Returning the spotlight to our faculty, today we’ll feature Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, who graduated from Fletcher in 1992. Professor Moghalu is Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy and currently teaches Emerging Africa in the World Economy. Also note that Professor Moghalu will be one of the keynote speakers at the TEDGlobal 2017 conference to be held in August in Arusha, Tanzania.
I arrived in Boston from Nigeria in the fall of 1991 as a mid-career student in the Master of Arts program at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. It was a dream fulfilled: to imbibe interdisciplinary knowledge in international affairs at the fountain of one of the world’s most prestigious institutions in that field.
Today, I am in my second academic year as a professor at The Fletcher School. As a starry-eyed young man at Fletcher, I had been taught by such larger-than-life professors as then-Dean Jeswald Salacuse, international law professor Hurst Hannum, and diplomacy professor Alan Henrikson. I could not have guessed that one day, these great minds and I would become colleagues on the Fletcher faculty.
It has been a long road from then to now, but the Fletcher student experience prepared me for every step of the way. From a 17-year career in the United Nations, straight out of Fletcher, to founding Sogato Strategies, a global risk and strategy advisory firm in Geneva, Switzerland, and to my return to Nigeria in late 2009 after the late Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua appointed me as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In all these phases, my earlier time at Fletcher prepared me “to know the world.” At every turn, the depth and blending of the interdisciplinary curriculum — which reflects how the world really works — and the bond between members of the Fletcher community, have proved to be simply superior.
Being both an alumnus and a member of the faculty is a privileged experience. I teach the course “Emerging Africa in the World Economy” in the Economics and International Business division. This course focuses on the intersection of business, government, and economic growth in Africa and on the continent’s place in the global economy. I can connect in a very personal way with the dynamics in the lives of the students I teach and advise, as well as the challenges they face. As always, the global outlook and diversity of Fletcher students and classes continue to give the institution a unique vibrancy. Students’ intellectual curiosity is energizing, their insights amazing in ways that have helped me keep an open mind and also learn from them.
My path to becoming a professor at Fletcher began while I was still serving at Nigeria’s reserve bank. The School’s Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC), headed by Professor Bhaskar Chakravorti, had invited me on two occasions to speak at Fletcher and then at the Inclusive Business Summit IBGC organized with Mastercard in Bellagio, Italy. A conversation began with Bhaskar and with Ian Johnstone, Professor of International Law and Academic Dean at the time (and, full disclosure: a friend since our time as rising young officers in the UN headquarters in New York in the early 1990s), about the possibility of joining the Fletcher School faculty when I completed my five-year tenure at the Nigerian Central Bank.
The inspirational warrior-scholar and Dean of The Fletcher School, Admiral (Dr.) James Stavridis made the decision to bring me on board and offered me a faculty appointment after I completed my national service in Nigeria. Fletcher is fortunate to be led by this remarkable alumnus who previously served meritoriously as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.
The Fletcher School increasingly recognizes Africa’s role in the world as a place of promise and opportunity. It has also made developing teaching and research on the continent part of its latest strategic plan. I know that Fletcher students are increasingly interested in this part of the world, and I support them in their belief that the School should develop courses and faculty on Africa in a sustainable manner.
Twenty-six years ago, I was awarded the Joan Gillespie Fellowship for individuals from developing countries who have the potential for future leadership. I had been recommended by a distinguished Fletcher alumnus, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria. Little would I have known that my path afterwards would lead me not just around the world and back to my country, Nigeria, but also back again to The Fletcher School as a professor on its faculty. The uniqueness of this very “Fletchered” path has been one of my most profound pleasures.