Phoebe Donnelly, United States


On the faculty and PhD experience: The thing that most surprised me about Fletcher, and at the same time made me most excited about my experience, is the attitude of the faculty. Repeatedly I was told by other students that the faculty was incredible accessible; that we should feel free to come by just to chat with faculty. I couldn't believe that I had so many incredibly accomplished and intelligent people willing to provide me with the guidance I had so been hoping for. I slowly learned that the faculty truly meant it, so I contacted a wide variety of professors whose opinion I wanted to hear. Each one provided different insight and was equally willing to take the time to get to know me. This was in part, what led me to pursue my PhD at Fletcher.  The professors I work with are incredibly supportive and encourage my diverse research interests. I also appreciate the interdisciplinary environment and the fact that my research does not have to fit into one discipline.

What class did you take that you never expected you would? I never expected I would take the course, "Understanding Mass Atrocities," and in that semester found it difficult to tell people my schedule when I was taking that class and several other classes on conflict. The academic setting at Fletcher made me feel comfortable studying these emotionally difficult topics and helped me to understand the importance of learning about topics that many people shy away from addressing.

On a favorite class: One of my best experiences at Fletcher has been the ability to collaborate with my advisor Professor Richard Shultz in his Internal Conflict class. As a MALD student there was a grant available to incorporate gender research into more classes. I asked Professor Shultz if we could incorporate gender into his internal conflict course and I received a grant to revise the syllabus and prepare presentations. For three years, I have been giving lectures about gender analysis in his class. It has been exciting to see his enthusiasm for the topic and to introduce my classmates to the overlap between the fields of internal conflict and gender analysis.

Favorite magazine:

The Atlantic

Favorite book:

Cather in the Rye and Gone with the Wind

Favorite food:

Banana Cream Pie

Favorite City:

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher:

Violence against women

Fields of Study

  • Human Security/Comparative Politics

  • International Security Studies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Global Women (co-lead as a MALD)
  • Fletcher Forum (editor as a MALD)

Education before Fletcher

  • MALD, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Experience before Fletcher

  • Associate Director, Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, Boston, MA
  • Legislative Correspondent, United States Senate, Washington, DC 
  • Deputy Compliance Director, Blumenthal for Senate, Stamford, CT 
  • Paralegal, Covington & Burling LLP, New York, NY


  • Spanish
  • English

Fletcher Capstone

Gender and Non-State Armed Groups

Summer Internship

State Department, U.S. Mission to the UN - New York City, NY