Arthur D. Little pays respects to Harland Riker and Kamal Saad

03 May 2019 3 min. read
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Arthur D. Little has mourned the loss of long-time servants Harland Riker and Kamal Saad.

Described as among the firm’s most influential and well-regarded alumni, management consultancy Arthur D. Little has paid tribute to Kamal Saad following Saad’s death in February at the age of 80. A Lebanese national, Saad joined the world’s oldest consultancy in 1966, and altogether spent more than three decades with the firm in the Middle East and Europe across the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Another 30-plus year company veteran, Harland Riker, who was also of part-Lebanese heritage and led Arthur D. Little’s international expansion in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Latin America (opening and overseeing more than 20 offices worldwide) has also passed away, in March at the age of 90. Riker studied at Harvard Business School in the mid-50s and joined ADL shortly after graduating.

“With great sadness, Arthur D. Little announces the deaths of Harland Riker and Kamal Saad, two of our most influential and well-loved alumni,” the firm said in a touching statement. “On behalf of the whole of ADL, we would like to extend our sympathies to Harland and Kamal’s families, friends and all those that knew them. Thank you both again for all your work, advice and wisdom that has helped develop ADL – we will remember you with gratitude and strive to build on your legacy.”Arthur D. Little pays respects to influential alumni Harland Riker and Kamal SaadBorn in 1931, Saad was raised in Beirut, and after graduating from the American University of Beirut in Chemistry and Mathematics joined the Lebanese Industrial Research Institute (IRI) – spending 13 years there in various directorial roles before joining ADL in ’66. Serving in a wide array of roles at the firm, Saad is credited with being instrumental in establishing the it’s reputation for innovation – in particular in linking R&D to long-term corporate strategy with the co-authored book ‘Third Generation R&D.’

Saad served as a European Board member for two decades at ADL and as a Corporate Board member for three years, and after leaving the firm in 2000 returned to Beirut to provide consultancy to a wide variety of organisations. According to the firm, Saad was a regular attendee at ADL Old Guard reunions and recently visited the company’s new Lebanese office – with ADL first launching its office in Beirut in 2014.

Born in the US in 1928, Harland Riker meanwhile also had a strong connection to Lebanon, with a Lebanese mother and time spent in the country as a child. Later traveling the world as an officer in the US Navy, Riker would join ADL around the dawn of the 60s, before crossing to George Fry & Associates to take on a four-year office director posting in Tehran – said to be driven by his determination to work abroad.

Recruited back to ADL, Riker would have this desire met – spending the following decades opening and overseeing Arthur D. Little offices all across the globe, with the firm today having more than 40 outlets worldwide, including a presence in Iran. Noted by the firm for his sharp intellect, wise judgment and skills as a diplomat, Riker served as President of ADL International, and upon retirement volunteered with the International Executive Corp – a commitment that would see him return for a period to Lebanon.