Class of 2008
Anthropology, International Studies
Asma Jaber, a Palestinian-American entrepreneur, founded PIVOT, a mobile startup that allows users to see what a place looked like in the past using augmented and virtual reality. PIVOT’s mission is to streamline access to histories, especially for places and histories at risk of being lost or destroyed, such as those in Palestine. PIVOT received a grand prize in a Harvard-wide startup competition.
Jaber currently manages a leadership development program for graduate students from the Arab world at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. She has previously worked with the U.S. Department of Justice and the United Nations.
Jaber received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and international studies from the University of South Carolina, and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2014.
Favorite movie: “The Shawshank Redemption”
Last concert: Mashrou' Leila (Lebanese alternative rock band)
Reading now: “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen
For fun: Run, cook, brush up on piano skills, and travel.
Good at: Connecting with older generations; I’m an old soul at heart. I’m also queen at multi-tasking.
Bad at: Learning when to let go, stop working, and take a break.
What you do that you said you never would: Get into Netflix series … some good stuff out there. Also, a way to take a quick break from real life!
What most people don’t know: I’ve always wanted to become a musician on the side. Never too late, right?
Go-to places on campus: The rose garden right off of the Horseshoe
Most memorable thing at USC: Becoming a Truman Scholar—an honor I was so surprised and grateful to get. It expanded my professional and friends network tremendously and helped shape my professional path.
Advice for today’s SCHC students: While you should let your interests drive your course/elective selections, venture out to experience something you know virtually nothing about or a course that you fear you may not do well in.
Words you live by: You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you came from.