Diane Johnston CA: Ambassador for the United Arab Emirates
We spoke with Diane Johnston CA, ICAS Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates on how she is helping to shape the global professional community and contribute to its development - find out how she is building links and furthering CA knowledge.
Diane qualified as a CA in 2006 while working with Deloitte in Aberdeen. Since qualifying, Diane has worked with international companies, including ConocoPhillips, Aggreko and Emirates Aluminium, which was her first overseas role in the United Arab Emirates. Diane is also a qualified Pilates Instructor and Life coach.
Why did you become an ICAS ambassador?
“After reading an article in the CA magazine requesting member volunteers, I decided to contact ICAS and see in what ways I could help. When it was suggested to work alongside the ICAS member engagement team, to help build the regional profile of ICAS in the Middle East, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.“
What are your 'duties'?
“Over the past year, I have worked with the team to plan and deliver two ICAS events in the region. This enabled me to work not only with the ICAS member engagement team but also other business groups, such as partnering with CISI (Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment) in the region.”
Having lived in Dubai for 8 years, this was a valuable way for me to give back and help others.
How has the experience been beneficial?
"In the process, I have been able to create networks and make new contacts, which wouldn’t have been open to me otherwise. Planning such events has also brought the opportunity to research current developments in the UAE such as the introduction of VAT in 2018.
“Helping increase awareness to other ICAS members, on highly relevant topics, has been a very rewarding experience.
“As well as connecting with members at the events, I met with members individually to gain feedback and discuss any support or guidance they would like from ICAS. This allowed me to learn from the experiences of other members and enhance my knowledge of business in the region.
“I have also offered guidance and support to members who were considering relocating to the region. Having lived in Dubai for 8 years, this was a valuable way for me to give back and help others.”
What do you enjoy most about the role?
“Increasing my network of both CAs and other business professionals and the satisfaction of giving back, are all reasons why I enjoy the role of ambassador.
"I would encourage other members to become an ICAS ambassador, both for their own self-development and importantly, to help create a more engaged and active ICAS community in all regions across the globe.”
ICAS ambassadors are being created to supplement the work of our global chairs and committees, particularly in cities and countries where we don’t have large numbers of members.
What will ambassadors be expected to do?
Ambassadors will be expected to meet and communicate with other CAs on the ground. They will help inform our CAs of our various initiatives and then feedback to ICAS to ensure members are helped with whatever they need – whether that is finding a mentor; finding a new job; connecting with other CAs; or answering a technical query.
What skills are required?
Most of all we are looking for enthusiastic advocates of ICAS who enjoy meeting and helping other CAs.
Where will they be based?
Anywhere from Columbia to Kathmandu. If there is more than one ICAS member in the area, we are interested in creating ambassadors to connect CA to CA for mutual benefit.
How do we apply?
Anyone interested in becoming an ICAS global ambassador should email Fiona Mackay at email@example.com and we will be able to give further details and arrange a call to discuss.