Charlie Bentley, 2019, United States

Why Fletcher? I came to Fletcher with a moderate understanding of social inclusion in developing countries, and I knew that to actually solve problems in this field, you need to view every problem through several lenses simultaneously. Comparable grad schools would have required me to choose a narrow lane of study. In contrast, the Fletcher MALD program encourages you to study world problems as a diplomat, a psychologist, a linguist, an aid worker, a lawyer, an educator, a military operator, and an economist. The tight-knit community supports you in taking risks and in viewing problems in ways you ordinarily wouldn’t. I chose The Fletcher School because it challenges students to be well-rounded and innovative, regardless of the specializations they pursue, which produces thoughtful and brave problem solvers.

A quintessential Fletcher moment: A quintessential Fletcher moment is stumbling upon familiarity with topics and people that initially feel foreign to you. I went to a roundtable discussion with Tufts Dean Alan Solomont, former Ambassador to Spain. He talked about his dignified career and his accomplishments in the State Department. I was interested but felt distanced from his life -- I don't see myself ever working for State, and I don't think of my experiences as especially distinguished. Unexpectedly, he mentioned he was a Watson Fellow when he was 23. The Watson is a grant awarded to a handful of new college graduates each year for independent travel around the world in pursuit of a passion project. The experience, in part, fueled his desire to dedicate his life to social and political activism. I was sitting at that table at Fletcher for the exact same reason. I was a Watson Fellow 40 years after him and was similarly pulled towards a career of service because of it. We ended up talking about bravery, adventure, creativity, and ambition. Not only did we have a lot in common, I left the talk feeling inspired and like I had a new mentor.

Favorite magazine
The Atlantic

Favorite book
Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed

Most memorable international experience
Traveling across South Africa for a soccer tournament with the Khayelitsha Deaf Team

 

Most pressing world issue
The widening gap between the powerful and the marginalized

 

Fletcher alumnus you admire
Noam Unger, USAID Acting Chief Strategy Officer

Fields of Study

Human Security

Humanitarian Aid

Activities at Fletcher

Humanitarian Action Society

Human Rights Project

Harvard Law and International Development Society

Education before Fletcher

BA, Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Carleton College

Experience before Fletcher

Founding Program Manager, Disability Counseling and Employment, Polus Center for Social and Economic Development/ Mass. General Hospital, Boston, MA

Legal Research Assistant, Gardner and Rosenberg, LLC, Boston, MA

Watson Fellow, "Deaf Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa", Thomas J. Watson Foundation, South Africa, Togo, Ghana, Ethiopia

Languages

French

American Sign Language

South African Sign Language