PhD Week Post #3: From work in Nigeria to research at Fletcher

As I mentioned on Monday, the PhD program can be broken up roughly into three phases.  The first, when students are in classes, is straightforward.  The second, which I could describe as the period between classes and full-focus writing of the dissertation, is less neatly described.  Students are often both preparing for their comprehensive exams and researching or writing their dissertation proposals during the same multi-month block, though they might choose to tackle the two tasks sequentially.  Jared Miller is currently in the second phase of the program — he’ll take his comprehensive exams very soon, but he also aims to complete and defend his dissertation proposal as soon as possible. 

I first met Jared when he was a MALD student and he conducted interviews for the Admissions Office.  Like most of the PhD students who were formerly MALDs, he has already contributed a lot to the school and the community.  See his article for the Leir Institute, as well as his photo from the Fletcher Perspectives virtual gallery below.  In 2020-21, Jared was a student representative (elected) to the PhD Committee, a team of faculty, students, and staff who keep the program on the right track.  His contribution to the Committee has been hugely valuable.  Jared introduces himself here.

I am a PhD in International Relations student at The Fletcher School, focusing on how to strengthen accountable governance within contexts of systemic corruption.  I focus on Sub-Saharan Africa with a country focus on Nigeria, where I previously worked to support community-based peacebuilding programs.

Though my research focuses primarily on governance in Nigeria, I have also researched how political corruption undermines accountable governance in other states in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as in the United States. Outside my doctoral work, I am also a Fellow with the Leir Institute for Human Security and a Research Assistant with the World Peace Foundation.  Previously, I worked in Nigeria for Search for Common Ground, an international peacebuilding nonprofit.  In Nigeria, I worked on issues ranging from human rights accountability and democratic governance to youth-led efforts to counter violent extremism and strengthen community security.  You can read more about my work here.



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