Making the world a safer place
Holly Davis ’06 is Managing Director of Global Zero, connecting the Global Zero team and the international grassroots movement to the resources they need to fight effectively for a world without nuclear weapons. She is passionate about bringing people together around the issues and policies they care about and has experience engaging young people in government and the political process. Prior to joining Global Zero, Holly worked to advance democracy and civic participation at AmericaSpeaks and the Minnesota State University Student Association. At Cornell she majored in sociology and child development and care systems (individualized major), then earned a master’s degree in public administration from American University in Washington, D.C., where she currently lives. Holly is the granddaughter of Campbell McConnell ’50 and niece of Curt McConnell ’81.
Q: What drives your work with Global Zero?
A: Eliminating nuclear weapons is a big job, and the urgency and importance of achieving our goal is pretty amazing to be part of. Working with a great team (including three other Cornellians!) helps keep it fun, and ultimately I’m driven by making the world a better, safer place to live.
Q: What’s the most important thing you learned at Cornell?
A: Critical thinking and understanding how to work with people to improve the world we live in.
Q: How did Cornell change you?
A: Cornell probably most changed my thinking, pushing ideas in the classroom from different perspectives then connecting them to practical applications.
Q: If you could go back and tell your 20-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
A: Planning for the future only goes so far, and those plans made at age 20 will likely change. Take every amazing opportunity available to you, pay attention to what you love and pursue those passions with an open mind. It’s cliché, but true that it’s hard to know where life will lead.
Q: What person on campus had the biggest impact on you?
A: I couldn’t possibly choose a single person, but I’m very lucky that many of the same people that were expanding my thinking, working together in student organizations, and making the most of college with me on campus are still important in my life now.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: My favorite is usually whatever I’m reading at the time (currently “The Bone People” by Keri Hulme), but Armistead Maupin I’ll read over and over.
Q: What qualities do you most admire in others?
A: Genuine curiosity, kindness, and a commitment to make the world a better place.
Q: What makes you happiest?
A: A slow and wandering day that starts with a good cup of coffee, is filled with wonderful people, sunny weather, exploring new places, and ending with a cocktail and a nice sunset.