Christopher LeGrant - Manager of Operations
Tell us about yourself
I have been working in global education for 9 years, a career choice that was solidified after completing my last year of college in London, England. Soon after returning to the States I began working for the volunteer and teach abroad organization, GeoVisions, helping to build the outbound division of that organization from scratch. During my six years with GeoVisions, I traveled to 17 countries on five continents and also got to speak with thousands of people about the rewards and challenges associated with living, teaching and working in another country.
These experiences (especially in the Global South) lead me to pursue a master’s degree in International Studies from the University of San Francisco, which instilled a deep understanding and appreciation of global issues, cultures and theories. This experience was heightened by living on a farming cooperative in rural Nicaragua, where I worked with the cooperative members and conducted over two months of sociological fieldwork. This life changing period reinforced my affirmation for social justice and appreciation of cultural diversity that underlies all of my work.
Why did you join Diversity Abroad?
Having experienced it myself, I believe deeply in the transformative power of global education. As globalization continues unabated, it’s more important than ever that young people develop the interpersonal and intercultural skills that will allow them to thrive and that these opportunities be made accessible and relevant to all people. Because of this I’m thrilled to bring my skill set and experience to an organization that’s dedicated to ensuring diverse and underserved students access global learning opportunities.
What do you do at Diversity Abroad?
In addition to managing all daily internal operations, I also develop and administer the finance, human resources and operational policies and processes within Diversity Abroad. The fact that we are a small (but mighty) organization allows me to become involved in many of our initiatives, from helping to plan our Global Institute for Inclusive Leadership in Brazil, to contributing to new and powerful features for our website. I also get work with our Founder and President to expand our network and further assist our partners in reaching more diverse and underserved populations. There’s never a dull moment and it’s really a pleasure to work with such an exceptional team!
Where do you see global education going in five years?
We still have a long way to go until we see participation in global education programs that is truly representative of the diversity of the US population. That being said, we have seen an increase in participation of underserved populations in recent years, which is very encouraging. Because of the committed work of professionals throughout our industry, I hope we will begin to see diversity initiatives, not as additional campaigns but completely incorporated into the outreach and operations of global education institutions and providers. I believe more young people will begin to see global opportunities, not as a mere luxury, but as vital to their personal and professional development. Because if this, I see global opportunities increasing in places like community colleges and graduate programs. Ultimately, I see education abroad becoming an even more important way for young people to participate in shaping a more inclusive, shared future for the world and that’s certainly something worth fighting for.