Dave Robinson was president and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Australia, Middle East, Africa, South and Central Asia, when he suddenly passed away in 2012. Those who knew Dave Robinson would say he could be counted on to see the other side of things, to be the devil’s advocate, to challenge the conventional approach with a surprising insight. This made him a trusted advisor and a valued colleague, even if sometimes his counter-intuitive approach was more work. It made the work better. We can only guess at whether his mindset was more nature or nurture. We do know that Dave, in his too short life, had experienced several cultures deeply through his upbringing and work, and had put himself in the middle of many others by choice.
In honor of Dave’s fervent belief that adventure is the best way to continue education and his passion for understanding and overcoming cultural differences, H+K established a scholarship program in Dave’s name. Every year since 2013, the Dave Robinson International Scholarship has provided five colleagues from the international H+K network the opportunity to take on a three-month assignment in one of the more than 80 offices worldwide to bring their talent to new areas and to challenge themselves in new ways.
The purpose of the Dave Robinson International Scholarship Program is to give mid-level employees the opportunity to have the international experience Dave reveled in, and, through that experience, grow professionally and personally. Research has proven that working with people from other backgrounds and cultures can lead to the development of an intercultural mindset and intercultural competence, both of which were enthusiastically championed by Dave Robinson. Through the Dave Robinson Scholar program, client work, training, development opportunities, the global practice development initiative and the diversity program, H+K fosters cultural understanding and global awareness in all aspects of its operation. Creating international connections within H+K strengthens the business and allows us to better deploy all our resources to help clients.