GIA hosts Global Leadership Program at Harvard Business School


Executives from across the global gem and jewellery industry convened in Cambridge, Mass., in late June for the fourth annual GIA Global Leadership Program offered by the Harvard Business School (HBS). The 50 industry leaders—all CEOs or senior executives—examined the theme “Transforming Business by Leveraging Big Data,” applying lessons learned from cases highlighting the impact of transformative data-driven businesses like Uber and Amazon. GIA and HBS will include themes and insights from the Global Leadership Program as part of the business track for the GIA International Gemological Symposium to be held in Carlsbad, CA, in October 2018.

From June 26 to 29, GIA’s Global Leadership Program at HBS hosted 50 senior executives representing the full diversity of the global gem and jewellery industry. The participants from 12 countries covering the gem and jewellery value chain from mining to manufacturing and retail participated in a custom program based on the renowned HBS case study method. Participants then drew on Harvard’s vast repository of business intelligence in interactive lectures and small study groups to ensure lively, insightful discussions and the exchange of innovative ideas.

Peter Engel, president of Fred Meyer & Littman Jewelers, said, “The assignments were so thought-provoking and interesting; it was one of the best experiences I have had in a long time.”

“We are thrilled that top leaders from various sectors of our global industry were able to come together and learn from one another and the distinguished Harvard case study method,” said GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques. “This valuable learning experience and opportunity for collaboration is exactly what GIA hoped for when we began this program in 2014.”

The next GIA Global Leadership Program at HBS will be held June 25 to 28, 2018 on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Mass. Participants will explore the theme, “Authentic Leadership Development: Unleashing the Power of the People.” The four-day event is by invitation only.

Professors from Harvard will also lead a separate track on business concepts and innovations at the sixth International Gemological Symposium in Carlsbad, California Oct. 7-9, 2018. The three-day event focuses on the theme, “New Challenges. Creating Opportunities”, and will offer insight into the latest gemological research, including recent findings by GIA and other leading researchers. Upon successful completion, all participants who take the HBS track receive a Harvard Business School certificate.

Launched in 2014, the GIA Global Leadership Program’s aim is to provide in-depth exploration of the strategic and leadership hurdles facing international business and to investigate solutions from a variety of industries. The program was developed by the Harvard Business School and is led by their renowned faculty.

Preliminary information about the 2018 GIA International Gemological Symposium is available on