Imad B. Baalbaki Receives 2020 CASE Asia-Pacific Distinguished Service Award
Imad B. Baalbaki, vice president for advancement and business development at the American University of Beirut (AUB), has been selected to receive the 2020 CASE Asia-Pacific Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award “honors individuals whose professional accomplishments have made a significant and lasting impact on institutional advancement, and whose life and character have earned the respect and admiration of fellow colleagues.”
CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global non-profit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, advancement services, communications, fundraising, government relations, marketing, and student recruitment. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world. Member institutions include more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and non-profit organizations in 82 countries. This award from CASE is a testament to “the superlative efforts that the AUB advancement team and AUB senior leadership have exerted and what they have accomplished in recent years despite all the challenges. It is also a recognition of the values that we uphold at AUB,” said Baalbaki.
In a letter he wrote supporting the nomination, Fadlo R. Khuri, AUB president, said, “Our university plays a singular role in Lebanon and the Arab world, instilling liberal values, overcoming fear of ‘the other,’ and providing hope for a better tomorrow in a region that badly needs it. It is a role we are proud to play. People look to us to lead – and we do.” He continued, “Since Imad’s appointment as vice president, our advancement team has achieved enormous success – record-breaking fundraising years, building alumni engagement, pioneering new initiatives, and expanding the prospect pool… The fundraising successes of the advancement team in recent years have been extraordinary.” He pointed to the back-to-back fundraising campaigns since fall 2019, which have raised more than $30 million in critical support for university priorities and the communities AUB serves during a most challenging period in Lebanon and the region, exacerbated by a severe economic crisis, the August 4, 2020 explosion in the Beirut port, and the protracted COVID-19 pandemic.
Alexander T. Ercklentz, AUB trustee emeritus, who also supported Baalbaki’s nomination, commented, “AUB is widely respected in Lebanon, the Arab world, and beyond – not just because it stands for freedom of thought and expression, tolerance, and respect for diversity and dialogue, but also because of its professionalism. This is especially true when it comes to advancement. People throughout the region look to AUB for guidance on ‘best practices.’ Imad and his colleagues at AUB have been generous in their support of other institutions in Lebanon and the region, helping to promote the profession of advancement at many other institutions in Lebanon and the Arab world. It is another – important – way in which AUB leads.”
Baalbaki has been a member of AUB’s advancement team since 2001 when he became director of the Office of Development and External Affairs; he has led the team, in Beirut and North America, since July 2016. He played a key role in AUB’s Campaign for Excellence (2002-2007), which raised more than $171 million. Under his leadership, AUB has launched an online giving portal attracting a much larger number of local and international gifts to the university; expanded the volunteer group base in support of university priorities; and established several successful programs such as Fingerprints (an initiative to encourage graduating students to support scholarships), the HIP Retirees Fund (an appeal to help retirees pay their health insurance premiums), and the 1866 Society (stewarding consistent donors and inducting new members annually). Since 2017, Baalbaki has spearheaded BOLDLY AUB: The Campaign to Lead, Innovate, and Serve, a $650 million fundraising campaign that the university launched on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. AUB has already raised more than 98 percent of the target of the BOLDLY campaign, which will end in January 2022.
A proud AUB alumnus (BA ’85, MBA ’87), Baalbaki has a doctorate in marketing from Georgia Institute of Technology. A faculty member at AUB’s Suliman S. Olayan School of Business since 1993, and a former director of the School of Business (1997-2000), he is also the author of numerous publications in marketing and co-author of two leading English-language marketing textbooks for the Arab world.
About CASE Asia-Pacific Distinguished Service Award
The CASE Asia-Pacific Distinguished Service Award recognizes inspirational advancement professionals whose accomplishments have made a significant and lasting impact on institutional advancement and whose life and character have earned the respect and admiration of fellow colleagues.
This award recognizes the following contributions from an individual:
- Leadership in their profession
- Demonstration of best practice and innovation in their profession
- Service to the CASE Asia-Pacific community of practice