IACA celebrated the graduation of its fourth Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) class in a festive ceremony at its Laxenburg campus on 7 December, two days before International Anti-Corruption Day. The new graduates come from 17 countries around the world: Afghanistan, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, India, Malawi, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and the United States of America.
They work in government ministries, anti-corruption commissions, international organizations, private companies, law enforcement bodies, NGOs, and academia.
Jennifer McClean, elected as the MACS student speaker, told the distinguished guests she and her fellow graduates came to IACA “to learn about the ‘big C’ of corruption and the ‘four Cs’ that we can use on our long journey against it: commitment, courage, creativity, and cooperation”.
“Have the courage to fail and continue to persevere. Never lose our spirit and continue to fight each match against corruption,” she encouraged her classmates.
Delivering his laudatio, Martin Kreutner, the Dean of IACA, told the MACS graduates that they are “the anti-corruption and compliance leaders of tomorrow”. In this regard he urged them to play a leading role in countering three main threats in the fight against corruption: to critical thinking, to the human element in an era of emerging technologies, and to cooperation and dialogue.
“Yes, there are big potential threats as we head towards the third decade of this century. But I have every confidence in your abilities to address these challenges, as previous MACS graduates are doing around the world,” he concluded.
The graduates and guests also heard from Professor Peter Rosner of the University of Vienna, who chaired the academic Defence Committee, Pawan Kumar Sinha, Director of Academic Programmes at IACA, and special guest Elena Helmer, who previously held this position for three years and is now Associate Professor and Senior Expert at the Academy.
All the speakers strongly praised the range and high quality of the graduates’ work, including their master’s theses, and commended their commitment to the fight against corruption.
Timothy Bacwa from Uganda won the award for the best master’s thesis with his work on “Assessing the Role of the Anti-Money Laundering Framework in Curbing Corruption of Politically Exposed Persons: A Case Study of Banks in Uganda”.
The most innovative thesis award went to Renato Capanema of Brazil for his study on “The impact of corporate settlements on incentives for international cooperation in multijurisdictional bribery cases”.
The ceremony and reception that followed were joined by family, friends, faculty, and a wider network of distinguished guests.
IACA is most grateful for the generosity of the Siemens Integrity Initiative and the Austrian Development Agency for having provided scholarships that enabled students from Least Developed Countries to take part in this MACS cohort.
The MACS was launched in 2012 as the world’s first postgraduate programme in anti-corruption and compliance. It consists of seven modules, combining in-class and distance learning, and a master’s thesis.
This fourth cohort attended the in-class component of one module in Washington D.C., hosted by the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.