Andrew Clay, 2017, United States

Why Fletcher? The Fletcher School represented the ideal place to fulfill my educational goals and propel my career transition from the active duty Marine Corps to civilian life. I wanted a program that focused on bridging the gap between practice and theory, a situation I experienced first-hand in my previous job. Fletcher's renowned profile in security studies ensured that my professional military experience would add significant value to class discussions. Additionally, I relish the opportunity to learn from a global cohort previously involved in arenas such as international development and sustainable energy, giving me insight into practical knowledge from completely unfamiliar fields. That being said, I also recognized the need for tangible quantitative skills applicable in policy evaluation. I look forward to continuing my studies at Fletcher, confident that the course work will build on my professional experience and enable a successful career in public service.

On the Fletcher Community: Beyond the incredible educational benefits associated with access to world-class faculty and curricula, the sense of community at Fletcher is truly extraordinary. Initially, I doubted the genuine enthusiasm that every student exuded during my prospective student visit, but on the first day of classes I found myself showing the same enthusiasm for my new classmates. While we are a diverse group of high achievers, everyone is incredibly supportive and willing to sacrifice time to ensure the success of another member of the Fletcher family, whether for a study group or a ride to a wedding in another state. As a result, the academic environment is a place where we all maximize our potential to learn from each other while pursuing excellence in our scholastic and professional goals.

Favorite Twitter handle:


Most pressing world issue:

Energy exploration and commercial activity in the South China Sea

Most memorable international experience:

Asking my fiancée to marry me while snowboarding in Tierra del Fuego this past August

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher:

The lack of coordination between military action, diplomacy, and development as I experienced it in Afghanistan.

Most interesting person you've met at Fletcher:

A student who worked for Teach for America in Watts, CA and also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia for three years

Fields of Study

International Security Studies

International Trade & Commercial Policy

Activities involved in at Fletcher

Fletcher Security Review

Fletcher Students in Security (FSIS)

Fletcher Veterans

Political Risk Group

Fletcher Improv Comedy Group

Education before Fletcher

MA, Strategic Communication - The American University

BA, History - University of California, Riverside

Experience before Fletcher

Intelligence Officer - Marine Corps Information Operations Center (MCIOC), Quantico, VA, USA

Executive Officer/Company Commander - Company G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Twentynine Palms, CA, USA

Scout/Sniper Platoon Commander - 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Twentynine Palms, CA, USA