Rachel Goretsky, F22

School: The Fletcher School 
Degree: Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy 
Home: I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, which is the headquarters of NATO in North America. They have the NATO parade and NATO Fest every year. 

Why did you choose Fletcher? 

I had known about Fletcher since high school. I knew I wanted to do international relations work and multilateral security, and Fletcher's curriculum offered the specifics and flexibility that I wanted. There’s also no other program on par with Fletcher in terms of the community. 

You’re known as “the NATO nerd” among your friends. Why is that? 

I'm passionate about multilateral security, how states work together to achieve collective security interests. Unfortunately, up until Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, some people thought NATO was an irrelevant Cold War relic.

What's been your focus at Fletcher?

In my capstone, I looked at information sharing and nuclear security, which involves protecting nuclear facilities and radioactive material from intentional harm or theft. Outside of class, my biggest commitment is that I’m editor-in-chief of the Fletcher Security Review, which is a fully student-run journal. I’m also on the executive board of the Fletcher chapter of Women in International Security. We host small-group lunches with the military fellows, which is great, because it’s off the record and you can ask them anything. We also just sponsored a coffee hour with a high-ranking female general. 

Where are you headed after Commencement? 

I am going to Brussels. I have a position with the NATO standardization office in the policy coordination branch. Standardization is super important, especially in a large alliance like NATO, because it's all about making sure the allies can communicate with one another and work with one another, like can your planes land on their runway or can these missiles fit on this submarine. I have a six-month contract to start, in the intro-level trainee program. After that, I hope to continue working either for NATO or with the U.S. delegation to NATO or in other kinds of trans-Atlantic security issues, in a leadership-track role.  

What surprised you most about your time at Fletcher? 

Resilience comes to mind. I started at Fletcher during the pandemic, and I was online entirely last year, but I've been so happy with my Fletcher experience. Thank God I lived with other MALD students, so we were our own little bubble. We’ve never had a class together, but we have game nights, movie nights, go on day trips together. Fletcher is known for the community aspect, but I was pleasantly surprised by how real that is. Being at Fletcher these past two years has shown me that having these relationships is worth the hard work that goes into it. It’s going to be hard to stay in contact when we’re all around the world, but you need to put in the effort. 

This profile originally appeared as part of the series “Profiles in Inspiration: Commencement 2022 Spotlights."

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