Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Shawn Harris


Shawn Harris is an MPA student specializing in conflict, security and development.

September 17, 2012

Program: Public Administration (MPA)

Specialization: Conflict, security and development

Undergrad: UC Santa Cruz (Global Economics)

Fast Fact:  Shawn made a documentary in Libya following the collapse of the Qaddafi Regime

“I believe that in order to raise the global standard of living we have to address both conflict and economic development simultaneously.”

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in global economics, Shawn decided to pursue a master’s degree in public administration. He choose to attend the Monterey Institute because of its reputation for focusing on practice over theory.  Over the summer, Shawn had the opportunity to gain hands-on development experience in Kenya.

“In Kenya I was designing a monitoring and evaluation system for an NGO, which encompassed six different development programs. In the process of completing this task, I learned more about the complexity of development and systemic pitfalls of the sector. My participation in the classroom since this experience has changed from understanding the theory to critically analyzing the theory, and in many circumstances challenging it.”

Shawn is specializing in conflict, security and development.  He says, “The ability to get my hands dirty in the area of security and development while being guided by area professionals is what I’ve enjoyed most about my program.”

Shawn hopes to continue to work in the developing world, especially in conflict countries within the field of post-conflict management and monitoring of illicit market flows such as weapons, drugs and money.

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