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79. Alvaro de Soto (LGB 1960)

Posted By Alumni Office, mercredi, 3 décembre 2014
Alvaro de Soto1. How long did you spend at Ecolint?
11 years.

2. How did you come to attend Ecolint in the first place?
Call it exile: my father, a career diplomat from Peru, resigned while serving abroad when the democratically elected President was overthrown. Barred from returning to his own country, he managed to get a job at the ILO in Geneva.

3. Which teacher had the biggest impact on you and how?

A tie between Elizabeth Briquet, who saw something in this underperforming student and ignited it, and Bob Leach, whose history classes linger with me to this day.

4. What was your favourite spot on campus and why?
The quadrangle in front of the main building, because everybody was there.

5. What was your favourite place in the wider region, and why?
There are so many places charged with memories nearby that I can’t select just one.

6. Describe your life today, where you live and what you do.
Retired as both a Peruvian diplomat and a UN Official, I am still hard at work talking about conflict resolution at Sciences Po in Paris (the spring semester), working on the boards (mainly advisory) of several NGOs, writing articles, chapters and forewords for books as well as one (perhaps two) of my own. I spend about 5 months a year in New York, the rest traveling.

7. What should be Ecolint's top priority as it approaches its 100th anniversary?
Making sure that the third-culture kids it nurtures are able to function in a complex world where the concept of home is under severe strain.

8. What "words of wisdom" would you pass on to today's Ecolint students?
Stay tolerant and promote inclusion. Keep up your languages. Floss. Take care of your knees. Remember we weren’t built to last as long as we do.

9. What has been the biggest impact of your Ecolint education on your life?
See previous point: it instilled tolerance and a certain knack for understanding what makes others tick.



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