Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Resident Experts: The Essential Role of Fellows at the Institute

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Resident Experts

CNS Director William Potter (center) with the 2015-2016 cohort of CNS Visiting Fellows.

November 25, 2015

Launched in 1991, the Visiting Fellows Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) hosts five to 12 fellows for a semester to work on an independent research project. While on campus, these key members of the Institute’s diverse and international community share highlights of their expertise and participate in seminars and lectures. Fellows also provide leads and mentoring to students seeking internships.

Although the program initially offered training and research opportunities to officials and academics from the former Soviet republics, today’s fellows include faculty, diplomats, and other practitioners from Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mali, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey.

“We think of our fellows as resident experts in their fields,” says Rachel Christopherson, program manager for the Institute’s Center for the Blue Economy. The center, whose work focuses on using innovative tools to address ocean and coastal resource management issues, currently has two fellows: Mark J. Spalding, president of The Ocean Foundation, and Dr. Brendan Kelly, a leading researcher on the Arctic. Both will spend time on campus during the academic year delivering lectures and seminars, collaborating with faculty and students, and sharing their expertise with campus colleagues.

Fellows at the Institute’s Cyber Initiative help students gain digital literacy via instruction and career guidance, while also conducting research and helping identify funding opportunities. Cyber Initiative fellows include Dr. Linton Wells, former chief information officer for the Department of Defense;, Dr. Walter Christman, founder of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies; and Brian Steckler, a specialist in using technology to assist in humanitarian crises.

Fellows’ contributions to the Institute range far beyond simply conducting research. They deepen and enrich the experiences of students, faculty, and staff by introducing fresh perspectives and adding to the Institute’s global web of professional connections.

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