Avery Julian Baker received the MDP degree in May 2020. Prior to joining MDP, Avery served as a water, sanitation & health volunteer with Peace Corps in The Republic of Vanuatu from 2015 to 2017. He endured remote environments, facilitated a USAID grant and UNDP project, and was ceremonially bestowed with the honor of a chiefly title by village elders. This life-changing experience and cultural immersion introduced him to the climate change crisis and its effects, which he witnessed first-hand along with the poverty epidemic; it pushed him to contemplate a career in international development, improving livelihoods around the world. He became certain after a summer spent in the Himalayas of Nepal and Northern India, where he saw parallels to Vanuatu’s climate and poverty challenges. He subsequently discovered MDP and received a Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship to U of A.
Avery spent his summer practicum in Nepal addressing climate change adaptation, water, and alternative energy initiatives; specifically working on implementation and sustainable methods with communities in the field. He also further honed his cross-cultural and diplomatic skills, gaining tools varying from GIS to stakeholder engagement methods in order to better grasp what makes an effective development project and to hopefully be primed for a career with the United Nations.
Most of all, Avery wants to continue growing personally and professionally in order to better serve people around the world and make a difference, big or small, for the rest of his life.
To read about Avery's MDP summer practicum in Nepal, you can view his Research Brief on the MDP Blog. To read his thoughts about the crucial role of collaboration in development practice, you can read his Practice Brief on the MDP Blog.
You an also visit Avery's professional website.