Alumnus Peter Evans: Applying Lessons from MIIS in High-Stakes Policy Debates
When the Assad regime in Syria used chemical weapons against its citizens in the city of Ghouta in August of 2013, Peter Evans (MAIPS ’97) represented the Near East Affairs Bureau of the U.S. State Department’s nonproliferation policy office in the policy discussion of the response. “I applied all that I had learned at MIIS and during my internship at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, and it positioned me to be on top of the topic from the start.”
Peter was first attracted to the Monterey Institute by the Translation and Interpretation program, but once he realized his language skills were not “that good,” he found that the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) offered a great fit for his aspiration to work with the federal government. He was in the first class that was offered a certificate in nonproliferation studies in 1997. Right after graduation, his work with CNS and the internship with OPCW helped him “stand out amidst the crowd of job seekers,” and he joined the State Department as a civil servant in the nonproliferation policy office.
In his first ten years in Washington, Peter worked on UNSCOM weapons inspections and the Australia Group export control regime. Over time, his area of focus moved to military policy issues and he was appointed to a five-year commission in the Foreign Service, working in Jerusalem and Riyadh from 2008-2013. He is currently serving as the deputy director for Jordan and Lebanon in Washington, DC, but will soon be going overseas again as he has been approved for a mid-level conversion to the Foreign Service full time.
“MIIS graduates are everywhere,” Peter shares happily, noting that he has met classmates all around the world. He says MIIS prepared him perfectly for the career of his dreams. But best of all, while in Monterey he fell in love with and married his wife, Fumio (née) Miyoshi (MATI ’97). “Our 9-year old daughter is already a trilingual third-culture kid!”
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