The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has appointed Shahdeh Ammadi to the newly-created position of director of institute relations. Formerly director of alumni relations and annual giving at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) in New York, Ammadi will oversee the Institute’s global alumni program, the GemKids program for young, aspiring gemologists as well as guest services at GIA’s Carlsbad headquarters.
“The more than 130,000 active GIA alumni in 65 chapters around the world are important ambassadors for our Institute and help to fulfil our mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewellery,” said GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques.
Based in Carlsbad, California and reporting to Vice President of Education and Chief Academic Officer Duncan Pay, Ammadi will also oversee GIA’s GemKids program, which introduces minerals, gems and gemmology to children ages 9 to 12.
GIA offers this engaging gemmology learning experience at the institute’s Carlsbad headquarters — where nearly 5,000 students take part each year — and in other locations, including Botswana and South Africa. Ammadi will also lead the guest services team, which hosted 5,000 additional visitors at the Carlsbad headquarters for tours of the Institute in 2018.
Ammadi began her career at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington DC, where she restarted their alumni relations program. At Columbia, she established an alumni mentorship program and, through a combination of data analysis, global events and outreach, dramatically increased GSAPP’s brand recognition.