Otilia Baraboi

Fabulous People: Otilia Baraboi

Otilia Baraboi is the executive director at Alliance Française de Seattle and co-founder of The Romanian Film Festival Seattle. The film festival is hosting its ninth-annual event now through Nov. 27 with a variety of in-person and streaming opportunities. Learn about Otilia Baraboi…

Hometown: Iasi, Romania

First job: Radio journalist and French teacher

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Going to markets, art shows, concerts, book launches, movies, hiking, watching the sunset at Golden Gardens in Ballard, Seattle.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: My lifetime work for various nonprofit organizations, the Romanian Film Festival and the language school I co-founded where my kids can learn about their cultural heritage and mother language. My current work at the Alliance Française also illustrates my strong belief in the importance of bilingualism and exposure to different languages and cultures.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: My mother become very ill when I was 6 years old. I grew up taking care of her, and I still struggle with insecurities and lack of affection from that period. Not to mention this happened during the communist dictatorship in Romania when food and medicine were scarce. These experiences made me the stubborn, resilient person I am today. 

Someone who inspires you and why: My two boys – I love their playful energy, creativity and enthusiasm about trying new things. I look at them, and I see hope for a better world.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Never give up. The world needs more dreamers. 

Favorite quote: “Pursued by our origins…we all are.” –Cioran, History and Utopia

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I don’t know how to ride a bicycle, and I’m afraid of feathers. 

What makes someone fabulous: Kindness and generosity, at all costs.

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