Hossam Soltan (2013 MPP)
Soltan Hossam is best known for being the winner of the KDIS 2020 International Alumni Essay Context. However, there is more to him than this remarkable accomplishment. A dedicated advocate of social equality and the ethical managementof change, Hossam’s early exposure to marginalization and societal conflict drove him to pursue capacity building at KDIS as an MPP student back in 2013. His aim was to gain knowledge on how to remedy a difficult situation in his hometown in Egypt. “I spent 7 years trying to establish a reconciliation between the clans of my father and mother, recalled Hossam. “They have been in conflict for almost 50 years due to a clash that happened in 1967.”
Throughout his stay at KDIS, the diverse student environment and extensive knowledge-building courses were able to instill in him a passionate drive for change. “At KDIS, I was able to study different cases and policies from various countries around the world which helped me a lot to innovate and localize our own context.” he said. Upon graduation, he set out to challenge the status quo in his society by establishing an NGO to bridge the social divide between the clans. The NGO paved the way for the creation of a community school which substantially contributed to a decrease in violence in his hometown. Currently, they have been concentrating efforts to assist families during this COVID-19 pandemic through various community-led initiatives. Imparting an impactful change in society, he attributes this success to his experiences at KDIS.
Terry Eun Sun Lee (2004 MBA)
“The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of KDIS is that faculty, staff, and students are amazing; it seems like only yesterday.” said Terry Lee, recalling his experience at KDIS around 15 years ago. Terry, or Eunsun, Lee is a 2004 MBA graduate of KDI School and is currently an asociate teaching professor in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
Terry is a master in programming. After earning his MBA from KDIS, he moved to the United States to earn a second graduate degree in computer science. He developed an enthusiasm for coding that was rooted in his love for creating value through the processes of critical thinking and breaking down problems, which KDIS helped ignite. “I learned how to look at problems from many different perspectives and how to approach them carefully.” he said of his times at KDIS. Terry made it his mission to share this contagious passion with others through teaching. Today, he teaches computer science to undergraduate university students of CMU.
Terry concluded with words of wisdom for current and future KDIS students. “Here are my advice: 1) constantly challenge yourself, 2) network, network, and network, 3) be honest with yourself and treat others well, and 4) do something that has a higher meaning for you.” Terry emphasized on the importance of undertaking small actions that can contribute to the bigger picture of one’s ultimate goal.
The Globe – KDI School Yearzine 2020