Benjamin Beard, 2011, United States

On the classroom experience: The classroom experience at Fletcher is a unique and a highly dynamic learning environment. The faculty have unrivaled experiences in their field, and the courses are encouraged to stimulate intellectual debate. Without question, one of the most advantageous qualities of Fletcher is the classroom interaction with the many professional backgrounds and disciplines the student population represent. Furthermore, the ease of access to the professors offers students the chance to clarify classroom material or to simply explore options for possible career paths in the future.

How I plan to use my experience at Fletcher to make a difference in the world: I am confident that with an education from Fletcher there will be ample opportunities for leadership positions in either the public or private sectors. I plan to use my experience at Fletcher to better understand the future security challenges of tomorrow both through the prism of conventional adversaries and non-state transnational threats. Specifically, I see many challenges ahead for the Marine Corps in the realm of non-traditional military operations as a result of failed or failing states and also the execution of irregular war doctrine against armed non-state actors. My coursework is undoubtedly relevant to these scenarios of the future and will enhance my understanding of the problem and enable the means to offer requisite solutions.

Favorite magazine:

Foreign Affairs

Favorite food:


Favorite landmark/site:

Coliseum, Rome, Italy

Experience when you felt the farthest from home:

Al Asad, Iraq

Most pressing world issue:

The war in Afghanistan and our deteriorating relationship with Pakistan

Fields of Study

  • International Security Studies
  • United States

Education before Fletcher

  • BS, Business Logistics, Penn State University
  • MBA, Touro University International
  • AA, Italian Studies, Defense Language Institute

Experience before Fletcher

  • Fleet Marine Force Squadron, Marine Aviator - Yuma, Arizona
  • Marine Corps Air Wing Headquarters, Operational Staff Officer - San Diego, California
  • Italian Navy, Foreign Exchange Officer - Grottaglie, Italy


  • Italian
  • English