Dear AIB colleagues,
It is a pleasure and an honor to join the ranks of AIB’s presidents as the position’s first representative from Latin America. As I begin my term, I have three main objectives in mind:
- To increase the inclusion of new members, especially those from different parts of the world, targeting emerging markets. This includes areas within AIB’s family of regional chapters, such as Latin America, India, and Africa, as well as young scholars from the US and Europe, IB practitioners, and scholars from other disciplines. Embracing diversity in all its complex forms, including race, gender, sex, and culture, will be a key means of strengthening our association’s genuinely global mindset.
- To add value to AIB members by exploiting our organization’s existing strengths: creating knowledge through our journals, the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), the Journal of International Business Policy (JIBP), and AIB Insights; building capacity by investing in the activities of our chapters and Shared Interest Groups (SIGs); and harnessing the unique networking opportunities that come from being an AIB member.
- To elevate our members’ engagement worldwide, capitalizing on our great sense of community.
How do I intend to realize these objectives?
A first step is utilizing the reach and expertise of AIB’s components. Our 13 regional Chapters span the entire globe and our 5 Shared Interest Groups cover a range of key topics in our field: Women in AIB (WAIB), Research Methods, Teaching & Education, Sustainability, and Emerging Markets. Organized according to a matrix model to yield synergies in every corner of our association, these components are critical to our goal of serving our members anywhere in the world and at any stage in their careers.
The chapters’ activities with their regional conferences and other initiatives, working jointly with the SIGs, are pivotal to our strategic goals of expanding organizational accessibility and inclusivity. By organizing panels (on Research Methods, Teaching and Education, Sustainability, Gender, and Diversity topics, plus mini-courses), we attract doctoral students and new members from within our various regions. Each of our chapters and SIGs have demonstrated success in our collective transition toward a “post-pandemic” world, with virtual programming supporting traditional in-person and regional events. It is a great testament to the ingenuity and dedication of AIB’s leaders, both elected officials and volunteers, that we have emerged from the height of the pandemic with such a robust variety of IB activities.
I will also give special attention to two areas of strategic focus initiated during the presidencies of Chuck Kwok and Jeremy Clegg: International Marketing and International Finance. These constituencies have long been at the heart of AIB and by expanding their support at the institutional level we aim to further increase the inclusion of new members interested in these subject areas.
An exciting new endeavor is the AIB-CIBER Doctoral Academy, which aims to provide a range of International Business seminars, webinars, workshops, and mentoring activities for doctoral students around the globe. Although not a degree program, students will gain valuable experience in International Business and receive official certification forr their accomplishments. Our thanks go to Tamer Cavusgil and Ausrine Silenskyte for this initiative, which will officially kick off in the coming year.
Serving up-and-coming scholars in developing economies, we now have the innovative Emerging Scholars from Emerging Markets Program (ESEMP). This is brought to us by our most recently created SIG on Emerging Markets. The program is designed to help graduate students and young scholars build their research and publishing skills, drawing on extensive collaboration from our pool of AIB Fellows, who have generously given of their time to support this enterprise.
These two projects (which I am proud to have been involved in since the very beginning) each contribute to our three key objectives: to increase inclusiveness and diversity, add value for new members, and build awareness of the international community.
Two of our three journals: JIBS, JIBP and AIB Insights, “the jewels in the crown” of AIB, are renewing their editors and editorial boards. Next year, Rosalie Tung will step in as JIBS‘s editor-in-chief (EIC), working with a fresh editorial team on new projects. Thank you to Alain Verbeke, our outgoing EIC, for your dedication and achievements these past years, and welcome, Rosalie. Shortly, JIBP will be selecting a new EIC. So, I should like also to say thank you, Sarianna Lundan for launching this new journal, and for all the efforts made by you and your team to establish JIBP as a rising top publication. My sincere thanks, as well, to Bill Newburry and Beth Rose, who will continue to lead AIB Insights. Our three journals occupy a central role in our academy in creating knowledge and in linking scholars, researchers, and practitioners.
After two years online, we successfully held our 2022 Annual Meeting in Miami, with a complementary “virtual option” for those members still unable to convene in person. Special thanks goes to our 2022 Program Chair Andrew Delios and Pre-Conference Program Chair Kaz Akazawa for executing this innovative conference, with the indispensable support of the AIB Secretariat and Executive Board.
Looking forward, I am excited about the prospects of AIB, our goals, and the unique combination of perspectives we encompass. Next year, we will meet again at AIB 2023 Warsaw for an exciting conference organized by Kaz Asakawa and Catherine Welch, addressing the theme “International Business Resilience under Global Disruptions”.
Personally speaking, I have been involved with AIB for two decades. In 2010, I organized and hosted our Annual Meeting in Rio, Brazil, the first such event in AIB’s history to be held in Latin America. Following that success, I helped to found AIB’s Latin America Chapter (currently AIB-LAC) with a group of scholars and friends who were seeking to expand member engagement in the region. In 2018, I was elected Vice President Program (VPP) to serve as AIB Program Chair, responsible for organizing the Copenhagen Conference in 2019, and was elected an AIB Fellow. I had the opportunity to work as a Visiting Scholar in the UK (Cambridge University and Sussex University), France (ESSEC), Japan (IDE), and Korea. I have had the privilege to serve as dean of two of the most prestigious business schools in Latin America: FGV and the University of São Paulo, where I accumulated managerial experience that I am confident will stand me in good stead over this next year.
Above all, seeking to be a citizen of the world and, at the same time, a citizen of my country has helped me to understand the value of being part of a global community such as AIB. I am honored to have this opportunity to serve our membership on a global level.
Maria Tereza Leme Fleury