Student Highlight: Matt Berrey, Master of International Policy and Practice

Matt with some of the young Vietnamese soldiersMatt Berrey is an incoming Master of International Policy and Practice (MIPP) program.  The MIPP degree is a program intended for mid-career professionals with 8 or more years of professional work experience or an advanced degree.

After completing a BA in Political Science, Matt joined the U.S. Air Force where he primarily supported counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, including deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Upon separating from the Air Force, Matt continued working for the Department of Defense, primarily supporting U.S. global security efforts.

At the Elliott School, Matt is looking forward to the flexibility of the MIPP program and plans to explore many different academic areas and utilize the many resources the Elliott School has to offer.  Although subject to change, Matt hopes to enter the policy development or public diplomacy sector of international affairs after completing the MIPP program.

Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety II Named Elliott School Dean

(This article was originally published on GW Today.)

Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety IIThe George Washington University announced Monday that Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety II will serve as the new dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs. Dr. Brigety is the U.S. representative to the African Union and the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

“Ambassador Brigety is an outstanding leader whose vision and experience will raise the Elliott School’s already prominent reputation in international affairs education, policy and research,” President Steven Knapp said. “I look forward to working with him on strengthening our existing programs and research, as well as exploring new opportunities that will enhance our students’ GW experience.”

Dr. Brigety will succeed Dean Michael E. Brown, who brought global recognition to the school during 10 years of leadership. Dr. Brown announced his plans to step down from his position last October.

Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Brigety oversaw southern African and regional security affairs as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of African Affairs. He also served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, where he supervised U.S. refugee programs in Africa, managed U.S. humanitarian diplomacy and developed international migration policy.

“I believe young people come to the Elliott School because they want to engage with the hardest challenges of our time. Our job is to prepare them both intellectually and practically to make the world a better place, and that’s what I’m excited to do in this new position,” Dr. Brigety said.

Dr. Brigety has held positions at the Center for American Progress and U.S. Agency for International Development. He was a senior advisor for development and security to the U.S. Central Command Assessment team in Washington and in Doha, Qatar.

His background is rooted in scholarship as well as public service. He taught government and politics at George Mason University and at the School of International Service at American University between 2003 and 2009. He also conducted research missions in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch.

“I’ve spent time doing work on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Africa and the Caribbean, where I used my intellectual preparation to be an effective practitioner in the field. This has helped me understand how important it is to prepare young people both intellectually and practically to engage in these problems,” he said.

Dr. Brigety began his career as an active duty U.S. naval officer with several staff positions in the Pentagon and in fleet support units. He earned a B.S. with merit in political science at the U.S. Naval Academy and was designated a Distinguished Midshipman Graduate. Dr. Brigety also holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Cambridge.

“The committee was impressed with Dr. Brigety’s bold vision, enthusiasm and passion for the school, and his deep understanding of international affairs, from both the practitioner and academic sides,” said Jennifer Brinkerhoff, professor of public administration and international affairs and chair of the search committee that selected the new dean.

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Susan Sell, another member of the search committee, added that she believes Dr. Brigety “will bring fresh energy and dynamism to the Elliott School.”

“Students of international affairs especially will be excited about his policy experience as U.S. ambassador to the African Union, and his work on humanitarian diplomacy, refugees and international migration,” she said. “He has a compelling vision that will build on an already excellent foundation, and I will look forward to supporting Dean Brigety in his mission to take the Elliott School to the next level.”

Online Office Hours

Do you have questions about the Elliott School graduate programs, application process, fellowships and more? Join us for Online Office Hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. & 1-5 p.m. EST.

The Online Office Hours will provide applicants and prospective students with quick answers to their questions and guidance throughout the application process. We look forward to answering your questions!

Summer Spotlight on: Roman Torres

Elliott School Graduate Admissions:

Originally posted on the Elliott School graduate advising blog, 19th and E.

Originally posted on 19th and E:

DSC_0064Roman Torres is a first year student in the International Affairs program. His focus while at the Elliott School is international economics and data analysis, so Roman wanted a summer internship that would give him some practical experience working with data and economic issues in the real world. He found a perfect match with Planet Indonesia; a newly formed NGO based in the Indonesian part of West Borneo.

Planet Indonesia’s main goal is to help poor communities (especially those in areas with sensitive ecosystems) engage in productive economic activities that preserve natural habitats and cultural traditions. They do this by facilitating the creation of small joint-business groups in which people work together to develop skills, produce valuable goods, and successfully bring it to the market. Additionally, Planet Indonesia helps communities organize communal banks that are funded from the business groups’ sales, making credit accessible to populations outside the scope of…

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Student Highlight: Dimitra Hatzudia, Global Communication

Hatzudia Dimitra Portrait 6264 (2)Dimitra Hatzudis Is a current Global Communication student with a focus in public diplomacy.  Before joining the Elliott School, Dimitra completed a BA in Political Science and Global Studies from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  After graduating from her BA, she interned with the Embassy of Greece.  There she analyzed US and international press coverage of Greece and developed a social media strategy for multiple campaigns.

While at the Elliott School, Dimitra held an internship at BrandLinkDC and Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).  She found her BBG internship through a guest speaker in a first semester public diplomacy course! As Dimitra was working at BBG, she was connected to staff members at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP).  Through this connection, Dimitra has been working as a research assistant in the public affairs and communications office at USIP since the spring semester and will be there until December! During the summer, Dimitra is also planning a trip to Greece to visit her family.

Thanks Dimitra for sharing your experiences as an Elliott School graduate Student!

Student Highlight: Kudulaiti Ainiwaer, International Development Studies

4Kudulaiti “Kerry” Ainiwaer is an incoming International Development Studies student from Xinjiang, China. Kerry completed his BA in Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University (Tokyo, Japan) in 2014. Throughout his childhood and undergraduate career, Kerry has studied four languages: English, Japanese, Chinese and Uyghur. His international degree ensures he is prepared for many multi-cultural country interactions. After completing his degree, he started working with Silicon Valley start-ups by tele-commuting around the world!

During his Elliott School studies, Kerry plans to focus on International Development Management and he will endeavor to get a formal job in World Bank to help reduce the poverty. His ultimate goal is to establish a NGO to provide children in poverty with health care and better education in Xinjiang.

Outside of the classroom, Kerry has signed up to be a runner and a fundraiser this year. He’s running the Marine Corps Marathon with the GW Cancer Institute in October.

We wish Kerry the best of luck with his program and training!

Student Highlight: Anna McCracken, Global Communication

Hello readers! My name is Anna McCracken, an incoming Global Communication student.  As an undergrad, I never pictured myself pursuing this path, but after working in the communications field for two years, I am certain that this program will give me a great balance of international relations knowledge and strategic communications skills.

While I was at Elon University I was very involved with our Model UN organization and like many international relations students, always assumed I would work in foreign policy or national security. Soon after graduating, I took a job at a government contracting company called Barbaricum and with a leap of faith from our leadership, was put on a contract supporting strategic communications at the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force, located at Fort Belvoir, VA.


During my semester abroad at the University of Ghana – Legon, I realized the importance of America’s public diplomacy during many conversations with my local roommate. She also taught me how to pick the best mangoes from a fruit stall! The one pictured here was my favorite, located right by my dorm building.

For the first year I struggled deciding which route to take – policy or communications. As I got into the swing of things at my job, I realized how much I liked doing communications, especially for a defense client.  It’s a great blend of my interests. When I was looking into graduate programs in the DC area, I searched for one that had a similar blend and for me the Elliott School’s Global Communication degree really stood out.

I’m really excited to start at ESIA this fall and can’t wait to see how it enhances my skill set at my client site, where I plan continue to work, and for my future career!!