We are very excited to announce the hire of Theo Latiolais to a new role of Director of External Affairs. We extend our gratitude to the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, who awarded L’Arche USA the grant to help fund this position. This department will include our current Digital Communications and Marketing Manager, Zak Johnson, as well as the current Recruitment Coordinator, Jillian Brehm. Read more about Theo below!
I could not be more excited to join L’Arche USA as the new Director of External Affairs, and I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Theodore Latiolais (don’t worry – no one can pronounce it), but I generally go by Theo. I was born in Swaziland (now known as eSwatini): both of my parents joined the Peace Corps and were stationed in Swaziland. Shortly after my birth, my mother got a job with the United Nations World Food Programme, so I spent my childhood moving from country to country, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. We moved back to Swaziland when I was 11, and I attended high school there, at a United World College. After high school, I moved to the US for the first time for college, where I majored in Philosophy and minored in secondary English education.
When I graduated, I was aimless, as many new grads are. So, I settled on two things I knew I wanted to do: teach and live in an entirely new country. At the time, it was really easy to find teaching work in Korea. So, on a whim, I moved there, first working as a kindergarten teacher and then as a university instructor and administrator. I lived for three years in a provincial southern city (Daegu) with few foreigners, so I immersed myself in the culture and learned to speak Korean quite well. I’m functionally illiterate and my vocabulary is limited, but I speak Korean like a true southerner, drawl and everything. My spot-on country accent really throws Koreans off.
After Korea, I moved to Portland, Oregon to be near family (my sister had just had my nephew) and to attend graduate school and I’ve stayed here ever since. After grad school, I first pursued a career in copyediting and quality management. But, most recently, I spent four years at a startup where I helped large corporations communicate their equity and compensation packages to employees and devised campaign strategy, campaign design, content strategy and so on. I hope this experience will prove to be of value to L’Arche. I am most excited to be moving into mission-driven work, and L’Arche’s cultivation of relationships across differences and recognition of the intrinsic dignity and respect of all humans are what initially drew me to this opportunity.
L’Arche USA Director of External Affairs