John Graham shipped out on a freighter when he was sixteen and took part in the first ascent of Mt. McKinley's North Wall at twenty. He hitchhiked around the world at twenty-two, covering every war along the way for the Boston Globe—and spending three days in an Iranian jail, falsely accused of spying.
A Foreign Service Officer for fifteen years, he was in the middle of the revolution in Libya and the war in Vietnam. For three years in the mid-seventies he was a member of NATO's top-secret Nuclear Planning Group, then served as a foreign policy advisor to Senator John Glenn. As an assistant to Ambassador Andrew Young at the United Nations, he was deeply involved in U.S. initiatives in Southern Africa, South Asia and Cuba. By most measures, he was very successful.
But something was missing.
In 1980, a close brush with death aboard a burning cruise ship in the North Pacific forced him to a search for meaning in his life. Now out of the Foreign Service, he began exploring, then teaching better ways of handling challenge and conflict. Since 1983 he's been a leader of the Giraffe Heroes Project, a nonprofit that moves people to stick their necks out for the common good. In that role, he's helped move millions of people to lives of courageous and caring citizenship.
A frequent keynote speaker, he's also done TV and radio all over the world. He's the author of Outdoor Leadership, It's Up to Us, and Stick Your Neck Out—A Street-smart Guide to Creating Change in Your Community and Beyond. Walking his own talk, he's an international peacebuilder, working to end conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.
Graham has a degree in geology from Harvard and one in engineering from Stanford, neither of which he's ever used.