Rami Blair, 2019, United States

On a favorite Fletcher class: "Law and Development" with Professor Salacuse, an internationally-renowned expert on investment law and a former Fletcher dean, fundamentally transformed my understanding of the role that law plays in development efforts. Indeed, from the case study on Soviet Central Asia we’ve discussed to the group consultancy projects we've completed for fictional development agencies, I've learned that there is an inextricable link between the strength of a nation's legal system and its potential for sustainable growth and overall prosperity. Because I will be heading into the U.S. Foreign Service after graduation, having this knowledge is vital as I work with governments across the globe to advance U.S. interests and support democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. To this end, I have no doubt that I will apply the skills I've honed and the knowledge I've gleaned from "Law and Development" throughout my career. I'll also never forget Professor Salacuse's extremely congenial nature, or his fascinating stories about working with judges, lawyers, and courts in Nigeria, Sudan, Laos, and beyond.

The value of a Fletcher education: One of my mentors at Morehouse told me during my freshman year that The Fletcher School was the best place to go for graduate study in international relations. A 28-year veteran of USAID, he always spoke highly of Fletcher and its alumni, highlighting the quality of instruction, the dedication of each professor, and the truly international student body. It's no surprise, then, that Fletcher was always at the top of my list, especially after I received the Rangel Fellowship, on which I'll enter the U.S. Foreign Service in 2019. Simply stated, Fletcher has produced so many influential American diplomats--Thomas Pickering, Roberta Jacobson, and Barbara Bodine, to name a few--and I am honored to follow in their footsteps. Although I may never reach the heights to which they ascended, I feel that Fletcher will prepare me to lead boldly, act intentionally, and engage meaningfully throughout my time as a U.S. diplomat. I also believe the friendships I develop with my classmates will be lifelong, and I look forward to watching them progress--and succeed--in their careers.

Favorite blog

Most pressing world issue
Political instability

Moment when you felt the furthest from home
Representing Morehouse at the World Universities Debating Championship in Chennai, India

Fletcher alumnus you admire
Thomas Pickering

Favorite location on campus
Tisch Library roof

Fields of Study

International Organizations

International Political Economy

Activities at Fletcher

Diplomacy Club

Education before Fletcher

BA, French Literature, Morehouse College

Experience before Fletcher

Research Assistant, Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C.

Fulbright Scholar, University of the West Indies St. Augustine, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Political/Economic Section Intern, U.S. Embassy Bridgetown, Bridgetown, Barbados