Posts by: Jessica Daniels

In March, the foreign service world lost a diplomat with an astounding career.  Ambassador Deane R. Hinton, whose many life accomplishments included a degree from Fletcher in 1952, died at the age of 94.

Deane R. Hinton, center, the United States ambassador to El Salvador, in San Salvador in 1983. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The American Academy of Diplomacy summarized Ambassador Hinton’s 48-year diplomatic career as starting in 1946 with his first assignment as a foreign service officer at the Legation in Damascus, Syria.

He was ambassador to Zaire (1974-75), El Salvador (81-83), Pakistan (83-87), Costa Rica (87-89), and Panama (90-94).  He was considered among the foremost Latin American experts in the State Department.  He earlier served in other capacities as a Foreign Service Officer: Damascus, Syria (46-49), Mombassa, Kenya (50-52), France, Belgium, Guatemala (67-69), where he directed USAID programs, and Chile (69-71), where he was also director of USAID.  In between country ambassadorships to Zaire and El Salvador, he was drawn upon for his expertise in economics, his main area of study, as Representative of the U.S. (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary) to the European Economic Community in Brussels (76-79), after which he served as Assistant Secretary for Business and Economic Affairs (79-81).  He was designated a Career Ambassador in 1987, a rare distinction among foreign service officers.

In its obituary, The New York Times focused on one particular episode of Ambassador Hinton’s career, when he was “rebuffed by the Reagan administration over his accusations of human rights abuses by Salvadoran security forces and right-wing ‘death squads.'”  The Times goes on to note:

Leftist Salvadoran guerrillas, emboldened by the Marxist Sandinistas’ success in neighboring Nicaragua, had been trying to overthrow the country’s ruling junta. But Mr. Hinton was determined.  He encapsulated his mission this way: “Save the economy, stop the violence, have the elections and ride into the sunset.”

But after an election campaign in which fending off far-right candidates was at least as demanding as subduing leftist insurgents, Mr. Hinton gave a more modest goal: “We were not going to let it become a Marxist totalitarian state.”

In a speech in El Salvador in October 1982, he also delivered an ultimatum, saying El Salvador must make progress “in advancing human rights and in controlling the abuses of some elements of the security forces,” or it would lose American military and economic aid.

He denounced El Salvador’s legal system and far right, which he blamed for thousands of murders.

The speech had been cleared by the State Department but not, apparently, by the White House. Presidential aides were quoted as saying afterward that “the decibel level had risen higher than our policy has allowed in the past.” The administration was particularly uncomfortable with Mr. Hinton’s use of the term “death squads.” He was told to refrain from any further public criticism of rights abuses.

And the Washington Post obituary highlighted yet a different episode.

Mr. Hinton held his first ambassadorship under President Gerald R. Ford, serving as representative to what was then Zaire, where President Mobutu Sese Seko expelled him for an alleged assassination conspiracy.  “Total nonsense,” Mr. Hinton said.  “If I’d been out to get him, he’d have been dead.”

Ambassador Hinton was born in Missoula, Montana on March 12, 1923 and retired in 1994.  He died on March 28, 2017.

 

Here’s your invitation to join us, from wherever you are, as Dean Stavridis chats with Fletcher alumna Farah Pandith, F95.  We’ll be sharing the conversation via Facebook Live on the main Fletcher Facebook page.  The conversation will start at 10:40 a.m. EDT (UTC -4), but if you miss it at that time, you can (of course) catch it later on our Facebook page.

And the conversations continue on Thursday (3:00 p.m.), with a second Facebook live conversation between Dean Chakravorti and Christina Sass, F09, cofounder and COO of Andela, Africa’s largest technology talent accelerator, and recipient of the first donation from the Zuckerberg Chan Foundation.  Christina will be on campus to receive an award for young Tufts alumni.  Again, you’ll find the conversation on the Fletcher Facebook page.

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Throughout these past two academic years, you’ve been reading the stories of three students, Tatsuo, Adnan, and McKenzie.  Now it’s time for them to describe their academic pathways for us in their “annotated curriculum” posts.  The first of these is from Tatsuo, who spent three semesters at Fletcher and his fourth semester in an exchange program in Paris.

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Administrative (Legal/Policy) Officer, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Tokyo, Japan

Fields of Study
Law and Development
Modern Maritime Issues and American Foreign Policy (self-designed Field of Study)

Capstone Topic
“The Needed Technocratic Bureaucracy for Transport Infrastructure Development in LDCs: An Assessment of the Case of Civil Aviation Policies in Timor-Leste” (Advisor: Professor James Fry)

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
Return to the Ministry as a deputy director to manage Japanese infrastructure policies, including overseas development aid projects.

Curriculum Overview

Semester One

Law and Development
Development Economics: Policy Analysis
Foundations in Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance
Crisis Management and Complex Emergencies

In my first semester, I took two courses on international development studies, which was my top priority for study at Fletcher.  Additionally, I took two courses on finance and security.  These were not the focus of my professional career, but I had heard that the school has a long and deep tradition in the field of security studies and it has also developed resources for business studies.  All of these courses were good for connecting me with Fletcher’s traditional and more recently developed strengths, and it was a good foundation for me as I planned my academic life at Fletcher.

Semester Two

Global Maritime Affairs: International Trade, Security, Energy, and Environmental Issues at Sea
Science Diplomacy: Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean
The Foreign Relations of the United States Since 1917
International Investment Law
The Islamic World: Political Economy and Business Context (0.5 credit)

Based on my experiences in my first semester, I decided to make my course range broader than what I originally expected.  I had already planned to choose Law and Development as my first Field of Study, and I thought I would also have another development-related second Field.  However, I changed my mind, and decided to design my own Field of Study.  I selected from Fletcher resources linking multiple fields, including security, science, and business to form “Modern Maritime Issues and American Foreign Policy,” and I included various courses ranging from conventional diplomatic studies to emerging fields in science and business.

Summer Internship
The Asia Foundation, Timor-Leste

A second-year MALD student introduced me to the Timor-Leste office of the Asia Foundation, a global international development NGO.  The vice director of the office was also a Fletcher alumnus and he gave me an interesting opportunity to experience the realities of international development.  As I described in a previous post, I focused on policy development for the Timorese civil aviation market based on my practical experiences in Japan and academic studies at Fletcher.  It was the first time for me to live in a “least developed country” and also a great opportunity to connect practical expertise, academic theory, and the actual needs of the people in the field.

Semester Three

Grand Strategy in Diplomacy, Past and Present
Building Long-Term Relationships and Sharing Value with Stakeholders
Political Speechwriting
African Key Economic Issues
Economics and Globalization
Japanese Politics and International Relations (audit)
French A1 (audit)

In my third semester, I studied at Sciences Po in Paris through a Fletcher exchange program.  I took diplomacy and development courses similar to those that I took at Fletcher, in order to compare different perspectives and approaches.  Additionally, I learned about areas in which France leads the world, such as project management and public relations.  I enjoyed not only great French cuisine and wine, but also unique approaches that were very different from what I studied in the U.S.

Semester Four

The Strategic Dimensions of China’s Rise
Cross-Sector Partnerships
International Humanitarian Response (offered jointly by Tufts Friedman School and Harvard School of Public Health)
U.S.-European Relations Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall  (0.5 credit)
Cities, Infrastructures, and Politics: From Renaissance to Smart Technologies (audit at Harvard Graduate School of Design)

In my fourth and final semester, I am taking courses that I chose based only on my curiosity, because I had already taken all my required courses.  Cross-Sector Partnerships and International Humanitarian Response are practical and case-study-based courses that are good for wrapping up my study and internship experiences in the MALD program.  China’s Rise is also a very realistic security studies course, taught by Professor Yoshihara from the U.S. Naval War Collage, that can test what I learned about diplomacy and security.  I expect to acquire another European perspective from U.S.-European Relations, taught by Professor Scharioth, a former German Ambassador to the U.S.  I also wanted to extend my perspective by auditing a Harvard Graduate School of Design course that introduces the views of designers and architects.

When I am back with the Japanese Government, many and various tasks are waiting for me, from economics to security to East Asian security crises to preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.  I am very excited to tackle these issues by using the skills and experiences that I acquired in my two years at Fletcher.  It will be very interesting and exciting.  At the same time, however, I wish I had one more year, or at least one more semester, at Fletcher.

It’s Marathon Monday!  Or, more officially, Patriots’ Day, when the Boston Marathon is run.  For many years now, the University has been represented by the Tufts Marathon Team, generally including one or more Fletcher students.  This year, John Bidwell, a second-year MALD student will be running.  I hope a photo will pass my way.

While I’m waiting for 2017 Marathon pix, I’ll share this lovely photo of Moni and Niko, 2016 graduates and two-year friends of Admissions, when they met up at the finish line.  Moni sent the photo along, noting, “We were the only two from Fletcher who ran it, and frankly, it would not have been possible without the support of everyone at the School (friends, faculty, staff, deans, everyone).  Truly a Fletcher family to us.”

Photo credit: Ian MacLellan for Tufts University

Many members of the Fletcher community will be watching the Marathon or even volunteering at race stations.  It’s a real event in the city.

On a business note, please note that the University is closed today.  We’ll be back tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

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When Americans think of Boston, I’ll guess that most of the out-of-towners immediately go to the city’s important role in the early history of the United States.  Visitors expect to absorb that colonial vibe, and the city accommodates them by dressing people up in 18th-century attire to stand outside tourist destinations.  And that’s all great!  The history of the city is truly special.

But I also think of Boston, along with many of the surrounding towns, as having the most European feel of all U.S. cities.  There are streets in the Beacon Hill area of the city that could have been borrowed directly from London.  Beyond the physical layout of the city, there are, of course, the people — and the area is home to a highly international population.

(A brief detour here to explain how the different towns and cities fit together.  There’s the City of Boston with its many distinct neighborhoods and a firm sprawl-preventing border of the Boston Harbor.  But then there’s “the Boston area,” which includes some of the surrounding cities, generally Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline, and Newton, but it’s not an official designation and it may be defined differently for different purposes.  This description might be helpful for future Fletcher students.)

So now, back to the international nature of the place.  One day, some time back, I was clicking around online (as one does), nerding out over the statistics for different groups in the U.S.  My impromptu online research followed hearing several references to Boston being the home of the “third most” people from two very different countries.  The result of my casual research was confirmation that there’s a reason for the international vibe that I feel as a long-time resident.  Many of our neighbors with origins in other countries have been here for generations, while others are newcomers.

Some examples:

Despite our most untropical weather, Greater Boston is home to the third largest population of Haitians in the U.S.  As it happens, Massachusetts also ranks third among the states.

Ditto (third again) for Armenians.  (Massachusetts ranks second among the states.)  Boston has one of the oldest Armenian communities in the U.S.

I had already known about the Haitian and Armenian communities, so I continued searching.

Our own Somerville has the fifth largest Nepali community in the U.S.

And suburban Brockton has the U.S.’s third biggest Cape Verdean population, preceded by Boston in second place, with Massachusetts home to far more Cape Verdean immigrants and their descendants than any other statte.

Cape Verdeans are not the only Portuguese speakers around here, giving Massachusetts the largest community of Portuguese speakers in the U.S. (including immigrants from Portugal and Brazil).  When you add neighboring Rhode Island, our two small states leave even California in the dust.  Suburban Framingham and nearby Somerville rank fourth and fifth for Brazilian Americans.  The Brazilian and Cape Verdean newcomers expanded the existing Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking population.

After those linguistic or national groups that had seemed most prominent, I started hunting more widely.  I found that:

Massachusetts ranks fourth in the number of Dominican Americans.

And Boston-Cambridge-Quincy ranks ninth in the number of Guatemalan Americans.

Boston ranks ninth in the number of Puerto Rican Americans.

Massachusetts ranks fifth in the number of Israeli Americans.

North of Tufts, Lowell has the second largest Cambodian-American population, and Lynn follows with the third largest.

The Irish-American portion of the total Boston population is, at 15.8%, the second largest in the U.S.  The interesting detail about the Irish American population here is that we have both a traditional population (from 19th and early 20th century immigration), and also a newer group that arrived in the 1980s.

Among other traditional immigrant groups, Massachusetts ranks fourth in the country for Italian Americans, who comprise 13.9% of the population.

For a metropolitan area that ranks only tenth by population in the U.S., that’s a major presence for varied cultural heritage groups.

I realize that might be more than enough statistics for most readers, but if you’re interested in even more detail about Boston’s demographic profile, have fun with it!

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I’ve got some more Annual Reports, to add to last week’s post about the Fletcher Social Investment Group!  This collection of only four reports provides a nice sense of the scope of student activities — from the opportunity to sing with a band, to formal conferences, to new student-developed initiatives.

Fletcher Africana Conversation Series

During the Spring 2017 semester, a team of students launched a new initiative called the “Fletcher Africana Conversation Series.”  The series, entitled Securing Africa’s Future, addresses unconventional security issues faced by Africa, including those arising from threats to cross-border security and a shift in the continent’s economic trajectory.  The primary goal of the series is to explore whether the continent has an opportunity to realize a new paradigm for its growth and prosperity in the coming years.  For each event, the team invites a group of experts, practitioners, and professionals to The Fletcher School to participate and lead the conversation.  This new initiative, designed to maximize audience participation and to integrate the wider Tufts University community, has been supported by Tisch College, the World Peace Foundation, the Institute for Global Leadership, and the Tufts University Africana Center.  It is an offshoot/affiliate of the Fletcher Africana Club, and a legacy of the former Africana Conference.  The goal is to provide regular Africana programming beyond the options in the curriculum for students who are interested.

Fletcher Arctic Conference

The sixth annual Fletcher Arctic Conference, hosted on February 17 and 18, focused on sustainable development in the high north and continued The Fletcher School’s tradition of convening diplomats, politicians, business people, academics and students to discuss pressing challenges and emerging opportunities facing the Arctic region.

The Arctic is increasingly attracting international attention and investments as climate change makes resources more accessible and Arctic maritime transportation a reality.  The dynamics of globalization have fundamentally transformed the lifestyles of the Arctic’s 4 million inhabitants.  This year, the Fletcher Arctic Initiative decided to explore potential pathways for prosperous and healthy livelihoods in the region.

The conference drew over 200 attendees and topics covered included Climate Change Mitigation, Resilience and Adaptation; Exercising Leadership in a Globalizing North; and Innovation for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  Participants heard from expert speakers, including Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the largest Inuit association in Canada; Daley Sambo Dorough, F91, Vice Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and Ambassador David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries and the Senior U.S. Arctic Official.

Besides the more than 30 experts convened at the conference, attendees also had the chance to hear from four Fletcher graduate researchers on the Early Career Scholars Panel.  Last year’s conference chair, Molly Douglas, F16, presented on coordination of economic development activities in the Arctic for sustainability and Matt Merighi, F16, CEO of BlueWater Metrics and Assistant Director of the Fletcher Maritime Studies Program, presented on the challenges and opportunities for ocean data collection.  In addition, MIB candidate Nathan Cohen-Fournier, F17, co-chair of the Fletcher Arctic Initiative, presented his recently completed study on Entrepreneurship in Inuit communities of Northern Québec.  Finally, Max McGrath-Horn, F17, co-chair of the Fletcher Arctic Initiative, presented his forthcoming paper in Polar Geography comparing governance mechanisms in the Arctic and Amazon basins.

Fletcher Arctic VI continued a tradition of convening the brightest minds on Arctic issues to present and discuss opportunities and challenges facing the region.  As the region continues to develop, more attention will be needed from policy makers, diplomats and academics.  The Fletcher School is preparing its students to face these coming challenges, and will build on the momentum generated by this year’s conference.

Humanitarian Action Society

The Humanitarian Action Society (HAS) provides a network and forum for students interested in humanitarian affairs to explore these issues through discussions with experts in the field, skill-building opportunities, and networking with other students.  The group serves as a platform to discuss current issues in the humanitarian space, as a link to external resources, and as a network though which students can explore career opportunities.

This year, HAS prioritized strengthening its relationships with the Friedman School of Nutrition and Science Policy and the Feinstein International Center, and coordinated with both institutions to ensure our members are welcome at events organized across campuses.  We hosted talks with experts in the field on the ethics of humanitarianism and the securitization of humanitarian assistance, and organized skill building workshops on conflict sensitive interviewing and IRB applications for research proposals in complex settings.  We also annually coordinate student participation in the humanitarian simulation for Professor Maxwell’s “International Humanitarian Response” course.  During the D.C. Career Trip, HAS works with other student groups to coordinate a happy hour for current students and alums focused on humanitarian work, human rights issues, and migration.  The club has also organized tailored site visits for students interested in particular humanitarian organizations.

This semester HAS  began a series of student forums — lunchtime discussions tapping into the expertise of our peers and their experiences in the humanitarian space prior to coming to Fletcher.  The forums have been successful and showcase the knowledge and expertise of our fellow classmates, as well as open opportunities to discuss diverse issues like sexual- and gender-based violence in humanitarian settings and refugee resettlement policies.  HAS looks forward to continuing the exchange of ideas among our own students, as well as with groups from Friedman and Feinstein, and offering more skill building exercises next year!

The Los Fletcheros

The Los Fletcheros, a Fletcher institution and student-run cover band, perform roughly six face-melting shows per year.  Ranging from seven to 15 members, and playing diverse tunes ranging from the Beatles to Sia, the band auditions musicians every fall, and rehearse once a week throughout the year.  Supportive classmates attend (at minimum) Halloween, Holiday, and Ski-Trip shows, dancing (in-time when possible) their hearts out to the music.  Whether you’re a marvelous musician or a dazzling dancer, attending the Los Fletcheros shows always promises to be a rip-roarin’ good time.

This has been an exciting week for Fletcher entrepreneurs and competitors.  Participation in business competitions, both in our local area and beyond, has been an increasingly common aspect of the graduate school experience for many Fletcher students, and 2017 brought some noteworthy successes.  Here’s a run-down of the wins that students have achieved after a year of preparation for end-of-year competitions.

First, in Tufts University’s own $100K New Ventures Competition, Peter Sacco, F17 has taken first place in the $50K Social Impact track for Adelante Shoes, winning $16K in cash and the remainder coming from in-kind services.  Adelante is also a 2016 Ideas Competition winner.  Peter has pioneered a new Living Well social impact model right here at Fletcher.

Even more locally, Meghan Li, F18, is the 2017 Fletcher D-Prize winner for her fintech nonprofit ComeonGirls, and she has won $10K plus in-kind mentoring and support worth up to $20K to spend the summer “interning” with her start up.  She will be piloting her scholarship platform on WeChat, matching donors in China with deserving girls in rural Western China.

And, shifting back to the Tufts $100K, Daphne Warlamis, F17 and her team at Lithio Storage took third place in the General/High Tech Ventures track.

Finally, exciting news for a Fletcher team that has taken second place in the in the highly selective, international MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) Competition at the Wharton School.  The Fletcher team beat out top MBA programs such as NYU-Stern, Columbia, and Dartmouth-Tuck to receive up to $25K for their agtech startup.  The Fletcher team members, all due to graduate in May 2017, are McKenzie Smith, Michael Cretz, Mayu Tanaka, Alex Chamberlin, and Ashraya Dixit.  That’s McKenzie, our student blogger!

This is quite a testament to the growing focus on entrepreneurship here at Fletcher!  Congratulations to all the Fletcher entrepreneurs and competitors.

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Thanks to a group of student-leaders, this week at Fletcher is Leadership Week, featuring daily activities that all link to the leadership theme.  Here’s what the line-up of early evening activities will bring us.

Monday, April 10
Public speaking and presentation workshop, led by two Fletcher students.

Tuesday, April 11
Panel discussion featuring diplomatic, military, private, and nonprofit perspectives on leadership within and across those sectors.  Panelists include Fletcher’s State Department fellow, a military fellow with the International Security Studies Program, a leader of the Fletcher Consulting Group, and other students.

Wednesday, April 12
Leadership workshop with Professor Alnoor Ebrahim.

Thursday, April 13

Presentation and discussion of The Leader’s Bookshelf by Dean Stavridis, hosted by Ginn Library, followed by a reception sponsored by the dean’s office.

As preparation for the sessions on both Wednesday and Thursday, take a look at this video, in which Professor Ebrahim interviews Dean Stavridis.

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One of the questions we hear most often at this time of year asks whether students often work on campus and, if so, how they find their jobs.  That makes this the perfect opportunity to introduce “Q&A with Cindy” — a new occasional feature in which our Graduate Assistant Cindy will answer some of the questions popping up most often in the Fletcher Admissions inbox.  Obviously, Cindy has found herself a job, so let’s have her describe the process.

Even before submitting my application to Fletcher, I was already thinking about how I would support myself while in graduate school.  The reality of a Fletcher education is that the tuition and average housing cost you will pay is expensive, but I like to consider it an investment in my future career and professional network.  That being said, I started researching right away how to obtain a job either on or off campus.

The JobX website became my best friend the summer before coming to Fletcher, when I was already living in the area after completing my work as a teacher.  This website is run by Tufts University and utilized by both employers to post jobs and students to explore what opportunities are available.  If you click on “Students” then “Find a Job,” it takes you to a page where you can filter for both on- and off-campus jobs and also whether the job is “work study.”*  I was able to get in touch with several employers through this website to obtain more information about positions.  I looked at jobs within the Study Abroad Office, Tufts Student Services, The Tisch College of Civic Life, and various undergraduate departments.  I was lucky to obtain a summer job before starting at Fletcher, which gave me extra money for living expenses.

My second best friend (or enemy, depending on how many messages I received each day) was my email inbox.  At the beginning of my first semester, I was inundated with emails about student organizations, events at Fletcher, classes being offered, and, luckily, available jobs at Fletcher.  After sorting through what was important and what was not, I came across an email from the Fletcher Office of Admissions about an open position.  One thing led to another, and I am now happily working as a Graduate Assistant with the Admissions Team.

Aside from my particular job, there are other types of employment available to students.  You can reach out to professors who teach at Fletcher or at the undergraduate level who may be looking for teaching or research assistants.  There are also tutoring positions, sometimes available through the Fletcher Graduate Writing Center.  For those of you who are comfortable with the dorm lifestyle, you can look into becoming a Graduate Residence Director.  Of course, there is always the option of doing your own off-campus hunt for retail, food service, or other jobs that fit your weekly schedule.

One thing to keep in mind is that whatever job you take will mostly help to cover your living expenses.  Realistically, your job earnings will not contribute much towards chipping away at your tuition.  Despite this, I hope some of the job information provided above has been helpful to you.

Good luck and happy job hunting!

*Note that people use the phrase “work study” in two ways.  One is simply to refer to a job that fits a student schedule.  The other is an official program for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  Some offices will only hire students who have the official “work study” funding, though many will not impose that restriction.

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There are some cool things happening in the security studies area here.  It’s always a vibrant program, but incoming students will experience a fresh element.  Starting in September, a new “Bridge Professor,” with a focus on cybersecurity, will join us on a dual appointment with the Department of Computer Science in the School of Engineering.  Professor Susan Landau will be only the second Bridge Professor to be appointed since the University created these cross-disciplinary positions.  The search committee felt her background, straddling the technical and the policy areas, was unique.  Here’s a Tufts Daily article that provides more details.

 

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