Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

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The Fletcher School
of Law and Diplomacy
Fletcher Law logo.png
Type Private
Established 1933
Parent institution
Tufts University
Dean James G. Stavridis
Academic staff
Students 700
Location Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.
Colors Black and Orange[2]
Affiliations APSIA
Website fletcher.tufts.edu

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (also referred to as The Fletcher School) is the oldest school in the United States dedicated solely to graduate studies in international affairs. Fletcher is regarded as one of the world's foremost graduate schools of international relations.[3] The school’s alumni include hundreds of sitting ambassadors; award-winning journalists and authors; leaders of international peacekeeping, humanitarian and security initiatives; heads of global nonprofit organizations; and executive leadership of some of the world’s largest for-profit companies.


Goddard Hall, 1939

The Fletcher School was founded in 1933 with the bequest of Austin Barclay Fletcher, who left over $3 million to Tufts University upon his death in 1923. A third of these funds were dedicated to a school of law and diplomacy. Fletcher did not have in mind a school "of the usual kind, which prepares men for admission to the bar and for the active practice of law." Instead, Fletcher envisioned "a school to prepare men for the diplomatic service and to teach such matters as come within the scope of foreign relations [which] embraces within it as a fundamental and thorough knowledge of the principles of international law upon which diplomacy is founded, although the profession of a diplomat carries with it also a knowledge of many things of a geographic and economic nature which affect relations between nations."[4]

Old logo of the school. The logo displays a scale with laurel leaves outweighing a sword, with an open book at the base. In the background there is a world globe. Below it there is an inscription in Latin: "Nationi Civitati Humanitatis".

The school opened in 1933 as a collaborative project between Harvard University and Tufts University. The Fletcher School is now administrated exclusively by Tufts University, but maintains close ties with Harvard. Fletcher students can register for graduate classes at MIT and Harvard, and conversely, Harvard and MIT cross register at Fletcher. In addition, the Fletcher School has strong relationships, including joint degree programs, with several other universities around the metro Boston area and throughout the world.

The Fletcher School and Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) are the only non-law schools in the US that compete in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.


The school’s dean is Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy (retired), former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and former head of the U.S. European Command. Admiral Stavridis received a MALD degree and a PhD from The Fletcher School in 1983 and 1984, respectively. He became the 12th dean of the school on July 1, 2013.[5]

On its campus in Medford, Massachusetts, The Fletcher School offers multi-disciplinary instruction in international affairs through four masters programs and a Ph.D. program. Regardless of the degree program in which they are enrolled, students have the opportunity to select from among more than 170 courses across three divisions: International Law and Organization (ILO); Diplomacy, History and Politics (DHP); and Economics and International Business (EIB).[6]

The school also offers an executive degree for mid-career professionals through its Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP). The year-long program combines three 2-week residencies with rigorous academic instruction covering topics such as negotiation, trade, economics and politics from a global perspective.[7]

The Fletcher School employs more than 30 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty as well as a variety of adjunct and visiting professors, and benefits from faculty at partner schools within Tufts, including the Friedman School of Nutrition. The full-time Fletcher faculty includes economists, international law theorists, historians, and political scientists who hold the academic ranks of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and lecturer. All faculty members hold terminal degrees in their respective fields (Ph.Ds in the case of historians, political scientists, and economists; and JDs and LLMs in the case of lawyers). In 2013, the faculty to student ratio in Medford is 1:8.6.[8]

The Fletcher School is home to many specialty programs, institutes, and research centers that contribute scholarly research and publications, organize conferences, and invite speakers to campus. The school hosts more than 200 speakers each year, ranging from heads of state to young emerging leaders at the intersection of digital communications technologies and international affairs. Their foci range the spectrum from human rights and conflict resolution, to international business, to security studies, to development, to environmental policy, to media and communications, to technology.

Fletcher students come from nearly 70 different countries, and more than forty percent of the student body is from outside of the U.S. Immersed in scholarship across 20 different fields of study, their backgrounds, interests and disciplines are as varied as their geographies, contributing to Fletcher’s vibrant classroom and campus community.

Cabot Intercultural Center, 2010
Mugar Hall, 2009
Goddard Hall, 2010

Programs, institutes and research centers[edit]

  • The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) conducts scholarly and policy-relevant research on pressing environmental issues through the interdisciplinary lenses of science, policy, sociology, technology, business and the economy.
  • The Edward R. Murrow Center of Public Diplomacy was established in memory of the journalist and former head of the United States Information Agency . The center is home to Edward R. Murrow’s personal library and papers, including more than 2,000 documents, a number of awards, and certificates.
  • The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies organizes public lectures, conferences and roundtables to create a greater understanding of the region and its challenges. The center hosts a high-profile annual lecture series that has twice hosted former U.S. President Bill Clinton as its speaker.[9]
  • The Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs focuses on the management of innovation and technological change and the advancement of economic and financial integration. The center sponsors a lecture series and conducts research and teaching on topics related to technology, economic integration and their role in international relations.
  • The Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC) conducts research and organizes interdisciplinary conferences on contemporary issues in international business. The institute offers a Master of International Business (MIB) degree and conducts scholarly research through its Council on Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME). Major research studies include the Sovereign Wealth Fund Initiative[10] and an international series of studies on the “cost of cash” around the world.[11]
  • The Institute for Human Security promotes research and education at the intersection between humanitarianism, development, human rights and conflict resolution. The institute also runs the Program on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, which supports an interdisciplinary approach to peace-building and coordinates the student-run journal PRAXIS.
  • The International Security Studies Program (ISSP) is a distinct field of study within the multidisciplinary curriculum of The Fletcher School. In addition to graduate-level courses and seminars, the ISSP sponsors “outside the classroom” educational activities, including simulation exercises, a lecture series, field trips and publications. The ISSP also co-hosts an annual conference with the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis [12]
  • The Maritime Studies Program views the ocean as an important sphere for international affairs, including as it relates to matters of international security, business, law and other disciplines. The program also runs annual voyages in connection with The Neptunes, a group of Fletcher students and alumni.
  • The Program in Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization concentrates on the region's cultural and institutional history as well as its contemporary developments. The program offers a variety of courses and coordinates the student-run online journal al Nakhlah.
  • The World Peace Foundation, provides intellectual leadership on issues of peace, justice and security, and provides financial support only for projects that it has initiated itself. Among its thematic concerns are how mass atrocities end, Sudan and the Horn of Africa, memorialization and human rights, and reinventing peace for the 21st century.

Affiliated programs and initiatives at Tufts University[edit]

  • The Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies[13]
  • The Global Development and Environmental Institute[14]
  • Refugees and Forced Migration Program[15]



  • The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs a student-managed foreign policy journal, founded in 1975 and published biannually.[16] Original web content and print archive also available online.
  • Fletcher Security Review online and print journal focused on security studies


Noteworthy faculty[edit]


  • Halford Lancaster Hoskins (Acting Dean 1933–1934, Dean 1934–1944)
  • Ruhl Jaconb Bartlett (Acting Dean 1944–1945)
  • Robert Burgess Stewart (Dean 1945–1964)
  • Edmund Asbury Gullion (Dean 1964–1978)
  • John P. Roche (Acting Dean 1978–1979, Dean ad interim 1985–1986)
  • Ambassador Theodore Lyman Eliot, Jr. (Dean 1979–1985)
  • Jeswald Salacuse (Dean 1986–1994)
  • Richard B. Mancke (Dean ad interim 1994–1995)
  • General John Galvin (Dean 1995–2000)[18]
  • Joel P. Trachtman (Dean ad interim, 2000–2001)
  • Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth (2001–2013)
  • Admiral James G. Stavridis (2013–present)[19]

Section reference[20]

Prominent alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Find Fletcher People | Tufts Fletcher School". Fletcher.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  2. ^ "Fonts and Palette | Tufts Fletcher School". Fletcher.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  3. ^ "The Best International Relations Master's Programs". http://foreignpolicy.com/. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2015-06-23.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ Russell E. Miller, Light on the Hill: A History of Tufts College 1852–1952 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), 571.
  5. ^ "NATO Commander Admiral James Stavridis Named Next Fletcher Dean". Medford, MA: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. May 6, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived June 17, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Anderson, Linda (June 11, 2001). "Programme with an international flavour: Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy: With students from 21 countries, GMAP aims to 'plug a gap that the MBA does not fill". Financial Times. p. 14. 
  8. ^ [2] Archived October 23, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "President Bill Clinton to Deliver Tufts University's Fares Lecture | Tufts Now". Now.tufts.edu. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  10. ^ Waki, Natsuko (2012-02-16). "A scar on Bahrain’s financial marketplace". Blogs.reuters.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  11. ^ Herb Weisbaum (2013-10-11). "Cash costs Americans $200 billion a year". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  12. ^ "40th IFPA-Fletcher Conference". Ifpafletcherconference.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  13. ^ Ase.tufts.edu
  14. ^ Ase.tufts.edu
  15. ^ Nutrition.tufts.edu
  16. ^ http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/TitleSummary?index=journals/forwa&collection=journals
  17. ^ "Secretary General Appoints Aucoin". 
  18. ^ Aogusma.org
  19. ^ [3] Archived July 23, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ [4] Archived October 23, 2013 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°24′28″N 71°07′18″W / 42.407662°N 71.12169°W / 42.407662; -71.12169