After 2 months deliberating over an incredibly competitive applicant pool on the eve of our upcoming 10 year anniversary trip to Egypt next month, I have the unique pleasure to finally announce our inaugural social media manager for The Monsoon Diaries: DIANA KLATT, MPH (@klattalyst).
Global health epidemiologist, project manager for HealthRight International, creative director for Community Balance, and the communications assistant for the NYU College of Global Public Health, Diana will hit the ground running in seamlessly managing and developing content across all our social media platforms, especially within the intersections of travel, mental health, and medicine.
A vast repertoire of skills — including Stata, SPSS, SAS, Python, Java, C++, Adobe, and Final Cut Pro — has complemented her 5 years of experience both working in the health sector as well as developing internal communications architectures, business operations, and creating and managing digital communications strategies for a variety of companies.
Diana is also the creator and co-host of her very own podcast on public health, Global Caveat, thus asserting herself as more than capable to shoulder the responsibilities of our social media communications and outreach and take our live and daily travel updates to even higher standards.
But what truly won me over was an amazing human behind the resumé: an effortless personality, inexhaustible creativity, deft wit, willingness to engage in uncomfortable conversations and critical thinking, capitalization on initiative, tremendous empathy, boundless ambition, quirky sense of humor, dearth of bullshit, and a capacity for limitless spontaneity — traits which embody the very nature of our monsoons and style of travel. I only wish you had the privilege of getting to know her in person as I have.
And given what we perceive her abilities to elevate our adventures to the next level, perhaps one day you actually will.
As a postscript, I can’t sign off without writing how I first met Diana, not fully appreciating until now that the universe has literally tried to force us into each other’s worlds, and no matter how much we tried to look the other way.
It is best described by a fateful serendipity that occurred on New Year’s Eve almost 2 years ago:
…Yesterday during her 4 hour layover in Beijing, Ann decided to strike up a conversation with a nearby and seemingly random girl also heading to Sydney.
Her name was Diana Klatt and she also happened to be attending NYU like Ann.
Small world, right? Don’t stop there.
As Ann casually began mentioning me, the trip, and The Monsoon Diaries, Diana vaguely began to realize she had already met me 10 months prior, even having been in my apartment! She was tagging along on a first date with a random monsooner from the Palawan/East Timor-Leste trip, after just connecting on a dating app, and after we all had crashed a random rooftop party in Times Square.
I invited the 3 of them back to my place after the party, but we were all so inebriated (I passed out on them after making hookah for everyone), none of us would really remember that night very well. And I woke up to an empty living room the next morning figuring that we would never see each other again.
Cut back to present day: As Ann and Diana stared open-jawed, at the realization of another serendipitous encounter that was just unfolding on a random layover in Beijing of all places, suffice to say, the signs were too hard to ignore. Less than 24 hours later, Diana would join us for the New Year’s fireworks in Sydney.
And today would be our first time speaking ever since that fateful night 10 months prior.
Since then, no matter how much we let try to let things fade between us given both our penchant for Irish goodbyes, it would appear the universe would not let that happen. After all, I always follow the signs.
So please join us in congratulating Diana as we celebrate a new chapter in our adventures. I am excited to be working with her.