Reflections on Being a War and Peace Fellow

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War & Peace Fellows met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in May 2019.

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War and Peace Fellows Charlotte Blatt '18 and Rachael Jones '18 along with War & Peace Fellows at SOCOM in Tampa, FL (January 2018).

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War and Peace Fellows (L to R) Utkarsh Agarwal ’13, Eve Ahearn ’11, Emily Johnson ’12 and Justin Varilek ’11 outside the Lincoln Memorial during the 2011 trip to Washington, D.C. 

Charlotte Blatt '18

I cannot pick a single highlight from my time as a War and Peace Fellow because participating in the program itself was one of the highlights of my time at Dartmouth. There are so many instances that stand out. I traveled to MacDill Airforce Base in Tampa, Florida with War and Peace Fellows, where 10 of us met with General Joseph Votel and General Tony Thomas, the Four-Star General Commanders of US Central Command and US Special Operations Command, respectively. As a junior in college, I got to have dinner in Washington, DC sitting next to Vice President Biden’s national security advisor Colin Kahl, who I quoted in a paper I had written a few months earlier. With War and Peace Fellows, I had pie with Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, I heard about developments in international law in the Trump era from Harold Koh, former State Department Legal Advisor, and I got to discuss countless other topics with acclaimed journalists, scholars, policymakers, lawyers, and activists. Most importantly, I made friends with other students who shared my excitement about these topics, several of whom are the people I most frequently talk to after graduation.

Following my graduation from Dartmouth in June 2018, I received a Fulbright Scholarship to work as a Research Fellow at the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP) at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. The research that I am doing at CIDP is an extension of some of the foreign policy research I was doing at Dartmouth and related to my participation in War and Peace Fellows. Following my year with Fulbright, I am excited to join the Yale Law School Class of 2022 beginning in fall 2019. I am particularly grateful to War and Peace Fellows for giving me so many opportunities to speak with lawyers working in foreign policy and national security fields during my undergraduate career. Guided by some of those conversations, I think I am better prepared to begin law school, knowing that there are viable careers for many kinds of lawyers in policymaking. Anyone interested in foreign policy in any capacity, from defense, to diplomacy, to development should apply for War and Peace Fellows. There is no other program that allows undergraduates the same kind of access to top foreign policy personnel, and my understanding of the kind of career I want to have has been directly influenced by these conversations. Joining War and Peace Fellows was one of the best choices I made at Dartmouth. I am excited to see how the group grows and changes in the coming years, and I look forward to following my War and Peace classmates’ careers develop in all areas of business, government, and academia.

 

Rachael Jones '18

While I did not necessarily expect to become very involved in War and Peace, War and Peace became one of my most meaningful and fulfilling commitments at Dartmouth. One of my highlights from the War and Peace Fellows program was a trip to SOCOM/CENTCOM headquarters in Florida, as well as participating in the annual D.C. trip. Visiting these locations was especially exciting, because I was able to enter the actual headquarters of operations I had learned about in classes, and speak to the policy makers who made decisions I had studied. Meeting and interacting with the people at the center of various operations added a nuanced layer and dimension to my understanding of war and peace issues. My time as a War and Peace fellow has guided my trajectory, personally, academically, and professionally. At events, I participated in conversations with people with diverse and varied careers, all of whom were able to impact war and peace issues; the War and Peace Program helped me consider how I could focus on policy issues in ways other than I had traditionally conceived. Additionally, I met leaders whose opinions and ideas diverged from my own. However, conversations with these thinkers compelled me to appreciate their perspectives, and often led me to think more deeply and critically about my own ideas and conceptions about policy issues. The speakers who attend War and Peace events are exceptional, but the War and Peace program is also made special by the other Fellows. My peers came from a variety of backgrounds and academic disciplines, from Government to Philosophy to Women and Gender Studies. These other fellows brought different perspectives than my own, and I learned and grew from my discussions with other Fellows during and after events. Through War and Peace conversations with leaders in many fields, I was able to learn and reflect about my interests in different fields. The enriching conversations I had led me to consider careers I had never previously thought about pursuing, like journalism. I noticed that I found myself consistently attracted to speakers discussing legal issues -- both domestic and international. I am currently a first year at University of Virginia School of Law, and I hope to leverage my degree to address issues of war and peace from a legal standpoint.

 

Utkarsh Agarwal ’13

In my four years at Dartmouth, the W&P Fellows program has been one of the most insightful and exciting opportunities where I got to interact and learn from my peers just as much as I learnt from the guest speakers. As an engineering major at Dartmouth, the W&P Fellows Program allowed me to pursue my passion of international affairs without the burden of readings or homework. Throughout the year, W&P Fellows get unfettered access to a long list of well-accomplished people including ex-ambassadors, war veterans, CIA analysts, activists and journalists who visit campus to give public talks. Fellows get the opportunity to speak to these guests in a candid, off-the-record, dinner setting. The W&P Fellows program is also self-driven in the sense that any Fellow can request to bring in a guest speaker to campus, and Dickey will fund their visit. The highlight of the War & Peace Fellows programming is the annual DC trip. Typically, Fellows visit the Pentagon and the State Department where we meet with senior officials. This year, the fellows also got a peek into the budget allocation process with a terrific meeting with Tim Rieser ‘78 of Senate Appropriations Committee. The trip also includes a dinner with young CIA analysts – a career option increasingly popular with W&P alums. For anyone with an interest in issues of War and Peace – personal or academic – I highly recommend the Fellows program. It has given me the opportunity of meeting fantastic people and asking questions of them, an opportunity that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say that the experience of being a W&P Fellow and what I have learnt as a result of it, has shaped my worldview.

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