Nazia Raoof

Cues and Views

Innovative global technology leader Nazia Raoof, in brief.

January 3, 2023
3 Minutes
Nazia Raoof

Home: Chicago, since my tween years.  Age: My daughter has asked me how I’ve kept turning 21 for the last six years.  Birthplace: The Middle East. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: Northwestern University.

Recent recognition: Nominated for CHIEF, Innovative Executives Club and Korn Ferry Inclusive Leader.  Latest contribution to others: In addition to serving on the SIM Chicago Philanthropy board, I am also coaching and mentoring teams through difficult changes. Hobbies: Biking, exploring and traveling, fine dining.  Recent travel or adventure: Paris.  Last book read: The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, by Michelle Obama.  

What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Creative.  What is your greatest joy: My children, of course.  Also, new places and experiences.  Guilty pleasure: Dessert, dessert, dessert, then working out to burn it off.  What word or phrase do you use far too often? Let’s go!  What natural talent have you neglected: My sense of humor.  I explored becoming a stand up comic during the darkest days of Covid.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Artists and teachers.

What three emojis best describe you? 🎉😂💡.

What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? Culinary and learning experiences, entertainment.  Recently enjoyed an amazing private dinner prepared by world renowned chef Rick Bayles at his Chicago home; made guacamole for the first time.  How do you relieve stress? Biking or yoga.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? New experiences.  What’s high on your bucket list? Neom, a smart city in Saudi Arabia.

What was your first paying job? Working for the City of Chicago.  What was your favorite college course? Philosophy.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Bubble Bobble, an arcade game I played with my siblings.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Never stop learning.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? iRobot Roomba.  What is your go-to source of news and information? CNN.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Pinterest.  What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? The 2008 financial crisis.  Working for Lehman Brothers at the time, the company’s bankruptcy was an eye-opening experience and a reminder that, since nothing stays the same, it’s best to be ready to improvise.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Implementing DEI strategies.  What change would you like to see in the world? A more equitable world for moms. What mega-trend most excites you? The metaverse.

As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A pilot.  After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? I wouldn’t go back.  What advice would you give your younger self? Find your true north.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My twenties.

Favorite quote: “Learning and innovation go hand in hand.  The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow” (William Pollard).  Desired epitaph: Innovative and kind.  Badass mom of two amazing people.

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