The FIGT community welcomes new members to its Board, beginning October 1st. In this post, incoming Secretary Maryam Afnan Ahmad answers a few questions about herself and what excites her about her new role.
Can you please briefly describe your FIGT role?
The Executive Secretary is part of the four person Executive Committee which oversees the working of the Board so that it is aligned with strategy and bylaws.
This role works closely with the Communications team, essentially coordinating between them and the Ex Comm. The Communications Co-Directors and their team are really dynamic people and I look forward to working with them.
The secretary is also ‘record keeper’ of minutes for both Ex Comm and Board.
What inspired you to stand for this particular office?
A lot of exciting possibilities are opening up for FIGT with the pandemic providing a host of new ideas as well as its challenges. I put in my nomination knowing that I wanted to be involved in strategy and implementation with an organization I loved.
Anything you particularly hope to accomplish this year? What do you look forward to?
My predecessor, Trisha Carter, is amazing, and has set very high standards. My first year will be a learning year, to learn about how I can add value to the organization. There are some exciting initiatives taking place and it will be wonderful being involved.
Additionally I would particularly love to contribute to increasing our inclusivity and reach, both for our audience and members.
Your favorite thing about being a part of FIGT?
It is always inspiring to meet people who encountered obstacles and challenges and chose to use their experiences to make something better so that those who follow them have an easier time with the same challenges. FIGT is built around such intentions and people. Being involved at FIGT is my source of inspiration and also a safe space of belonging.
Can you share a random piece of info about yourself?
I hated cooking and never learned it growing up. I first started cooking when we arrived in Beijing. In a year or so, one of my first initiatives was to organize a Pakistani cooking class along with a friend. It was quite the surprise for family and friends since I was very new to cooking myself!
I actually did quite well at it and it was one of my favorite Beijing memories, though I am still not too fond of cooking.
Please share some words of wisdom for FIGT members and globally mobile people in general.
Step out of your silo, empathise, listen to others’ stories and also tell your own.
Do you have any thoughts on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the global community?
Before Covid 19 it was inconceivable to millions that collaboration and learning could take place online. This unique event has opened up possibilities for making both more cost effective and therefore hopefully a little more inclusive. The challenge is for us to capitalize on that opportunity to invite more people and voices to every forum.