Aimee Ansari

Executive Director at Translators without Borders

Over 200 million people are in need of assistance. Many, if not most, sit behind a wall, their needs invisible to us because of the language they speak. Languages that not even local aid workers speak. Aimee wants to help tear down that wall. Aimee got her first job in international development because she spoke Russian. She went to Kyrgyzstan, where she quickly learned that while Russian was useful, she was only going to truly understand the hopes and desires of the women with whom she worked if she spoke Kyrgyz and Uzbek. After 25 years working in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa in conflict, natural disasters and development programs, Aimee has found that people want to be understood and to understand. Be it the tribal leader in Chad who wanted to figure how he could help get the young men in his village educated and stop the endless cycle of violence in the region or the young prostitute in Bangladesh who wanted to understand how AIDS is spread…the people she’s met just want to communicate. Language and language technology gives us the opportunity to listen, to understand, to empathize and to build trust. That is why she does this work and why she is proud to be the Executive Director of TWB.