The Pathfinder School: Traverse City Community School

Andrew Johnston

Graduate of 1990

Andrew Johnston (TPS ’90) is at Harvard University pursuing graduate studies in international policy analysis after working for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Relief International (RI). For the IRC and RI, he worked in many disaster areas and traveled all over the world. In 2003, he first went to Haiti to inventory hospitals with an international team of physicians and met with Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health. His fluency in French, which began at Pathfinder, assisted him in handling logistics and was the liaison to Madame Aristide. Seven years later, he returned to Haiti two days after the earthquake as part of an emergency deployment team for four weeks, but he stayed for six months as the country director until leaving for Harvard in late July of 2010.

In addition to Haiti, Andrew facilitated relief activities, including writing grants, for countries in sub-Saharan West African until the earthquake in Pakistan and Kashmir, where he was the field coordinator of the relief efforts. Following his work in Pakistan, he was assigned to eastern Congo in the post-conflict settlement camps of internally displaced persons in the North and South Kivu Provinces, including Goma and Bukavu which continues to be in the news.

His studies at Harvard include working with professors from The Kennedy School on leadership issues, in addition to the Colleges of Education and Public Health. Relief work is the intersection between government policies, education and health. In all the relief camps, he had to establish safe places for women and children, clean water and sanitation facilities, and strategies for local governmental support.