Magazine article Foreign Policy

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Magazine article Foreign Policy

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Article excerpt

"Critical-thinking skills are crucial for international affairs professionals/' says Michele L. Malvesti, professor of practice in the International Security Studies program at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

"In addition to discipline, teamwork, and the motivation to learn, you also need the conceptual tools to challenge assumptions and distill information to the most salient points," says Malvesti. "If you have these core competencies, you can adapt your career in an unpredictable world."

Malvesti should know; early in her own career, she spent five years as a terrorism analyst in the intelligence community, primarily with the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 1998, shortly after the U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa, she entered the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) program at The Fletcher School as a transition away from the field of counterterrorism.

"I wanted to nourish my intellectual passions and open the aperture for future possibilities," says Malvesti. Then 9/11 changed her outlook. Malvesti was in the midst of writing her PhD dissertation at Fletcher when the planes hit the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and she felt called to return to duty.

"My earlier career in government, coupled with my academic training at Fletcher, prepared me to return to government--directly into the White House, where I would spend more than five years in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the National Security Council staff," says Malvesti. …

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