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Oral-History:Joe Cahalan

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About Joe Cahalan

The son of working-class Irish immigrants, Joseph Cahalan's story is one of self-made success. His intimate connections to IEEE date back to his childhood, when his family lived in the basement of the Brokaw Mansion, then IRE headquarters, managing the day-to-day work of maintaining the building. Recently retired as Vice President of Communications and Social Responsibility and President of the Xerox Foundation, Cahalan shares rich memories of his childhood in New York City, and of the Brokaw Mansion and the people who worked there. .

About the Interview

JOSEPH CAHALAN: An Interview Conducted by Mike Geselowitz, IEEE History Center, May 13, 2013.

Interview #644 for the IEEE History Center, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Inc.

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Joe Cahalan, an oral history conducted in 2013 by Mike Geselowitz, IEEE History Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Interview

INTERVIEWEE:

Joseph Cahalan

INTERVIEWER:

Michael Geselowitz

DATE:

13 May 2013

PLACE:

New York City

Early Life and Family Background

Geselowitz:

This is Michael Geselowitz with the IEEE History Center, and I'm here in New York City with Joseph Cahalan. He'll tell us more about himself, but recently retired as a Vice President at Xerox, and now the head of a nonprofit, I guess you would say, an NGO called—

Cahalan:

Concern Worldwide.

Geselowitz:

Concern Worldwide. So Joe, if you could start by telling us about your family background and your early years.

Cahalan:

Okay. I was born in New York City, in Manhattan, not far from where we are right now, a couple of miles, which we'll get to a bit later I'm sure. My parents were Irish immigrants. They came here in the very late 20s, just a little—one and two years, respectively—before the Great Depression, a time of great exuberance in America, and a time of great migration out of Ireland, so a very typical story. My father had grown up—both my parents had grown up—in farming communities, farming families. My father got a job as a landscaper, on a crew in Port Chester, in Westchester County, 45 minutes from New York, and my mother in Rye, New York—independently, they didn't know each other, they came quite separately—as a live-in maid nearby. The two of them met. How, I'm not sure, but my fantasy is, is that they had common days off for the help, and that they met in a church social or something like that.

The family that my mother lived with was extremely generous and good people. They were kind to her, so when she announced that she was engaged to be married her employer acted as her father, and wanted to meet this man who was going to marry her, and so he was invited over for dinner. As he would tell the story, he came in his funeral/wedding suit, his one good suit, and had dinner with a man named Mr. William Pell, my mother's employer. He was, I believe an Executive Vice President—but in any case a very senior official—at the United States Trust Company, a major bank on Wall Street, literally within the shadow of the New York Stock Exchange. He apparently approved of my father and offered to get him a job at his bank, if my father would like that. So, my father agreed, although I think he had some reluctance, because he had grown up on a farm and having a job as a landscaper must have felt comfortable in the new world. But, through whatever leap of faith, he went down to the bank and he got a job as what I guess we call a doorman, but a doorman without uniform. He dressed in a suit, and he opened the door for customers at the bank and greeted them, and chatted and helped them, and so this was a pretty good change of job for my father.

That went on for some years, until a man by the name of George Brokaw asked him if he would stay after work to chat with him for a few minutes. My father, I should tell you had this amazing capacity, or naiveté, or, I don't know, some combination, of treating everybody alike. So if you were a judge or a janitor, you got the same treatment from dad. Nobody seemed to overly impress him or be beneath him, and he had obviously made some relationship with George Brokaw. So Mr. Brokaw asked him if he would be willing to move into his mansion on 79th Street and 5th Avenue, and look after it. And I think the story also is, is that I believe the United States Trust Company held a mortgage on the property, and were a little worried that Mr. Brokaw was spending less and less time there. I think they were just concerned about the upkeep and security of the house, but through whatever combination of motives my father was offered this job of being the caretaker, and also allowed to keep his job at the bank. So for my parents, from Tipperary and Cavan, in Ireland, with virtually no education, the prospect of growing up on 79th Street and 5th Avenue must have been awesome, as the kids would say today. I don't know what their reaction was, but to make a long story short, they moved in. I was not yet born.

Geselowitz:

Now, where were they living before they moved into the Brokaw Mansion?

Cahalan:

Okay, they were living in the Bronx. I don't know the avenue, but in working class Bronx, very near three, four, five, depends on the time, siblings of theirs, who had also moved over from Ireland, so a very Irish, I'm sure, neighborhood in the Bronx, so this was quite a change of venue. Anyway, they moved in somewhere around 1940. The precise date, I'm not aware of, but I do know that I was born in Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital—I think now part of Mount Sinai Hospital—but roughly 106th Street and 5th Avenue, so I'm sure that we were in the building prior to 1943, my year of birth.

Geselowitz:

Hmm.

Cahalan:

And that went on for some period of years, I think until about 1945 or 1946.

Geselowitz:

With your father working by day at the bank, and the weekends and evening, taking care of the estate.

Cahalan:

Exactly. We lived there. We had an apartment on the first floor. It's a little hard to describe, because the building, the Brokaw Mansion, had four floors to it, and then it had what they called a basement and a sub-basement. The sub-basement is what we would more normally think of today as a basement; it's where the boiler room was, and the mechanics of the building. The basement was—well, think of a split-level home. It was part above ground and part below ground, but had windows and light, and actually, our little apartment there. Not so little actually. It was very comfortable living quarters. We could walk up two stairs out of our living room onto a lawn that was the corner of 79th Street and 5th Avenue, enclosed by a big wall, and then beyond the wall, and up another six feet or so was 79th Street on one corner and 5th Avenue on the other, and we lived there like that, my father commuting downtown to his job, and I vaguely remember from a very early age him dealing with repair people that had to come in for one thing or another.

And then in 1945-46 the Brokaw family sold that building, and I believe two others—I'm not sure if it all happened at the same time, but I believe it did—two other buildings on either side of it, to the Institute of Radio Engineers, which was to become the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE. So, in 1945-1946—I imagine so, and I know from some documents—the building was sold, and there was some consternation, I think, by my parents, that this might be the end of a very nice three or five or six-year run, living on 5th Avenue. But the IRE, in those days, offered my father a position, to stay in the apartment and become the building superintendent, essentially, of the headquarters of the IRE, and that, I believe, was 1946.

Geselowitz:

And that was to be a fulltime job, now? Did he give up the job at the bank so he could be fulltime?

Cahalan:

Correct, yes, yes. Because when the IRE moved in, I don't know exactly how many employees they had, but they pretty rapidly filled the four floors. They renovated all the floors—only the first floor was maintained as is. The first floor was, by any standard, gorgeous, beautiful, classical European, you could pile on the adjectives. That's pretty well documented, and there are photos of all that, but it was beautiful beyond belief, so the first floor of the four main floors was kept, as I recall, totally intact. We lived in the first basement, and then the second, third, and fourth floors were outfitted for offices. I imagine that took some time, but once that happened, this became an office building, and needed someone fulltime to supervise a cleaning crew, to make sure the elevators were maintained, to make sure the furnace was full of coal a couple of times a day, so there was a part-time crew, I would say, but a fulltime superintendent, my father.

Geselowitz:

And did your mother assist at that?

Cahalan:

Yes, they were a pretty good team. She left her employ when my father moved to the bank, when they first moved out of Rye and Port Chester. She became a fulltime mom and housewife but they were partners, and my father had—this may be a little bit outside the scope of interest—but my father had virtually no education. I don't know how he managed to get a job at the bank. I don't know whether that was known and someone filled out forms for him, but he was functionally illiterate, and so my mother did all the paperwork around the house, and driver's applications, and I'm sure even had to help with the running of the building to some extent. So they were good partners, they were a good team, and the man, a man by the name, I believe, of Mr. Crow—I should know that—who was handling the renovation of the building and handling the move—I believe he was an employee of IRE—sized my father and mother up as, you know, reliable, good, hardworking people. He engineered—I believe that it was actually his idea—that my parents would stay on and be the superintendent, so then that ignited a whole other run.

I always say that the kindness of two strangers, when you kind of step back at it, changed our family's lives forever, and for the better. It was the banker, Mr. Pell, who gave my father a job on Wall Street, and then Mr. Brokaw, who moved him to 79th Street and 5th Avenue. We were, no surprise here, an Irish Catholic family, and I would have gone to Catholic schools anyway probably, if I could have afforded it, but that parish was a Jesuit parish. They're known as educators, and I went to a Jesuit grade school, St. Ignatius Loyola, which is on 84th Street and Park Avenue, five blocks away, six blocks away, and the Jesuits got me in their snare, in a very good way, and I went to a Jesuit high school and a Jesuit college before finally going to graduate school at NYU. Not a Jesuit school, but until then it was all Jesuit. And my sister went to a good grade school and Catholic girls' school in the same parish, all on 84th Street between Madison and Park Avenue, and it changed our lives. It just was transformative.

Life in the IRE Building

Geselowitz:

So while you were in school, in grade school and high school, what was your interaction with the IRE people, since you were living in their building?

Cahalan:

Oh, it was great. It was the people who work for the IRE, and I don't—I love my parents and have the utmost respect for them and what they did for our family—but the people who worked for the IRE were everything my parents weren't. They were, by and large, American-born, educated; even the office workers had an education that surpassed my parents. They were, I guess you would call it, “with it.” They were savvy, they participated fully in the life of America. There were office romances I saw…

Geselowitz:

I guess that's a separate interview.

Cahalan:

Yeah, there were—I don't think any of them illicit. I mean, I think there were just marriages that were brokered in the Brokaw mansion, and in fact, my earliest memory of being in that building was us sitting on the floor of our apartment, and the sun streaming in through Venetian blinds, and seeing the little particles in the air, the sun was so strong.

Geselowitz:

Right.

Cahalan:

In between the rays of light, and I was probably about two or three years old but then I gradually got to know the people in the building, and one of my fondest memories of growing up was that every year, the office had a Christmas party. There was a huge tree on the first floor, because the ceilings were extremely high, not just your 14 feet, I think they were, like, 20 or higher, so there was just always this magnificent Christmas tree, and an office party. And my sister, Pat, who was four years older, and myself, always got a gift, and it was, I'd say, without exception, the best Christmas gift we got each year, because the office workers, a lot of them were in their 20s and early 30s. I'm not talking so much about the engineers, some of whom worked there, but these were the people in the mail room, and what was called the Addressograph Room that mailed stuff out, and the Admissions Office, and clerical people. They were very—not exotic, I'm searching for the right word. They were sort of thrilling for my sister and me. You know, they dressed fashionably, and they dated, and they brought a whole life to that building, and they knew what a kid would want, so at each age, I remember getting my first pair of ice skates and a hockey stick. I remember getting a Hopalong Cassidy outfit—a popular western hero of the day—his whole uniform and hat, and holster with a gun, and all sorts of stuff. Each year, their gift was a home run, and prized.

I don't know if this was allowed or not, but I would almost always do my homework upstairs after everybody left, and I had one favorite spot on the weekends. The building was modeled after a French chateau, complete with turrets, and there was, on one corner of the building, this round turret, that on two floors, had little sitting rooms, that, like, circular cushions built into the perimeter of the turret, with big, big windows, letting in sunlight. That was my favorite place to read. When I couldn't go outside, I would go up into one of those turrets with my homework—and I would get help sometimes, from some of the office workers, with my homework.

Early Work at IEEE

Cahalan:

As I grew older—I would say from the time I was probably 15 to when I was 17 or 18, I actually got a summer job in the printing shop for the IRE. Perhaps now, I think by now, the IEEE, I'm pretty sure it was by then.

Geselowitz:


It became the IEEE in 1963.

Cahalan:

Okay, so it would have been right around there.

Geselowitz:

Okay.

Cahalan:

I worked in the print shop, and I think there was a publication called the Proceedings of the IEEE.

Geselowitz:

Correct, and it still exists.

Cahalan:

Okay, well, those were—my memory is, that they were technical papers.

Geselowitz:

Correct.

Cahalan:

Largely, and that professors, and researchers would write in for reprints. I guess mostly professors that wanted 30 or 200 copies for their class, and that was a big part of the print shop. They did other things, but reproducing, on demand, what we would say today on demand, copies of articles that were in the Proceedings of the IEEE was a big part of the job, but I worked there for about three summers, so it had quite an influence on me.

Geselowitz:

And then, where did you go to college?

Cahalan:

I went to college at Fordham.

Geselowitz:

And was that pretty much guided by the Jesuits at your high school, their suggestion?

Cahalan:

Yes, yes, yes, very much so. Again, this may be a tangent, but I went to Xavier High School on 16th Street between 5th and 6th avenues on a scholarship. That was a Jesuit school, and then early, very early senior year, I was called in by the Guidance Counselor, and he asked me two questions, I'll never forget. One was, can your parents afford to send you away to school? And I said, no, I don't believe so. And he said, do you know what you want to major in? And I said, journalism, and he reached into a file drawer in his desk and rummaged a bit, and handed me an application to Fordham, and said, I want you to fill this out and come back the same time next week. So I dutifully filled it out, and when I came back, he kept me waiting for a few minutes while he looked at it, and then he called me in and he said everything seems to be in order. He had my grades, he had my SATs, and he said, I'll take care of submitting the application, and I said, well shouldn’t I apply to another school? And he said, why? And I said, well, what if I don't get into Fordham? And he said, oh, you're in. So, my kids get such a kick out of that, and my grandchildren, I'm sure, will.

Geselowitz:

I know the game has changed.

Cahalan:

Yes, yes. Anyway, I moved, moved right along, and I went to Fordham and majored in journalism.

Geselowitz:

Did you live in a dorm in the Bronx, or at home?

Cahalan:

I commuted for three years from the Brokaw mansion, and then life changed very abruptly. On a Saturday morning, and now I should be honest here and say I'm not 100 percent sure that I'm going to be completely accurate. You know how family stories morph a little bit.

Geselowitz:

They work their way into one’s own memory, right.

Cahalan:

Yes, but I'm pretty sure that this was true. Anyway, I'm going to say around 1957 or '58, somewhere in there, the IRE bought the building just to the east, on 79th Street, of the Brokaw Mansion, as well as the building to the north on 5th Avenue. This is also discrepant, because I've seen the building to the east called 7 East 79th Street. We always referred to it as 5 East 79th Street, but I've seen press accounts that called it number 7. Anyway, they bought 5 East 79th Street to expand the offices, and we were moved out of the basement of 1 East 79th Street, the Brokaw Mansion, into 5 East 79th Street, onto a totally legitimate first floor in the back. My parents, I recall, were just very, very excited, because the old apartment had become old. I mean, the appliances were old, and, nice as it was, it was a little makeshift. It had never been completely designed as an apartment, but at 5 East 79th Street, everything was gleaming, and my sister and I, who had shared a room, had our own rooms. The IRE/IEEE took very, very good care of our family, always, and so we were now living by for some period of years, a long time, at 5 East 79th Street.

Then, in 1963, we awoke on a Saturday morning at 4:00 am to incredible noise coming from somewhere very near the building. We didn't know what it was, but it didn't seem threatening. I remember, the whole family was up, but we went back to bed, and then we woke up on a Saturday morning to find a wrecking crew at 1 East 79th Street, beginning to dismantle the Brokaw mansion. The family story is that the new owners knew that there would be such an outcry that this building was being demolished that they wanted to get started on a Saturday, and early in the morning, so that they could do a lot of damage before anybody could stop it, so I don't know—

Geselowitz:

So IEEE bought the other buildings for expansion, and continued to own them, but then they sold the original building.

Cahalan:

Right, correct.

Geselowitz:

And they sold it to a developer.

Cahalan:

They did, right, and I think that 5 East 79th Street might have been sold at the same time, all three buildings might have been. I don't know that, but we were still living there.

Geselowitz:

And you hadn't been evicted yet or anything?

Cahalan:

Correct, right, right.

Geselowitz:

Okay, and again, I think you and I had discussed, before the tape was running, there was a lot of controversy about that.

Cahalan:

Yes.

Geselowitz:

As you point out, the developer anticipated there was controversy, and actually, IEEE got a lot of flak for it, because the feeling among some preservationists was, they, as a nonprofit organization, should have known that if they sold to a developer, he would have done something like this, and they should have first gotten status for it or something along those lines.

Cahalan:

Right.

Geselowitz:

They thought that they were complicit somehow.

Cahalan:

Yes, yes. Well, I can understand that. There was a huge outcry, and in fact, I have read subsequently that the demolition of the Brokaw mansion led to the Landmarks Preservation Commission being formed in New York City. There was a forerunner body that had no authority, but as a result of this, the old organization was given a new name and a lot of power to say, no, you've got to—this can't be done.

Geselowitz:

Right.

Cahalan:

Yes, they had to sign off on sales and major renovations.

Geselowitz:

So then what did your family do now?

Cahalan:

My family moved back to the Bronx, and so, for the last year or two, at Fordham, I commuted from a lot closer. Fordham is in the Bronx, and the family moved back there, and it was sad. You know, you can imagine, it was a sad day. I don't ever recall, to be honest, any recriminations, though, towards the IEEE. My father kept a job, and he worked in the neighborhood we're in, as I recall. I know eventually, the IEEE moved to New Jersey.

Geselowitz:

First they moved to the United Engineering Center, right across from the U. N.

Cahalan:

Right near here.

Geselowitz:

Which is 47th and—

Cahalan:

1st Avenue, I think.

Geselowitz:

And then later, in the 80s, they moved to New Jersey.

Cahalan:

Okay. Well, dad worked for many years at the Manhattan office.

Geselowitz:

As sort of the office manager/supervisor?

Cahalan:

You know, I'm not sure.

Geselowitz:

Mm-hmm.

Cahalan:

I'm not sure. It was definitely mail room kind of work. I don't know the situation. I do know—I'm having a couple of flashbacks to the life on 79th Street—that somewhere along the way, my father was asked to, as an extra job for extra pay, take the mail between the buildings. As the organization grew, they—I don't know exactly how these things work—became responsible for taking mail to the post office. They outlived putting stuff in the corner mailbox, or however it worked up until then, and so my father was asked if he would take the mail from 79th and 5th to roughly 74th, between Lexington and 3rd to the Post Office every day about 4:00. I think the last call for mail was at 4:00, and then the Post Office closed at 6:00, and he had a couple of hours to get the mail there. My mother was definitely a partner in all this. He was offered a choice of a flat fee, or a dollar a mailbag—you know, three foot, big sacks of mail—and she had the foresight to know that over time there would be more mail, not less. The internet wasn't upon us yet, it was real mail.

Geselowitz:

Right, mail increased for a long time before it started decreasing.

Cahalan:

Yes, so he did it for a dollar a bag—I used to help him, as a young boy, with the bags. He didn't need it, but a fun thing to do after school was to help him load the bags into his station wagon. We used to have, you know, two, three, four bags a day, and at the end of this, he had to make two trips with the station wagon, so it really was a nice source of income. Additional income, right.

Geselowitz:

And if it was a flat fee, he might have lost money, right?

Cahalan:

And another memory from that time was that our first television was a prototype that came from somebody upstairs in the IRE—yes, I'm sure it was the IRE—it had a round screen, it had no cabinet. It was a working prototype that had outlived its purpose, and it had pushbuttons for the channels. And my recollection is, there were no more than ten channels, and maybe not all of them worked, even, and you would turn it on and wait an interminable amount of time for the tubes to all light up enough for the TV to work, and then the screen would come on, and eventually the photo. That was our TV for, oh, I don't know, three, four years until TVs became more prominent, but we were early adapters of television.

Geselowitz:

Because of the IRE?

Cahalan:

Because of the IRE, right.

Geselowitz:

Do you remember any other things, particularly about the IRE, before you move on to your post-college career.

Cahalan:

Well, nothing that I don't think would be terribly germane. There was, I remember, the Office Manager, or, no, I think she would have had a higher title, I think more like the Head of Administration, perhaps, for the IRE. She was a woman named, I believe, Emily Sirjane.

Geselowitz:

Sirjane, sure.

Cahalan:

Oh, really, okay.

Geselowitz:

Very well known in IEEE history.

Cahalan:

And definitely to me. Ms. Sirjane was a very competent, disciplined, foreboding figure, not quick with a smile, very serious, and apparently very, very good at what she did. She had a grand office in the building, and it was her that I had to approach for a summer job. I think the skids were greased, but I still had to make an appointment and go and ask her for a job and get her approval, which I got. Then I think I had the job for three years, and between the second and third year I asked—I think I made $40 a week for the first two—I asked for a $5 raise, which I got for the third year, so I remember her very well. Also a man named Mr. Buckley, who I believe was John Buckley, who was more of the Facilities Manager, and I don't know what else, but he was my father's direct boss. I dated his daughter for a while, and took her to her senior prom. Pat Buckley was her name, and I haven't seen her in years and years and years. And there was a man named Lawrence Cummings, C-U-M-M-I-N-G-S. He was ex-Navy, Commander, I believe, and a rather dashing figure who owned a house in Wilton, Connecticut. My father would go up there often on weekends to do odd jobs. Cummings was married to one of the series of Betty Crocker models, and spokespersons. Betty Crocker was a line of baked goods.

Geselowitz:

Yes.

Cahalan:

Maybe still is, I don't know.

Geselowitz:

I think it still is.

Cahalan:

The brand name probably exists. Anyway, they had a series, over the years, of very attractive women who did the TV commercials, and gave speeches on behalf of Betty Crocker. He was married to one of them, and a very dashing couple. Then there was a man named Rudy Spaterella who ran the print shop, so he was my boss for the summers, and I could probably think of other names if I sat here long enough, but we got to know the people quite well, and they were always incredibly kind and generous to us, and part of our family, and we were part of their family, so it was very wrenching when it all ended. For me, it was a year or two shy of going out into the workforce fulltime myself, but for my parents, it was tough to sort of go back to the Bronx, and there you go.

Geselowitz:

Your sister was, you said, was four years older, so she must have already been out of the house.

Cahalan:

She was already out of the house, yes, and she was living in Hamden, Connecticut, still does, and after my father died, in 1975, then my mother moved to Connecticut to be closer to my sister and myself. I actually lived for a long time in Wilton, Connecticut, because of my going with my father on these weekend jobs to Lawrence Cummings of the IEEE, to his home. I fell in love with Wilton, Connecticut, and it's where I raised my children and lived for a long time.

Post-Grad Work and Idealism

Geselowitz:

So what did you do when you graduated Fordham and went out into the world?

Cahalan:

It's a bit of a long story, but I started out in city politics. I worked in 1964 for John Lindsay, who was a congressman then, and one of my professors at Fordham was doing some campaign work for him, and through that, I started to work for John Lindsay. Then I worked in city politics for a couple years, and then for the New York Port Authority, helping them get to build the Trade Center, the World Trade Center, the ill-fated, as it turned out, World Trade Center. In the meantime, I was going to graduate school at night. I got a Master's and a Ph. D. from NYU. Then I did two years in the service. I was ROTC, so I had two years of active duty to do, the second one in Vietnam. I came back and was looking for a job.

Geselowitz:

So your Ph. D. was in communications?

Cahalan:

Yeah, communications and politics, and I was very much a child of the 60s, so against the war in Vietnam, even though I went and served, liberal, idealistic, So when I came back from Vietnam, I wanted to work in or politics. They seemed to be the two levers that would help me help the world. That was my dream, and I answered a job, a blind ad in the New York Times, for a head of communications for an educational publisher, and I sent off my paperwork to box number whatever it was at the Times, and I got a call from Xerox, and because—I think, because of my upbringing and lack of exposure working for a large corporation would have been 11th, if you asked me to put down 10 priorities, that would have been 11, and Xerox, at the time, was very heavily involved in educational . They owned the company that did My Weekly Reader.

Geselowitz:

Right.

Cahalan:

I use that because everybody says, oh, yes, I have had that in school!

Geselowitz:

Of course I remember that, naturally.

Cahalan:

So, I told Xerox, I think you must have the wrong person. I sent my resume to box so-and-so and the New York Times. And they said, well that was us, and I said, well, then, no thank you. But a couple of months later they called me again and said, we still haven’t filled the position and we think you’re the best man for the job. So I ended up working for Xerox, and I ended up staying there until I retired earlier this year.

Career at Xerox and Concern Worldwide

Geselowitz:

Tell me a little bit about what you did for Xerox.

Cahalan:

Well, I stayed at Xerox for a rather amazing 42 years – most of it in communications, public affairs and philanthropy. I retired as Vice President of Communications and Social Responsibility and President of the Xerox Foundation.

Geselowitz:

And now fully retired?

Cahalan:

No, I don’t believe I’ll ever retire. I’m CEO of Concern Worldwide, a wonderful non-profit working with the poorest of the poor in 25 countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. We provide a broad range of programs including health, education and livelihoods. Our mission is to work WITH the poor to help them on a pathway out of poverty. It’s immensely gratifying work.