Paul's Open Road


    Team USA


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


Upholding a Cause and Belief


  • 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.

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)