One of the most frequent questions our admissions team has to answer is “what can you do with a Fletcher education?”

This past week, I had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with one of our fantastic graduates, Farah Pandith (F95), who is a member of Secretary of Defense Kelly’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School; our conversation provides one possible answer to that oft-heard admissions office question.

In 2009, Farah was appointed the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities by then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. In this role, she launched global youth-focused initiatives and networks to counter violent extremism (CVE). During our conversation, Farah and I discussed the ways in which people are recruited to extremist groups and how to fight against violent extremism’s spread. She highlighted the need for organic, local CVE solutions that engage young people in a region, listen to their needs and respond accordingly – emphasizing a grassroots effort, rather than trying to influence communities from the top down.

In addition to discussing her work at the State Department, Farah shared some of her memories from her time here at Fletcher and talked about the classes that had the most impact on her, ultimately redirecting her from a development path to one of international security studies.

You can check out our conversation – originally broadcast on live on Facebook – below:

In another sterling example of what can be done with a Fletcher education, alumna Christina Sass (F09) was also on campus this week, and accepted the Tufts Young Alumni Achievement Award. Christina took some time to sit down with Fletcher’s Senior Associate Dean and Executive Director for the Institute for Business in the Global Context, Bhaskar Chakravorti, to discuss growing the tech talent pool in Africa, where her company Andela has made its mark across the continent. I recommend tuning into their conversation below:

As always, thanks for reading.

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