UVA Darden Alumnus Helping Manage Crises in the Middle East
By Dave Hendrick
University of Virginia Darden School of Business Alumnus Nic Labuschagne (MBA ’89) grew up in South Africa and trained as a chemical engineer before coming to Darden to jumpstart a career in international business.
Based in the Middle East since 1999, Labuschagne now serves as senior director of strategy for APCO Worldwide in the Middle East region, where his primary responsibilities include strategic communications and crisis management for governments throughout the area. It’s a dynamic job that can have a broad impact.
Strategic communication is all about influencing people to change their behavior — sometimes it is directed at the clients’ target audiences, and sometimes it is the clients themselves who realize that they need to change. I have been fortunate to work on a number of initiatives, including one in the human-rights space and another in the counter-radicalization space, both of which yielded significant positive outcomes. Many people’s lives were changed for the better and, in some cases, saved. And not just people. During one of my projects, we persuaded one of the local governments to build and fund the first privately operated animal shelter in the region. There are many rescue dogs happily re-homed as a result of this project.
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The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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