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Profile photo of an alumna at her workplace in the United Nations.

Our alumni are using the skills they learned at the Middlebury Institute to make a positive difference in the world.

Where They Live and Work

  • Nearly 1,200 in the Greater D.C. Area
  • 1,200 in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • 500 in the Metro New York Area
  • More than 10,000 Worldwide

Most of our graduates are employed and/or doing what they want to be doing within a year of leaving the Institute.

For alumni career information related to specific degree programs, see Career Outcomes.

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.

Alum Onaba Payab

Onaba Payab
International Policy and Development, 2018
Career Highlight:
Moderated a discussion between former First Lady Laura Bush and then First Lady Michelle Obama.

Considered one of Afghanistan's future leaders, Onaba Payab was the first female valedictorian at the American University in Kabul.

Read her story

Alum Wesley Laine

Wesley Laîné
International Policy Studies, 2014

Career Highlight: Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative

Wesley’s every action, degree, and career choice has been to lay the groundwork for a political career in his native Haiti, where he wants to shepherd transformative change for the impoverished country.

Read his story

Why the Institute: Professional experience before you graduate

My name is Melis Okter, I was an International Environmental Policy student at the Middlebury Institute. I am currently an environmental scientist and coastal planner at Dudek, in their Oakland office, and what I mainly focus on is sea level rise policy. I was studying science-based stuff in my undergrad and I had this moment when I felt like there was a lot of science going on but there was so much of the implementation.

So I took a shift from looking at science-based PhD programs to more practical masters or PhD programs and I came across the Middlebury Institute and the IEP program had a really good intersect of science and policy. That was the best part of it because if you don't have a lot of job experience, you can focus on what you did in your class; not what you learned, but how you implemented what you were learning.

Several of our classes, we had to write vulnerability assessment, or go out and do some sort of fieldwork that we translate into a policy. And those were directly applicable tools that I was able to show people while I was applying to jobs: "Hey look, I'm on the younger end of the spectrum. I don't have a whole lot of job experience, but this is how I know how to do a lot of this stuff."

I don't think there's any contaminated sites, but I just wanted to make sure there's someone confirming that.

The Middlebury Institute offers you a lot of flexibility to form what you're most interested in and we have access to some great positions around Monterey. We have NOAA right by us, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Big Sur Land Trust and they all know our professors really well. So our professors are always looking to get their students these great positions and they get to know what you're interested in to give you job opportunities while you're there.

I think I valued most just how much the faculty cares about their students and really wants to see them succeed. Jason Scorse, the director of the IEP program actually sent me this job position. So I think a lot of them are really invested in their students post-graduation. In my undergrad, I went to UC San Diego, so it's huge, and I don't think I had a single professor that I interfaced with very often. So coming from a big school, I think the small campus in a small town with a really small program was really beneficial.