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Winter 2009


Incoming MIIS President Sunder Ramaswamy


anuary was a month for presidential transitions, both in Washington, D.C. and here in Monterey. In both cases, dynamic figures assumed leadership roles during times that are challenging but also full of opportunity. Here at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the issues are global, both literally and figuratively. Literally, in the sense that incoming MIIS President Sunder Ramaswamy has assumed leadership of one of the nation’s premier internationally-focused graduate schools, with more than 40 languages spoken and more than 70 countries represented on campus. Figuratively, in the sense that the organization itself is midway through a major restructuring effort that has seen it affiliate with Middlebury College in Vermont and launch an ambitious academic reorganization plan. Ramaswamy relishes the challenge. “With big changes come big opportunities. We have the chance at MIIS today to reshape how we deliver the high quality academic programs we offer, in order to create new learning opportunities for our students and ensure MIIS continues to be a leader in international graduate education.” From Delhi to Middlebury to Monterey

Ramaswamy is known in academic circles for his scholarly and professional work in international and development economics, particularly on economic reform and agricultural development projects in India and Africa. Before coming to MIIS, Ramaswamy served as Middlebury College’s Frederick C. Dirks Professor of Economics, the dean for faculty development and research, chair of the Department of Economics, and project director of the Middlebury-Monterey Integration Task Force. The latter role afforded him an insider’s perspective on the integration process and the unique qualities of the Institute, and contributed to his appointment as the Institute’s president during a period of significant change. In addition to his tenure at Middlebury, Ramaswamy also served for two years as the director of the Madras School of Economics in Chennai, India, one of India’s premier institutions for graduate education and economics research. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University in 1991, as well as an M.S. from Purdue, an M.A. in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and a B.A. (with honors) in economics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, India. While missing the change of seasons he enjoyed while living in Vermont for more than 18 years, Ramaswamy admits “I don’t miss driving on icy roads!” He and his wife Varna have settled quickly into the rhythms of their new life in Monterey, including finding a local international school for their six-year-old son Srivatsan to attend. The Path Forward

Since his arrival as a full-time campus presence on January 5, Ramaswamy has shared his vision for the future of the Institute with

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many different audiences, from students and faculty to local community leaders. While the focus of attention at MIIS for the next 18 months or so will be the swirl of activity surrounding integration with Middlebury and academic reorganization, both are in fact milestones along the path toward achieving a broader vision. “We have a unique opportunity at MIIS,” says Ramaswamy, warming to a familiar theme. “The Institute is well-known in academic, language and international circles for its long-time core strengths in areas like translation and interpretation, language education, international business, international environmental policy and international policy studies, not to mention non-proliferation studies. Now that the Institute is financially stable and positioned to grow again, we have the chance to build on those core strengths by fostering a culture of innovation. Today we offer an international environmental policy degree, but why not an international environmental business degree as well?” With green business and technology one of the hottest sectors in a cool economy, the opportunity seems clear. Following on this thought, Ramaswamy suggests how reorganization and integration can create new avenues for innovative learning, teaching and research. “Both our Translation and Interpretation program and our Language Education programs are among the very best of their kind. It’s

Afghan Visit n Gard in China n Banda Aceh and Beyond T & I at the Olympics n New Scholarship Fund n Digital Media

exciting to consider how the two programs working in closer harmony will be able to create new synergies—for example, perhaps offering a degree in the teaching of translation and interpretation.” Ramaswamy recently named the founding deans of the two new graduate schools—the School of International Policy and Management (or SIPM), and the School of Translation, Interpretation and Language Education (or STILE). The new deans, Yuwei Shi and Renée Jourdenais, are charged with fostering greater interdisciplinary collaboration among the major academic programs offered by MIIS. “We have already begun conversations with the Faculty Senate with the goal of crafting some new curricular elements that offer all students at MIIS certain common experiences.” The revamped advising structure, to be led by Tate Miller, is another source of excitement for the new president. “As a professional graduate school, our obligation to our students extends beyond simply delivering instruction and granting a degree. Our goal is that, by centralizing our advising function and cross-training staff, we will position MIIS to offer a level of academic and career support that gives our students the best opportunity possible to launch successfully into their chosen field when they graduate.” Integration Approaches

All the while, the clock ticks down toward another milestone emblematic of the new educational possibilities coming to fruition at MIIS— the completion of full integration with Middlebury on June 30, 2010. “Ron (Liebowitz, president of Middlebury College) and I talk regularly about the new avenues of learning we hope to open up for students and faculty at both Middlebury and MIIS,” says Ramaswamy. “Teaming up to create the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy for middle school students was just the beginning. We are discussing five-year joint bachelor’s–master’s options, faculty exchanges and a whole host of other ideas that are designed to take advantage of the natural academic and intellectual chemistry between Middlebury and MIIS.” Indeed, in March MIIS recruiting staff will make a special presentation to Middlebury undergraduates about the unique opportunities offered by the relationship between MIIS and Midd. The presentation will include profiles of several Middlebury graduates who are now enrolled at MIIS. Resource Management Is Key

As with any ambitious plan, the biggest challenge in implementing this vision will be making sure resources are deployed in a way that allows innovations to take hold while also meeting ongoing operational needs. Here Ramaswamy is realistic about what will be required: “One of my favorite sayings is that vision is a wonderful thing to have—but vision without resources is a hallucination. Our job is to allocate the resources available as strategically as we can in order to support our priorities for the Institute.” Ramaswamy is clear about his goals for the outcome of the reorganization—and reducing costs is not necessarily his focus. “If in two years all we have accomplished through this reorganization is increased operational efficiencies,” he declares, “it will have been a failure. Combining schools is not what this plan is about; we are trying to create new entities that will be greater than the sum of their parts.” The Big Picture

The latter perspective carries over to Ramaswamy’s vision for the relationship between Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute. “We were very deliberate when we started calling the integration effort ‘M-squared.’ It’s not ‘M2’ or ‘2M’—our goal for this process was never simply to add one and one and make two. Our goal from the start has been to make the relationship exponential, not additive, to multiply the benefits the relationship brings to both Middlebury and MIIS.”



A key accomplishment in that regard has been developing a common understanding of the value of the rich history and culture and brand that MIIS represents, and what that means both within and outside of the MIIS community. “Middlebury and MIIS leadership worked hand in hand to outline our goals and approach going forward, and both parties appreciated from start to finish the value of what we called the ‘pragmatic idealism’ that underlies the Institute’s mission and philosophy.” That discussion spawned the Institute’s new tagline—“be the solution.” Who could argue that solutions—especially ones that are both innovative and pragmatic—are in high demand in the world today?



Riding The Train, Crossing The River

Ramaswamy’s closing thoughts center on two indelible images. The first sprang from a conversation he had with his predecessor and friend, MIIS President Emeritus Clara Yu, during their 2008 transition period. “Clara used a wonderful analogy when we were working together closely on these issues last fall. What we are doing here, she said, as we integrate with Middlebury while transforming MIIS—and also continuing with all of our regular academic, research, and professional activities— is like trying to construct a building on a moving train. Sometimes we might wish the train would stop (or at least slow down) for a while, but it won’t! And so we must pay attention constantly in order to keep our balance as we speed along toward a new destination.” The second is a sort of intercultural parable Ramaswamy likes to tell about a pair of very different approaches to economic reform. “The Russians say that ‘you can’t cross a chasm in two jumps’—in other words, the best approach to a big change is shock therapy. The Chinese, on the other hand, say that ‘the way to cross a rushing river is to feel each pebble between your toes.’ I think that gradual, sensitive and nimble approach is more effective when working through the sort of all-encompassing changes that we are experiencing at MIIS today.”

The Communiqué is published for alumni and friends of the Monterey Institute of International Studies by the Office of Communications. Editors  Shirley Coly, Beth McDermott, Jason Warburg Contributing writers  Shirley Coly, Beth McDermott, Erin Morita, Sarah Tuff, Jason Warburg, Susan Wolfe Creative concept & layout  Tessa Avila Photography  Heather Elze, Jenny Manseau, Randy Tunnell For more information about our students, programs and faculty, please visit our website at Please contact us at 831.647.3545 or with comments or questions related to this publication.

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Working to “Be the Solution” in Afghanistan


he Monterey Institute of International Studies enjoys a steady stream of visitors from abroad, enhancing the campus’ international flavor and creating opportunities for a variety of conversations with practitioners about real-life issues. In January, that rich intellectual exchange took on even greater significance when the Institute hosted a visit from officials of the government of Afghanistan, a nation wracked by decades of conflict and laboring to realize the dream of an open, democratic society. On January 12, Mr. Saleem Kundozi of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Mr. Waheedulah Qaderi of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance met on campus with MIIS faculty, staff and students in an effort to glean insights, opportunities and inspiration applicable to their urgent work at home. “The greatest problem in Afghanistan’s government today is a lack of proper capacity” for fostering economic development, explained Kundozi. During a two-hour open discussion hosted by the Institute’s Waheedulah Qaderi and Saleem Kundozi Graduate School of International Policy Studies, participants heard Qaderi report that Afghanistan’s development budget today is “a totally donor-driven budget,” with donor nations and organizations requiring United States and NATO. “It is not possible for the government to take a clear accounting from a government that is still working to develop over all functions and obligations with current revenue sources,” stated the professional capacity to manage large-scale development projects. Qaderi. As Kundozi remarked, “The main reason we can’t absorb more funding At the same time, the government is attempting to work with the from donors today is that we need greater capacity in the area of project private sector and non-governmental organizations to support the builddesign and management, including the use of modern project manageing blocks of a civil society, such as professional skills training and ment technology.” entrepreneurship opportunities. One of the challenges is that the NGOs For this reason, Qaderi and Kundozi were especially interested in often hire away the best talent from the government itself, even as pay learning about MIIS’s Development scales set by major funders like the Project Management Institute International Monetary Fund pre(DPMI), an intensive three-week cervent the government from compettificate program in which classroom ing with NGOs on salary. instruction is enhanced by group work, As a result of the January career meetings with instructors and visit, discussions between MIIS real-time feedback on skills being faculty and Afghan government “We have built 3,500 schools, developed. Introducing DPMI to the officials are ongoing regarding the group, International Policy Studies possibility of MIIS offering an and 73,000 classrooms have been Professor Beryl Levinger described the abridged introductory DPMI course built or rehabilitated.” program as “a master’s degree in three on the ground in Afghanistan this —Waheedulah Qaderi, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance weeks, stripped of all theory—very Spring, as well as hosting Afghan practical, applied and team-oriented.” officials for a full three-week While media headlines from course in Summer 2009. Faculty Afghanistan tend to focus on the at the Fisher Graduate School of many challenges the country is facing International Business are also today, MIIS participants learned that developing a proposal for the significant progress has been made Afghan government focusing on in some areas. “We have built 3,500 entrepreneurship training. Finally, schools, and 73,000 classrooms have MIIS faculty and staff are explorbeen built or rehabilitated,” reported Qaderi, adding that 35 percent of ing the possibilities for bringing in more students from Afghanistan and students are now female. In addition, the Afghan government has confor encouraging students at MIIS to consider working on development structed 13,000 kilometers of roadways, forming the first national road projects in the region. network in the history of Afghanistan. The Institute’s mission is to equip professionals to succeed in chal Still, major questions about the future remain. At present domestic lenging cross-cultural environments around the world. It’s difficult to revenues fund only 65 percent of the federal government’s budget and the imagine a more relevant or significant example of that mission in action country’s entire defense budget is funded by foreign sources, chiefly the than MIIS’s efforts to “be the solution” in Afghanistan.



Winter 2009 


MIIS in the Oval Office

Gard in China

When President Obama signed executive orders in the Oval Office shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and prohibiting the use of torture by U.S. intelligence personnel, MIIS was there. Retired United States Army Lieutenant General and MIIS President Emeritus Robert Gard was invited to the ceremony in recognition of his role as a member of a group of 16 retired admirals and generals who, in cooperation with the national organization Human Rights First, have been advocating an end to the use of torture by U.S. interrogators. The day of the ceremony, the group released a statement declaring that: “President Obama’s actions today will restore the moral authority and strengthen the national security of the United States. It is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that the United States never sanction the use of interrogation methods that we would find unacceptable if inflicted by an enemy against captured Americans.” “We told the President that we will continue to stand by him and help fight the critics of this decision,” said Gard, adding “The values projected by Human Rights First are quite consistent with the whole philosophy of MIIS.”

President Emeritus Well-Received at Beijing Conference

President Emeritus Robert Gard second from right




ast fall, in a successful whirlwind trip to Beijing, Monterey Institute President Emeritus Robert Gard and Tate Miller, director of international programs, exchanged viewpoints with Chinese officials on the global economy and trade. The centerpiece of the trip was their participation in an invitation-only, two-day conference on China’s world trade opportunities and its relationship with the World Trade Organization (WTO), sponsored by the Beijing-based WTO Affairs Center. The purpose of the conference, “The WTO and China: Beijing International Forum,” was to explore issues pertinent to the robust and sustainable development of Beijing and its environs, especially with respect to the expansion of high technology industries. The meeting was attended by 350-400 senior and mid-level Chinese government officials, with other international dignitaries attending, including senior officials from the WTO headquarters in Geneva. The Monterey Institute was the sole educational institution invited. Dawei Cheng, a 2000 graduate of the commercial diplomacy program, arranged for the Institute’s participation. Cheng is chief expert at the WTO Affairs Center. She credits the Institute with helping her rise swiftly in the competitive atmosphere of the professional ranks in China. Says Cheng: “My master’s degree from the Monterey Institute is very important to me. The skills and knowledge that I received in the trade program have been invaluable in my service to my country and to the international community. With my Institute degree, I have also been afforded excellent opportunities to advance my career. And spending two years in the international milieu of the Institute helped me develop a level of comfort and rapport with people of all backgrounds that is an asset to me personally as well as professionally.” Gard was extended the honor of delivering an opening plenary address on the topic of the U.S. development of special zones for business such as Silicon Valley. His remarks referenced the central theories on trade and economic geography of Paul Krugman, the Princeton economist and Nobel Prize recipient. Gard’s Chinese audience was most curious

to hear that, “in the case of American regional business development, what sustains and grows the business zones is the momentum from active and competitive trade transactions.” In stark contrast, it is impossible for Americans to imagine otherwise. He noted the crucial role of education in the healthy growth of business zones, citing the example of Stanford University and other higher educational institutions that have underpinned the rapid development of Silicon Valley. Finally, he told them, “I cannot resist mentioning how astounded I am, during each subsequent visit to China, to observe your

Tate Miller and Robert Gard at China’s Great Wall

incredible economic progress, a great tribute to the talent and energy of the Chinese people.” Both his and Miller’s remarks were well-received, as evidenced by the fact that the Beijing WTO Center has since commenced discussions with the Institute regarding future cooperation on trade research and training. WTO Center officials are scheduled to visit the Institute in April to further advance those talks. While in Beijing, Gard and Miller also held a dinner for alumni on behalf of the Institute. The event took place at a restaurant owned and operated by current student Clayton Noack, MAIPS ’10, in an historic neighborhood of “hutongs”—crowded mazes of traditionally constructed buildings around small courtyards—in the center of the city. Gard and Miller also took in a few sights that Gard had missed in previous visits. Miller noted that, everywhere they went, the Chinese people showed them tremendous hospitality, and reverence for the retired general and current ambassador for the Institute.

Beryl Levinger and her Protégés Banda Aceh and Beyond


development and education reform since 1967 and Distinguished Professor at the Monterey Institute since 1992. Asked what drives her, she answers with certainty: “A keen commitment to social justice. People shouldn’t have things predetermined in life by facts of their birth.” In her youth, she was deeply influenced by the civil rights movement and folk music that carried messages of social justice and service. For a time, she thought seriously about becoming a poverty lawyer, but a stint in the Peace Corps clarified her career intentions and put her on the path she still treads today. To those who want to work in the field of humanitarian international development, she offers a few simple rules of thumb. “First, remember that a change in knowledge does not equal a change in behavior; telling people to do something differently is not a change strategy.” “Second, too often we are focused on symptoms rather than root causes, figuring out what to do to resolve a challenge, and not thinking about how the challenge arose. Rigorous analysis will avoid many pitfalls.” Levinger is most proud of her Ravi Dutta and Pete LaRaus work as one of three principal architects of La Escuela Nueva, an educational model piloted in Colombia, and now Approximately $7 billion in aid funded vast reconreplicated around the world. It is recognized worldstruction projects throughout the affected regions. Save the Children was one of the organizations man- wide as an exemplary educational reform model. It seeks to address low educational attainment in rural aging the effort in the hardest-hit area, Banda Aceh, one-room schools served by teachers who often have Indonesia. no more than a middle-school education themselves. For four years, Save the Children devoted itself to rebuilding. Distinguished Professor Beryl Levinger went Beryl and her colleagues designed a complete system for rural education that includes active learning, to Banda Aceh for one week in October 2008 to work project-based learning, and close school-to-community with Pete LaRaus, MPA ’04, deputy director of Save the Children. The assignment was to help the organiza- ties. In study after study, the students documented have outperformed students from urban schools with tion develop a three-year strategic plan that redirects far greater resources. At the Academy of Educational Save the Children away from post-tsunami relief Development, Levinger is working with Kirsten toward longer-term development programs to serve Galisson, MAIPS ’05, on a 30-year retrospective of the conflict-affected populations. development and successes of La Escuela Nueva. Levinger is always looking for and generating Levinger finds great satisfaction participating in opportunities for her current and former students. Prior the cycle where she trains a student, helps to place to his current assignment, LaRaus was country director them upon graduation, and then that alum, in turn, for Save the Children in Nicaragua. Since the trip last extends opportunities to other students. In one recent fall, Levinger has arranged for Ravi Dutta, MPA ’09, week, she worked on the Evaluation of the World to serve in Banda Aceh as a Save the Children intern Bank Program, a report of which she served as primary with LaRaus. author, with principals Evan Bloom (DPMI faculty), Levinger has been a consultant for Save the Aaron Leonard, MPA ’07, and Amy Sunseri, IPS ’05. Children since 1977. Notable among her numerous assignments is the annual State of the World’s Mothers Matt Reeves, MPA ’05, also contributed to the report. Levinger’s former students, well over 100 strong, Report. The Report is a standard resource used by the have a Facebook group called the Big Idea. The list of U.S. government and international organizations in those benefitting from and advancing the “Levinger setting policy and aid budgets for programs serving Cycle” goes on, and communities from Indonesia families in developing nations. to Colombia and beyond are built, gaining health, It is a rare student who can keep up with harmony, and education. Levinger, a consultant in international professional

n December 26, 2004, an earthquake measuring a massive 9.1-9.3 on the Richter scale caused a rupture nearly 1,000 miles long in the Indian Ocean. Over the course of about ten minutes of seismic activity, the seabed surrounding the faultline rose several meters, causing a tsunami that reached about 30 meters high at landfall in Indonesia. An estimated 225,000 people were killed in the event and its immediate aftermath. Whole communities were lost in minutes; hundreds of square miles across seven countries were flattened into a landscape of rubble.

T & I at the Beijing Olympics While the Monterey Institute may not be known for garnering gold at the Olympics, the need for our graduates and present and former faculty members’ participation may be equal to that of the competing athletes. Close to two dozen MIIS affiliates were in Beijing for the 2008 Games, providing interpretation and other language services critical for events from athlete press conferences to working sessions between the International Olympic Committee and the Beijing Organizing Committee. Here are those Institute community members whom we know were a part of the MIIS team in Beijing: Julien Brasseur, MATI ’02 Pablo Chang-Castillo, MAT ’01 Daphne Chien, MATI ’92 Hiromi Chino, MATI ’90 Miyang Chu, MACI ’98 Andrei Falaleyev Emily Fan Manfred Heine Shen Jingbo, MACI ’06 Pascale Ledeur, MATI ’83 Yun-Hyang Lee, TESOL Certificate ’01 Maria-Isabelle Noel, MAT ’01 Carlen Pierce, MACI ’84 Xiaojing Lynette Shi Maureen Sweeney, MPA ’94 Wilhelm Weber Shan Tsen, MATI ’89 Angela Yin-Goniak, MACI ’90 Ni Yuan Meggers, MACI ’07 If you were part of the MIIS team in Beijing and we missed you, please let us know!

Winter 2009 


Careers of the Future


disasters. They focused on early warning signs, preparedness, and mitigation ave you ever thought of becoming a humanitarian aid of these disasters instead of just the aftermath response. Students also disworker—working alongside a former Hutu rebel, arranging cussed the drivers that set in motion humanitarian aid, such as the effects micro-financing for an HIV clinic, helping organize relief of climate change which in turn causes drought in Africa and then food convoys to conflict zones, or distributing food in an area surinsecurity. They debated how this ripple effect, better known as a slowrounded by minefields? Being an aid worker requires an ability to adapt to onset emergency, can easily turn into an crisis and how, as aid workers, intensely challenging situations and withstand emotional strain. Aid work is also unlike any other profession in that it is often very difficult to get your they can see an opportunity in the crisis. The course culminated with foot in the door. students being placed in a fictitious Or how about becoming a social country that had recently experienced entrepreneur—promoting ecoa humanitarian crisis, and they roletourism, supporting triple bottom played their assigned humanitarian line companies, helping indigenous “The role playing was so authentic organization or major stakeholder. communities engaged in sustainable that I really felt as if I were on the ground “The simulations were intensive agriculture, or focusing on reducing providing humanitarian aid.” and distraction was not an option a company’s carbon footprint? when you’re dealing with people’s In these careers, one must com—student Archana Chhetri, MAIPS ’09 lives, albeit hypothetical. The role bine the passion of a social mission playing was so authentic that I really with an image of business-like disfelt as if I were on the ground providcipline, innovation, and determinaing humanitarian aid,” said MAIPS tion. It takes creativity, the ability ’09 candidate Archana Chhetri. to broker differing opinions, and there is always the risk of financial fail In the social entrepreneur class, students evaluated some of the sucure. In fact, two-thirds of these ventures fail within the first five years. cess factors that can make social entrepreneurs and their organizations more In keeping with its mission of monitoring emerging global issues and effective. In one instance, students learned about a company that employs preparing the next generation of professionals to meet them, the Monterey a business model called market driven restoration. The company works Institute of International Studies offered two exciting Winter Term courses directly with indigenous growers to deliver unique and beneficial products for its students. that enhance personal health and well-being. An additional goal is to cre The Applied Humanitarian Studies Practicum and Social ate economic models that drive reforestation in South America while also Entrepreneurship. Policy and Efficacy were offered as intensive, hands-on providing a living wage for its employees. courses designed to challenge students with realistic case studies. Both Noel Oaks, MBA ’09 candidate, noted, “The course gave us an hiscourses introduced students to experts in the field who showcased effective torical background on the social entrepreneurship movement, including tools that will help them to carry out their missions. case studies about food-for-education programs in developing countries. In the Applied Humanitarian Studies Practicum, the simulations My final paper is on fair trade coffee in various regions of the world and challenged the participants’ knowledge and understanding of the comwhat impact, if any, that has had on local communities.” plexities of program management during responses to natural or manmade



Alumni Profile: Regina Todd

MIIS Class of 1965 (Regina Todd in front, fourth from left)



Regina and colleagues at Middlebury College

Student Projects: From Ramallah to Phnom Penh


Transitional Injustice in Chile. In collaboration with the nonn addition to a new crop of workshops and classes offered during profit group Global Majority and led by Professor Jan Black, 20 students the Winter Term, students also had a menu of field-based opporembarked on a study tour that explored Chile’s history of democracy tunities—a chance to apply skills and theories learned in class to actual projects while earning credit. Each group includes a faculty and dictatorship, human rights abuse, and transitional justice. The group also saw challenges to the ongoing protection of the rights of member who acts as an advisor and liaison for both the students and the indigenous and other vulnerable populations while visiting communipartner organization. Language credit was also given for those assignties engaged in clashes with the state and industry. Using contacts ments where students conducted their work in another language. made through this initial visit, and in collaboration with Middlebury’s This year the list of projects and locations included several ongoing School Abroad there, the Institute hopes to develop an ongoing field efforts (Belize, El Salvador, and New Orleans) as well as select new practicum in Chile similar to the destinations: El Salvador model. (see story p. 9) Challenges to Peacebuilding Exploring Partnerships in Cambodia. Assistant Professor for Peace and Development Pushpa Iyer accompanied 13 in Palestine. The Institute’s students to various locations three-woman team touched in Cambodia and neighbordown in the region just as the ing Thailand to conduct field violence between Israel and research and explore the chalHamas escalated. Still, the team lenges involved in peacebuilding kept on task conducting a comin Cambodian society. Students munity and needs assessment visited a variety of organizavia informational interviews tions including the Center of with fifteen nongovernmental the Protection of Child Rights organizations in the West Bank (CPCS), the Asia Foundation in (Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus) Thailand, the Center for Peace and Jerusalem. Their findings will and Conflict Studies, and Tean help inform future collaboration Thor, a vocational school and between students and faculty at refuge for HIV/AIDS patients in Bethlehem University and MIIS. Cambodia. The visits provided stuNicole Hodgson, Katie Holland, and Nicole Ketcham at the Damascus Gate, Old City Wall, Jerusalem Some initial ideas include creatdents with a greater understanding ing International Professional of Cambodia’s complex history and Service Semester assignments and shorter internships for MIIS students culture, insight into current challenges like migration, human trafficking, that could focus on activities related to entreupreuneurship, career and HIV/AIDS and examples of creative methods for rebuilding comdevelopment initiatives, and other communication and management munity and trust. To record and share their impressions and experience, projects with organizations like the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ) students created a travel blog in Bethlehem and the Palestine Red Crescent Society of Ramallah. “In Back in Monterey, the group will now compile their research papers spite of the recent conflict, our team hit the ground running and solidiand create a documentary of their experience. “There is no better way to study conflicts and peacebuilding than to see it play out in the real world. fied relations with various Palestinian and Israeli non-profit organizations. Our team never ceased to be amazed by the passion of the people, The learning curve was steep for all of us and not surprisingly, students whose stories we found so inspiring,” said MIIS student Katie Holland. learn so much more in a course like this, than in a whole semester put together,” commented Dr. Iyer.


lumna Regina Todd (Russian Studies ’65) made the Monterey Institute–Middlebury connection long before the two institutions became affiliated. During the time that she studied and taught at the Monterey Institute, Regina spent her summers teaching at Middlebury College’s Russian Language School. Todd took a circuitous path to the Institute after completing a law degree at the University of Leningrad, working as a research assistant at Columbia University School of Law and as a language specialist in Los Angeles. She first approached Monterey Institute founder and President Gaspard Weiss for a teaching position, and later returned to complete a master’s degree in Russian Language and Civilization and several courses toward a doctorate degree. To pay tuition, Regina also taught Russian courses at the Institute during the school year. In 1967 she landed a teaching position for the summer at Middlebury College in Vermont. Her scrapbook includes keepsakes from this period in her life including the original employment offer letter from Middlebury, snapshots taken on the distinctive campus, and photos of her and Institute classmates receiving their diplomas from Dr. Weiss. “When I heard about the Monterey Institute-Middlebury affiliation,

I thought it made good sense; two excellent institutions who share an international focus and value language.” “I enjoyed working with talented colleagues at Middlebury and our students were dedicated and eager to learn. Luckily, my studies at the Institute with demanding teachers prepared me well . . . I spent all year preparing for my summer course, gathering articles and other materials related to Soviet life and the Soviet press. My students were reading and discussing articles from 20 different magazines and newspapers, which was a challenge in the days before the internet.” Regina’s teaching career spanned more than four decades and included faculty positions at the University of Montana, Windham College, and finally the Defense Language Institute where she taught Russian for 34 years, retiring in 2005. In 1970, she translated New York Times Editor Harrison Salisbury’s best-selling book 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad into Russian. It was a subject she knew first hand, having endured the siege as a child growing up in the city. After retiring, she wrote and published her biography, My Struggle for Survival, which describes her terrifying experiences under Stalinist rule and then the equally devastating German occupation.

Winter 2009 


Who’s Yammering at MIIS?

D.C. Alums Join Together

Yammer, a micro-blogging service designed to help individuals within an organization share information quickly and easily, while promoting communication and collaboration, has emerged as a favorite technology tool at MIIS. Users post short and frequent answers to the question, “What are you working on?” Their answers create a central repository of news, ideas, and other information that can be easily accessed by all. Some recent Yammers from MIIS: Bob Cole: Just got off the phone with Mara Baitlin (IPS alumna). Esra’a Al Shafei will be skyping in for an in-class Global Voices podcast during our Friday workshop for a Q&A session with students. I’m beaming! John Grunder: Just updated our ITS web pages at its.htm . . . Come and take a look and feel free to make suggestions for additional content. Jen Hambleton: Kathy Sparaco, Edy Rhodes, and I met yesterday afternoon to begin planning for a career development day for international students. The tentative date for the event is March 27. We’re excited about the possibilities! Robert Horgan: Caroline Mansi and I have been talking about making a series of videos for the YouTube Channel to promote the MIIS/Peace Corps degrees. On the videos, we would like to spotlight returnees, get some quotes from faculty, talk to employers who have hired Peace Corps returnees, etc. If anyone has any input on this or can think of some good individuals to profile on camera, would you please let me know? Beryl Levinger: In Boston at a Wallace Foundation-sponsored meeting learning about attributes of high quality graduate level leadership development programs. I’m inspired! Anybody else interested in this? Patricia Szasz: Is thankful to Marimer Berlanga Sanchez & Pinar Tankut for their help in translating our program info into Spanish & Turkish!

Plan to establish scholarship fund


athering for an informal dinner in November with then President Designate Sunder Ramaswamy, several D.C. area alumni brainstormed how they­—together with other MIIS affiliates in the area—could make a difference for current Institute students. “Each of us has participated in MIIS alumni events, and we know that our numbers in and around D.C. are significant—more than 600 if you include friends of the Institute, too,” said Melanie Eltz, a 2004 graduate of the policy program. “We’ve come together to support other organizations in the past, so why not do the same for a current MIIS student?” Eltz and others began plans to establish an annual scholarship that will be funded with gifts from area alumni and friends. Garvey McIntosh, MAIPS ’03, added, “Many people can come together, make modest financial contributions, and have a significant impact. That’s our goal.” Beth McDermott, executive director of Institutional Advancement, emphasized the importance of their effort: “Student financial aid is one of the Institute’s foremost priorities. We’re grateful that Melanie, Garvey, and others have recognized and are responding to that need, and that we will have the chance to demonstrate the impact of their giving in the years ahead.” D.C. area alumni and friends should watch their email for more information on how they can participate in this initiative.

iTunes The Monterey Institute is now listed on Apple’s iTunes University menu. Audio and video podcasts can be downloaded from the site free of cost, then played on a computer or portable device whenever, wherever. With the help of the Digital Media Commons, the Institute is training an army of podcasters across the globe who will expand relevant content for this site.



Melanie Eltz, Garvey McIntosh, and Abigail Lewis

Digital Media on the Go MIIS student captures field experience in documentary

Ryan Gonzalez and children in San Hilario, El Salvador


s a first-year IPS student with a focus on migration trends in Latin America, Ryan Gonzalez was a likely participant in the Winter Term Team Monterey development practicum in El Salvador. A bit more unlikely, perhaps, was his desire to apply skills honed in his fall work-study job to the January field intensive. As a graduate assistant in the Digital Media Commons, Gonzalez had helped students, faculty, and staff apply new technologies to their work, a natural extension of his own interest in documentary filmmaking. As one of 13 MIIS students in Bajo Lempa working with La Coordinadora Asociación Mangle, Gonzalez participated in development projects ranging from organic fertilizer distribution to turtle conservation programs, while also serving as videographer, “I captured my classmates interacting with community members through their surveys and interviews. One of the difficulties I encountered was getting interviewees, both Salvadorans and MIIS students, to relax in front of the camera. The children were the most eager to be recorded in order to demonstrate their English skills.” “The highlight of our stay was when Dean Laurance (or Don Eduardo, as he is known in El Salvador) and Don Luis Ramos, president of La Coordinadora Asociación Mangle, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The Monterey Institute will continue to send students for various field work opportunities and also will promote the organization through existing and new networks. In return, La Coordinadora Asociación Mangle will provide significant work experiences for MIIS students as they pursue their development efforts in the Bajo Lempa. I returned with a hard drive full of wonderful video for a documentary that will showcase the narratives, experiences and hard work that is being done by the proud people of El Salvador and MIIS students alike.” “He’s more than a film maker,” commented Dean Laurance. “Ryan played a key role as facilitator between our group and the people in the community, helping them to understand our purpose there. And he came from behind the camera to conduct his share of interviews as well.” Gonzalez plans to debut his film later in the semester on the Institute’s YouTube channel.

Alumni Profile: Casson Trenor Fishing for sustainable ways to enjoy seafood The menu at Tataki Sushi & Sake Bar is as mouthwatering as any: seared skipjack tuna with garlic sauce, shrimp tempura rolls and green tea cheesecake. But you won’t find any unagi or hamachi—two of the most popular sushi choices—at this San Francisco eatery. “They are replete with devastating problems for the environment,” says Casson Trenor, the “sustainability guru” for the Japanese restaurant. “If we’re going to save sushi for the future, we have to incorporate sustainability into the very concept of the cuisine; otherwise, not only are we going to lose the fish, we’re going to lose the art.” For those whose only concern with sushi has been how to manage the chopsticks, an ahi! moment is on the way, thanks to Trenor. As not only Tataki’s green-minded guy, but also the director of business development for the sustainable-seafood consultancy FishWise and the author of the new book Sustainable Sushi (North Atlantic Books, 2009), Trenor is helping to chart a new course for the health of the planet’s fisheries. “It just takes a little bit of ingenuity and a little belief in yourself,” he says, “to work in concert with the oceans instead of against them.” Trenor didn’t exactly coast into his current career. Though he grew up in the Washington State beach town of Mukilteo, digging for clams and regularly dining on salmon, he studied international relations and foreign languages at Hobart and William Smith, went to culinary school and worked in the restaurant and wine industries before receiving a master’s in International Environmental Policy from MIIS in 2005. “The Institute showed me that one person does change the world,” says Trenor. “It gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to move forward, follow my heart.” Naturally, Trenor spent a good deal of time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where he became immersed in the Seafood Watch program that advises consumers on sustainable choices. While traveling in Antarctica in 2005, Trenor had a “thunderbolt experience” where he came up with the idea for Sustainable Sushi. “The book came first,” he says. “Then I was introduced to two visionary chefs.” Tataki opened in 2008 and now that the book has been published, Trenor is sharing his concept on a tour with stops at the Smithsonian, among other places. For FishWise, Trenor travels the world to both identify and help create sustainable seafood resources. And thanks to an increased awareness by chefs of over-fishing concerns in the last decade, Trenor’s work has a direct impact on what ends up on your plate. “If the groundswell grows among society—that the ocean is not an infinite resource,” he says. “It will become easier to fix the problems.” Though swordfish has made a comeback, Trenor says that people are still eating orange roughy, which isn’t “built right” for so much consumption. His other no-no fish: bluefin tuna and farmed salmon. “You don’t need to have all these negative effects on the ocean,” he says, “just to have good sushi.”

Casson Trenor with the Tataki chefs

Winter 2009 


MIIS MATTERS   Susan Young 

Seeking the heart of darkness via one billion lights out

What would happen if a sixth of the world’s population—one billion people in one thousand cities—all turned out the lights at once? On March 28, we’ll find out. That night, at 8:30 p.m., if all goes according to the Earth Hour plan, nearly one-seventh of the planet’s population will flick the “off” switch for 60 minutes. It will happen eight months before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. “We want to raise awareness,” says Susie Young, who received a master’s degree in French and International Policy Studies, along with a certificate in Translation and Interpretation, from the Monterey Institute in 1975 and is now based in Sydney, Australia. As a director of World Wildlife Fund Australia, Young sits on the board that gave the green light to the first Earth Hour in 2007. “There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement that we could help mount a grassroots campaign to enlighten the entire community about what a difference it would make,” says Young, “in terms of the energy savings that could be generated by just turning off the lights for an hour.” The idea for Earth Hour was first sparked by an initiative to reduce domestic electricity consumption in Thailand, says Andy Ridley, the global director of Earth Hour. “We needed a campaign that would bring together very different parts of the community to voice their opinion,” he says, “as a symbol of the desire for action on climate change.” In 2007, 2.2 million homes and businesses in Sydney took part in Earth Hour. One by one, the fluorescent bulbs in buildings that typically glow around the clock were snuffed, and the once-sparkling city emerged into the dark and moonlit night. “People had picnics outside; restaurants were having candlelight dinners,” says Young, who is a partner in the global executive search firm Spencer Stuart in addition to serving on the WWF board of directors since 2002. “It was really encouraging to see all

the different ways people were taking Earth Hour to heart.” Even more inspiring is the way the message has spread. For 2008, Earth Hour was supposed to spread only across Australia. But as word got out, some 50 million people in 35 countries and 370 cities decided that they, too, would turn out their lights. Times Square’s Coca Cola billboard, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and Rome’s Colosseum all went dark. Nearly 25,000 blog posts recorded Earth Hour action; for some goose bumps, check out the Earth Hour 2008: Lighting candles YouTube video at www.earthhour. under Sydney’s Harbour Bridge org. This kind of momentum C. Jamie Williams Photography has emboldened the Earth Hour team to aim for participation by 1,000 cities and 1 billion people this March 28. Because of time zones, of course, it won’t all happen exactly at once. But it just may be, as Ridley points out, the first time in history that there’s a truly global vote on the issue of climate change. Beyond urging action by politicians and ministers at the Copenhagen conference, says Young, Earth Hour is starting to correct bad habits among Sydney building owners and homeowners who are more conscious of energy conservation. Says Young, “We think Earth Hour has served as a catalyst for change already.”


What would happen if the world’s population all turned out the lights at once?


Bill Godnick Giving peace a chance through corporate accountability Sure, the biggest conflicts that might erupt around most U.S. businesses are over who gets the last package of Doritos from the vending machine or who won the football pool. But in countries such as Colombia, companies operate amidst very real, very violent conflicts: guerrilla and paramilitary forces have contributed to 40,000 deaths here in just the last ten years. So for Bill Godnick of International Alert, getting inside the door of private businesses is the first step to building peace in the outside communities. “We engage directly with companies in difficult situations and with difficult legacies,” explains Godnick, who received his master’s in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute in 1997. “It involves doing a baseline assessment, doing field research and training people at all levels of the company on conflict analysis and human rights, and also convening interdepartmental work teams to develop strategies for any number of issues.”



Godnick splits his time between Sacramento and Colombia. He spends about 25 percent of his year on the ground in the Latin American country, where relationships with indigenous groups are a key area of work. During one particularly eye-opening travel experience in February 2006, he visited the site of a Wayuu massacre, within the “sphere of influence” of a company with which he was working. “It was a ghost town,” says Godnick. “Hundreds of houses, and only three or four occupied by any people.” Having bridged two worlds in the past—studying business at San Francisco State and serving in the Peace Corps in Honduras—Godnick was well prepared to bring his unique set of skills to Colombia. MIIS, where Godnick worked for two years before joining International Alert in 2002, only added to the toolbox for tricky negotiations. “I grew up in Santa Cruz, so I knew about Monterey,” he says. “I decided to do a graduate degree there mostly because I would be able to do content-level studies in Spanish language.” He also worked on small

Alumni Profiles Rebecca Fong 

Globetrotting grad reports from Iraq

When Rebecca Fong, MAIPS-RS ’89, was ten years old, she read an article on Tibet in National Geographic, and couldn’t put it down. She read and dreamed about other countries. When she was 12, she and her father went on her first international excursion, a road trip through Europe; he had her do all the map reading and navigating. She was hooked. She promised herself that she would visit every country in the world. Fong has held tenaciously to that goal, choosing from the list of hundreds of unseen countries to spend long weekends and vacations. That list has steadily dwindled and, today, several decades later, she is just five countries from fulfilling that promise to herself. She studied biology, biochemistry and Russian at UC Santa Cruz, where an inspiring Russian professor encouraged her to go to the Pushkin Institute to continue her language studies. There, Fong had the chance to join a study group the professor was leading through all 15 former Soviet Republics. Fong sought whatever jobs would allow her to travel or live overseas. She coordinated travel for rock bands and movie shoots. She represented collectors at international art auctions. Then she returned to school, ostensibly to study Arabic, at the Monterey Institute. Once here, she opted instead to perfect her Russian, and earned a double master’s degree in International Policy Studies and Russian Area Studies. Studying at the Institute kept her in one place for awhile, but she did manage to spend a winter break in Brazil and Papua New Guinea. In the next several years, she visited 70 countries and spent a year teaching English in Beijing as part of an Institute program at the time, Volunteers in Asia. Then Fong joined the State Department, where, as a foreign service officer, was assigned postings in Bahrain, France, Algeria, and, most recently, Iraq.

Some international experiences she holds most dear: riding the Moscow metro; walking and people-watching in Paris; the extraordinary, lung-freezing air of Antarctica; and the handmade folk art of many countries. She has found Antarctica to be the most stunningly beautiful; the hospitality in Kurdistan the most memorable; the former Soviet states the most fascinating cultural exercise; and Iraq the most challenging politically. Her travels have only continued to whet her interest in people and lands, including Americans. She says the most uniquely American experiences seem to be reality TV and the need to have everything done quickly—two things Fong likes, personally, but she warns that that need for instantaneous resolution can be disastrous on any given day. Asked what she sees to be the most critical global issue that will affect the next generation of leaders, she does not hesitate: “The environment will ultimately determine what resources countries will fight over, and, in turn, define the political stances of most countries.” Interviews for this article took place over the Internet, while Fong was on a field assignment up country in a Kurdish region of Iraq. This is her second Baghdad tour, where she currently serves as political officer with the Kurdish Affairs portfolio and acts as back-up for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was asked to return because of her established relationships with Kurdish leaders. Her job, which focuses on “expanding and enhancing Kurdish contacts for the embassy (in and out of government),” is “70 percent outreach and meetings, 20 percent analysis and writing (primarily cables), and 10 percent logistics for (her) contacts (badges, green zone access, visas).” She accompanies Ambassador Ryan Crocker to see any Kurdish contacts, advocates policy with her own contacts, and works with Special Adviser to Northern Iraq Ambassador Tom Krajeski. She says the most valuable skill sets in her work are people skills, writing, and the ability to work independently. Adaptability is also a must, says Fong, “When working in a war zone, one must adjust to life under heavy security, and likely with chronic insomnia.” Insomnia is probably an asset, as her workday ranges from 12-20 hours. When she does have time off, she spends it working out, seeing Kurdish contacts who have become friends, and planning her next trip. The remaining five countries on her list—Cuba, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, and North Korea—can be a challenge for an American to visit, but those who know her are confident that she will get to them. This year she plans to return to the Sossuvlei sand dunes of Namibia, visit Beirut, and study Farsi with the hopes of serving in Tehran in the near future. But where does Rebecca Fong consider home? She has a heartfelt home, where there are family and friends. It is a city that provides enough human variety to satisfy this nomad; she says, “How breathtaking San Francisco is, as a city of plurality, beauty, acceptance, ethnic and gender diversity, and glorious food.”

business development in Honduras, helping individuals do everything from price T-shirts to conduct accounting for food processing. Godnick’s initial work with International Alert was in security-sector reform and international arms control; today, he leads the Latin American efforts to engage with companies to prevent conflict, build peace and develop in a sustainable way. “The work with companies is discreet,” says Godnick, who also represents Alert on the Committee for Human Rights. “The public forum tries to promote these standards more broadly.”

Though he works in a region of conflict, Godnick says he rarely feels in danger himself. Rather, he prefers to focus on the positive outcomes of International Alert’s efforts, such as when they helped the large mining company Cerrejón work with local activists and international peacekeepers to rebuild a disenfranchised community. “That was one of the things where you see an impact,” says Godnick. “The problem wasn’t going away and we were able to facilitate a meeting of the minds. We felt progress had been made.”

Rebecca Fong in Iraq

Winter 2009 


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Winter 2009 Communique  

The late winter 2009 edition of the Monterey Institute's newsletter, The Communique.

Winter 2009 Communique  

The late winter 2009 edition of the Monterey Institute's newsletter, The Communique.