John Kirbow - Founding Member.
Community Terrain Mapper,
Ethnographer, Cultural Specialist
John Kirbow is a Veteran of the US Army Special Operations community, having
served in Nigeria, Baghdad, Basra, Europe, and US Central Command (CENTCOM) Tampa. A devout linguist, John speaks Arabic, Farsi, German, and Spanish as well as near-fluent Russian, and some Pashto, Urdu / Hindi, and Serbo-Croat. He also served in his civilian life as a high-level cultural and language specialist in Afghanistan as a DoD GS-13 with a Brigade Combat Team, which included working with tribal leaders and helping negotiate face-to-face peace offerings with high-profile Taliban. He also did a personal venture to the Andes community of Cusco, Peru, doing sustainable development and sociocultural research with the indigenous Quechua population. As a member of the Special Operations community, some of his main specialties were communications, language, social and cultural terrain mapping, and Information Operations (IO).
After being honorably discharged in 2008 he decided to put his knowledge and experience into a new endeavor to help empower people, families, and neighborhoods in a way that respect and understand culture and human beings, and then find the best ways to help them amidst hardship.
Aside from several full-length books still in the edit stages, he is publishing several white papers and promotional pamphlets to convey a variety of ideas and approaches, to everything from re-building American communities to assisting soldiers in Afghanistan and other conflict zones better understand and work within the cultural framework they fight in.
He is also partnering with people and serious talent, alongside a diversity of skill, experience and background, to contribute the tools of behavioral science and Special Operations to the world of social innovation, not only to help tackle some of our most pressing social problems at home and abroad, but to cultivate new models of profitable, sustainable business in which everyone benefits, from the local village economy to the multinational.
–Member of the Special Operations
–Culture and language-oriented work in Iraq and Afghanistan
for U.S. Army, DoD
–Former GS-13 with Human Terrain
–Sociocultural and linguistic immersion in South America,
Western Europe, Southeast Europe (Balkans), Africa, Middle East, Central
–Social and behavioral science, to include psychology,
sociology, applied anthropology and ethnography (including participant
rapid participatory assessment)
–Applied linguistics and culture
–Speaks Arabic, German and Spanish with working fluency.
High level conversation in Farsi,
Russian. Conversational In Pashto, Urdu /
Elementary Quechua (Cusco dialect) and Swahili.
–Research project in
–Sustainable development work in Brooklyn, NY (Human
Empowerment Network, or HEN)
–Does work with veterans via HEN organization and other