Western's president was appointed the chair of the Association of Commonwealth Universities on Monday.
The UK-registered charity elected Amit Chakma as president on Sept. 11. Going forward, he'll lead the world's oldest international university network, consisting of over 500 institutions from more than 50 countries.
Amit Chakma was first elected to the ACU council back in 2014, where he held a three-year term as a council member — equivalent to being a member on a board of governors for a Canadian organization.
Part of the association's decision to elect Chakma comes from one of his prior contributions.
In January 2017, the ACU appointed Joanna Newman, the vice-principal (international) of King's College London, U.K., as the new secretary general. Chakma was part of a search committee that recruited her.
“The idea is really for me to help her create a vision for the organization so that she's not running it on her own,” said Chakma.
Moving forward, Chakma hopes to continue developing relationships with other commonwealth universities and translate those relationships into international opportunities for students. Chakma implores them to pursue eye-opening international opportunities that will open their minds to new avenues of knowledge.
“The possibilities are enormous,” said Chakma. “Obviously during my two year term not all of those could be tackled, but what I'm really hoping is to initiate student mobility: that'll be my primary focus.”