Stories from Our Community

Jessica Meckler (F16): From Fletcher to New Delhi, Training Actors on the Ground

Jessica Meckler (F16) is moving to New Delhi, India, where she’ll be joining the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) team for the next part of her global journey. Her duties will include training partner organizations on the ground as well as developing executive education courses.

“I have a larger background in education, but because I’ve taken classes at Fletcher to understand the subject, the opportunity at J-PAL connects what I’ve done before and what I learned here at Fletcher,” said Meckler.

Meckler, originally from the Philadelphia area, has collected many passport stamps from previous work experiences abroad. Most recently, she took a year off during her studies at Fletcher to work in Pune Maharashtra, India, as an American India Foundation William J. Clinton Fellow. As part of the fellowship, she worked full-time at an educational NGO doing a mix of impact assessment, curriculum design and teacher training. In addition, she spent time working in Bangladesh in BRAC’s social innovation lab.

Although Meckler will be working internationally, she won’t be too far from her Fletcher family.

“You can move to basically any part of the world, and even if there’s no Fletcher person there, they can connect you to people,” said Meckler. “When I moved to Pune, I sent an email to my classmates at Fletcher to find out if anyone knew people in the city, and a current Fletcher student connected me to his childhood friends. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known anyone.”

Back on campus, Meckler was a co-leader of the Global Women group, a student organization, which seeks to raise awareness for gender issues, as well as the critical role that women play in international affairs. As part of this group, she helped organize Fletcher’s first annual gender conference, "Gender and International Affairs: Avenues for Change.”

“The conference was a really great experience to work with other students, faculty, and professionals and researchers in the Greater Boston areas and New York who came in for the conference,” said Meckler. “It was a lot of work but great!”

Like most Fletcher students, Meckler found a way to balance school with a little bit of fun. She attended the annual ski trip, as well as numerous shows put on by “Los Fletcheros,” the student rock group.

“I think the fact that the student body is both so diverse and accomplished but also welcoming is really unique,” said Meckler. “That is one of the things that made Fletcher stand out to me when I was coming here. It had more of a community feel, and I’ve really enjoyed that.”

For first-year Fletcher students, she has some advice: don’t take school too seriously, and get your capstone done early.

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