// SUMMER 2019
Opposite page and top left: Chad MacArthur in his commercial fishing days in Alaska. Top right: Performing as a clown in Barcelona. Second photo from the top: The Tempodrom in Berlin, a circus tent where Chad performed as a juggler and clown in the early 1980s. Bottom two photos: Chad at a January workshop he conducted in Kapoeta State, South Sudan.
33 st. george’s school
he said. MacArthur got a master’s degree in education and taught English in Barcelona, Spain, and worked for four years as an education supervisor at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Bataan, a camp for refugees who had been accepted for resettlement in the U.S. “There was something that really impressed me about living in a very remote area with a number of different cultures,” he recalled. “The refugees were Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian, and most of the staff was Filipino.” By the time MacArthur joined Helen Keller International in 1997, he had gotten another master’s degree, in public health, at the University of Alabama/ Birmingham and worked for five years at ORBIS International, an NGO focused on the prevention of blindness. Throughout his 16 years with Helen Keller, what the World Health Organization called “neglected tropical diseases” became a focus of MacArthur’s work. He lived in Mozambique for four years and South Africa for more than a year working with ministries of health “to plan how they're going to reach the [World Health Organization] goal of elimination of trachoma as a public health problem,” he said. The human suffering MacArthur has seen while working in underdeveloped countries is heart-wrenching. “They are [sights] that are highly disturbing,” he said, “not only because of what the individual is experiencing, but the fact that anyone has to experience this at all.” These days, MacArthur lives with his wife, Lisa Tapert, in South Harpswell, Maine, about 40 miles from Portland, and he still travels about a week to 10 days every month for the firm he founded in 2014, MacArthur/Tapert Global Health Consulting. When we spoke this spring, MacArthur had just returned from South Sudan. In the previous year he had been in Burkina Faso, Mozambique, South Africa, Cameroon, Zanzibar, Central African Republic, Papua New Guinea, and Oman. He was pondering a trip back to Cameroon and to Burkina Faso, and perhaps Mauritania this year. He’s optimistic that public health organizations in lower-income nations are making good progress in eliminating neglected tropical diseases, particularly with increases in funding and drug donations. Pfizer, for instance, donates its antibiotic Zithromax, which helps combat trachoma. Looking back, is this the career MacArthur thought he would have? “No, not at all, I always imagined that ...” he trails off. “Actually I have no idea what I imagined.” But he can still juggle. ■