Alumni Profile: Johan Eldebo
As a senior humanitarian policy advisor for World Vision, Johan Eldebo C’07 regularly travels from his London office to countries around the world, including Lebanon, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Senegal. There, Johan meets with people and learns about the issues they face in order to provide effective policy analysis and advocacy on humanitarian disasters and conflicts. He traces the development of many of the professional skills he now relies on to his time at North Park.
“The politics and government major provided a diverse set of perspectives on many issues of global relations,” says Johan, “challenging the temptation to settle for an easy answer when reality is more complex than that.”
Johan led the North Park chapter of the Model U.N., attending conferences in Chicago and New York. “Joining with thousands of students to debate current affairs and explore the inner-world of the United Nations helped shape and fuel my passion to see a better world created through international cooperation,” he says.
While at North Park, Johan’s internship with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs moved him from academic studies of international relations to engagement with the world of practitioners of diplomacy, peacebuilding, and politics. “Meeting the people I’d read about and hearing their stories provided both insight into and inspiration for my next steps,” he says, including a United Nations internship in Brussels, followed by completing a master’s degree at King’s College London.
Johan’s North Park classes provided a good foundation for his current challenges of reconciling opposing views of what should be done on seemingly intractable issues like food crises. “Studying with people from different backgrounds meant that opinions inevitably clashed, giving you plenty of opportunity to learn to understand divergent views, what separates them, and how to bring them together,” he says.