Recent news from members of the Institute community in Monterey and around the world.


>> Elayne Whyte Gomez MAIPS ’93, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary and permanent representative of Costa Rica to the UN in Geneva, recently made history. After months of consultations and two rounds of intense negotiations, she presided over the successful negotiation at the United Nations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Facing extraordinary time pressure and sometimes contentious debate, Ambassador Whyte facilitated the adoption of this landmark agreement by a vote of 122 nations in favor, one against, and one abstaining.

>> Professor Avner Cohen played a significant role in a recent Israeli High Court of Justice case. Cohen, who has spent much of his career advocating for increased openness in regulation and oversight of Israel’s secretive nuclear program, was one of the petitioners seeking a legislative solution to nuclear oversight. He directed a comparative study, “Nuclear Legislation and Governance in Four Nuclear Weapons Democracies,” which was researched and written by CNS/Davis United World College Fellow Brandon Mok. The report examines how four Western democratic nuclear-weapon states— the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Israel—handle the essential tension between nuclear weapons (which require secrecy) and liberal democracy. The petition before the court called for legislating a process to develop regulation and oversight of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission. Although the court rejected the petition on technical grounds, the ruling represented a breakthrough because the court validated the idea of greater nuclear oversight as “a worthy issue for public debate.” “The fact that the court was willing to effectively reject the State position speaks volumes,” said Cohen.

>> Alumnus John Myers MAIPS ’04 has moved from running Audubon’s Latin America Program to a new position with the World Wildlife Fund in Colombia. In July the Economist ran an article highlighting his work promoting birding tourism: “Last year the northern Colombia birding trail opened, a joint effort involving Audubon, the United States Agency for International Development and Colombian NGOs. They trained local guides and businesses catalogued the route and are promoting it.” The piece also quotes Myers and a study he co-authored that found that “bird tourism could generate revenue of $46m a year, and create at least 7,500 new jobs.”

>> Summer fellows from the Center for the Blue Economy deployed out to positions with organizations in three states and four countries around the globe this summer. Participants in these fully funded summer internships included Molly Shane MAIEP ’18, working with One Reef in Koror, Palau to provide support to the Helen Reef Resource Management Program, and Shirin Wertime MAIEP ’18, who spent her summer working with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Blue Growth Initiative in Rome.

>> Dr. William Potter’, founding director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), had a busy summer. His activities included presenting a paper and being a featured speaker at the CTBTO Science and Technology Forum in Vienna; participating (along with Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova MAIPS ’07) as a member of the delegation of Chile to the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Treaty at the UN in New York (see first item above); and speaking on a panel at the fourth annual Summer School on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in Mexico City.

>> Visiting Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity Elaine Korzak was a featured panelist at two major cybersecurity conferences this fall: Cyfy 2017 in India, and Cybersec: The European Cybersecurity Forum in Poland. Conference organizers at Cyfy issued several tweets on her talk there.

>> Professor William Arrocha was the focus of a front-page profile in the Monterey County Herald on July 9 as a result of his work on immigration policy in Monterey County. The profile, which also focused on Arrocha’s recent book Compassionate Migration and Regional Policy in the Americas, coauthored with Steven Bender, delves into his background as an immigrant himself, his work as a board member for a local charter school, and his introduction of a new term into the political lexicon: “compassionate migration.” “Monterey County has the largest share of undocumented migrants per capita in the country,” says Arrocha in the interview, “and they are fully engaged in keeping our economy alive. We owe that community some sense of compassion.”


>> This summer, Lama Ranjous MAIPD ’18 served on a panel at UN Headquarters in New York, speaking in front of 500 people as part of the Youth Assembly discussion about the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Advisory Council’s Report on Youth, Peace and Security. “I think it is really important to highlight the threats youth face due to climate change,” Ranjous said of her interest in finding “the right policies and programs to solve these problems and threats.” In her native Syria, Ranjous worked with the Arab Youth Climate Movement and was interviewed by researchers from the United Nations who were looking for information about the impact of climate change on Syrian youth specifically, and young people living in the Middle East more generally. Her work with the researchers led to an invitation to serve on the advisory council. “I was honored to share the report and its findings,” she says. The thematic paper investigates the impact of climate change on the security and development prospects of young people across the globe, as well as examining how ownership of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals could promote the case for youth-led development.

>> Jeffrey Knopf, chair of the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program, was an invited speaker at the U.S. Air Force Center for Unconventional Warfare Studies, Deterrence Education and Research Symposium at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama in July. His talk, “Influence Strategies and Behavioral Economics: Future Directions for Education and Research on Deterrence,” was delivered as part of a panel on “Developing a Research Agenda for Deterrence.”

>> Kent Glenzer, dean of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management, Jason Scorse, chair of the International Environmental Policy program and director of the Center for the Blue Economy, and Alan Lovewell MAIEP ’10, founder and CEO of Real Good Fish, were among the featured speakers at ComCap17, a conference gathering visionaries and creative thinkers on the timely topic of community capital. The September conference was co-hosted by the City of Monterey and the Middlebury Institute. “The idea behind community capital—which people also call ‘slow money’ or ‘localvesting’—is simple,” Glenzer explained. “Capital raised in a local community can and should be invested back into that same community. And investors can and should accumulate both financial and social returns on their investment.”

>> Professor Paige Butler of the International Education Management program participated as a panel member on a September webinar hosted by the Diversity Abroad Network. The webinar focused on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the implications for higher and international education of the Trump Administration’s move to end the program.

>> Professor William Arrocha was the keynote speaker at the Latino Network of Monterey County’s 28th Annual celebration of Culture and Language in September.


>> A paper co-authored by Professors Yuwei Shi and Sandra Dow advocating for the “raw case method of learning” recently won the Academy of Management’s Best Paper in Management Education and Development. Professor Shi was present to receive the award for the paper, titled “Management Education at the Interface: Raw Data, Real Projects, and On-demand Lectures,” at the Academy of Management’s annual meeting in Atlanta in August. “Over the past few years we have made raw case studies a central feature of the Institute’s distinctive approach to management education, with excellent results,” says Shi. “Raw cases give students the opportunity to grapple with real-world management issues that are shaping the business and social environment around them in real time. It’s a tremendous learning tool and our students have thrived in the various case competitions they’ve entered.” Indeed, a team of Institute students coached by Professors Dow and Shi won the international Business for a Better World Case Competition in Davos, Switzerland, last January, while another student team took second place in The Economist’s 2016 Which MBA? Case competition.

>> Three recent graduates, Danny Pavitt MAIPD ’16, Nick Stulck MPA ’17, and Lizzie Falconer MPA ’17, are among this year’s cohort of 25 Catholic Relief Services (CRS) International Development Fellows. Each year CRS places fellows for 10-month assignments where they can draw on their previous education and work experience while broadening their skills. Most of the fellowships lead to permanent positions, and this year over 600 people applied for the program, which takes applicants through a rigorous, multi-stage application and interview process. “Professor Beryl Levinger, and my career advisors Scott Webb and Gael Meraud were key in preparing me for every step of the interview process,” says Falconer from her new CRS assignment in Malawi. Pavitt, who will be stationed in the Philippines, says he feels well prepared for the position from his time at the Institute, and quickly connected with fellow alumni in the country.

>> Four graduates of the Institute’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degree program were chosen to serve as English Language Fellows (ELF) for the U.S. State Department for the 2017-2018 school year. The ELF program promotes English language learning around the world and fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries, placing highly qualified U.S. educators with graduate degrees in all regions of the world. The four alumnae representing the Institute in the ELF program this year are: Assistant Professor Kelley Calvert MATESOL PCMI ’05 (also director of the Institute’s Graduate Writing Center), who will be teaching English in Thailand; Reilly Knop MATESOL ’16, who will take a teaching position in Niger; Emily Durst MATESOL ’15 in South Africa; and Susan Spano MATESOL PCMI ’17 in Rwanda. Calvert, Knop, and Spano are all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

>> The Institute announced that longtime Advancement staff member Shirley Coly is the school’s new director of development, a role in which she will serve as the chief fundraiser for the Institute, coordinating and collaborating with colleagues on the Vermont campus. She has joined the Institute Leadership Group and serves the primary Advancement representative for the Institute Board of Overseers. “Shirley is a valued partner and colleague as we plan for the future, and we look forward to her continued leadership,” said Jeff Dayton-Johnson, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Institute.


>> A cohort of 13 fellows completed the inaugural Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia, an eight-week summer program that exposes top Russian area studies graduate students from across the United States to leading voices on Russian-U.S. relations. Developed by the Institute’s Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the program featured leading experts from Russia and the United States delivering lectures and leading seminars on topics ranging from “The Concept of Honor in Russian History” and “The Russian Psyche Through Art and Cinema” to “U.S.-Russian Nonproliferation Cooperation.” Admission to the program was very competitive and all successful candidates received tuition scholarships as well as stipends for housing and living expenses.

>> The research for Save the Children’s new annual report Stolen Childhoods was co-directed by Professor Beryl Levinger and Nikki Gillette BAIS ’06 MPA ’07 MBA ’08, aided by Professor Fernando DePaolis, who served as technical advisor. “This is the 14th annual report that I’ve done with Save the Children,” says Levinger. This year’s report offers a brand new study with some groundbreaking aspects in terms of concept and methodology. “Over this time, research for the annual State of the World’s Mothers report has had a great deal of Institute input. In the first several years of the report, Jean McLeod Mulroy MPA ‘99 worked with me on the research, and many students received stipends to contribute to the research effort.” In more recent years, the report has been a collaboration between Gillette and Levinger, with the addition of DePaolis two years ago.

>> The Institute partnered with Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions this July to offer the first-ever Blue Pioneers Program, bringing U.S. and Chinese participants together to develop sustainable maritime business and nonprofit ideas for the Chinese economy. The Institute welcomed 15 Chinese and international graduate students, primarily from Peking University, to Monterey for the two-week program. Chinese participants were joined by three Institute students studying International Environmental Policy and Business. The program was funded through a grant from the Packard Foundation focused on increasing leadership and capacity of NGOs dedicated to marine and coastal issues. 


>> “When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?” is the title of a Managing the Atom Project Discussion Paper authored by Professor Philipp Bleek, chronicling nuclear weapons proliferation choices through the nuclear age. “This paper grew out of my PhD dissertation and some related work on nuclear weapons proliferation,” says Bleek. “My former Harvard colleagues and I finally decided this needed to see the light of day as a proper publication. I’m especially pleased by what I believe is the first-ever joint MIIS-Harvard publication.” Published on June 2, 2017, the paper is available through Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

>> Dr. William Potter’s paper “Disarmament Diplomacy and the Nuclear Ban Treaty” was published in the August-September 2017 issue of Survival.

>> Visiting Professor and Postdoctoral Fellow Elaine Korzak chronicled a setback for UN cybersecurity efforts in a piece titled “UN GGE on Cybersecurity: The End of an Era?” for the Diplomat.

>> In a September 14 essay for Marketwatch, Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev argued that, despite the outward evidence of an economic recovery, U.S. households still aren’t better off than they were 20 years ago. “Materially, U.S. households’ disposable risk-adjusted incomes are lower today than they were in 1999,” he said, based on the structural stagnation of real income, the impact of inflation, changes in Census Bureau methodology, and the hidden worker costs inherent in the new gig economy.


>> Margaret Davidson, a member of the Center for the Blue Economy Advisory Council, passed away in May after a long illness. Called “the greatest visionary I ever had the pleasure to meet” by a former colleague at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Davidson was active in coastal resource management issues for nearly 40 years. She joined NOAA as the founding director of its Coastal Services Center, and later served as acting director of the Office for Ocean and Coastal Resources Management. She held a juris doctorate from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in marine policy and resource economics from the University of Rhode Island. “She never took her eyes off of the importance of community engagement in protecting coastal resources around the nation,” said W. Russell Callender, assistant administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management for the National Ocean Service. “Her life and career will cast a long shadow for those who follow the trail she blazed in coastal zone management.”

>> Jens Wiik MAIPS ’15 passed away suddenly this September after going into anaphylactic shock due to a severe allergic reaction. Jens and his wife Alina (Banasyak) MATFL ’11 were married in February 2016 at Carmel Mission Basilica, and had been living in Rochester, New Hampshire. Jens was born in Norway to an American mother and Norwegian father. His grandfather on his mother’s side was a World War II Navy veteran and his paternal grandfather fought in the resistance in Norway. Jens served in the U.S. Army for 10 years, including postings in South Korea, Iraq, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and achieved the rank of captain. During his time in Monterey, Jens was a vital, engaged part of the campus community and an active member of the Veterans Organization. He sought a career in public service, saying of MIIS students “We are problem solvers.”

>> Regina Todd MA Russian Language & Civilization ’65, who passed away in October, was one of the original Monterey / Middlebury stories—she earned her degree at the Institute, then taught at Middlebury’s Language Schools during the summer while teaching at MIIS during the regular school year. A native of the Soviet Union, she arrived in Monterey after living through the fall of Leningrad, escaping the Hungarian revolution and coming to the United States alone in 1960. Translator of the definitive work on the siege of Leningrad (900 Days, by New York Times Editor Harrison Salisbury), Regina was also the author of a memoir, My Struggle for Survival. She spent 33 years as a Russian teacher at the Defense Language Institute, while also teaching courses at the Monterey Institute, and was highly regarded by students and colleagues at both institutions.