Peace Corps Botswana has a New Country Director

Our previous country director, Peggy McClure, left Botswana last fall to take a position as Country Director in Morocco. Since then we’ve had a couple of acting country directors who have done a great job keeping the position filled and the program running as smoothly as possible,   but on June 29th we received our newest official country director, Tim Hartman.  Below is an interview with him from his alma mater, Stanford University.

Q&A with new Peace Corps country director, Tim Hartman ‘86 | Stanford Daily.  – SOURCE

___________________________

Q&A with new Peace Corps country director, Tim Hartman ‘86

Thursday, July 14th, 2011 | By Harini Jaganathan

Tim Hartman ’86 was sworn in as Peace Corps country director in Botswana on June 29.

Hartman served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon from 1986 to 1989, immediately after graduating from Stanford. The Peace Corps program in Botswana focuses on improving health and promoting HIV/AIDS prevention. Hartman has worked on HIV/AIDS treatment programs in Africa and on international development projects in multiple areas. He graduated from Stanford with a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy of science and received his MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Tim Hartman ’86 was recently sworn in as country director for the Peace Corps in Botswana. (Courtesy of peacecorps.gov)

The Stanford Daily spoke with Hartman, who is currently in Gabarone, Botswana, about his new position

The Stanford Daily (TSD): Why did you choose to accept this position?

Tim Hartman (TH): It’s an incredible job and an incredible opportunity to be able to return to the Peace Corps and serve the volunteers of the Peace Corps and the people of Botswana in addressing important challenges and goals. Peace Corps gets in your blood, and it’s difficult to get out.

TSD: Could you talk about your experiences with the companies you previously worked for? Did they influence your decision to take this position?

TH: The country director position is a very broad one. It requires experiences and skills in many arenas: leadership, management and administrative skills, human resources, international development, cross-cultural skills…It takes a while to gain competency in all of those different areas, and I think all of my prior positions contributed to my ability to serve as Peace Corps country director.

TSD: What are the challenges the initiative for HIV/AIDS prevention in Botswana is currently facing?

TH: Those challenges, to some degree, are the same world over. Prevention requires behavior change…and that’s hard for people the world over. Knowledge is different than effective behavior change, so I think the challenges really are global. The other [challenge] is that there’s a very high prevalence rate here, unfortunately, of people already with HIV. Obviously, it’s all that much easier for the disease to spread, so that makes the prevention challenges even greater.

TSD: What ways do you go about promoting human behavior changes to prevent HIV/AIDS?

TH: First you have to raise awareness. People have to get tested and know their status. They have to know that there are things that they can do if they are HIV positive…We work in Botswana with youth, helping them with life skills and learning to make good decisions, and hopefully a number of those decisions are around sexual partners and how they can lead safer lives.

TSD: How did your Stanford experience — including your degree in philosophy — prepare you for this experience?

TH: I think the education at Stanford that I received helped me in critical thinking and making good decisions…Philosophy in general is all-around critical thinking, problem solving, looking from many angles, thinking through challenging issues, good writing and logical thinking. Those skills are just so useful in life.

TSD: How did your Stanford experience — including your degree in philosophy — prepare you for this experience?

TH: I think the education at Stanford that I received helped me in critical thinking and making good decisions…Philosophy in general is all-around critical thinking, problem solving, looking from many angles, thinking through challenging issues, good writing and logical thinking. Those skills are just so useful in life.

TSD: How has your experience in Botswana been so far?

TH: It is phenomenal. I’ve only been on the job three days now, and just on the first day of work I had a most enjoyable lively exchange with the Peace Corps staff…I was invited to a dinner with one of the former presidents of Botswana, Festus Mogae, by a previous country director, and I mean, what an honor…It’s just a wonderful country. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be here.

One Response

  1. Hi,

    My name is Sarah Robinson, I’m an RPCV from Bolivia and am headed to Botswana next week. I’d love to get in email contact with one or a few PCVs to get some local travel information.

    I am more than happy to bring over a few Stateside treats to trade for the info! (sc.robinson50@gmail.com)
    Thanks,
    Sarah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: