“As graduates of the International Anti-Corruption Academy, we took pride in meeting the challenges associated with the realization of achieving the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies, safe in belief that the knowledge and skills acquired, will make us walk straight on, with our heads held high, and our hearts wide open. […] We realize that after all these efforts invested, it is not enough for IACA graduates just to carry on with life. We need to move the world forward,” emphasized Mr. Elnur Musayev, the elected MACS students’ representative, in his address to fellow graduates and distinguished guests at the ceremony at IACA’s Laxenburg campus.
The 26 graduates from IACA’s second MACS class (the first cohort graduated in December 2014) are from 17 countries and jurisdictions around the world: Afghanistan, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brazil, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Tanzania, Uganda, the United States of America, and Kosovo.
Their professional backgrounds are equally diverse, including business executives, diplomatic service members, investigators, humanitarian experts, prosecutors, compliance managers, law enforcement officers, NGO representatives, and communications specialists.
The guest of honour at the ceremony was Mr. Abu Kassim bin Mohamed, former Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Chair of the Defence Committee. In his speech, he discussed his own anti-corruption work and offered the students the following words of encouragement: “You might get disappointed, but do not give up. Be patient and persistent. Please hold on to what you believe in.”
In his laudatio, Mr. Martin Kreutner, the Dean of IACA, observed that preventing and fighting corruption is “far more than just a noble cause or a business case”.
“It is essential and key to our hopes and perspectives for a better, more sustainable future,” Mr. Kreutner noted. “With your graduation today, you have shown the value of anti-corruption education and set a benchmark.”
Dr. Eduardo Vetere, Chairperson of IACA’s Board of Governors and also Chair of the Defence Committee, Mr. Lukas Mandl, Representative of Mr. Erwin Pröll, the Governor of the Federal State of Lower Austria, and Ms. Elena Helmer, Director of Academic Programmes at IACA, also addressed the graduates and guests. All the speakers saluted the achievements of the new graduates and emphasized the importance of their efforts in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Navin Kumar Singh from India was honoured for having written the best master’s thesis with his work on “Noble Cause Corruption in India: Causes and Possible Solutions”. The award for the most innovative thesis was shared between two of the graduates: Ms. Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent (Switzerland) for “Corruption Prevention and Control in the Humanitarian Space: Paving the Way from Naivety to Compliance”, and Mr. Michael Callan (Australia) for his thesis “Institutional Corruption: The Australian Department of Defence’s Achilles Heel”.
The MACS was launched in 2012 as the world’s first postgraduate programme on anti-corruption and compliance. An “in-career" programme, it was designed against an interdisciplinary background of theoretical and practical approaches, drawing on the best of the public sector and the business world. The MACS consists of seven modules, combining in-class and distance learning, and a master’s thesis. The 2014 – 2016 class had the in-class parts of its final two modules in Brazil and Malaysia.
The ceremony and reception that followed were joined by family, friends, faculty, and a wider network of distinguished guests.