1989 - 1996
Project Development Officer and Head, Donor Relations and Project Development
We had some pretty spectacular board members during my time at IIMI, and none more spectacular than Robert McNamara. What an incredible man he was! Looking and acting like a man half his age, he would show up at board meetings in slacks and a polo shirt, with a small piece of hand luggage, straight from the airport, ready for the meeting. He wasn’t interested in formalities or small talk. He would always have read and remembered the relevant materials. He threw away all pages that weren’t useful or of interest to him. Despite his illustrious past and forceful personality, he never tried to dominate the meetings. But on the topics he cared about, he was passionate, and insistent. “Performance!” “Performance!” he would urge. Measurement of results was what he wanted. This was great advice, still highly relevant today – results-oriented R&D is the watchword of almost every research or development organization I visit these days. He was also one of the few board members to take time to check in with those who did not attend the Board Meetings but whose work interested him.