Jul. 12, 2021


Amy Johnson

Qatar

Amy Johnson

Director of Community Engagement, Qatar Foundation

Focusing on education, research, and community development, Qatar Foundation has become a landmark association in Qatar that truly meets the needs of its community.

BIO

Amy Johnson is an award-winning executive with family business, not-for-profit, and international corporate experience. Three years ago, she joined Qatar Foundation as Director of Community Engagement. In 2012, Johnson was awarded Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her achievements in Qatar and her exceptional service to Canada internationally. She was a Women's Executive Network (WXN) Most Powerful Women: Top 100 winner in 2014. She holds an EMBA from HEC Paris.


How was 2020 for the Qatar Foundation's community engagement division?

AMY JOHNSON So much happened in 2020 from an economic and social standpoint, and one can choose to look at this in a negative light or as an opportunity. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Qatar Foundation was agile in becoming digital. Qatar Foundation has a strong risk mitigation team. Opening Education City Golf Course was one of the highlights for us in 2020. It is one of the few golf courses in the world that has a sustainable element and is winning numerous awards. We hosted the Qatar Masters Golf Tournament in 2020. We also virtually launched Education City Stadium. From a programming point of view, we had ambitious plans for 2020, and instead of stopping these plans when the pandemic hit, we immediately switched to a virtual medium.

What are the benefits of digital tools for the achievement of your community development goals?

MOHAMMED FAKHROO The digital world has opened new doors for us in terms of scalability. We can now cross the world with our digital programs, which are diverse, ranging from research and education to community development. Qatar Foundation and Education City have an incredible ecosystem spanning 12,000sqkm and houses everything from K-12 to university on the education side, as well as research elements and community programs. This has created a unique ecosystem in the world. After COVID-19 hit, we created educationcity.qa, which complements our Qatar Foundation website. This is essentially an online consolidation of the 50 different entities that operate, thrive, and offer continuous resources to the community. Our unique ecosystem is now online.

Where does Qatar Foundation fit in a society as complex and multicultural as Qatar's?

AJ Qatar Foundation is a unique space and idea that was developed by Her Highness Sheikha Moza 25 years ago. Like any country, Qatar has public and private sectors that work together, but here the Qatar Foundation fits somewhere in the middle. Again, we have to be agile and constantly adapt to change. What Qatar Foundation has become over the last 25 years, whether organically or otherwise, is the organization that fills those needs that are not being met by other organizations. We make sure we really listen to what the community needs. Partnerships and collaborations are one of the special things that Qatar Foundation offers in the wider space of Qatar. We are open and want to hear from organizations, individuals, and anyone else with feedback on how we can adapt and pivot ourselves to meet different needs.

How do Qatar Foundation's three divisions of research, community development, and education cooperate to achieve the National Vision and your goals?

MF We cannot achieve success without all three elements, and these three pillars are present in every single program we do. We believe in collaboration. The only guarantee for prosperity for any country is the ability of its people to develop, adapt, and innovate. The natural synergy between our three pillars of education, research, and community development enable us to provide holistic innovation and solutions at a local and international level. One great example is our user-friendly program for children with autism created when we acknowledged that we had not included all our community members in our sport programs. It is exportable to every country that needs to address this same challenge. That is the beauty of Qatar Foundation—the intertwining of those three pillars to find innovative solutions at multiple levels. We have many other examples of this in research, our incubators, and the energy sustainability field, to name a few.

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