Hector Portillo, 2016, Mexico, United States

On the classroom experience: It’s hard to pick a favorite class at Fletcher. My professors are well-prepared professionals with considerable field and academic experience, and they are more than willing to engage with students and orient us while we build our careers. Professor Scharbatke-Church’s Design and Monitoring for Peacebuilding and Development module is incredibly useful for almost any kind of career. Professor Burgess’ Migration and Transnationalism in Latin America provides a great combination of theoretical frameworks and specific country studies. Professor Mazurana’s class on Gender, Culture, and Conflict has radically changed how I analyze the impact of almost everything. Professor Babbitt's course on Conflict Resolution has given me many frameworks to analyze conflict, especially  with respect to the violence happening right now in my country. My course on Negotiation, which I am fortunate enough to take with Professor Rouhana, has helped me develop negotiating skills that I didn’t even know I had! This course is especially well complemented by the Mediation Practicum, available to all students every semester. It’s crazy how I’ve only been here for several months and already see everything from a different, deeper, and nuanced perspective!

On career services: The Office of Career Services provides an essential service to us all: they keep reminding us that there is a world outside Fletcher, and they do their very best so that we are ready to face it when we graduate.  The Professional Development Program provides a forum for first-years to think about where we want to go and what we want to do after we graduate. With their help and dedication, we become better professionals. Just this week, they brought in a guest speaker, the HR director from the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA). He had many insights and useful advice for us. It really tells you something when a school invests so much resources in your professional growth!

Favorite movie
The Mission

Favorite food

Favorite musician or band
Blind Guardian

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher
Drug violence in Mexico

Favorite lecture attended
The Fletcher Reads talk of this semester was fantastic. Deogratias "Deo" Niyizonkiza is an admirable man, and Tracy Kidder really did him justice in his book "Strength in What Remains."

Fields of Study

  • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Migration Studies (probably)

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program
  • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Club
  • Migration Group
  • Gender Initiative

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, Political Science, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Experience before Fletcher

  • Advisor to the General Director, Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo, Mexico City/DF/Mexico
  • Personal Aide to the Chief of Staff of the Secretary of Public Education, Secretaría de Educación Pública, Mexico City/DF/Mexico
  • Advisor to the Secretary of Public Education, Secretaría de Educación Pública, Mexico City/DF/Mexico


  • Spanish
  • Portuguese (more like Portuñol)
  • English