Current Issue / DU Alumni

Karin Polak serves the world with Habitat for Humanity

For most Americans, commuting to work means getting into a car and driving a few miles. For Karin Polak, MA international administration ’99, going back and forth to work has taken on a new dimension. In the past few months alone, Polak has commuted to Ethiopia, Kenya, Lebanon and Egypt. Between trips, she works out of her home office in Amman, Jordan.

Since 2003, Polak has worked for Habitat for Humanity International as a regional consultant for seven countries in Africa and the Middle East. She helps to create sustainable human resource, administrative and information management systems that help the organization achieve its mandate of eliminating poverty housing and homelessness.

“Development work is a reciprocal process,” Polak notes. “In order to be successful, developers must engage in their own development as well.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to understand that success can mean the smallest contribution, such as a smile that is brought to someone’s face because you demonstrated that you care,” she adds. “I enjoy the opportunity to really have a chance to serve and reach the poor.”


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