Leland Lazarus

Leland Lazarus, MALD 2016, United States

Current Role: Speechwriter for the US Souther Command

Capstone: Three Kingdoms: Three Paths for China’s Future

Fields of Study

  • International Information and Communication
  • International Security Studies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Student Council
  • Diplomacy Club
  • China Studies Club
  • Fiesta Latina!

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, Global Security, Brown University

Experience before Fletcher

  • Associate Producer, China Central Television America, Washington, DC
  • English Teacher, Fulbright Program, Panama City, Panama


  • Spanish
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • English

Why I chose Fletcher: My college prided itself on its open curriculum through which students could craft their own majors and choose whatever classes interested them the most. So I needed to find a graduate institution just as dedicated to flexibility and freedom. The Fletcher School provides that and more. I can “shop” classes, choose the ones I most enjoy, and even design my own field of study. This is truly unique amongst international relations graduate schools. Another reason why I chose Fletcher is the faculty. They are so distinguished, yet so approachable. A case in point: I got to speak to Dean James Stavridis for an hour the very first day of classes! You don’t get to have such intimate experiences in any other graduate school.

On how Fletcher will help me achieve my goals: I want to use my Fletcher experience to be a capable and compassionate U.S. Foreign Service Officer. I am a Thomas R. Pickering graduate fellow, which means that I will become a U.S. diplomat after I graduate from Fletcher. I hope to use the knowledge of the theory and history of diplomacy and apply them to real world problems. I want to use analytic frameworks to systematically think through a policy and make a strategic decision. I want to master the arts of negotiation and pubic speaking in order to be an effective and persuasive communicator. And most of all, I want to strengthen the friendships I forge here in Fletcher so that together we can work to build a safer, better, world.