After six years of service, Sadia Khan MBA’95D will step down as President of the INSEAD Alumni Association (IAA) in May 2021. Appointed to the role in 2015, Sadia is the longest-serving IAA President in INSEAD history.
During her two terms as President, Sadia transformed alumni engagement at INSEAD in many notable ways. By increasing collaboration between the school and alumni community, she expanded and elevated INSEAD’s networking, lifelong learning and career development opportunities. She also cultivated and strengthened the IAA’s partnership with INSEAD and the INSEAD Alumni Fund.
Sadia will be remembered for bringing a sense of fun to the bi-annual Alumni Volunteers Meetings, and ensuring the “work hard, play hard” motto was central to the alumni volunteer experience.
Reflecting on Sadia’s passion and dedication to INSEAD, Dean Ilian Mihov said:
“It has been my privilege to collaborate with Sadia over the past six years and witness the huge leaps forward made by the IAA under her governance. Our volunteer network, spearheaded by the IAA, is a fundamental partner and ally to the school and pivotal to the success of our alumni.”
INSEAD’s lifelong learning programme and iLink—our peer-to-peer career advising and mentoring platform—are best-in-class due to the exceptionally hard work of Sadia and her team. Sadia leaves the IAA in a strong position, and our community will continue to benefit from her leadership for many years to come.”
A history of achievement
In 1961, a group of INSEAD alumni founded the IAA as an independent, volunteer-led organisation. Its goal was to serve and engage the global INSEAD alumni community while fostering lifelong relationships between alumni and with the school. Today, the IAA oversees the strategic goals of 49 National Alumni Associations (NAAs) and eight interest-specific Global Clubs.
Under Sadia’s steadfast guidance, and with the support of the NAAs, Global Clubs and the school, the IAA has gone from strength to strength. Of note, the IAA is responsible for delivering two ambitious three-year strategic plans that advanced INSEAD’s lifelong learning, networking and career development offerings.
The IAA has also contributed to other key initiatives at INSEAD that have improved the alumni experience and engagement, such as:
- Global INSEAD Day: Held on 12 September every year, Global INSEAD Day commemorates INSEAD’s first MBA Opening Ceremony in the historic Château de Fontainebleau in 1959. It features themed events that bring together alumni from across the globe.
- Lifelong Learning: INSEAD and the NAAs ramped up lifelong learning initiatives in response to the pandemic, delivering more than 100 webinars and pop-up programmes.
- Giving Day: Created in 2017 to raise awareness about the importance of giving back to INSEAD, Giving Day has increased its impact year-on-year. In 2020, more than 2,100 alumni raised over €2 million in support of scholarships, research and the Dean’s Fund.
- INSEAD Alumni Recognition Awards: The programme, now in its fourth year, celebrates the school’s most impactful alumni and honours their outstanding career achievements, social impact and volunteerism.
- iLink: INSEAD’s new peer-to-peer advising and mentoring platform offers a unique way for alumni to seek or give career advice.
After embarking on an extensive search process, the IAA recently selected Frans Blom MBA’90D to serve as the next IAA President. Frans, a Senior Partner Emeritus at Boston Consulting Group, is an inspirational leader with a long history of collaborating with diverse stakeholders. Like Sadia, he brings a strong desire to give back to the INSEAD community and a passion for championing business as a force for good.
“INSEAD’s volunteer community is a unique and powerful network that I am grateful to have been a part of. The passion, hard work and dedication that all our alumni volunteers invest in their roles is truly inspiring.
With a deep sense of gratitude and pride, I look back at all our collective achievements over the past few years. These have further strengthened and professionalised our operations, improving the relationship with all stakeholders and enhancing the value proposition for all our members. The experience has also been personally enriching, with lifelong friends made over the years.
There is no other alumni network in the world like INSEAD’s. We are a truly global, diverse community who all believe strongly in the school’s mission to deliver business leaders who make a difference to the world. The IAA plays a pivotal role in keeping this community together and robust. Succession planning is key to sustainable leadership and I know that I am leaving the IAA in the very best of hands with Frans at the helm. I will watch with interest how this organisation will continue to further strengthen and grow over the coming years.” – Sadia Khan MBA’95D, IAA President
Image: Partnership Board Members signing Vision 2020 Agreement in 2016. From left to right: Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD, Sadia Khan, IAA President and Andreas Jacobs, Chairman of the INSEAD Board of Directors.
If you would like to find out more about the rich history of the IAA, including details of the colourful lineage of characters that have contributed to its growth and success, please check out the 60-year History Book, commissioned by Sadia to commemorate what this unique association has brought to INSEAD’s alumni and to the school.