Thomas Burke

Thomas Burke


Field of Study: 

  • International Security Studies
  • Political Systems and Theories


United States

Why a PhD at Fletcher?

Although my reasons for choosing Fletcher are extensive, the most compelling reason behind my decision was the tremendous support and encouragement I received from the entire Fletcher team. While it is true that Fletcher's unique interdisciplinary approach to learning and global reputation as a leading school of international relations weighed heavily in my decision, I learned early in the application process that Fletcher prides itself on being a community. As an active duty colonel in the U.S. Army, I understand well the importance of community and teamwork; these concepts are foundational to every successful organization. At Fletcher, students and faculty work together to deepen and broaden our understanding of the world, and of each other. In this cooperative spirit, I knew I would enjoy the flexibility to design a plan of study that aligns with my interests – precisely what I needed in a Ph.D. program and one of the many reasons why I chose The Fletcher School.

On the curriculum

The flexibility of the Fletcher curriculum allows me to explore a range of disciplines that serve to further enhance my depth and breadth of knowledge on security-related issues. For example, to better understand the drivers of insecurity, it is necessary to study the nature of state and non-state actors, the effectiveness of international law and institutions in promoting peace, the impact of globalism on an increasingly interdependent world economy, and myriad topics and research areas that influence stability. At The Fletcher School, students are provided the flexibility to pursue new knowledge in any direction of interest. The flexibility of the Fletcher curriculum provides students with a wide range of research opportunities, no matter their primary fields of study.

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Fletcher Veterans

Education before Fletcher

  • Bachelor of Arts, English - St. John's University
  • Master of Science, Policy Administration - Georgetown University

Experience before Fletcher

  • AH-64D Apache Helicopter Battalion Commander - 3-101st Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky
  • Deputy Chief - Strategic Plans and Policy Division (Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordination Cell), The Joint Staff, J5, The Pentagon, Washington, DC
  • Battalion Executive Officer - 3-101st Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky


English, Spanish