Born in Baltimore, Jason Ighani’s family followed his mother’s dreams, moving to Costa Rica when he was 10 years old. Shortly thereafter, his father discovered his own calling - working and teaching in an indigenous community, where his folks built a school and lived for 20 years.
“It was extremely bizarre… I didn’t grow up with anybody having a similar experience…”
Jason reflects on the power his childhood experience and how, though he didn’t recognize it at the time, it shaped him. He shares about becoming aware of the tension between the pristine magic of where he was, and the sense that there was a bigger world out there that was passing by his 16- and 17-year-old self.
Jason’s travels took him to Columbia during height of conflict between guerillas and the government, back to Costa Rica, on to the Czech Republic where he met his grad school mentor, then back to the States and the University of West Georgia where he studied humanistic and transpersonal psychology. From there, he went on to Lancaster, PA, Barbados, New York City and, as a man of the world, beyond…
He describes facing an “explicit ideal of who I was supposed to be in the world” and the tension between that ideal and the realities of life. Pointing to that tension as a breeding ground for shame, Jason unpacks details of the impossible ideal of manhood he wrestled with.
We wrap Act 1 with Jason shaking free, falling apart, (in a good way) rediscovering service and, finally, consciously embracing complexity and, as he says, “becoming more complex ourselves.”Jason Ighani is an accomplished team development specialist who brings over 15 years of global experience to his work at KITE, a global consulting firm specialized in supporting leaders and leadership teams within the humanitarian and development space.
He has worked extensively within the United Nations system in the areas of leadership development and performance management; specializing in assessing, launching and coaching leadership teams in both emergency and development contexts. He has also presented on the topic of team leadership and team effectiveness for a broad array of organizations.
Jason’s clients include a wide range of agencies and NGOs including UNICEF, UNFPA, UNOPS, UNHCR, IOM, The Global Fund for Women, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and the UN Secretariat.
Jason is the founder of The Humanitarian Coaching Network, an organization that enlists coaches worldwide to help humanitarian and development organizations support the engagement and wellbeing of their staff and accelerate organizational change. In this capacity, he is currently working with ICRC, UNFPA, UNOPS, WFP and UNHCR and a wide range of NGOs. He often works with an organization's most senior leadership and has a strong reputation for combining empathy with a candid, supportive, direct approach to help teams become more responsive, aware and agile.
Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Development from Centro Universitario de Bienestar Rural, a Master of Arts degree in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology from the University of West Georgia, and is certified in an array of assessments, including the Team Diagnostic Survey, Hogan Assessments and the Needling Brain Inventory (NBI). Jason is based in Costa Rica and is bilingual in English/Spanish.
Visit Jason on LinkedIn, check out his profile on KITE, and be sure to keep your eyes and ears out for his upcoming “Two Watermelons in a Sack” podcast collaboration with Aeric Meredith-Goujon! Visit their page on Instagram: @twowatermelonsinasack