Ches Thurber, United States

On the Community: The small size of each incoming PhD class at Fletcher creates a sense of community unique among doctoral programs.  Students get to know each other, learn about each others' research interests, and collaborate to tackle problems that extend beyond typical disciplinary boundaries.  Each student has their own passion and own fascinating set of experiences, often from places all over the world.  Brought together in the context of small classes, weekly lunch seminars, and frequent social activities, it makes the Fletcher PhD program a truly exciting and dynamic place to study.

Why I chose Fletcher: I came to Fletcher from the U.S. Congress where the debate over the war in Iraq had been the number one foreign policy issue on the minds of my boss and his constituents.  However, I felt that I knew way too little about this region of the world in which the United States has become so deeply involved.  Fletcher allowed me to study the Middle East in depth, and I was able to increase my understanding of the region in a variety of contexts, from Professor Nasr's courses on Islamic Politics, to Arabic language study in the Tufts language department, and through an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar.

Favorite Magazine:


Favorite City:

Vienna, Austria

Global Issue that brought you to Fletcher:

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Favorite Lecture attended:

Vali Nasr on Theories of Revolutions

Fields of Study

  • International Security Studies
    Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs
    Fletcher Space Policy Working Group
    Ph.D. Student Research Colloquium

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, International Studies, Middlebury College

Experience before Fletcher

  • Legislative Assistant, Foreign Relations and Defense Policy, Office of Congressman Peter Welch; Washington, DC


  • Arabic