Nicole Richardson, 2016 (December), United States and Trinidad & Tobago

On selecting Fletcher: Before Fletcher, I worked for more about a decade on development programs and campaigns for impact in the sectors of agriculture, conservation, extractive industries, financial inclusion, and trade reform throughout the African continent. I had amazing opportunities to live and work in Senegal, Madagascar and Zambia, and to travel throughout West Africa with the international organizations I worked with. During my work and travels, I observed the extent to which entrepreneurship and sustainable business models were integral to ensuring the viability of any initiatives to increase access to the services and products that could help communities to improve their futures. Knowing that the Fletcher is a wonderful ecosystem for exploring the nexus between global trade in all of its forms and impact at the community level, I headed back to the US to join the Fletcher community. I can already see how the skills I am developing, the conversations I am engaging in, and the experiences I am benefiting from as a graduate student at Fletcher will shape the next steps in my career. As I look to my post-Fletcher hopes of contributing to the creation of shared value between business and impact for community development, I know that the entire extended Fletcher community will continue to be a source of support and collaboration.

On the Fletcher network: I expected to have meaningful interactions with faculty and staff that would support my exploration of issues aligned with my career goals. However I had not expected the level of support and collaboration that I have experienced, nor the extent to which this also applies to wider network. Between the Office of Career Services, the Institute for Business in the Global Context amongst a host of other professors and program directors, I have been introduced to issue experts, leaders in my fields of interest, and potential recruiters for positions of interest. There is always an expert ear to bounce ideas off of and discuss emerging issues with. The wealth of conferences, speakers and events on campus or open to the Fletcher community only enriches that input.

Favorite book:

The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker

Favorite musicians:

Cesaria Evora, Franco, Led Zeppelin, Mighty Shadow, Paulo Flores

Favorite movie:

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Favorite travel experience:

Seeing Olodum play live in a shoulder to shoulder outdoor crowd in Salvador before a Brazil match during the 2014 World Cup, or actually finding Nemo while diving in Madagascar

Favorite food:

Any homemade specialty of Trinidad & Tobago

Fields of Study

International Business Relations

Self-Designed (topic still to be determined) 

Activities involved in at Fletcher

180 Degrees Consulting

Africana Club

Fletcher Social Investment Group

International Business Club


Net Impact

Education before Fletcher

BA, Interdisciplinary Studies – Sociology and African Studies - Georgetown University

Experience before Fletcher

Consultant - Financial Sector Deepening Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia

Program Manager - Aga Khan Foundation Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Consultant - Niyel, Dakar, Senegal

Project Development Associate - Wetlands International Africa, Dakar, Senegal

Africa Program Associate - Oxfam America, Massachusetts, United States