The Fletcher School Launches New Center for Strategic Studies Led by Professor Monica Duffy Toft, Grant from Charles Koch Foundation Will Expand Fletcher’s Research Capabilities and Cultivate Next Generation of Foreign Policy Scholars

May 2, 2017

MEDFORD – The Fletcher School is pleased to announce the opening of the new Center for Strategic Studies (CSS), with the support of $3 million over six years from the Charles Koch Foundation. It will be led by renowned foreign policy expert, Professor Monica Duffy Toft.

The grant will enable CSS to further complement Fletcher’s already strong grounding in international security through the International Security Studies Program (ISSP) and the Institute for Human Security (IHS). It will be dedicated to producing policy-relevant research on strategy, international politics, and U.S. foreign policy.

CSS will serve as a hub for students, faculty, scholars, and practitioners to engage with one another in a supportive, collaborative, and collegial environment. Its mission is to educate future scholars and practitioners and generate cutting-edge scholarly analysis that broadens and deepens the U.S. foreign policy debate.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to bring Monica aboard to lead this dynamic and salient Center,” said Ret. Admiral James Stavridis, Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. “With today’s ever-changing international affairs and foreign policy landscape, we need – now more than ever — to prepare experts for the field who are ready to face a multitude of issues and threats, and that’s just what we’re doing here at Fletcher.”

CSS will play a critical role in expanding the foreign policy dialogue. Specifically, it will explore alternative strategies that secure America’s safety, sovereignty, prosperity, and territory while respecting the realities and complexities of international conflict including human territoriality, legitimacy, and the ethnic, cultural, and religious differences between peoples. It will also question the utility of military intervention given its demonstrable perils and long-term unintended consequences, including but not limited to loss of life, civil liberties, and resources.

Toft, a U.S. Army veteran, joins The Fletcher School from Oxford University, where she co-founded and taught at the Blavatnik School of Government— Toft is a research associate at The Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and also remains a research associate at the Blavatnik School of Government. She is a supernumerary fellow at Brasenose College, University of Oxford; a Global Scholar of the Peace Research Institute Oslo; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Minorities at Risk Advisory Board, and the Political Instability Task Force; a Carnegie Scholar; and a Fulbright Scholar. In 2016 Toft served as the World Politics Fellow at Princeton University.

The Charles Koch Foundation supports research and educational programs focused on advancing an understanding of how free societies improve well-being. The foundation’s support will allow the Fletcher School to expand its ground-breaking work.

“U.S. foreign policy is inextricably linked with the freedom and security of all Americans. The Center for Strategic Studies will play a key role in evaluating the short and long-term consequences of our foreign policy at home and abroad,” said Will Ruger, the Charles Koch Foundation’s Vice President of Research. “We’re thrilled to support Dr. Toft and the Fletcher School in their endeavor to create an environment where tough questions are asked and debated, assumptions are challenged, and students engage with a diversity of perspectives. That’s what the university experience is all about.”

The CSS is currently finalizing staffing and will start offering seminars and courses beginning in the fall semester of 2017. The Center can be found online here and on Twitter @CSSFletcher. Click here to see a video of Dean Stavridis introducing CSS and Professor Toft.


About The Fletcher School
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University—the first exclusively graduate school of international affairs in the United States—has prepared the world’s leaders to tackle complex global challenges since 1933. The School’s alumni represent the highest levels of leadership in the world, including hundreds of sitting ambassadors, respected voices from distinguished media outlets and institutions, heads of global non-profit organizations, and executive leadership of some of the world’s largest for-profit companies. The Fletcher School offers a collaborative, flexible and interdisciplinary approach to the study of international affairs, featuring a distinguished faculty and diverse student body representing more than half the world’s countries.

The Fletcher School awards professional degrees, including a two-year Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD); a one-year Master of Arts for mid-career professionals; a one-year, mid-career combined Internet-mediated/residential Global Master of Arts (GMAP); a Ph.D. program; a Master of Arts in International Business (MIB); and a Master of Laws in International Law (LL.M.)—as well as joint degrees, summer school and certificate programs.

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