Jules (Juli) L. Frost
Seaver College | 1990
Head of Programmes and Partnerships, Core Humanitarian Standard Alliance
What does being an honoree of this campaign mean to you?
To be nominated for this honor alone is a privilege. To actually be selected to receive this distinction with these other accomplished women is truly inspirational. Pepperdine in many ways prepared and paved the way for me to go out into the world. Now to be recognized for what I have contributed is quite poignant and a great source of encouragement.
Describe your success story.
Working hard, dreaming big, having faith, listening carefully, and lastly, not giving up. These factors are the core ingredients of my story. My life adventure continues to unfold, and the conclusion is unknown. But one thing I am confident of is that hope has been and will be a necessary constant in this journey called life. Breathtaking mountain ascents, dark valleys, thrilling rapids, and quiet streams of refreshment characterize my story. My work as a humanitarian has taken me to nearly 70 countries, to communities devastated by war and natural disaster, and to the offices of the politically powerful. Continually learning and adapting are constant requirements. Perhaps in a statement my success story could be summed up as follows: "Perseverance produces character, and character produces hope." May I have the grace and strength to continue to run this incredible race called life.
How has Pepperdine played a role in your success?
Pepperdine affirmed in me a love and concern for people. The volunteer center, under the leadership of Sara Young Jackson back then, supported me in starting a Best Buddies chapter on campus. My professors, especially Bob Woodruff and Fred Casmir, taught me how to think for myself. They challenged, inspired, and believed in us, as students, to create new knowledge and not just to regurgitate what others before us have said. They encouraged us to engage with the world around us. This led me to write a paper on political propaganda and inviting members of Swapo, an opposition party to the government of Namibia, to speak on campus. Little did I know at the time that following graduation from Seaver College, I would move to Namibia to work with Youth for Christ Namibia and Swapo would be the ruling government!
My faith became my own at Pepperdine, no longer solely the faith of my family that I had embraced early in life. It provided a challenging yet safe place to explore what it truly means to live a life for Christ all week long, not just on Sunday. As a resident assistant, I gained experience providing support and encouragement to peers, as well as holding people accountable.
Pepperdine opened the door to the world for me, first through my year abroad in Florence, Italy, and then for two summer mission trips to Africa. Through these priceless experiences lifetime friendships were formed, and I discovered my calling to serve and walk alongside the most vulnerable in the hardest-to-reach places. At the time, I certainly didn't realize it would lead to an amazing lifetime career.
Overall, Pepperdine taught me perseverance and ingrained in me the pursuit of excellence, a spirit of kindness, and a willingness to be generous. My four years at Pepperdine were transformative and for this I am truly grateful. As a proud Wave, I have sought ways to continue to remain engaged through employing interns during their study abroad in Switzerland, speaking at convocation, and celebrating Thanksgiving with the Pepperdine family in Lausanne.
Describe a lesson you've learned from a challenging time in your career or life.
To love selflessly and give generously with no thought of receiving in return. Pepperdine introduced this principle to me through its motto of "Freely ye receive, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). However, during the last three years, before ovarian cancer took her life, my younger sister, Tara, showed me how to live like this despite one's circumstances. Even though we lived on different continents, I was fortunate to be with Tara in the hospital for the multiple surgeries, alongside for the first of many chemo treatments, and then to live with her for the last two months she was in home hospice. My sister was a true, brave warrior. She showed great courage, determination, and inner strength when she was confronted with her diagnosis and throughout her fight. Never did I hear her complain or ask "Why me?" Instead, she persevered, worked hard, and loved generously. During the last few months, not only did she teach me how to live life fully but she also showed me how to die with infinite dignity and grace. "It (life) was never meant to be fair. It was meant to be lived . . . with as much love as possible." ~ Tara Sue Frost
How would you describe your leadership style?
I would characterize my leadership style as one that seeks to balance relationships with results. One without the other is not sustainable. Some colleagues would say I have a reputation for delivering results and creating a place where people are empowered and can grow, fulfilling their potential and often achieving more than they thought possible. People and what makes them thrive intrigues me. This curiosity motivates me to understand people's unique capabilities and personal passions. Mistakes are an essential part of progress. People need to know it is ok to make a mistake while understanding they are expected to do their best work. I expect good debate to facilitate understanding of key issues and discover sound solutions. It is important to lead by example. For instance, taking ownership of my own mistakes is essential for creating an environment of trust where people are willing to step up, take on new challenges, and bring their best.
"My faith became my own at Pepperdine, no longer solely the faith of my family that I had embraced early in life. It provided a challenging yet safe place to explore what it truly means to live a life for Christ all week long, not just on Sunday."
Jules Frost ('90)
Who has helped you achieve success in your career?
My career success is the result of a multitude of people across the globe who were and are willing to share a part of their lives with me. I believe my life or who I am is like a woven tapestry. Each thread represents a person I have encountered my in life. I am who I am as a result of those who have invested a moment or walked alongside me for years. I am richer, more diverse, and stronger; worn in parts, torn and stained in others. Some of the contributions are very visible; others are hidden but nonetheless valuable contributions to who I am today. Lessons taught, encouragement poured out, powerful prayer offered, tears shed and wiped away. I am grateful to my parents who encouraged me from the beginning and gave me the confidence that I could do anything. Their sacrifices, hard work, and commitment to providing a stable, loving environment is a priceless gift for which I am forever grateful.
What's next for you?
As the new Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Alliance head of programmes and partnerships, based in Geneva, Switzerland, I will be promoting the application of the CHS and working to advance accountability and quality within the global humanitarian sector.
In a time of unprecedented scrutiny of humanitarian organizations and our work, the CHS Alliance is making its presence felt and is more important than ever. As our work increases in complexity and more than 200 million people require assistance due to natural hazards/climate change, unprecedented displacement and more protracted conflicts, the CHS Alliance has become one of the largest and most influential networks promoting quality and accountability. Effective safeguarding and protection is fundamental to building and maintaining trust with people affected by disasters and conflict and the broader public that support our endeavors.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What historical or modern-day leader do you admire and why?
Nelson Mandela, the ultimate peacemaker.
What is your mantra or favorite quote?
"To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." —Micah 6:8
What is one of your favorite hobbies?
Cycling. I am an amateur triathlete.