Somewhere out there, most likely in one or more government official’s inbox, there is the following that attempts to describe me:

“Ms. Brandie Maxwell is a practiced international development project manager with 10 years of experience overseeing the implementation of community development initiatives. She has experience with all aspects of design, development, and implementation of large-scale donor-funded initiatives worldwide. Currently serving as a Director for the ACDI/VOCA Community Development portfolio, Ms. Maxwell develops successful proposals, oversees all aspects of implementation including budgets and monitoring and evaluation activities, and directs project close-out operations. She also completes field visits and provides technical assistance for work plan development and strategic direction. Ms. Maxwell is currently responsible for directing community development projects in Paraguay, Liberia, and Colombia. She serves as the primary liaison and headquarters representative to the donor and key stake holders for these projects, and ensures that all activities are completed within donor and ACDI/VOCA rules and regulations. Ms. Brandie Maxwell has a Master’s Degree in International Development and is a native English speaker, also fluent in Spanish with basic French knowledge.”

While making me sound way more serious than I actually am, it also misses out on a few random highlights about me that might be of more interest if you’re on this site:

  • While I was in undergrad, I took an intro to photography course during a summer interning in NYC. I remember I was so excited to get a Nikon FM10 even though I had no idea how to use it. Little by little I slowly learned and would walk about the city taking one blurry picture after the other not knowing the result until much later when was in the dark room. Despite the pain….I realized then that I loved photography. I loved the patience it requires, the risk, and mostly the power to freeze time.
  • I once left my job at a Fortune 500 company in Manhattan to move to South Sudan before the “South” part was officially added. It wasn’t my first time living in South Sudan….more a Part Deux: Brandie Looses Mind. Yet….it forced me to pick up my camera again after a long pause and also to get me writing about my experiences in a fascinating country.
  • Fast forward to 2010 when I finally bought a digital camera and start travelling all over (for job above) and getting to take a lot more pictures, some still bad and blurry but others worthy of being on this site!