Robert Helbig, 2015, Germany

PhD Candidate - University of the German Federal Armed Forces, Munich, Germany
Research focus on NATO's global relations

On the Fletcher Community:  Fletcher is known for bringing people with different skills together, which is very valuable when aiming to find practical solutions to complex problems. However, I was not aware of the extent of the diversity of Fletcher’s talented students, who have worked as everything from professional piano players to doctors, Peace Corps Volunteers to private military contractors, investment bankers to non-profit managers, and entrepreneurs to diplomats. I was also surprised by the extent of my colleagues' experiences in what I would consider some of the most random places to work. For example, when I was at a party in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, last summer, I met someone who told me about two Fletcher students who happened to just finish their jobs there. To say the least, I was excited about the fact that I could go to Medford, MA and exchange views with people who share some of my experiences from the opposite side of the globe. Similarly, the Fletcher community brings seemingly unlimited networks to the table, which makes it hard not to get overwhelmed by the possibilities that become available by joining the "Fletcher Mafia." It really does not get boring here and it is sad to say that two years are simply not enough to get to know all of the great people who study at Fletcher.

A quintessential Fletcher moment:  It was the night of October 3rd when I experienced a typical Fletcher moment. The day marked the 23rd anniversary of the reunification of my country. I called some of my neighbors and German friends together to paint the cannon on Tufts campus (a university tradition) in German colors to celebrate the important day in my country's history. That night, about thirty Fletcher students from over ten countries got together at the cannon to celebrate an event which did not affect many of them at all because they do not have any ties to Germany. Nevertheless, my colleagues joined me to paint the cannon on a Thursday night because the event resembled the Fletcher community spirit and the students' commitment to freedom and peace anywhere in the world.

Favorite magazine:

The Economist

Favorite newspaper:

Wall Street Journal and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Favorite book:

Outliers: The Story of Success

Favorite website:

Favorite city:

Rio de Janeiro

Favorite landmark:

Praia de Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro

Fletcher Capstone
NATO-Colombia Relations

Fields of Study:

  • International Security Studies
  • Self Designed

Activities involved in at Fletcher:

  • Fletcher Security Review
  • Tufts Energy Conference
  • Diplomacy Club
  • European Club
  • Latin America Club

Education before Fletcher:

  • BA, International Studies, American University, Washington, DC

Experience before Fletcher:

  • German Consulate General, Intern, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Defence and Strategic Studies Department, University of Pune, Visiting Fellow, Pune, India
  • German Chamber of Commerce in China, Assistant to the Executive Chamber Manager, Beijing, China


  • German
  • Portuguese
  • English