Teacher-in-Law | Teachers College Columbia University

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Advisor to TC's Hong Kong alumni chapter, TC alumna Edith Shih is also Head Group General Counsel and Company Secretary at a Fortune 500 company with hundreds of lawyers working under her in 23 countries
Edith Shih (Ed.M., 1978; M.A., 1977) was a young girl growing up in Hong Kong when she first read about Columbia University. By the time she decided to pursue a career in education, Teachers College was her choice.
Shih earned her master’s in TESOL (the teaching of English to speakers of other languages) in 1977 and an Ed.M. in Applied Linguistics in 1978. At the time, she was convinced she would happily be a teacher for the rest of her life—but wanted to return to Hong Kong eventually, where there were better opportunities for lawyers than holders of doctoral education degrees. She left for London to pursue a legal qualification and career. It’s a decision she hasn’t regretted. Since returning home in 1984, Shih has risen through the ranks at Hutchison Whampoa Limited, a Fortune 500 company with more than 250,000 employees worldwide. Now Head Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Shih currently has about 220 lawyers working under her in 23 countries.
“I work with a lot of young people, so I’m still very much a teacher,” she says. And the Columbia connection persists, too: Shih has served as both Secretary and President of, and now advisor to, TC’s Hong Kong alumni chapter. She was a recipient of the Alumni Award in 1993 and a member of the Columbia University International Advisory Council for 2005 and 2006.

Published Monday, Jun. 15, 2009