Ben Parker, Project Manager, Washington, D. C
“Jesse mentored me from the beginning in his role as my chief of party in South Sudan starting in 2015. I provided project management support from Washington, DC while he led the project in Juba, South Sudan. From the beginning he took a personal interest in my role and my life to help me define a collaborative approach to international development and a successful project.
He taught me the value of patience, team building, and the need for high quality deliverables. It is extremely valuable to always create the best impression for your client and the stakeholders you aim to benefit. This requires not only excellent communications but also understanding strategic ways of interacting and boosting the image of your project and reinforcing both success and the value added. This was not just demonstrated by Jesse but actively shared with me and my colleagues to ensure our best performance and accelerate our professional growth.
Jesse contributed greatly to my career through not only his mentorship but also his genuine friendship which made working with him and the staff in the field easier and highlighted the positive impacts we were making. Jesse always made sure his staff were treated well and with the utmost respect. They are not just our team but our family and he showed the value of not forgetting about that and not viewing staff as names on a spreadsheet.
In addition, Jesse would always advise on approaches and ask for our feedback to create consensus. I always felt that he cared about my input, regardless if I was his junior, which helped to motivate me to put in my best performance. He would go to bat for us with senior management and he knew that we all worked better as a team that provided support for each other.
Lastly, he knew how to best leverage each member of the team's strengths so that we could optimized our value. In areas where we were weaker, he would provide guidance based on his years of experience to help us become more well-rounded professionals.”