Rachael Parrish, 2013, United States

US Department of State - Foreign Service Officer

What was your favorite class at Fletcher and why? Dyan Mazurana's class on Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies taught me how to look at the world through a gendered lens. Our intimate, weekly reading sessions on the construction of women's narratives in storytelling taught me how to rethink history -- that of others and my own.

Why I chose Fletcher:  When comparing graduate school programs in international relations, it seemed like each program was pretty much the same: well-respected faculty that are the leaders in their field of study, a brilliant and diverse student body, and an intensive academic atmosphere. The reason that I ultimately chose Fletcher, however, was because of the sense of community that I felt when interacting with current and former Fletcher students and faculty. During the entire application and decision-making process, members of the Fletcher community were consistently available to answer any of my questions and share their own experiences at Fletcher. Even though I was living in Beijing while I was making my decision, I still managed to connect with many Fletcher alumni. Knowing that these people were already willing to set time aside for me when I was merely considering attending their alma mater meant a lot to me. Making those personal connections is one of the things that I was most looking forward to in coming to Fletcher, and I experienced the strong community dynamic I was seeking soon after starting.

Favorite Author:

Peter Hessler

Favorite Movie:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Favorite City:

Washington, DC

Favorite Landmark:

Potala Palace

Best Place to Study:

Harvard Square

Fletcher Capstone

  • Nationalism in the South China Seas Territorial Disputes

Fields of Study

  • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
    Pacific Asia

Summer Internship

U.S. Embassy political section intern - Hanoi, Vietnam  

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Diplomacy Club
    ASEAN Club
    Asia Club

Education before Fletcher

  • Advanced Mandarin Language Certificate, Mandarin Chinese, Inter-University Program at Tsinghua
    BA, Political Science, Asian Studies, Furman University
    Intermediate Mandarin Language Certificate, Mandarin Chinese, State Department Critical Language Scholarship Program, Suzhou University

Experience before Fletcher

  • House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Intern - Washington, DC
    Groupon International, Intern - Beijing, China
    U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Fellow - Washington, DC


  • German