Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

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(Clockwise from bo om le ) With his wife, Marie, and son, Gavin, in Butare, Rwanda; participating in the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative forum about connecting farmers to international markets through trainings, with actor Jim Carrey (far le ) and Tanzanian coff ee-quality expert Sarafi na Gerald at right; and with the fi rst lot of coff ee he ever imported (from Mexico) in San Francisco in 1990. Chris Ryan: Tell me about your early years—where did you grow up, and what was your household like? David Griswold: I grew up in Fort Collins, Colo. Both of my parents worked for Colorado State University (CSU)—my dad was a professor of Western Civilization and Middle East History, and my mom ran the international-students program. Because of my parents' jobs, there was always a global element to our lives; we lived in Turkey when I was very young. In Colorado, we enter- tained international visitors from as early as I can remember. Since the 1970s, my parents have hosted a waffl e breakfast every Sunday that con- tinues to this day: 20 to 30 people, usually from all over the world, show up, make breakfast, and talk. When I was a kid, my mom would ask me to go around and make introductions, put people in conversations, and make sure people were getting connected. There were important lessons my parents taught me at those break- fasts: Never let people feel like outsiders; always bring them into the group. With so much knowledge present in a room full of people, the key is to ask good questions to draw it out. CR: Did making those international connections when you were a kid inspire you to see the world? DG: Yeah, that was just the start. When I was 17, I went with my par- ents on CSU's Semester at Sea ship where we visited 9 or 10 countries in 100 days—that really changed my perspective a lot. We started in Spain and went through the Mediterranean, down through the Suez [Canal] around India, and through Japan and China. I came back from that with a really different world outlook than my buddies back at Fort Collins High. I think it's hugely valuable to be able to travel at a young age like that because you understand that you're part of a global citizen- ry, and that there are more similarities than differences in the people around the world. CR: What did you pursue in college and your early career? DG: I majored in political science at Occidental College in Los Angeles, but I was also interested in journalism. After college I won a Thomas Watson Fellowship to spend a year studying outside the United States. I chose to study elite athletes in the developing world so I could write about them, and I went through Latin America and up through Africa. During this time, I wrote a few stories for the U.S. Olympic magazines around USAID-funded sports programs. The resulting conversations I had with the locals revealed that many of the large-scale, expensive development projects were not making much of a difference in their lives. I just didn't see development working for people, and that really bothered me. So over time, I got less interested in journalism and more interested in international development. Then I went to work in Washington, D.C. CR: What did you do there? DG: I got an internship in communications at Ashoka, a global develop- ment NGO. Because the company was so small at that time, I went from unpaid intern to communications director in a matter of two months. I met my future wife, Marie, at Ashoka. She and I decided to live in a Spanish-speaking country, and once we chose Mexico, I connected with an Ashoka fellow in the state of Guerrero who was organizing coffee growers. CR: And that was your start in coffee? DG: It was. I started working with farmers, and almost immediately I noticed there was something broken in the supply chain—farmers were not able to fi gure out how to access markets. The international quota PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUSTAINABLE HARVEST COFFEE IMPORTERS 126 barista magazine

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