Earl Potter, 2018, United States

On choosing Fletcher: As a Coast Guard Officer, I am based locally, but deploy globally. Additionally, I am a sea-going Officer and work extensively with other countries towards mutual goals. While serving aboard a ship, it is not unusual to be the most senior representative of the United States government working with other countries’ militaries or representatives. I believe it is important to understand my work in a global context and help translate how it fits into the U.S. strategy for those who work for me. The Fletcher School's unique focus on International Relations and Law made it the perfect fit for me to work on deepening and broadening my understanding of global affairs. Overall, Fletcher is providing me with invaluable background and context as to how my organization fits into the larger system.


On the MA: I chose the MA program for several reasons. First, it offers me incredible latitude and flexibility to select the courses that I thought would best complement my career goals. Second, I have served in the Coast Guard for eleven years and the cohort of other MAs are at a similar point in their careers. Finally, since arriving at Fletcher, I have been able to build relationships with the small network of well-established professionals, while still getting to know the rest of the Fletcher community.


On the classroom experience: In general, the classes are great and the faculty are supportive and approachable, but in my opinion the seminar classes are where the school really shines. These once a week small classes really allow for a deep dive into a topic guided by one of the fantastic faculty. In addition, the access that students have to the faulty in this format and the opportunity to build close working relationships really makes these classes stand out for me.

Favorite magazine

The Economist

Favorite newspaper

The New York Times

Favorite city


Fletcher alumnus you admire

Stephen Flynn

Favorite guest speaker

Raymond Thomas

Activities at Fletcher

Fletcher Ski Club

Education before Fletcher

MPA, Harvard Kennedy School

BS, Political Science, Southern Oregon University

Experience before Fletcher

Lieutenant, United States Coast Guard, Miami, FL

Ski Instructor, Smugglers Notch Ski Resort, Smugglers Notch, VT