Laura Burian is the Dean of the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, CA, where she is also a Professor of Chinese/ English translation and interpretation.

Dean Burian earned a M.A. in Chinese/ English translation and interpretation at MIIS in 1995. Before and after that, she lived for many years in Taiwan and mainland China, where she has held a series of positions as a bilingual accounts manager for a computer company, an English teacher, Assistant Director of the Duke Study in China Program, an in-house Chinese/English translator/interpreter/legal assistant in the Beijing office of a New York law firm, and then a freelancer. She has been teaching at MIIS since 2000, and still maintains a dynamic portfolio of high-profile translation and interpretation clients in both the public and private sector.

In her teaching, Dean Burian aims to inspire her students to quickly become full partners in shaping the trajectory of their own professional and personal development. Her TEDx talk (co-presented with MIIS Professor Barry Olsen) is often used as a primer for students, teacher, and end-users of translation and interpretation, and earned a TED “Editor’s Pick” accolade in 2014.


In this interactive 90-minute presentation, participants will engage in dialogue with the speaker and fellow participants about new ethical dilemmas faced by translators and interpreters, new forms of advocacy required of T&I professionals, and new skillsets needed to participate in a changing marketplace.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine and unpack ethical dilemmas faced by translators and interpreters
  • Discuss new forms of advocacy required by T&I professionals (in light of changing working conditions and regulations such as AB5 in California).
  • Identify new skillsets required for changing marketplace.