On June 1st Mark Schneiders started as Chief Executive Officer of KIT. Schneiders is a career banker with extensive experience in international banking in Africa, Asia and South America. Previously he worked for ING and African Development Corporation (ADC). Three months in the job, it is time to ask him about his first impressions at and around KIT.
KIT has chosen a path of change, what new developments have you witnessed over the last months?
I arrived in an organisation with roots of over a century old. The amount of experience and knowledge collected over the years leaves a deep impression upon my first encounter. People working at KIT are passionate and deeply committed to what they do. And, perhaps most importantly, I see satisfied customers. We receive good feedback from our clients. Of course we have to adjust to changing circumstances, like any organisation or company. We are busy developing plans for 2015 and beyond and I envisage growth and see many opportunities for KIT. One of our chances to generate more income for KIT is our landmark building: we are actively seeking new tenants who are, like us, committed to inclusive development.
Business as usual: what have KIT projects achieved the last months?
Our main focus is to make sure our partners & clients have impact and improve their success. It is exciting and honouring to hear my colleagues talk about their work in challenging countries like Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Malawi. For a wide range of clients. Sometimes a local laboratory, other times the World Bank. KIT always strives to connect science and theory and proof to that are recent publications like those of Prisca Zwanikken (MPH) and Lucie Blok (TB Reach). Personally, I was truly touched when I met some of the recent graduates of KIT’s master’ degree. Five of our 43 students 2012-2013 came from Liberia and shared their personal observations and stress being in the Netherlands while their families and colleagues were facing the ebola outbreak. And all five have returned to Liberia to join that struggle as new graduates of Public Health. I was deeply impressed. Equally inspiring was the visit of the AGRA Board that develops solutions to end poverty for millions of farmers in Africa. The publication “Do all roads lead to markets” highlights some of projects with which KIT is supporting that ambition.
What are you looking forward to for the next three months?
There are too many exciting projects and developments to share in this short amount of space. I encourage you to read more about our projects, like the enterprise OneDiagnostics focusing on smart diagnostics to combat infectious diseases and adequate treatment for millions of patients around the world on our new websites. Personally: I am enthusiastic and look forward to my future at KIT. To all readers I’d like to say keep in touch, feel free to address your questions to us and hope you enjoy reading more about our projects on our website and via KIT’s newsletter.