Corps Conversations Ep. 7: George Monagan | Benin
George and I spoke in the spring in his home in Seattle, WA. One of the things I liked about our conversation was being able to compare how his service was like as a volunteer in the '80's to how my volunteer service was like twenty years later. Some things are quite different: volunteers now have so much access to information about Peace Corps service, and even within their service, it's much easier to stay in touch with home. At the same time, many things remain the same: African kids continue to sing the "Yovo" song, and volunteers still continue to deal with the challenges and successes of adjusting to and understanding a culture different from their own.
Another thing I liked about our conversation was just hearing the different experiences he's had in the Peace Corps. From serving as a volunteer in Benin, to serving as a training coordinator in Kenya, to eventually becoming Country Director in Togo. It was interesting to hear the progression his career went through to get him to where he is today. It certainly serves as inspiration to RPCVs who may just be starting out in their careers.
George is currently working as the Director of Operations at Health Alliance International (HAI), a small international health programs NGO, in Seattle. HAI has projects in Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire and East Timor.
George served as a Secondary Education Volunteer in Benin, West Africa, from 1980 – 82. He taught Biology and Chemistry at a High School in Porto Novo called C.E.M.G. Davie.
During his two years as a Volunteer, George got involved in training programs for new Volunteers. After completing his service, George worked as a training contractor for Peace Corps in Togo, Belize and Kenya. In 1987 George went to work at Peace Corps Headquarters, first working for Peace Corps Director Loret Miller-Ruppe and then in the Staging Division as a Training Specialist and ultimately as the Director of Staging. George went overseas again in 1991 as the Training Officer for Peace Corps/Nepal where he was responsible for all pre-service and in-service training for Volunteers. After finishing his tour in Nepal, George returned to Peace Corps Headquarters where he worked as the Training Officer for the Asia/Pacific Region.
After finishing up with Peace Corps in 1996, George and his wife, Annie, moved to Seattle, WA. George worked for the Boeing Company for seven years in Workforce Diversity, Affirmative Action and EEO programs. In 2004 George returned to work for the Peace Corps in Togo as the Country Director.
Find out more about the work that Health Alliance International (HAI) does at www.healthallianceinternational.org