Colin Steele, 2018, United States

On choosing the MALD over other degree options: Though it took me a little while to settle on which degree to pursue (took the LSAT; toyed with a PhD or dual-degree program), I ultimately selected the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy for three reasons. First, each of the APSIA schools calls its program of study in international affairs something slightly different, and I take Fletcher at its word that law and diplomacy are the key organizing concepts of international relations. Moreover, as someone interested in the law, but not in practicing as an attorney, the MALD curriculum allows me to take world-class courses in international law alongside fellow MALD students and LL.M.s (already licensed attorneys) from all over the world. Second, the flexibility and breadth of the MALD's curricular structure allows me to deepen my understanding of familiar fields of study while simultaneously building new skills. Finally, there is the MALD's sterling reputation as perhaps the most powerful, applicable, and recognizable professional degrees in international relations. That reputation is built by the curriculum and lived out by the students and alumni that make up the Fletcher family: MALDs are everywhere, especially in the highest levels of public service worldwide, and together they make up a community that supports each other from the moment of admission through the rest of a lifetime. Knowing that was a community I wanted to be a part of played a key role in my decision to pursue a MALD.

On a favorite Fletcher class: Reprising my favorite undergraduate class, my favorite class has been Prof. Antonia Chayes' course on civil-military relations. In addition to being an exceptional scholar, having literally written the book on the subject in 2015 for which she received wide acclaim including Fletcher's own annual faculty research award at 2016 convocation - Prof. Chayes is an outstanding teacher and facilitator of class discussion. And what a rich discussion is; to have the world's expert in the subject matter guiding conversation among students whose professional backgrounds encompass service in each of the U.S. armed services, at least one foreign military, business, academia, and the NGO/non-profit world is the best way to not only learn the material, but also to understand its implications as lived out in the experience of my classmates.

Favorite blog

The Strategy Bridge (; see especially their Monday Musings series)

Favorite movie

Des Hommes et des Dieux ("Of Gods and Men")

Moment when you felt the furthest from home

Lost in the bazaar of Damascus at dusk

Fletcher alumnus you admire

One you likely know already: Ambassador Barbara Bodine; one you should know: Kaitlyn Neuberger (MALD 16)

Most interesting person you’ve met at Fletcher

Collectively, the military fellows are an impressive group and a tremendous resource to the student body. In addition to being senior officers who have been there and done that, they are genuinely high-quality people. We learn so much from each other.

Fields of Study

International Security Studies

Global Maritime Studies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

Fletcher Forum

Fletcher Arctic Initiative

Fletcher Maritime

Fletcher Students in Security

Fletcher Security Review

Education before Fletcher

BSFS, Culture and Politics, Georgetown University

Experience before Fletcher

Special Assistant to the VP for Global Engagement, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Volunteer Literacy Specialist/Reading Teacher, Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest/AmeriCorps, Omak, WA