Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey


Spring 2016 Theme: Behavioral Studies & Policy Systems Change

The Colloquium centers around the understanding of how our brains filter the world, deploy cognitive heuristics and biases, and the interplay between neurochemistry, perception, and decision-making.

The World Bank’s Executive Directors believe that standard policy tools are not always effective; many remaining development challenges may require alternative understandings of human behavior; and recent findings from across the social sciences provide ideas for expanding policymakers’ toolkits based on these alternative understandings.

This is creating new and unknown frontiers at the intersection of biology, chemistry, psychology, objectivity, analytics, data, and human behavior. Dan Kahnemann’s Thinking Fast, and Slow was a benchmark publication in the emerging, interdisciplinary field. Beyond this Nobel Prize winner’s work is an important body of pracademics related to behavioral economics, behavior change communication, long-standing work on satisficing and mental models, and hard science research into brain chemistry which is troubling the distinctions between brain and mind.

Our Spring Colloquium 2016 will inquire into this new interdisciplinary arena, pursuing questions about how policy, programs, enterprises, and higher education itself needs to be rethought.

  • Registration: Sign-ups are done via BannerWeb
  • Dates: February 4-May 12, 2016 (Thursdays, 6pm-8:50pm)
  • Location: McGowan 102

2016 Featured Speakers

Hersh Shefrin

Hersh Shefrin, Mario Belotti Chair in the Department of Finance at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business

Date: February 11, 2016

Professor Shefrin is a pioneer of behavioral finance. His latest book, "Behavioral Risk Management," argues that major disasters in the last fifteen years (the BP oil spill, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the global financial crisis) have psychological pitfalls at their root. The book illustrates a series of do's and don'ts for addressing psychological issues in risk management.

Peter Whybrow

Peter C. Whybrow, MD., Neuroscientist and Psychiatrist

Date: February 25, 2016

Dr. Whybrow's book, "American Mania: When More Is Not Enough," explores stress, obesity, anxiety, and time from a neuroscience and behavioral perspective. His new book, "The Well-Tuned Brain," argues that the human brain is only marginally adapted to the complexity of the problems we must now face together on a global scale. The problem of our long-term survival as a species, in other words, is intimately linked to the evolution of our brains, and the priority that evolutionary processes place on short-term survival.

Varun Garun

Varun Gauri, Ph.D., The World Bank’s Head of the Global Insights Initiative (GINI) and Senior Economist, Development Research Group.

Date: March 31, 2016

Dr. Gauri is the Head of the Global Insights Initiative (GINI) and Senior Economist with the Development Research Group of the World Bank. His current research addresses three themes: 1) how to use behavioral insights to enhance development policy, 2) when public agencies comply with human rights orders, and 3) why individuals support public goods. Dr. Gauri was the Co-Director of the "World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior." He serves on the editorial boards of the journals "Behavioral Public Policy and Health and Human Rights," "The World Economic Forum Council on Behavior," "The Advisory Board of Academics Stand Against Poverty," and is a member of the RSA (London).

Christopher W. Wendland

Colonel Christopher W. Wendland, Visiting Fellow from the United States Army War College

Date: April 7, 2016

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland is a visiting Fellow from the United States Army War College. He received his commission as a Field Artillery Officer from the United States Military Academy in 1994. Prior to his arrival at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), where he served as the Division Chief of Staff (Rear) and Commanded the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery "ALLONS" for two years to include a combat deployment to eastern Afghanistan as a Task Force Commander. Lieutenant Colonel Wendland served in various Field Artillery staff and leadership positions over his 21-years of military service with assignments in the continental United States, Korea, Germany, and Hawaii as well as two additional combat deployments: Battery Commander during the Iraq ground invasion (2003) and Infantry Brigade Fire Support Officer / Task Force Executive Officer in eastern Baghdad during the "Iraq Surge" (2006-2008). In addition, Lieutenant Colonel Wendland served for three years as a Combatant Command joint/interagency Crisis Response Planner in the Pacific developing plans for Foreign Humanitarian Assistance (Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, and Haiti), Maritime/Air Counter Proliferation, and Foreign Consequence Management / Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (Japan). He also served as a committee co-chair/planner for the U.S. - Philippines Mutual Defense Board/ Security Engagement Board from 2009-2011.

Janice Stein

Janice Stein, Founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto

Date: April 14, 2016

Stein is the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in the Department of Political Science and was the founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. Stein's most recent publications include "Networks of Knowledge: Innovation in International Learning (2000)," "The Cult of Efficiency" (2001), and "Street Protests and Fantasy Parks" (2001). She is a contributor to "Canada by Picasso" (2006) and the co-author of "The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar" (2007). She has been awarded Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Alberta, the University of Cape Breton, McMaster University, and Hebrew University.

Maha Baimyrzaeva

Mahabat (Maha) Baimyrzaeva, Associate Professor in the Graduate School in Policy and Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Date: April 21, 2016

Maha Baimyrzaeava is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School in Policy and Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Her research focuses on institutions, including rules and enforcement mechanisms, as well as organizational design and change. Coursework with Maha explores social innovation in the public sector, organizational management, applied research design and implementation, nation building, participatory governance, and policy analysis. Maha's recent achievements include a redesign of the International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program at MIIS, consulting for the Global Citizen Report Card, authoring a book: “Institutional Reforms in Public Sector: What Did We Learn?” consulting for an education startup on strategic management and marketing and designing policy analysis trainings in Russian through the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. Originally from Kyrgyzstan, Maha holds a law degree from the International University of Kyrgyzstan, a MPA from University of Hawaii and a PhD in Public Administration from University of Southern California.

Julia Townsend

Julia Townsend, Founder & Principal Consultant at Enviro-Strategy

Date: April 28, 2016

Julia Townsend is the founder and principal at Enviro-Strategy, a consulting firm that specializes in applying behavioral insights to environmental problem solving. Recent projects include: designing and implementing pilot projects for the Soquel Creek Water District related to residential water use, developing and delivering trainings for Root Solutions and Nature Canada, and collaborating with researchers at Stanford University's Graduate School of Education on reducing marine debris. A 2014 Global Youth Ambassador representing the U.S. at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, she has a master’s degree in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where she has enjoyed teaching as an adjunct faculty member. With over 10 years of combined experience in education, strategic communications, and environmental policy, Ms. Townsend is passionate about revolutionizing the way environmental problem solvers work with humans and is currently based in Santa Cruz, CA.



The Global Problems and Solutions Colloquium is hosted annually by the Institute’s Graduate School of International Policy and Management (GSIPM). The Colloquium is offered to graduate students across a variety of degree programs and offers an unambiguous demonstration of the Institute's instructional model for transformative professional education. The combined coursework and lecture series is designed to bridge theory to practice and prepare the world’s future leaders.

2015 Colloquium: Commercializing Impact Investing

Practical and inspiring perspectives focused on bridging the gap between commercial and impact investments.

Impact Investment is investment made with the intention to generate measurable social, environmental and financial return. Impact investing deploys multiple sources of capital – private, philanthropic and public to address pressing global challenges. Impact investing has the potential to unlock significant sums of commercial capital, but challenges to the commercialization of impact investing remain significant. The struggle, however, may shed light on how capitalism as we know of today can and will be transformed and leveraged for maximizing welfare and wealth creation. This course engages students with thinkers and practitioners in the impact investing sector who will share their perspectives and experiences in bridging the gap between commercial and impact investments, and explore and envision a better future.

2015 Featured Speakers

Stephanie Rupp

Stephanie Rupp, CEO of Toniic
April 2, 2015

Stephanie has over a decade of experience in global impact investing, impact fund design and implementation, microfinance, and more recently in crowd funding. Stephanie served as an executive team member of Razoo, a crowd funding platform where she led business development. She spent five years with Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, managing investments in debt, equity, LoC and grants for US, South Asia, West Africa and Latin America enterprises focused on property rights and microfinance.

Follow Stephanie on twitter: @StephCohnRupp


Sonal Shah

Sonal Shah, Former White House Director of Social Innovations
April 9, 2015

Sonal is Professor of Practice and the founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation. Sonal, an economist and entrepreneur, has spent her career focused on actionable innovation in the public and private sectors. Most recently, she was the Deputy Assistant to the President and founding Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.

Follow Sonal on twitter: @SonalRShah


Robert Rubinstein

Robert Rubinstein, CEO of TBLI (Triple Bottom Line International)
April 16, 2015

Robert is a social entrepreneur and the founder and driving force behind TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investing) Group, an organization that specializes in environmental, social and governance ESG and impact investing, using Triple Bottom Line principles.

Follow Robert on twitter: @tbli


Cynthia Muller

Cynthia Muller, Senior Director at Arabella Advisors
April 23, 2015

Cynthia leads Arabella Advisors impact investing practice. She has an extensive background in social enterprise and mission investing includes connecting public policy, programs, and capital for emerging social innovations to increase economic opportunities for under-served and marginalized communities.

Follow Cynthia on twitter: @cynmull


Mike Lin

Mike Lin, CEO of Fenix International
April 30, 2015

Mike is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded an award-winning design firm, and B.MIMIMA, an eco-solutions company. He has consulted for Apple on climate change and environmental toxins and worked with Al Gore on the "Inconvenient Truth" presentation. Mike is a LEED accredited professional, a recipient of the EPA's People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Award, Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award and BusinessWeek IDEA Award. Mike earned both his BS and MS in mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Follow Fenix International on Twitter: @fenixintl


Jenny Kassan

Jenny Kassan, CEO Cutting Edge Capital
May 7, 2015

Jenny is CEO of Cutting Edge Capital, a sister business of Cutting Edge Counsel. She earned a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School. She worked for eleven years at the Unity Council, a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed numerous community economic development projects.

​Follow Cutting Edge Capital on Twitter: @cuttingedgecap

2014 Colloquium: Economic Diplomacy and Statecraft

Economic Diplomacy and Statecraft is a broad new initiative at the center of U.S. foreign policy that can be understood as a recognition and response to the changing dynamics of how power and influence will be exercised across the globe in the 21st century. Collectively, the speakers in this colloquium will address pressing issues regarding economic sanctions, the evolving global trading system, the practice of diffused and smart power in a multi-polar world, the impact of financial crisis on changes in global financial system, sustainable development, rising Africa, climate change, and other areas of global importance.

2014 Featured Speakers

Professor Evan Hillebrand, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky
Date: February 3, 2014

Topic: Economic Sanctions


Rufus Yerxa, former Deputy Director General, WTO
Demetrios Marantos, former Deputy USTR, Senior Counsel, Square Inc.
Date: February 7, 2014

Economic Diplomacy and Tradecraft in the Global Trading System


Ann Rollins, Apple, Inc.
Jennifer Sanford, Cisco, Inc.
Date: February 17, 2014

Economic Diplomacy: A Private Sector Perspective


Don Lewis, Stanford Law School
Date: March 10, 2014

China’s Economic Diplomacy


Steve Pifer, Director, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative, Brookings Institute
Date: March 24, 2014

Russian Power Diplomacy and Eurasian Integration


Jeri Jensen, Consultant to the Millenium Challenge Corp. and Senior Partner in Business Driven Development
Date: April 14, 2014

Economic Diplomacy in a New Sustainable Development Paradigm


Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and a resident in FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
Date: April 18, 2014

Economic Diplomacy and Global Governance in a Multi-polar World
To learn more visit: go.miis.edu/colloquium. A related media release is included for your reference as well.

2013 Colloquium: Evolving Global Security Challenges

What are the most crucial issues on the nonproliferation agenda over the next five years? Has the U.S. government finally figured out how to "do" nation-building? What is the connection between global warming and conflict? Does promoting democracy abroad really work?

The 2013 Colloquium features frank discussions with leading international experts, top academics, and senior Obama Administration officials on some of the most pressing challenges of the current age, ranging from nonproliferation and cyber security to democratization and human security.

2013 Featured Speakers

Nicholas Tomb, Program Coordinator, Center for Stabilization and Reconstruction Studies, Naval Post-graduate School, and co-founder, Global Majority

Topic: Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund 

Nonproliferation Challenges Old and New

Mark Valencia, Maritime Policy Associate, Nautilus Institute

Maritime Security in East Asia

Steve Clemons, Editor at Large at The Atlantic and founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation

Managing Traditional Alliances

Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies, Council on Foreign Relations


Sophal Ear, Professor, Naval Postgraduate School

Amy Hawthorne, consultant and former Senior Advisor for Egypt, Bureau for Near East/Asia, Department of State

Transition and Democracy Building

Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Food Insecurity and Farms Race

Christopher Twomey, Professor, Naval Postgraduate School

Role of Culture in International Security

Scott Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Human Security in North Korea

2012 Colloquium: Emerging Markets: BRICS and Beyond

2012 Featured Speakers

Professor Yuke Abe, Doshisha University, Japan
February 16

Topic: Thailand’s Development and Integrated Production Networks in Asia

Professor Martín Grandes, Catholic University of Argentina
February 23

Why Doesn’t Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries? 40 Years of a Paradox

Ambassador Faizel Ismail, Ambassador of South Africa to the WTO
March 3

Developing Countries in Global Trade Governance

Professor Joshua Aizenman, University of California, Santa Cruz
March 8

Managing Financial Integration and Capital Mobility: Policy Lessons for Emerging Markets and the Struggling Euro

Professor Philip Martin, University of California, Davis
March 15

South-South Migration: Patterns, Impacts, and Challenges

Professor Pranab Bardhan, University of California, Berkeley
March 29

Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India

Professor Eduardo Viola, University of Brasilia
April 5

The Role of Brazil in the Global Transition to a Low Carbon Economy: Transformations and Paradoxes

Professor Soumitra Dutta, INSEAD
April 13

New Trends to Accelerate Innovation

Bill Lewis, Retired Senior Partner of McKinsey & Co. Inc.
April 19

The Power of Productivity: A Comparison of Russia and India

President Sunder Ramaswamy, Monterey Institute of International Studies
May 3

India's Economic Reforms

2011 Colloquium: Nation Building

2011 Featured Speakers

James Dobbins, Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND
February 9

Topic: Nation Building in Post-Conflict Societies: Lessons Learned

Stein Ellingsen, Senior Peacekeeping Advisor, Center for Civil-Military Relations, Naval Postgraduate School
February 16

Stabilization and Nation Building: The UN Perspective

Thomas H. Johnson, Research Professor and Director, Program for Culture and Conflict Studies, Naval Postgraduate School
February 23 

Nation Building in Afghanistan: Challenges, Lessons, and Policy Implications

James de Shaw Rae, Assistant Professor, California State University at Sacramento
March 2

Rule Of Law And Transitional Justice: The Cases Of East Timor and Cambodia

Ambassador John Herbst, Former State Department Reconstruction and Stabilization Office Coordinator
March 9 

The Role of the U.S. in Nation Building and its Stabilization and Reconstruction Efforts Abroad

Honorable Jacob L. Oulanyah, Member of the Ugandan Parliament
March 16

Nation Building in Uganda: A Historical Perspective

Derick Brinkerhoff, Distinguished Fellow in International Public Management
March 30

RTI International Administrative Capacity Building For Nation Building: Challenges and Lessons Learned

Ambassador Bakyt Beshimov, Former Member of Parliament and Opposition Leader, Kyrgyzstan
April 6 

The Nexus of Culture, Democracy, and Rule of Law in the Context of Nation Building in Kyrgyzstan

Ambassador Balazs Bokor, Consul General of Hungary in Los Angeles
April 13

Nation Building in Post-Communist Hungary: Historical Perspectives and Challenges Ahead

Patricia Fn’Piere, Former Head of USAID Governance Division
April 20

The Role of USAID in Nation Building: Stabilization, Reconstruction, and Governance Reforms

Jonathan C. Lewis, Founder and CEO of the Opportunity Collaboration and MicroCredit Enterprises
April 27

The Role of the Private Sector in Nation Building

Nick Tomb, Center for Stabilization and Reconstruction Studies, Naval Post Graduate School
May 4

Stakeholder Perspectives on Nation Building

2010 Colloquium: Carbon Markets

2010 Featured Speakers

Charles T. Haskell, Jr., Vair Companies, Inc.
February 1

Topic: Carbon Markets and Business Innovations

Chris Kelly, California Program Director, The Conservation Fund
February 22

Using carbon credits to promote conservation

Marc Stuart, Founder, Director of New Business Development, EcoSecurities
March 8

Project Based Reductions as a Climate Policy Tool: Thoughts from a Frustrated Practitioner

Richard Morse, Research Associate, Stanford University Program on Energy and Sustainable Development
Barbara Haya, PhD candidate, ERG group, UC Berkeley
Neal Dikeman, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Carbonflow
March 12

Panel Discussion: Developing Countries and the Next Clean Development Mechanism

Mark Schapiro, Editorial Director, Center for Investigative Reporting
March 31

Betting on Air: Assessing the carbon market and its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Professor Lyuba Zarsky, International Environmental Policy, Monterey Institute of International Studies
Professor Naomi Roht-Arriaza, UC Hastings College of the Law
April 5 

Linking climate, human rights and development: an investment-led approach to climate resilient development paths

Michael Walsh, Executive Vice President, Research, Chicago Climate Exchange
April 12

The Role of Exchanges and Standardization in Reducing Emissions at Scale

Lucia Silva Gao, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Massachusetts
April 19

Environmental Accounting and Disclosure in the Era of Climate Change

Guest Panel: Carbon offset certifiers: Clear Sky Climate Solutions, 3Degrees, & TerraPass
April 26 

Strategies to achieve carbon neutrality at the Monterey Institute (And what type of offsets are best?