Frank Sobchak, United States

On choosing Fletcher: I wanted to attend a school in the Boston area, as my family has been living in Holliston for the past six years (a 49-90 minute commute). Boston is truly the Athens of America and we have loved the culture, arts, history, schools (our children are in a French immersion public school) and intellectual strength of the region. I also knew that I wanted to study international security studies, and Fletcher has one of the strongest programs in the U.S. Finally, I was impressed by the friendliness and international diversity of the student body when I visited. I specifically chose the PhD program at Fletcher because of Professor Richard Shultz. He is one of the most eminent security studies scholars in the world, and after attending one of his lectures while I was visiting Fletcher, I knew I had found my home for the next few years. For my dissertation, I was most interested in studying American Special Operations Forces, specifically the Army Special Forces commonly known as "the Green Berets." This topic matches his background and expertise, and I look forward to studying under him.

On what has surprised you: One thing that surprised me about Fletcher is the extremely fast pace and immersive nature of the experience. I had assumed that the transition back to the academic world would be slow and I would have time to get acclimatized to long readings and attending lectures.  Starting at Fletcher has been like jumping on to a moving train, with daily lectures, colloquia, and social events that quickly fill up daily calendars. It has been important to be able to pick and choose carefully which extra-curricular activities I add to my schedule, as there are so many intellectually stimulating events that it would be easy to overburden myself. It is an awesome experience, and I am learning a tremendous amounts every day, but be prepared for a challenge!

Favorite newspaper
The Washington Post


Favorite book
Les Miserables

Favorite website

Most memorable international experience
Watching Saving Private Ryan with Bundeswehr soldiers in Kosovo

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher
International security in general and in the Middle East specifically

Fields of Study

International Security Studies

Human Security

Activities at Fletcher

Fletcher Veterans

Fletcher Running Club

Fletcher Students in Security

PhD Student Group

Education before Fletcher

BS, Military History, U.S. Military Academy

MA, Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Experience before Fletcher

Director, Chief of Staff of the Army's Operation Iraqi Freedom Study Group, Washington, DC and Natick, MA, USA

Garrison Commander, U.S. Army, Natick Soldier Systems Center, MA, USA

Deputy Director, Washington DC Legislative Affairs Office, U.S. Special Operations Command, Washington, D.C.