The Lee E. Dirks Professorship

The Lee E. Dirks Professorship in Diplomatic History at The Fletcher School has been created through the generosity of Lee E. Dirks, a 1957 Fletcher graduate. Mr. Dirks is the chairman of Dirks, Van Essen & Murray (DV&M) which was founded in 1980 and is the leading merger and acquisition firm in the United States newspaper industry. In addition, DV&M offers comprehensive operational and financial consulting services to newspaper companies. Mr. Dirks began his journalism career as a reporter and editor for the National Observer after graduating from Fletcher and moved on to work as a newspaper stock analyst and later as vice president and general manager of the Detroit Free Press. In seeking to give back to Fletcher, Mr. Dirks has emphasized the importance of the skill of impartial observation he gained studying diplomatic history, and he sees this ability as crucial for the future success of today’s Fletcher students. In true Fletcher spirit, Mr. Dirks has a diverse set of interests, and his passion for art has led him to serve on the board of directors of the Georgia O'Keefe Museum.

Alan K. Henrikson is the Lee E. Dirks Professor of Diplomatic History Emeritus and founding Director of Diplomatic Studies at The Fletcher School, where he taught American diplomatic history, contemporary U.S.-European relations, global political geography, and the history, theory, and practice of diplomacy. During the academic year 2010-2011 he was Fulbright Schuman Professor of US-EU Relations at the College of Europe in Bruges. In November 2014, March 2015, and April 2017 he taught at the Estonian School of Diplomacy in Tallinn. In the autumn of 2016 he lectured at the Australian National University in Canberra and for the National University of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City and at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Hanoi. 

In August 2009 he was Guest Lecturer in diplomatic studies, discussing also U.S. relations with countries in the southern African region, at the University of Pretoria. In November 2005 he was Visiting Professor at the European Commission in Brussels where he taught a course on “American Foreign Policy Making” for Commission officials. During the Spring of 2003 he was Fulbright/Diplomatic Academy Visiting Professor of International Relations at the Diplomatische Akademie in Vienna. He has been an Associate and a Visiting Scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, where he also has served as Counselor on Canadian Affairs. During 1986-1987 he was Lloyd I. Miller Visiting Professor of Diplomatic History and Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Foreign Affairs in the Foreign Service Institute of the United States Department of State. He also has taught as Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Defense Studies in Tokyo and as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Visiting Professor of Diplomatic History at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.