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Remember how I told you that I’m often joined over breakfast by members of the Fletcher community? (Or their voices, anyway.) Well, I thought I’d also pass along this link to a BBC broadcast that I heard when I was, sadly, suffering from insomnia. I hasten to make clear that Professor Daniel Drezner and his talk of zombies didn’t prevent me from sleeping. Not at all! But once I was awake, I turned to the radio for a little middle-of-the-night company, and there he was.
While the rest of us enjoy a long weekend in the local area, a group of students, faculty, and staff are in Reykjavik, Iceland for the annual Arctic Circle Assembly. Professor Rockford Weitz, who heads the Fletcher’s Maritime Studies Program describes the Assembly as “the world’s largest gathering of Arctic-oriented policy makers, business people, and other stakeholders.”
This is the second year that Fletcher has participated, and our students, professors, staff members, and alumni represent the largest non-Icelandic academic delegation at the Assembly.
Here are the details, courtesy of Professor Weitz’s email in which he invited students to apply to participate:
The opening Arctic presents a myriad of interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities that demonstrate the unique value of a Fletcher education. No other graduate school could prepare you to understand the truly interdisciplinary nature of the geopolitical, diplomatic, scientific, environmental, sustainable development, national security, international law, macroeconomic, global trade, technology, shipping, energy, migration, human security, and international business implications of an opening Arctic. Here’s the Arctic Circle Assembly’s program.
The Fletcher-organized panels are:
♦ Rethinking Shared Interests in Arctic Oil and Gas: Can We Actually Manage More Effectively?, Professor Bill Moomaw
♦ Reimagining the Arctic as the World’s Data Center, Fletcher Institute for Business In the Global Context Research Fellow Caroline Troein, F14
♦ BlueTech Innovation for a Sustainable Arctic, Fletcher Maritime Studies Program
♦ Status of Earth Observations in the Arctic, Professor Paul Berkman
♦ Arctic High Seas: Building Common Interests in the Arctic Ocean, Professor Paul Berkman
As you can see, Fletcher has deep expertise in Arctic topics. In addition to Fletcher’s contributions at the Arctic Circle Assembly, Fletcher students will be organizing — for the sixth year in a row — the Fletcher Arctic Conference on Saturday, February 18, 2017. It’s always a great event and conveniently located right here in Medford. Please mark your calendars!
I meant to publish this post yesterday (Thursday), but my reward for procrastinating is a photo of the Fletcher delegation, courtesy of second-year MALD Angga.
Tagged with: Maritime Studies
It has taken me a while to get to it, but I promised to share details on the questions I was answering at last week’s Idealist Grad School Fair in Washington, DC. As it happens, not too many discrete themes jumped out at me, but I did answer a lot of questions about studying environment issues at Fletcher. Quite a few times, I took my business card and scribbled CIERP on the back, before passing the card along with instructions to Google it.
Fletcher has had an international environment program for as long as I can remember and the program has become stronger by the year. The faculty and staff are regularly getting out there and making important contributions to environment discussions on the international stage. I encourage everyone to check the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy website for details on recent scholarly works and upcoming special events.
Meanwhile, a recent Tufts Now update provided the following news on CIERP faculty and staff members:
Kelly Sims Gallagher, F00, F03, an associate professor at the Fletcher School, and her team have won a Minerva Award for their study “Rising Power Alliances and the Threat of a Parallel Global Order: Understanding BRICS Mobilization.” The three-year project will develop a multidisciplinary framework to address the changing definitions and compositions of global alliances and coalitions. The Minerva Initiative is a Department of Defense-sponsored, university-based social science research initiative focusing on areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy.
William R. Moomaw, co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) and professor emeritus of international environmental policy at the Fletcher School, was lauded for his trailblazing research in global climate change and his influential teaching career at an event at Tufts on Sept. 12. The event also highlighted the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP), which Moomaw founded in 1992 to advance international environment and resource policy as a field of study at Fletcher. The celebration concluded with a presentation by Avery Cohn, the inaugural recipient of the William R. Moomaw Professorship of International Environment and Resource Policy, about his research examining how policies can promote sustainable global land use and the natural resiliency of tropical forests.
Mieke van der Wansem, F90, associate director of educational programs at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) at the Fletcher School, led a one-day training workshop on “Reaching Sustainable Solutions Through Effective Negotiation” in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Sustainability Challenge Foundation at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Oahu, Hawaii. The goal was to help conservation professionals achieve nature conservation goals through effective stakeholder engagement and negotiation with other sectors and neighboring communities.
Tagged with: CIERP
You might have heard that there’s a U.S. presidential election coming up in November. And also that the first of the debates will take place tonight, Monday. To help you with your day-after processing of the evening’s discussions, join Fletcher’s Professor Daniel Drezner for post-debate analysis. You can find him on Twitter tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m. EDT (UTC -4). Use #FletcherChat to send your questions.
Should you be interested in some background reading, you can check out Professor Drezner’s views on many topics, including but not limited to politics and international affairs, on his Washington Post blog.
In the final Faculty Spotlight post for this academic year, the subject is Julia Stewart-David, who spent this past year at Fletcher as a visiting fellow.
I am about the twelfth visiting European Union (EU) Fellow at The Fletcher School (records are a bit patchy) but we can thank Professor Alan Henrikson for having reached out to set up the EU Fellowship at Fletcher somewhere back toward the end of the last century. So what is a visiting EU Fellow? Well, there are around ten of us each year, mid- or senior-level career officials in European Union institutions, who are given the opportunity to have a sabbatical year in a select few universities worldwide. While we are visiting fellows, we have a dual mandate of pursuing research and of educating about the European Union and its policies through outreach and teaching. We each bring a different area of practitioner expertise.
The Fletcher School was my first choice destination, mainly because professionally I knew of its strong interest in human security issues, through the influential research work of the Feinstein Center. My “usual” job is a policy role in the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, co-managing a team working on evidence and disaster risk management. I’ve been in the humanitarian sector for over a decade now, working closely with the UN and international NGOs on quality of aid. But being in a sector whose business is crisis leaves little time for deeper reflection on the world and the interlinked complexities of power, politics, poverty, and human potential. One of the dilemmas of disaster risk management is how to get better investment over the long-term to help communities prevent or better cope with crises, when the immediate humanitarian response is so constantly overwhelmed by the need to respond to the emergencies of the present. Most of these are prolonged conflict-related “complex emergencies.”
So imagine my sense of opportunity at having an academic year where my professional life is focused upon thinking, reading, and contributing to a longer-term process of reflection on change in the humanitarian sector. While at Fletcher, I have been researching how humanitarian organizations learn. This is a time when the sector has undergone much soul-searching ahead of the recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. Failure takes its toll in lives; which leads perversely to risk-aversion in organizations trying to provide assistance, when bold action, or maybe even a radical new approach, could be what’s needed.
I have found life here at Fletcher a wonderful privilege. There is a strong sense of community and a core of thoughtful people who care about the world and how they can best contribute to it. The most remarkable learning resource is the diversity of student experience and interest. As to the professional experience I have been able to share, it has covered a wide range of topics: from strategies to address violent extremism, to the forthcoming UK referendum on the European Union; from humanitarian financing and use of evidence and evaluation, to tips on combining motherhood and management in an international organization that has still not reached gender parity. I have also enjoyed explaining my passion for “participatory leadership” practice in policy-making, or put another way: bringing diverse people together to co-generate future action based on collective wisdom. In my mind, international and community leadership to address the challenges of our times requires multi-disciplinary reflection, adaptability and an ability to host difficult conversations on questions that really matter to society. I see these qualities in abundance at Fletcher. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if traditional educational approaches and curricula would value and develop those kinds of skills at all levels from a young age?
My family and I will be taking many happy memories from Boston back with us to Brussels when we head home this summer. I also have a head full of ideas of things we should try to do better in the humanitarian sphere.
Tagged with: Faculty Spotlight
Students aren’t the only members of the community who close out a chapter of their lives at Commencement. In some years, graduation day also marks the start of a professor’s new less-than-daily relationship with Fletcher.
Following this 2015-2016 academic year, Alan K. Henrikson, the Lee E. Dirks Professor of Diplomatic History, and Fletcher’s Director of Diplomatic Studies, will conclude his 44-year teaching career at Fletcher and move on to whatever comes next. Professor Henrikson has taught U.S. foreign policy to international and U.S. students alike, acquiring a very loyal and devoted following among current students and alumni.
I would describe Professor Henrikson as singularly dedicated to the art of teaching. I aim to make a distinction here between simply being a great teacher (there are many of them at Fletcher) and putting teaching at the center of everything. It is in that devotion to the classroom that Professor Henrikson is the leader among his peers.
At the end of the fall semester, the last one in which he would teach DHP D200: Diplomacy: History, Theory, and Practice, Professor Henrikson shared two things with his colleagues on the faculty. The first was the text of his final exam for the class, and the second was a photo. He noted:
As you will see, if you have a chance to look through the examination paper, Diplomacy 200, which I think of as the cornerstone of diplomatic studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, “covers” nearly all of the subjects we teach at the School — and, I believe, in an integrating and integrated way. The students draw from other fields in which they are working, as well as from their own national-cultural and personal experiences. And, I hope, they bring a diplomatic (and diplomatic-historical) understanding back to their intellectual and other activities in those fields, now and in their future professional careers and lives.
Several members of the faculty responded to Professor Henrikson’s email and I would like to share a few of the responses. (Note that several current professors were once Fletcher students.)
Professor Diana Chigas, F88: As an alum of D200, I can say that it was an influential course in my Fletcher education, both because of its integrated and historical perspective, and because of the infectious nature of your obvious love for diplomatic history and your commitment to your students.
Professor Ian Johnstone: I saw some of your past exams and was always impressed by the depth and scope, as well as by the way you integrate history and current events. You outdid yourself this time! That course is a foundation for so much of what we do at the School. It is hard to imagine you won’t be teaching it again.
Professor Sulmaan Khan: I agree with Ian, Alan. It’s hard to imagine Fletcher and our broader curriculum without your teaching.
Professor Antonia Chayes: Reading your complex and erudite exam, I can only regret that I never had the chance to take your course. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti: I will write an essay response to one of your prompts (too tempting to let them go) and will struggle with knotting my bow tie over the holidays in honor of the passing of an era.
Kathleen Ryan, F87, director of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations: Also as an alum of D200, I love seeing this — both the bow ties and the test. Really glad I took the test when I did! You cannot know how much you mean to so many former students. A legend. So thrilled that you will be giving the Friday night lecture to kick off the reunion in May. Sure to be wonderful!
Professor Leila Fawaz: A lovely tribute for a cherished teacher. I am very glad you shared the wonderful photo with us. We appreciate all you had done for us all at the School and the University.
Professor Elizabeth Prodromou, F83: Thank you for sharing this message and photo, both of which speak to the intellectual excitement, graciousness, and civility, which are your continuing legacy to generations Fletcher students (including many of us among them!).
In a note to me, Professor Prodromou further wrote: “He leaves an extraordinary legacy at Fletcher — his was an approach to teaching, learning, and scholarship that is rooted in a classic understanding of education as a experience in becoming a fuller, enlightened, inquisitive, and alive human being.”
And now the photo from his final D200 class, which will explain all the above references to bow ties, an Alan Henrikson trademark look.
Professor Henrikson will address the community, including this year’s graduates and alumni visiting for their reunion, tomorrow afternoon, on the topic of “Fletcher: A Great Place to Teach.” I will miss running into Alan Henrikson in the hallways and I wish him the very best. But I’ll give the final word to Frances Burke, one of Professor Henrikson’s students this year. When I asked her for her thoughts, Frances wrote:
Whether sitting in Professor Henrikson’s “Diplomacy” class or his U.S. Foreign Relations classes, every moment was a treasure. His depth of knowledge was, of course, daunting, as each comment on a historical period cascaded into the details of a particular statesman, or comments on esoteric cartography, or asides regarding a special envoy, or opinions on a crucial summit. Most of us left lectures awestruck by our own ignorance. Professor Henrikson’s deep, deep knowledge of American history and foreign policy was illuminated by his obvious adoration for his subjects. During one class, when describing reportage emerging from the Spanish Civil War, he paused to sing a song of the resistance, concluded by a sweet smile and trademark laugh. You could see how much he loved his calling. His departure rips a great hole in the grand tapestry of Fletcher teaching, as he so vibrantly twined the threads of history, diplomacy, and foreign relations in a way only a truly gifted teacher can do.
Even as 2016 graduates are submitting their Capstone Projects, some of 2017’s grads have already selected a topic for theirs. Professor Amar Bhidé recently informed the community that he is compiling a “‘library’ of case studies on successful medical innovations,” as part of a study of medical advances. He invited students to work on a case study, individually or as part of a team, for a Capstone. The list of innovations from which they can select includes such topics as:
Bone marrow transplant
H. Pylori testing and treatment
Hip and knee replacement
HIV testing and treatment
Inhaled steroids for asthma
MRI and CT scanning
NSAIDs and Cox-2 inhibitors
Ultrasonography including echocardiography
These aren’t the typical Fletcher topics, but for the right students, they could be the start of a very interesting Capstone.
Tagged with: Capstone
I love hearing from alumni, and not only when they send me news for the blog. But if they happen to send something newsworthy, well, I’m certainly going to seize the opportunity to share.
On Monday, I was pleasantly surprised by an email from Atanas, a 2015 grad. He recently started in a new position at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, working on climate resilience. I’ll let him continue the story:
Last week I was lucky to be working at the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General on the organization of the Paris agreement signature ceremony, and on Friday, I witnessed first-hand this historic moment. I met a few presidents, including Colombia’s President and Fletcher grad Juan Manuel Santos, and had a brief chat with Leo DiCaprio who is UN Messenger of Peace and delivered a speech during the ceremony. It was certainly a day to remember.
But one of the most powerful experiences I had was listening to a Fletcher alumna who spoke on a panel in the afternoon of the same day — Rachel Kyte, who is the CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) and Special Representative of the Secretary General. She talked only for five minutes but completely captivated the audience and, according to everyone working in this area, hers was one of the best speeches given in a long time.
I’ll plug in a few details about Rachel Kyte. She’s a 2002 graduate of the GMAP program and, also, currently a Fletcher professor of practice of sustainable development, associated with the Center for International Environment and Research Policy.
The forum at which Atanas heard her speak was “Taking Climate Action to the Next Level: Realizing the Vision of the Paris Agreement.” Click the photo below to hear her comments following a question at about 1:47:00.
For the last few years, Dean Stavridis has written a blog and he occasionally includes video interviews with members of the community. I figure the interviews could be interesting for prospective students, and I’d like to simplify your search, if you’d like to watch them. Here are all of the video interviews that the Dean conducted with Fletcher professors, plus a few extras.
Alex de Waal:
And here are a few “bonus tracks”:
Banafsheh Keynoush, Fletcher alumna:
President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves:
Mohamed ElBaradei, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency:
Dina Dara Miren, a current MALD student:
Patrick Meier, Fletcher alumnus:
Tagged with: Dean Stavridis
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