Despite being so young, Alexander Djerassi has curated quite the image for himself. Born and raised in the mountains of California, he grew up surrounded by the beauties of nature but his passions led him away. At the vastly young age of 35, he was already a diplomat, a lawyer, and a self-proclaimed entrepreneur. His ability to aim high and end up surpassing his goals is remarkable. Aside from aiding to develop a program to help Space Coast and Central Floridians keep afloat amid a sea of student loan debt, Djerassi has spent a lot of his time as a public servant. He thoroughly enjoys participating in volunteer work and encourages others to invest time to volunteer as well.
He has a law degree from Yale Law School, and graduated Magna cum laude from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. He then went on to serve as chief of staff at the US Department of State’s Near East Bureau, a position he climbed to over the course of two long, hard years of work as a special assistant. He’s even received a Meritorious Honor Award in 2010 for his dedication.
With all of his awards and degrees, it might seem somewhat surprising that one of his passion projects was launching a Holocaust survivor testimony database. Working alongside his grandmother, a respected scholar of the Holocaust and Jewish-Christian relations, they tirelessly hunted down and secured the whereabouts of unpublished survivor testimonies in the UK. Their work ensures access to those testimonies forever, allowing the survivors’ stories to live on.
Despite his position and status, he believes in working for those less fortunate, putting his powers of negotiation and charm to use for others. Djerassi has a knack for bringing people together that you’d never expect to work and he uses that for the benefits of those less fortunate. Opposing political parties, students and teachers, even protestors and those they’re protesting against, there’s no divide that he hasn’t been able to bridge. One of his passions in life is building relationships across rocky divides, and as we can see from his rap sheet, he’s pretty dang good at it.
One of Djerassi’s more notable projects is Mos.com, a civic technology company that seeks to help people with college. He was their first official hire and he quickly got to work as the Chief Policy Officer to eliminate gaps that might keep other future young leaders out of college. Mos helps college students lockdown grants or scholarship funds. Tens of thousands of great young minds have benefited from Djerassi’s hard work, especially those considered the first of their families to get a college degree.
Although Alexander Djerassi has an impressive pile of achievements to show the world, the most inspiring thing about him is that as a young child he felt this incredibly strong call to make the world a better place, and he went for it. Nothing seems to be able to stop him in his pursuit of a better world.