I am a medical doctor with over 25 years of experience working in the fields of global health, applied epidemiology, disaster relief, health and human security, humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, emergency preparedness and crisis monitoring. I was born near Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Due to my father's occupation as a Naval officer and diplomat, I traveled more places than most people do in a lifetime before I was 18. Lived in Switzerland, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the South of France.
After graduating from college at Stanford, I spent the next three years being a nomad traveler hitchhiking around Asia, North Africa, South America, New Guinea, Bornea, New Australia and Eastern Europe. When I ran out of money, I worked odd jobs, primarily in building and construction, carpentry, painting houses, waiting tables in restaurants, repairing boats, yachts, and even some quite large luxury cruise ships. Always entrepreneurial by nature, I discovered at a very young age that there is always a way to make a living, even if it meant living quite frugally and in rather austere conditions. During my travels in the USA I would hold a sign up that said "Traveling Need Work" and stand in front of a hardware store.
But I never lost sight of my childhood dream to become a medical doctor. This three year period might seem to others to have been aimless wandering, a "lost weekend", but in truth was the time where I really "found myself" as well as learning about life and being completely self-sufficient. Despite not doing much in the way of studying or anything remotely resembling an academic life since I left Stanford, I did remarkably well on my medical entrance examinations and was accepted to several medical schools. I decided on the University of Rochester in upstate New York. After graduating from medical school, I did my clinical medical training in Emergency Medicine in Chicago followed by public health studies in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. After several years as an attending physician at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, I have spent the better part of the past twenty years working in Atlanta Georgia at the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" or CDC as a medical epidemiologist (otherwise known as a "disease detective", a job popularized in novels and films such as "The Andromeda Strain", "And the Band Played On", "Outbreak", "Ebola", "The Hot Zone" and "Contagion").
As a medical epidemiologist at the CDC for more than two decades, my public health work took me all over the world, and I had the pleasure of living in a wide range of habitats, from North African deserts, tropical rain forests in Southeast Asia, high mountains above timberline in the Hindu Kush, and above the Arctic Circle in the vast Siberian tundra. Many stories here, believe me! Yes, I've had a very interesting (and eventful) life. Being adventurous, intense and passionate about just about everything I do, I admit I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but unlike many people, I learned from these misadventures and rarely made the same mistake again. For the most part, I lived frugally, I invested well and now I can do what I like, when I like, and for the most part, what I do best. I also finally have the time to do a lot of reading, writing, take the occasional short-term medical missions to work in the poorest countries in the most difficult circumstances and have even consulted on some movies and documentaries.
I currently am a founding partner at Aegis Health Security. The core of our work is to strengthen corporate, government and voluntary organization partnerships through aggressive marketing and networking using both traditional media (film, TV, radio, theater, art exhibits, etc.) and new and innovative applications of internet-based social media to strengthen the international community's response, recovery and resilience to disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy , which severely damaged our New York City office). However, I mostly spend my time raising awareness and money for organizations that work to strengthen the education and health of children with very special needs who are homeless, abused, starving, illiterate, left orphaned or destitute by natural disasters, or traumatized by war. This is something I believe passionately in. And which I intend to spend the rest of my life doing. C'est toute.
"...I live and work on the edge - the views are breathtaking, the
experiences deep and satisfying and the learning is limitless...."