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Despite Fletcher’s underpopulated summer feel, there are several groups in regular attendance in the building:

Staff, of course.  Unless we’re taking vacation days, nearly all of us work through the summer.

Faculty, in small numbers.  Many professors like to use their offices for their summer research or course preparation, and they can be found crossing the Hall of Flags in their casual summer attire.

Workers, many in hardhats.  Each summer, there’s sure to be some maintenance or construction activity that is best done when the building is quiet.  This year, the fire alarm system is being upgraded — an important improvement that, like most infrastructure projects, is unlikely to draw much attention from students.

And, finally:

GMAP students!  With a one-week gap, GMAP hosted the final two-week residency for one class group and, today, welcomes a new group.  They’ll be on campus for the next two weeks and then again to graduate in July 2016.  In January, the class will meet in a special international location.  I haven’t heard yet where that will be, but I know that the group that started its year of studies in March will be gathering in Brussels next month for their midterm residency.

The GMAP residency is fairly intensive and GMAP students, who are generally well-along in their careers, aren’t often found hanging around in the Hall of Flags.  But their presence in the building is clear and it’s nice to add them to our summer mix.

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Today I’m going to share the writing of others.  Tufts has several publications — online and traditional — and two recent stories about Fletcher caught my eye.

The first (which I saw on the online TuftsNow site) was written by Elliot Ackerman, F03, who shares his belief that universities should recruit more veterans.  Elliot was a writer-in-residence (our first!) at Fletcher this past spring, coinciding with the publication of his novel, Green on Blue.  He is also a decorated veteran, who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after completing the dual BA/MALD degree.

The second story appeared in “Blueprint,” the publication of the University’s development office.  It describes the origin of the new Topol Fellowship and the additional funds that Sid Topol donated to expand Fletcher’s “long-standing commitment to the study of nonviolent resistance.”  You can also see the article on page 6 of the Blueprint down below.

Finally, not from a Tufts publication, but related to the story on the Topol Fellowship, comes this blog post from Benjamin Naimark-Rowse, a PhD candidate and the first recipient of the Topol Fellowship.  He notes that his piece, “The Founding Myth of the United States of America,” is “about how nonviolent resistance is at the heart of the story of our independence struggle, or at least it should be.”

 

At Fletcher, we refer to International Security Studies in two ways.  First, as the Field of Study that is among the most commonly pursued by students.  Second, for the International Security Studies Program, which offers extremely robust programming throughout the year.  Despite the important place that Security Studies (in both its meanings) occupies at Fletcher, I have not always done my part in spreading the word.  Making up for that lapse is going to be a focus of my blog work for 2015-16, and there’s no time like the present to start.  To do so, I reached out to my old friends, Prof. Shultz and Prof. Pfaltzgraff to ask for information.  It happened they had just completed a report for one of the organizations that funds their work (and that of many master’s-level and PhD students).  Today, I’m going to share excerpts of that report.  This is a long post, but the extra length is needed to capture the broad scope of ISSP activites.

International Security Studies at The Fletcher School

With the beginning of 2015-16, the International Security Studies Program (ISSP) will enter its 45th year at The Fletcher School, and International Security Studies remains at the cutting edge of The Fletcher School’s multidisciplinary curriculum.  Through its many graduates and other efforts, ISSP has a major impact in shaping strategic thought and analysis in and beyond the political-military affairs community.  Many ISSP graduates have gone on to important positions of responsibility in the United States and abroad, including General Joseph Dunford, incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and currently Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Course Offerings & Curriculum Development

ISSP offers a range of courses that examine conflict and war; strategy and statecraft; crisis management; regional security; intelligence; homeland security; proliferation; national security decision making; and terrorism.  Our courses are theoretical and policy-oriented, as well as historical and contemporary, and reflect and anticipate a rapidly changing security environment, while providing instruction on the basic and timeless issues of strategy, statecraft, conflict, and war.  During the 2014-2015 academic year, seventeen courses were offered in International Security Studies or closely related areas including: The Role of Force in International Politics, International Humanitarian Law; Internal Conflicts and War; Proliferation-Counterproliferation and Homeland Security Issues; The Evolution of Grand Strategy; Foundations of International Cybersecurity; The Strategic Dimensions of China’s Rise; Modern Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism; Peace Operations; Foreign Relations and National Security Law.  In support of our curriculum, ISSP sponsors a high-level guest lecture series, an annual conference, a colloquium series, a crisis simulation exercise, and occasional field trips.

ISSP Student Research Supervision

During the 2014-2015 academic year the Security Studies faculty supervised a large number of student research papers, including seven MA theses and 15 MALD Capstone Projects.  Currently 18 students are working on PhD dissertations under supervision of Security Studies faculty.  Between 1971 and 2015 a total of 201 dissertations in the ISSP were completed and the PhD awarded.  International Security Studies remains among the most popular fields as well as the largest Field of Study at Fletcher.

Military Fellows

During the 2014-2015 academic year nine mid-level officers were assigned to the ISSP in lieu of spending a year at one of the various service War Colleges.  This year’s group included two Air Force, one Navy, four Army, and one National Guard officer, and one senior official from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  The mid-career military fellows, who pursue special research projects at Fletcher, bring an unusual set of experiences, expertise, and knowledge that adds greatly to our curriculum.

“Outside the Classroom” Educational Programs

Beyond its course offerings, the ISSP sponsors various “outside-the-classroom” activities designed to enrich the education of our students by addressing the emerging issues of 21st century international security.

IFPA-Fletcher Conference Series

Central to our programmatic activities are high-level conferences.  These conferences help to publicize the Security Studies field in the broader national security/foreign policy communities.  This year the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA) and ISSP joined together to organize and facilitate “Symposium on New Dynamics in Japanese Security Policy,” a one-day symposium at Fletcher to promote an informed exchange of views on the new dynamics of Japan’s security policy and their implications for U.S.-Japanese strategic cooperation going forward.

The symposium provided a unique opportunity for a select group of Japanese and American policy experts, academics, business leaders, and officials to review and explain in some depth key aspects of the Abe administration’s defense and foreign policy reforms aimed at facilitating Japan’s emergence as a “proactive contributor to peace” at both the regional and global levels.  The Honorable Hideshi Tokuchi, F86, Vice Minister for International Affairs at Japan’s Ministry of Defense, was the keynote speaker for the luncheon.

Crisis Simulation Exercise (SIMULEX)

Simulex1Each year, as part of the seminar on Crisis Management and Complex Emergencies, ISSP includes a weekend crisis simulation exercise.  The 40th anniversary of SIMULEX event was held on November 7-8, 2014 and had more than 160 participants from The Fletcher School and the outside community.  The scenario was entitled “Baltic Crisis and a Chaotic Middle East.”

Speakers Program

Lectures by outside experts on topics related to international security remain an important dimension of ISSP.  These presentations, usually in a luncheon/lecture setting, take place throughout the academic year.  Our objective is to draw speakers from a broad cross-section of the professional civilian and military communities, and to design the lecture format in such a way as to give our students maximum opportunity to meet with such experts.  Among the speakers sponsored by the ISSP during the 2014-2015 academic year were:

Fall Semester:
Major General Yaakov Amidror, former Israeli National Security Advisor: Israel’s Security Challenge.
Dr. Daniel Fine, Research Associate at the Mining and Minerals Resources Institute, MIT: Geopolitics of Russian Oil and Gas: Limits of Sanctions and Counter-Sanctions.
Sigrid Kaag, former Special Coordinator of the joint Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and United Nations mission to eliminate the chemical weapons program of the Syrian Arab Republic: Effective Multilateralism, The Experience of Chemical Weapons Elimination in Syria.
VADM Frank C. Pandolfe, Director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), Joint Staff: Global Trends and International Security.
A
DM Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations: The Future of Naval Operations.
Dr. David McKean, Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State: Foreign Policy Challenges in a Changing World.
Dr. Alexander Mirtchev, president of Krull Corp., USA: Rebalancing the Global Security Disequilibrium: Dealing with the Challenges to the Post-Cold War Order in the Universally-Securitized World.
Dr. Hassan Abbas, F02, F08, professor and chair of the Department of Regional and Analytical Studies at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs: Taliban and ISIS: A Comparative Analysis and Future Prospects.
Rebecca Ulam Weiner, Director of Intelligence Analysis for the NYPD Intelligence Bureau: Al Qa’eda and ISIS Messaging to the West.

Spring Semester:
Slobodan Djinovic and Srdja Popovic, Chairman and Executive Director respectively of CANVAS (the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies): Strategic Nonviolent Resistance in the 21st Century: Lessons Learned from the Arab Spring, Ukraine, and Hong Kong.
General Joseph Votel, Commanding General of the U.S. Special Operations Command: USSOCOM and the Challenges Associated with Russian Aggression.
General Knud Bartels, current Chairman of the NATO Military Committee: Security Challenges facing NATO.
General Frank Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau: The Modern Day Minuteman — The National Guard in the 21st Century.
Major General and Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, former Director of Defence R&D in the Israeli Ministry of Defence, and currently professor at the University of Tel-Aviv and Deputy Director of the Hartog School of Government and Policy: The Israeli Cyber Ecosystem: Combining Industry, Government, and Academia.
Lt. General John Nicholson, Commander of Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), NATO: An overview of NATO’s Land Command, its mission and priorities, and Russia’s Impact on NATO.
NATO Parliamentarians Conference, featuring:

Dr. Robert Legvold, Visiting Professor, The Fletcher School, and Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Columbia University: Perspectives on U.S.Russian Relations.
Dr. Kostas A. Lavdas is Professor of Hellenic and European Studies, The Fletcher School, and Professor of European Politics and Director of the Centre for Political Research and Documentation (KEPET) at the University of Crete: A Transatlantic Relationship for the 21st Century: Advancing Collective Security through Complementarity and Effective Burden Sharing.
Dr. Sung-yoon Lee, F94, F98, is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies, and Assistant Professor, The Fletcher School: Five Myths about North Korea.

Fellowships to ISSP Students

With support from several external foundations and fellowships, during the 2014-2015 academic year, ISSP granted tuition assistance and research support to a total of 39 master’s-level and PhD students, along with support for two student-organized academic activities.

Planned Activities (as of June 2015)

On November 13-14, 2015, ISSP will hold our annual weekend simulation, Simulex 2015.

In 2015-2016, ISSP will host one Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel, one Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, one Army Lieutenant Colonel, and one Army Colonel as senior research fellows, in lieu of their studies at the Army War College, along with one Navy Federal Executive Fellow.

Faculty

Prof. Shultz and Dean StavridisThe core ISSP faculty is comprised of three professors: Richard Shultz, Director of the ISSP and Professor of International Politics; Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies; and Antonia Chayes, Professor of Practice in International Politics and Law.  In addition, ISSP faculty includes two adjunct professors: Toshi Yoshihara, F04, John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies and professor of strategy in the Strategy and Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College; and James Forest, Director and Professor of Security Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell.

ISSP has also added to its core faculty a new Professor of Practice, Michelle Malvesti, F00. Professor Malvesti worked for several years in the U.S. Intelligence Community as a Middle East terrorism analyst at the Joint Special Operations Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency.  More recently her government service included Senior Director for Combating Terrorism Strategy for the Directorate for Combating Terrorism in the National Security Council, where she advised President Bush and his administration on US counterterrorism policy and strategy.  During the Obama Administration she co-chaired the Presidential study review that reformed the White House organization for homeland security and counter terrorism.

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Though (long ago), I had regular contact with the office of the Tufts University chaplain, I was definitely due for an update on the chaplaincy’s work on campus.  Reverend Greg McGonigle recently provided just such a refresher in a presentation to the Fletcher staff.  We learned (among other things) that Fletcher students are frequently involved in the chaplaincy’s programs and religious services, which cover all the traditional religious traditions and then go far beyond.  One project, in particular, is worth highlighting today.

The chaplaincy is co-sponsoring the University’s Common Reading Program, this year featuring Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation.  In an email, Reverend McGonigle invites members of the community “to read the book and join in the conversation on this year’s theme of religious and philosophical pluralism and interfaith cooperation.”  And Tufts President Anthony Monaco, in his letter to incoming undergraduates, wrote, that Eboo Patel’s “personal story explores important questions of community, compassion, and commitment and resonates strongly with our core values of active citizenship and global engagement.”  The connection to Fletcher students’ interests couldn’t be closer.

I’d like to do my part and encourage incoming (and returning) students to join incoming undergraduates and the broader community in reading (or, at least, becoming familiar with) Acts of Faith.  By doing so, you’ll be best able to appreciate the on-campus talk by author Eboo Patel on Monday, September 21.

Tufts has a good record of selecting interesting, vital, and timely books for this project.  Last summer’s The Other Wes Moore turned out to be an important primer for unfortunate events in the U.S. during the year.  I’ll be adding Acts of Faith to my reading for the remainder of the summer, and I hope many Fletcher students will accept Reverend McGonigle’s invitation to do so, too.

Tufts Common Read 2015_Banner 21

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Our most recent “Tufts Now” summary included links to two stories about Fletcher.

First, a report on Patrick Meier, F12 — a graduate of the PhD program (who spent one year on the Admissions Committee!) — regarding his work on crisis mapping and his new book on the topic.

And next, a story about the Digital Evolution Index, developed by Bhaskar Chakravorti and the Institute for Business in the Global Context team.

Interesting that the work done both by Patrick and by the IBGC team have such a strong technology component.  If you were to look back 15 years, I don’t think you would see the equivalent influence of technology on Fletcher’s coursework and research, but now it seems inevitable.

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I reached out recently to Carolyn McMahon (Class of 2012 graduate and current Fletcher staff member), who is the program officer for the Leadership Program for Financial Inclusion run by the Institute for Business in the Global Context.  I was unfamiliar with the details of the program, one of many that takes place around the usual degree programs, so let’s let Carolyn tell us about it.

Central Bankers.  Financial regulators.  Quick, what comes to mind?  Navy blue suits?  Entrenched bureaucracies?

How about: Inventive Thinkers.  Creative collaborators.  Alternative Pedagogy.  Peer-learning.  Challenging Assumptions.

150427_16707_FLPFI083.jpgWhen we tell people about The Fletcher Leadership Program for Financial Inclusion (FLPFI), it’s tough to counter these initial impressions.  Still, what we’re doing with this nine-month fellowship couldn’t be farther from a stodgy executive training.

FLPFI recruits and trains promising mid-career financial regulators from emerging and frontier market economies to bring fresh innovative thinking to financial policies and regulation.  Recruits are not only stewards of their countries’ financial stability but have professional mandates to create and promote safe and useful services for citizens at every income level, particularly the poor.

True to Fletcher’s ethos, the FLPFI experience is participatory and peer-based, with a commitment to honing practical skills and ensuring real world impact.

An innovative nine-month fellowship:

Since welcoming our first Fellow cohort in 2011, we’ve hosted 55 Fellows from 32 countries.  Their financial inclusion agendas are as diverse as their origins.  Fellows tackle challenges like SME (small- and medium-sized enterprise) financing, mobile services and payments, insurance, and agent banking.  On campus, Fellows meet Fletcher students and faculty, forging connections that have led to collaborations like summer internships and research opportunities.

Fellows of FLPFI spend nine months with a team of Fletcher faculty and industry experts.  They bring national expertise in regulation and new ideas for addressing financial inequities in their home countries.  Through online video modules, discussions, and in-person residencies, Fellows hone their policy ideas.  They learn best practices in financial inclusion policymaking from lecturers, Fletcher faculty, and each other, through highly participatory, charette-style sessions.  They learn methods of problem analysis and solution generation.  They test old assumptions and develop new theories.  They learn how to deploy media and public speaking to spread their ideas.  They inform and challenge each other.

Small program, big impact

150427_16707_FLPFI204.jpgFellows return home to implement their policies, armed with sharpened professional skills and fresh analytical perspectives.  They galvanize the support of high-level bureaucrats, and often partners such as CGAP, GSMA, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  FLPFI Fellows join a special part of the Fletcher community, creating a network of support, friendship and change makers within financial regulation.  Alumni What’sApp groups are aflutter even after graduation: on Monday, a Central Banker is posting a photo of his newborn; Tuesday, another is challenging conventional wisdom of small dollar accounts; and that afternoon a group is planning a rendezvous at the next international conference in Brazil.  The friendships built at FLPFI, like so many at Fletcher, transcend time zones and geographies.

Despite the program’s youth (the fourth cohort will graduate in September), several successful national policy victories have already been achieved by the Fellows.  Beyond regulatory change, program alumni benefit from continued support and elevated professional opportunities.  Many are invited to speak in international fora, take on leadership roles in regional organizations, and contribute to the global financial inclusion policy agenda.

Still, the program’s ability to forge lasting relationships across continents is a testament to its success and great potential.  FLPFI has succeeded in creating a microcosm of the Fletcher master’s experience for a group of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of their countrymen through more inclusive financial regulation.  Many great things lay ahead as the program enters its fifth year.

Inclusion fellows

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Every day is quiet at Fletcher in the summer.  Until suddenly, there are dozens of people around for the Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict.  The program just got going yesterday, with an Introduction to Civil Resistance.  (The website includes a reading list for those who want to know more).   You can already sense the richness of the discussion via Twitter.

The Fletcher Summer Institute is organized jointly by Fletcher and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.  And it appears from the program’s history, that this would be the tenth annual Summer Institute.

 

Though nearly everyone studying at Fletcher is enrolled in a degree program, the School also offers some special programs on a regular or occasional basis.  An annual example is the Tavitian Scholarship program.  A recent article in the Fletcher alumni magazine and on the Tufts Now site tells us:

Now in its 16th year, the program, funded by the Tavitian Foundation, has paid for more than 250 early and mid-career Armenian officials to study at the Fletcher School. Not just for diplomats anymore, the program offers executive training to a range of Armenian government officials and central bankers. The latest scholars arrived on campus in January.

Read more about the program’s origins, faculty, and graduates.

 

If you missed them, or even if you didn’t, you might be interested in updates on two past Fletcher conferences, both organized by the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC).

The first — Inclusion, Inc. — took place this past April.  The Inclusion, Inc. team recently told the community:

Thank you for making Inclusion, Inc. a success!  The Forum brought together a diverse group of speakers and attendees, making for an exciting and engaging two days of discussion on sustainable and inclusive business activities (SIBA) in practice.

Be sure to visit the photo gallery from the event and check out our exclusive video content.  Stay tuned for a forthcoming conference report.

The second took place in April 2014.  “Turkey’s Turn” has a newly completed report, and here’s the update IBGC shared with us last month:

It’s been over a year since we brought together global thought leaders, decision makers, and those shaping business and investment, politics, and policy in Turkey for a deep discussion around geopolitics, energy, business, and more, all seeking to answer the central question: Is it “Turkey’s Turn?”

Today, Turkey remains at a critical nexus of international news and business.  As the country continues to expand its dealings with Europe, it also seeks to solidify its position in the tempestuous Middle East.  At the Institute for Business in the Global Context, we continue to be a part of these conversations long after the curtain closed on what was a truly remarkable two days of discussion at our “Turkey’s Turn?” Conference.

Building off the conference, this report dives into the many questions confronting Turkey today.  From Turkey’s government at home, to threats on its borders, to the country’s evolving role in international business, we dig deeper into the ideas and insights that emerged over the two-day event and tie them to the ongoing conversation around Turkey and its place in the world.

Be sure to check out more exclusive content from the conference, including photos and video interviews with some of our speakers.

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Fletcher is the home base for the State Department’s local Diplomat in Residence (DIR).  Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard has served in the position since last fall, and is just wrapping up her time here.  We can’t claim that the DIR is at Fletcher solely for the benefit of Fletcher students, but it is great that this source of support and information is so conveniently situated.  I’ll let Ambassador Leonard describe her work. 

It has been a pleasure to be hosted here as the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomat in Residence (DIR) for New England!

The core of the DIR job is, in fact, outreach to prospective Foreign Service Officers, Specialists, and Civil Service professionals about career and internship possibilities.  (“New England” is a bit of a misnomer, in that we have divided this university-rich region by assigning Connecticut to my colleague based in New York.)  In addition, DIRs enjoy sharing their professional experiences and policy expertise, both to provide insight into what diplomats actually do, and to participate in academic discussions on subjects near and dear to their hearts.  As the recent Ambassador to Mali, while at Fletcher, I’ve enjoyed activities with the Africana Club, the ICRC research lab on migration in the Sahel, talking to visiting Harambe scholars, as well as joining the undergraduate International Relations Careers day.  Perhaps the most unusual evening of the year was sitting on a panel as the U.S. Ambassador who actually lived through a coup in Mali, next to Tufts grad Todd Moss who wrote a work of fiction about one!

I hasten to add that the role continues; following a bit of vacation, I’ll be around from June 15 for a good part of the summer to answer any questions about State Department recruitment and student programs.   For example, a new group of applicants would have heard just recently that they have been invited to the oral exam, and if past experience is any guide, Fletcher students and alums will be well represented in that group.  And in mid-summer, those who learn that they passed the June Foreign Service Officer written test will be asked to provide input for the Qualifications Evaluation Panel through five “personal narratives.”  I look forward to meeting with both groups to help explain the next steps in the process.

If you’re in the local area and interested in a Foreign Service career, you can email me to arrange a moment to stop by my office.  And a very pleasant summer to all!

Ambassador Leonard’s successor as Diplomat in Residence is due to start at Fletcher in October.

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