For the second year, one of our alumni, Rockford Weitz is supporting entrepreneurial students, alumni, and faculty as Fletcher’s Entrepreneur Coach in Residence.  Through planned activities and his scheduled office hours, Rocky is bringing entrepreneurship to the front of student career planning.

Here (from an email to the community) is how Rocky describes his role at Fletcher:

What is Entrepreneurship?

Good question.  Entrepreneurship means different things to different people.  I define entrepreneurship as “problem solving with limited resources and an unclear path forward.”  By this definition, most of you will likely be entrepreneurs at some point during your career.

The entrepreneurial approach works well in many Fletcher career trajectories, including social entrepreneurship, tech-driven entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship (using entrepreneurship techniques to succeed as a change agent in large organizations in the private, public, non-profit, intergovernmental and academic sectors).

Fletcher students and alumni have launched and scaled numerous enterprises, including non-profits, technology startups, and new offices within larger organizations, such as the United Nations or the U.S. State Department.

Entrepreneur Coaching

As Entrepreneur Coach, I help Fletcher students, faculty, staff and alumni:

  • Connect with potential customers, potential investors and service providers that could help aspiring Fletcher entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable enterprises.
  • Think through business, social, and policy ideas where entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship could be part of the solution.
  • Create business plans, go-to-market strategies, and presentations to potential customers and investors.

There are two events today linked to entrepreneurship at Fletcher.  First, Rocky will be providing an “Overview of the Tufts and Boston Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.”  He describes it as:

At this event, I will provide an overview of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and support network available at Fletcher, Tufts, and the Greater Boston area.  Topics will include startup prizes (such as Fletcher D-Prize and Tufts $100K), startup accelerators, including those that do not take equity (such as MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator, located in downtown Boston) and other support resources for aspiring entrepreneurs (such as Demeter, FinTech Sandbox, District Hall, and the Venture Cafe).  Special attention will be given to resources available to aspiring social entrepreneurs and those Fletcherites interested in entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship in emerging markets.

Later in the day, Gerry Ford, F84, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Caffè Nero will speak on “The Journey of an Entrepreneur: From Start-up to Billion Dollar Company.”  Here’s the description of his talk:

Gerry Ford is Chairman and Chief Executive of Caffè Nero Group Limited, Europe’s largest independent coffee house group.  Gerry founded Caffè Nero in 1997.  He later listed Caffè Nero on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 2001-2007.  In 2005, Dr. Ford was named the UK’s Entrepreneur of the Year by the Financial Times and The London Stock Exchange.  In 2007, Gerry took Caffè Nero private and today he remains the majority shareholder of the company. Currently, Caffè Nero has more than 5,500 employees in 700 stores across seven countries.  The company continues to open at a pace of a new store every four days somewhere in the world. Dr. Ford has a BA from Stanford University, a MALD from The Fletcher School/Tufts University, a MBA from INSEAD and a PhD from Oxford University.  He sits on the boards of several consumer goods businesses throughout Europe and the USA, and is a frequent speaker internationally on the topics of developing consumer brands and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is an area that has long interested Fletcher students, many of whom wish to start their own organizations.  Having Rocky Weitz has increased the available resources, both through his time and the activities that result from his residency here.

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Today I want to point blog friends to a site you shouldn’t miss.  The School has been compiling short video stories that answer the question, “Why Fletcher?”  They’re mixed among all the videos on the Fletcher YouTube page, but the easiest way to find them is to check out #whyfletcher on Facebook.  Here’s a sample:


Lost in the whirlwind that characterizes the start of the semester is attention to our applicants for January enrollment.  It just seems impossible that our first application deadline of 2015-16 could be less than a month away.  (I wrote that in mellow lower case, but what’s going through my head is “LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!!!)

Though most students start their studies in September, there are lots of good reasons to think about January as a good MALD or MIB enrollment option.  The Januarian group tends to be (and remain, throughout their two years) very close.  It’s an instant peer group — far more manageable than the wave that rolls in each September.  The option to take two summers for internships also works well for students who are exploring more than one career path.  If those reasons, as well as the general timing, make sense to you, then it’s time to start your application.

There’s no time like the present, then, to share some tips with the applicants who may be our next crop of Januarians.  Because the application timeframe may creep up on you, just as it has for me, I suggest that you start an application right away, if you haven’t already done so.  You don’t need to do much with it yet, but make sure you know what will be required.  The essays are straightforward, but they may take you some time to perfect.  Don’t wait too much longer to start drafting them.

At last week’s APSIA fair, I was reminded how often we’re asked for our advice on how to put together a good application.  My best, if most basic, advice: Follow the directions.  Yep, if everyone followed this simple advice, we would see a lot more high quality applications.  More advice can be found in a post from last December.  And you should also check out our Application Boot Camp from last fall for more ideas.

Finally, if you hope to include an evaluative interview as part of your application, you need to schedule that now.  The first week of our interview calendar (which starts September 28) is nearly full already.  Whether you’re able to visit campus or you prefer to take advantage of the new Skype option, you’ll want to schedule your interview for before the application deadline of October 15.

We’re looking forward to reading some great applications in October!  As ever, if you have questions, be sure to contact us.

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I apologize for the blog silence this week.  And today I’m still going to let someone else do the talking for me.

Though there isn’t great change semester-to-semester in the Fletcher full-time faculty, we’re nonetheless fortunate to have new people and new ideas coming into the School each year.  Whether we’re bringing someone in to cover for a professor on leave or there’s a newly created position, we welcome several additions to the teaching community every semester.  Our academic dean, Steven Block, recently introduced the new faculty in an email to the School.  The professors are:

Paul Berkman, Professor of Practice in Science Diplomacy.  Paul Berkman is an interdisciplinary scientist with formal training in oceanography and ecology.  He focuses on science-policy interactions in international governance, particularly with regard to the cooperative management of transboundary resources and international spaces that exist beyond national jurisdictions.  His principal activities currently involve the: (1) “North Pole as a pole of peace” with the High Seas in the central Arctic Ocean as an undisputed international space; (2) conceptual development and practical implementation of environmental security in the Arctic Ocean; and (3) science-policy lessons from the first 50 years of the Antarctic Treaty System.  Professor Berkman earned his Ph.D. at the University of Rhode Island.

John Cerone, Visiting Professor of International Law.  John Cerone is returning to Fletcher to teach International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law.  He has been a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and a visiting scholar at the International Criminal Court.  He has also been a Fulbright scholar at both the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

James Fry, Visiting Professor of International Law.  James Fry will be teaching International Organizations.  He is visiting from the University of Hong Kong, where he is Associate Professor of Law and Director of the LLM Program.  Professor Fry has provided legal counsel and expertise to various international organizations throughout the world, including the International Committee for the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Meteorological Organization, and the World Trade Organization, and he has represented the New York City Bar Association in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.  His Ph.D. is from the University of Geneva.

Michele Malvesti, Professor of Practice.  A highly experienced practitioner of national security at the most senior levels of government, Professor Malvesti brings a wealth of expertise, including serving two presidential administrations at the White House.  From August 2002 to October 2007, she served in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the National Security Council (NSC) staff, including as the Senior Director for Combating Terrorism Strategy.  In this role, she advised the President and his National Security Advisor and Homeland Security Advisor on U.S. counterterrorism policy and strategy.  She subsequently returned to the White House in 2009 to co-chair the Presidential Study Review that reformed the White House organization for homeland security and counterterrorism on behalf of the Obama Administration.  She arrives in January, for a three-year appointment.  Professor Malvesti earned her Ph.D. at the Fletcher School.

Kingsley Moghalu, Visiting Professor.  Professor Moghalu, a Fletcher graduate, earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.  He joins us from his position as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he was in charge of the Operations Directorate.  He is also the author of three books, most recently Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter. This book provides the foundation for his seminar this fall.  Professor Moghalu is a member of the Board of Directors, the Monetary Policy Committee, and the Committee of Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in addition to numerous boards and commissions.

Kimberly Theidon, Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies.  Professor Theidon is a renowned medical anthropologist who joins us from Harvard University, following an interim year as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.  Her research interests include political violence, transitional justice, reconciliation, and the politics of post-war reparations.  Professor Theidon will be teaching Memory Politics: Truth, Justice and Redress; Engaging Human Security; and Issues in Global Health.  Her most recent book, Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru was awarded the 2013 Honorable Mention from the Washington Office on Latin America-Duke University Libraries Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America, and the 2013 Honorable Mention for the Eileen Basker Prize  from the Society for Medical Anthropology for research  on gender and health.  Her Ph.D. is from University of California, Berkeley.

I join Dean Block in welcoming the new members of Fletcher’s faculty!


Yesterday was my first day at Fletcher following the start of classes and I was reminded what a busy place it is.  Lots of new students stopping by the office to be redirected to the people who could actually solve their problems (Once they have started classes, the answer is rarely found in the Admissions Office.) and lots of continuing students popping in to say hello and catch up after the summer.

The shift from slow summer to fast fall happens so abruptly that it catches me by surprise each year.  Suddenly, we’re in the thick of the travel season.  (Since the NY fair that I attended on Tuesday, we’ve participated in two more APSIA fairs — Laurie staffed the Boston table, and Liz was in Pittsburgh last night.  More coming next week.)  The first applications (for January enrollment) will arrive in just a month.  It’s Admissions time!

Which brings me to this: there are lots of ways to connect with Fletcher Admissions — either on campus or nearer to you.  There are visit events, information sessions, and opportunities to interview on campus.  And we offer online information sessions and interviews via Skype if you’re not able to visit.  The Skype interviews are new this year, as are program-specific online information sessions.  We’ll offer a session for MIB applicants on October 8, for PhD applicants on October 15, and for Map Your Future applicants on October 28.  Check the schedule for general sessions and the November/December calendar.

As ever, we hope to hear from you.  Contact us if you have questions about the School, the admissions process, or opportunities to meet us on campus or on the road.  We look forward to being in contact during the application process.


A quick photo follow-up on the post last last week that included the farewell to the community from Professor (now Ambassador) Basáñez.  He just sent me this photo with Mexico’s President Peña Nieto, which I’m happy to share.

Amb. Basanez


Today is the first day of the 2015-2016 academic year.  Orientation wrapped up last Friday, and on the agenda today is Shopping Day, during which faculty can share information about their classes and students can gather details that help them decide which classes to register for.  The Shopping Day schedule is glued in below.  Note that the emphasis is on new or revised classes — not every class is included on the Shopping Day calendar — and students can attend two presentations during each time slot.  Learn more about the different classes here.

The start of the new academic year is also what I consider to be opening day for the blog.  So…welcome, all!  I encourage you to check out some of the blog’s features, such as the Student Stories and Faculty Spotlight, as well as alumni posts from graduates one year and five years post-Fletcher.  We’ve had an Admissions blog since September 2006 (WOW!) and it has changed over time.  These days, I try to balance straightforward admissions news and tips with posts that describe the rich Fletcher student experience.  Consider subscribing for email delivery of each blog post, or simply check in often.  If the content of one day’s post doesn’t interest you, the next day’s probably will.

And today marks Day One for the Admissions travel schedule.  From now through November, one or more staffers will be on the road just about every day.  This week, three of us are attending three different APSIA fairs, with more next week.  Surprisingly, I’m the first to head out.  I’m not the staff member with the busiest travel schedule, which makes it unusual that I should be the first to hit the road, but I’m in NY for tonight’s APSIA event.  If you’ll be there, please plan to say hello.  An alum with lots of admissions experience will be with me.

And that’s the wrap-up for the day — first day of the academic year, the blog year, and the travel calendar.

Shopping Day, Sept 8



Chatted about behind the scenes — but unofficial until just recently — is the news that Fletcher professor Miguel E. Basáñez is Mexico’s new ambassador to the U.S.  Professor Basáñez wrote to the community last night to bid us a temporary farewell.  I asked his permission to share his message via the blog, which previously featured him in the Faculty Spotlight series, and he graciously agreed.  He wrote:

It is both with joy and sadness that I write to let you know that I have been officially approved as the next Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., which forces me to bring to an end a golden page in my life — seven wonderful years at Fletcher.

It will be a joy, an honor, and a privilege for me to serve my country as its Ambassador.  As you may know, Mexico is the country where the largest community of expatriate Americans live — over 1 million strong — for good reason.  Mexico remains a very safe country for foreign visitors.  Not to mention, we boast beautiful beaches (Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun), world-famous archaeological sites (Chichen Itzá, Teotihuacán, Palenque), and a wealth of charming colonial towns (Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Querétaro).  I hope that you will consider friendly and beautiful Mexico in your future travels.

As Ambassador, I will also be working to represent the large and diverse community of Mexicans who live in the United States.  Historically, economic conditions in Mexico have made it difficult for our country to retain its raw, uneducated — yet extremely talented — youth, who have worked hard and succeeded in the U.S., adding greatly to the economy.  These immigrants (who now number 35 million people) now produce economic output of $1.5 trillion, a number which if added to Mexico’s GDP, would raise Mexico from 14th to 7th in world GDP.  I look forward to working on their behalf to the best of my abilities.

Yet it is with sadness that I say goodbye to Fletcher, where I have deeply enjoyed my interactions with the faculty and staff, learning about their academic endeavors and life experiences.  Most of all, I have enjoyed teaching here at Fletcher, where I have found the brightest and most intellectually engaging students any professor could wish for.

At Fletcher, I was able to realize my life’s work as a mathematician of culture, based on public opinion polls from around 100 countries every five years since 1980.  My years of study and research on culture culminates in my book, A World of Three Cultures, which will be published in the late fall of this year by Oxford University Press.  I hope you will agree to allow me to host a book launch event at Fletcher at the end of the fall semester.  It would seem only appropriate to hold the event at the place that has been my academic home for the past seven years.

I would very much like to return to Fletcher when I end my service as Ambassador, so that I can share with students both my academic work on culture and my experiences as Ambassador.

I wish you all the best, and I hope to see you in Washington, DC.

Coincidentally, the nominee for the position of Ambassador to Mexico from the U.S. is a Fletcher graduate, Roberta Jacobson, F86.  Assuming she is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, what a nice coincidence to have a swap of members of the Fletcher community for these two very important positions!


Here’s a nice bit of news about the life of a project.  Harvard Business Review recently created a video about the Digital Evolution Index that was developed by Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context last spring.  The project manager is Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi, F12, a graduate of the MIB program, whom the blog caught in the Hall of Flags in April.  More recently, Dean Stavridis conducted an interview with Ravi, which you can find below.  (The HBR video can be found here.)  It’s exciting to observe the Digital Evolution Index receiving attention throughout the region and the world.

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HoF OrientationGreeting me when I returned to work after a few days of vacation was a whole new incoming class!  Before I even reached Fletcher on my walk from the bus, I had run into a student whom I met last September at an APSIA fair, and when we went into the Hall of Flags, the place was buzzing with students picking up materials, grabbing breakfast, and generally getting ready for a busy Orientation week.  (A warm week, too!  August may end today, but the summer weather continues.)

Students in all of the degree programs attend Orientation together and participate in a combination of briefings on the School, the University, and the academic program, along with social events designed to bring everyone together.  Naturally, there’s a lot of self-orientation and shared exploration happening, too.  (Where can I pick up groceries for the week?  What’s the best route from my apartment to the School?  Where’s the best place to grab a cup of coffee?)  I reckon that there are moments when the information gathering feels pretty overwhelming, but by the time classes begin next week, everyone is ready to jump into the semester.

Orientation in ASEANThough the routine for Orientation doesn’t change much from year to year, it still never gets old.  The students are about to meet people who will be their friends forever.  A few will even meet their future spouse!  More fundamentally — they will lay the academic groundwork to move forward in their careers, or transition to new careers.  And they will always have the Fletcher family to rely on as they move through their studies and beyond.


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