60 seconds with the alumni team

14 Nov 2017
Programme Team - UK Chevening Secretariat

Two new staff recently joined our alumni team at the Secretariat, expanding the team to three to reflect a growing network of former scholars and fellows.

Tell us a bit about what the alumni team does.

The alumni team features Aba Quartey (Alumni Relations Manager), Jo Lloyd (Alumni Officer), and Billie Downer (Alumni Assistant). We are the central hub for the Chevening Alumni community and we support posts (embassies and high commissions) and alumni with their activities.

We give advice and practical assistance, helping to facilitate the great work that Chevening Alumni are involved with around the world. We look after global social media and bespoke platforms for alumni, and develop the global alumni strategy in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. We also maintain alumni data and coordinate central alumni funding pots with the FCO.

How big is the Chevening Alumni network?

It’s now at a phenomenal size of around 48,500! With this year’s scholars finishing, we will reach 50,000 next year, which is perfect as 2018 marks the start of Chevening’s 35th anniversary. Alumni are from all countries except the USA and we’re spending time now reconnecting with our EU alumni.

Many countries have an alumni group and our total number of groups is now at around 90 globally, with alumni getting in touch weekly about how they can start one in their country.  

What will keep you busy over the next few months?

Over the next couple of months, the alumni team will be opening the bidding competition for the Chevening Alumni Programme Fund (CAPF), which supports alumni-run projects and activities around the world. Keep an eye on the alumni news section of our website for stories that come out of those projects.

The team will also be partnering with the Open University on a pilot to offer a series of short courses to alumni via Chevening’s exclusive online networking platform, Chevening Connect.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Aba: I love it when we can connect relevant alumni with each other, or with posts if an alum moves to a new country. It’s pretty exciting to help make meaningful connections.

Jo: Hearing about the activities and events run by alumni associations all over the world. The Chevening community is so creative!

Billie: Hearing from alumni about the impact of Chevening on their lives when they get in touch with their success stories.

How can we find out more?

If you’d like to hear more about any part of the alumni team’s work, you can get in touch by emailing alumni@chevening.org.