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Title: Senior Program Manager
Started at NCSC: September 2013
"I tend to admire particular values and behaviors rather than individuals per se. I am fortunate to be surrounded by many people who inspire me through their principles and actions. "
Paul Boyce, a manager in NCSC’s International Division, once thought about becoming a naturalist or a military officer but decided to pursue the law. He enjoyed studying it and ended up with three law degrees – from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), Cambridge and Harvard, where he met his wife, Ronnie Gosselin, an Atlanta attorney. The two are expecting their first child, a boy, in late July.
What’s something interesting about you that surprises people when they hear about it for the first time? That I’m from Zimbabwe. On hearing my accent, most people think that I’m from Britain, Australia or South Africa. But for their cricket teams, I would be happy to be from any of these places.
Along the same lines, what’s something interesting about you that few people know? I spent a great deal of my youth in the wilds and considered becoming a naturalist. A friend of the family was a professional safari guide, and I spent a lot of time with him on holidays at game reserves, hunting, fishing and learning about the local flora and fauna. It was a wonderful way to grow up.
You considered becoming a military officer? Yes, members of my mother’s side of the family served in the British Army during the First and Second World Wars, and I spent a year in basic and potential officer training. At the end of the year, there’s a window to either commit for three to five years or return to civilian life. After thinking long and hard about it, I decided to study law.
What didn’t you like about the military? I really enjoyed my time in the military, but it’s a whole lifestyle, not just a job. Coming from a family of attorneys -- my stepfather was an attorney, my brother is an attorney -- I decided to study the law instead.
How did you come to work for NCSC? I heard about the center through people working in the courts in Georgia and learned that it had a division focused on international projects. I got in touch with (International Division Vice President) Jeff Apperson, and we had a few conversations about the work done by the International Division, and how I could contribute.
Who do you admire the most, and why? I tend to admire particular values and behaviors rather than individuals per se. I am fortunate to be surrounded by many people who inspire me through their principles and actions.
What are the values and behaviors you admire? Compassion, integrity and drive.
You’ve lived in the United States for several years now. What has surprised you about it in a positive way and in a negative way? In a positive way, the sheer extent and diversity of the country, both in terms of its communities and natural spaces. Negative? The fact that there is still a great deal of segregation in American society, although this seems to be a challenge for all people in all places.
Have you met anyone famous? I would have to say that my most memorable “star-struck” experience was dining with (British naturalist and broadcaster) Sir David Attenborough. Having grown up reading his books and watching his documentaries, it was absolutely thrilling to share a meal with him and learn about his passion for collecting and cataloging objects from the natural world.
How did you get to dine with him? He is an alumnus of the college I attended at Cambridge, and was invited to speak to members of the college about his career and love for nature. I can confirm that he is just as gracious and passionate in person as he appears on screen.