Rita Kaali has never ceased seeking opportunities to grow, learn and make an impact. Following graduation from University of Richmond, she went to Mexico as a volunteer English teacher designing curricula to meet the educational needs of the growing population and of those who couldn’t afford formal education. Next, Kaali moved to Budapest, Hungary to continue her work in language education.

“While teaching has been an incredibly rewarding experience, I knew I wanted to get back to the reason I started this line of work,” said Kaali. “The questions that I wanted answered were how we could get every boy, and especially every girl, around the world into a classroom? How can we harness the power of education to eradicate some of the most intractable problems in the world? Where can I get the knowledge and skills to be great at doing good?”

For Kaali, the answer came in the form of the International Organizations MBA (IOMBA) program at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. At the intersection of business and development, the program helped Kaali to hone her interests and apply business principles to the development sector.

Since June 2012, Kaali has been at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as an analyst in the Grant Management Support Department. The Global Fund is an international financing institution that provides resources to low- and middle-income countries in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Her team is responsible for providing support to regional teams in Grant Management through knowledge sharing and management, ensuring compliance with processes and procedures, and developing trainings in collaboration with colleagues across the department.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be able to combine my passion and purpose into an international career, but my journey has just begun, and I credit my ability to seize the incredible opportunities so far to the education I received at UR and IOMBA and I will continue to draw upon the lessons from courses, professors, classmates and colleagues along the way.”