Rizwan Ladha, United States

Why I chose Fletcher: I came to Fletcher for three reasons. First, I wanted to be at a school with a strong program in international security, and I have not been disappointed. The International Security Studies Program (ISSP) at Fletcher is exceptional, both in its course offerings and in its professional opportunities. Former students have left Fletcher to hold top national security positions in academia, government, and the private sector, and this legacy is a testament to the strength of ISSP and the Fletcher School. Second, I wanted to be at an institution that would value the nontraditional career path I had taken. With a background in energy, financial services, education, and IT, I would not seem to most schools to be a natural fit in a security studies program. However, the time I’ve spent working in these sectors, combined with my time living abroad and my own ancestral heritage, have given me a unique perspective on global politics and international relations. Fortunately, Fletcher welcomed me over two years ago, and in its halls I have found my home - first as a MALD student, and now as a PhD candidate. Third, I chose Fletcher because I wanted to be challenged as much by my peers as by my professors. I have met exceptionally dynamic, accomplished, and humble students from around the world. Their numerous accolades, professional interests, and personal talents never cease to amaze me, and the contributions they have made to my education, both inside and outside of the classroom, are invaluable.

Collaboration and teamwork at Fletcher: Fletcher is known for its collaborative and collegial atmosphere. Here, we don't compete against each other, but rather support, encourage, and help each other. Classmates who in a parallel universe would never speak with each other -- like Indians and Pakistanis, or Israelis and Palestinians -- come together to work together on assignments, discuss world events, and find common understanding on sensitive issues. As a Shi'a Isma'ili Muslim of South Asian heritage, I have found my closest friends in Dawudi, Sunni, and Ithna'ashari Muslims, as well as in Orthodox Jews, Protestants, Buddhists and Hindus. At a time when public opinion and politics have become sharply divided along ideological lines, it is more important than ever that we rediscover our common humanity, and Fletcher encourages and fosters that rediscovery every day.

Favorite Magazine:

Foreign Affairs

Favorite blog:


POLITICO's Morning Defense

Favorite Movie:


The Usual Suspects

Most Rewarding Trip:


Floating along the backwaters of Kerala in India

Most pressing world issue:


Nuclear insecurity and instability in India and Pakistan

Fields of Study

  • Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization
  • International Security Studies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Fletcher Students in Security
  • Los Fletcheros
  • Fletcher Admissions Office
  • Tavitian Scholars Program

Education before Fletcher

  • MALD, Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • BS, International Affairs, The Sam Nunn School, Georgia Tech

Experience before Fletcher

  • National Security Researcher, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy, Seattle, WA

  • Research Intern, Ploughshares Fund, Washington, D.C.

  • Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA

  • Project Manager, Infosys Technologies, Mysore, India and Boston, MA

Languages

  • Kutchi
  • Spanish
  • Arabic
  • English