philip moeller '63
Major: Political Science & French
Career field: International Development Assistance
Job title: Senior Safeguard Specialist
Employer: Consultant, World Bank
In two to three sentences, please describe what your current position entails.
I am responsible for ensuring that World Bank projects offer minimal (if any) risk to the environment and society. These projects seek to provide a base for the alleviation of poverty and the promotion of social and economic equity. The projects are designed and monitored to safeguard the sustainable needs of people.
What has been your career path to date?
Although not one that I would have predicted in advance, it has included academic and publishing work, work within US Government development assistance agencies, as well as consulting companies, and now support to the World Bank, a specialized agency of the UN.
How did your interest in working internationally develop?
It started with my parents, stabilized to a sense of personal mission by the age of sixteen, expanded at St. Olaf, and matured in graduate school and "on the job."
Which parts of your St. Olaf education best prepared you to work internationally?
The strengthening of my spiritual base and learning analytical skills that enable putting concepts into practical settings
What is the most difficult or challenging aspect about working internationally?
Knowing that there are limits to what you can do and that poverty, suffering, and injustice still remain the real world for millions of people. The travel also gets old.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of working internationally?
The smiles and the tears in the eyes of the people who know that I am really there to help them.
What does being a “global citizen” mean to you?
For me, we are all responsible to one another, we are all lambs in the same flock. As a Christian I see us as one in Chirst, but I rejoice in the loving paths that non-Christians can also take.
What advice would you offer current students interested in working internationally?
Throw aside the blinders of prejudice and narrow social definitions, learn alternate perspectives, walk and listen, speak with considerable care, and let the spiritual base of your love for other show in what you do and not just in pronoucements.
Please include anything else you would like to share about your experiences.
When I started my journey, I had no idea where it would take me. I still do not know where it will take me. I only know that nothing else could give me the challeneges that I have known. I will always want to address such challeneges.
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