E2-S4 "The Lit. Review Method for becoming a successful impact professional"by Dr. Christopher Zambakari

Summary & Key Takeways

After spending 10 years in refugee camps in Central Africa, Christopher Zambakari and his family arrived to the U.S. No war or any other obstacle -like not getting a job immediately after graduation- stopped him to becoming a successful academic, practitioner and business owner with degrees in Law, MBA and a PhD. Learn about “The Lit Review Method” for changing the world and becoming a successful social change professional in Episode 2 of Season 4 (click on the the link to listen).

Episode 2 of Season 4 is brought to you by The Rotary Peace Fellowship and the Graduate Program in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University.

In this episode we discuss:

  • On how the Sudanese civil war influenced Dr. Zambakari.
  • Born in South Sudan (before partition) first he was IDP (internally displaced) to Central Africa Republic spent over a decade in refugee camps.
  • Most of what he does professionally is informed by his experience as a refugee and address the issues and causes of conflict.
  • On how Dr. Zambakari’s support system (two sisters and a mum) was key to propel his career forward
  • On how mum made sure they had a good support system, she arranged teachers and bartered mid-wife services in exchange for education
  • By the time they arrived to Phoenix, the children spoke Arabic, French and English, all thanks to mum
  • Mum worked 16 hours a day and two jobs and strongly pushed the kids to get an education
  • How the outside (was chaos, wars) but the household was stable and produced an environment that encouraged education
  • On how he funded his education and college and attended Grand Canyon University and how he transferred to ASU and he graduated with a BS in Psychology
  • Zambakari’s grad school experience
  • On being multi-lingual and his passion for Spanish and Spanish Literature
  • How has he integrated his career while making a living
  • Zambakari’s “why” and how we transformed his upbringing (in a conflict zone) and propelled him to a successful career
  • On why he took student loans
  • What happened to him after two years of trying and NOT finding a job
  • Zambakari’s Darfur advocacy work
  • The many organizations that Dr. Zambakari helped initiated and what lessons he got from there and how he propelled his career from here on now
  • Zambakari’s experience advising students on their careers and his personal career tips
  • Differentiate between your talent and your calling
  • How he started a business in assisting living that allowed him to fund his non-profit ventures
  • Zambakari’s Rotary Peace Fellowship and how he started his own global consulting firm afterwards
  • How he built  Zambakari’s Advisory (ZA) and how his research got ranked one of the most influential in the world.
  • How he plans on training the next generation of researchers FROM Africa
  • How to get in touch with the ZACF (as an intern, fellow)
  • How to publish your research at ZACF
  • Zambakari’s top skill for a social change professional to succeed
  • Journals or Blogs? What is best for a social change career?
  • Zambakari’s lesson’s for those that have to start their own business
  • Final words for life and career from Dr. Zambakari


Arizona State University

University Community Partnership for Action Research

The Nile Institute for Peace and Development

Zambakari’s Advisory

Social Science Research Network

Dr. Zambakari’s email

Related topics

PCDN service: PCDN Coaching Services. We love to help you because of your commitment to change. Helping the world is a tough business.  So let us help you so you continue your mission.

Become a member of the PCDN Career Campusto get daily access (to job opportunities) community (network with other impact professionals); learning with sector-experts and receive guidance from PCDN Career Coaches.  

This episode was brought thanks to the Rotary Peace Fellowship and Brandeis University:

Are you an existing or emerging peace leader looking to take your career to the next level? You might be eligible to receive full funding to pursue a MA or professional certificate in peace & conflict studies. Learn more about Rotary Peace Fellowships at www.rotary.org/peace-fellowships

The MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at Brandeis University , where you gain the practical, hands on skills you need to become a peacebuilding professional in the U.S. and abroad.

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