Shailaja Bista, 2011, United States

Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State - Islamabad, Pakistan

How I first learned about Fletcher: I first learned about Fletcher through two Fletcher alumni who were still working on their MALD degrees when they began mentoring me on a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. When they discovered that I was applying to graduate schools of international affairs, they both jumped at the opportunity discuss Fletcher. I decided to visit the campus. To my chagrin, I visited in December on a snow-covered, blistery afternoon. Hailing from the South, I was skeptical I would survive winter in the North. Not only did I successfully tough out the trip, but I left with a great appreciation for the warm atmosphere created by the faculty and staff at Fletcher.

How I plan to use my experience at Fletcher to make a difference in the world: I look forward to joining the U.S. Foreign Service and proudly serving my country abroad. I hope to work in sub-Saharan Africa and to bring U.S. interests and resources to bare on some of the major transnational concerns and barriers to economic development that are currently facing the governments in the region.

Favorite newspaper:

The New York Times

Favorite author:

Rohinton Mistry

Favorite movie:


Favorite landmark:

Taj Mahal

Issue you know nothing about but you find fascinating:


Fields of Study

  • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • United States

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Fletcher Youth Initiative

Education before Fletcher

  • BSFS, International Politics, Georgetown University

Experience before Fletcher

  • U.S. Department of State, Bureau of African Affairs, Country Desk Officer for Mozambique and South Africa - Washington, D.C.


  • French
  • Nepali
  • English

Summer Internship

  • U.S. Department of State, American Embassy Political Section - Pretoria, South Africa