Jonathan Brands

Fletcher School of Tufts University
Class of 2015

Though born in Virginia, as the son of a diplomat, I spent the majority of my life growing up overseas in Africa.  I called Malawi, Uganda, and South Africa my home for a total of twelve years before returning to the United States.  This homecoming, surprisingly, gave me the greatest culture shock of my life as I adjusted to being an American student at T.C. Williams High School, famous from the movie Remember the Titans, in Alexandria, Virginia.  From there I proceeded to the University of Virginia, where I majored in Foreign Affairs and minored in Middle Eastern Studies.

After graduating from college, I applied for the Peace Corps.  While waiting for my assignment, I lived with nuns in the Honduran countryside teaching English, and later worked for a consulting firm in Washington, DC.  My Peace Corps service began in 2011 in the Republic of Georgia.  I worked as a high school English Teacher at Dedoplistskaro’s First Public School.  In addition, I developed numerous community- and national-based projects, including the first annual National English Spelling Competition.  My work in the Peace Corps helped focus my career aspirations, leading me to pursue my graduate studies at The Fletcher School.

At The Fletcher School I concentrated on Development Economics and International Finance.  My coursework included extensive econometric and financial modeling, as I focused on developing my quantitative skills.  While in my second year, I successfully applied for a Boren Fellowship and will be spending the next year in Georgia, studying Russian and Georgian.  Following the Boren Fellowship, I hope to join the U.S. Foreign Service in the field of economic development.