Ali El Yassir, 2016, United States

Why I chose Fletcher: Living and working in the Middle East, I have experienced firsthand some of the problems and challenges facing the region today. The Fletcher School offered the ideal environment for me to acquire the knowledge and skill set that I need to translate the regional knowledge, experiences, and cultural awareness that I have into practical solutions to some of those problems. I was particularly drawn to two features of the school and its MALD program that would allow me to achieve my goals. The school’s interdisciplinary education would equip me with the analytical tools necessary to properly understand the many complex issues from different perspectives and approaches. Equally important for me was the diversity of the student body, which offers a valuable learning experience beyond the classroom through the exchange of ideas and experiences among students. I was certain that these and other aspects of the school and its program would not only help me achieve my academic and career goals, but also allow me to have the intellectually fulfilling and personally rewarding experience that I was looking for.

How I learned about Fletcher: I first learned about Fletcher from my undergraduate international politics professor who is an alumnus of the school. Over the years following my undergraduate education at the American University of Beirut, I met several other Fletcher alums either in the workplace or throughout my interactions with professionals in my field. They always spoke highly of Fletcher and the enriching experience they had studying there. Through my conversations with them about the school and its program, I was convinced that it would be the ideal environment for me to pursue my academic and career goals.

Favorite newspaper
The New York Times

Favorite book
Out of Place

Favorite food
Middle Eastern Cuisine

Favorite city
Beirut, Lebanon

Most interesting person you’ve met at Fletcher
Classmate who speaks 7 languages

Fields of Study

  • International Political Economy
  • International Security Studies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Mediterranean Group
  • Fletcher Students in Security
  • Political Risk Group
  • International Development Group

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, Political Studies, American University of Beirut

Experience before Fletcher

  • Researcher, Globesight, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Research Assistant, Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Research Intern, Human Rights Watch, Beirut, Lebanon


  • Arabic
  • English