Mila's Open Road


    Doctoral Roadtrip


Director of Communication
United Nations Development Programme

“Instead of figuring out your whole path, just figure out the next step. Whatever your options are, find the best one, but it doesn’t have to be the best thing for the rest of your life.”


Non-Profit Organizations Government


Dedication Passion Exploration Values Goals Community Fulfillment Success Self-Reflection Societal Pressures Doubt Support & Encouragement


Communicating / Sharing Stories


  • Grew up in the “Rust Belt” in Ohio.
  • Says she grew up with traditional “heartland values” and an emphasis on being kind to others, which have shaped who she is as a person.
  • Always felt trapped by her small town growing up and, as a result, developed a strong sense of adventure.
  • After graduating college, she spent time living in East Asia working with communities that were struggling with war and poverty—led her to pursue a career in social change.
  • Inspired by her childhood growing up in an industrial steel town, she decided to research the lives of women workers in textile factories in Vietnam for her Ph.D. in social anthropology.
  • Admits that she pursued her Ph.D. partly out of self-indulgence; she had a curiosity and an interest in a topic that she wanted to know more about, but didn’t necessarily have a goal in mind.
  • She has held positions at various human rights based organizations including Concern Worldwide, HealthRight International, and Amnesty International USA.
  • She now leads communications for the United Nations Development Programme dedicated to fighting poverty and climate change.

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