Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Gary Pollack

Photo of Gary Pollack

Public Affairs


2011 Fellows

Hometown: Wayne, NJ

Travel Locations: Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Ghana, Senegal, India

In his work in Public Affairs, Pollack been involved in initiatives for civic engagement; now he is anxious for a personal connection. As a singer and percussionist, his travels will take him through Brazil, Argentina, Senegal, Mali, Benin, Ghana, Nepal and India as he explores the role that music plays in these communities.  Gary looks forward to internalizing the traditions of these diverse cultures while sharing his own with the people he meets on his journey.

Alumni Reflections

How did the Bonderman impact your life?

“The Bonderman Fellowship experience opened my eyes to the vast experiences and perspectives that makeup our shared world. It also forced me to become reliably independent in difficult circumstances, to open myself up to meeting people of all walks of life, and to remain curious as often as possible. I continue to reflect on how I was told I’m not an “American” by Argentinians, how every Indian person I met asked me if I was married and how many children I had, how a hair stylist in Senegal saved my trip, and how obtainable a fulfilling and beautiful life can be in so many iterations and in so many environments.”

What are you doing now?

“I manage a policy and planning team in the City of Austin’s Homeless Strategy Office. I’ve worked in the homeless services field since returning from my trip and have loved the work and the people I work with and serve. My wife and I just had our first child and we’re planning our first international family trip next summer! We love to explore and learn about the world and I owe a lot of my interest and ability to do that to the fellowship program, especially when it comes to traveling with small children.”