It has now been a month since former IBD Executive Director, Kristi Raube, left for her new position as the Peace Corps Country Director in Liberia, West Africa. During her 19 years at UC Berkeley, Kristi took on a variety of roles at Berkeley Haas and across the UC campus. She left behind a legacy of hard work, dedication, passionate enthusiasm, and the ability to manage efficiently the different priorities and moving parts of our institution. Kristi accomplished all this while traveling the world, looking for ways that Berkeley Haas could make an impact globally. In the wake of her departure, we in the IBD team want to offer a tribute to Kristi’s distinguished career by highlighting comments made recently by IBD clients, colleagues and students.
During her tenure as Executive Director, Kristi rebuilt IBD to become the cornerstone experiential learning program it is today. She aligned the course to highlight real-world strategic problems and their solutions, providing MBAs with the opportunity to learn consulting tools and skill sets while working overseas. “She added structure and accountability to the program, which benefited both the students and the clients,” said David Richardson, now the Interim Executive Director for IBD. 2017 IBD Team Lead Carolyn Chuong (MBA ‘18) spoke of Kristi as “a fantastic mentor throughout the engagement with Makerere University (a 2017 IBD Client). One thing I really admire about Kristi is her ability to find the balance between providing guidance to students and being hands-off. She was clearly invested in helping our client succeed, but she also wanted our team to truly own the client relationship and project scope. As the Team Lead, I felt like I had her full trust and support.”
Kristi firmly believed that regardless of their career path, MBAs needed to experience working across different cultures–something that would prepare them better for developments in their personal and professional lives. Former Berkeley Haas Dean and current Faculty Director for the Institute for Business and Social Impact (IBSI), Laura Tyson said of Kristi, “I am in awe of your energy and leadership on behalf of the Haas community. Also awed by your intrepid travel–a true road warrior on behalf of IBSI and the IBD course that you nurtured over many years. You literally went to the ends of the earth to find challenging and transformative projects for several generations of Haas students. You have changed their lives forever in meaningful ways.” 2017 IBD student Mark Angel (MBA ‘18) is one of many who agreed with this sentiment in writing that Kristi “helped shaped one of the most formidable experiences I had at Haas.”
Kristi has provided mentorship and coaching to countless students through the years. Sarah Evans (MBA ‘18), IBD Team
Lead for the Seva Foundation, was one of many students to benefit from Kristi’s mentorship. She said that it “was absolutely instrumental to my positive IBD experience and frankly my positive experience at Haas. As a woman interested in global health, it was amazing to have a female mentor who has had such success in that particular field. Kristi was always happy to give me frank advice on everything from career choices to client management. I feel lucky to have worked with her. “
Kristi advocated for multiple ways that MBA students could experience international experiences at Berkeley Haas, expanding the scope of our school’s global reach. Dean Rich Lyons praised Kristi for “carrying the global banner,” during a speech he gave recently in Kristi’s honor. In talking about Kristi, he added, “your commitment to everything international is authentic and powerful. We’ve learned from you and we’re going to continue to advance our international and global offerings.“
Kristi’s influence also went far beyond the walls of Berkeley Haas. Heidi Chase, Director of Innovation & Sight for the Seva Foundation, has been a long time client of IBD. Heidi said on behalf of Seva that, “Kristi has been an inspiration to many Seva staff and international partners dating back to the decade before her appointment with IBD. Kristi’s excellence in strategic thinking, training, and building teams have benefited sight programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The legacy of Kristi’s service with Seva will live on through sustainable eye care services for years to come.”
Laura Stachel, MD, Kristi’s former MPH student at UC Berkeley School of Public Health and now Co-Founder and Executive Director of the international nonprofit We Care Solar, would often turn to Kristi for mentorship. Ultimately, she asked Kristi to join her organization’s board of directors. Stachel said that in “addition to everything Kristi did here (at Haas), she has been an amazing board member for our nonprofit and brought so much of her passion and insight. She also enabled us to connect with IBD projects for two years in Uganda and the Philippines. These projects strengthened our organization tremendously.”
The IBD program, together with Kristi’s partnership, has left lasting impressions on many of our clients. In the spring 2017 IBD course, Young Guru Academy (YGA) collaborated carefully with Kristi to ensure that an IBD student team could work safely for three weeks in Istanbul and areas nearby in Turkey. YGA’s Director of International Affairs, Sezin Aydın, expressed gratitude to Kristi for “being wholeheartedly courageous and hopeful” throughout the long process of making this project in Turkey a reality. “The value of having such a trusting relationship with your partner is priceless,” said Sezin of her experience of working with Kristi and the IBD program.
Partnerships, leadership, mentorship, and friendship: all these are part of the legacy that Kristi leaves behind. Since 2010, Berkeley Haas Instructor Frank Schultz has been a part of the IBD program as a Faculty Mentor. Now, in the wake of Kristi’s departure, he has been tasked to take on the role of IBD Faculty Director. When asked to share his feelings about her leaving, Frank wrote that ”Kristi was an inspiring colleague, mentor and friend to me during my entire career at Haas. I feel honored that I will be taking on her role as Faculty Director of IBD. I always tell my Leadership students that one of the biggest compliments you can pay to a leader is that you will not miss them when they are gone. Outstanding leaders set their organizations up to succeed well after they are gone. This is so true of Kristi – IBD is amazingly well positioned for the future. I realize though I have been terribly wrong in my aseptic statement about not missing leaders when they are gone. On a personal level, Kristi will be deeply missed by me and all of her colleagues here at Haas.”
In summary, we learned through these interviews and conversations that IBD was just one of the many programs at Berkeley Haas that benefited from Kristi’s leadership and inspired work. Because of Kristi and the outstanding legacy she left behind, IBD is now ready to launch another inspiring year of connecting MBA students with international consulting challenges. And yes, Frank Schultz was right: we already miss Kristi here at Berkeley Haas.