Don Belt — carpenter, poet, soccer player, ambulance driver, writer, editor, speaker, teacher — has lived the life we dream of living.

His travels have taken him to over 68 countries; his CV ticks every box there is and then some, and his stories span the biggest issues of our time, most of them done during his four-plus decades at the National Geographic.

A shared characteristic of the truly great is generosity, their willingness to share what they have learned by doing. Don is a teacher by inclination — at Poynter, at George Washington University and most recently, at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he is Professor of Journalism.

Back when we were trying to find our feet, voice and direction, Don was kind enough to notice and to reach out with advice. Since then, he has made time to mentor us from the sidelines, and so now we are making it official:

Peepli is so proud to announce that Don Belt has joined us as Director in an advisory capacity.

He will, like our other directors Paul Salopek and Nilanjana Roy (see announcement), use his experience and his wisdom to guide us in telling the stories we want to tell.

A Don Belt reading list:

Fast Lane to the Future, on India’s superhighways

Struggle for the soul of Pakistan, on that nation’s tussle between the moderate and extreme forms of Islam

Wet Boots, Dry Notebook — a collection of Don’s deep, nuanced reporting on water and related issues

Parting the Waters, on the Jordan River that both divides and unites Israel and its neighbors

The Coming Storm, on Bangladesh’s struggles to cope with rapidly rising sea levels

Extensive archives of Don’s four-plus decades of work