Corey Engelen

Corey Engelen is the director of the Denver-based UN Diplomatic Services Corp., which coordinates and funds clean water initiatives throughout West Africa. Corey is also the Ambassador of Trade to Japan from Somalia, the Executive Director of Help Somalia and Help Horn of Africa, and the President of Aculift America. Engelen holds a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business (Cum Laude) and an MBA from Kennedy Western–Cheyenne Wyoming.

Early Years

Corey Engelen was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. In high school, Corey was active in many activities and sports including baseball, golf, track, and starting his own business. He couldn’t play football on a account of his father being a chiropractor, but Corey did get into BMX racing in his teens.

Corey Engelen

Corey Engelen

Finding BMX racing to be such a good exercise, Corey Engelen went on to form his own racing team made up of friends that he ran around with. They landed a sponsorship with Mongoose, a leader in BMX products. Corey worked odd jobs in high school that included Adventureland, Mcdonald’s, Hy-Vee Food Stores, and Pace Warehouse (now known as Sams Club).

Though Corey learned a lot from these experience, he eventually grew tired of working for others, so he decided to form his own business. Borrowing $3,500 from a bank with a little help from his parents got him got him started in screen-printing. His business went on to be successful and remained open for 4 years.

Towards a Wider Perspective

Moving from his small town roots, Corey Engelen left for the city of Des Moines, Iowa. Des Moines being the capital and the most populous city of Iowa, Corey attended community college in the local area. Following college, Corey went into the consulting business with the US government being a main client. Furthering his career, about 10 years ago he began working with a UN diplomat as an advisor.

This morphed into what Corey Engelen does today, converting material assets into liquid currency in order to build humanitarian needs such as roads and schools. Foreign Humanitarian Projects are what Corey specializes in today as the director of UN Diplomatic Services. His area of focus is West Africa and he works closely with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The U.N. Diplomatic Services Corp.

Corey travels six months out of the year, and is in West Africa four times a year. Being in these poverty stricken areas regularly, Corey finds it eye-opening to see the circumstances these people live in first hand. Upon his first trip he gave away every dollar he had. The locations that Corey visits frequently lack resources, access to clean water, and basic facilities that many westerners take for granted.

Corey Engelen’s role is that of a financial agent on the behalf of West African nations. His job involves him traveling to these countries  to gather commodities such as  titanium, gold, and diamonds. He than takes these commodities to Europe and Asia to monetize them. After successfully selling these commodities at a competitive price point, Corey brings the proceeds back to Africa to help establish infrastructure where it’s needed most.

The hours are long and the work is hard, but it’s the relationships that Corey builds with people that makes the job worth it. Whenever he can, Corey loves taking in the sights of the beautiful countries he visits.

Corey Engelen and the U.N. Diplomatic Services Corp. – Guinea from Corey Engelen on Vimeo.

Economic Empowerment

Corey’s work with the Diplomatic Services Corp. has allowed him to establish relationships with numerous diplomatic organizations and thought leaders throughout Africa and the world. After working extensively to bringing economic empowerment to West Africa, Corey was sought out to continue the same work in Somalia as the Ambassador of trade to Japan. His work entails drumming up support for investment in Somalian business and increased trade in Somalian goods, which lead to his charitable works with Help Somalia and Help Horn of Africa.

Active Downtime

Aside from work, Corey is now a resident of Castle Rock, Colorado where he lives with his wife and four children. It’s difficult being on the road for work as much time as Corey is, not only for him, but also for his family. But the work that Corey does is so important, so fulfilling that it makes the cost of being away from home worth it.
Whenever Corey’s at home, he tries to maximize his time spent with his family and sharing with them the things that he’s learned to love over the years, such as his love for the outdoors. Some of his favorite outdoor activities include hiking, rock climbing, and biking. He loves following the Denver Broncos and is a self-proclaimed Peyton Manning fan.
Corey is a big fan of Colorado. Although he is originally from a small town in the Midwest, he has taken to the mix of big city bustle and the outdoor scenery that living around Denver has to offer.