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Herran Bekele

Senior editor

SHORT BIO

I joined Marketplace in November 2018 and currently manage a great team of reporters covering sustainability and workplace culture. I started my career at ABC News, where I was a producer for “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" and “Nightline.” During my 13 years at ABC News, I traveled extensively and reported on historic events like Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami and the presidential elections of 2000 and 2008.

What was your first job?

When I was 16 years old, I got a summer job scooping ice cream at Gerenser’s Exotic Ice Cream in New Hope, Pennsylvania. The family owned shop was located on South Main Street, along the Delaware River, for nearly 70 years. They created delicious, homemade concoctions like a beautiful fig and pistachio flavor called Allah’s Garden and a fragrant flavor called African Violet. I wasn’t a fan of the English Mincemeat, but I loved the Ukrainian Rose Petal. Of course, artisanal ice cream in unusual flavors is all the rage now, but at the time it was pretty extraordinary.

What is something that everyone should own, no matter how much it costs?

A can opener. I mean, eat fresh foods whenever possible. But if you need to open a can and you don’t have an opener, you really don’t have a lot of options.

What’s something that you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about?

There is an episode of “The West Wing” about this, but I love maps, and when I was growing up we were taught the map known as the Mercator projection was an accurate representation of our physical Earth. It turns out it’s not. In truth, Africa is larger than what we were taught as kids, and many Northern Hemisphere countries, like Russia and Greenland, are smaller. You need a true scale map to see the real size of the continents. The Mercator map is a mind-blowing distortion of reality, and a great example of how Eurocentric science can inaccurately shape what we think we know about the world and each other.

What’s the favorite item in your workspace and why?

My space heater, because I’m always freezing. Plus, I love the photo of my kids on my desk.