Currently viewing the category: "Our Alumni"

This week I’m going to share two updates from the Class of 2011, with my apologies to the writers for neglecting to publish their posts earlier in the spring.  Kimberly came to Fletcher from Jamaica, which given the country’s relatively small size, immediately made her stand out my mind.

Every so often I have a flashback to Commencement day — huddling together for group photos, and then each of my friends, with cautious optimism, sharing plans for our new lives that would begin in just a matter of days.  Was that really five and a half years ago?  So much has happened.  Our class has accomplished so much.

In high school I’d made up my mind that I wouldn’t be contained by the borders of my small island; I was one of those people that Dean Bosworth spoke about at our orientation, looking to “lead an international life.”

At first, the dream manifested as a desire to join Jamaica’s foreign service, and I was fortunate to receive very clear advice from two of Jamaica’s top diplomatic professionals.  They told me that if I was serious about the foreign service, there was only one graduate school for me.  And so, before I had even decided where I would pursue my undergraduate studies, I had accepted my mission: The Fletcher School.  Though it was probably obvious, I didn’t realize at the time that they were both Fletcher grads.

One bachelor’s degree and an embassy internship later, I was heading to Medford.  I had put all my grad school eggs in the Fletcher basket and it had paid off.

By the time I arrived in the Hall of Flags, my interests had shifted.  I’d spent a year in the Ministry of Finance, working on Jamaica’s program with the multilateral banks, and I had a new mission: I was going to work at the World Bank.

I never forgot about that mission, but it lay in the back of my mind while I was busy soaking up the whirlwind awesomeness that is the Fletcher School.  This update is my love song to Blakeley Hall, Fletcher Follies, Los Fletcheros, the annual Ski Trip, and so much more.  To Professor Block, who was a stellar advisor, and to Professor Moomaw and all of CIERP.

Kimberly notes, “When a project has been a success, it makes people happy, sometimes happy enough to plant trees named after you.”

It is five and half years later, and a lot has happened.  I’ve been to several Fletcher weddings, including my own, and I ended up at the World Bank, though in a different sector than I anticipated.  In the Global Water Practice, I work on policy, planning, and capacity building related to water resources infrastructure.  Given the scale of the global water and energy challenges, I can scarcely think of a sector I would rather be working in.

While I didn’t expect my job to take me to so many construction sites, the experience has been both exciting and rewarding.  There is, at the end of the day, something special about seeing a major project coming up out of the ground and knowing you had even the smallest hand in bringing it to fruition.  When I arrive at a client’s office and someone hands me a hard hat, I know it’s going to be a good day.

If I have one misgiving, though, it is that none of my projects to date have taken me anywhere close to Jamaica.  I won’t lie; it tugs at my heartstrings to spend most of my days trying to solve problems everywhere else but there.  I tell myself that there is time for that.

In the meantime, I am enjoying all the incredible Fletcher friendships I made during those two years and the ones I continue to make.  The Fletcher family is real, so real.  It can be hard to stay in touch with folks splintered all over the globe, but nearly everywhere I go, there’s at least one familiar face and it makes all the difference.

I haven’t decided yet what my next mission will be…but I think I’m starting to get some ideas.

Tagged with:
 

What a beautiful Commencement weekend!  Two fabulous sunny days tucked between the Boston area’s first heat wave and a dreary rainy Monday — what more could we ask for?  As planned, I arrived yesterday in time to snag folks as they moved from the all-University graduation to the Fletcher ceremony.  I didn’t catch everyone (sadly) but, among others, I was happy to see student bloggers Adnan, Tatsuo, and McKenzie.  (Adnan and Tatsuo both apologized for delays in sending their final posts.  I’m sure we’ll hear from them soon.)  McKenzie was honored on Saturday with a prize for academic achievement and community involvement by a graduating student.  Any of the finalists for the award would have been worthy — being selected is truly a big honor.  Congratulations, McKenzie!

Then, once the processions were complete, we all settled down for speeches and the distribution of diplomas.  The Fletcher website offers quick summaries of both Commencement and Class Day, and the Tufts website offers details and photos from the all-University ceremony (also called Phase I).  Here’s an example:

I had a great view of the proceedings, but one that was frequently interrupted by photographers, so I’ll let the websites do the talking.  But I still want to share two photos that represent a special joy.  There are a good number of children who started life while a parent was a Fletcher student.  Two examples from among our PhD graduates are Rizwan (adorable daughter) and Avner (adorable twin boys), who are receiving their PhD “hoods”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reaction of the “graduating kids” from all degree programs was priceless.  Many weren’t sure what was going on, but there was one lovely little girl in her own gown who totally owned the stage!

Once the PhD graduates had all been recognized, the ceremony concluded and everyone moved off to a reception.  The end of another academic year!  A few graduates have said they’ll stop by this week, which will ease our transition to the very quiet summer.  For a few days, though, we’ll enjoy the glow of having launched the newest members of the Fletcher alumni family!

Tagged with:
 

I just saw a Fletcher Features story about Barbara Bodine, F71, a career Foreign Service Officer who recently visited the school.  I thought I would point you toward the story, paired with a previous report on a visit by Roberta Jacobson, F86, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.  Click on their photos for each story.

 

Note that Ambassador Jacobson is standing in front of a plaque in her honor, next to one for Ambassador Bodine.  Nice coincidence, right?  They were both recipients of the Class of 1947 Memorial Award.

And here are the plaques for all the previous recipients, as best I was able to capture them in the Hall of Flags.

 

An unusual post for the Admissions Blog today.  I was in contact last week with Professor Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church, and she told me that two alumni had written a post for the Corruption in Fragile States blog series that she runs.  I’m happy to share the post, to highlight the work that Fletcher alumni are doing.

About the alumni writers:

Héctor Portillo, F16, is involved in a variety of peacebuilding programs in Guerrero and Michoacán, two of the most violent states in Mexico. He has a BA in Political Science from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and a master’s degree from The Fletcher School, where he focused his studies on the intersections of gender and conflict resolution. Previously, he worked in different positions for the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Public Education. He is currently Project Coordinator for Catholic Relief Services Mexico.

 

Sebastián Molano, F12, is an international development worker from Colombia. He holds a master’s degree in NGO Management and Human Security from The Fletcher School. Sebastián has worked for over 11 years on development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. His experience ranges from providing humanitarian response in Haiti, development work in Central America to participating in 20 political and electoral observation missions across the continent. As a gender specialist, Sebastián has developed an expertise in gender and masculinities and how to engage purposefully men and boys to enable gender equality. He is the founder of Defying Gender Roles an advocacy initiative that seeks to openly challenge harmful gender roles, gender norms, and traditional notions of masculinity. You can learn more about his work on his TEDx talk. Currently, Sebastián is a Gender Advisor for Oxfam America.

And here is their blog post from the Corruption in Fragile States blog.

Approaching corruption through the lens of masculinities

Héctor Portillo and Sebastián Molano propose three ways in which the expectations, pressures, and privileges of “being a man” may shed light on male attitudes towards corruption.

Although corruption is not by any means our field of study, we both grew up in countries where corruption is normalized to the point where not engaging in it is not only considered rare but naïve. Coincidentally, both of our countries of origin, Mexico and Colombia, also have a deeply embedded culture of sexism and machismo. Our personal experiences with sexism, masculinities, and corruption motivated us to explore how the expectations, pressures, and privileges of “being a man” can encourage or deter an individual’s engagement in corruption.

Masculinities and Toxic Masculinity

The ideals men and boys are expected to live up to are called “masculinities.” Masculinities are socially constructed and reinforced, they vary by time, place, and community, and have hierarchies – “some forms are prized as being more valuable for men and boys to aspire than others.” These expectations “often put men under pressure to conform to prevailing masculine ideals, which may or may not be what individual men would otherwise aspire to.”

Some of the expectations of what it means to be a man may translate into violent and/or self-destructive behaviors. The Good Men Project calls those expectations ‘toxic masculinities,’ and defines them as those where manhood is formed by a cocktail of “violence, sex, status and aggression.” They are often associated with risky behaviors (e.g., higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse) and proneness to engage in violence (e.g. sexual violence, violent crime). Others, like Michael Kimmel, have argued that these expressions of manhood become socialized — that is, they are not just internalized by the individual, but also replicated by society. (Kimmel, Michael, “Masculinities and Gun Violence: The Personal Meets the Political,” Paper prepared for a session at the UN on “Men, Women and Gun Violence,” July 14, 2005.)

[To our best knowledge, there is no research (yet) on the links between toxic masculinities and corruption. If you know of any, please send us examples through the comments section below!]

Three Mechanisms of Interaction

We believe that male attitudes towards corruption can be analyzed through three mechanisms. We have presented them as separate for conceptual clarity, but we believe they interact with and possibly reinforce each other:

  1. Corruption as a male privilege;
  2. Corruption as a male performance of power and domination; and
  3. Corruption as a pathway for men to fulfill society’s expectation of them to ‘provide’

Corruption as male privilege

Let’s start with the proposition that gender inequality exists in most societies, and that this translates into men wielding more/most power –especially, “entrusted power” (i.e. political/policy power) – than women. Thus, men hold most of the resources and networks that maintain and give access to power.  Most women, then, do not engage in corruption because they are unable to tap into the structures and networks that men have access to. In this sense corruption, “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain,” presents itself as a male privilege.

Corruption as a male performance of power and domination

The social definitions of what being a man looks (and feels) like are frequently correlated to power. If what we understand to be “manly” is toxic (i.e. toxic masculinities) and what we understand as “power” is also thought of as “manly”, then the toxicity may permeate to power as well. Corruption, then, would be more likely where men are expected (and rewarded) for using their power over others; it would be a consequence and a symptom of toxic understandings of what it means to be a man, for men would understand corruption as another way to prove their manliness through power.

Corruption as a pathway for men to fulfill society’s expectation of them to ‘provide’

Our final proposed mechanism stems from the assumption that men are expected to provide for their families, and that their notion of value is assessed on the fulfillment of this role. However, as is the case in most of the world, only a small proportion of the population can meet all their needs. Although this pressure is true for both men and women, the expected role of provider (and sometimes sole provider) is often masculine.

Studies have shown that, in extreme situations of poverty and/or conflict, when men are unable to fill the role of provider (a role they consider quintessential to their identity as men) they are likelier to engage in self-destructive behaviors or to join criminal or armed groups. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to imagine that some men in positions of relative power (lower-level public officials, for example) might engage in corruption to fulfill their role as providers. In some contexts, engaging in corruption practices can be a coping mechanism for individuals who are part of a power structure.

Of course, there is nothing new in the notion that one of the reasons for some individuals to engage in corruption is economic distress or need. However, understanding how the economic pressures are gendered (i.e. different for men and women) may help understand how the mechanisms through which these pressures lead to corruption are themselves gendered.

However, it is also common to see men in high-level positions of power engaging in corruption practices. In their case, the power attached to the positions they hold, the social networks they belong to or their last names, cover them with a veil of protection against the law. Thus, different hierarchies of power among men when engaging in corruptive practices differ in the scope and magnitude but the effects are the same: mistrust, impunity, and undermine of democracy.

Interactions across mechanisms

As we have written above, the three mechanisms we have proposed interact with each other:

  1. Access to positions of relative power or influence from which men can engage in corruption is an extension of their male privileges.
  2. The way men use (and abuse) said power for their private gain will be informed by a (masculinized and possibly toxic) understanding of how they ought to wield power.
  3. Corruption is a possible pathway for individuals holding positions of relative power to earn additional income and/or solidify their positions and networks of power, allowing them to provide more resources for their families.

Can Gender Equality Decrease Corruption?

This brief exploration introduces a more nuanced question. Can gender equality decrease corruption? Although this requires much further research, our analysis suggests that as social understandings of power and (toxic) masculinities become dissociated from each other, corruption’s appeal as a (male) performance of power will diminish. Likewise, as men’s identity is less associated with the role of provider, pressures to engage in corruption may diminish.

Gender Equality is not Enough

Gender equality may reduce men’s use of corruption as a mechanism to display power and domination over women, but it won’t necessarily reduce men’s (and women’s) use of corruption as a mechanism to display power and domination over people. As gender equality advances, corruption will stop being a male privilege and become available for both men and women with power.

Programs that address corruption or gender equality ought to consider the way these two subjects interplay with each other. Existing and future programming on masculinities could be adjusted to incorporate notions of power and the construction of masculinity as a strategy to better engage with anti-corruption work. To the best of our knowledge, this has not yet been done in a purposeful, measurable manner. We hope this brief post will inspire researchers and practitioners to ask how work on masculinities and on corruption better complement each other.

Tagged with:
 

Our next Five-Year Update comes from Vincent Fennell, whom I recall spent quite a bit of time around the Admissions Office during his two years in the MIB program.  I recently caught up with him at an event, and I was reminded why it was so delightful to see him regularly.

I admit there’s a certain irony in writing an update about “life since Fletcher” when I’m currently only 30 minutes away from the Fletcher campus.  However, it’s more a case of things coming full circle, rather than sitting still.  Let me explain.

Before Fletcher:

Before I joined the Fletcher MIB class of 2011, I worked at State Street Corporation in Boston.  I decided to pursue an MIB as a way of developing my passion for international business.  I had seen during my time at State Street that no business happens in a vacuum.  There are so many “non-business” variables to an internationally successful business that I felt these were best addressed in an International Affairs School.  I had already lived a pretty international life — albeit tame by Fletcher standards — but I wanted an education that could help me try to make sense of it all, help me become, in the words of the late Dean Bosworth, “culturally fluent.”

After Fletcher:

After I graduated from Fletcher in 2011, my wife, daughter, and I moved to England where I started a job at the Strategy Office for Hitachi Ltd. in their European Headquarters.  This job came as a direct result of the internship I had in Tokyo with Hitachi the summer before.  In what might be a Fletcher first, I was an Irishman who got a job in London while living in Boston after an internship in Tokyo.

Working for Hitachi was a dream post-Fletcher job for me.  Each and every week felt like an applied session of the courses I had taken at Fletcher.  Some weeks I was involved in Smart City discussions with the Japanese Ministry for Economy in Spain, while other times I was helping lay the foundations for a renewable hydrogen energy storage system at the Nissan test facility at their factory in Sunderland.  At Fletcher I had taken a course on Petroleum in the Global Economy.  This proved to be an invaluable foundation in energy discussions that I referred to constantly.

If I wasn’t focused on Smart Cities, I was helping negotiate the terms of a first of its kind Smart Energy Grid demonstration project in the UK or speaking with the Istanbul municipality about about municipal water network management systems.  This is where I gained a whole new appreciation for my negotiation course and the importance of frameworks and BATNAs (Best Alternatives to a Negotiated Agreement).

Toward the end of my tenure at Hitachi, I was asked to undertake a market analysis on the nascent “Industry 4.0” or Fourth Industrial Revolution.  Industry 4.0, simply put, is a catch-all for the automation of factories.  Through this research and by meeting with a wide variety of software companies and manufacturing companies, I found the catalyst for the next step in my career: digitization.

Digitization and Industry 4.0 were not topics I had really explored in great detail while at Fletcher.  I had taken courses in Innovation and even explored an internship with a few tech startups, but I always thought that I wasn’t “techie” enough.  I’m not a software engineer and didn’t know anything about coding.  What I experienced after Fletcher is the understanding of the critical need for both clear communication and lateral thinking in the technology arena.

Midway through 2015 I was offered a chance to move back to the U.S. and work with my former team at State Street, where I currently lead various internal digitization initiatives.  My role is to help make State Street a market leader in the financial services industry.  Digitization is rapidly changing the realm of possibilities within the financial services sector and the business is significantly different than when I left in 2011.  It’s really exciting to be at the frontier of a changing global industry.

The last thing I want to say is about the Fletcher community.  When I was at Fletcher everyone always talked about the Fletcher family as an invaluable resource.  While I was at Tufts, this was always tangible in the form of people to reach out to with career-related questions.  It wasn’t until I left Fletcher that I realized the true value of this global community.  I feel inspired, fortunate, and proud to be a member of this unique and wonderful tribe.

Tagged with:
 

I’ve tucked away links to a cornucopia of different news items, and today seems like a good day to share them.  I know you may have caught this information somewhere else, but here it is again — just in case.

Several members of the community have new books.  Among them are Dean Stavridis, with his book on leadership.

Fletcher graduate Elliot Ackerman, F03, visited Fletcher to discuss his novel, Dark at the Crossing.  Elliot is a Double Jumbo.  Here’s the Tufts Now take on his writing.

Here’s a nice interview with Admissions’ own Graduate Assistant, Ashley.  She’s graduating soon.  We miss her already.

Though he’s not a member of the Fletcher faculty, I found this profile of Professor Daniel Dennett, from the school of Arts and Sciences, to be very interesting.  There’s a thread that connects him to Fletcher, in that Professor Dennett’s full title is “Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and University Professor.”

Also interesting: this article about Mike Balaban, F75.  (A good example of how one never knows where a Fletcher degree will lead.)

New this year!  A podcast produced by the Fares Center.

Remember Mariya’s post about the Ginn Wish TreeThe Tufts Daily picked up on it, too.  And speaking of Mariya, she participated in the annual Faces of Our Community presentation from the Arts of Communication class.

Mediterranean cuisine.  Need I say more?  Delicious!

I’ll leave the list here.  There’s more that I could share, but there’s always another day!

 

One day a random thought popped in my head: There are a lot of Fletcher alumni on the faculty.  And they span a broad range of experience.  Some are early in an academic career while others are already on their second career, having worked many years in government, business, or NGOs before returning to the Hall of Flags.  Still others are wearing two hats — spending part of their time at Fletcher and the remainder at a different school or organization.

I pulled together a list and shared it with the faculty to be sure I hadn’t left anyone out.  In response, alumnus-in-chief Dean Stavridis noted, “We hire our own proudly!”  In the final list, below, I’ve linked the professors to their faculty pages so that you can see the scope of experience they bring to Fletcher.  Some professors have faculty research profiles, too, if you want to scout out more information.  You can also find Faculty Spotlight posts for Professor Gallagher and Professor Moghalu.

The Alumni Professors are:

Jenny Aker

Nahid Bhadelia

Diana Chigas

Bruce McKenzie Everett

Kelly Sims Gallagher

Barbara Kates-Garnick

Sung-Yoon Lee

Michele Malvesti

Kingsley Moghalu

Mihaela Papa

Elizabeth Prodromou

Klaus Scharioth

Patrick Schena

Edward Schumacher-Matos

James Stavridis

Elizabeth Stites

Richard Thoman

Christopher Tunnard

Phil Uhlmann

Rockford “Rocky” Weitz

Toshi Yoshihara

On a related note, just as I was gathering information for this post, I learned about yet another graduate who will soon return to Fletcher.  Dr. Abi Williams will share his time between Fletcher and directing the the Tufts Institute for Global Leadership.  A prime example of an alumnus who will bring vast experience to the classroom, Dr. Williams has worked with The Hague Institute for Global Justice, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention.  Earlier, he was with the United Nations as Director of Strategic Planning for Secretaries-General Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan, as well as in senior political and humanitarian roles in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Haiti.  His fellow alumni on the faculty, whether they knew him as a student or when interacting with him in a previous post, are enthusiastically welcoming Dr. Williams back to campus.

 

Though we’re tip-toeing up to their six-year post-graduation mark, I’m happy to introduce another member of the Class of 2011.  Philippa Brown completed the one-year mid-career MA program, and is now a consultant specializing in designing and implementing programs focused on counter-terrorism and stabilization, as well as early recovery work in conflict environments.  Her bio further says that, “She has just completed a three-year posting to the British Embassy Mogadishu, Somalia, where she covered two thematic areas: leading the multi-disciplinary counter-terrorism team, and designing and delivering the UK’s bilateral stabilization program.  Prior to her work in Somalia, she designed and managed the UK’s counter-terrorism program in Pakistan, focused on criminal justice capacity building in Punjab.  Philippa also deployed to Afghanistan as part of the UK’s support to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand 2009-10.”

Pre-Fletcher Experience
As one member of the small group of “mid-career” MA students, I had already been working internationally prior to Fletcher.  After ten years working in London as a UK civil servant, I was heading the Counter Narcotics Team in the multinational Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand.  Two weeks later, I found myself at Fletcher Orientation in Medford.  It was a bit of a culture shock.

I had heard about the MA program from a work friend who was based in Khandahar, working with the U.S. military.  I mentioned my interest in going back to school to study international relations.  He said, “You’ve got to go to Fletcher.”  I had anticipated studying in the UK but had a look.  I was really impressed with the courses available, the professors (How many superstar academics is it possible to have in one school?), and the international mix of the student body.  I was further impressed when I met a current Fletcher student visiting Lashkar Gah on his summer internship — everything you hear about the Fletcher community is true!

At Fletcher
On arriving, I sat in the auditorium at Fletcher, with hundreds of other students, and felt a sense of awe.  It was even more international than I had expected.  It was hard to whittle down the list of courses I wanted to take, and I had only one year at Fletcher to complete everything.  I tried to cover a mixture, combining Professor Nasr’s Comparative Politics, Professor Maxwell’s Humanitarian Action, Professor Shultz’s Role of Force, Professor Block’s Agricultural Economics, and Professor Scharbatke-Church’s Design Monitoring and Evaluation, which absolutely changed my perspective on how we can deliver better results in the field.  Even now, I feel some regret about the classes I didn’t manage to squeeze in — Professor Mazurana’s Gender and Conflict and Professor Drezner’s Classics of International Relations.

It was intense.  I found myself working just as hard as I had in Afghanistan, but it was endlessly fascinating.  There was just so much going on that I found it really important to be selective in deciding what to take on: I really enjoyed the Security Studies Program lunches, with their fascinating speakers; SIMULEX was a lot of fun; the ski trip was FREEZING but great.  And the chance to cross-register for a couple of Harvard courses gave me a chance to widen my circle even further.

Post-Fletcher

After leaving Fletcher, I came back to the UK and left the civil service, deciding to make the leap into consultancy that I’d been considering for a few years.  Since then, I have spent almost all my time overseas: first in Pakistan working on criminal justice reform; and then in Somalia, working on counter-terrorism and stabilization.  I am currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex, as well as consulting on international security issues.  I have also continued to enjoy the Fletcher family, catching up with a Fletcher crowd for dinners when transiting Nairobi, and now reconnecting with classmates back in London.  I look back on my time in Medford as a bit of a whirlwind: intense, challenging, and a period of real growth.  And I use the skills and knowledge I gained from Fletcher every single day.

In Baidoa, Somalia as British Embassy Stabilization Advisor, arriving with a delegation at the AMISOM headquarters during a visit to assess Quick Impact Projects in April 2015. (AMISOM Photo / Abdikarim Mohamed)

Tagged with:
 

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.

Tagged with:
 

Spam prevention powered by Akismet