Team Member Spotlight: Liz Peloso
By Tara Newton, Communications Associate, BID Initiative
Feb 18, 2016
Posted in General
The BID Initiative team works across three countries in the United States, Tanzania, and Zambia. This week, we learn more about Liz Peloso, Senior Global Outreach Advisor, Zambia.
What is your role? As I return from medical leave and we charge forward in 2016, we’re also taking the opportunity to be thoughtful about what the BID Initiative needs at this stage in the grant, where our efforts are best focused, and how to align the team against our current priorities.To this end, I’ll be transitioning back to the BID Initiative team in a new role as a Senior Global Outreach Advisor. We’re at a critical time with the initiative where sustaining momentum and mobilizing additional resources will be key to our success. I’ll be focusing my time and efforts on continuing to champion BID and sharing progress so we can continue raising awareness and support for the important work that’s taking place and further the BID Initiative’s reach and impact. Laurie Werner will become the official Global Director, a role that she was already acting in over the past several months, during my leave.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? It’s interesting, I never really thought much about what I wanted to be growing up. It always seemed like choosing something was so… permanent. I never felt I was in a position to decide on what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. What I did know was that I wanted to help people. Actually, more than that, I wanted to save the world. I figured I could increase the chances of that happening by gaining some more valuable skills, so on a whim, I went into nursing. It was from there that I realized that computers and information were revolutionizing the rest of the world and other industries, and that there was great potential to apply this to health. If we can revolutionize health the way that we have banking, manufacturing and travel, then indeed we may be able to save the world.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I would definitely learn to speak additional languages. One of my only regrets in life is that I have never mastered another language.
What is one of your favorite quotes? “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; in practice there is” – attributed to Yogi Berra. I think this quote perfectly describes the challenges we face in our work, and why it is so difficult. We think things should work one way, but underestimate the complexities of the situation and find ourselves needing to adjust and change.
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? As most of you know, I was recently diagnosed with cancer and am just completing my treatments. These are life changing experiences which help you to redefine your life. Until last year I had never even really been sick. Coming to terms with all of this has definitely made me a stronger person and helped me to recognize and appreciate just how fragile life is and how we should be grateful for every moment.
Who is your hero? I don’t have one single hero, I have many. Mostly I don’t even know their names. Over the last decade I have worked extensively in Africa and have come to see and appreciate the absolute strength of the human spirit. The women who are out tending their fields and selling firewood to be able to send their kids to school. The kids (and teachers) who walk miles to get to school, through all kinds of hardships and weather. The teenage boys and girls who are raising their siblings after their parents died. All of those people who have so little and yet are willing to share with and help others. Every day they make their families and communities better, and rarely get the recognition they deserve. They are my heroes.
“Liz has been a visionary and deep inspiration for the BID Initiative from the beginning and we are absolutely thrilled to have her back onboard and helping us lead the work forward! She has been an incredible mentor and teacher for me, and I deeply appreciate her honesty and ability to think of creative ways to address challenges.” Laurie Werner, Global Director.