David Suddens MBA’78 - Empowering Responsible Leaders

David Suddens MBA'78 stands next to his plaque
David Suddens MBA'78

David Suddens MBA’78 is one of INSEAD’s most ardent supporters, and strongly believes in the school’s mission to harness business as a force for good. We had the privilege of catching up with him during his visit for the inauguration of Amphi A on 17 June 2023 which now bears his name in tribute to his long-standing generosity.

David’s professional journey has taken him through various business turnaround roles, ranging from Dr. Martens to VLISCO in the Netherlands. He has now turned his focus to philanthropic activities with a focus on Africa, education, and women. He recognises that his time at INSEAD profoundly influenced his worldview and was instrumental in his success, and this has inspired him to give back to the school. 

 "INSEAD means a lot to me, and I totally share its vision of using business as a catalyst for positive change... it is clear that responsible leadership is not just a desirable trait but an absolute necessity."

David believes that education is not only key in formingresponsible leaders but in building a better world. He created a scholarship for African students to study at INSEAD. He is also helping to finance education for young women at a school in Ghana and an early childhood development program in the Gambia. He is passionate about the immense potential that emerging markets, particularly Africa, hold for the world. David emphasises that investing in education is a priority of paramount importance in unlocking opportunities in Africa. 

Davis has amplified his commitment to INSEAD by making a significant contribution to the European Campus Renewal (ECR) project. This ambitious undertaking will create a sustainable, state-of-the-art campus that leverages new technology and prioritises collaboration. David explained his motivation for his generous donation, "students have got to want to come here for the teaching first and foremost but the environment needs to live up to the teaching." David hopes his gift will help to shape an environment that reflects INSEAD's excellence and attract the best possible minds.  

INSEAD is defined by its community — alumni, students, volunteers, faculty, and staff from all walks of life who strive for a better world. David believes that, if we can, we should try to shape a brighter future for generations to come through the impact of philanthropy. And if this inspires others to help fortify the school’s mission, then so much the better. 

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