About Zahara

Zahara Heckscher is a writer, educatot, and advocate for justice.Zahara Heckscher is a writer, educator, and social justice advocate.


A Writer and Nurturer of Writers

Zahara is the co-author of How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas  (Penguin, 2002), a book Noam Chomsky called “informed, sensitive, and comprehensive.” Her current works in progress include Learning Service: The Essential Guide to International Volunteer Travel, and Spice Lady: A Novel with RecipesZahara is contributing editor at TransitionsAbroad.com. Her articles have appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers including the Washington Post. She innovated and facilitates the the Writing Staycation and Ask an Agent at the Writer’s Center. At the University of Maryland, College Park, she invented, co-developed, and taught the “Writing for Social Entrepreneurship” class and has also taught “Writing for Nonprofits” and “Inventing and Designing the Poetry Game.” 

Expert in International Volunteering

Zahara’s work in the field of international volunteering is grounded in her experiences overseas planting fruit trees in rural Zambia and helping to build a medical clinic in Nicaragua. Zahara has been interviewed about volunteering by the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, and Newsweek. Her expertise includes not only her own work as a volunteer in Africa and Latin America, but also over two decades of research on the benefits and little-known challenges of international volunteering. In addition to the books mentioned above, her writing on this topic includes articles for TransitionsAbroad, including 

Connecting Entrepreneurship and Social Justice: The Poetry Game

Zahara is a serial social entrepreneur: She’s helped to found and nurture new nonprofit organizations; she directs a socially responsible consulting business; and she has innovated powerful learning experiences including  and The Poetry Game, an innovative game that brings people together and makes it easy for anyone to write a poem.

Public Speaker with a Passion for Justice

Zahara has been a workshop facilitator and keynote speaker for conferences and events around the country and in the UK. Her dynamic  interactive style has made her a popular visitor to college campuses from Duke to Berkeley, where she has lectured on topics relating to international volunteering and careers.

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Zahara earned MA in International Development from the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., where she lives today with her son and husband. She is a breast cancer survivor who prefers to be known as a “cancer thriver,” and has been arrested several times protesting for access to medicines on behalf of cancer patients.

Contact Zahara Heckscher at 202-489-8908 or bookzahara at gmail dot com.


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