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Combing through a few old emails this week, I came upon a reminder for students that they can share their Capstone Projects through the Tufts Digital Library.  I paged through a few and here are a few randomly selected examples.

Cynthia Garcia, 2018 MALD graduate (and a favorite Admissions Graduate Assistant): The Baltic Centre for Media Excellence: A Case Study on Media Literacy as a Tool Against Russian Disinformation.

Annin Peck, 2017 MIB graduate: How to Achieve Sustainable Development in the Apparel Industry: A Collaborative Two-Part Approach.

Todd Dahmann, 2016 MA graduate: U.S. Military Capacity Building in the Middle East: Case Studies on Divergent Security Concepts.

Nathalie Hudson, 2016 MIB graduate: A New Type of Contract: The examination of the role of big business in strengthening the social contracts in sub-Saharan Africa.

Phan Phuc, 2015 MA graduate: Economic Diplomacy: Concept and Practice in Vietnam – U.S. relations.

Niyash Mistry, 2015 MALD graduate:  Building Sustainable Cities through International Knowledge Sharing and Multilevel Governance for Environmentally Sustainable Development: A Blue Print for Mumbai.

If you keep digging through the archives, you’ll also find photos.  Like this one, which I pass in the hallway most days, keeping it at the top of my list of favorite Fletcher pix.  (This isn’t even the first time I’ve shared it on the blog.)

The photo shows Professor John Roche (now deceased) with President John F. Kennedy.  Before teaching at Fletcher, Professor Roche was a consultant to Vice President Hubert Humphrey (1964-1966) and to President Lyndon B. Johnson (1966-1968).  I didn’t meet him until decades after the photo was taken, but I always enjoyed our interactions.

Continuing my own walk through the archives, here are a couple of photos that show how much the Fletcher footprint has grown.  The before pic shows Goddard Hall (one of the three attached Fletcher buildings) looking all lonely in 1959.

And here’s the after pic.  Note that the brick wall at the back of this 1992 photo of the Hall of Flags is the side of Goddard Hall above.

Following a subsequent round of construction and renovations, the person currently working on the other side of the brick wall is me.

That’s enough of a dive into the archives for today.  I encourage you to take the plunge yourself.  There’s bound to be something that catches your interest.

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The summer at Fletcher is VERY QUIET, as you may have read here before.  We can come and go and run into almost no one — with students away, even staff and faculty have less reason to be milling around the Hall of Flags.  But then, along comes some activity!  We’re currently host to 19 students from India’s Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA) for a customized program.  They’re a mix of undergraduates and graduate students pursuing degrees in either global affairs or diplomacy, law, and business.  They arrived on the 9th and will be around until the 27th, taking courses on Diplomacy: History, Theory, and Practice and U.S. Foreign Policy and Tools of Statecraft.

Here for about the same time period is a larger group of students attending their third residency for the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP).  The GMAPers will attend classes and complete their Capstone Projects, wrapping up with their graduation ceremony.  By the time the GMAP students reach their third residency, they’re seasoned Fletcher professionals and they simply get on with the business of completing their program.  Their classes are actually meeting in a separate building, but they have lunch here and can be spotted heading toward the elevator.

I’ll be leading an information session this afternoon.  Given how few students are hanging around the building (and also that many classrooms are being renovated), I decided that I really needed to enhance the session.  I sent a note to Pulkit, and he’ll be joining me to chat with the visitors.  They’ll benefit much more by hearing from him than they would if only I were doing the presenting.

So far, I’m still appreciating the summer quiet.  It’s satisfying to end the day having completed all the tasks lined up at the beginning.  By the time August starts, though, I know I’ll be ready for some noise!  Until then, at least the JSIA visitors and the GMAPers are keeping us from feeling too lonely.

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Two significant announcements came our way in the last few weeks.  You may have heard one or both, but they’re important enough that I’ll share.

The first is that, following five years at Fletcher, Dean Stavridis will be stepping down in August.  You can read about it here.  The school will be led for a year by an interim dean, Ian Johnstone, a highly respected member of the faculty (and a nice guy!).  The wheels have already started turning on the search for a new dean, who will presumably be in place on or about July 1, 2019.  As the article mentions, Dean Stavridis will remain involved in several projects that will draw him back to campus with some frequency.

The second announcement is that, starting in May 2019, Fletcher will offer a new digitally mediated business program for working professionals.  The new Master of Global Business Administration will draw from existing expertise at Fletcher, both in offering a business curriculum and with programs that blend online and in-person learning, as is the case for our ten-plus-year-old Global Master of Arts Program.  Planning for the program has been underway for about a year, so now that all the approvals are in place, the groundwork has been laid for a smooth start in only 11 months.

We don’t always expect big announcements in the summer, but these are two of them!  Of course, the blog will keep you informed about developments in both throughout the year.

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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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