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Andrew Lewis - A 20+ Year Audit Career with a Passion for International Understanding

Saturday, April 27, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Maggie Gisel
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By Stephanie Stewart (Colorado 1988)

                        

           Andrew Lewis Presenting at Winter National Conference 2019

In 1995, as a sophomore at AIESEC George Washington University (GW), Andrew, then just an active and interested member of AIESEC, was invited to take advantage of a large pool of traineeships raised by AIESEC GW during the dot.com boom and take an internship in Iceland. Andrew explains that the traineeship “is what really got me excited and interested in the real mission of AIESEC. It certainly came alive through that setting.” That summer he worked for Reykjavik Electricity and wrote a report on the pros and cons of privatization in the electricity industry around the world.  Andrew came back from his traineeship with a renewed passion for AIESEC, and went on to run incoming and outgoing exchange for the Southern and the Western regions. 

In 1997, Andrew took on the challenge of co-chairing the AIESEC National Conference in Washington, DC.  “It was a lot of fun and tremendous to put on such a big event for so many people, across so many days, with little to no training in event management and planning,” Andrew shared. Through all these experiences, he feels that “AIESEC taught me how to be a better leader, and how to be a better listener, as well. I learned a lot of valuable skills on how to lead people through times of challenge.” 

Andrew is a Partner in KPMG’s government audit practice in Washington, D.C., and is a Senior Fellow at KPMG’s Government Institute, publishing many research articles and professional publications for the public sector industry. He currently manages audits and advisory services for a number of U.S. federal government agencies. With 20+ years at the firm, he reflects on the rewarding work he has enjoyed. “I have had a chance to travel all over the world and work with some amazing companies and government agencies, providing audits while at the same time working with some tremendously impressive people.” He connects his KPMG work with his AIESEC experience. “Just last week I was on a business trip in China. Part of the relationship involved an understanding and appreciation for different people and the way they do things. Without my AIESEC experience, I wouldn’t have embraced the many opportunities to travel overseas and get as much out of it both personally and professionally.”

Andrew is seeing a trend toward increased transparency in governmental finance and reporting. He notes that it is important to have “the ability to leverage technology and internet portals to make more information available to citizens and stakeholders in ways that helps them better understand what government is doing for them and on their behalf.” He is involved with creating technology tools and standards, and looking to the next wave of methods that will encourage government organizations to increase access to their records, allowing all of us to better understand what governments are doing. We need to know where governments are spending our money, how they are investing, and, most importantly, to have a clear idea what it is producing and achieving. In the audit function, Andrew works to clarify that the information a government entity is providing to the public is timely, accurate, and reliable.

Six years after his time with AIESEC-GW, Andrew was asked to teach government accounting as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University, and was excited to have the opportunity to give back to an institution that meant so much to him. “I was humbled and excited when they invited me in to teach. It developed into a true passion. I ended up teaching the class for 12 years.” He continues to remain connected to the university, and is involved in recruiting and mentoring students and members of the adjunct faculty.

Several years ago, Andrew read in the AIESEC Life newsletter about a retreat in North Carolina that included many AIESECers with whom he had lost contact. AIESEC Life quickly became an organization “on Andrew’s radar” that brought together alumni from his era, and was a place where he could reconnect with AIESECers with common interests.  He was excited to reconnect with them after more than 10 years. When AIESEC Life was looking for a treasurer, he jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this new alumni organization. Now, Andrew serves on both of the boards of AIESEC Life and AIESEC US. He explains that the two organizations are very different, “AIESEC Life is for alumni, by alumni, with a lot of great opportunities to engage in professional development and networking, and really paves the way for students to have a great AIESEC experience.” He sees his involvement on the board of AIESEC US very differently. “Alumni may want to shape the organization into what it was 20 or 30 years ago, but we have to respect the fact that it is a different type of student, a different internet-based culture, and there are different leadership needs to establish and drive multicultural understanding across borders.” AIESEC US today, for example, offers many volunteer-based internships, which still provide that foundation of multicultural understanding and impact many students every year. Global Talent, the business-based internships, are not as prominent as they were many years ago, but have been growing over the past few years. He explains that it is important for “alumni to reconnect with AIESEC in order to reinvigorate this aspect of AIESEC, and to help students understand the legacy they are carrying on.”

Andrew and his wife have two preteen children, and have recently expanded their family by becoming foster parents. They went through a rigorous licensing process, and have been overjoyed to host three children over the past year. One child has been with them since she was nine weeks old, and is now 10 months old. He described the process of going back to diapers and midnight feedings as both challenging and rewarding. He is also involved in several foster resource parent organizations.

We can be sure that Andrew will take his interest in international understanding, better government, community service, and AIESEC values to many new endeavors and work experiences.


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