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2008 Rising Star Award Winner Plays Fair for a Living

Carmen K. Iezzi, SIS/BA '00, SIS/MA '01

Photo by Jeff Watts

She’s funny, she’s frank, but above all she plays fair. Carmen K. Iezzi, SIS/BA’00, SIS/MA’01, has time and time again risen to the top, both in her professional career and in her time at AU. So it is only fitting that she’s the recipient of AU’s 2008 Rising Star Award.

Iezzi takes pride in her work with the Fair Trade Federation (FTF) where she has served as the executive director since October 2006. Supported by a staff of “two fabulous interns,” Iezzi is solely responsible for ensuring that FTF’s message reaches consumers and businesses throughout the United States and Canada. It’s amazing how she fits in all the tasks necessary to run her office amidst the endless stream of correspondence from stores across the country, requests from federation members and international vendors, and of course, requests from AU to speak on career panels. But she does.

In addition to her work with FTF, Iezzi is vice chair of the Board of Directors for Ten Thousand Villages of Alexandria, Va., and she writes and conducts research on a freelance basis. She also chairs the Millennium Development Goals Task Force for the U.N. Association of the National Capitol Area where she had her first internship as a freshman – an organization she found through AU’s Freshman Service Experience.

Iezzi strives to maintain the valuable relationships she’s gained through her experiences at AU, although she does not make it back to campus as often as she’d like, especially the Davenport Lounge where she spent so much time as a student. One thing that has always been a constant in Iezzi’s life is the stream of AU alumni who surround her in her professional work and personal pursuits. “So far, I’ve found three SIS alumni who are also fair trade entrepreneurs: Beth Provo, SIS/BA ’98, of Marigold Fair Trade Clothing; Allen Joseph, SIS/MA ’85, of Living Wage LLC; and Tripp Pomeroy, SIS/MA ’94 of Café Campesino Coffee. We’re everywhere. It’s wonderful!”