Yerevan Saeed, 2013, Iraq

Why I chose Fletcher: Living in my hometown, Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan, I have experienced war and genocide. A book by Jonathan Randal, former New York Times and Washington Post reporter, After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?, left a lasting impression on me, when Randal wrote about Kurds being brave fighters who may win on the battlefields, but who will lose everything at the negotiation tables. Since reading this, I have been looking for the best school of diplomacy in the world, in the hope that Iraqi Kurdistan’s gains from the last two decades won't be lost due to incompetence in conducting diplomacy and negotiations with stakeholders on the national and regional levels. Since arriving at Fletcher, I find myself surrounded by students from various backgrounds and professors with extensive diplomatic and professional experiences. I am constantly amazed by my peers and the professors, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

How I learned about Fletcher: On a beautiful evening in the city of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, I was invited to attend a reception at the U.S. Consulate, where I was introduced to members of the diplomatic community. Throughout the evening, I spoke about my interest in pursuing a graduate degree in international relations and diplomacy, and Fletcher was mentioned many times by the diplomats. While I had previously known about Fletcher from my undergraduate professors, it was quite reassuring to hear the same praises regarding Fletcher from practitioners in the field.

Favorite Book:

The Next 100 years

Favorite Food:

Middle Eastern Food, Kurdish and Turkish food

Favorite Website:

Favorite City:


Fletcher Alumnus You Admire:

Vali Nasr

Fletcher Thesis

  • Will a strong Iraq lead to war with the Kurds?

Fields of Study

  • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
    Law and Development

Summer Internship

Intern, Kurdistan Regional Government Representation to Washington DC

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Mediterranean club

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, Government (Political Science), University of Texas at Austin
    Associate Degree, English, Suleimanyah Central Teacher's Institute

Experience before Fletcher

  • Iraq Affairs Consultant, Strategic Forecasting for Global Intelligence, Austin, Texas and Suleimanyah, Iraq
    Journalist, Professional Translator, US National Public Radio, Iraqi Kurdistan
    Professional Translator, Stringer, The New York Times, Iraqi Kurdistan


  • Kurdish