Master’s Students and Alumni

Current Students

The below profiles reflect current students’ interests in and experiences of gender analysis at The Fletcher School. Students span degree programs, fields of study, and disciplines, and all have incorporated gender analysis into academic coursework, research, summer internships, and professional paths.



These alumni all pursued gender and intersectional analysis in their studies, research, or professional paths. Prior to 2015, when the initial Gender Analysis in International Studies field was officially created, students either self-designed a field of study with a focus on gender or incorporated gender perspectives into other fields of study.


Why is gender analysis important to you?

Gender analysis defines everything I do, both academically and professionally. I discovered feminist theory when I was starting my undergraduate degree, and since then it has been a fundamental part of who I am. Gender analysis is the lens through which I see the world; it has strengthened my understanding of power structures and empowers me to resist those structures every day.

Is there a book you’d recommend to someone who is interested in gender analysis, but has yet to dive into the field?

Two of my favorite books that provide a good entry into feminist theory and gender analysis are Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed and The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy. Both are easily accessible and not too dense, but touch on an array of issues and provide a grounding point for anyone looking to start reading feminist work and utilizing a gender analysis in their work.

Why did you decide to come to Fletcher?

I’m a creative and collaborative person, which aligns well with the learning style at Fletcher. Fletcher is also a place where I have the freedom and flexibility to explore my diverse intellectual interests, from tracking how Twitter bots are influencing public opinion to assessing Saudi Arabia’s PR campaign promoting women in sports.

Why is gender analysis important to you?

Gender analysis has taught me to recognize the way intersections of gender, race, and class shape every institution in society. It has taught me to think critically about how behaviors and patterns that appear normal or natural on the surface are often underpinned by power dynamics.

Why is gender analysis important to you?

I started working on gender analysis in 2016 while working in the Colombian Congress under Former Senator Claudia López. I got the possibility of working closely together with grassroots organizations and women’s rights advocacy groups to bring back gender rights to the agenda. I learned that I wanted to dedicate my life and public service to achieving gender equality with this job. I started reading, going to lectures, having hard conversations with gender experts, but most importantly, noticing all the inequalities that, as a woman, I had to face in a patriarchal world. In 2017 with a group of friends, we founded SietePolas (, a feminist organization and blog that would start a journey to activism for women’s rights online and infield. Gender analysis became something further than an activity. It became a way of living and questioning every decision I choose in life.

Why did you decide to come to Fletcher?

Fletcher’s flexibility to focus on various thematic issues within international development and I was particularly excited that gender analysis was a field of study I could take on at Fletcher.

Why is gender analysis important to you?

In my home country, gender inequality is very visible yet very invisible when it comes to challenging norms and practices that kept the patriarchy alive. Gender inequality is embedded in so many cultures and lifestyles that we fail to question why things are the way they are. I am grateful for my education and mentorship that has allowed me to incorporate gender as a way of analyzing what is and what is not happening in the world. As someone who wants to work in international development, I think gender analysis is crucial to create effective policies, programs, and projects that will genuinely challenge gender inequality and consider its role in development efforts. 


Tania Smith, F20

Country of origin: Haiti, United States

Interest in gender analysis: I truly enjoyed being in the Gender Analysis in International Studies field at Fletcher. The courses offered through the program has put gender at the forefront of thinking about effective decision making, program implementation, conflict resolution, and other disciplines where it is often an after-thought. Studying gender at Fletcher has forced me to think critically about what bodies, voices, and opinions are being left out of critical conversations about policy and how to better include them. As the fields of academia, international affairs, and others continue to grapple with questions on how to implement gender programming that ensures the impactful participation of men, women, sexual minorities, people of color, and other marginalized groups; I will be professionally equipped to help offer solutions to these issues upon my completion of the Gender program at Fletcher.

Emily Santos, F20

Country of origin: United States

Interest in gender analysis: I developed a particular interest in gender as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in Rwanda. Rwanda is a fascinating case study for gender analysis. It has the highest percentage of women in parliament in the world. They have made huge strides to implement policies that empower women, in property ownership, inheritance, health, and more. As a PCV, working on the ground, I heard people support the rhetoric and ideas of gender equality, but often, the concepts did not translate to action. I became passionate about working on these issues and, when coming to graduate school after Peace Corps, realized I wanted to continue learning about and expand my understanding of gender. The Fletcher School has not only taught me how to conduct a thorough gender analysis and the theory behind it, but it has given me opportunities to put this knowledge into practice. First, during a summer internship which I gained through a Fletcher connection, I helped create an organizational gender strategy for an NGO that focuses on countering violent extremism in Kenya. This internship gave me hands on experience thinking through and tackling some really challenging gender issues. Second, one of the highlights of my graduate school career has been working on the annual Conference on Gender and International Affairs. Through this conference, I have learned to mobilize support for gender issues, network with those who also care about this topic, and translate gender analyses to other fields of study. I will leave Fletcher with the tools to bring a gender lens into whatever comes next!

Kelsey Wise, F20

Country of origin: United States

Interest in gender analysis: My interest in gender analysis has been present for a very long time. I see the academic and professional use of a gender lens as a natural progression from growing up as an ardent feminist who believed dissent was the highest form of patriotism. I chose Fletcher because I think that it is a leader in the intersectional field of gender and international affairs–in the gender analysis concentration, extracurricular opportunities, and the community itself. Fletcher has truly enabled me to explore the field of gender analysis, pushed me to strengthen my critical thinking and analytical skills, and all in all has set me up to be a better feminist practitioner. For my capstone, I am conducting a gender analysis of the Saudi-led Coalition strategy in Yemen.

One of the best experiences I’ve had so far at Fletcher has been working on the annual Conference on Gender and International Affairs. It’s been incredibly gratifying to uphold Fletcher’s tradition of advocating for the integration of gender into the field of international relations. This summer, I interned at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia’s Centre for Women, in Beirut. A Fletcher gender analysis alumna helped connect me to the Centre. This internship gave me the opportunity to put my gender analysis skills to the test; I assisted with policy briefs and studies for member states on a wide variety of topics on gender in the Arab region. I look forward to continue learning and growing at Fletcher, and to what I hope will be a meaningful career in gender analysis.


Komal Thakkar, F19

Country of origin: United States

Current role: Fellow, Charlie Goldsmith Associates

Interest in gender analysis:  I’ve been interested in the barriers that women and girls’ face in accessing education for as long as I can remember. As I learned more about education issues from a gender lens, I began to develop an interest in the role of gender in a wide range of other issues.

Favorite academic moment of gender at Fletcher:  Professor Theidon’s Gender Theory and Praxis course in the fall helped me develop the ability to analyze every issue from a gender lens. It genuinely changed the way I view the world, how I understand power, and the questions I ask in my daily life.

Favorite gender-related event at Fletcher: I was on the organizing team for Fletcher’s Conference on Gender in International Affairs in 2018. This was my favorite gender-related event and one of my proudest accomplishments at Fletcher. I learned about the role of gender in a variety of issues including environmental justice, international law, and the global economy.

Gender analysis in my current job: I work at a development consulting organization providing project support on education sector projects in Malawi. I am currently working on a girls’ education program which specifically supports girls who have dropped out of school or who have never attended. The program also supports marginalized boys in the community. Fletcher equipped me with the gender analysis skills to be able to assess and understand all of the different, layered gender issues that can prevent girls and boys from accessing education.