John Hrabe spends his time traveling the world as a freelance journalist.
In the past two years, he’s interviewed South Korean officials about the landmark US-Korea Free Trade Agreement. He’s chatted with a Member of Parliament about how technology is transforming campaigns in the United Kingdom. And he’s toured Bangkok with a former national police chief, who is working to clean up Thailand’s notoriously corrupt politics.
You’ll usually find John on some form of transportation— plane, train, or even a container ship.
While he doesn’t recommend a transatlantic voyage in winter, John believes that his generation needs to take more risks, increase its global competence and embrace the flexibility offered by new technology. That’s what sparked his interest in co-founding Atlas Workshops, an international student travel program. John believes that traditional summer sight-seeing vacations should be replaced with Atlas Workshops’ research trips focused on contemporary global issues.
John’s education has been unconventional. After dropping out of high school at the age of fourteen, he enrolled at Moorpark College, where he racked up general education credits. John helped pay for the $11 per unit tuition with his job at the school’s cafeteria.
Eventually, John transferred to Cal State Long Beach, where he competed in speech and debate. In his senior year, John and his debate partner were ranked the top parliamentary debate team in the country.
After graduation, John moved to Sacramento and worked in the State Capitol as a legislative aide. From 2007-09, he served as a spokesman for California’s sales tax agency and helped recover more than $38 million in tax deposits that the agency wrongly withheld from thousands of small businesses.
In 2009, John attended graduate school at the London School of Economics, where he earned a Master’s degree in Global Media and Communication. The following year, he served as a graduate fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, where he researched issues ranging from civic discourse to human trafficking. and University of Southern California.
When he isn’t on an international flight, John writes about state and national politics for CalWatchdog.com, FlashReport.org, Huffington Post and the editorial pages of the Orange County Register. John’s most recent high-profile investigation uncovered the questionable labor practices of Goodwill Industries, the nonprofit organization famous for its secondhand clothing stores.