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Irena Chatzis, Associate Communication Officer, International Atomic Energy Agency - Vienna, Austria

"I met Jesse in post war Bosnia where we worked together on a project to restore economy, education and legal system. As one of the locally recruited staff, I found it most striking that Jesse always treated me as his equal: a professional working towards the same goal. Years later, Jesse was the one who encouraged me to apply to a post in Serbia, to work for a large project on local governance. That decision changed my life forever and I never regretted it. But I most likely wouldn’t have done it were it not for Jesse, who believed I was the right person for the job and believed that I can do it. Sometimes you need that kind of push.

We had a chance to work together again, helping local communities in Serbia get proper healthcare, waste management system, design and implement economic projects. Jesse always consulted me, even though he could have just told me what to do. This made me feel appreciated and motivated me to work harder.

Over the years, I watched Jesse support many of my colleagues and acquaintances. He encouraged them to start or complete studies, to develop personally and professionally; he helped them find jobs and excel at them. He never tired of listening and always gave voice to those he supervised. He has supported his staff with utmost respect, believed in their capabilities. He made them work hard and made sure they get credit for it.

Jesse always believed in what he was doing and that is why he has always been so successful. I am absolutely sure that he will have a great success and joy in this new endeavour. And I will always be happy to work with him again."

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