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Why I quit my job to become a full-time entrepreneur

Why I quit my job to become a full-time entrepreneur

For my entire career, I’ve been driven by a key goal: to connect the global peacebuilding and social change community with the resources, information and relationships to scale change.

On June 1st, 2016, I made a decision that would allow me to do this in the most impactful way possible: by leaving my full-time job at Georgetown University after a decade of building one of the world’s top Conflict Resolution graduate programs to focus exclusively on leading PCDN into its next phase.

Over the course of my career – spanning 20+ years and working/consulting in more than 15 countries – I have seen how a fellowship, a connection, a job opportunity, a grant can help transform the life of an individual or an entire organization.

I believe that professionals in the field of social change need more connections, inspiration, and resources to support their transformational work.

It’s been incredible to see the impact PCDN has had on our more than 36,000 members around the world, and I’m thrilled for our next chapter.

Now, it’s time to bring information, resources and job opportunities to the next 100,000 + change makers.

And this is where you come in.

PCDN is a full-fledged social enterprise. We rely on our community and our incredible cohort of advertisers and partners to provide a world-class platform that connects passionate individuals and organizations from around the world with each other.

If you’re reading this, you’ve hopefully been impacted in a positive way by PCDN’s existence, and we’d love to have you on board for the next chapter. Whether you share a guide, invite your colleagues to join the network, or pass this on to an organization looking to get in front of our members, every action makes an impact. If you’re looking to get involved with PCDN at any level, please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime at info(at)

Finally, I’m excited to announce that this post is the first in an ongoing series I’ll be writing around entrepreneurship. Becoming a full-time social entrepreneur has been an incredible adventure, and I can’t wait to share my process and reflections for anyone out there thinking of doing the same. To be the first to find out about these blog posts (and other big announcements), click here to subscribe to our free weekly #gotchange newsletter (via our home page)

Leaving an amazing job (and a monthly paycheck) was not an easy choice; some might think is downright crazy. While there is no guaranteed path to success, I am driven by the desire to create a sustainable enterprise that best serves our community. We all know that working for social change is no easy task.

Please count on PCDN to help you grow (professionally); connect (with others); and find inspiration to create positive change in the world.



Dr. Craig Zelizer




Profile Photo by Craig Zelizer

This a comment from a wonderful friend who asked me to post this on PCDN “As long as you have a true belief in what you are doing, then you will be successful.”

Profile Photo by Anne Farrell

Wow very interesting!! wishing you all the best in your new journey!!

Profile Photo by Mark Clark

A big, bold, step! The word needs more people like you, Craig, prepared to take these sorts of steps to follow your passion and apply your talent and strengths to support social change and positive transformation in the most effective way you can! Very proud to be part of this PCDN network!!

Mark Clark, CEO, Generations For Peace





    Profile Photo by Craig Zelizer

    Thanks Mark as always for your support for PCDN.  It was a huge decision but delighted to be able to focus on PCDN full time and grow our work and impact. Congrats on the continued growth and recognition of Generation for Peace’s innovative work. Also if you have any suggestions of ways to improve PCDN, new activities you would like us to consider doing, please feel free to let us know. Would also appreciate if you could let others in the GFP network know about PCDN and encourage them to subscribe, join, contribute content, etc.

Profile Photo by Justin Harried

It’s been a pleasure working with you over the years Craig. I wish you much success with PCDN. You will truly be missed here at Georgetown.

    Profile Photo by Craig Zelizer

    Thanks. It has been wonderful to work together for these years and thanks for your incredible work and patience.  As you know always open to helping in anyway and will continue to teach for now as a skills faculty a single one credit class.

Profile Photo by Lyusyena Kirakosyan

Congratulations on your courageous decision and best of luck with your new challenges! I am very much interested in learning about your journey as a social entrepreneur, intend doing it in a few years.

    Profile Photo by Craig Zelizer

    Thanks for your comment. There are many amazing online and in person resources to learn from. The field has radically grown the past two decades. Feel free to offer feedback on how we can improve PCDN

Profile Photo by Amyn Rajan

Courageous move! Georgetown will sure miss you. I will continue to spread the word about PCDN


Wow! That’s a bold step Dr. Craig Zelizer. I wish you success in this bold step of yours. May the good lord see you through boss.

    Profile Photo by Craig Zelizer

    Thanks, It is a huge change and risk to chose to leave a wonderful full time stable academic job at one of the top universities in the world. But I believe in PCDN and everywhere I go in the world have met amazing people who rely on PCDN to be the central source of news, inspiration, opportunity and connections. I’m delighted to have the time to scale our work and impact. Very much welcome input of what we can do better.


Dear Craig,

I and one of my friend Keshab Dahal, the freeloaders who have benefited a lot from you website and who always talk to contribute something but haven’t been successful unfortunately due to deprived studentship, keep on talking about you, the way you changed the website, and your everlasting happy-headshot installed over the blue shirt which has introduced yourself with us as a lovely human.

As the students of peace and conflict, we have always found PCDN as the ultimate source of information regarding fellowships/scholarships and summer courses. I know it serves with information regarding global jobs too, and this will be the cause to be your parasites in a long run. Since you have fully come on the battle-field leaving such an honourable job, I can imagine that the rain of information will turn to flood now.

And, with its ever growing network when your website will have hundreds of thousands members, I am sure that we’ll feel privileged of being amongst the first few thousands members.

We greatly appreciate for what you have done in these many years.

On behalf of all the beneficiaries, visitors and members, I take this time to honour you for your hard-work which has rendered us with scholarships, internships, training, jobs, a forum to share ideas and a huge network of like-minded people.

Thank you very much!!!


P.S.: We’ll definitely donate for your noble cause soon.

Profile Photo by Craig Zelizer

thanks for your comments, it is much appreciated. We always appreciate to help us sustain and scale our work. However we also realize that not all members can afford to pay or may be located in countries where it isn’t easy to process a payment. Thus we rely on the honor system where if someone can afford to pay and can do so we hope the person will, but want to ensure people have access regardless of ability to pay. One thing that would be of great assistance would be if you could let others in your network know about PCDN. Another thing is to consider blogging on PCDN about Nepal and social change.

Profile Photo by Janet Lynn Murdock

I am a HUGE fan of PCDN and my admiration for your decision is without end. I know your efforts will be successful because you this is your calling!  I talk to everyone about how amazing PCDN is. Because of PCDN, I had access to job opportunities that I otherwise would never have known about. I got several interview for jobs that I applied to through PCDN. So I know that the network really does work!! I have taken on-line course that I also would never have known about without PCDN. These trainings were directly related to my work and thus important to my job. There is nothing like PCDN in giving a peacebuilder access to the information they need to thrive professionally. I also value the guides you have put together. The one thing I am thinking about is how to make the opportunities more accessible to communities that do not have easy access to the internet. I have been thinking of the idea of setting up “clearing houses” with counselors available to young people to help people apply to the many wonderful opportunities that come through PCDN.

Profile Photo by Craig Zelizer

Thanks for your wonderful comments and ongoing support for PCDN. A few quick responses.

1) Posting your feedback – Can you also please post the comments in the feedback section as we have launched a new one for PCDN 3.0 at

2) Ways to engage others – Always open to feedback or ideas. Let’s chat.

Have a great day


Profile Photo by Matthew R. Bishop

Congratulations Craig!! I’m glad to see you committing full-time to this. I think it’s got great opportunity and plenty of room for growth. Looking forward to the future!



Profile Photo by Erin McCandless

Brave decision Craig, and no doubt the right one. You have such a vital calling, and you need full power (time, resources, creativity) to implement your vision and move in innovative directions, not held back by bureaucracy – even if a good one ;-).  I will try to do more to support your vision!

Profile Photo by Craig Zelizer

Thanks so much. Truly enjoying having the time to focus full time on growing PCDN. Please feel free to let us know what you like and suggestions for improving PCDN 3.0

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