Counting his birthdays by the number of friends, not years, friends and colleagues of Global Solutions' "head cook and chief bottle washer" Don Kraus celebrated his 60th birthday and 20 years of service to the organization this past week.
The backyard patio at the national headquarters was filled with friends and supporters whom Don has worked with over the years. The event includes food, wine, music and great company.
Formerly a paper distribution business owner, Don came to Washington in the early 1990s after deciding he much preferred "selling peace to selling paper." Over the last twenty years, his role with the organization changed and he has been quick to evolve right along with the opportunities presented.
He was the Partners Program director for Global Solutions' predecessor organization the World Federalist Association, before moving sideways and up to take on the CEO mantle at its sister organization, the Campaign for UN Reform. He returned "home" in 2004 when the two organizations merged to form Citizens for Global Solutions, becoming the new organization's first Executive Vice President. In the summer of 2008, he stepped up to his current role as President & CEO of Global Solutions.
Don shared his thoughts at being with Global Solutions for so long.
“I want to thank you for celebrating with me this wonderful milestone in my life. I’m deeply appreciative of those who have honored me by supporting the cause that is my passion. We really do need a better-governed world where nations work together to solve the global problems that they cannot solve on their own. It’s hard to believe that for the last 20 years, one-third of my life, I have been blessed by the opportunity to work for a world where the law of force is replaced by the force of law. And I feel so incredibly fortunate to have labored in the trenches with all of you who have also dedicated your lives to peace, human rights and a sustainable future. Thank you for all that you do.”
Don is well known to global policy leaders inside the Beltway and to our membership across the country. He has helped create and steer many continuing efforts to promote our global vision both on Capitol Hill and across the United States. These include the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping, the CEDAW working group, the Washington Working Group on the ICC and most recently, the Treaty Principals working group pushing back against a dangerous war on international law.
From grassroots campaign manager to CEO, he has helped build coalitions and fought for women's rights, peacekeeping reform, and support for the International Criminal Court. As friends and supporters noted in wishing him congratulations on his two decades of service, he's a global citizen and activist par excellence.
In lieu of gifts, friends made tax-deductible donations to support the efforts to which Don has devoted his career. In addition, many who were unable to join us at the national office--former and current colleagues, chapter leaders and fellow activists--sent well-wishes and congratulations.
To view more photos from the event or to leave a comment for Don, visit our Facebook album.