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. The language classes, including the interpretation courses I took, also helped me secure my current job.

Story: How I Got Hired

Onaba Payab headshot

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 headshot

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.

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.

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 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 one year of graduation.

Mouse over charts to see details.

Data sources and terminology

Location (Employed or Continuing Education)

Afghanistan; Chad; Georgia; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Malawi; Nepal; Sierra Leone; Switzerland; Syria; United States

Select Employers
  • Accion
  • Administration Of Georgian Government
  • Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • American Red Cross
  • API Legal Outreach
  • Bluelabs Analytics 
  • Color Factory
  • Democracy Fund
  • Facebook
  • 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
  • Mission Asset Fund
  • Namati
  • Oxfam
  • Research Partnership
  • San Francisco AIDS Foundation
  • Search for Common Ground
  • Sebie Management
  • She Grows It
  • Sierra Leone National Investment Board, Office of the Vice President
  • Teach For America
  • The Carter Center
  • U.S. Army
  • YWCA Monterey County


Select Positions
  • Associate, Weapon Contamination Unit
  • Co-Founder
  • Communications & Engagement Manager
  • Consultant: Technical Advisor
  • Cultural Orientation Caseworker
  • Digital Data Analyst
  • Experience Specialist
  • Field Manager
  • Foreign Area Officer
  • Grant Management Associate
  • Human Trafficking Staff Member
  • National Consultant
  • PR Specialist 
  • Program Associate
  • Project Manager 
  • Research Associate
  • Senior Officer, People and Operations
  • Senior Program Associate
  • Services Navigator
  • U.S. 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 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