Marianne Smallwood, 2011, United States

On the classroom experience: One of my favorite classes was “Foreign Policy of the U.S. until 1917”, taught by Professor Henrikson. This class, which focuses on U.S. foreign policy in a historical context, was absolutely fascinating. Professor Henrikson has a rich, encyclopedic knowledge of U.S. history and diplomacy and has a great passion for the subject. In turn, he conveys the material with such enthusiasm that you can't help but be intrigued by the topic as well. The class felt more like a cozy fireside chat than a standard classroom lecture. Though I hadn't intended on taking courses in foreign diplomacy before coming to Fletcher, I became much more open to it. The Fletcher curriculum permits and encourages exploration, and possible shifts in interests, which makes it all the more accommodating for students.

My plans for my international life after Fletcher: I'm interested in living and working in West Africa for a while, but would definitely be open to eventually returning to Southeast Asia, which is where I lived prior to Fletcher. I'd ideally like to work within development consulting or an aid agency, both of which could take me to either region of interest. For me, it's important to have experience in several regions of the world prior to settling down (whenever I do eventually settle down), and I'm excited that I have the opportunity to explore my options for the next few years.

Favorite book:

East of Eden

Favorite city:

Hanoi, Vietnam

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher:

How to more efficiently deliver and implement humanitarian aid

Most pressing world issue:


Fields of Study

  • Humanitarian Aid
  • Self designed: Private Sector Development

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • NetImpact

Education before Fletcher

  • BS, Marketing, University of Minnesota

Experience before Fletcher

  • Fulbright Fellow, Vietnam National University; Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Policy & Development Officer, ChildFund; Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Systems Development Officer, ChildFund; Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Business Management Associate, General Mills; Minneapolis, MN


  • Vietnamese
  • French

Summer Internship

  • The Asia Foundation, Economic Development; Phnom Penh, Cambodia