Rosa Charpentier, 2017, United States

 On the MA program: Earning my MPA at New York University and receiving a two-year Leland Fellowship from the Congressional Hunger Center set me on my path in the UN, focusing on international development and humanitarian assistance. As a generalist, I have worked in program development, planning and coordination, as well as resource mobilization and partnerships in the fields of food security, agriculture and rural development, child rights and aid effectiveness. Over a decade, five countries and four agencies later, I've retained a sense of mission, as well as a drive to keep learning and getting better at what I do.

A key lesson from my experience to date, particularly afield is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and that every context demands its own analysis and customized response. So development and aid workers are asked to step out of silos and become skilled integrators, capable of fostering links among various sectors and collaboration among diverse actors. Coming to Fletcher seemed the best option for a mid-career sabbatical. The courses are letting me refresh my knowledge as well as fill in gaps to equip me better as an integrator. At the same time, I can take a step back to assess my career to date and contemplate a pivot within the field. And I get to do it while being supported by the Fletcher community and taking advantage of greater Boston's academic and cultural offerings.

Something that has surprised me: Diversity was a given working in the UN, but I didn't expect to find it at Fletcher. As I found out on the first day of fall classes, not only the USA but Asia, Europe, North and South America were well represented, and diversity in gender, nationality and ideas is the norm.

Education before Fletcher:
  • MPA, Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, New York University
  • BA, French, University of the Philippines 
Experience before Fletcher:
  • Consultant, United Nations Children's Fund and World Food Program, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Donor Relations Officer, World Food Program, Dakar, Senegal
  • Head of Secretariat, Development Coordination Council, United Nations Development Program, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • French
  • Italian
  • Filipino
  • English

Most rewarding trip

Hiking in Bhutan

Most pressing world issue

Our impact on the environment and climate change

Most memorable international experience 

Living and traveling in Central Asia

Best place to study

Third floor of Ginn Library

Favorite location on campus

Tisch Library rooftop with its view of downtown Boston