We had the good fortune of connecting with Ambassador Keith Kirkwood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ambassador Keith, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Well, it started by wanting to make a change in my community, I ran and was elected to public office. I quickly realized that just because your elected it doesn’t mean you get to make the changes that you wanted to make. There are many votes and other people who have a say in the matter. I wanted to operate more like an entrepreneur, I wanted to be the master of my destiny. I wondered how I could get this done faster, if I wanted to improve the sidewalks that were cracked and dangerous for the folks in wheelchairs or baby strollers in particular. I thought what if I could find out what the city’s cost is to repair and raise the money outside of government. When my term ended I decided to create a diplomacy organization with my partner and solely focus on the foundation. As I started to expand to international issues I had seen how much the United States Government gives for humanitarian aid programs. But the amount given, and the amount of work done just didn’t seem to match. I said we are going to help in a different way. First we are going to create initiatives that will empower people and not keep them dependent of government aid. But rather creating jobs for them to earn their on way. 2nd we will deliver the actual supplies personally and not just give a check to government. 3rd We will do more for our partners my showcasing their involvement in away they can use for their own branding and marketing strategy.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the Chairman of an International Diplomacy Organization, Gift Global Initiative. I also represent the United Arab Emirates Royal Family Office. As a diplomat, our foundation builds relationships between countries, governments, and the private sector in hope to build a better world through humanitarian aid and social investment.
As The Global Representative to the Royal Family, my focus is on the business and investment side. Any companies who want to enter the Gulf Region and or seeking capital can go do with our support. If a company/brand wants access into the hottest global market such as Dubai, then we are the office that can make that happen most effectively for you.
Having your company fall under the Royal Patronage provides vital publicity perks for the core product offering of these organizations. It allows their enormous achievements and contributions to society to be recognized. Royal patronages add status to an organization, and visits and involvement from a Royal Patron can often bring much needed publicity.
Through our diplomacy work internationally, we have built relationships with many government officials and foreign leaders. We tie in the social impact initiatives even with our work representing the Royal Family Private Office. Let me give you an example. If the private office is looking to land a contract of buying rights to a seaport in a foreign country. Offer A: Offers a certain market value amount. Offer B: From Royal Family Private Office, offers same market value but also commits through to investing in social impact initiatives in that country through our Foundation. This could be upgrading the schools, 5G Internet, iPad for students, infrastructure rebuild. Now which offer is better?? Hands down ours from the Private Office. Businesses focus on business, but we help them focus on leading that business with social responsibility. Other words we “Create a Heartbeat for Your business”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am from Cape Cod, which means the ocean is in my blood. First thing would be to head to the Marina and take my boat out on the Pacific to the beautiful Catalina Island. Where there is plenty of great food to start your day of adventure. We rent golf kart to cruise around the cliff side island, stop for some scenic view selfies as we make our way to the zipline cables. After that adrenaline rush the island conservatory will take us in the Hummer on a tour of the island stopping at private beach with white sand and crashing pacific ocean waves. Of course conclude with some cocktails by the sea.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I was working with a little girl who was diagnosed with brain cancer in Mexico, I had made a Facebook Post and Manna Dabholkar my now partner and CEO of GIFT had responded that she has connections with American Cancer Society and she could help. We met at a place in LA “Canters” the night before we were set to head to Mexico to visit with this family and little girl who was is the fight of her young life. We spend the weekend with them got the medical records and started the process to help get her the proper medical medicine and treatments she needed. We were covering the medical expenses from our own pockets and then we started to get contacted by other families and knew this was going to be a large personal undertaking. Manna being an executive years back at Red Cross she was much more familiar with forming 501c3 non profits than I was. SO we set up the organization were we could now take donations, grants etc and give tax deductible writeoff for those who want to help and make a difference. Fast fwd today that little girl is cancer free after many treatments and years of uncertainty. GIFT Global Initiative has expanded greatly as we will get to within the article but we still have medical fund to help kids get treatment they need.
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