2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
Samuel A. Worthington, MAIPS '84

Sam Worthington is President and CEO of InterAction, the nation’s largest alliance of US-based nongovernmental organizations working overseas. InterAction members manage over $13 billion a year to decrease poverty and hunger, uphold human rights, safeguard a sustainable planet, and ensure human dignity for poor and vulnerable populations globally.  With over forty working groups, InterAction leads, supports, and mobilizes its members to take collective action, improve the impact of their programs, increase their global reach, and advocate for efforts that advance human well-being around the world.  Mr. Worthington has represented U.S. NGOs and their programs before the United States Congress, the administration, and numerous major national and international media.
 
Previously, he served from 1994 to 2006 as Chief Executive Officer of Plan USA, a global child-focused development NGO. Mr. Worthington also sat on Plan’s global executive management team and chaired Plan’s national CEO team.
 
Among various advisory roles for the United Nations and U.S. Government he serves on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) at the UN, Advisory Council for Voluntary Foreign Assistance at USAID, Council on Foreign Relations, and the boards of the Alliance to End Hunger, CIVICUS, and Religions for Peace. Mr. Worthington’s numerous leadership roles included the White House Task Force on Global Development and Poverty, he was a founding board member of the ONE Campaign, chaired the global NGO Impact Initiative on behalf of the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery (President Clinton), and served on the steering committee of the NGO Leadership Forum at Harvard University.
 
Mr. Worthington has a Master's degree with distinction from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont. As a Fulbright scholar he completed post graduate research at the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva. He has received various awards (honorary doctorate, etc.) and engaged in a program on non-profit leadership at the Harvard Business School. 
Mr. Worthington and his wife Renée live in Bethesda, Maryland. They have three children Rachel, Jamie and Lindsay.


2012 Young Alumni Achievement Award Recipients
Tarana Patel, MATESOL '01

Tarana believes learning is an experience, not an exercise; an effective teacher inspires innovative thought and nurtures self-expression. With such ideas as her guide, Tarana recently founded LearnEd, Inc. through which she strives to create customized English development and teacher training experiences in the higher education setting in Gujarat, India. She is the Education Development Advisor at the S. K. Campus of The Nootan Education Group in Gujarat and runs short-term English programs for students and faculty. Tarana has also held the following positions in the USA and China: Academic Director of International Education Programs, University of California, Riverside (UCR); UCR Overseas Program Development Director, Beijing; Curriculum Developer & Instructor, Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) Summer Language Programs.

Tarana has a B.A. in Economics from Claremont McKenna College and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MATESOL) from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She is bilingual in Gujarati and English, fluent in German & Hindi, and has working knowledge of Mandarin and Spanish.

Tarana presents and volunteers extensively at the Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the USA, and has also presented at international conferences. Travel is Tarana's favorite hobby followed by photography, and paper crafts. She has lived, studied, and worked in India, Germany, USA, and China and has backpacked, kayaked, hiked, ridden camels, and sailed in 22 countries. She considers herself fortunate to be able to turn her passion for teaching and learning languages into profession.


2012 Young Alumni Achievement Award Recipients
Casson Trenor, MAIEP ’05

From saving the whales of the Antarctic to studying the salmon of Alaska, Casson Trenor has worked to support stewardship of our marine resources across the globe. He has stalked the fetid warehouses of Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, spent months journeying by ship through the icy waters of Antarctica, berthed on leaking wrecks off the African coast, and gone octopus fishing with holy men on the Island of Yap. In hundreds of conversations with fishermen around the world, he has heard one statement repeated time and time again:

“The fish are gone.”  These four words led Casson to realize that the oceans are in dire need of our help.

Casson holds the position of Senior Markets Campaigner with Greenpeace USA, where he spearheads the organization’s efforts to hold restaurants and supermarkets accountable for their seafood sustainability practices and to help educate the public about the global fisheries crisis.  He is also the author of Sustainable Sushi: A Guide to Saving the Oceans One Bite at a Time, a pocket guide that enables consumers to dine with confidence at the sushi bar.  He also owns and maintains http://www.sustainablesushi.net/, a popular blog and reference website concentrating on sushi and ocean conservation.

Casson is a frequent commentator on sustainable seafood issues and has been featured in regional, national, and international media outlets, including CNN, NPR, Forbes, New York Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Tampa Tribune, UTNE Reader, Hemispheres, Tokyo Weekender, Kochi Shimbun, and Edible San Francisco.  He also writes articles for numerous other websites and publications, such as his For the Oceans column at alternet.org, and speaks extensively through a diverse array of panels, lectures, and presentations around the world. In April 2012, he delivered a TED talk at TEDxSF on a new paradigm for contemporary activism and the role of personal passion in achieving conservation goals.

In an effort to bring sustainable sushi out of the conceptual realm and into the Amerian foodscape, Casson founded the world’s first sustainable sushi restaurant, San Francisco’s Tataki Sushi and Sake Bar, in February 2008. He has also converted two “conventional” sushi bars – Seattle’s Mashiko and Miya’s in New Haven, CT – into sustainable sushi operations.  In October 2010, he opened Tataki South, a venture that expanded the concept of sustainable sushi as a fine dining experience; and in May 2011, co-founded Ki, the world’s first sustainability-themed izakaya. This allowed Casson the opportunity to transcend traditional sushi establishments and to champion sustainability and environmental responsibility within the nightlife industry. November 2011 saw the opening of Tataki Canyon, the third restaurant under the Tataki banner, through which Casson concentrates on fully aligning sushi and Japanese culinary tradition with seasonal ingredients and community-focused cuisine.

In October 2009, Casson  was awarded the title “Hero of the Environment” by TIME Magazine, and in August 2010, received a Congressional Commendation and the “Ocean Protection Hero” award from the well-respected environmental organization Save Our Shores. Documentarist Mark Hall’s 2011 award-winning film Sushi: The Global Catch focuses extensively on Casson, glowingly showcasing his work within the sustainable sushi movement. Casson is also a primary focus of Peter Young’s forthcoming Antarctic conservation documentary The Last Ocean, as well as a main character in Peter Heller’s book, The Whale Warriors – a factual account of the exploits of one small, rusty ship determined to take on the entire Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean in 2005-2006.

Born in Washington State and living in San Francisco, Casson speaks five languages, has traveled to over fifty countries, and holds an MA in International Environmental Policy from the prestigious Monterey Institute of International Studies.

 

2012 Alumni Volunteer Service Award Recipient
Scott Webb, MPA ’07

Prior to attending the Institute, Scott was a Peace Corps recruiter based in San Francisco.  MIIS was one of the schools in his region, and he interviewed and nominated several MIIS students to serve as Peace Corps Volunteers. While at the Institute, as a part of his capstone project, he was a part of the "Innova" Advanced Nonprofit Management team that jumpstarted the "Pizza Process," helping foster a culture of innovation at MIIS. His advisor was Professor Beryl Levinger, whom Scott met in 2005 while attending the second Development Project Management Institute course, and who was instrumental in persuading Scott to attend MIIS. Scott was co-president of the Peace Corps Club in 2007.

Scott currently works in Washington, DC as an Associate Program Officer, Relief and Humanitarian Assistance division, for International Relief and Development.  While much of his professional time finds him in Africa, Scott regularly speaks with prospective students, offers career mentoring to alumni and current students and continually submits employment and internship opportunities to the Center for Advising and Career Services.

Scott Webb completed his MPA at the Monterey Institute in fall 2007.  He also has an MA in International Relations from San Francisco State University and a BA in Political Science from UC San Diego. Scott served with his wife Andrea as Peace Corps Volunteers in Niger from 1997-2001.  He has three children, Ellie, Katie, and Zacharie.  Katie was born the day Scott began his MPA at MIIS!