Career Profiles of People Currently In The Field of Development

New Profiles

President, SkillNations, Seattle: Monika Aring

Monika Aring Photo on 8-24-12 at 10.32 AM

1)   How would you describe your job?

I am self employed.  My job on any given day depends on the contracts and deliverables I have.  For example, right now I have 3 contracts;

  • - With the IDB and Gov of Costa Rica to help that country with examples of how to move their economy up 2 points on the WEF scale – which  eans helping them develop strategies to remove the enormous skills mismatch in their economy so that the skills produced by the K-20 education institutions are the skills demanded for high growth sectors in their economy
  • - With a large contractor for USAID for whom I’m writing a large paper that defines my field – workforce development – as a field of its own, not simply as a stepchild of education or economic development
  • - With the Asian Development Bank and the ILO – to write a 40-p paper examining employment and employability issues for the 10 ASEAN member states before they join as a common market in 2015

2)   What is a given day at the office like?

As it’s my office, any given day will find me talking with my research assistants, or in a coffee shop, writing/doing emails, or talking on the phone or via Skype with clients about what they need.  I also spend some time dealing with requests for being bid on future work.

3)   What is your favorite thing about your job?

The freedom, flexibility, pleasure of working with such brilliant and wonderful clients and colleagues on an issue we all care deeply about.  After all, without jobs absolutely nothing works in a country, right?  Jobs finance health, education, infrastructure.  Moreover they provide meaning and a way for people to contribute and participate in their society.

4)   How did you become interested in your field/global development?

I decided in 1980 that my life would be dedicated to creating a better future for the world’s young people.  Then, when I went around the world on a global benchmarking project I met hundreds of young people in country after country, asking me what would become of them?  Right now one third of Latin America’s youth have neither skills nor jobs.

5)   What is your educational background?

I started out with undergraduate work in design – this helped me enormously to understand how to design programs and projects, and it helped me see systems, which is essential.  I then got two undergraduate degrees in languages and music.  The music helps enormously when it comes to collaborating – you have to listen while you play – intently – to make it all work.  Then I got a Master’s at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  That brings with it a tremendous amount of credibility.

6) What did you do after graduation?

I went to work for one of the leading east coast think tanks, founded by Harvard and MIT, to found a Center for Workforce Development and built it into a $54 mil enterprise all on grants and contracts.

7) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

As a young woman out of college I led a major downtown revitalization project that turned out to be astoundingly successful.  I saw that I could make big things happen and motivate people to create a different future.

8) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

  • -My deep abiding commitment to a world where all of us have the resources to sustain ourselves, our families, our communities, and our environment
  • -My ability to see the whole, not just the parts.  I am able to see and ask “what’s missing that would make a difference,” and then engage others in helping find it and put it in place
  • -My strong analytical mind
  • -My very highly developed people skills – I am absolutely confident and free to be with people wherever and however they are

9) What are your Goals for the future?

  • To have a major influence in my field – for me that is to help practitioners and donors realize that it’s easy to put programs in place – however, the real challenge, is to help a country build the capacity to adapt/evolve/develop its own solutions, and to pull together by doing so.  You can’t develop a workforce without economic goals, and you can’t get people to pull together without real leadership, and this leadership needs to be able to align the various stakeholders in the country to do what’s needed

10) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

  • Do not be naïve in assuming that technical solutions will work.  I’ve often heard young grads from Harvard and elsewhere say, “well, if that country would only adjust its xyz policy it would work…” there is a reason the XYZ policy is in place.  Being skilled and discerning in how to create an environment where that policy can change is the art that you hardly learn in school.
  • Be humble.  Go out and make a difference – somewhere, anywhere.  Learn about yourself.  Tell the truth, act from your heart and your mind.
  • Look for what’s working in a country or community.  Don’t focus on what’s wrong.  And look for what’s working and great in you!  And trust life to teach you what you need to learn!

 

 

Executive Director, The Post Harvest Project, Seattle: Stan Emert

StanEmert (1)

1) How would you describe your job?

Comprehensive and normal aspects of running a small nonprofit. Very exciting.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

Calls, emails, drafting documents, research into poverty and hunger issues; growing work related to food production and the environment; incorporating Rainmakers into the work

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

Working with like-minded people around the world

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

Inspired by so many people, particularly in our area, that we really can make a difference

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

Interest started as a child from parents encouraging understanding of those who live outside the US; interest was fueled by the tremendous people and organizations in the Seattle area who work globally

6) What is your educational background?

JD

7) What did you do after graduation?

Practiced law for 13 years; wrote books; worked in corporate social responsibility;

8) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

It has not been jobs, but it has been a mindset to engage your passion

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Learning from setbacks; seeing failure as a success yet-to-be

10) What are your Goals for the future?

Help people in Impact Countries reduce hunger and poverty

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Relationships are golden. Be a giver first, and you will reap the benefits.

Executive Director, Mission Africa, Auburn: Ndudi Chuku

CareerProfilesPhoto_Ndudi Chucku 2
1) How would you describe your job?

Directing the day to day business of Mission Africa, managing Mission Africa projects, services, relationships and records, developing projects and focus for mission trips, fund raising for Mission Africa, budget development, recruiting, training and managing volunteers for community outreaches, organizing shipments of books and essential items from the USA to Africa.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

I am a full time employee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and my services to Mission Africa is on volunteer basis. Mission Africa is my second job but without pay.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

The differences Mission Africa makes in the lives of underprivileged children & families in Africa.

4) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

I was born and raised in Africa and have a good understanding of poverty. My passion is to invest in the lives of vulnerable children and families in the villages of Africa through education, healthcare and youth empowerment. Mission Africa provides the avenue for me to pursue my passion in a very direct and practical way.

5) What is your educational background?

BA in Business Management (Secretarial Administration)

6) What did you do after graduation?

I served my country (Nigeria) for one year through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program and then entered the workforce in Nigeria for a few years, owned my own business in Nigeria for a few more years before relocating to the United States.

7) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

I worked at Seattle Public Schools, co-pastored a Christian church, currently manage Mission Africa with my husband, and a full time employee of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation for the past 6 years.

8) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Faith – I believe all things are possible with God, passion, perseverance, hard work, determination, great partnerships & supports, and incredible volunteers.

9) What are your Goals for the future?

To help organize the nonprofit sector in some African countries, build schools in some villages, build health centers that are closer to some villages. Build skill acquisition centers and promote computer literacy among the youth.

10)If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Hold on to your passion, stay focused, encourage yourself, keep sharing your vision at every opportunity and never underestimate the power of ordinary people who share your passion.

Advocacy

Program Officer, Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program: Abby Stepaniak

1) How would you describe your job?

I work with the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program which brings leaders from around the world to the States for professional development and exchange. I work to connect these leaders with their counterparts here in Seattle to foster collaboration, cross-cultural exchange, and open dialogue about the world.

 

2) What is a given day at the office like?

I work with an amazing team that communicates and brainstorms freely together, and also connect with many different organizations and professionals throughout Seattle by email or by phone. When we have visiting delegates in town I’m lucky enough to attend some of their professional meetings and hear about how our colleagues in Seattle are tackling the world’s problems, both globally and locally.

 

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

I am constantly discovering the amazing things we are doing here in Seattle. My job spans across sectors, so I’m lucky in that I get to interact with and learn about what many different people are doing in many different areas of focus. I’m constantly learning what this city has to offer, why it’s special, and why we’re such a great hub for global interactions.

 

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

I worked in Africa for three years prior to joining the World Affairs Council, and found that when I came back home a good deal of my conversations about my time there involved some sort of an educational component. A lot of my family and friends were genuinely interested in knowing what life was like somewhere else, what was better or worse about it, and were always surprised when I talked about how similar our challenges were across the globe. It was at that point that I realized how important cross-cultural exchange was not only to us as individuals, but to us as a community and as a nation. My job now is to foster those connections and incorporate that kind of learning into our daily conversations and our communities here in Seattle.

 

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

I have a knack for connecting people. I’ve always done this and find it’s always been the most rewarding part of any job I’ve ever had. I like finding the threads in life that connect us all, and using that concept to bring about positive change. Although it may sound cliché, I think only good things can happen when you connect people and make the world a smaller place.

 

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

I went to Uganda on a short study abroad program during winter vacation my sophomore year of college at the University of Wisconsin. At that time I was studying nutrition and public health. I was only there for fifteen days but that experience just blew my mind. After being so moved by the people that we met with and learning what they were doing to make their communities better, I was inspired to give back. Along with a few friends from that program, I started a nonprofit  called Village Health Project (VHP). Village Health Projects builds rainwater catchment systems in rural Ugandan communities, and incorporates the construction of these tanks into a service-learning experience for University of Wisconsin study abroad students that go on the same program that I went on. VHP is still going and is still successful even now, eight years later.  That experience led me to where I am now — focusing on nonprofit management and global development.

7) What did you do after graduation?

After I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison I enrolled in the Peace Corps Masters International program at the Evans School of Public Affairs here at the University of Washington.

After I graduated with my MPA from the Evans School I took a job with an Irish humanitarian aid agency working in North Sudan.

 

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

I worked with Village Health Project all through college, completed two years of Peace Corps service in South Africa, and did humanitarian aid in North Sudan for one year. After living abroad for 3 years I knew I wanted to move back to Seattle, and World Affairs Council was a natural fit for me.

 

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Honestly? Probably the confidence I have in myself. I’ve learned to strike a fine balance between humility and perseverance. I’ve worked really hard in situations that required me to think outside the box, but was never afraid to ask for help or to step back when I was not the most appropriate person to move something along further. I think because of that I have been able to learn a lot from those that I’ve worked with.

 

10) What are your goals for the future?

I always want to be working to foster a community that appreciates, respects, and learns from each other and also from those who live elsewhere. There is so much diversity in Seattle, yet I think we don’t know enough about each other and about the world on a larger scale. Regardless of the job that I have or the organization that I work with, I want to somehow be working towards greater cultural exchange and appreciation.

 

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Remain humble and open minded. There are so many different ways of doing things that it’s best to remind yourself that there can be multiple solutions to any given problem. You will not always be right, and that’s ok.

Research Associate, williamsworks, Seattle: Richard Johnson

1) How would you describe your job?

As a Research Associate, I primarily work to support our team leaders in meeting our broader project goals around a specific development/advocacy issue. This usually means identifying, researching, synthesizing, and presenting the ideas, information, news, and data critical to helping us understand a specific issue and designing an effective strategy to take action on it. In many cases, I also help to execute a project through the management or production of smaller project pieces within a larger whole.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

Every day is completely different. Working to support a number of my colleagues means I often get pulled into projects at the drop of a hat. I usually come in with an idea of what I need to accomplish every day, but almost always spend a good chunk of time addressing new things that get put on my plate. Some days I’m heads-down on some research, other days I’m on the phones non-stop helping coordinate a project. I’m also in a constant struggle to stay on top of news.

3)  What is your favorite thing about your job?

While constant change can be stressful, inefficient, and exhausting, I love how broad and dynamic my job is – both in terms of actual work and subject matter. I’m also right in the heart of some really interesting and impactful work. One moment I’ll be researching key actors and organizations engaged in WASH projects, the next I’m helping launch an initiative to end podoconiosis, the next I’m helping write a speech and selecting media for the release of a report on security sector reform in the DRC, the next I’m sifting through poll data, the next I’m producing a briefing book on famine in the Horn of Africa….etc. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with and learn from a number of amazing individuals.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

From past experiences I have come to realize that we can have a huge impact on an issue by networking the right people with the right information and organizations. I really enjoy facilitating this process.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

My father is an agronomist, and growing up we regularly hosted foreign scientists who were in town. As far as I can tell, this exposure to different perspectives, issues, and realities helped me gain a sense that the world was bigger than eastern Washington at an early age. It especially helped me to cultivate an interest in food security, rural livelihoods, agricultural commodity chains, and the research side of development work.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

Once I entered undergrad at the University of Washington, I jumped right into the Jackson School of International Studies, where I earned a B.A. in International Studies with a special focus on Latin America. The program gave me a great opportunity to explore a number of the interests I had already formed and exposed me to a wealth of new perspectives and topics.

6) What did you do after graduation?

Shortly after graduating from UW, I joined the Peace Corps and ended up working on food security and sustainable agriculture projects for two years in rural Guatemala. My time in the Peace Corps was a hugely formative experience that continues to inform my perspectives and work.

7)  What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

(None)

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Working hard and being personable. I am also fortunate have been surrounded by a number of phenomenal mentors, colleagues, family members, and friends.

10) What are your goals for the future?

I eventually plan to head to graduate school to continue to study food security, land access and use, and livelihood strategies/security in rural communities, primarily in Latin America. I ultimately hope to conduct policy-relevant research on these topics, especially in the context of climate change and shifting global markets for agricultural commodities.

11)  If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Be humble, tenacious, creative, and critical. And remember that we are trying to work ourselves out of a job.

Office Manager, Global Washington, Seattle: Megan Boucher

Megan Boucher1)  How would you describe your job?
Some adjectives I would use are busy, unpredictable, fun, interesting! We are a new organization with a small staff, so there is always something to do and something new and exciting happening. As the Office Manager, I am in charge of all the administrative work in the office: processing invoices, ordering supplies, answering the phone, making copies, and anything else you can think of. But I am also involved in events coordination, managing our database, supervising volunteers & interns, and coordinating organizational communications. Those are some of the basics, but I also work on other projects as they come up.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

It varies a lot! Some days—-like when we have events—-I am not even in the office for most of the day. An example of a day in the office could include answering questions over email and phone, putting in some work on a number of ongoing projects, maybe a meeting or conference call, coordinating details for one of our upcoming events, and writing up and sending out our email communications.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

I like that there is so much going on that I never get bored. I also love being plugged into the global development community in the state, finding out about the work that our members are doing, and planning and attending interesting workshops and events.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

I received my master’s degree in International Care and Community Development from Northwest University a few years ago. In my subsequent job search, I was fairly specific about looking for a job that related to Global Development. I had been an administrative assistant for several years before that, so when a friend told me about this job at Global Washington, it sounded like a perfect fit!

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

I grew up going to church where I was always told that it was important to help the poor, but I never really knew how to do that in practical ways. During college, I  did some volunteering for an AIDS awareness campaign sponsored by World Vision and realized that there were some important, tangible ways to make a difference in global issues that could address core problems instead of just providing handouts or temporary solutions.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

I graduated from college with an English degree and thought I wanted to go into business, but I had nonprofit work in the back of my mind. My first job was as an administrative assistant for a Fortune 500 company and I hated it. However, during that time, one of my friends and I started a small microcredit nonprofit and I worked on that as a volunteer project. I realized that I was much more interested in that type of work as a career path. When I had the opportunity to go back to school, I chose a master’s program that related to social justice and global development. And the rest is history.

7) What did you do after graduation?

After graduating from college, I did the only thing an English Lit major can do who doesn’t want to teach—-office work! I love to write and thought I could use my writing skills in the business world. The place to start was doing admin work. After grad school, I did some temp work while I looked for a job in the development field.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

I have had a number of administrative positions during and right after college. I also worked as a temp at the Washington State Hospital Association for a year, which gave me great exposure to what a membership organization is like. Prior to working at Global Washington, my main exposure to the development sector was academic and through volunteer work.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Adaptability. You can’t always find your dream job. During tough economic times, it’s hard to find a job in development when organizations have limited budgets. Adaptability helps you learn important skills, even in less-than-ideal jobs. Or to volunteer for a great organization if a paid position isn’t available. It’s also a great day-to-day skill because there is always something new and challenging!

10) What are your goals for the future?

I feel like I am just starting to really grasp what’s going on in the development sector in this state. I just want to continue to learn and advance in the field!

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Get involved! Volunteer. Find an internship. Go abroad. The people you’ll meet and the skills you’ll learn by just jumping in and doing the work will be invaluable and will really put you ahead of the crowd when you start looking for a permanent job.

Group Leader in Advocacy, RESULTS, Seattle: Bob Dickerson

Bob Dickerson1) How would you describe your job?
I am retired.  I work as a volunteer as the Group Leader of Seattle RESULTS, the Seattle part of the ngo, RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund.
2) What is a given day at the office like?
I have telephone calls with members of Congress and/or their aides.  I communicate with RESULTS Volunteers, working on lobbying members of Congress to support legislation and appropriations.  I work on promoting media opportunities and try to get the media to work on our issues.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

There are children alive today that would have been dead, if we had not taken some of the steps we have taken to eradicate abject poverty.  And in the process, U.S. citizens have also discovered just how important their voice is, and the difference they can make.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

It isn’t always popular to say in Seattle.  I am a Christian.  I know that just being an American citizen, I am incredibly blessed.  I think the Golden Rule is an important guide for my life.  There are people suffering.  Children and others with almost no power to tackle many of the obstacles arrayed against them.  But we can help make a huge difference in providing them hope, and making it more likely that they will be able to live a decent  life.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

I have always been interested in eradicating hunger, and when I went to a fundraiser for RESULTS in 1989, I was blown away by their accomplishments, and their rational model for making change.  At the fundraiser was one of our Congressmen then, John Miller, along with the man who started RESULTS.  And there was a video narrated by an Oscar winning actor about the seemingly little things we could do to make a huge difference in the lives of the poorest people in the world.  I wanted to sign up immediately.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

The fundraiser was in 1989.  I have always been interested in helping people who were not so well off.  I am a lawyer.  I have a BA in History, Minor in Sociology from the UW.  I was in the U.S. Army in Italy, and took one year of college course while there.  I graduated from Law School in 1976.  I initially hoped to be a high school social studies teacher, but there were no teaching jobs in 1971 in Seattle.

7) What did you do after graduation?

After my BA, I looked for a job for two years.  Gave up on teaching, and went to law school.  After graduating from law school (UW), I worked for a private law firm for 12 years.  Then with three of my partners in that firm, we left that firm, and started our own firm.  11 years later, I was diagnosed with cancer, with a prognosis of 1 to 20 years.  I decided to stop practicing law, and spend my time, however long it might be, doing something more valuable.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

No previous jobs with NGOs.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

If I am a success, I owe it mostly to my parents.  I am relatively well organized, hard working, and care about the work I do for RESULTS.

10) What are your Goals for the future?

To continue working as hard as I can, for as long as I can, doing whatever seems like the most effective work I can, to help people in poverty.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Take the long view.  You will have great successes, and you will see lots of ridiculous obstacles. Don’t give up.  Realize that being persistent is one of the most important things you can do in this work.  Don’t give up.  Its all about the people you are serving.  Don’t get a big head just because you do something helpful.  People who have nothing are surviving day to day.  Most of us would probably not be as successful as they are, if we traded places with them.

Global Education

Director of Engagement and Operations, Mona Foundation, Kirkland: Stephanie Bickler

Stephanie Bickler
1) How would you describe your job?
My main role at Mona Foundation is cultivate, manage, strengthen, report, and track the engagement of the Foundation with its base of supporters to ensure continued loyalty and scaling of the Foundation’s community outreach. Other important roles that I take care of at the Foundation include connecting and building collaborative relationships with lke-minded organizations to share learnings and best practices that will enable the scaling of investments in sustainable social and economic development initiatives. Lastly, I take care of the end-to-end business management of the Foundation’s daily work and managing selected professional volunteers who wish to serve the foundation in various administrative capacities.

2) What is a given day at the office like?
Any given day at the office can range in various aspects! Depending on what needs to be taken care of is what permits the activities for that day. Donor engagement is the most important aspect of my role at Mona. I am always in contact with different donors answering a wide range of questions and filling them in on any new occurrences at the Foundation. I am always mailing out different materials including contribution receipts, updates on different projects, or simple letters to let donors know we are thinking about them. Then, any operational business tasks that need to be handled are taken care of. Depending on what is going on at the Foundation, I am always helping to get ready for an event, an upcoming campaign, or board meeting.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?
The favorite thing about my job to me is knowing that I am helping to make a positive difference in someone else’s life in whatever capacity that may be.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?
Living in the Seattle area I had heard about Mona Foundation while completing my undergraduate degree. Once I started to become more involved in women and girls and education Mona was always on the radar. Once completing my undergrad I knew I wanted to be involved professionally with an organization who is working towards the same universal goals as I was.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?
I always knew that I wanted to work in the public sector, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to work in my own community or more globally. After my experiences in Zambia and Ethiopia through the University of Washington, I knew that global development was where I was supposed to be.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?
I graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts where I majored in Global Studies as well as Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior with a minor in human rights. I am currently completing my certificate in non-profit management through the University of Washington’s Continuing Education Program. In the fall of 2013 I will start my graduate studies at Northwest University where I will complete my Master of Arts in International Care and Community Development.

7) What did you do after graduation?
After graduation I traveled to Ethiopia as a co-director of a University of Washington Study Abroad trip.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?
Previous positions that helped lead me to my career at Mona Foundation included being the first student advocate for Stirring the Fire and an intern at the International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?
The biggest skill that has led me to my success is my determination. My determination to keep going, to keep learning, to keep traveling, and to not stop until I got to where I wanted to be.

10) What are your Goals for the future?
My goals for the future are to be able to visit one of our project sites in person to be able to see the people who have been impacted by Mona Foundation.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?
Never give up.

Global Health

President, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association: Chris Rivera

1) How would you describe your job?

Leader of WA’s life science trade association.  Mission is to support and grow life science jobs in the state.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

There is not a typical day; every one is quite different.  Lots of meetings, presentations, advice given and advocating for jobs in the state.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

The diversity of each day and our members.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

I spent 20+ years in the biotech industry, mainly working in MA and CA (while commuting).  I wanted to help build WA’s life science community.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

I am still learning about it, but work closely with the WGHA, PATH, BMGF, Seattle BioMed and many others doing great work in this field.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

My interest has always been in helping people suffering from deadly disease.  My entire biotech career focused on “orphan diseases”.  I have a BS in Business Administration, and MS in Audiology and MBA in management and marketing.

7) What did you do after graduation?

Went to work for ER Squibb & Sons

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

Founder and CEO of Hyperion Therapeutics, SVP at Tercica and Genzyme.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Leadership, vision and being able to develop sound strategies and implement them with successful outcomes.

10) What are your goals for the future?

To continue to help grow jobs and help people who are less fortunate.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Stay focused, but also realistic.  Try to make a difference, even if it is a small one.

Program Officer, Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, Seattle: Jessica Dyer

1) How would you describe your job?

I’m the Program Officer at Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, an International non-profit that seeks to improve the mobility and independence of physically disabled children and adults in developing countries.
I manage POF’s Clubfoot treatment programs in Vietnam and Sierra Leone.  Worldwide, one in 1,000 children are born with clubfoot. Clubfoot is a debilitating limb deformity that robs children of their ability to walk normally as one or both feet gradually turn inward and sometimes even backward, resulting in severe lifelong disability, discrimination and often deep poverty.
Prosthetics Outreach Foundation trains local medical practitioners in developing countries to use the Ponseti Method, a series of castings and subsequent bracing, which can permanently correct clubfoot.  The treatment of clubfoot includes:

  1. 4-6 weeks of casting
  2. Possible tendon release with minimal surgery
  3. Maintaining correction using foot braces

The goal of POF is to:

  1. Raise awareness of clubfoot deformity & establish referral pathways
  2. Early intervention with the Ponseti Method
  3. Facilitate brace production
  4. Enhance skills of local surgeons
  5. Sensitize the community about clubfoot as a treatable condition

My job is to ensure that POF is meeting all of these goals in the field by managing ongoing operations, facilitating technical assistance for clinicians in the field, helping with fundraising, and helping with marketing and communications.

2)What is a given day at the office like?

Everyday is different, especially if I’m in the field! Here in Seattle, a typical day would consist of e-mailing and communicating with overseas implementation partners and other partner organizations to facilitate trainings and to problem solve.  I am often analyzing evaluations from the field, creating budgets or problem solving challenges in the field.

If we’re talking about a day at the office in the field…it’s a totally different story! I might be talking to prosthetic patients in Sierra Leone, or at a clubfoot clinic in Vietnam! You just never know in the field.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

I have many favorite parts about the job, but I love the travel.  I love being in the world, working with people.  Sometimes I feel like Seattle is in a bubble, so it’s nice to get out, into the world working on solutions to real world problems.  I also love the variety of tasks that I get to do, whether it’s analyzing data or creating new marketing materials for public health programs, I’m kept engaged in a variety of ways.

4)How did you become invested in this cause?

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

After I graduated from the University of Washington, I joined the United States Peace Corps and served in Uganda from 2007-2009.  I joined because I wanted to be in the world and I left wanting to make a different with my career.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

I’ve been interested in travel for quite some time.  I studied Art History for my undergraduate degree and first lived abroad in Rome, Italy.  After that, I couldn’t get enough.  I just kept traveling to different places around the globe every chance I got! This eventually led me to the Peace Corps in Uganda…which was a life-changing experience.

7) What did you do after graduation?

I moved the Prague, Czech Republic on a whim to teach English as a Second Language

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

I taught English as a Second Language for several years and worked at an HIV/AIDS testing center in Uganda for 2 years.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Flexibility…the ability to do a lot of different tasks well such as budgeting, program proposal writing, effective communication with program partners, and a positive attitude!

10) What are your goals for the future?

I hope to obtain an MPH and continue working in Global Health around the world.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Be flexible and enjoy the ride! The world is a big and exciting place with a lot of lovely people. Listen to their stories and think about the details.

Program Assistant, PATH, Seattle: Erin Williams

1) How would you describe your job?

My job title is Program Assistant and essentially, I am just that. I work at PATH, global health nonprofit organization, in the Vaccine Access and Delivery department. I am a part of several teams that are undergoing research, testing, and implementation on several vaccines, mainly diarrheal diseases, Japanese Encephalitis, and Malaria.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

In addition to scheduling meeting (typically with several time zones to consider), I assist in formatting and proofreading a variety of reports, proposals, and grant seeking. I utilize a variety of databases daily and serve as point person for several people. I attend meetings, take meeting minutes, coordinate travel and accommodation for PATH and nonPATH staff, am responsible for document version control, checking references, drafting spreadsheets, maintaining clinical trial timelines, etc.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

Aside from working at a globally renowned organization, I enjoy working with my team. As I continue to grow in this role, I am granted more responsibility. I have vast knowledge at my finger tips, and being among brilliant researchers is inspiring. I have been interested in global development for a long time; PATH is the perfect place to enhance this passion.

4)How did you become invested in this cause?

The summer before my senior year of college I was accepted to a summer abroad program in South Africa. Prior to this program I had planned to pursue a career in Advertising. This six week program opened my eyes to global issues in a way only first-hand experience can. Upon my return I knew I would return to Africa one day and my career plans shifted to include the non-profit world.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

As stated above, my 2006 trip to South Africa ultimately triggered my interest. In 2008 I lived in Ghana for six months. During this time I taught grade 4 at an orphanage and preparatory school, as well as sexual education to senior high students. When I returned to Seattle, I claimed I would work at PATH, following my dream of working in the global development field.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

I have my undergrad degree in Communication from the University of San Francisco, as well as a minor in Public Relations. As mentioned, it was not until my junior and senior years of college that I fully discovered my passion. I plan to get a masters degree, however, I am still researching programs to determine the best route.

7) What did you do after graduation?

After graduation in 2007 I held a 3 month PR internship in San Francisco, though with an agency completely un-related to heath care. Once this was completed, I spent the next 8 months working as a nanny in San Francisco, saving money in preparation to live (and volunteer) in Ghana for six months.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

Honestly, PATH was my first “real” job after college. When I returned from Ghana, the recession had begun and I was essentially a year behind my peers in regards to full-time work experience. For the next two years, I served at a restaurant to pay bills. When I wasn’t working, I was volunteering for a variety of events, networking, engaging in weekly informational interviews, applying for jobs, and doing whatever I could to prove myself in a faltering economy.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

My enthusiasm and my passion for the field without a doubt. I take pride in saying no one can say I am not driven, or persistent.  That, and networking. I find it extremely exciting to seek out and meet professionals in my chosen field. Prior to my many informational interviews prior to being hired at PATH, and since then, I take time to research the title of this person, what they do, their background, and obviously details about the company in which they work. Reach out to people who work in your field of interest, these are your best resources.

10) What are your goals for the future?

While I am working in the overall field in which I am most passionate about, I miss communications. Ideally, I would like to work in an External Relations department, or more specially, in outreach, or donor relations. Whether this takes place at PATH or another organization, I am seeking opportunities to revisit, and build, my communications background, and skills.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Global Health is becoming the new “hit” career path, and therefore, it is also an extremely competitive field. More and more jobs, especially entry level positions, are opening however so stay strong and keep your “eyes on the prize.” Networking comes easy for me, if this is the case for you, get out there and make connections. Utilize Linked In, Facebook’s Branch Out, and other various online tools. Do not be afraid to contact companies you are interested in and request coffee. Meeting people and building your contact list is crucial in any field, though I believe it is imperative in the field of global health.

Country Program Leader, PATH in Tanzania: Dr. Mohammed H. Makame, MD, MPH

Mohammed Makame1) How would you describe your job?

Senior manager representing PATH in Tanzania on Organization and program issues such as business development and monitoring and supporting projects within the program.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

Busy, I usually report at 6h30 (after commuting for about one hour), about an hour before our work day begins. About 60% of my time is spent on my computer, responding to emails and working on issues related to the emails e.g gathering information, contacting staff or other people etc. I spend about 10% of my time in meetings, another 10% administrative issues such as approving document including financial docs and approving expenditure through internet banking. The rest of my time is spent on meeting with partners or contacting them via phone.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

Getting opportunities to provide public health interventions to the community

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

As a public health specialist and clinician and working with hard to reach and neglected communities which are poor, I decided to upgrade my knowledge and skills from those of a clinician to public health.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

From the sufferings I have been observing my people encountering.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

Since when I was in high school. I did 7 years of basic primary school education, 6 years of advanced secondary school education (high school), 5 years of medical training, and 2 years of post graduate training in epidemiology. I have also done some certification in team management of diabetes, health economics, primary health care, health sector reforms, management and leadership.

7) What did you do after graduation?

I did a one year national service in the army, and did temporary work as a lab assistant after graduating from High School. After graduating in MD, I did an internship for a year, worked as a general practitioner for 10 years, as Zonal Medical Officer for 2 years, as a regional medical officer for 5 years, as a health advisor to the Irish Embassy for 4 yrs, as a project director for 5 yrs and now as a Country director for PATH going into my second year.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

Answered in 7 above

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Perseverance, good listening skills and working independently with great devotion.

10) What are your Goals for the future?

I think I look forward to retire from active duty and do community support work or act as advisor to government on health matters.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

“Go to the field and learn from reality”

Poverty Alleviation

Director of Investor Relations, Global Partnerships, Seattle: Jason Henning

1) How would you describe your job?

As Director of Investor Relations at Global Partnerships, I manage the full relationship cycle for all of our investors. This begins during prospect research, continues through outreach and engagement, and leads to sourcing capital commitments for our social investment funds. After investors participate in our funds, I am responsible for overseeing the relationship and communication efforts.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

I balance my workday between identifying prospective investors, meeting with those interested in our funds and communicating with current investors.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

The diverse set of relationships I manage. I interact with socially motivated individuals, trustees of foundations, nuns from religious institutions and investment officers from development banks. Each investor partners with Global Partnerships for slightly different reasons, and I enjoy the art behind identifying what impact of our work resonates most with each investor.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

I began at Global Partnerships close to eight years ago as a Major Gifts Officer focused on working with donors for philanthropic support. As my organization developed and grew our social investment funds, I began working with the social investment team to raise money for the funds.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

I spent the first six years of my professional career in politics, working on legislative politics in Washington, D.C. and on federal campaigns around the country. Looking for a change and to have a more direct impact with my work, I began looking at the non-profit sector for opportunities. The relationship management skill set I developed in politics were transferable and applicable to donor and investor relations at Global Partnerships.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

Dating back to my work in politics I always enjoyed jobs that allowed me to create opportunities for those less fortunate –whether that was a voice in the electoral system or economic opportunity in the developing world. My undergraduate degree was in Political Science, and I earned a Masters in Public Administration.

7) What did you do after graduation?

My first job was on a congressional campaign, serving as the Deputy Field Director. Lots of knocking on doors, lots of hammering yard signs and even more phone banking.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

I served in a variety of roles within politics, from a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill to Political and Campaign Director for a Member of Congress. I also previously worked at the Children’s Defense Fund, organizing individual and organization support for federal legislation around a host of issues impacting children.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

The ability to engage a diverse set of constituencies, ranging from students to seniors, tribes to donors, investors to professional peers.

10) What are your goals for the future?

I hope to continue my work in the social investment field raising money for impact-first investment funds or mission-driven foundations.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Don’t set expectations on your first job and be willing to accept an entry-level position. High-performing individuals will have their work recognized and opportunities for upward mobility will present themselves.

Special Events Officer, Global Partnerships, Seattle: Elise Ricci


1) 
How would you describe your job?

Fun and dynamic! I have several different projects that I work on at one time, most of them focused on Global Partnerships’ events. My job involves a variety of projects– like meeting with corporate partners to talk about sponsorships, coordinating logistics for an event, working on communications and print pieces, and meeting with  my team to plan and set strategic direction for community engagement and fundraising.

2)What is a given day at the office like?

On a given day I usually work on a number of projects- thinking of creative ways to engage donors, strategizing and executing our yearly events plan, planning out communications and design projects, and reaching out to our donors and supporters to engage and update them on the work of GP.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love working with people and at GP I am able to connect with people who are passionate about global development work. It’s always rewarding to me when a volunteer or donor gets involved with GP and tells me how much they love supporting our work.  Also, the variety and unpredictable nature of the work is great. Fundraising is an art, and I am always surprised at the different ways donors are moved to support an organization. I enjoy coming up with event and communications elements that help connect our supporters to GP’s mission and work in a meaningful way.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

I worked for five years in fundraising and development for a local non-profit before going back to school to get my MPA.  While in graduate school, I had the opportunity to travel to Nepal to study health systems. We conducted observational research on indoor air pollution and visited different health clinics across the country. The experience helped solidify my intention to work in the global development field.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

Again, I have always had a keen interest in global issues and the unique challenges people face depending on where they live. I’m passionate about helping others and fundraising is a critical piece to the global development challenge.  Raising funds and awareness for development projects allows me to utilize my creative and analytical sides, and, educating donors on the work of Global Partnerships is very rewarding to me.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

Again, I’ve always been interested in global affairs. I volunteered with a local non-profit called Village Volunteers as an undergrad at the University of Washington, where I received a double major in English and Communications. After graduation, I worked for five years then went back to school at UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs to study international development and non-profit management.

7) What did you do after graduation?

After graduation I traveled a bit and then worked at my family’s Italian restaurant while I looked for a job in the global development sector. I had a few interviews at local companies but was thrilled when the opening at GP became available. I wasn’t looking exclusively for another fundraising job, but my skill set and experience matched the needs of GP and so I was excited to align my experience and interests into one job!

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

When I was in college I worked as a waitress, but my first job out of undergrad was in development at a Seattle non-profit. I worked on coordinating events, managing volunteers, meeting with donors and designing communications pieces.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

I am passionate about the work I do and always strive to think of projects that can improve or benefit my team.  I also network with others in the field and attend events and volunteer for organizations that are aligned with my interests. I am a strong advocate of continuous learning and improvement, and I think that’s helped my success. Ultimately, it’s about the cause for me and I go to work each day feeling very fortunate.

10)What are your goals for the future?

I would love to revisit some of my policy development work in a global context. But, honestly, just continuing to work in the field is enough for me.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Travel and volunteer! Go on a trip abroad and connect with local organizations that are doing work in the development sector. I volunteered in Costa Rica and Nepal, working on community development and public health projects, and I think the experiences helped my resume get noticed.

Editor, World Vision, Federal Way: Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith1) How would you describe your job?
My official title is Associate Editor in the Publications department of World Vision USA. I do various editorial assignments on our magazine and newsletter, mostly copy editing and coordinating with our designers, and I manage our online content.
2) What is a given day at the office like?

I’m in front of my computer for almost all my tasks, but those are quite varied. I’m often searching for stories that can run in our publications, checking those stories for grammar and style issues, proofing and editing the design of our publications, or writing and editing blog posts.

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

The stories we tell. Our magazine is a reporting tool back to our donors, showing how their donations are making a difference for specific people all across the globe. I get to tell the stories of people climbing out of poverty in some of the most difficult places on the planet. And seeing the photos of a child smiling because they have a new home, a new uniform for school, or a new well for clean water, I can’t help but be inspired. I get to play a part in something big-something that matters.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

I had always known that global poverty was a big issue, but I wasn’t really passionate about it until I stumbled into my internship position. I was looking for a journalism internship during my senior year of college, and, at my school’s internship fair, World Vision was one of two companies offering a writing position. Once I got into the organization, I quickly learned about many of the issues that lead to poverty and how many of them can be prevented. And at that point, I think that natural human compassion kicked in. I was presented with an opportunity to help children escape the dangers of poverty. How can you say no to something like that?

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

I’ve always been interested in reading and writing, so I think the editorial side of my job came naturally. I worked on yearbook in high school, wrote for the student paper in college, and I wanted to find a place where my interest in words could be used for a good cause. The specific cause wasn’t my focus; I just knew that I wanted to use my skills in a way that bettered the world.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

In college I majored in communications, with a journalism emphasis, and philosophy. I’ve always loved good writing, and I’m one of those nerds that points out grammatical errors whenever they appear. So copy editing is pretty much the perfect fit for me.

7) What did you do after graduation?

I started working here the Monday after graduation (which was on a Saturday). I interned in the same department my last quarter of school, a position opened up in the midst of my internship, I applied, and they hired me.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

Well, before working here, my only writing experience was for the student newspaper. I had written a few of my stories about international issues or covering events on campus where people were coming from other countries, and I think that helped a bit.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

For my success, the skill that matters most is how to identify and craft a good story. That takes knowing what the organization’s purpose, knowing what our donors care about, and finding a way to connect those things in a compelling manner.

10) What are your goals for the future?

To become a better writer, and to keep working to make this world a better place. Those are hard goals to track, and I probably should define some concrete steps to achieving those goals. And to speak Spanish fluently.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

Master another language. Honestly, I don’t think it really matters what that language is, but in an increasingly-interconnected world, the ability to speak to people across the globe and translate for those of us that can’t is invaluable. If I could do college all over again, the one thing I’d do differently is at least minor in another language.

Field Operations Director, Lumana, Seattle: Lindsey Engh

1) How would you describe your job?Right now, my job has taken me to Anloga, Ghana – a small town on the coast of Ghana. I’m working for the Seattle-based microfinance organization, Lumana, as their Field Operations Director, and so I have a hand in pretty much every part of their Ghanaian operations, while giving regular updates to the US.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

 We have two offices here in Ghana – one in the town where I live, and another in a smaller town about 20 minutes away. In order to collect repayments and serve our clients who are scattered between both, we stay at one of the offices Monday through Wednesday, and then move to the other Thursday and Friday. After yoga and working from home with a cup of tea in the cool of the morning, I head over to the office around 10.30am when the office opens. From there, we can expect to receive a handful of clients popping in for repayments, several cooperative meetings with our loan officer either in the office or at another location, and on certain weeks, holding business courses for new clients. Of course, the slow pace of Ghana means that there is usually a lot of down time in the office – and with the unreliable internet and long blackouts, it sometimes takes up most of my day working with our staff to figure out new projects for them to take on!

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

 Learning more about clients. The longer I’m here in Ghana, the more I realize that the economy in Anloga and the rest of the Volta Region is, at the same time, complex and simple. Coming up with financial products that fit our client’s needs and timelines is the most important thing Lumana can do to increase their options for financial diversity and thus inject more money into their businesses.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

Lumana is a great organization with an innovative approach to microfinance – very high-touch (i.e. client to loan officer ratio) and education-driven. I also believe that young people need better opportunities to learn more about how they can affect global development, and Lumana is in the process of developing a Fellows program that speaks to that exact need.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

 When I was in university, I took an internship in DC at a public-private partnership training firm. We had a lot of government officials and ministers come from developing countries like Nigeria, India, and the Caribbean to take week long courses in creating public-private partnerships in sectors such as education, water/sanitation, and health. Learning more about their professions and how they were tackling real problems in their home country switched on a new lightbulb for me.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

 I studied linguistics in college. Loved it, but wasn’t actionable enough for me… which is why I took the internship described above.

7) What did you do after graduation?

 I worked at Social Venture Partners Seattle as an intern, and then was hired on as their social media coordinator.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

 Not necessarily previous jobs, but previous opportunities like volunteering at the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition and taking courses at the Global Business Center and Foster School MBA program, such as Social Entrepreneurship 101.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

 Always striving to understand what I am best at and where my skills lie: it definitely wasn’t so obvious from the beginning.

10) What are your goals for the future?

To push money into places that need it by connecting impact investors with rural small enterprises that could impact a community’s economy. That includes building trust between the two components, and doing the due diligence for investors so they feel comfortable investing in risky places like Africa.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

People always say that you need to have experience abroad in order to work in the field of global development; I definitely agree to some extent, but there are plenty of opportunities to wet your feet in Seattle. With all of the globally-based nonprofits and NGOs in Seattle, volunteer at a couple to figure out what interests you and never stop seeking out new opportunities. Usually, it turns out to be a domino effect – you start looking and changes happen. Also, take some of your mentors or people that you admire out to lunch and learn from them!

International Financial Reporting & Compliance Manager, World Vision, Federal Way: Jonathan Ferguson, CPA

Jonathan Ferguson1) How would you describe your job?

I am a finance manager for World Vision. Our department prepares World Vision International’s consolidated financial statements. We make sure our external financial statements receive the support they need from World Vision’s various offices around the world. We also collaborate with other World Vision finance staff to improve our global financial reporting systems and processes.

2) What is a given day at the office like?

  • Resolve issues with external auditors
  • Attend and/or present trainings
  • Work with my team members answering their questions and working together to solve issues
  • Gather, analyze, and present financial information to decision makers
  • Write, review, or advise on financial policies
  • Identify, design, and advocate for improvements in global business processes

These activities are done via in-person meetings, through email, skype, webex, and telephone calls.
I work with a global finance team in many countries. About once a week I have an international meeting. These calls or webex meetings are usually outside normal business hours (5 am when there are many global participants, 7am for Europe and Africa, and after 5pm for Asia and Australia).

3) What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love using specialized knowledge to make our organization more efficient and effective. And I have great coworkers too.

4) How did you become invested in this cause?

I’ve always had a lot of respect for World Vision. I remember being impressed by what I read and heard about them while I was in college.  I wish I could say that I was always passionate and invested in global development, but I think I was more casually interested before coming to work with World Vision. It’s clear that God has used my job to change my view of the world and to break my heart for what breaks His.

5) How did you become interested in your field/global development?

My parents were missionaries and as a young boy I wanted to grow up and be a missionary too. However, as I grew older I realized I really didn’t have the right skill set for missionary work. (I’m a horrible fundraiser, and quite the introvert. The idea of raising my own salary and seeking out and speaking to people I don’t know does not sound like fun).
So I went to college and majored in accounting.
I remember seeing a news article when I was in college about World Vision hiring a new CFO. The article outlined the recruit’s significant public company experience. I remember thinking: “Wow, it’s cool how God can use someone’s strong business skills to do good work at a not-for-profit.”  I would love to have that job someday.

6) When did this interest develop and what is your educational background?

I have an accounting degree from Seattle Pacific University. I became a CPA about a year after graduation.

7) What did you do after graduation?

After graduation I went into public accounting. I worked in Deloitte’s audit practice for three years. Ironically this had nothing to do with global development or nonprofits. I don’t think I had a single nonprofit client. But I learned a ton! This is great experience and I would encourage all students considering a career in not-for-profit accounting to consider spending some time in public accounting due to the breadth of experience you get.

8 ) What have your previous jobs been that led to this career path?

While I was in college, I worked part time for the Agros Foundation in their accounting department. This is a great organization with good people. This job gave me a good understanding of how a smaller (at the time) nonprofit runs. I wish I could claim this was a strategic move on my part, but the truth is I was far more interested in “a paying job” than experience in not-for-profit finance.  In hind sight this was clearly God lining up experience for my current roll.

My time at Deloitte gave me deep technical experience and a breadth of experience in working with people, clients, and areas of accounting. Many of my clients were banks, and I’ve used some of that knowledge on World Vision’s microfinance subsidiaries. But the most valuable skill is an understanding of audit. This led me to my first job at World Vision (as an internal auditor) and eventually to my current position which still interacts with auditors.

9) What would you say is your biggest skill that has led to your success?

Well, I don’t think a CPA or accountant can answer this question without mentioning a comfort and familiarity with numbers. However I think my most useful skill has been an ability to quickly understand information coupled with the ability to teach/present it to others. I actually do this more often than creating a spreadsheet.

10) What are your Goals for the future?

Someday (God willing) I’d love to work as a CFO for a Relief and Development organization. That’s a ways down the road, so for the mean time I’m working on learning as much as possible where I’m at. I’m amazed at the complex business processes it takes to carry on effective Relief and Development in a global organization. I’m also working to broaden my general business skills by (slowly) pursing an MBA.

11) If you could give one piece of advice to people entering the field of Global Development what would it be?

My Dad once told me, “if you want to work for a nonprofit or a ministry, get a skill first”. This has proven so true. If you want to make a difference in global development get a skill. Nonprofits have to do the same thing s as for-profits. They need lawyers, nurses, Computer and IT experts, auto mechanics, writers, accountants, supply chain managers, nutritionists, photographers and warehouse workers.

Be excellent at something others are not. You will quickly find that you’re using that skill in ways you never thought you could, to make a real difference in the world.