The Lee E. Dirks Professorship in Diplomatic History at The Fletcher School was created through the generosity of Lee E. Dirks, a 1957 Fletcher graduate. Mr. Dirks is the chairman of Dirks, Van Essen & Murray (DV&M) which was founded in 1980 and is the leading merger and acquisition firm in the United States newspaper industry. In addition, DV&M offers comprehensive operational and financial consulting services to newspaper companies. Mr. Dirks began his journalism career as a reporter and editor for the National Observer after graduating from Fletcher and moved on to work as a newspaper stock analyst and later as vice president and general manager of the Detroit Free Press. In seeking to give back to Fletcher, Mr. Dirks has emphasized the importance of the skill of impartial observation he gained studying diplomatic history, and he sees this ability as crucial for the future success of today’s Fletcher students. In true Fletcher spirit, Mr. Dirks has a diverse set of interests, and his passion for art has led him to serve on the board of directors of the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.