From Outdoor Enthusiast to Director of Global Programming
All Articles

From Outdoor Enthusiast to Director of Global Programming

My whole life, I have had a passion for bringing people together on adventures. Outdoor adventures melded me into the person I am today, and I wholeheartedly believe Rustic Pathways programs can positively influence our students, our staff, and our communities around the world.

As a university undergrad at Harvard, I spent far more time developing itineraries for backpacking trips and training outdoor guides for the First-Year Outdoor Program than I did within the four walls of the classroom. Nurturing my passion for the nature and exploration, I worked steadily to build Harvard’s First-Year Outdoor Orientation Program. In so doing, I became deeply invested in experiential education. After graduation, I went on to develop my skills through work with refugees in South Korea for the UN High Commissioner, and on consulting projects in Kenya.

During my time in Kenya I heard about some new opportunities developing at Rustic Pathways and I started working full-time with the company in November of  2010. Later that year, I opened our programs in Ghana. I spent three years as Rustic’s Ghana Country Director before moving into my current role as Director of Global Program Operations.

My primary responsibility as Director of Global Program Operations is managing our team of country directors and ensuring the highest possible quality of on-the-ground operations and student experience. Fostering regular communication with our worldwide community of Country Directors and operations staff is a large part of my role, one that is both enjoyable and challenging as we live and work on opposite corners of the planet. While most of our work happens through internet meetings, we also host semi-annual summits at our global headquarters in Ohio. In addition to having the opportunity to discuss and debate new policies and procedures face to face, these summits provide a fun experience that builds the positive and collaborative company culture that defines Rustic Pathways. Our fall summit finale included a 100-person clambake and fireworks show!

One of the most exciting projects I’m working on this year is the creation of our Operations Staff Professional Development Program. Our goal is to develop a road map for progressing up the chain of roles within the company, with clearly defined responsibilities and skill sets required at each level, and targeted training designed to help motivated staff improve as they advance through the company. As a company dedicated to making a lasting positive impact in the communities where we work, we are cognizant that one of the best ways we achieve this mission is in supporting the development of our incredibly diverse international staff members, who hail from refugee camps, humble villages, and royal families.

I am thrilled that as a company we are committed to serving our staff as they grow and improve their lives, their home communities, and the quality of our programs. I am looking forward to working with an incredible team of people in the creation of this development program, and continuing to improve the quality of our programs across the globe. 2014 is going to be our best year yet!

About the Author

Kevin Porter

Global Program Operations Director

Kevin has been  directing our global program operations since 2014, after serving as Ghana Country Director for three years. Now based in Boston, he manages our team of diverse country directors and ensures the quality of the programs we deliver on the ground. Prior to joining us, Kevin worked with development organizations in East Africa, completed research for the United Nations in South Korea, and oversaw wilderness leadership programs while attending Harvard University.