Posts by: Jessica Daniels
I’ve tucked away links to a cornucopia of different news items, and today seems like a good day to share them. I know you may have caught this information somewhere else, but here it is again — just in case.
Several members of the community have new books. Among them are Dean Stavridis, with his book on leadership.
Here’s a nice interview with Admissions’ own Graduate Assistant, Ashley. She’s graduating soon. We miss her already.
Though he’s not a member of the Fletcher faculty, I found this profile of Professor Daniel Dennett, from the school of Arts and Sciences, to be very interesting. There’s a thread that connects him to Fletcher, in that Professor Dennett’s full title is “Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and University Professor.”
Also interesting: this article about Mike Balaban, F75. (A good example of how one never knows where a Fletcher degree will lead.)
New this year! A podcast produced by the Fares Center.
Remember Mariya’s post about the Ginn Wish Tree? The Tufts Daily picked up on it, too. And speaking of Mariya, she participated in the annual Faces of Our Community presentation from the Arts of Communication class.
Mediterranean cuisine. Need I say more? Delicious!
I’ll leave the list here. There’s more that I could share, but there’s always another day!
One day a random thought popped in my head: There are a lot of Fletcher alumni on the faculty. And they span a broad range of experience. Some are early in an academic career while others are already on their second career, having worked many years in government, business, or NGOs before returning to the Hall of Flags. Still others are wearing two hats — spending part of their time at Fletcher and the remainder at a different school or organization.
I pulled together a list and shared it with the faculty to be sure I hadn’t left anyone out. In response, alumnus-in-chief Dean Stavridis noted, “We hire our own proudly!” In the final list, below, I’ve linked the professors to their faculty pages so that you can see the scope of experience they bring to Fletcher. Some professors have faculty research profiles, too, if you want to scout out more information. You can also find Faculty Spotlight posts for Professor Gallagher and Professor Moghalu.
The Alumni Professors are:
On a related note, just as I was gathering information for this post, I learned about yet another graduate who will soon return to Fletcher. Dr. Abi Williams will share his time between Fletcher and directing the the Tufts Institute for Global Leadership. A prime example of an alumnus who will bring vast experience to the classroom, Dr. Williams has worked with The Hague Institute for Global Justice, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention. Earlier, he was with the United Nations as Director of Strategic Planning for Secretaries-General Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan, as well as in senior political and humanitarian roles in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Haiti. His fellow alumni on the faculty, whether they knew him as a student or when interacting with him in a previous post, are enthusiastically welcoming Dr. Williams back to campus.
This week, Tufts University released a video to welcome newly admitted students, and particularly international students, to all of its undergraduate and graduate schools. Featuring several current Fletcher students, with Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti the first of the speakers, the video expresses a view that is fundamental to the university, and even more deeply embedded at Fletcher: We all benefit from a diverse international community. Even the mayors of Boston, Medford, and Somerville joined in to reaffirm the welcome on behalf of our host cities.
I hope you’ll appreciate the message conveyed through the video. Fletcher — and all of Tufts University — looks forward to welcoming new international students who will join us in September, and we appreciate those who are already studying here.
Tagged with: Tufts
Though we’re tip-toeing up to their six-year post-graduation mark, I’m happy to introduce another member of the Class of 2011. Philippa Brown completed the one-year mid-career MA program, and is now a consultant specializing in designing and implementing programs focused on counter-terrorism and stabilization, as well as early recovery work in conflict environments. Her bio further says that, “She has just completed a three-year posting to the British Embassy Mogadishu, Somalia, where she covered two thematic areas: leading the multi-disciplinary counter-terrorism team, and designing and delivering the UK’s bilateral stabilization program. Prior to her work in Somalia, she designed and managed the UK’s counter-terrorism program in Pakistan, focused on criminal justice capacity building in Punjab. Philippa also deployed to Afghanistan as part of the UK’s support to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand 2009-10.”
As one member of the small group of “mid-career” MA students, I had already been working internationally prior to Fletcher. After ten years working in London as a UK civil servant, I was heading the Counter Narcotics Team in the multinational Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand. Two weeks later, I found myself at Fletcher Orientation in Medford. It was a bit of a culture shock.
I had heard about the MA program from a work friend who was based in Khandahar, working with the U.S. military. I mentioned my interest in going back to school to study international relations. He said, “You’ve got to go to Fletcher.” I had anticipated studying in the UK but had a look. I was really impressed with the courses available, the professors (How many superstar academics is it possible to have in one school?), and the international mix of the student body. I was further impressed when I met a current Fletcher student visiting Lashkar Gah on his summer internship — everything you hear about the Fletcher community is true!
On arriving, I sat in the auditorium at Fletcher, with hundreds of other students, and felt a sense of awe. It was even more international than I had expected. It was hard to whittle down the list of courses I wanted to take, and I had only one year at Fletcher to complete everything. I tried to cover a mixture, combining Professor Nasr’s Comparative Politics, Professor Maxwell’s Humanitarian Action, Professor Shultz’s Role of Force, Professor Block’s Agricultural Economics, and Professor Scharbatke-Church’s Design Monitoring and Evaluation, which absolutely changed my perspective on how we can deliver better results in the field. Even now, I feel some regret about the classes I didn’t manage to squeeze in — Professor Mazurana’s Gender and Conflict and Professor Drezner’s Classics of International Relations.
It was intense. I found myself working just as hard as I had in Afghanistan, but it was endlessly fascinating. There was just so much going on that I found it really important to be selective in deciding what to take on: I really enjoyed the Security Studies Program lunches, with their fascinating speakers; SIMULEX was a lot of fun; the ski trip was FREEZING but great. And the chance to cross-register for a couple of Harvard courses gave me a chance to widen my circle even further.
After leaving Fletcher, I came back to the UK and left the civil service, deciding to make the leap into consultancy that I’d been considering for a few years. Since then, I have spent almost all my time overseas: first in Pakistan working on criminal justice reform; and then in Somalia, working on counter-terrorism and stabilization. I am currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex, as well as consulting on international security issues. I have also continued to enjoy the Fletcher family, catching up with a Fletcher crowd for dinners when transiting Nairobi, and now reconnecting with classmates back in London. I look back on my time in Medford as a bit of a whirlwind: intense, challenging, and a period of real growth. And I use the skills and knowledge I gained from Fletcher every single day.
Returning to the Fletcher Admissions inbox and the many questions within, Admissions Graduate Assistant Cindy tackles a student life question.
New Fletcher students often wonder how they’ll get around town without access to a car. Have no fear! There are plenty of options available for you to get to and from campus, and also ways for you to get to popular areas in neighboring cities.
Many students live within walking distance of the campus. Depending on where you live, you might be separated from campus by a small hill, but students who live within walking distance are usually happy with their choice.
For those who live further afield, taking public transportation is the most common way to get around. There are dozens of bus lines throughout the Greater Boston area, and it is relatively easy to check out the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) website and figure out the best routes to take from any location. The bus routes that come onto the Tufts campus are the 80, 94, and 96.
Although it doesn’t come directly onto campus, the best option to go from Tufts to downtown Boston is the MBTA subway train — which everyone calls the “T” — from nearby Davis Square. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the center of Boston, and along the way there are four stops in Cambridge, for those wanting to visit Harvard or MIT. The option to take a bus or subway definitely expands the circle of convenient places to live.
Be on the lookout at the beginning of each semester for a notification from Tufts about purchasing a “Charlie Card.” Students are eligible to purchase a discounted bus-only or bus/train pass at the beginning of each semester, which gives you unlimited rides. Taking the bus or train expands the circle of convenient places to live.
If you would like to cut down on your walking and public transportation time, a great option is to bike to and from Fletcher and around the area. It is definitely a cheaper way to go, and there are plenty of places to store your bike on campus. If you are worried about the safety of your bike, I recommend purchasing a U-Lock and registering the bike with the Tufts Police Department.
If you do have access to a car, students can purchase a decal permit for parking on campus. Parking is limited, however, and students may only park in designated areas around the Tufts campus, so many students think it’s best not to have a car. If you’re in a pinch and need to get somewhere quick, Uber and Lyft are great resources, and they may provide discounted rates for students in areas near the Tufts campus. This is a good option if you are cross-registering for a class at Harvard and happen to miss the bus one day. The campus also has several Zipcars that you can borrow, if you have a Zipcar membership. There’s even a Zipcar in the parking lot directly behind Blakeley Hall dormitory.
Last, but not least, Tufts offers a shuttle service, nicknamed the “Joey.” You can grab the Joey right near Fletcher and take it to Davis Square. It also makes several stops on the Tufts campus.
Despite the usual urban-area traffic, it’s pretty easy to get around the Medford/Somerville/Boston area. Once you have lived here for a little while, you will figure out the best way to get to and from campus, and you’ll travel like a pro!
Tagged with: Ask Cindy
In March, the foreign service world lost a diplomat with an astounding career. Ambassador Deane R. Hinton, whose many life accomplishments included a degree from Fletcher in 1952, died at the age of 94.
The American Academy of Diplomacy summarized Ambassador Hinton’s 48-year diplomatic career as starting in 1946 with his first assignment as a foreign service officer at the Legation in Damascus, Syria.
He was ambassador to Zaire (1974-75), El Salvador (81-83), Pakistan (83-87), Costa Rica (87-89), and Panama (90-94). He was considered among the foremost Latin American experts in the State Department. He earlier served in other capacities as a Foreign Service Officer: Damascus, Syria (46-49), Mombassa, Kenya (50-52), France, Belgium, Guatemala (67-69), where he directed USAID programs, and Chile (69-71), where he was also director of USAID. In between country ambassadorships to Zaire and El Salvador, he was drawn upon for his expertise in economics, his main area of study, as Representative of the U.S. (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary) to the European Economic Community in Brussels (76-79), after which he served as Assistant Secretary for Business and Economic Affairs (79-81). He was designated a Career Ambassador in 1987, a rare distinction among foreign service officers.
In its obituary, The New York Times focused on one particular episode of Ambassador Hinton’s career, when he was “rebuffed by the Reagan administration over his accusations of human rights abuses by Salvadoran security forces and right-wing ‘death squads.'” The Times goes on to note:
Leftist Salvadoran guerrillas, emboldened by the Marxist Sandinistas’ success in neighboring Nicaragua, had been trying to overthrow the country’s ruling junta. But Mr. Hinton was determined. He encapsulated his mission this way: “Save the economy, stop the violence, have the elections and ride into the sunset.”
But after an election campaign in which fending off far-right candidates was at least as demanding as subduing leftist insurgents, Mr. Hinton gave a more modest goal: “We were not going to let it become a Marxist totalitarian state.”
In a speech in El Salvador in October 1982, he also delivered an ultimatum, saying El Salvador must make progress “in advancing human rights and in controlling the abuses of some elements of the security forces,” or it would lose American military and economic aid.
He denounced El Salvador’s legal system and far right, which he blamed for thousands of murders.
The speech had been cleared by the State Department but not, apparently, by the White House. Presidential aides were quoted as saying afterward that “the decibel level had risen higher than our policy has allowed in the past.” The administration was particularly uncomfortable with Mr. Hinton’s use of the term “death squads.” He was told to refrain from any further public criticism of rights abuses.
And the Washington Post obituary highlighted yet a different episode.
Mr. Hinton held his first ambassadorship under President Gerald R. Ford, serving as representative to what was then Zaire, where President Mobutu Sese Seko expelled him for an alleged assassination conspiracy. “Total nonsense,” Mr. Hinton said. “If I’d been out to get him, he’d have been dead.”
Ambassador Hinton was born in Missoula, Montana on March 12, 1923 and retired in 1994. He died on March 28, 2017.
Here’s your invitation to join us, from wherever you are, as Dean Stavridis chats with Fletcher alumna Farah Pandith, F95. We’ll be sharing the conversation via Facebook Live on the main Fletcher Facebook page. The conversation will start at 10:40 a.m. EDT (UTC -4), but if you miss it at that time, you can (of course) catch it later on our Facebook page.
And the conversations continue on Thursday (3:00 p.m.), with a second Facebook live conversation between Dean Chakravorti and Christina Sass, F09, cofounder and COO of Andela, Africa’s largest technology talent accelerator, and recipient of the first donation from the Zuckerberg Chan Foundation. Christina will be on campus to receive an award for young Tufts alumni. Again, you’ll find the conversation on the Fletcher Facebook page.
Tagged with: Dean Stavridis
Throughout these past two academic years, you’ve been reading the stories of three students, Tatsuo, Adnan, and McKenzie. Now it’s time for them to describe their academic pathways for us in their “annotated curriculum” posts. The first of these is from Tatsuo, who spent three semesters at Fletcher and his fourth semester in an exchange program in Paris.
Administrative (Legal/Policy) Officer, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Tokyo, Japan
“The Needed Technocratic Bureaucracy for Transport Infrastructure Development in LDCs: An Assessment of the Case of Civil Aviation Policies in Timor-Leste” (Advisor: Professor James Fry)
Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
Return to the Ministry as a deputy director to manage Japanese infrastructure policies, including overseas development aid projects.
In my first semester, I took two courses on international development studies, which was my top priority for study at Fletcher. Additionally, I took two courses on finance and security. These were not the focus of my professional career, but I had heard that the school has a long and deep tradition in the field of security studies and it has also developed resources for business studies. All of these courses were good for connecting me with Fletcher’s traditional and more recently developed strengths, and it was a good foundation for me as I planned my academic life at Fletcher.
Global Maritime Affairs: International Trade, Security, Energy, and Environmental Issues at Sea
Science Diplomacy: Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean
The Foreign Relations of the United States Since 1917
International Investment Law
The Islamic World: Political Economy and Business Context (0.5 credit)
Based on my experiences in my first semester, I decided to make my course range broader than what I originally expected. I had already planned to choose Law and Development as my first Field of Study, and I thought I would also have another development-related second Field. However, I changed my mind, and decided to design my own Field of Study. I selected from Fletcher resources linking multiple fields, including security, science, and business to form “Modern Maritime Issues and American Foreign Policy,” and I included various courses ranging from conventional diplomatic studies to emerging fields in science and business.
The Asia Foundation, Timor-Leste
A second-year MALD student introduced me to the Timor-Leste office of the Asia Foundation, a global international development NGO. The vice director of the office was also a Fletcher alumnus and he gave me an interesting opportunity to experience the realities of international development. As I described in a previous post, I focused on policy development for the Timorese civil aviation market based on my practical experiences in Japan and academic studies at Fletcher. It was the first time for me to live in a “least developed country” and also a great opportunity to connect practical expertise, academic theory, and the actual needs of the people in the field.
Grand Strategy in Diplomacy, Past and Present
Building Long-Term Relationships and Sharing Value with Stakeholders
African Key Economic Issues
Economics and Globalization
Japanese Politics and International Relations (audit)
French A1 (audit)
In my third semester, I studied at Sciences Po in Paris through a Fletcher exchange program. I took diplomacy and development courses similar to those that I took at Fletcher, in order to compare different perspectives and approaches. Additionally, I learned about areas in which France leads the world, such as project management and public relations. I enjoyed not only great French cuisine and wine, but also unique approaches that were very different from what I studied in the U.S.
The Strategic Dimensions of China’s Rise
International Humanitarian Response (offered jointly by Tufts Friedman School and Harvard School of Public Health)
U.S.-European Relations Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall (0.5 credit)
Cities, Infrastructures, and Politics: From Renaissance to Smart Technologies (audit at Harvard Graduate School of Design)
In my fourth and final semester, I am taking courses that I chose based only on my curiosity, because I had already taken all my required courses. Cross-Sector Partnerships and International Humanitarian Response are practical and case-study-based courses that are good for wrapping up my study and internship experiences in the MALD program. China’s Rise is also a very realistic security studies course, taught by Professor Yoshihara from the U.S. Naval War Collage, that can test what I learned about diplomacy and security. I expect to acquire another European perspective from U.S.-European Relations, taught by Professor Scharioth, a former German Ambassador to the U.S. I also wanted to extend my perspective by auditing a Harvard Graduate School of Design course that introduces the views of designers and architects.
When I am back with the Japanese Government, many and various tasks are waiting for me, from economics to security to East Asian security crises to preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. I am very excited to tackle these issues by using the skills and experiences that I acquired in my two years at Fletcher. It will be very interesting and exciting. At the same time, however, I wish I had one more year, or at least one more semester, at Fletcher.
It’s Marathon Monday! Or, more officially, Patriots’ Day, when the Boston Marathon is run. For many years now, the University has been represented by the Tufts Marathon Team, generally including one or more Fletcher students. This year, John Bidwell, a second-year MALD student will be running. I hope a photo will pass my way.
While I’m waiting for 2017 Marathon pix, I’ll share this lovely photo of Moni and Niko, 2016 graduates and two-year friends of Admissions, when they met up at the finish line. Moni sent the photo along, noting, “We were the only two from Fletcher who ran it, and frankly, it would not have been possible without the support of everyone at the School (friends, faculty, staff, deans, everyone). Truly a Fletcher family to us.”
Many members of the Fletcher community will be watching the Marathon or even volunteering at race stations. It’s a real event in the city.
On a business note, please note that the University is closed today. We’ll be back tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.
Tagged with: Boston Marathon
When Americans think of Boston, I’ll guess that most of the out-of-towners immediately go to the city’s important role in the early history of the United States. Visitors expect to absorb that colonial vibe, and the city accommodates them by dressing people up in 18th-century attire to stand outside tourist destinations. And that’s all great! The history of the city is truly special.
But I also think of Boston, along with many of the surrounding towns, as having the most European feel of all U.S. cities. There are streets in the Beacon Hill area of the city that could have been borrowed directly from London. Beyond the physical layout of the city, there are, of course, the people — and the area is home to a highly international population.
(A brief detour here to explain how the different towns and cities fit together. There’s the City of Boston with its many distinct neighborhoods and a firm sprawl-preventing border of the Boston Harbor. But then there’s “the Boston area,” which includes some of the surrounding cities, generally Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline, and Newton, but it’s not an official designation and it may be defined differently for different purposes. This description might be helpful for future Fletcher students.)
So now, back to the international nature of the place. One day, some time back, I was clicking around online (as one does), nerding out over the statistics for different groups in the U.S. My impromptu online research followed hearing several references to Boston being the home of the “third most” people from two very different countries. The result of my casual research was confirmation that there’s a reason for the international vibe that I feel as a long-time resident. Many of our neighbors with origins in other countries have been here for generations, while others are newcomers.
Despite our most untropical weather, Greater Boston is home to the third largest population of Haitians in the U.S. As it happens, Massachusetts also ranks third among the states.
Ditto (third again) for Armenians. (Massachusetts ranks second among the states.) Boston has one of the oldest Armenian communities in the U.S.
I had already known about the Haitian and Armenian communities, so I continued searching.
Our own Somerville has the fifth largest Nepali community in the U.S.
And suburban Brockton has the U.S.’s third biggest Cape Verdean population, preceded by Boston in second place, with Massachusetts home to far more Cape Verdean immigrants and their descendants than any other statte.
Cape Verdeans are not the only Portuguese speakers around here, giving Massachusetts the largest community of Portuguese speakers in the U.S. (including immigrants from Portugal and Brazil). When you add neighboring Rhode Island, our two small states leave even California in the dust. Suburban Framingham and nearby Somerville rank fourth and fifth for Brazilian Americans. The Brazilian and Cape Verdean newcomers expanded the existing Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking population.
After those linguistic or national groups that had seemed most prominent, I started hunting more widely. I found that:
Massachusetts ranks fourth in the number of Dominican Americans.
Boston ranks ninth in the number of Puerto Rican Americans.
Massachusetts ranks fifth in the number of Israeli Americans.
North of Tufts, Lowell has the second largest Cambodian-American population, and Lynn follows with the third largest.
The Irish-American portion of the total Boston population is, at 15.8%, the second largest in the U.S. The interesting detail about the Irish American population here is that we have both a traditional population (from 19th and early 20th century immigration), and also a newer group that arrived in the 1980s.
Among other traditional immigrant groups, Massachusetts ranks fourth in the country for Italian Americans, who comprise 13.9% of the population.
For a metropolitan area that ranks only tenth by population in the U.S., that’s a major presence for varied cultural heritage groups.
I realize that might be more than enough statistics for most readers, but if you’re interested in even more detail about Boston’s demographic profile, have fun with it!
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