Working for a world beyond poverty for over 15 years. I love being part of one of the greatest global projects ever undertaken by humankind – to eliminate poverty in a holistic sustainable way so that all people have an opportunity to reach their potential and live lives defined by dignity, meaning, and hope. My work has taken me to over 35 countries around the globe, where I’ve met amazing people doing incredible things for themselves, their families, and their communities in often extraordinary circumstances. I’ve lived outside my home country for a cumulative 8 years and this has been a critical source of my education as a human being.
I’ve had the opportunity to work in fairly diverse ways over the years, including launching a microfinance program in Bolivia, consulting a multinational mining corporation on their corporate social responsibly strategy, designing and leading evaluations of multi-country, multi-million dollar programs, co-creating an econometric model to help combat corruption in Peru, and leading a multinational team of operations auditors. I currently work for a World Vision International. Recently, I was the global Technical Director of Independent Research and Evaluation (IRE). This year (2013), I made a major shift and am now working with the global Education and Life Skills team as Senior Specialist for Youth Finance and Life Skills, providing thought leadership and global programming guidance around World Vision’s third educated-for-life child well-being outcome “adolescents ready for economic opportunity”. I’m also the founder and former editor of the print and online magazine The Global Citizen, and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship. I have a Masters in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School (MPA/ID) on top of a B.A. in International Political Economy from the University of Puget Sound. I do a fair bit of public speaking on themes related to global citizenship, principles and practice of community-driven development, and development theology. For more professional information, you can take a gander at my LinkedIn profile.
I blog as a way to keep my mind engaged with new and ongoing conversations about international development. As often as not, I’m exploring ideas that I may not be totally wed to, so I reserve the right to change my mind about things I’ve said here. I’m not one of those bloggers that posts something every week; in fact, I’m more likely to disappear without warning for months at a time. But, I promise to try and write things worthy of your reading time when I do post. (BTW, I’m the guy on the left in this photo in case you weren’t sure.)
I like mountain climbing, beating on West African hand drums, cooking, sharing good wine with friends, going regicidal on those who will still play chess with me, and I practice a number of martial arts, focusing on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’m a Christian with Anabaptist leanings. I’ve been married for 11 years with a wonderful and beautiful woman from Bolivia. We have two children, a boy of seven and daughter of three. We recently returned from about three years in Bogotá, Colombia and are settling into life in Seattle, Washington, USA.
You can follow me on Twitter at Aaronausland or on Facebook at Staying For Tea. You can write me an email at theglobalcitizen(at)me.com. (Obviously use @ instead of (at) – it’s written like that to keep robot fishers from spamming me.)