Brian Kitching, 2015, United States

On selecting Fletcher: The world's most pressing security challenges will increasingly call for professionals who solve complex issues with an international, multidisciplinary toolbox. The Fletcher School provides me with a special opportunity, as a United States Army officer, to broaden my military experience through a wealth of international relations and business courses,  and deepens my professional skill sets with an extraordinary security studies program. In every class, the professors are engaging, accessible, and pair significant academic accomplishment with rich backgrounds as practitioners. Fletcher draws a student body filled with dynamic leaders from around the globe, and I've discovered that carving out time to make personal connections over a cup of coffee in the Hall of Flags or lunch in Mugar Cafe is an investment in making positive change in the world.

On the classroom experience: One of my favorite classes is Starting New Ventures, a case-based business course about start-up companies and the challenges each one of them faces. While I have no background in business, assessing risk and making decisions under tremendous pressure and uncertainty makes this course valuable and familiar to what I've faced in the military. The ways students approach each case varies greatly and I'm forced to constantly reassess and examine my views. The professor is engaging and truly drives each student to think about the most valuable aspects of approaching opportunities in business.

Favorite city
Paris

Most rewarding trip
Commanding a company in Afghanistan in 2012

Moment when you felt the furthest from home
15 month combat deployment while my wife was pregnant with our son

Most memorable international experience
Standing on top of the cliffs of Pointe Du Hoc overlooking Omaha Beach in France

Favorite lecture attended
Gender Analysis in Armed Groups

Fields of Study

  • International Security Studies
  • Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Ralph Bunche Society
  • Fletcher Veterans Club

Education before Fletcher

  • Master of Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • BS, Economics, Alabama A&M University

Experience before Fletcher

  • Military Fellow, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, London, United Kingdom
  • Company Commander, United States Army, Kandahar, Afghanistan
  • Assistant Operations Officer, United States Army, Fort Stewart, Georgia

Languages

  • French
  • English