Greg Mortenson CAI / Three Cups of Tea

Speaker

Greg Mortenson is the co-founder of nonprofit Central Asia Institute www.ikat.org , founder of Pennies For Peace www.penniesforpeace.org , and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea www.threecupsoftea.com , and author of the bestsellerStones into Schools www.stonesintoschools.com .
 

In 2009, Mortenson received Pakistan’s highest civil award, Sitara-e-Pakistan (“Star of Pakistan”) for his dedicated and humanitarian effort to promote education and literacy in rural areas for fifteen years.

Several bi-partisan U.S. Congressional representatives have nominated Mortenson twice for the Nobel Peace Prize in both 2009 and 2010.
 

Mortenson was born in Minnesota in 1957. He grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (1958 to 1973). His father Dempsey, co-founded Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) www.kcmc.ac.tz a teaching hospital, and his mother, Jerene, founded the International School Moshi www.ismoshi.org .

He served in the U.S. Army in Germany (1977-1979), where he received the Army Commendation Medal, and graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1983.
 

In July 1992, Mortenson’s sister, Christa, died from a massive seizure after a lifelong struggle with epilepsy on the eve of a trip to visit Dysersville, Iowa, where the baseball movie, ‘Field of Dreams’, was filmed in a cornfield.
 

To honor his sister’s memory, in 1993, Mortenson climbed Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain in the Karakoram range.
 

While recovering from the climb in a village called Korphe, Mortenson met a group of children sitting in the dirt writing with sticks in the sand, and made a promise to help them build a school.
 

From that rash promise, grew a remarkable humanitarian campaign, in which Mortenson has dedicated his life to promote education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
 

He is one of few foreigners who has worked for over a decade in rural villages where few foreigners go, and considered the ‘front lines’ of the ‘war on terror’