Mary Ann is an advisor to the PARSA Board of Directors.
Mary Ann says she considers herself a “citizen of the world”. She grew up in a U.S. Military family, living in U.S. cities and in Heidelberg, Germany. After graduating from the University of Washington with a major in French, she was employed as a French teacher at a Seattle private school. In 1971, one year after they married, Mary Ann and her husband Larry joined the U.S. Peace Corps and accepted a 2 year assignment teaching English in Khanabad, northern Afghanistan. They were the only foreigners in town and felt honored by the hospitality of their Afghan neighbors and fellow Afghan teachers. Years later, when Mary Ann met Marnie Gustavson, she learned of their common experience in Afghanistan and of Marnie’s commitment to help the Afghan people recover from the challenging effects of war. Marnie took over as Director of PARSA and the organization has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness. Mary Ann and Larry have been contributing financially to PARSA because its programs have shown lasting results. Afghans involved in PARSA’s programs are emerging as leaders to carry on the country’s progress toward peace and prosperity. Mary Ann is currently volunteering with PARSA in Seattle while continuing to work at RBC Wealth Management where she advises clients on investments and financial planning.