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Linda Kaboolian

Cambridge, MA
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After graduation I couldn't wait to leave home and went to SUNY-Albany, which turned out to be less challenging than our high school experience but because it was in the state capital, I spent three years working in and around politics. Not yet ready to join the real world after graduating from Albany, I went to Ann Arbor where I finally found a real learning environment and more politics. Now I am in Cambridge, at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where I have been teaching for over 20 years. My work takes me all over the world, but as my 15 year daughter likes to point out: always to distressed communities and failing organizations. She would like me to change my field to something that involves more travel to the Carribbean during the winter. Maybe consulting to the resort industry. Back at home, our students come from every corner of the earth and are so talented and inspiring, working on important humanitarian and development projects that they give me hope for a more just world.

I have been married for 23 years to a wonderful man I met on a blind date: Harold Nahigian. Ironically, he was at RPI when I was at Albany but we didn't meet until many years later. (It was meant to be.) We have had all the normal real life ups and downs of other families, the loss too early of great friends, health crises and house renovations but I am still an congenital optimist that we'll get out alive.

For some karmic reason my daughter, Jessica, loves rock and roll (and blues)from the 60's and 70's and fills our house with the sounds of her grrl band. She is the main beneficiary of many of our struggles, having no idea what life was like before you could wear jeans to school, playing ice hockey on her Title 9 supported team and generally believing that there isn't anything a girl can't do. Whenever I hear people say that our generation failed in its aspirations, I look at her life and see the progress we have made for women and know that all over the world women have a much higher benchmark for liberty and opportunity because of the work of our generation.

My parents still live in the same house where I grew up, they are now in their 80s but are still in good health. We visit them several times each year but increasingly, have them fly up to see us in Cambridge.

I credit my internationalism and appreciation for cultures other than my own to my education in Great Neck and running off to New York City at every chance.


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