Three years ago, when I was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for INSEAD, I felt a tremendous sense of honour. INSEAD changed my life, and it was humbling to have the opportunity to lead the governance of the school and support the vision of Dean Ilian Mihov. Giving back to INSEAD was, and continues to be, deeply important to me.
In the years since then, INSEAD has gone from strength to strength while setting an increasingly ambitious agenda as a global institution. Today, as The Business School for the World, INSEAD strives to attract the world’s best students and brightest scholars, foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, promote rigorous and relevant research, deliver best-in-class educational programmes and make a lasting impact on the world.
“As we educate the next generation of business leaders, we also equip and inspire those leaders to use business as a force for good.”
Behind the scenes, the INSEAD Board of Directors, the Board Committees and the INSEAD Advisory Council—in partnership with the INSEAD Alumni Fund and the INSEAD Alumni Association—are working tirelessly and giving generously to advance this strategy. Our commitment to the school is leading to progress in the following areas.
Expanding diversity in our leadership
By setting a new process for appointing, renewing and recommending Board members, we are better leveraging INSEAD’s diversity and balancing the representation of gender, geography and expertise in our leadership. In the past three years, we have more than doubled the percentage of women leaders on the Board of Directors, growing from 15 percent to 32 percent. In addition, we increased the ratio of Asian members to more than one-third.
Upholding INSEAD’s values and principles
In response to the global rise of populism, we are working vigorously to uphold INSEAD’s values of inclusion, pluralism, diversity and using business as a force for good. We continue to assess and discuss world affairs and their implications for INSEAD as a diverse and deeply principled institution of management education.
Connecting with the global alumni community
In an effort to foster tighter connections between INSEAD alumni and the Board, we have significantly increased our presence at key alumni events around the world, including the INSEAD Alumni Forums, the Global Business Leaders Conference and the Visionaries Conference. Whether by contributing to panel discussions, serving as speakers or participating as audience members, we have used these opportunities to personally connect with thousands of alumni. It has been wonderful to see so many new faces, share updates from the Board and celebrate some of our most generous donors. We are united in our passion for INSEAD!
Planning for INSEAD’s future
As a Board, it is important for us to consider the affairs of today while also planning for tomorrow, ensuring that the success of INSEAD lasts long beyond our tenure. To that end, we recently worked closely with Dean Mihov on a number of key initiatives that are important to INSEAD’s future growth. These include the school’s academic offerings, digital initiatives, campus expansion, faculty dynamics, financing polices, and governance and legal foundation. Importantly, we also guided the re-election process of the Dean.
Bolstering our financial strength
Quality has a price. To attract high-quality students and retain world-class faculty, INSEAD must have the financial wherewithal to provide competitive scholarships, strong compensation packages and appropriate research funding. As a Board, we are focused on strengthening INSEAD’s financial standing while growing our investment fund and endowment fund. As I have said before, we should not just be educating students who can afford a high-end education. The son of a farmer in Indonesia also should have the chance to come to the best business school in the world.
Now that I am in my second term as Chairman, I want to reiterate what I have expressed before:
“I believe in our Dean, the importance of our mission and vision, the strength of our faculty and staff and the prospects for our future. I hope you will join me, as a fellow INSEAD graduate, in sharing these convictions and supporting INSEAD’s vision for the future.”
The momentum of our school is building, and you can help us accelerate even faster.
Andreas Jacobs MBA’90D
Chairman, INSEAD Board of Directors