Hi, welcome to my blog. Let me briefly introduce myself. In July 2009 I started a new chapter of life when our family moved to Örebro, Sweden after I accepted an offer to help lead Operation Mercy, a very cool international relief & development organization based in Sweden with over 300 staff doing project work in Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa. See www.mercy.se
The previous chapter was happily lived in Istanbul, Turkey where Katarina and I worked for 22+ years and raised our four children who are now fine young adults. In Turkey I was a partner in a managing consulting business and worked as the regional director for Millennium Relief & Development Services. See www.mrds.org So, I have been living “abroad” for more years than I had lived in America.
This new chapter finds me learning a new language, working long hours, and traveling more than ever. In 2011 our youngest son started university so this new chapter is equally defined by Katarina and I becoming ’empty-nesters’. Katarina works as a palliative care nurse at the local hospital. When I get a chance, I do renovation projects in our 100 year old house and occational ‘moonlighting’ as a consultant/facilitator in leadership development and do a bit of lecturing at Örebro University’s School of Business on international management, Corporate Social Responsibility, and cross-cultural leadership.
I finished my doctorate at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Education (Moray House) in January 2014. My research took a ground theory approach to explore the professional journeys of exemplary expatriate field leaders in the international aid sector. I have a Master’s of Divinity from Trinity Theological Seminary with an emphasis in counseling. I also have a Master’s of Education and a Bachelor’s of Business Education from James Madison University. I was raised mostly in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC, but have now lived over half my life in Asia and Europe. I suppose we are all on a journey in one way or another. My most important journey is learning to follow Jesus. I have adopted the Latin phrase praesis ut prosis ne ut imperes or lead in order to serve not in order to rule as a personal motto. It is very close to what Jesus taught about leadership and I like the Latin because it seems to make an elegant expression out of what, in real-life, is a rather sobering and difficult ambition. I see myself as a long-term student of leadership, peacemaking, resilience, and professional development.
When I have spare time I enjoy fishing in Sweden’s many lake’s and rivers and re-telling good jokes. I suppose my spare time activities are consistent with the Irish proverb: “You don’t always have to be good at something to enjoy it.”