MIPP Program - Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU

MIPP is an advanced professional degree for mid-career practitioners combining rigorous academic training with the development of career-enhancing skills.

The Elliott School’s Master of International Policy and Practice (MIPP) is an advanced professional degree for mid-career practitioners. Combining rigorous academic training with the development of valuable career-enhancing skills, the program prepares students for leadership roles in international public policy. The MIPP program includes foundation courses in international policy and economics al

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Congratulations to MIPP alum Asmik Arutyunyan on publishing an insightful piece with InkStick Media! In the article, titled "Russian and Belarusian Women are Leading the Anti-War Movement," Asmik discusses the history of women's leadership in peacebuilding and highlights how women are opposing the war in Ukraine in the present day.

Read the article below:

Putin’s Dream of Rebuilding the Russian Empire Died in Ukraine 05/09/2022

Check out MIPP alum Miro Popkhadze's new article, "Putin’s Dream of Rebuilding The Russian Empire Died in Ukraine," in 19FortyFive!

Putin’s Dream of Rebuilding the Russian Empire Died in Ukraine Russian President Putin’s attempts to recreate the Russian empire have failed in Ukraine. Russia’s full-scale invasion dealt a serious blow to Russia’s global standing, leaving it weakened economically, isolated politically, and broken militarily while consolidating democracies and strengtheni...

Witnessing Ukraine, Watersheds in the Balkans - PONARS Eurasia 04/28/2022

Earlier this week, MIPP '10 Veljko Milonjic shared some of his insights in a PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo titled "Witnessing Ukraine, Watersheds in the Balkans." In this piece, Veljko dicusses the implications of the conflict in Ukraine for the Western Balkans.

Read the article below:

Witnessing Ukraine, Watersheds in the Balkans - PONARS Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Common threats unify. Unfortunately, the war on Ukraine had to happen to make clear what already should have been. As French President Emmanuel Macron explained, NATO went from being braindead in 2019 to being electroshocked in 2022. Its strategic role has been clarified...

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Are you about to start graduate school in Political Science, International Affairs, or a related field soon?

We are happy to announce MIPP Associate Director Laila Sorurbakhsh's Breaking the Barriers to Entry project, which seeks to host mid-career and non-traditional pre-graduates in a virtual summer workshop with the aim of socializing students into political science and related graduate programs. Fourteen pre-graduates, selected through an application process, will participate in a fully-funded virtual workshop focusing on graduate-level writing and data analysis, and will be connected to a faculty mentor who will help with their applications, essays, and professional development. Students will also receive a new laptop and seminal textbooks to help them prepare for and offset the costs of their graduate studies.

Workshop dates and times are four consecutive Saturdays, from July 16 through August 6, 2022, from 9:30am to 1:30pm EST. Accepted applicants must attend all four sessions, and complete pre- and post-workshop surveys.

Applicants should complete the form below and submit their CV/resume and 1-page essay describing a) how they qualify as a non-traditional student (interpreted broadly); 2) their academic and professional goals, and 3) how this workshop will help them achieve academic success.

Review of applications begins May 2nd, and continues on a rolling basis through May 30th. Applicants will be notified of the decision no later than June 3, 2022.

For any questions about the workshop or application, you may contact Dr. Laila Sorurbakhsh, [email protected].

*This workshop is funded through the APSA Special Projects Fund. The grant has been awarded to:
Principal Investigator (PI): Laila Sorurbakhsh, George Washington University
Co-PI: David Branham, University of Houston-Downtown

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These women of color have broken law enforcement, military barriers: 'This is who I am' 04/25/2022

Congratulations to MIPP alum Shanti Sethi, who was recently appointed defense advisor for Vice President Kamala Harris! Sethi has served in the US Navy for nearly 30 years and had the honor of being the first Indian American commander of a major US Navy combat ship.

For more on Sethi's career journey, check out the USA Today article below:

These women of color have broken law enforcement, military barriers: 'This is who I am' A Puerto Rican FBI agent is believed to be the first Black woman to be selected for a bureau's SWAT team. Here is a spotlight on women of color who have broken barriers in law enforcement.


MIPP '16 Meera Shah Eaton was recently promoted as Lead Associate to help establish Fannie Mae's ESG/Climate Risk Management program, including climate risk policies, governance, and oversight framework. Before joining Fannie Mae, Meera was a Risk Manager for Global Financial Crimes at Bank of America, focusing on economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, and market manipulations within the capital market line of business. Meera also has worked for various international organizations, including Discovery Communications, the American Red Cross, and the Institute of Current World Affairs. Her expertise is in climate risk, risk management, policy, and governance alongside economic development. She holds a Master's Degree in International Policy and Practices from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and four-year-old son.

Congratulations on the promotion, Meera!

Military Effects on Political Stability: A Seemingly Unrelated Regression (Sur) Model Applied To MENA Countries – Global Politics Review 03/04/2022

Matt Hewlett (MIPP '21) debuts his first publication in the peer-reviewed journal Global Politics Review. Building on his work in the Economic Tools for Global Policy and Leadership Capstone classes, his work analyzes measures of political stability in the MENA region, and uses an innovative quantitative analysis to disaggregate a commonly-used index. Congratulations, Matt!
His work can be found here:

Military Effects on Political Stability: A Seemingly Unrelated Regression (Sur) Model Applied To MENA Countries – Global Politics Review Military Effects on Political Stability: A Seemingly Unrelated Regression (Sur) Model Applied To MENA Countries Matt HewlettORCID: 0000-0003-2000-356XE-mail: [email protected] Global Politics ReviewVol. 7, no. 1-2 (2022): 47-66.DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6320147GPR ID: 2464-9929_v07_i1-2_p04...


MIPP Alumni Spotlight:

After nearly twenty years as a Montenegrin diplomat, Veljko Milonjic, MIPP ’10, recently moved to the DC area with his family. Now an inactive diplomat, Veljko has resumed work on his PhD, which he started in Germany at Eichstatt Ingolstadt Catholic University. When asked why he chose the MIPP Program, Veljko shared: “I strongly believe that all of us in the vibrant field of international relations need constant professional development. I saw MIPP as a means to advance my knowledge and skills, strengthen my integrity, and create career alternatives. This was my motivation as I was a young diplomat coming from a fragile democracy and a country which throughout its history experienced how disturbing political circumstances might be.”

When Veljko entered the MIPP Program in 2009 on a High Honor Fellowship, he was a young diplomat working in an embassy and had just become a father. In the midst of this very busy season, Veljko quickly learned to manage his time well and made the most of his MIPP experience by thoughtfully crafting his schedule. To Veljko, the value of his MIPP experience was “not only to become more knowledgeable and develop skills, but to meet many people, fellow students and Professors who are not only academics but also have great practical experience.”

Having returned to Washington, DC, Veljko is now looking forward to experiencing international relations from other perspectives and giving back to the MIPP Program. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

CNAS Announces 2022 Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellows 01/28/2022

We are excited to announce that MIPP '21 Joe Tomczak has been selected as a 2022 Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellow at the Center for a New American Security! This highly selective fellowship provides 24 emerging leaders with a unique opportunity to grow as leaders and deepen their understanding of U.S. national security interests and policies. Well done, Joe!

CNAS Announces 2022 Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellows Developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies.

Feeling the Burden: Ethical Challenges and Practices in Open Source Analysis and Journalism | Stanley Center for Peace and Security 01/20/2022

Congratulations to MIPP student Devon Terrill for her work on an insightful report titled "Feeling the Burden: Ethical Challenges and Practices in Open Source Analysis and Journalism." Analysts and journalists working with open source data increasingly acknowledge ethical dilemmas it presents in their work. The Stanley Center for Peace and Security and the Ethical Journalism Network interviewed 28 practitioners to explore current practices for ethical decision-making and identify systemic breakdowns in coordinating ethical practices. The report recommends ways for open source analysts, journalists, organizations, and policymakers to spark candid conversation about open source ethics and identify bottom-up solutions to common challenges.

Feeling the Burden: Ethical Challenges and Practices in Open Source Analysis and Journalism | Stanley Center for Peace and Security What ethical challenges do analysts and journalists face when working with open source information? A new survey report explores current practices and offers recommendations to help advance conversations about open source ethics.


We are excited to announce that MIPP student Natalia Ambrosio has been selected to participate in the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA)'s Graduate Fellowship Program! Through this program, Natalia will have a wide range of professional development opportunities and will be able to gain academic credit for her participation.

Natalia is passionate about international development, particularly regarding trade and gender issues. When we asked Natalia about what she is most looking forward to about the UNA-NCA fellowship, she told us:

"I believe that the UNA-NCA Graduate Fellowship Program is a perfect complement to my MIPP program as it provides an understanding of UN issues, policies, and organizations through 'UN Lens'. The fellowship also involves participation in seminars about contemporary global issues related to the United Nations. Likewise, the program offers mentoring opportunities as well as professional development support, which is highly useful for international students like me."

Internship Bank Founder Debolina Saha Narayanan named Elliott School Graduate Fellow 12/09/2021

When asked by Bar & Bench about her decision to enroll in graduate school later on in her career, incoming MIPP student Debolina Saha Narayanan said “Life is not linear, so how can our careers be?”

We are excited to welcome Debolina to the MIPP Program! Debolina is the founder of Internship Bank, an organization that connects female university students with internship opportunities and mentors. To learn more about Debolina's background, career goals, and decision to join the MIPP Program, read the Bar & Bench article linked below:

Internship Bank Founder Debolina Saha Narayanan named Elliott School Graduate Fellow She begins studying for her Master's in International Policy and Practice (MIPP) at the Elliott School of International Affairs in January 2022.

How to make your message accessible for a global audience - PR Daily 12/01/2021

MIPP student Rebecca Cowle recently published an insightful article in PR Daily titled "How to make your message accessible for a global audience." Congratulations, Rebecca!

Read the article (linked below) to learn more about the importance of adaptability, purpose, and impact for companies that are looking to build successful global public affairs campaigns.

How to make your message accessible for a global audience - PR Daily As information is more accessible to audiences around the world, communicators must be adaptable and consider how to use brand purpose to make an impact. Rapidly advancing technology, spurred by COVID-19 and a renewed collective consciousness regarding sustainability, has forever changed how governm...


Color the World Orange: How the Elliott School Can Help Eliminate Violence against Women Globally

In recognition of November 25, the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, the Intro to Conflict Resolution class wrote a short piece synthesizing their insights and reflections regarding this important day:
“Gender-based violence (GBV) is a critical lens through which we can better understand all forms of conflict,” asserts Alex Borkholder, a student in the MIPP class on Conflict Analysis and Resolution. The course examines a range of conflict types including violent extremism, privileged violence and Russia’s hybrid warfare. Violent extremist groups construct gendered roles to build cohesion and to recruit. Russia uses disinformation in neighboring countries to reinforce domestic and homophobic violence and prevent progressive movements for gender equality to advance democratic consolidation. In systems of privileged violence, elites maintain power with impunity through electoral violence, the politicization of the security sector, and other measures. In such settings, notes Simuel Jamison, another student in the class, “political violence is gendered...to preserve hegemonic men’s control of politics.”

If this is the case, student Rachel Wein writes, “there is a strong relationship between the physical security of women and the peacefulness of the state...then by analyzing the levels of GBV in a country, we can make conclusions about the levels of other forms of violence.” Therefore, it is imperative that “understanding the interconnectedness of these types of violence encourages a more holistic and systemic approach to conflict prevention and resolution ….and helps to identify effective entry-points and responses.”

Students in the class are advocating that “international relations courses should do more to understand and analyze women’s insecurity globally,” as Isabelle Brito suggests, including, at the Elliott School, making one gender course mandatory for all students (Alex), offering more courses that address women’s global insecurity (Simuel), and incorporating gender analysis and international relations feminist theory in all classes (Rachel and Isabelle).


Job Opportunity!

The Office of Strategic Stability and Security at USIP is hiring a Senior Program Officer with expertise in peace processes, strategic stability, arms control, cyber, and space issues. This is a great opportunity for MIPP students and alums! Thank you to MIPP student Asmik Arutyunyan for sharing this posting with us!


Making Sense of SADAT, Turkey’s Private Military Company - War on the Rocks 10/15/2021

Congratulations to Matt Powers, MIPP '16, for publishing his article, "Making Sense of SADAT, Turkey's Private Military Company," in War on the Rocks!

Making Sense of SADAT, Turkey’s Private Military Company - War on the Rocks Alternately described as “cannon fodder” and “terrorists,” Syrian fighters working at Turkey’s behest have generated headlines from the Maghreb to the


Asmik Arutyunyan, a MIPP student specializing in Gender, International Development and Security, has made quite an impact during her time at the Elliott School of International Affairs. In addition to her full-time position at USIP, Asmik will be a Graduate Assistant for Dr. Shirley Graham during the fall semester. In this role, Asmik will be assisting Dr. Graham with Women & Global Politics, an undergraduate course at the Elliott School. Furthermore, Asmik serves as the Director of Policy and Research for the GWU chapter of the DC Student Consortium on Women, Peace and Security and was recently selected by the Office of Graduate Student Services to be a student ambassador for an upcoming panel for graduate student orientation at the Elliott School.

To learn more about Asmik, check out her feature from late July: https://esiagrad.wordpress.com/2021/07/28/weareelliott-asmik-arutyunyan/

Pictured below: Asmik Arutyunyan representing The George Washington University in Portugal.


Dr. Laila Sorurbakhsh, the Associate Director of the MIPP Program, was recently named as the Faculty Co-Chair for the 2021-2022 Council on Diversity and Inclusion at the Elliott School of International Affairs! We are so grateful for Dr. Sorurbakhsh's leadership and her dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Congratulations!


MIPP mini-reunion last week in Dakar, Senegal!

We are always happy to see our brilliant alumni connect around the world! Sandy Maroun (left) started working as a Reporting Officer at the Regional Office for West and Central Africa for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) earlier this year. Marguerite Ciss (right) currently serves as a consultant policy advisor for the UN Capital Development Fund. Keep up the great work - we look forward to hearing about your impact and accomplishments!


MIPP student Tony Seleznick has been keeping busy while serving as the commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Myrtle Hazard. Since arriving in Guam, the Myrtle Hazard has rescued two fishermen off Tinian, participated in the boarding of a vessel suspected of poaching sea cucumbers, and supported the rescue of five fishermen in the South Pacific. The Myrtle Hazard has recently been highlighted in a Wall Street Journal article on the deployment of the U.S. Coast Guard to counter China's influence in the Pacific, as well as three articles in the Maritime Executive.

Wall Street Journal Article:

Maritime Executive Articles:




MIPP student Matt Hewlett recently presented his Capstone research at the annual Midwestern Political Science Conference. His paper, "Does Military Intervention Affect Political Stability in MENA?" dissects various measures of political stability to show how military interventions can both stabilize in some areas, and destabilize in others. Well done, Matt!

Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: Peace in the Age of Chaos: The Best Solution for a Sustainable Future. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting. 04/22/2021

Happening today!

"Peace in the Age of Chaos: The Best Solution for a Sustainable Future" from 5 - 6:30 PM EDT tonight via Zoom.

Attendees will hear from Steve Killelea, founder of the Global Peace Index and the Institute for Economics and Peace. Discussants will include our very own Matthew Levinger, as well as Pedro Conceição. Click on the link below to register!

Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: Peace in the Age of Chaos: The Best Solution for a Sustainable Future. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting. The major challenges facing humanity are global in nature – climate change, pandemics, ever decreasing biodiversity, lack of usable freshwater, and food security to name a few. Without a basically peaceful world, we will never get the levels of trust, cooperation, and inclusiveness needed to solve...


Major Thomas Dyrenforth, MIPP '17, was recognized as the 2019 DOD Military Attaché of the Year among over 200 military attachés worldwide. From 2018 to 2020, Major Dyrenforth served as the Army Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in DR of Congo and the Republic of Congo where he worked closely with the partner nation’s respective defense ministries, chiefs of defense, and senior officers to advance regional security efforts and support strengthened military relationships. His contributions significantly increased the United States Government’s understanding of the complex political-military environment across a geographic area larger than Western Europe with a population greater than 90 million people. Congratulations!


We still have open seats in our summer courses. Register now before they fill up!


MIPP student Nakisa Azizikontenaei recently won 2nd place in the Elliott school-wide Policy Memo Competition addressing bias in the discipline. Nakisa presented her brief, which addressed strategies that help integrate international students into our educational system more effectively, in Thursday's student panel as part of Inclusive Excellence Week. Well done!

Photos from MIPP Program - Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU's post 04/06/2021

MIPP student Major Ebony Thomas was promoted last week to Lt. Col. in the US Army. In a promotion ceremony held in her honor at the Women's Memorial Museum, friends, family, and colleagues celebrated Ebony's personal and professional accomplishments throughout the years. "Having the opportunity to celebrate Ebony's promotion and learning a little bit more about her life achievements was both inspiring and humbling," said Prof. Laila Sorurbakhsh, who was in attendance. "Ebony is truly a leader both inside and outside the classroom." The timing of Ebony's promotion also coincides with the implementation of her Capstone project, which addresses Ethical Leadership.

H.R. McMaster Stresses Strategic Empathy as an Effective Foreign Policy 04/01/2021

Did you miss H.R. McMaster's talk on Strategic Empathy last week? MIPP student Lee Woolley is highlighted in GW Today's article on the event!

H.R. McMaster Stresses Strategic Empathy as an Effective Foreign Policy The retired general and national security adviser to President Trump shared his real-life experiences with students as part of the Elliott School’s Leadership, Ethics and Practice Initiative series.

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