Frank F. Islam is a well-known philanthropist whose private foundation supports educational, cultural, and artistic causes worldwide. He participates in a number of non-profit organizations as a board member, including the School of Management’s Dean’s Advisory Council, which he joined in 2012. Of his involvement on the Dean’s Council, Islam feels, “The administration provides a structured format for receiving our feedback, listens, and takes the action required to turn the Council’s advice into plans, programs, and policies. This stands in stark contrast to other bodies that I serve on where the members are told what is going on and are primarily passive recipients of information rather than collaborators in a creative process.”
Along with serving as a member of the School of Management’s Dean’s Advisory Council, Islam serves on many other notable boards and councils including The Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, for which he was appointed by President Barack Obama in October 2013. Islam feels, “Helping others to succeed is more meaningful to me than my business accomplishments. They align with my philosophy and beliefs that, as President John F. Kennedy said, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’”
In May 2013, Islam furthered his involvement at Mason by delivering the keynote address at the School of Management’s Convocation ceremony. In reaction to his experience, Islam noted that he was struck by the diversity of the graduating class. Additionally, he indicated that he was not only humbled and honored to have been selected to give the convocation address, but left campus that afternoon feeling motivated and inspired by the conversations he had with several graduates following the ceremony.
Aside from his philanthropic endeavors, Islam is a successful entrepreneur currently serving as Chief Operating Officer of FI Investment Group, a private investment holding company focused on providing strategic capital and management support to emerging business. Throughout his professional career, Islam has been honored with many awards including Ernst & Young’s Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999 and the Small Business Administration’s Minority Small Business Person of the Year in 2001.