Harsha Moily '97
Founder, Chairman and CEO, MokshaYug Access
If ever there were an example of global thought leadership in practice, it would be MokshaYug Access (MYA). Harsha Moily '97 founded MYA in 2005 with the belief that the rural poor in India could be active participants in a growing economy, both as customers and entrepreneurs. To help accomplish this goal, Moily and his team leverage microfinance and private equity investments to build rural infrastructures and supply chains, provide savings and insurance services and help generate economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
Moily credits Thunderbird faculty for giving him a global perspective on how innovative partnerships can be developed across industries to address a bundle of needs holistically. Additionally, his Thunderbird experience, both at school and through the alumni network, taught him to not just be a spectator to the disparity in wealth and opportunity in this world, but to be an active player in bridging the divide between rich and poor. Moily believes these values will help MYA accomplish its goal of assisting more than 5.3 million rural poor by the year 2012.
Jim Alling '85
Former President, Starbucks Coffee International
How does a kid from a small Midwestern town become a leader of one of the most successful companies in the world? Just ask Jim Alling '85. "It's really important to get to know someone who's not like you, and to learn from that," he says. Alling points to the different nationalities and personalities he encountered at Thunderbird as pivotal influences on the management style he employs at Starbucks Coffee International – a style that thrives on passion, a get-things-done mentality and a good dose of humility. Good leaders, he says, feel a personal responsibility for the success of their organizations, but are also humble enough to admit they don't have all the answers.
To Alling, one of the answers to Starbucks' global business success is its ability to grow great leaders. "We have access to capital, great sites and great ideas. But we don't have unlimited access to talented leaders who are ready to step up to that next level." Alling sees Thunderbird as a valuable resource in that arena. To him, a career path is not just about "getting the right paycheck or having the right title." It's about doing something that you feel is important. "You can't change the world by being overwhelmed by all the big problems," he says. "What you can do is change it for one person you work with, and you can change it in one store you represent. Then you trust that all of those little acts will add up to making a big difference."
Merle Hinrichs '65
Chairman and CEO, Global Services
Five years after graduating from Thunderbird, Merle Hinrichs '65 founded Global Sources with one firm conviction – that free and mutually-beneficial trade between East and West could drive global economic prosperity and, ultimately, world peace. Since then, under Hinrichs' leadership, the company has been an Internet leader for international trade. They launched Asia's first B2B online marketplace in 1996, leading The Economist to recognize Hinrichs as "Asia's e-commerce king." Today, Global Sources employs more than 3,000 employees in 60 worldwide offices to support 635,000 buyers in 230 countries – further proof that doing good in the world and achieving business success are not mutually exclusive. Despite all his business endeavors, Hinrichs is still a "good businessman doing good things" in the world. He is the founder of the Kearny Alliance, whose "Aid Through Trade" mission seeks to advance sustainable global prosperity by creating lasting jobs, increasing efficiencies in business and promoting greater cross-cultural understanding. In 1994, Hinrichs merged his passion for higher education, information and technology by spearheading the creation of a state-of-the-art library at Thunderbird. He is also a current supporter of the Thunderbird Assistance Fund for Asian Students (TAFAS) Award, offered in conjunction by the Kearny Alliance and Asian Thunderbird alumni chapters. In addition, Hinrichs is supporting a student-led initiative to renovate the historic Tower Building on the Glendale main campus.