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Join me, if you will, for a walk back in time.  To February!  Month of only 28 days, but a zillion Fletcher activities.  So many activities, in fact, that although I started pulling this post together in February, I’m only finishing it now, with April clearly in front of me.  (Just collecting the talks offered during the “free” blocks on Monday and Wednesday is exhausting.  No one is ever “free” during those blocks.)  With no further introduction, let’s look back at what was happening in February 2017.

Conferences — several of them!

February 11: Tufts Energy Conference: Innovation for Global Energy Access

February 12-16: Innovate Tufts Week 2017: Fletcher Disrupts!

February 17-18: Fletcher Arctic VI: Exploring Paths to Sustainable Development in the Arctic

February 23-25: EPIIC International Symposium, The World of Tomorrow: Order and Chaos in the 21st Century.  Though organized by the Tufts Institute for Global Leadership, the agenda featured several members of the Fletcher community.

Lectures, with or without meals included

February 2: Putting Sustainability at the Heart of Business, Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder & Group CEO, Olam

February 6: Media and the Presidential Election with David Rhodes, President of CBS News (followed by a reception)

February 6: Pakistan: Knowns & Unknowns: A South Asian Security Perspective, Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

February 7: The Limits of Cyber Deterrence, and What Trump Can Do About It, Dr. Michael Sulmeyer, director, Cyber Security Project Director at the Harvard Kennedy School.

February 8: The Final Frontier: The Convergence of Economics, Geopolitics, & Cyber,  Siobhan MacDermott, Global Cyber Security Public Policy Executive

February 8: Visuals for Awareness and Hope, Saskia Keeley, photo-activist

February 13: The Changing Order in the Middle East: Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism, and Forced Migration, Nadim Shehadi, Fares Center director and Ibrahim Warde, Fletcher professor

February 13: News, Fake News and Propaganda: Prospects for the Press in a Post-Truth Era, Patricia E. Bauer, journalist, editor, pundit, and bureau chief

February 13: Energy Policy: Should Costs Be Hidden?, Ed Muller, Vice-Chairman, NRG

February 14: Army’s Role in Stability Operations: Foreign Humanitarian Aide (FHA) and Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA), Major General Ricky Waddell, United States Army Commanding General, 76th Operational Response Command

February 17: Expansion of China’s Force in South and East China Seas, Vice Admiral Umio Otsuka, President of the Staff College Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

February 19: Panel Dialogue among Science and Technology Advisors to Foreign Ministers, sponsored by the Fletcher Science Diplomacy Club

February 21: Military Role in Cyberspace, Brigadier General Jennifer G. Buckner, Deputy Commander of Operations, Cyber National Mission Force

February 27: Post Davos Debrief: Top 5 Global Risks and How World Leaders are Responding,  Partha Bose, Partner & Chief Marketing Officer, Oliver Wyman

February 27: Chinese Maritime Hybrid Warfare Based on Sun Tsu, by Admiral (retired) Fumio Ota of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force

February 27: Global Trends — The Paradox of Progress, Jay Okey, Deputy Director of the National Intelligence, Council’s Strategic Futures Group

February 28: Syria’s Civil War and the Post-American Middle East, Dr. Christopher Phillips, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and Associate Fellow at Chatham House

Talks by current Fletcher students

February 7: The Tripoli Project Presentation, with Claire Wilson and Nathan Cohen-Fournier, second year students who visited Tripoli to help build a relationship between the School and the city

February 8: Fletcher Seminar on International Conflict Presents: Shooting and Talking: Negotiation and U.S. Marine Infantry Battalian Commanders in Helmand, Afghanistan 2008-2013, with Michael Baskin, PhD candidate

February 27: Challenges of Fieldwork, with Jean-Louis Romanet Perroux, 2017 PhD graduate. (This was an invitation-only event for members of the PhD community.)

February 27: Viruses & Venus Fly Traps: The design and effects of national climate funds, a research seminar led by PhD candidate Rishikesh Bhandary

Career-oriented presentations

February 7: Careers in Public Affairs: A Talk with Victoria Esser, F99, former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Public Affairs at the Treasury Department

February 13: Working for the UN: A conversation with Fati Ziai, Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General

February 13: Information Session on Department of State Internships, Fellowships, and Careers, Jon Danilowicz, Diplomat in Residence for New England

February 15: Conversations with MIB Alumni: Darius Hyworon, F10, Proctor & Gamble

February 15: Practicing Leadership as a Woman in Patriarchal Cultures, Lunch Discussion with U.S. Ambassador Prudence Bushnell

Etc.

February 11: Fiesta Latina, an annual student-organized event

February 13: Productive Procrastination: Becoming a Mindful Student; How Doing Less Can Help You Do More, Dr. Christopher Willard

February 14: A student performance of “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer; Writings to End Violence Against Women & Girls,” an anthology edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle

February 15: Book launch and panel discussion of Indefensible: Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade

February 16: The Changing Political Climate: Perspectives on the Changing Policies toward Immigration and Refugees under the Trump Administration, a Tufts University event with a faculty panel

February 27: Community Book Talk by Graeme Wood, author of The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State

Multiple dates: Throughout the month, the community was invited to attend public job talks by candidates for a faculty position in public international law.

Multiple dates: Starting Your Research, a workshop designed and offered by library staff to help students refine search strategies, determine which databases to use, and learn more about access to library resources.

And that, more or less, sums up February.  Naturally, I haven’t captured the student organization meetings or other events that are directed at a specific segment of the community.  But even without those extras, you can get a sense of what Fletcher’s like when it’s humming along mid-semester.  Will any of these particular events be offered again in a future year?  Hard to say — although some of the conferences have been offered annually — but you can be sure that there are more activities than any student can pursue in every month and in every year.  Click on the calendar below for a listing that includes even more details.

 

As we close out March, the month that includes International Women’s Day, let me point you toward a feature on Fletcher’s Facebook page.  Clicking on the photo below will take you to the site, and then you can click each individual photo to read the women’s stories.

 

Just yesterday, I posted a link to a profile of Rizwan, a PhD candidate.  And then today, he sent along this fun photo with the explanation below.  This strikes me as a great example of an area (nuclear policy) where there’s no specific Field of Study, but nonetheless, there’s a cluster of expertise that enables students to pursue their objectives — true for so many different focus areas.  (Plus there’s that special Fletcher family aspect, too.)

Rizwan’s note to me and a few others:

Please find attached a photo of nuclear policy-focused Fletcher students and alumni from across the last 30 years!  We are currently gathered in DC for the biannual Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference. From left to right:

Emma Belcher (F04, PhD F10), Director for International Peace and Security at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Chen Kane (PhD F04), Director of the Middle East Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Steve Miller (PhD F88), Director of the International Security Program at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School
Mathew Cravens (F18)
Clark Frye (F17)
Rizwan Ladha (F12, PhD F17), Research Fellow at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School
Wendin Smith (PhD F01), former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, U.S. Department of Defense
Lami Kim (F13, PhD F18), Research Fellow at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School
Travis Wheeler (F15), Research Associate in the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center
Amanda Moodie (F11), Assistant Research Fellow in the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University

Not pictured, but also attending the conference: Janne Nolan (PhD F83), Research Professor and Chair of the Nuclear Security Working Group at the Elliott School, George Washington University

 

The subject of science and diplomacy has been growing quickly as a focus at Fletcher in the last few years.  First, we have been fortunate to add a faculty member, Professor Paul Berkman, who is teaching Science Diplomacy: Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean.  Not unrelated, the School has participated several times in the annual Arctic Circle Assembly and, in February, Fletcher hosted a student-led conference on the Arctic.  But that’s not all!  The Fletcher Science Diplomacy Club (SciDip) has organized participation in a semester’s worth of activities.  Here are a few of the highlights.

The Science Diplomacy Club hosted several talks on relevant topics, including:

⇒  Dr. Frances A. Colón, the Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, spoke at the “Fletcher Disrupts: Dusting Off Diplomacy” conference and the club hosted at a lunch-talk for group members.
⇒  Dr. Roman Macaya, Ambassador of Costa-Rica to the U.S., a science diplomacy practitioner and enthusiast, will speak this month about his work and experience.

The SciDip students were fortunate this year to be able to participate in several sessions when the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) held its annual meeting in Boston in February.  The meeting’s theme was “Serving Society Through Science Policy.”  The group arranged free admission for panels including “Networks of Diasporas in Engineering and Science Forum” and “How do Science, Technology and Engineering Diasporas Contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals?”  Students also participated in “The Science Diplomacy Education Network” event, hosted by AAAS, designed to “highlight institutional and student-driven approaches to science diplomacy education.”

The final AAAS-related event was a panel dialogue at Fletcher among Science & Technology Advisors to Foreign Ministers.  (So interesting!)  Here’s a story about a busy weekend that included both this event and the Arctic Conference.

Those are just a few of the SciDip events that have already taken place or are coming up this semester.  More broadly, in the Boston area, there is a critical mass of graduate schools and universities that focus on science, diplomacy, policy, or science and diplomacy policy.  I expect that this is an area that will continue to grow at Fletcher.

 

Every now and then I like to comb through my folder of blog ideas and gather a collection of news items that I wasn’t able to turn into a post of their own.  In my recent news, we have:

♦  In January, Fletcher welcomed the 18th class of Tavitian Scholars to The Fletcher School.  Each year, Fletcher hosts a six-month training program in Public Policy and Administration for fifteen Armenian civil servants from various government agencies, ministries, and legal institutions.

♦  A Fletcher PhD student, Rebecca Tapscott recently received the International Studies Association’s Carl Beck Award for best paper written by a graduate student.  Her article, “Where the Wild Things Are Not: Crime Preventers and the 2016 Ugandan Elections,” written for the Journal of Eastern African Studies, is now available online.

♦  Fletcher now hosts a prayer room that officially opened this semester.  Here’s the Tufts Daily story.  Note that the photo includes our own Student Stories blogger, Mariya!

♦  Dean Stavridis recently sat down with Professor Eileen Babbitt to discuss “Bridging the Gap,” a grant to Fletcher from the Carnegie Corporation, aimed at considering how academic knowledge can inform and help create policy.

On a related note, Professor Michael Klein has rallied a large group of his fellow economists to create EconoFact, a web-based series of articles “to bring key facts and incisive analysis to the national debate on economic and social policies.”  There’s already some very interesting analysis on the site.

♦  The University recently launched a Tufts Crowdfunding site, where University projects can seek outside funding directly from donors.  A limited number of projects will be highlighted each month, after being reviewed.

♦  And here’s an interesting article from Tufts Now, by Brian Kitching, F15, who describes his battle with and perspective on PTSD.

♦  Finally, the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) held its January residency in Malta, and produced this video to describe the experience.  Note that GMAP is conducted primarily through distance learning, but once they graduate, GMAP alumni have been great members of the Fletcher community.

 

Back in the fall, the World Peace Foundation announced its 2016-2017 WPF Student Seminar Competition.  It invited Fletcher students to submit proposals for a two-day seminar that would be held on campus in the spring semester.  WPF said “the student competition enables Fletcher School students to frame an issue and interact with leading global experts on the topic of their choosing.”

And the event is finally here!  The student-led seminar on “Theorizing (Dis)Order: Governing in an Uncertain World” will take place tomorrow and Friday.  The students who submitted the winning proposal are MALD students Akua Agyen (first-year) and Protiti Roy (second-year), and PhD students Benjamin Spatz, Juan Taborda, and Rebecca Tapscott.

Here’s the description:

The seminar brings together a diverse group of scholars who study how unpredictability, disorder, and turbulence are produced, performed, invoked, and allocated as a means of shaping—or even constituting—strategies of governance worldwide. These scholars, of varying disciplinary backgrounds, will engage each other to enrich existing theoretical frameworks for understanding the connections between disorder and governance. Drawing on cases from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, scholars will explore the question of disorder in a number of contexts, including in relation to the formal and informal security sector, financial markets, decentralization, governing borderlands, and elite pacts.

I’ll be watching for the Twitter chatter during the conference and I’ll edit today’s post to add a link so you can follow along.

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Coming up next week: A full schedule of discussions of super timely topics.  For this fourth annual Innovate Tufts Week, the Fletcher student organizers invite all to join a week of “mindful disruption, as we deconstruct the world’s most pressing challenges, work through tangible solutions, and ultimately arrive at actionable outcomes—innovation in practice.”

Here’s the rundown of the Innovate Tufts: Fletcher Disrupts events, which I have taken directly from the email invitation I received this week.  Visitors are welcome and the descriptions include the option to sign up.  Note that the venues are close to Fletcher on the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus.

Fletcher Disrupts: The Refugee Crisis
Sunday, February 12, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Cheryl A. Chase Center, Tufts University

This human-centered design workshop, led by Continuum Innovation, will address the state of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people in 2017. Following overviews by guest speakers from six Boston-based refugee organizations, participants will work together in groups to develop creative approaches to tackle varying refugee challenges, receiving feedback from practitioners and refugees as they map out solutions. Sign up here early to ensure your spot in the workshop!

Fletcher Disrupts: Dusting Off Diplomacy
Monday, February 13, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Breed Memorial Hall, 51 Winthrop Street

This session will highlight innovative approaches to diplomacy, including climate diplomacy, culinary diplomacy, start-up diplomacy, and science diplomacy! Experts from each area will outline the idea behind their disruptive approach and discuss how it succeeds in “dusting off diplomacy.” A pitch idea exchange will follow (sign up here if you’d like to pitch your idea!), enabling demo participants active in the innovation community a chance to present their novel approaches and get on-the-spot expert feedback. Register here to attend.

Fletcher Disrupts: Colombia’s Struggle for Peace (A Case Study)
Wednesday, February 15, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Cheryl A. Chase Center, Tufts University

Using recent events in Colombia as a case study, this session will highlight innovative techniques being utilized in Colombia’s peacebuilding process. With expert facilitators, participants will delve into the four-steps of peacebuilding — conflict prevention, management, aftermath, and rebuilding — and learn about innovative peacebuilding techniques Colombia has employed in each stage and where it can move from here. Register here to attend.

Fletcher Disrupts: Networking
Thursday, February 16, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Cabot 7th Floor, Tufts University

Join us for networking disrupted—an opportunity to network with speakers and guests from throughout the week, as well as professionals from various sectors working on innovation in their fields. This “world cafe” style event will feature a roundtable setup, with each table covered in butcher paper and supplies in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas and visual tying-together of sessions from throughout the week. Register here to attend.

Questions?  You can email the Innovate Tufts organizers.  And you can follow the discussions on Twitter.

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The Admissions Blog may be the Fletcher platform that generates the most posts, but it’s not the only one out there.  Take a look at these sites that update content relatively frequently.

The Fares Center

Fletcher Gender

Fletcher’s LLM program

And, of course, the personal blog of Dean James Stavridis.

Last, though this isn’t a blog, you can keep up with op-eds and other recent publications by members of the Fletcher community on the News & Media website.

Happy reading!

 

Somehow I find myself more than halfway through the academic year with barely a mention of Fletcher’s three new study options.  I did write earlier in the fall about one of the programs, then called the MTA — which was in the process of development even as we launched it in September — but it has taken me longer to catch up with the other new programs.  Here, then, is an update.

The Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs (now called the MATA) will be offered, starting in September 2017, jointly with the College of Europe in Belgium.  It will enable students to pursue a degree by splitting their time between the two campuses, and there is an internship component.  You might have questions.  So did we!  And here they are, with answers.  I’ve so far read a total of one MATA application, but more are in store for me.

Next up is a PhD in Economics and Public Policy, offered cooperatively by Fletcher and the Tufts University Department of Economics.  The goal is for five students to enter the program each year, with the first students starting their studies in September 2017.  Applications will be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which will award the ultimate degrees.

And last, a new LLM dual-degree program with the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland will give students the opportunity to earn both a Master of Laws in International Law (LLM) from Fletcher and a Master in International Law from St. Gallen after 18 months to two years of study.

All three of the programs are profiled in this Tufts Now article.

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The University communications team has shared several of the year’s best photographs of the Medford/Somerville, Boston, and Grafton campuses.  The one that Fletcher calls home (Medford/Somerville) is reasonably compact and picturesque, though no campus shot is going to rival an eagle in a red and blue towel.  This year’s selection doesn’t include any pix of the Fletcher buildings, but you’ll find one of last spring’s speakers, Anderson Cooper of CNN, who posed with the Tufts mascot, Jumbo.

04/11/2016 - Medford/Somerville, Mass. - Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°,” poses for a photo ith Jumbo on the Academic Quad at Tufts University on April 11, 2016. (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)

(Photo credit: Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)

 

 

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