E2-S2 Aaron Chassy On drawing your passion

Summary & Key Takeways

Born in the geographical center of the U.S. and quickly relocated in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Aaron’s grew influenced by all things political. From TV shows to political editorials, Aaron’s passion soon took expression in the form of political cartoons. But this bright young mind ended up traveling the world and working as an International Development officer. Learn how Aaron built a successful career in International Development, how he found the field of peacebuilding and how he continues to express himself as a poignant political cartoonist in Episode 2 of Season 2 of The Social Change Career Podcast.

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In this episode we discuss:

  • On Aaron’s upbringing in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
  • Aaron’s earlier influences on the civil rights movement as he watched on television as a child
  • How Aaron learned to impersonate U.S. Presidents
  • How he started doing political cartooning in high school
  • How he ultimately chose International Development in college
  • Aaron’s experience on Peace Corps in Mali as an agricultural extension agent
  • Why Aaron chose International Development over political cartooning
  • How Aaron broke into the field of International Development
  • How Aaron worked in South Sudan and wished he had learned more about peacebuilding
  • Aaron’s one of his best jobs ever before grad school
  • Aaron’s experience in Harvard with his MPP (Masters in Public Policy)
  • Aaron started in post-war El Salvador, got married and went back to West Africa
  • How Aaron became a USAID foreign officer and then left for the private sector
  • Aaron discovered anti-corruption work and stayed here for a few years
  • Aaron’s frustration with technical solutions for political problems
  • How Aaron found his current job at CRS (Catholic Relief Services)
  • Aarons learning about peacebuilding at CRS: the missing link
  • Aaron’s advice to avoid falling in the trap of being a huge bureaucracy removed from the frontlines  
  • The future of jobs in peacebuilding
  • Aaron’s political cartooning passion
  • Aaron’s best career advice
  • Aaron’s take on failure
  • Aarons 3 tips for career advancement and a short story
  • And how “President” Trump hijacked the interview with Aaron and Catalina freaked out
A sample of Aaron's political cartoons



Follow Aaron on Instagram

Aarons Blog

University of Michigan

American Association of Editorial Cartoonists

Harvard University

Peace Corps


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The fully funded Rotary Peace Fellowship increases the capacity of current and emerging peace leaders through academic training, field experience, and professional networking. Up to 100 leaders are selected globally every year to earn either a master’s degree or a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies at one of six Rotary Peace Centers at leading universities around the world. Applications go live in early February and the application deadline is 31 May.
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