1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is background life, e.g., geography, culture, religion or lack thereof?
Amanda Parker: I am originally from Southwest Kansas. I am a Christian, Protestant. I moved from Southwest Kansas to New York City after college. I worked in finance. I worked in Residential Mortgage-backed Securities before the Subprime Crisis.
My entire department closed. I was telling a girlfriend of mine. I was interested in doing something more warm and fuzzy in terms of the content of the work. I was thinking of going into publishing or the nonprofit world. Because I could imagine getting out of bed for either of those things in the world.
My friend said, “Oh! You have to meet my friend, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a New York Times bestselling author. She has a women’s rights foundation.” She introduced me to Ayaan. Ayaan and I hit it off right away.
The foundation, however, didn’t yet have staff. It was still in the process of getting itself organized. The board was forming. They were getting all the necessary insurance and bylaws. Those sorts of things.
I have been working with Ayaan personally to help her be organized on a personal level. Then when the foundation had seed money, I shortly moved over to the foundation. I have been there since.
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