Tiffany Harris, ’08, navigated the college search process on her own, but when she visited Seattle U, she remembers the campus feeling like home and a place where she would matter. “Seattle U believed in me, they invested in me and they made my college experience feel really small and connected. I always felt that I was a part of the community. It was a warm, supportive and yet challenging and rigorous community,” said Harris.
Empowered through the Ignatian phrase she heard so often while at SU “ite, inflammate omnia” or “go, set the world on fire,” Harris has always looked for professional opportunities that challenged her and would build a more just and humane world. “I have made it a point to look for signals, reflect and conduct soul searching at various point in my life to find out what looked interesting and where there was a need for my talents.”
Harris’ career spans multiple sectors. She has overseen a global education program focused on accelerating IT and cloud-related learning at Amazon, served as Public Affairs Specialist for the Peace Corps Headquarters, is a founding member of Shalom Corps (Peace Corps’ Jewish Employee Resource Group), Peace Corps’ Diversity Board and has served on the Chief of Staff’s Diversity Governance Council. “My career path is not linear. It has gone in a zigzag motion. Both my professional and personal path choices have been influenced from what I learned from Seattle University, the Jesuit educational philosophy and the environment that was created on campus and in the classroom.”
She currently serves as the Chief Program Officer at Moishe House, an organization that engages hundreds of thousands of Jewish young adults each year to create vibrant Jewish communities. In her role she oversees 50+ staff members who support community builders around the world to host programming out of their homes, organize adult summer camp, develop immersive experiences and implement Jewish learning in over 120 houses in 25+ countries around the world. “When I moved back to the states in 2014, I was a resident in Moishe House. It was where I re-engaged with activism and community organizing. Our house was the center for book talks, text study, a place to learn about Judaism and a central hub in the middle of DC for young adults from varying backgrounds. It really shaped me in a meaningful way. Now, years later, to be working for the organization that had such a profound impact on my life is meaningful,” said Harris.
Whether it was working with the former President of Israel to help solve world problems or designing disruptive educational technology at Amazon, or now, helping to shape the way people interact with a 3,000 year old religion, her drive to make the world a better place, instilled in her through her SU education, continues to play a role in her everyday life. “The holistic education ethos, the social and extracurricular structure at Seattle U made me a builder. I am someone who can look at a problem that needs to be fixed and organize people, rally the community and build solutions,” said Harris.
Having lived abroad and on the east coast for the last 10 years, Harris finds that staying connected to Seattle U helps to maintain her ties to Washington State and continues to ground her in the values that she holds core to her identity. “When I meet people from Seattle U there is just a quality about them that I connect with.”
Harris is looking forward to sharing her story as the alumni speaker of the upcoming SU Communities Connect event on March 24. “To have a network of over 84,000 alumni around the world and providing this opportunity to reconnect while working to ensure that we as a community feel whole again is exciting,” said Harris.
Join us and other alumni in the Midwest, South and East Coast regions on March 24 to hear Tiffany Harris’ full story as well as President Stephen Sundborg’s reflection on 24 years as Seattle University’s leader by registering for this event.