Here at Fletcher we’re fortunate to have a plethora of extremely impressive (and humble) alumni who are willing to give back to their alma mater by sharing insights and personal experiences with the next generation.

One such alumnus is Lord Michael Dobbs, who has returned to Fletcher for a two-week residency as a visiting professor of contemporary politics. In this role, Michael is hosting several public and private events focused on politics, literature, and leadership.

A bit of background on Lord Dobbs: After earning an MA, MALD, and Ph.D. in nuclear defense studies at Fletcher, he worked for Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party, alternating with stints as an advertising executive. He has been a member of the Britain’s House of Lords since 2010, where he concentrates on European, foreign, and constitutional affairs.

So far, Michael has led us inside the world of House of Cards, his best-selling political novel that’s been made into the stellar (if slightly terrifying) Netflix series. In a book talk hosted by Ginn Library, Michael noted he never imagined himself a novelist, but when his stint as chief of staff to PM Thatcher came to an end, he embarked on a new career as a political writer, in large part as a way of continuing to explore his longtime fascination with personalities in politics.

After the talk, Michael told The Boston Globe (which he wrote for during Watergate): “It was really like going back home. [The audience] was just what you’d expect — a group of really engaged, really intelligent, really inspiring young people. I came away feeling two feet taller.”

You can watch the book talk below:

In a second fascinating event, Michael debated our own Professor Amar Bhide on the merits of Brexit, which you can view below, as part of this semester’s “Fletcher Reads the Newspaper” event. In true Fletcher fashion, it was a rousing, but respectful conversation, with equal parts substance and laughter.

In addition to his public events, Michael has had a laser focus on helping our current students. While on campus, he’s been leading a three-session, non-credit workshop on political leadership, discussing the essential ingredients of greatness and why greatness and failure are so often inextricably linked. In addition, Michael is hosting several coffee-and-conversation sessions with faculty members, students, and administrators.

If you’d like to see more of Michael in action, tune into the Fletcher Facebook page at 5pm EST on Monday, October 30, for a live conversation between the two of us. We’ll be digging into U.S. politics and personalities, and, as an author myself, discussing what it takes to write a best-seller.

As always, thank you for reading.

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