Fletcher Features

VIDEO: Fletcher Panel at SXSW Interactive Examines "Foreign Policy in the Digital Age"


Austin’s renowned SXSW Interactive Festival draws more than 30,000 digital natives, creatives and technologists from all over the world for an intense 5 days of conference workshops and presentations.

While previous years’ witnessed the launch of social platform giants like Twitter, this year’s conference saw a greater focus on issues of privacy, data security, politics, and diplomacy—from keynote Edward Snowden to panels on political memes—signaling a demand for more participation by academics and practitioners of international affairs.

Aiming to ignite a conversation among such digital natives about digital/social tools and foreign policy, The Fletcher School convened a panel of experts at the intersection of security, economic development, diplomacy, human rights and Internet freedom. Moderated by journalist Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) of The Guardian, the panel included Fletcher alumni:

  • Admiral James Stavridis (@stavridisj), Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University and former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO (Fletcher MALD ’83, PhD ’84)
  • Farah Pandith (@farah_pandith), Harvard IOP Fellow and (former) the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities at the U.S. Department of State (Fletcher MALD ‘95)
  • Joshua Haynes (@joshuahaynes), Senior Development Technologist + Media Adviser, USAID’s Center of Excellence for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (Fletcher MIB ’10)