Meg Guliford, United States

On selecting the PhD program: I decided to pursue doctoral studies after a decade of work experience. For me, it was important to identify PhD programs that not only valued my experience but also required me to develop methodological skills and to understand the theoretical underpinnings at the heart of international relations. Moreover, the design of Fletcher's PhD curriculum met my personal requirements for a program. The  level of faculty expertise in my desired fields of study as well as the quality of dissertations completed by their students served an important marker in my considerations about which school I would attend. My desire to conduct policy-relevant research that also furthers the academic discussions in my field aligns with Fletcher's multidisciplinary approach to graduate education.

On collaboration and teamwork at Fletcher: The evolution of the earning a doctoral degree will have moments of loneliness and frustration, and at many schools, those moments begin immediately. I share various courses with each member of my PhD cohort and have developed a rapport and sense of collegiality with each of them. We discuss our research plans and support the efforts of our colleagues in a way that is comforting as many of us transition from policy and analytic work environments to the world of academic research. While we will eventually travel separate paths to complete our individualized dissertation research, there is a comfort in the amount of collaboration and teamwork we are exhibiting while we are together as a cohort. The other PhD students have served as amazing resources in providing direction and encouragement as we navigate coursework and consider our comprehensive exams.

A quintessential Fletcher moment: Quite simply, within one week, I had conversations, albeit brief, with two Nobel laureates: Mohamed ElBaradei and Amartya Sen.

Favorite movie
Coming to America

Favorite food
Chana Masala

Favorite landmark
Arlington National Cemetery

Moment when you felt the furthest from home
Landing at Sather Air Force Base in Baghdad, Iraq on 11 September 2009

Fletcher alumnus you admire
General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., USMC

Fields of Study

  • Human Security
  • International Security Studies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Fletcher Security Review

Education before Fletcher

  • Master in Public Policy, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Communications, University of Pennsylvania

Experience before Fletcher

  • Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, VA
  • Analyst, United States Department of Defense, Arlington, VA


  • Spanish
  • English