“When I look for talent, I look for people who take initiative, even at the most junior levels of an organization. People who really see problems and opportunities as their own. People who show up and say: ‘we could do this better, we could fix this, we have an opportunity’. To me those are the people who really stand out.”

Kristin Lord, President and CEO of IREX

Kristin Lord is President and CEO of IREX, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to building a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world by empowering youth, cultivating leaders, strengthening institutions, and extending access to quality education and information. She has a distinguished career before joining IREX in 2014, leading USIP as acting president and executive vice president, serving as executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security, and in leadership roles at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

Her advice for young people starting out in their careers is to embrace all job experiences, not only “fancy” internships. She learned a lot from working on a tobacco farm and as a waitress at Abdow’s Big Boy serving hamburgers when she started out in her career.