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I don’t know exactly why, but yesterday’s commencement seemed especially wonderful.  I walked up the hill, as usual, and enjoyed entering the happiness zone created by graduating students and those there to celebrate with them.  I had been assigned a task — to take a photo of the MA graduates:

And also of the PhD graduates, who here are are partaking of the Fletcher tradition whereby a current PhD candidate sends them on their way with a glass of early-morning sparkling wine.

Job complete, I sat with the PhDs and watched the procession file in.

The All-University Commencement ceremony takes place on the main campus quad, open to whatever weather might come.  The skies threatened but didn’t deliver and everyone made it under the tent for Fletcher’s ceremony, unimpeded by rain.

Then the ceremony began.  Dean Stavridis brought us to order and briskly moved on to the first item, which was (as I mentioned on Friday) to present Kristen with the Administrator of the Year award.  (At this point I was taking photos over the heads of faculty members.)

And then Professor Alnoor Ebrahim received the Paddock Teaching Award.

Two graduating students, Laurance

And our own Student Stories writer, Pulkit, delivered terrific addresses.

Then students streamed up to the stage and collected their diplomas.  At some points, my thoughts went like this:  I met him in the April after he was admitted!  We talked about her foreign language skills — glad she took care of it!  I interviewed him!  I remember her application!  Who is that guy — never met him at all!  On balance, it was a parade of students (now alumni) who, in some way, have made their mark on the community.

The last group to be called up are the PhD graduates and I unexpectedly found myself needing to do the other job I was assigned — to prompt them to head toward the stage, where they received their doctoral hoods.

And then the ceremony was over.  I have to say that Dean Stavridis really kept things moving without making the event feel rushed.  The whole morning was lovely and I feel fortunate to be able to participate in this important moment in the academic lives of our graduates.

Once again, congratulations to the Class of 2018, your families and friends, and everyone at Fletcher who supported them along the way!

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With all the ceremony that a significant academic achievement deserves, Commencement weekend kicks off today.  There’s a lot going on, both at Fletcher and Tufts University as a whole, and also some Tufts events that highlight Fletcher students and alumni.

Starting bright and early this morning, graduating students gathered for breakfast at 8:00, followed by a preparatory meeting and a rehearsal.  This afternoon, the General John R. Galvin Memorial Lecture will be given by Admiral Dennis Blair on “America’s East Asia Security Future: Navigating Rocks and Shoals, Rivalries and Relationships.”

By this evening, events will be designed not only for graduating students and their families, but also for alumni who are back on campus.  Yesterday, Laurie and I shared stories of the reuniting alumni we remember well — there are quite a few people from the Classes of 2013 and 2008 whom I recall interviewing before they applied.

Alumni, grads, family, and lobster-loving members of the staff and faculty will then come together for the annual Commencement weekend “clambake.”

Tomorrow morning, there’s another early start for the alumni, with breakfast for those who graduated 25 and 50 years ago, followed by a welcome from the dean and other topical programming for all.

While the alumni carry on reuniting, the graduating students attend the Class Day ceremony, with a greeting by Masha Gordon, F98, distribution of academic prizes, and an address by Ashton Carter, former U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Sunday features the All-University Commencement Ceremony, where degrees will be awarded by school and Farah Pandith, F95, will receive an honorary degree.  Depending on your area of interest, you might recognize others of the honorary degree recipients.

Back to Fletcher at about 11:00 for the School’s ceremony.  By this time, all the students should be expert at processionals and recessionals and keeping their academic regalia in place.  Every graduating student will proceed to the stage to receive a diploma and PhD students will receive their “hoods” from their advisors.  But first, Dean Stavridis will kick off the event, and the Admissions Office’s own Kristen Zecchi will receive the Administrator of the Year Award.  The prize for excellence in teaching will go to Professor Alnoor Ebrahim, who was on the Admissions Committee in 2016-2017.  Finally, two graduating students will present speeches — including Student Stories writer Pulkit!

Almost every year, I attend the Fletcher ceremony on Sunday, occasionally needing to attend Class Day on Saturday instead.  I’m looking forward to Sunday, to offering congratulatory hugs, meeting family members, and reflecting on the cycles of the academic year.  I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Brooklyn and Cindy, our super Admissions Graduate Assistants, to student members of the Admissions Committee, as well as volunteer interviewers and other folks who hang around the office, and to our bloggers Pulkit, Mariya, Adi, and Prianka.  With the good comes the sad, but knowing they’re heading off to do great stuff is what Fletcher is all about.

Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

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Just a quick post today.  The week has turned out to be busier than I anticipated so I’ll take the opportunity to share a few bits of news.

Professor Joel Trachtman was interviewed in April on our local NPR station on intellectual property theft and what it means for American businesses and citizens.

Fletcher is the host for a blog on corruption in fragile states.

Fletcher was featured in Pacific Standard magazine for our success in integrating gender into our curriculum and classes.

Professor Kelly Sims Gallagher, along with Qi Qi, a research fellow at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, released a report on the policies governing China’s foreign direct investment.

This semester has been a particularly productive time for faculty publishing.  Three recent publications:

Tom Dannenbaum, assistant professor of international law, argues for institutional reforms that respect the rights and responsibilities of soldiers in The Crime of Aggression, Humanity, and the Soldier (Cambridge University Press).

Alex De Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation and a research professor, provides an authoritative history of modern famines in Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine (Wiley, 2018).

Chris Miller, assistant professor of international history, looks at the economic policies that underwrote Putin’s two-decades-long rule in Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia (University of North Carolina Press).

(Read more about these and other authors in this semester’s Faculty Facts series.)

 

This morning I dashed over to another Tufts building where 100 or so high school students were attending a day of discussion and activities related to international affairs and Fletcher.  Organized by two second-year Fletcher students along with Professor Kim Wilson, in coordination with the teacher of the high schoolers, this annual event gives the kids a chance to gather ideas about what an international career might look like.

The kids come over from Boston Latin Academy, and their teacher is a Fletcher graduate, Jeff Isen, F04, who left Fletcher, headed out into the world (Malawi, Sri Lanka) and found his true calling teaching international relations to Boston kids.  Most of the visitors today are seniors — just about to head off to college.  They don’t necessarily intend to pursue international relations for their college studies, but I hope they’ll leave here with a sense of the opportunities that might be open to them.  My role was to try to give them just the right amount of information: not too little (we want them to understand what Fletcher is), but also not too much (after all, graduate school may be ten or more years in the future for them — and high schoolers are always sleepy).  Ten minutes later, I yielded to a Fletcher student panel who made the pathway from high school, to college, to work, to Fletcher and an international career seem just a little more real.

 

Continuing with this year’s new faculty feature, let’s read about the most recent research and professional activities of Fletcher’s professors.

Dyan Mazurana, Associate Research Professor, Research Director at the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Along with Fletcher doctoral candidate Phoebe Donnelly, I recently published the international report “Stopping Sexual Assault Against Humanitarian and Development Aid Workers,” which has been influencing international discussions in countries around the world.  In the last few months, Phoebe and I have appeared in numerous media outlets, including: the Associated Press, BBC NewsNight, BBC 2 News, BBC News Channel, BBC Online, BBC Radio 5 Live, Belgium Public Television, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, CNN, Devex, France Television 24, The Guardian, International Public Radio, Fox News, Morning Wave Radio in Busan South Korea, NBC, Tufts Now, and more.  I have been consulted by numerous UN agencies and international NGOs providing humanitarian aid on this topic and am now serving as an External Expert for the UK’s Department for International Development on their work to strengthen safeguarding internally and with their partners.

I am also leading an international team of researchers working with lawyers representing over 2,000 victims in the Prosecutor V. Ongwen case currently before the International Criminal Court, at the Hague.  My team and I have been tasked to interview the victims to document they harms they and their households have allegedly suffered due to being a victim of one of three massacres the Lord’s Resistance Commander Dominic Ongwen is alleged to have ordered and participated in northern Uganda.  Our report’s findings cover a range of serious crimes, mental and physical health, food security, nutrition, education, livelihoods, and access to education, health care and water.  The findings will be presented by the team before the International Criminal Court in April 2018, where lawyers for the victims will argue the findings should influence the sentencing of Ongwen and reparations ordered by the court.  I have been carrying out research in northern Uganda since 2001.

Professor Mazurana’s profile.

Abiodun Williams, Professor of the Practice of International Politics

My new co-edited book The UN Secretary-General and the Security Council was recently published by Oxford University Press.

Professor Williams’s profile.

Patrick Schena, Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Business

The focus of my research bridges issues of global finance and public policy.  Most recently, a significant component of that work has involved sovereign and public investment funds.  Currently, my specific interest is on public funds that have a discrete mandate to invest in the national development and transformation of their home economies (often referred to as sovereign development or strategic investment funds).  My engagement includes both my own research and writing, as well as cooperating with multilateral (e.g. The World Bank) and transnational (e.g. the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF)) institutions on research projects and workshops in this area.  My recent publications on this theme include a co-authored article published in March 2017 in World Economics, a law review article published in Vol 4 (December, 2017) of the Wake Forest Law Review, and two forthcoming co-authored articles to appear respectively in Global Policy and the Harvard International Review.  I am also currently organizing a member workshop of the IFSWF in cooperation with the World Bank planned for June 2018 on focused sovereign funds and sustainable development.  My near-term projects extend the scope of this research agenda into the role of sovereign and public funds as responsible, long-term investors.

Professor Schena’s profile.  More information can be found on his SovereigNet page.

Rockford “Rocky” Weitz, Professor of Practice, Entrepreneur Coach, and Director of the Fletcher Maritime Studies Program

My research focuses on the public-private dimensions of maritime security.  Using The Fletcher School’s strength as an interdisciplinary research institution, I focus my energy on finding lessons from the private sector that can influence better public policy decisions and analyze challenges where the public and private spheres intersect.  An example of this is a forthcoming monograph on the lessons the U.S. Navy can learn from the private sector on retaining high-quality talent.  The Fletcher Maritime Studies Program fosters this interdisciplinary engagement among our students through experiential learning.  We sponsored 35 students and alumni to attend the annual Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland in October and bring in guest lecturers for our Global Maritime Affairs and Maritime Security courses.  We also expand our reach outside of academia.  I have been a frequent contributor on maritime issues with Asia Times and China Global Television Network.  Our students and staff are also publishing, including op-eds in hometown newspapers in Portland, Maine and southern New Jersey.

Professor Weitz’s profile.

Diana Chigas, Professor of Practice of International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
and Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church, Professor of Practice in Human Security

Our current joint research focuses on understanding corruption in the criminal justice sector in fragile and conflict-affected states and finding new approaches to combating corruption effectively.  We are particularly interested in the use of systems thinking for analyzing corruption, understanding the role of social norms in sustaining corruption, and integrating this learning into policy and practice.  To develop a new analytic methodology, the project tested the systems-based approach in DRC, Uganda and Central African Republic.  The first version of the resulting analysis methodology is also available complete with interview guides and meeting agendas.

We are currently working on pieces on how to address social norms to fight corruption in fragile and conflict-affected states, and on the connection of corruption to peacebuilding.  We host a learning-focused blog series at the Institute for Human Security to challenge status quo thinking and foster a space for conversation between actors working in the field of anti-corruption in fragile states.  Diana is traveling to Berlin in April to share our research as part of a lab sponsored by the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center in Norway to design innovative experiments that can help advance the anti-corruption agenda.  Cheyanne will be in Ottawa at Global Affairs Canada in April presenting the methodology as part of a wider training of civil servants on conflict and fragility.

Professor Scharbatke-Church’s profile.  She previously wrote a Faculty Spotlight post.
Professor Chigas’s profile.

David Wirth, Visiting Professor of International Law

Throughout this year, I have written and shared the results of my research widely.

In addition to publications and speaking opportunities, here are some recent media contributions:

Is the Paris Agreement on Climate Change a Legitimate Exercise of the Executive Agreement Power?” Lawfare. Brookings

While Trump Pledges Withdrawal from Paris Agreement on Climate, International Law May Provide a Safety Net,” Lawfare. Brookings.

Referenced in Anna Dubenko, “Right and Left React to the Paris Climate Agreement News,” The New York Times.

Trump’s First Foreign Trip and the Fate of the Paris Agreement: Reading the Tea Leaves from the G7 and NATO Summits,” Lawfare. Brookings.

Fulbright Scholar on Working and Living in Moscow,” Faculty of Law, National Research University Higher School of Economics website.

Professor Wirth’s profile.  More details can be found on his Boston College bio page.

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If you’re ever visiting Fletcher’s Ginn Library and you’d like to see something a little different than books, desks, and hard-working students, swing over to the Fletcher Perspectives Gallery.  There you’ll find a collection of student photography from travels near and far.

If you’re not going to be on campus or in the library any time soon, all of the photos, going back to 2016, can be found on the Perspectives website.

 

 

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A quick return to the topics submitted by Admissions Blog readers on the survey.  Today, I’ll answer a two-part question.

Part One: “I’d like to hear more about the MALD-JD dual degrees.”
There’s pretty complete information on all the dual degrees on the website.  As you’ll see, our two official dual-law-degree relationships are with Harvard Law School and Boalt Hall at UC-Berkeley.  If you scroll down on the page, you’ll also see the explanation of how to arrange an ad hoc dual degree.  With the JD required for anyone wishing to practice law in the U.S., and with only two official partners, a good number of our MALD-JD students have put together their own programs at other law schools.  It’s totally doable!  But getting the maximum benefit of doing the two degrees together (that is, reducing five years of study to four) requires that the law school accept four Fletcher credits.  There are many that will accept transfer/dual-degree credits, but some schools simply insist on students pursuing all their coursework at that school.  Check with their admissions office or registrar for details.

Part Two: “I’d also love to hear about students who have gone on to get a PhD at Fletcher after the MALD.”
Once again, I’m going to let the website do the talking.  The Student Profiles page includes both MALD-to-PhD students and direct-entry students.  Among the former MALDs are:

Ana de Alba, Shahla Al Kli, Neha Ansari, Deborshi Barat, Prisca Benelli, Sarah Detzner, Matthew Herbert, Roxanne Krystalli, Phoebe Donnelly, Torrey Taussig, Andrea Walther-Puri, Jamilah Welch

The key must-do points for students in the MALD (or MIB) program who wish to move on to the PhD are:

  1. Maintain a GPA of 3.6 or higher.
  2. Complete a traditional academic thesis to fulfill the Capstone Project requirement.
  3. Establish strong relationships with members of the faculty who can write your recommendation letters, will agree to serve as your academic advisor, and may chair or serve on your dissertation committee.

Only three simple points, but all of them require effort.  It’s also helpful to attend the information session on applying to the PhD program that is offered every fall.

And those are the basics on the MALD-JD and on getting a PhD at Fletcher!

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I continue to welcome blog topic suggestions via the two-question survey, and even as I do, I’m working on writing posts in response.  Recently a reader asked about post-Fletcher jobs.  The question was specifically about the LLM program, but I want to point out a few resources that would be useful for anyone.

First, there are reports on both full-time employment and summer internships on the website of the Office of Career Services (OCS).  When you’re on the employment report pages, click on the sectors that interest you for specific employer information.  The online reports compile data from 2011-2016.  More recent data from the class of 2017 will, I’m sure, be available soon.

The list of hiring organizations for LLM graduates overlaps significantly with those for the MALD or other programs, except for the many law firms, which are definitely over-represented relative to MALD/MIB/MA employers.  I heard today that there are several additional LLM employers that will be added to the online list: United Nations Global Compact; United Nations (Associate Political Affairs Officer on Human Rights); HSBC (Financial Crime Risk); U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea; and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

While I’m offering degree-specific employment information, there’s a list of employers of PhD graduates by year, and one for MIB graduates by industry/sector.

I’d also like to remind you of the narrative job reports provided by alumni in the blog.  Check out the updates by alumni five years post-Fletcher and one year after graduation.  Several reports from the classes of 2013 and 2017 are sitting in my inbox, just waiting for me to have a chance to publish them, which I’ll try to do very soon.

And, last, a brief summary of how OCS works with students.  During students’ first semester, they participate in the OCS Professional Development Program which sets them up well for the internship search or (in the case of one-year programs) job search that will start soon after PDP concludes.  The role of OCS is as a partner for students in their career exploration and job search.  That is, Fletcher doesn’t place students in internships or jobs, but working with OCS helps students identify opportunities.  Ideally, students keep their professional objectives in mind as they plan out each semester and academic year.  Classes that link to several career directions are suggested here.  I don’t write nearly enough about OCS in the blog, but there’s still a handful of posts that cover key topics.  Scroll back far enough and you’ll find four posts from the sector coaches at OCS in 2010 that are still largely relevant.

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In a professional school with a multidisciplinary curriculum, it’s no surprise that the away-from-Fletcher activities of the faculty take different forms.  Though there’s certainly a common thread of research and writing, the research could be quantitative or qualitative, in the field or from a desk, and the media through which they publish will vary.  This is the fourth post in which we’ll highlight Fletcher professors’ current activities.

Susan Landau, Bridge Professor in the Fletcher School and the School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Tufts University

My recent work focuses on communications security and privacy, and my new book, Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age, was just published by Yale University Press.  I am participating in a National Academies study on encryption tradeoffs, am a member of the Forum on Cyber Resilience, a National Academies roundtable, and recently served on a National Academies study on bulk signals intelligence collection, Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options.  I have been a senior staff Privacy Analyst at Google, a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, and a faculty member at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Wesleyan University.

(Professor Landau was inducted into the Cybersecurity Hall of Fame in 2015, was a 2012 Guggenheim fellow, a 2010-2011 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and received the 2008 Women of Vision Social Impact Award.  She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Computing Machinery.  She is also Visiting Professor in Computer Science, University College London.)

Professor Landau’s profile.  In the video below, she sits down with Dean Stavridis to discuss U.S. cybersecurity.

Hurst Hannum, Professor of International Law

I am on sabbatical leave in 2017-18, split between Washington, DC, and the Bonavero Instutite of Human Rights at the University of Oxford, during which time I will complete a book on the future of human rights, to be published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press.  My latest publications are the 6th edition of my co-authored International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Practice, and Policy (Aspen 2017); “Reinvigorating Human Rights for the Twenty-first Century,” 16 Human Rights Law Review 409 (2016); “Sovereignty, Self-Determination, and Autonomy,” in The United States, China, and International Law (Jacques de Lisle and William Burke-White eds., forthcoming Oxford University Press 2018); and “Human Rights,” in The Oxford Handbook on International Law in Asia and the Pacific (Simon Chesterman and Ben Saul eds., forthcoming OUP 2018).

Professor Hannum’s profile.

Avery Cohn, William R. Moomaw Assistant Professor of International Environment and Resource Policy

All of my work focuses on global environmental change and what people can do to confront it and cope with it.  I’m currently involved in three main research themes.  The first investigates the business case for protecting tropical ecosystems, given that these ecosystems regulate the local climate and therefore are important for agricultural productivity.  Initially, our focus is the world’s largest agricultural frontier — the Southern fringes of the Brazilian Amazon basin.  The work involves close collaboration with a coalition of businesses and NGOs working to find sustainable pathways for agricultural development in the tropics.  The second theme identifies the ingredients of scalable forest governance.  Here, I’m finding and analyzing cases of how public and private interests have cooperated to help forests achieve their potential.  Finally, I’m quantifying societal costs of climate change and how people can adapt to this emerging threat.  On this theme, I have been constructing profiles of resilient urban and rural households in sub-Saharan Africa, drawing on evidence from detailed agricultural surveys combined with remotely sensed indicators of climate, the environment, and infrastructure.  All of these projects are team affairs, involving many students and other collaborators from Fletcher, Tufts, and beyond.  Have a look here.

Professor Cohn’s profile.

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Once upon of time, The Fletcher Forum was Fletcher’s premiere print publication — our twice-yearly journal of international affairs.  These days, The Forum is still Fletcher’s premiere print publication, but with a robust online presence.  And just last week, the editors of The Forum contacted me to share this news.

Some of you may already be aware of The Fletcher Forum, the student-managed journal of international affairs published at Fletcher since 1976.  This year’s editorial team has made a major effort to expand The Forum’s digital media offerings, and we’re happy to highlight the release of the first episode of The Fletcher Forum podcast.  You can find it here or (soon) in iTunes.

This short episode features a behind-the-scenes roundtable with some of the managing editors discussing the production of The Forum’s winter edition, which focused on “dueling narratives and the global battle for truth.”  Released in January, the winter issue features analytical articles from expert contributors as well as interviews with guests such as Lord Michael Dobbs, author of House of Cards.  You can read that interview online and hear more about the conversation on the podcast.  Have a listen, and keep an eye out for future episodes.

Why launch a podcast?  These comments from the editorial staff shed light on the question.

Colin Steele, F18, Managing Editor for Digital Affairs:  “Podcasts are a popular medium for many of us and our peers, and the format allows us to tell new kinds of stories in new ways.  Most of all, they’re a lot of fun to produce.”

Maria Selde, F18, Editor-in-Chief: “Digital media has been a big emphasis for us this year, and podcasting has been an important part of that effort.  I’m proud of our team for bringing this new project to life.”

Maria Ory, F19, Producer: “Producing this podcast was a great way for me to build on my previous work experience and support The Forum‘s digital development.  I’m looking forward to continuing this project through the rest of the spring and into next year.”

The Forum invites participation from incoming students each fall.  With print, web-based, and podcast content, there are ample opportunities for students with a range of interests to get involved.

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