Geof Giacomini ’98

Egypt country director for Save the Children

Kyrgyzstan 1999–2001

I went to Kyrgyzstan with a love for Russian literature and found myself transformed. To kids ages 11–17 I taught English as a foreign language well as American literature and journalism. I sponsored an existential philosophy club, softball games, Model United Nations, and summer camps in ecology and leadership. I also became a champion kok chai (green tea) drinker!

You should always be curious, always brave, I learned. Values are not inherited, and education can only pass on an intellectual awareness of them; they are formed and understood when you confront values different from yours and struggle with them, their justifications and rationales.

I chose to extend for a third year (Peace Corps service is usually a two-year commitment). Then Sept. 11, 2001. Peace Corps was evacuated less than 10 days later, and I left my new home.

I now work in international development, supporting projects that embody the values I had or developed during my Peace Corps service: a commitment to human dignity, equality of opportunity, better health care and education for all, and respect for diversity. After working with Save the Children in Azerbaijan, I arrived in Cairo in mid-February, the day before (former President) Mubarak stepped down. What a wild ride it’s been. If I do my job well, then at some point I won’t have a job. We could even make this profession unnecessary. We just have to figure out how to eradicate poverty.

Pillars and People

What makes this place truly marvelous? The people who animate and sustain it, touching lives near and far.

The Path I’m On

The Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Fellowship launched its first class onto lives of service and care.

Do More Good

Inspiring more action, because we’re more together.

Future and Past

Once a scholarship student, now a scholarship donor—The Catala Club builds the future.