Chair Prof. Issa S. Baluch


Chair Prof. Issa S. Baluch

2012 Senior Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University

In 2011, Issa Baluch was invited by Harvard University to become a Fellow in their Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI) program. The following year, he became a senior Fellow and Associate of Science, Technology, and Globalization at Harvard Kennedy School. He is now considered as a visiting Senior Fellow.

Issa Baluch is Chairman of First Hectares Capital, an agribusiness and forestry infrastructure investment company for Africa. Another African venture where Baluch is Chairman is African Agribusiness Knowledge and Innovation Leadership Initiative (AKILI), a US-based non-profit organization that provides a financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable farming system in Ghana that is scalable, builds capacity, and is globally competitive.

Since May 2014, AKILI has been hosted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Advanced Urbanism (MIT-CAU). This extended association between MIT and AKILI has boosted the interaction between the entities that have entailed more periodic weekly visitations by Issa and his AKILI colleagues to CAU.

In October 2016, Issa was named Chair Professor in the College of Maritime Science and Management at the National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) effective until September 30, 2018.

Before Issa’s academic involvement with NTOU, Harvard and MIT, as well as his agri-business ventures in Africa, he has published two books in transport logistics, headed international logistics organizations, and managed freight logistics companies spanning Africa, the Middle East, Far East, and North America. Here’s a summary of his professional qualifications:

Issa is credited with pioneering the thriving sea-air combined transport freight business in the UAE as Founder and CEO of Swift Freight International, which he headed from 1989 to 2008. Swift gained a reputation as one of the top freight logistics providers in the Middle East & Africa, with presence in over 25 countries within Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Asia, and North America.

He was founder and first president of the Dubai-based National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL), which he supervised from 1992 to 2000. He was again re-elected to the post and served from 2010 to 2011.

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