Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Chase Coniglio


Chase Coniglio

September 11, 2012

Program: International Policy Studies

Specialization: Human Security and Development

Regional Focus: Latin America

Undergrad: UC Santa Barbara (Law & society)

Fast Fact:  Chase served as a rural health facilitator with the Peace Corps in El Salvador. 

“I want to be an agent of change in the international policy arena.”

For Chase, serving in the Peace Corps was a life changing experience.  He says, “During my service in El Salvador - one of the most violent countries in the world - I was exposed to an intolerable level of injustice and witnessed an incredible amount of suffering on behalf of the Salvadoran people. I knew very early on in my service that I would dedicate my life's work to making the human experience better for everyone.”

“Ultimately, I want to be an agent of change in the international policy arena, and I saw a master's in international policy studies as the gateway to do so.” 

The country director of Peace Corps El Salvador, a MIIS alumnus, turned Chase on to the Monterey Institute.  Chase says, “The director has had an exciting and successful career in international development that has taken him all over the world - and he began at MIIS.”

Chase knew exactly what he was looking for in a graduate school program and found it at the Monterey Institute.

“I sought a program that was truly international, with a focus on foreign language, professional experiences abroad, and an esteemed faculty. I didn't want just another policy school - I wanted a professional experience. And that's what brought me to MIIS.” 

What Chase appreciates most about the International Policy program at MIIS is that he can tailor his program to his own experiences, interests, and aspirations as a development professional.

“The faculty is incredibly experienced, well-connected, and are true mavens in their field. More importantly, they have a genuine interest in the success of their students. I learn just as much from my fellow students as I do my professors, too. It's not uncommon to find myself in a group with members that represent entirely different regions of the world all working together to achieve a common goal. I feel my ideas and interests are always considered and supported, making MIIS a place that truly values innovation and creativity.” 

Over the summer of 2012, Chris interned at the Office of the Ombudsman for the Protection of Human Rights in San Salvador.  Chris focused his internship on achieving respect for human rights in El Salvador. During his internship, Chase used his ability to transform abstract ideas of justice and accountability into measurable indicators - a skill he learned in his classes at MIIS.

“At MIIS, I am treated as a professional by the faculty as well as my colleagues. Upon arriving at my internship in El Salvador, I was confident in my abilities to do a great job and contribute to my school's stellar reputation.” 

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