One of Lake Superior State University’s most distinguished graduates, Sophie Chandauka MBE, will speak on Oct. 20 about her successful career in law and business, offering advice to area students and others on how to succeed in today’s complex professional market.
Her talk, “The Power and Attributes for Career Success in a Global Hybrid World: A Remarkable International Career—from the Soo to Wall Street and Big Tech,” will be presented at 7 PM in the Kenneth J. Shouldice Library and is free and open to students, alumni, and the general public.
Chandauka graduated from LSSU in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in political science–pre-law. She was the student respondent for her graduating class at commencement. As a Rotary Exchange student from Zimbabwe, she had graduated high school from St. Mary’s College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. After completing her undergraduate degree at LSSU, Chandauka studied law at Oxford University and the College of Law in England. Having spent much of her career in England, she is now based in New York City.
Chandauka is head of Americas risk management and intelligence for Meta, the parent company for Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus. Before joining Meta, she was global COO of shared services and banking operations at Morgan Stanley. Prior to that, Chandauka served as head of group treasury (Legal) at the Virgin Money Group, where she led capital-raising activity of more than £13 billion in four years, including the flotation of Virgin Money’s IPO as a FTSE 250 on the London Stock Exchange. Before joining Virgin Money, she was senior associate with the global law firm of Baker McKensie (77 offices in 46 countries), advising public companies such as Nike, The Body Shop, and Alliance Boots.
Throughout her career, Chandauka has been a campaigner for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a strategic advisor to Morgan Stanley’s African and Caribbean Business Alliance, head of race equity strategy for the 30% Club, and a member of The Executive Leadership Council. Chandauka is also chair and chief strategist of The Network of Networks (TNON), founded in 2011. TNON works with more than 130 companies to create inclusive environments that support the attraction, retention, and advancement of ethnic minority professionals. She is also chair and executive founder of the Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards). Established in 2014, the BBBAwards have been endorsed by three prime ministers, the mayor of London, and global business leaders for highlighting commercial excellence of Black professionals and entrepreneurs in the UK.
Chandauka has served on several non-profit boards, including Sentebale, founded by Prince Seeiso of Lesotho and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, to support children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. In 2021, she was honored by the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and appointed as a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to diversity in business.
Chandauka will be honored by LSSU at its Alumni Awards Banquet on Friday, Oct. 21 with the Kenneth J. Shouldice Professional Achievement Award. This award honors individuals whose personal and professional successes serve as outstanding examples to LSSU students and graduates.
In her public address and conversation on the evening of Oct. 20, Chandauka will share the secrets of her success in establishing a high-profile global career in professional services, financial services, and technology. She will examine the challenges and opportunities of navigating different marketplaces, with examples from her 20-year career spanning the U.S., Europe, Middle East, and Africa. She will also share her reflections about recruiting and developing individuals and teams based on her strategic roles in advising and working for a series of high-profile companies. In addition, she will explore the implications of the global pandemic and social unrest on the future of work, with an emphasis on the attributes and skills required to build a successful career in a hybrid global economy. Finally, she will explain how she juggles her work life with family responsibilities and other interests, including being an entrepreneur and a campaigner for diversity and inclusion.