What is your current job?
I currently work as a strategic consultant for a handful of social justice organizations, specializing in communications and partnership planning. My clients include a civil justice network of thousands working on making the system in the States more accessible, a direct one-to-one giving platform supporting Syrian refugees across the world, a Haitian led medical and education organization based in Port-Au-Prince, and a company whose disruptive glasses technology is set to close the gap on the 700 million people who need a pair worldwide. I help all of them with a broad range of communications work and with cultivating partnerships that help amplify their impact while avoiding recreating work that's already being done.
Why did you choose this profession?
My post-Haverford life for the last eight years has been an evolution. I'd say at the core of my path has always been a deep commitment to social justice work. I started out as an idealistic green journalist then hopped to DC sparked by Obama's arrival there to work on healthcare reform and reproductive justice. I somehow discovered Boulder while working in DC and fell in love. I was lucky enough to join a startup there where I was given the opportunity to build a CSR arm of the company in partnership with Partners in Health in Haiti. Soon I transitioned into consulting to have more flexibility to go back and forth to the developing world while also serving on a few organizational boards. Life (well, marriage) took me to Madagascar by surprise until July of this past year. I'd say my work path in some ways chose me. I've always loved to write and connect and I think my time at Haverford not only made me a much stronger writer but it also was a reminder that it was okay for me to be on such a diverse path for awhile, as long as my commitment to justice and intellect remained at the core of it all.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
My time working in Madagascar, Haiti, and Uganda clarified for me that when I got back to the States, I was ready to take my experience from working on-the-ground back into the academic world to move my international development career to the next level, particularly in the global health arena. Starting this coming Fall, I've been admitted as one of ten Sie Fellows at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies where I'll be working on my MA in International Development with a certificate in Global Health and another one in Humanitarian Aid. My hope is that after Korbel I can head back abroad with a more nuanced skill set, working at the intersections of post-disaster and post-conflict humanitarian health aid.
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
Leaving DC to move to Boulder was a decision I'll never regret. While I loved the high of national policy, I ultimately wasn't happy feeling so far away from the social change I was working to make. The city, while incredible, also never felt like home. Colorado (I now live in Denver which I love even more than Boulder) helped me to not only network with a small entrepreneurial community working on social impact projects, it also offered me the chance to be in a place that took care of me with its mountains and trails. Even as I continue to work across the world, I always return to Colorado to recharge.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship was a central part of my life at Haverford. My freshman year I took a post-genocide reconciliation class that included a field component in Guatemala. I'm convinced that trip is what sparked my relentless social change spirit (I honestly can't do work that isn't in the realm of justice and sleep at night). That summer I was back in Guatemala for one of the first years the CPGC offered its internships, and later both worked for the Center and went to India on a research grant. I also helped launched a class with the Center in a women's jail in Philadelphia and have continued to volunteer teaching mindfulness and narrative writing classes in jails where I've lived since. I left Haverford with the CPGC's ideals and values woven into me. Quakerism also remained a piece of me and my work. While I wasn't raised Quaker, I fell in love with its core values (and even married a Quaker man). I continue to try to live simply, honestly, and in alignment with doing what I can to make the world a better place.