Benjamin Naimark-Rowse, USA

Why Fletcher: I chose Fletcher because of its longstanding history of support for the study of nonviolent conflict. That support is unparalleled in its breadth and depth and comes not only from the institution itself, but also from the faculty and alumni. For example, in conjunction with the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, Fletcher hosts an annual, week-long executive education program in the advanced, interdisciplinary study of nonviolent conflict, taught by leading scholars and practitioners of strategic nonviolent action and authorities from related fields. The Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict (FSI) is the only program of its kind and participating in it helped me to ground my proposed dissertation research in cutting edge academic research and practice of nonviolent conflict. Participating in FSI felt like an intellectual homecoming. And having grown up in Boston but having lived elsewhere for more than a decade, returning to the city for FSI and Fletcher's PhD program has been an actual homecoming.

Favorite course:  I'm currently enrolled in a course entitled Conflict in Africa. It’s taught by Alex de Waal, one of the world's foremost experts on Sudan, conflict, and famine in Africa. I took Alex's course knowing that I would get an anthropologist's take on armed conflict in Africa. What I've gotten has been so much more. Alex's depth of knowledge extends far beyond social anthropology to political science, development, and humanitarianism. Learning about violent conflict from a professor with such a deep, interdisciplinary approach to the material is rare and refreshing. I've also been thrilled by the diversity of experience that my classmates bring to class. Some have worked for aid organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Others have served in the U.S. military and in the U.S. government in civilian capacities. A number have worked with international organizations, NGOs, foundations, and foreign governments. And the vast majority of students in the class either grew up or have spent significant amounts of time abroad.

Favorite blog:

Favorite author:

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Favorite musician or band:

Hugh Masekela

Favorite website:

Most pressing world issue:

The lack of quality education

Favorite lecture attended:

Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict

Fields of Study:

  • International Security Studies
  • Self Designed  - Comparative Politics

Activities involved in at Fletcher:

  • Topol Scholars in Nonviolent Resistance
  • ICNC Summer Institute at The Fletcher School

Education before Fletcher:

  • MPA, International Relations, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • BA, International Studies with Honors, University of Chicago

Experience before Fletcher:

  • Innovations for Successful Societies - Princeton University, Research Affiliate, Princeton, NJ
  • 24 Hours for Darfur, Co-Director, New York, NY
  • Open Society Justice Initiative, Program Officer, New York, NY


  • Spanish
  • English