Department Coordinator, Field Projects
Kathleen Louw serves as department coordinator for GCI Field Projects, coordinating conferences, overseeing budget preparation, drafting project agreements, and supervising other coordinators in the department.
Born in Binche, Belgium, Kathleen lived in Brussels until age 11, when her father, an economist with the European Economic Commission (EEC), went to work in Washington, D.C., for three years. She and her family made a number of trips throughout the United States, traveling west and visiting national parks. The experience instilled in her a lifelong love of travel.
In 1981 Kathleen entered the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium where she majored in economics, a reflection of her interest in understanding international relations and the plight of developing countries. Following graduation, she went to UCLA for a year to study Russian, a language she had taken up at age 16. After an internship at the EEC, she moved to Moscow in 1988 to serve as deputy representative of Generale Bank, assisting Belgian and European companies in Russia with contract negotiations and export payments. Two years later, she returned to Los Angeles, where she worked for the city's Cultural Affairs Department before coming to the GCI in 1992 as a freelance editor of scientific abstracts in foreign languages for Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts. The following year, she came on staff as a coordinator with Field Projects.
In her 10 years with the GCI, Kathleen has worked on a number of projects. Among her favorites were a 1997 international conference on the Royal Palaces of Abomey in Benin, the 1998 production and installation of an exhibit at Olduvai Museum in Tanzania, and the 2000 Abomey exhibit at the Kennedy Center. She enjoys working on large international events and learning how partner countries do their work. She is currently handling GCI coordination of the international conference on the conservation of Silk Road sites, to be held in China in August 2003.
In 1998 Kathleen took a three-month community service leave to pursue humanitarian work for Doctors Without Borders, coordinating the installation of an exhibition on the impact of war on children, as well as a public awareness campaign on malnutrition in Sudan. Over the years, she has taken courses in interior design—an interest that dates to her childhood, when she would sketch the layout of imaginary houses for her amusement. And in 2000, she entered motherhood, giving birth to Tejomay, her son with Jason, her partner of 10 years.