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Today I’m happy to turn back to the Faculty Spotlight feature. Professor Robert Pfaltzgraff is the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School and President of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, a research organization based in Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC. Professor Pfaltzgraff currently teaches International Relations: Theory and Practice and Crisis Management and Complex Emergencies. He also teaches the Security Studies course for Fletcher’s Global Master of Arts Program.
Because Fletcher encompasses the world of the theorist and the policymaker, the scholar and the practitioner, it is an ideal setting to bring the academic into sharper focus with the policy community and vice versa. This is what has always shaped both my teaching at The Fletcher School and my work directly with the policy community as President of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. We learn from the insights, wisdom, and experience of others and from our own successes and failures — from observing and from doing. Both Fletcher and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis have given me great and unique opportunities in both communities to share with students and others.
At Fletcher my teaching spans the Political Systems and Theories and International Security Studies fields. My International Relations Theory course challenges students not only to understand the theories themselves but also to relate them to the world of today. Through the lens of theory we may gain perspectives or ways of understanding, analyzing, and simply thinking about the policy issues and choices of the day, related to fundamentally important topics such as international conflict and cooperation, as well as war and peace.
My teaching in the International Securities Studies field is also designed to bridge theory and practice. My Crisis Management seminar addresses such topics as the twenty-first-century crisis map contrasted with previous eras, including the Cold War, as well as the role of military force and diplomacy, to mention only several of the major topics that we study. There is an extensive literature about crisis escalation, decision-making, strategizing, and lessons learned from past crises that we survey. In addition to team presentations, we conduct an annual weekend crisis simulation that brings together up to 200 outside participants and other members of the Fletcher community. This provides a great opportunity to test and fine-tune what we have (or should have) learned in class about how to manage international crises. Here we have an opportunity to learn on the job, so to speak — to develop skills and ways of thinking that could be useful to the future crisis decision-makers that many of our students will become. In this and other International Securities Studies activities, we draw heavily on practitioners and others from the military and policy communities both from outside Fletcher and our students, who, I should add, bring a rich set of experiences and backgrounds and therefore learn from each other.
There has also been a two-way street, a synergistic relationship, between my work at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis and my Fletcher teaching experience. Our many Institute conferences, seminars, and workshops, together with research on such topics as escalation, proliferation, military force structures, strategy, alliance relationships, technological innovation and military affairs, and regional security issues from NATO-Europe to the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific area have given me a wealth of information, insights, and greater understanding to share with my classes and others in the academic and policy communities. By the same token, I have always learned much from my students, many of whom have achieved positions of senior political and military leadership in the United States and abroad.
My bottom line is that I know of no better educational setting than Fletcher in which to bring together the worlds of theory and practice — to learn how to think and to act, understanding of course that creative thought is the necessary prerequisite to successful action in and among all of the fields of our multidisciplinary curriculum.
EIB (Economics and International Business):
DHP (Diplomacy, History, and Politics):
ILO (International Law and Organizations):
Tagged with: Faculty Spotlight
A bleary-eyed community filled Fletcher yesterday, having followed U.S. election news late into the night. And speaking of news, today I’ll share some items that you may have missed on other Fletcher sources.
First, for those who still want to read about politics, Fletcher alumnus and one-time presidential candidate Bill Richardson, F71, offered thoughts pre-election for what should happen post-election.
Among more recent alumni, Erik Iverson, F09, F13, has been selected as one of 16 White House Fellows this year. Erik was a friend of Admissions during his years here, and I’ve enjoyed keeping in touch now-and-then since his graduation.
And, in one of those typically atypical post-Fletcher careers, Marina Pevzner Hennessy, F06, was recently the subject of a Tufts Now story about Plan Bee, her venture to bring bees to Myanmar.
Though he’s not quite an alumnus, Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. President Santos spent a year at Fletcher as a research fellow in the early 1980s.
A new Fletcher scholarship has recently been endowed in the name of Harry Radcliffe, F73, an award-winning journalist with vast experience.
In faculty news, Diana Chigas, F88, has been named the University’s Associate Provost and Senior International Officer. She will be responsible for engaging leaders across the schools to enhance Tufts’ outreach, impact and visibility internationally.
Retired professor William Moomaw, who maintains his connection with Tufts as co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), recorded “How Restorative Development Can Address Climate Change” with WGBH, one of our local public radio and television stations. In the interview, he discussed industrial agriculture, synthetic fertilizers and more natural approaches to farming that will revive the health of soil, water and air.
And here are two stories that interested me, and might interest you, though the link is to Tufts University more generally, not to Fletcher.
First, a statue of famed American abolitionist, John Brown, was discovered hidden at Tufts. Beyond those basic facts is a tale of museum sleuth work and the historical connections between Tufts, its neighbors, and the Underground Railroad.
And second, the story of the creation of the Daily Skimm, by an alumna of the undergraduate program at Tufts.
Last of all, I’ll leave you with the recently-launched video introducing Fletcher to new audiences. On a personal note, I’ll add only that Kaddu Sebunya, F02, was once a student member of the Admissions Committee. And that’s what’s best about my job. I get so much from interacting with folks during this brief pause in their careers. Then off they go to do great things in whatever area they choose.
Interested in the areas of expertise of our law faculty? You will want to check out this video of Professor Jeswald Salacuse talking about international arbitration. The video was made by a lawyer from Armenia who is promoting alternative dispute resolution in his country.
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.
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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.
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