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May 31, 2018

Dear Members of the Tufts Community:

We write to share the news that Dean James Stavridis, who has led The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy superbly for the last five years, will be leaving Tufts in August to pursue new opportunities in international finance and consulting. A dynamic leader, a wonderful partner, and a prolific scholar, Jim has advanced Fletcher’s reputation and strengthened its standing as a premier school for the study of international affairs.

During his time as Dean, Jim has compiled a record of tremendous accomplishment. Under his leadership, Fletcher attracted brilliant faculty members, including an increased number of women in tenured or tenure-stream positions; welcomed the first woman chair of its Board of Advisors; established new degree programs; and launched new partnerships that created professional and networking opportunities for students. At the same time, Jim led the execution of the school’s strategic plan, “To Know the World,” introducing 21st-century programs of study in critical areas including cybersecurity, gender, social networks and Russia.

Jim has been a tireless and successful fundraiser on behalf of Fletcher, leading efforts to secure more than $70 million in gifts and grants for financial aid, scholarships and research. At the same time, he has been indefatigable in the pursuit of his own scholarship, writing books and articles and commenting frequently in the media on global and national affairs. His service as Dean has reflected and extended the same dedication to national security and global peace that have marked his entire career. All the while, Jim has inspired faculty, staff and students to make the world a better place and to continue fostering the cohesive, diverse and collaborative community for which Fletcher is known.  Jim’s own message to the Fletcher community follows our message.

We are pleased that Professor of International Law Ian Johnstone has agreed to serve as Dean ad interim of The Fletcher School.  A member of the School’s faculty since 2000, Ian is not only an internationally respected expert on international organizations and peace operations, and an award-winning teacher, but also served as the School’s Academic Dean from 2013 to 2015.  The search for the next dean of Fletcher will begin at the start of the fall semester and will be chaired by Dr. Kochevar.

We are excited that Jim Stavridis will remain committed to his advocacy for Fletcher as an alumnus and as chair of the Friends of Fletcher. Jim leads by example, and we are grateful for the generosity he and his wife, Laura, have shown in making an extraordinary pledge toward the Brighter World Campaign to support the Admiral James and Laura Stavridis Endowed Scholarship Fund for outstanding Fletcher students.  We hope you will join us in thanking Jim for his outstanding and lasting contributions to The Fletcher School and to Tufts, and in wishing him well in the years ahead.

Best wishes,

Anthony P. Monaco

Deborah T. Kochevar
Provost and Senior Vice President, ad interim

Message from Dean James Stavridis to the Fletcher Community

Dear Members of the Fletcher Community,

It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that I will be leaving The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy this August to pursue exciting new opportunities in the world of international finance and consulting.  I am delighted that Professor of International Law Ian Johnstone has accepted the Provost’s invitation to serve as Dean ad interim during the search for my successor.

While the past five years have gone quickly, when I reflect on all that we’ve accomplished together, the time feels very full and satisfying.

I’ve had the honor of working closely with a dedicated and tireless team, from our brilliant faculty who are at the forefront of their fields and devoted to fully preparing our students for global leadership, to our resourceful and perceptive administration. I’m both impressed and inspired by just how much they are able to accomplish.  Whether we were conceptualizing a new program or initiative, tackling budget challenges, or addressing a host of other intricate matters, the intelligence, grace, adaptability, and problem-solving skills they consistently demonstrated are second to none.  I consider myself truly lucky to have been able to work in this microcosm of constant commitment, collaboration and compassion, where each of us is striving to further Fletcher’s original mission of helping others to better know – and ultimately benefit – our increasingly complicated world.

Together, we created a strategic plan that built upon and enhanced the strength and success of this academic enterprise.  Emerging from that plan, we constructed a 21st century curriculum incorporating the study and analysis of cybersecurity, gender, the social networks, and Russia. We also welcomed a new generation of academic leadership, recruiting top talent to join our first-rate faculty. I’m particularly proud that we have increased the number of women in tenure and the tenure stream, as well as appointing the first woman chair of our Board of Advisors.  Fletcher was recently lauded in Pacific Standard Magazine for these efforts and our commitment to teaching gender in the classroom.

I’ve had the privilege of graduating 1500 engaging and brilliant students, many of whom I’ve been able to get to know personally.  I am in awe of their intelligence, tenacity and originality; their sincerity and commitment to fostering the collegial, supportive and tight-knit community that is so unique to Fletcher; and their ability to engage in discourse that is not always easy. They have been true diplomats every step of their journey at Fletcher, which gives me confidence that many of you will effect meaningful change in your lifetimes and help solve many of the problems the world faces today.

Many of you have joked that when you wake up and turn on the morning news, I’m greeting you through the screen. It has been a great privilege to represent our School via major news networks and publications.  With more than 200 articles, three books, and more than 500 local, national, and international interviews, it has been of paramount importance to me to share our mission of diplomacy globally, helping others to better understand the complexities of our increasingly interconnected society.

While it has been a joy to represent Fletcher in the news, I’ve been equally delighted to speak for this unparalleled institution as a frontline fundraiser.  Over the last five years, I’m proud to say that we together raised over $70 million, nearly doubling targeted annual goals and bringing Fletcher 60 percent of the way toward our overall campaign goal.  As a departing gift to my beloved School, I have personally pledged more than $1 million toward the Brighter World Campaign for Fletcher, which will go toward the Admiral James and Laura Stavridis Scholarship.  Fletcher is nothing without our outstanding students, and I’m committed to our continued success in attracting the world’s best and brightest.  I’ll continue to be a close friend to Fletcher and a loyal alum, and look forward to remaining deeply involved with the School.

Anyone who has heard me speak knows I am fond of quoting the 19th century French statesman and military leader Napoleon Bonaparte, particularly his declaration that “a leader is a dealer in hope.” It has been an honor to serve as your dean and to have helped turn some of our hopes into realities over the last five years.  My hope for all of you is that you will continue to manifest the collaborative and innovative spirit you’ve demonstrated day in and day out, a quality which truly sets Fletcher apart.  To all of my fine colleagues and friends, thank you for this incredible voyage.

All the best,