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An Oxford Alumnus Awarded an HEC Montréal Scholarship

A First for the School!

November 15, 2021

Ali Arsalan Pasha is the recipient of a $109,000 scholarship, one of the School’s most prestigious awards, which will fund his PhD studies in international business at HEC Montréal over the next four years, starting this term. The experience has been made possible by a scholarship funded by Jean Chagnon (HEC Montréal 1970), a major donor to the HEC Montréal Foundation.

An impressive academic career

Born in Pakistan, Ali is a permanent Canadian resident and earned his MSc in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford. He also has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in architecture from Middle East Technical University and a graduate diploma in leadership from McGill. He has a number of publications to his credit and has won a total of five research scholarships. He currently advises clients in the U.K. and elsewhere in the world on national security issues, particularly those pertaining to South Asia.


“If there’s one thing Oxford and Canada have in common, it’s generosity of spirit. Oxford, my alma mater, and Canada, my new home, have inspired me, supported me and given me hope. They have put me in contact with people like Jean Chagnon and introduced me to the world of HEC Montréal. I’ve consulted for the Turkish and British governments, and I’ve always dreamed of working at the crossroads of political economics and geopolitics, which I’m doing now in connection with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, working with HEC Montréal’s esteemed faculty.

I will be forever grateful for this opportunity, for the faith Mr. Chagnon’s has shown in me and for his support of my vision and career ambitions, not to mention his trust in all of us as representatives of HEC Montréal and Oxford. Inspired by his example of generosity and believing in others, I have decided to pay it forward and use my social media presence to reach out to the best and the brightest candidates interested in joining elite institutions like ours and in so doing contribute to gradually building an inclusive, accessible and cooperative network.”

Bringing an international pool of expertise to HEC Montréal

Jean Chagnon (HEC Montréal 1970) is a member of the HEC Montréal Conseil des gouverneurs. He is a long-time donor and supporter of the School’s mission to build the next generation of world-class management professionals.

Having studied at Oxford himself (1971–1973), he was inspired to create the Oxford—HEC Montréal scholarship program in 2018. His $1.25 million donation helped set up a series of initiatives involving both institutions, including the scholarship program. Awarded annually, the scholarships are designed to allow HEC Montréal graduates to study at Oxford and vice versa.

“As you can imagine, I am delighted to help create and support these academic and research exchanges between my two alma maters. What I learned and the relationships I formed at both schools have influenced me throughout my life. It’s a dream for me to forge these new connections, which I hope will be impactful and enduring,” said Mr. Chagnon.

 Two new scholarship recipients:

The entire HEC Montréal community would like to congratulate the two recipients of the Oxford Saïd–HEC Montréal Scholarship, funded by Jean Chagnon’s generous donation. We wish them every success and an inspiring, enlightening road ahead as they continue their studies at the University of Oxford.

Alexander Nowak
HEC Montréal 2014

Alexander Novak

Dârini Vedarattiname
HEC Montréal 2010

Dârini Vedarattiname

Alumni + Foundation > News > 2021 > An Oxford Alumnus Awarded an HEC Montréal Scholarship