Christopher Spangler, 2012, United States

On the community: In September 2010, a few fellow Fletcherites (from Brazil, Romania, Taiwan, and Canada) and I were on our way to Cape Cod to attend a barbecue at the house of one of our professors. (The professor invited the entire school to his house so that we could relax and get our minds off of the work that was quickly piling up. Talk about cool!)  It was a beautiful Saturday morning and everyone was feeling antsy after taking our language exams that morning. On the way down, we got into a conversation about the importance of society's culture and the impact that culture does or does not have on the development of that society. The conversation quickly became passionate (in a good way) as we debated some fascinating issues—can culture be changed from the outside, does the West's role in development aid help or hurt cultures, can cultural change come from within? At one point, I sat back in my seat, amazed at the fact that I was having a great conversation with such varying perspectives on culture, aid, and their intersection. That's the beauty of Fletcher: here, we get the opportunity to engage with people from all over the world, with very different ideas, and talk about some of the most pressing issues that are facing our rapidly globalizing world.

My plans for my international life after Fletcher: From my work in the Peace Corps and with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, I knew that I wanted to spend my two years at Fletcher learning about enhancing the rule of law, improving government accountability, and eradicating corruption. As such, I have focused my studies here on Law and Development and Development Economics. After Fletcher, I hope to go to work for either the US government or an organization that focuses on strengthening government institutions in African nations. I hope to spend a significant portion of my time on the ground working on these issues.

Favorite magazine:

(tie) Sports Illustrated and The Economist

Favorite blog:

Chris Blattman's development blog

Favorite movie:

Goodbye Lenin

Favorite landmark/site:

The Sahara Desert

Experience when you felt the farthest from home:

Needing a root canal in Niger

Fields of Study

  • Development Economics
  • Law and Development

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Africana Club
  • Admissions Interviewer
  • Fletcher Futbol
  • Student Council

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, Political Science, University of Richmond

Experience before Fletcher

  • The American Council of Young Political Leaders, Program Officer - Washington, DC
  • United States Peace Corps, Community and Youth Education Volunteer - Niger


  • French
  • Hausa
  • English

Summer Internship

  • Millennium Challenge Corporation - Bamako, Mali