Georgian Government
  • API legal outreach
  • BlueLabs Analytics 
  • Democracy Fund
  • Facebook
  • Green Plus Consultancy
  • help2kids
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • International Organization for Migration
  • Office of the First Lady of Afghanistan 
  • Oxfam
  • Research Partnership
  • San Francisco AIDS Foundation
  • Search for Common Ground
  • U.S. Army


Select Positions
  • Advisor
  • Advisor on Youth and Education
  • Analyst
  • Associate, Weapon Contamination Unit
  • Data Analyst 
  • Field Manager
  • Fieldwork Coordinator
  • Foreign Area Officer
  • Grant Management Associate
  • Independent Consultant
  • Program Associate, East Africa
  • Program Support Officer 
  • Project Coordinator, Product Strategy
  • Project Manager 
  • Research Assistant
  • Services Navigator



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 2018 and 2019

Secured Opportunity: 82%

Locations: Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Vietnam

Select Employers and Positions

  • 10Power, International Development Specialist
  •, Research Fellow
  • Advocacy Project, Peace Fellow (Uganda)
  • Akagera National Park, Wildlife Conservation Intern (Rwanda)
  • Amnesty International, Asia Pacific Fellow
  • Bay Area Council, Transportation Research Intern
  • Boys and Girls Club of Monterey County, Literacy Impact Leader 
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Partnerships Intern
  • Catholic Relief Services, Action for the Protection and Integration of Migrants in West Africa Summer Intern (Senegal)
  • Center for American Progress, Immigration Policy Intern
  • Center for Civil-Military Relations (Naval Postgraduate School), Prevention, Relief, and Recovery Intern
  • Centro Legal de la Raza, Intake specialist
  • City of Palo Alto, Management Fellow
  • Climate Action Network, Director’s Office Intern 
  • Community Foundation for Monterey County, Program Assistant
  • Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Research Associate
  • Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, Global Support Intern
  • Deloitte, Federal Risk and Financial Advisory Consultant
  • digitalundivided, Operations Fellow
  • Dilley Pro Bono Project, Intern
  • Ellio Sustainability Consulting, Impact Analyst (Canada)
  • Embassy of Afghanistan (Washington, D.C.), Social and Cultural Affairs Intern
  • Gavin de Becker and Associates, LLC., Global Operations Analyst
  • Government of Canada, Ontario Ministers’ Regional Office Intern (Canada)
  • Gracia, Inc., Impact Intern (Guatemala)
  • GRID Alternatives, Community Outreach Intern
  • Human Rights Watch, Researcher
  • Immigrant Defenders Law Center, Program Associate
  • InterAction, IPSS Fellow
  • International Rescue Committee
    • Finance and Administration Intern 
    • Immigration Services Intern
    • Research Assistant Intern
    • Resettlement Casework Intern
  • Jeeon, Impact Fellow (Bangladesh)
  • Kroll Associates, Inc.
    • Associate
    • Due Diligence Intern
    • Business Intelligence and Investigations Intern
  • Lokal Travel, Impact Associate (Cambodia)
  • Lori Development Center, Proposal Writer (Armenia)
  • Mercy Corps, Monitoring and Evaluation Intern (Nepal)
  • Namati, Global Programs Fellow
  • Office of Congressman Panetta, Intern
  • Quarter Zero, Product Development Consultant
  • Results for Development, Global Education Summer Intern
  • ReThink Media, Research and Evaluation Fellow
  • Ruwwad Al-Tanmeya, Monitoring and Evaluation Intern (Jordan)
  • Sakhalin Environment Watch, Freeman Fellow (Russia)
  • Save the Children, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning Intern (Laos)
  • Search for Common Ground
    • Conflict Resolution Evaluation Fellow
    • MENA Program Intern
  • Shortlist, Special Projects Associate (Kenya)
  • Solid Africa, Grant Writer (Rwanda)
  • Southern Pulse, LLC., Executive Intern
  • Hopkins Marine Station (Stanford University), Strategy Consultant
  • Toniic (Impact Investing), T100 Support Associate
  • U.S. Commercial Service, Intern (Mexico)
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional Intern
  • UN Human Rights, Intern (Lebanon)
  • UN Women
    • Evaluation and Knowledge Management Intern
    • Program Evaluation Intern (Thailand)
  • UNESCO, Communications Intern (Vietnam)
  • United Nations Development Programme
    • Researcher, Workshop Facilitator
    • Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, Analyst Intern (Samoa)
  • United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Political Affairs Intern
  • USAID, Office of Inspector General Intern
  • WorldChicago, Program Associate