Tell everyone a little about yourself and what you hope to gain from the Global Ethics Network.
As the head of the globally-recognized nonprofit Disaster Recovery Institute responsible for helping organizations prepare for and recover from disasters, I have a responsibility to promote community resilience and best practices in disaster management. I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet and collaborate with others who are passionate in this space through the Global Ethics Network. I started with the institute as a temporary employee and was named President and Chief Executive Officer in just nine years. Over the course of my upward trajectory in the company, I designed our international training network, which involved extensive market research, many hours of travel to conferences and meetings in far-flung corners of the world and, above all, cultivating contacts with the media, policymakers, elected officials, and business leaders in over one hundred countries.
I have traveled to and worked in 45 countries and speak four languages. Sometimes I think my comfort level and curiosity for the world comes from being the child of immigrants from the former Yugoslavia. I benefited from a diversity of cultural experiences as a child that led to a lifelong fascination with learning about other cultures, but also sensitivity to the fragility of a society that lacks understanding and inclusion. A bit of a rebel, I dropped out of high school to pursue my BA from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Graduating at 19, I had a neat little run in the performing arts which included a NY Times rave for my very own theatre company, State of Play. I earned my Masters from NYU while working fulltime for Disaster Recovery Institute. I am proud to also be the first alumna invited to be a member of the adjunct faculty at the NYU Master’s Program for Global Affairs where I teach public-private partnerships, private sector solutions for economic development, and social enterprise since 2013.
In escaping the stress of work-life, I relish new experiences such as piloting my first helicopter ride, taking on new languages as an adult, road tripping through the Mississippi Delta to hear the blues, and rehearsing with my secret band (comprised of me and my husband) for a gig we may, or may not, ever have the gumption to show up at.
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