Fadi Chehadé

  • Former President and CEO of ICANN

  • Senior Advisor to the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

  • Partner at ABRY

  • Chairman of Vocado

Fadi Chehade, Image source: Wiki Commons

The founder of several successful enterprises, alum Fadi Chehadé recently met with U.N. officials to propose a “Digital Corps,” an initiative modeled in some ways after the Peace Corps, aimed at training young people from the developing world in 21st-century skills so that they could carry those lessons back to their native countries. The United Nations building may be an iconic setting, but it’s one that holds no ability to overwhelm or confound Chehadé, who is accustomed to interacting regularly with such influential heads of state as Dilma Rousseff. (It’s possible to confidently confront power, he advises, if you have knowledge, truth, and humility on your side.)

After finishing there, he traveled to Brooklyn to revisit a locale that, while not home to the world’s diplomats and power brokers, played an enormous role in his life: the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Chehadé met his future wife, Sue, (then a fellow student) here, and recalls essentially “living” in Rogers Hall, where he spent 16 hours a day while earning his degree. “Poly, as it was known back then, took care of me, providing me with a full scholarship and a job to cover my other expenses,” he says. “I would not be here . . . today if the school had not shown that faith in me.”

Current students hoping to follow in his professional footsteps should be aware, he advises, that “when you earn your Tandon degrees and are creating technology, you must keep in mind moral and ethical concerns, a sense of responsibility, and the good of the community. What you build can make a real difference in the world, so do it with care.”