Matt Reed, CEO – AKF, India: What Makes The Aga Khan Foundation Excel | Sustainability Next

When I came in a year and half go, my job, just like a CEO in a company, was to do a stakeholder analysis, understand who and what are important for our organization. His Highness The Aga Khan gave us the goal to think 25 years ahead.

For him, by the way, that’s a midterm view. That gives you a sense of what he is thinking. What is it that you want to achieve; you want to do, look as an institution. In the development sector a lot of organizations manage from project to project. But our time frames are from 25-35 years. This forces you to think like an institution.

– Matt Reed, Chief Executive Officer – Aga Khan Foundation, India

How is it working with The Aga Khan?

What His Highness really wants to know from us is – are we making a difference in the quality of life of the people we touch? He wants data and stories. We are an extension of his commitment to humanity. …He has been doing social entrepreneurship for 50 years. The Network has both for-profit and not-for-profit side. That’s unique because most foundations are only grant-oriented.

What Makes The Aga Khan Foundation Excel

Posted on February 26, 2015 by admin in CEO Talks
Running a foundation is more challenging than running a business. Meeting global philanthropist The Aga Khan’s long-term vision with strong execution excellence standards is even more demanding. Yet, Matt Reed, once an academic, says he is excited because of the social impact he can make. Excerpts of his chat with Benedict Paramanand on the sidelines of the 2015 Jaipur Literature Festival:

Foundations need to be managed very well if they are to succeed…

The first thing to understand about our foundation in India is that we are an operating foundation, not a grant making foundation like many others. Lots of people assume that we only give money. In fact, we implement programs on our own. What we do is we conceptualize, design and implement programs in education, health, water, sanitation, rural development, among others. So it means that management and implementation are a big part of what we have to do.

via What Makes The Aga Khan Foundation Excel | Sustainability Next


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