Juan Carlos Portilla, 2013, Colombia

Why I chose Fletcher: I chose Fletcher because I love public service. I plan to work for an international organization, and later return to Colombia to serve my country and further international cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking. Accordingly, I decided to come to The Fletcher School to learn the necessary skills in the area of international law. I want to focus on how international agreements can affect state behaviors on security and foreign policy, and the importance of including human rights in public policies related to security and transnational crime. The Fletcher School is an international forum of leadership. I am thrilled to have access to world-leading professors and experts in international law and security. I want to dedicate this period of my life to my education, and in the long-run devote all of my energies to working toward a better future for Colombia.

What’s surprised me most about Fletcher?

One of the things that has surprised me about my Fletcher experience is my amazing classmates. I have classmates who can speak three or four languages. I have classmates who have gone to Haiti to do humanitarian work, bringing hope to the victims of the earthquake. I have classmates who have worked for multilateral companies in global business. I have classmates who have practiced the law in courts in the United States and Europe. I have classmates who have worked for governments and multilateral entities. What’s most important is that all of my Fletcher classmates are people who want to serve the world.

Favorite author:

Emmanuel Kant

Favorite movie:

The Godfather

Favorite food:

Chinese food

Favorite music:

John Lennon

Favorite city:

Buenos Aires

Fields of Study

  • International Organizations
  • International Security Studies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • The International Law Society
  • The World Peace Foundation Seminar Competition
  • The Diplomacy Club

Education before Fletcher

  • Master in Economic Law, Externado University Law School
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Administrative Law, Rosario University Law School
  • Bachelor of Laws, Sabana University-Law School

Experience before Fletcher

  • Superintendent of Surveillance and Private Security of Colombia, Ministry of National Defense of Republic of Colombia, Bogota, Colombia

  • International Officer, Central American Bank For Economic Integration CABEI, Tegucigalpa-Honduras

  • Legal Officer, Ministry of Finance, Bogota, Colombia


  • Spanish
  • English