Paul's Open Road


    America Team


    Washington, DC


    Public Television: Season 3


Senior Associate
Carnegie Endowment For International Peace

“If I had done what I expected to do, and what I planned to do, I think my life would have been different. It would have been less useful and less interesting.”


Government Non-Profit Organizations


Dedication Values Experience Chance Hard Work Transitions Education Failure Fear Self-Reflection Fulfillment


Upholding a cause I believe in


Afghanistan, America, being open, challenge, change the world, changing the world, CIA, curiosity, curious, ethnicity, government, humanity, learning, narrowing yourself, no limits, research, society, Soviet, USSR, Washington


  • Says that the biggest mistake most people make is that they narrow their career path too early on.
  • Advises road-trippers to get a broad education, plan for 2-3 different careers.
  • In his twenties, he made a major career shift; went from planning to be an academic to entering the world of ethnic conflict.
  • The CIA hired him as a "Soviet Affairs Analyst" assigned to dissect the war in Afghanistan and "expose the soft underbelly of the USSR."
  • He was trained as a specialist on Russia and the Baltic states; now teaches at the University of Tatu in Estonia.
  • Although his career, eventually came back around to academia, he says he could've achieved much more in the field if he'd stayed on that track.
  • However, he says that "doing better" by those industry standards means more money, better house, better car.
  • Instead, he chose to instead live a life with a purpose and to take steps towards changing the world; says he made the right choice.

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