Elizabeth Ahmed is qualified in all of the ways one would expect of a Chief Financial Officer; she has an MBA in Finance and a track record as a successful businesswoman with firms that are global powerhouses and members of the Fortune 500. She is a strategist and a resourceful leader of highly performing teams on the international stage. But it is the unexpected – a unique human element – which defines both her approach to the CFO role and her leadership style. At the root of this human element is her life experiences and travels, and a world view perspective that uniquely positions her for her role in a company with a global vision.
Elizabeth began her corporate career in Japan, where she worked and lived for five years. Upon her return to the U.S., she joined development and investment company Trammell Crow (which later became CBRE Group, Inc.), where she oversaw company operations and asset management. She earned her MBA from Pepperdine University, and also furthered her studies in global management and business development at Oxford and Antwerp Universities. Subsequently, she took time to travel, visiting Africa, India, Europe and Asia, indulging her passion for learning about other cultures and exploring the world.
Upon her return home, she continued her career in design and program management with the multi-national engineering firm, AECOM. Elizabeth served as vice president of the AECOM Project Management/Construction Management (PM/CM) business line, serving as market sector lead for the Americas. She was the highest-ranking female executive in the business line—an accomplishment all the more commendable in this male-dominated industry. She oversaw social infrastructure design projects totaling over $28 billion around the world, in healthcare, education, government and private sectors. Year after year, her team was among the highest performing in the company. She credits her leadership strategy for this success, stating: “I expect the highest caliber out of everyone, and I give that much more to them.” It is appreciated. Even today her former colleagues reach out to her for advice.
In light of all her accomplishments, Elizabeth is humble. She is committed to lending her wisdom and expertise to help others. Married and a mother of two, she is a PTA board member, a volunteer at the Redlands YMCA, and active with the Redlands Conservancy and Family Service of Redlands. One of her favorite expressions is “No one knows everything.”
It won’t be long before she knows a little more. A lifelong learner, she is pursuing a doctorate degree in Design and Cultural Preservation specializing in History and Theory of Material Culture. She is a strong believer that the key to our future is understanding our past. She plans to use this education to further her mission to “share the gifts of knowledge and experience bestowed on me.”