Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Beryl Levinger

Distinguished Professor and Program Chair

I believe that people learn and grow when they work together to solve problems that hold meaning and significance for their lives. While experts are important, they are never smarter than a group of committed individuals working together in pursuit of social justice.

Here are seven short videos that offer my perspective on Social Change.

Every day that I teach, I learn. What excites me about MIIS is the daily act of co-creating knowledge with people from diverse backgrounds who are idealistic about their studies, knowledgeable about the world, and passionate about building a learning community. This environment feeds my soul and reinforces my own passionate pursuit of social justice.


Beryl Levinger is a highly regarded development professional who focuses on five issues: evaluationcapacity developmentstrategic planningeducation; and health

Last year alone, she worked in eleven countries with such organizations as the World Bank, UNHCR, USAID, Save the Children, the Carter Center, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Freedom from Hunger, Project Concern International, Partners in Health, the Packard Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, and Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions. With a career that includes senior positions at  AFS Intercultural Programs (president),  CARE (senior vice president) and Save the Children (vice president), Beryl draws on a rich array of experiences and intense interaction with students to enliven her classes. A former vice chair of both Pact and InterAction, Beryl has worked in nearly 90 countries. For the past 15 years, she been research director or co-director of Save the Children's State of the World's Mothers Report, a publication that offers a comparative perspective on the health, education and gender issues faced by girls and women throughout the world. Beryl has won numerous international awards for the quality of her contributions to the field of development.

Beryl's Teaching Philosophy

Here's what Beryl says about her teaching:

 "Research clearly demonstrates that learning a skill in one setting or around one particular challenge does not guarantee that the learner will automatically transfer that knowledge to a new setting or problem. To address the “learning transfer challenge," I use a cognitive apprentice approach to teaching and learning. This involves authentic problem-solving and the subsequent delinking of problem-solving skills from specific contexts in order to facilitate knowledge transfer. To help learners recognize the content  that they should be able to apply across settings and contexts, I close every class with a set of student-generated Big Ideas. I also liberally sprinkle my teaching with the introduction and application of “tools” that are designed to help students apply new knowledge to a wide variety of issues and places."

 "Collaboration is critical for an era where no single individual can have all the skills and knowledge needed to solve complex, wicked problems. Accordingly, I strive to be a facilitator and choreographer of diverse learning experiences that enable our students to work brilliantly with and learn from others."


PhD, Educational Planning, University of Alabama; MA, Educational Administration, University of Alabama; BS, Social Sciences, Cornell University

Careers in Organizational Capacity Development

Students with this concentration will be ready to help social organizations become more effective as partners, implementers and public policy advocates. They will also be able to serve as internal or external consultants on projects designed to improve institutional effectiveness. Anyone with this concentration would be well prepared to assume a leadership role within an organization. They would know how to work with a governance structure; how to shape organizational culture; and how to help stakeholders set a direction and engage in activities that lead to mission fulfillment.

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

DPMI 8610 - FoundationsDevlopmntProjctMgmt      

Summer 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Summer 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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DPMI 8620 - Applied Devlopmnt Project Mgmt      

Summer 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Summer 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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DPMI 8630 - FoundatnsDevProjMgt2wktraining      

The 4-credit DPMI 8630 offering is only available to students who participated in the 2-week DPMI/Monterey course (summer).

Requires completion and submission of deliverables for DPMI Module I and II the 3-5 page Statement of Development Philosophy. Students enrolled in this course should submit links to their work to BLevinger@miis.edu and dpmi@miis.edu by the last day of classes for the semester of enrollment. You must also provide the link to your work on the course wiki.

Deliverables for both modules should be presented as a Google Doc or through a website of your choice. Please use the same technology to present all your deliverables. Be sure that your work is made public ("anyone with link" can view).

Your deliverables need not be uniquely your work. When you are working on team projects (e.g., the Results Framework), you may present the work you did with other team members. You are, however, strongly encouraged to improve or enhance the group's product so that you have a portfolio that represents your best work and that is worthy of sharing with a future employer.

Summer 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Summer 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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DPMI 8635 - Managing Dev ProjectEssentials      

This course will cover a core set of skills related to effective leadership of international development projects. Topics that will be addressed include project design, strategic partnering, and facilitation. Content will include select tools from each of the three weeks of the traditional 3-week DPMI training. Students will learn how to develop a problem tree, indicators, and a project design as well as a strategic partnership plan and essential tools for facilitation of groups. This course will take place March 10-12 from 12-5pm each day and will be taught by Dr. Beryl Levinger. This course can satisfy the prerequisite for DPMI Plus (8650 A and B).

Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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DPMI 8650 - DPMI DevlopmntPracticum (Plus)      

The Development Project Practicum is an academic and professional program in which students complete professional assignments (typically three to seven months) with an organization that they have helped identify. The practicum is designed to afford students the opportunity to utilize DPMI skills in the field. Participants develop a set of negotiated deliverables which are reviewed and approved by the faculty program director and the Center for Advising and Career Services. Credit is offered on a pass/fail basis. The Development Project Practicum may be completed in conjunction with DPMI 8698 for 12 credits in any given semester, or at any time after a DPMI Certificate of Completion has been earned. Please visit http:go.miis.edu/dpmi or contact dpmi@miis.edu for more information.

Summer 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Summer 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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DPMI 8655 - DPMI:DC Client Practicum      

MIIS students will travel to Washington, D.C. over Spring Break to complete a client project with one of three leading international development and social change organizations (Root Change, FHI 360, and the Grameen Foundation). Students will learn valuable skills that complement the DPMI Certificate training including learning how the organization in which they are working for the week functions as well as how to apply strategic tools and concepts from the DPMI training. All participants must complete the DPMI Managing Development Project Essentials workshop with Beryl Levinger prior to enrolling in this practicum. Dr. Levinger will accompany the group to DC and hold three onsite meetings at the organization with each group. Students on the Root Change team will work on a project that is part of the USAID “Local Awards” initiative. They will develop a learning agenda using Action Research methods. Students on the FHI 360 team will work on an education project focused on Equatorial Guinea and Active Learning. Students working at the Grameen Foundation will develop a monitoring and evaluation project related to the organization’s strategic plan. The final deliverable developed for the organizations will be submitted to Dr. Levinger for review and academic credit.

To learn more about this practicum model, visit https://sites.miis.edu/dpmiclientprojects/.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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DPPG 8501 - Policy Analysis      

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of policy analysis. Students will be introduced to the stages of the public policy process, including agenda setting, formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Students will also develop basic policy analysis skills, including problem structuring, stakeholder identification, summarization of current policy, development of policy options, elaboration of criteria for selection, and recommendation of course of action. These concepts are illustrated by examples policies that fall within students' range of interests. This course also introduces students to scientific methods that are used as a means for structuring policy inquiry. A series of research approaches and techniques are presented in the context of forecasting, monitoring, and evaluation for the analysis of domestic and international policies.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Spring 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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DPPG 8533 - Intro to Program Evaluation      

This 1-unit course introduces participants a variety of evaluation approaches appropriate to public sector and nongovernmental organizations. Key issues include: uses of evaluation; the framing of evaluation meta-questions by project stage; indicator selection; the evaluation of project logic and project designs; and, the use of tools to strengthen evaluation design. Students will engage in lecture, discussion and in-class problem solving.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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DPPG 8541 - Leading Capacity Development      

Organizational capacity development is considered a cornerstone of all sustainable development strategies. It entails enabling major development actors (e.g., civil society organizations, government entities, networks, and partnerships) to acquire and act on new knowledge and skills as well as to adopt new forms of interaction and reflection. Capacity development initiatives have traditionally focused on training and short-term technical assistance. Through a systematic introduction of tools and frameworks, we will present and critique the major capacity development paradigms over the last 30 years. The focus of the course, however, is the creation of new tools that support the most cutting edge thinking in capacity development. We will examine capacity development as behavior change and lead a “design lab” to create a comprehensive capacity development support approach (with associated tools) that reflects an ecosystems-based theory of change. Course activities will be packaged, with the participation of students, for online consumption by local development practitioners. Prior to our first meeting, students will be expected to complete a small individual assignment that includes readings and application of content to a real world problem.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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DPPG 8644 - SPR: SEM:Prog Eval for SCOs      

This seminar introduces participants to a variety of evaluation approaches appropriate to public sector and nongovernmental organizations engaged in social change, poverty alleviation, education, health and development work. Key issues include: uses of evaluation; alternative evaluation methodologies; evaluation as the process of testing hypotheses about linkages and causality; evaluating for sustainability; stakeholder identification; participatory approaches to evaluation; cross-cultural perspectives on evaluation; funding of evaluation; and, the role of organizational leadership and management in evaluation. Seminar participants review and critique evaluations of development assistance projects sponsored by bilateral, multilateral, and nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, they develop original evaluation designs that allow them to apply critical seminar concepts to a real-life project.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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IPSS 8530 - High-Value Org Consulting      

This workshop will be taught by organizational expert and successful government, nonprofit, and private-sector consultant, Dr. Beryl Levinger.  Participants will learn tools for analyzing an organization, its culture, its approach to meeting mission, and ecosystem analysis.  They will also master key skills for effective organizational consulting including client reconnaissance; client relationship management; and the creation of value-added consultant deliverables. The 15 contact hour workshop in January will be worth 1 credits. Students wishing to earn 2 credits for this workshop will turn additional deliverables during their internship applying the tools they have learned in this workshop to better understand their host organizations.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Spring 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only

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IPSS 8670 - High-ValueOrgCnsltingFieldWrk      

Students who take IPSS 8530A workshop may submit deliverables in the first month of their internship for one additional credit. These deliverables will help students apply the tools they have learned in the IPSS 8530 workshop to better understand their host organizations.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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MIIS 8500 - Middlebury Students at MIIS      

non-standard grade WTR

Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2017, Winter 2018

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