In May, Carter Allen left his job at Starbucks’ corporate office and became a principal consultant with DevGlobal Partners. He was assigned to support the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation COVID-19 response.
“I’m supporting several teams over at the foundation focused on the global development and delivery of vaccines, diagnostic tools, therapeutics and then also cross-cutting initiatives around supply chain optimization,” Allen said. “For one of their supply chain focused initiatives, I’m helping them solve supply chain related problems related to the distribution of an ultra-cold vaccine like Pfizer’s mRNA based COVID-19 vaccine which requires storage at negative 70 degrees Celsius. This creates distribution challenges for countries around the world.”
A call to serve
Allen left his full-time job at Starbucks for a temporary position because of his desire to serve. This, after he served seven years in the Army and was deployed twice to Afghanistan.
When this Tulsa native came to Missouri State, he thought he wanted to work at the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. He graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in international business and minor in Spanish.
His final year of school, Allen interned at the U.S. Embassy in Guyana and the Chilean Embassy in Spain. During those stints, he became good friends with some of the military officials who suggested he go to Officer Candidate School in the United States Army.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were in full swing, but Allen still chose to join the military. After the Army, he worked for a couple of private companies in Seattle, mostly focused on supply chain technology.
“Service has always been important to me,” Allen said. “That was the biggest driver for going into the Army at the peak of two wars. COVID-19 is definitely one of the greatest global challenges in the past 100 years, so I saw supporting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I saw I could potentially help people.”