Get to Know Andreas Tsakistos, Country Director

Andreas: Working at Children’s HeartLink affords me the privilege and opportunity to work in a rewarding and challenging field


 Andreas and his family on vacation


What does a typical day at work look like? 

My days are spent staying in contact with our partners, emailing/WeChatting with hospital partners in China, Brazil and Malaysia; having meetings and preparing for upcoming training visits. My job also includes brainstorming with our hospital partners and medical volunteers on how to build our partners’ capacity through training, to help them work independently with improved care and outcomes for children with congenital heart disease.   

Tell us a little about your background and why it led you to Children’s HeartLink. 

For most of my adult life and career, I have been drawn to the field of international development. Prior to working at Children’s HeartLink, I worked in food aid and refugee resettlement programs. This is a result of my global upbringing, with a significant part of my life spent living in Nairobi, Kenya, traveling and working throughout Africa. Working at Children’s HeartLink affords me the privilege and opportunity to continue to work in this rewarding and challenging field.

What motivates you? 

Traveling, working with other cultures, acquisition of new insights, knowledge, perspectives, understanding that comes along with travel and working alongside other cultures motivates me. Seeing first-hand how hard our hospital partners work and dedicate themselves each day to their profession and helping children in challenging environments is very inspiring and motivational.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging? 

The most rewarding part of my job is having the privilege to work alongside my colleagues, our dedicated medical volunteers and partners, to ensure children born with a congenital heart defect have the best chance to live a long and healthy life. The most challenging part is trying to secure more resources for hospitals, so they can achieve more for their patients and communities. Also, the time I spend away from my family while on the road.

What are the most important traits for your job? 

I think the most important traits to succeed at this job are many – patience, perseverance, compassion, communication, collaboration, sense of humor, adventure… enduring long flights. 😊

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Reading, taking in shows and concerts with my family at the Guthrie Theater, the Minnesota Orchestra and other local venues, watching my favorite soccer team Liverpool FC play on the weekends with my family.

Tell us about your family.    

My wife Lindsay is a physical and health disabilities teacher with Minneapolis Public Schools. I have a daughter Lydia, 9 years old. We enjoy going to the theater, hanging out, playing with our dog Rafiki and cat Rosy, and taking trips together to visit friends and family near and far, especially to san Diego and Cyprus, where we both have family.

Andreas leads our programs in Brazil, China and Malaysia. Before joining our team in 2006, he worked with humanitarian aid programs in sub-Saharan Africa. He has a master’s degree from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Andreas has had wanderlust since he was a child, when he moved with his family from London to Nairobi and points in between.

Learn more about our work.