Staff Spotlight: Justin Beckham

Resident Director
A native of the United States, Justin has been living and working in Tanzania for the past 17 years. He loves to share his appreciation of Tanzania with American students studying abroad.

What is your favorite travel memory?

family on boat

Even though I lived in Zanzibar for years, I still get lost in the narrow, winding, 18th-century streets of Stonetown. Stumbling across a game of bao or a local coffee seller on the street gives me a chance to slow down and practice my Swahili.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I've become a much better teacher since starting with CIEE. I've learned how to teach students how to conduct research projects that have the potential to make real change in the communities they live in.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Several of my students have gone on to enter the Peace Corps in different parts of Africa. I'm very proud of their willingness to serve the poorest of the poor.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Ever since I took a Japanese history class in college I've wanted to visit Japan.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

My team in Tanzania consists of only my program coordinator and I. What makes me especially proud of my team are the many hats we wear.

To the students we are father, mother, teacher, mentor, travel agent, Swahili tutor, counselor, cultural guide, administrator, and friend.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

A successful company invests in making its programs better any way that it can - it knows that the best way to attract students is to create and maintain stellar programs. A successful company listens to all employees and devolves decision-making power and authority to employees at all levels; it has high expectations, but refuses to micromanage.