HCV Council members attend the HAA Asia-Pacific Club Leaders Conference

HAA Asia-Pacific Club Leaders Meeting March 15-17 in Kuala Lumpur by Robert Utter

Over 70 Harvard alumni gathered for the Asia Pacific Alumni Leaders conference and associated activities in Kuala Lumpur in March. The Harvard Club of Malaysia and the Harvard Business School Club of Malaysia, both active clubs in their own right, combined to host delegates from around the region, the Harvard Alumni Association and the University. 

Australia was very well represented with seven delegates from three States, being the second largest delegation after the host country.  Other delegates represented Clubs from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.  

The conference proper was held on Saturday, March 15.  The HAA provided insights from their extensive alumni engagement survey as well as re-capping the various ways in which HAA supports Club s worldwide. Sessions focused on matters of common concern to Clubs, such as succession planning, member recruitment, communications, event ideas, and connection with Harvard.  

Jorge Dominguez, Vice-Provost of International Affairs for Harvard, spoke on two occasions, delivering insights into the issues that Harvard is grappling with.  Of particular note to international alumni is the new policy of Harvard to adopt a passport-blind admissions policy, in addition to its needs-blind admissions policy that it adopted some years ago.  While he cautioned that the money to support this is not yet fully available to the University from its income sources, this does indicate a determined, new policy direction. He also discussed Harvard’s participation in MOOCs, Massive Open On-line Courses, which is another way the University is opening itself to the world.

In the evenings, and on the days preceding and following the conference, the host country provided sightseeing tours, excellent diners sans frontiers, a karaoke competition, and (of course) abundant shopping!  We had a ball!

In 2014, Australia will be the host country for the Asia Pacific Alumni Leaders Conference, and early-stage planning is already underway for this exciting event.  Australian alumni are encouraged to attend and we hope many of you will join us in providing a warm welcome to our regional peers.  The conference is likely to be held in March 2014, in Sydney, but alumni from other States are encouraged to join the planning process and to contribute ideas.  In particular, the Harvard Club of Victoria will work closely with HCA to carry out the planning and delivery of a great conference and alumni.  We would encourage our members with connections in the hospitality and tourism industries to help us provide welcoming and special experiences to our alumni guests.  Please contact your Club officers if you would like to participate.