The recent successful meeting of global fellows and international leaders at the South Asia Rising Conference in Dubai was initially an idea set forth by Eisenhower Fellow Shahid Mahmud (Pakistan 2001) a member of the EF Global Network Council. Within a short time, another Fellow Raman Madhok (India 2004), also a GNC member, learned about the idea of a conference and became enthusiastic about it as well.
These two Fellows weren’t in the same cohort. They’re not from the same country. And they work in different fields. But Madhok and Mahmud joined forces as members of the Global Network Council to organize a well-attended, lively EF conference underscoring the type of networking that is one of the Council’s significant benefits.
Mahmud and Madhok were following the spirit of the GNC mission, to advance the work of EF’s influential global network. Established in 1991 as the International Advisory Council with 13 members, today the 64 member council advises Eisenhower Fellowships President George de Lama and his senior staff on the most effective ways to fulfill EFs mission and empower mid-career global leaders to enhance their professional growth, deepen their connections and broaden their perspectives.
In-person meetings are held annually, typically during Fall Closing Seminars. The GNC’s Steering Committee holds three to four teleconferences between annual meetings. The quarterly teleconferences are also open to members of active GNC Working Groups and any individual GNC members who’d like to take part.
When it was founded, the International Advisory Council “provided a second official conduit for alumni influence at the strategy level,” according to the book “Eisenhower Fellowships: A History, 1953-2003”. More recently, GNC members played a prominent role in the formation of EF’s 2016 Strategic Plan.
One of the GNC’s top objectives is to promote regular and effective communication among Eisenhower Fellows worldwide by disseminating communications and updates from the EF president and senior staff in Philadelphia to the regional and local Fellows networks.
The Council also
- advises EF on overall strategy and program design
- aims to ensure that Eisenhower Fellowships attracts strong leader candidates
- supports EF projects of local and global impact
- strengthens the EF network through active country associations and regional clusters of Fellows
- increases public visibility of Eisenhower Fellowships
- identifies fundraising strategies that result in high engagement from Fellows
The president appoints GNC members for three-year terms on the Council who are active, involved and respected by other Fellows. A 13-member Steering Committee within the Council is organized by regions and coordinates the work of the GNC focused on specific issues or topics. For example, GNC members Deema Bibi (Jordan 2008) and Juan Jose Guemes (Spain 2011) currently co-chair the EF Youth Leadership Network.
The next annual meeting of the GNC will be Sept. 14 at the Future of Work Global Conference in Malaga, Spain.