News and Events
Interview with Harold E. Doley III by Luciana Vazquez
Luciana: How did you hear about Lugano?
Mr. Doley: While looking for boarding schools at my paternal grandmother's house, I came across a very particular one in the sea of Northeastern US boarding schools' brochures. There was a picture of a snowcapped mountain rising out of a blue lake. It was a brochure for The American School in Switzerland, TASIS. This is how I crossed paths with Lugano for the first time.
Mr. Doley felt himself at ease at TASIS; he could explore himself, the country, and even the continent during his time in Lugano. Not only was he very involved in student organizations, but he was also the SGA president during his Senior Year. Looking back at the academic adventures that he had with his life-long friendships at TASIS, Mr. Doley remarks on his trips to Milano, Paris, Nice, Innsbruck, or Saint Moritz with the school. Today, Mr. Doley still cherishes the friendships he made during his TASIS times and remembers Lugano with great love. After graduating from TASIS, he went on to Columbia University to graduate with a Political Science degree, as his passion for politics was still in the blood.
Luciana: What was your path after you left university?
Mr. Doley: Right after graduation, I started working for my family’s investment banking business, but that did not last too long. After three years of working in the company and learning so much, I realized that I wanted to do something on my own. I chose to take a huge leap of faith and start my own company.
Luciana: How was the experience of starting your own enterprise?
Mr. Doley: It was scary. Being self-employed is a very difficult task! It entails a higher level of responsibility. However, you own it, you own your actions for better or worse. Working at high levels and representing governments was sobering and made me become very serious very fast. We were confronted with the constant question whether “our efforts would create jobs and advance people’s lives.”
Along with a friend from TASIS, Mr. Doley started a company that provides financial advisory and investment promotion services to global entities. In May 1995, the company started by offering market intelligence on Africa to Wall Street investors. It was a revolutionary idea that very few people were interested in. He credits the counsel of mentors, such as the then Prime Minister of Belize, who were instrumental in his success. The Lugano Group opened many doors to the founders and taught them so many valuable lessons.
Luciana: What is one unexpected life changing event you’ve experienced?
Mr. Doley: On August 2001, I was asked to join Mike Bloomberg’s campaign for Mayor of New York for two months as an advisor. Although I had volunteered on campaigns since childhood, the Bloomberg effort was my first time being hired as an advisor. I was able to employ my background with Political Science in this opportunity. Bloomberg was a longshot in August 2001. I vividly remember how I was outside of a voting poll in The Bronx when someone randomly passes by saying that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I was unaware that one of the most dramatic events in U.S. history was occurring. Once I understood what had occurred, I was devastated, but what New York needed was a manager after this tragic event. Unexpectedly, Bloomberg won the election, and I was part of the winning team!
After Mr. Bloomberg’s victory, Mr. Doley was asked to also help with the campaign of Governor George Pataki. Once again, Mr. Pataki won his re-election, and a satisfied Mr. Doley left the political arena undefeated. The two campaigns were successful and allowed him to use his Political Science degree. He learned “to expect and to be ready for the unknown, because life happens!”
Luciana: What do you hope for Franklin’s future?
Mr. Doley: My connection with Franklin started during my time at TASIS. Franklin College, as it was known when I was there, was started by the same person who founded TASIS: Mary Crist Fleming. My brother did his year abroad at Franklin College, and friends from TASIS introduced me to a very active former member of the trustees at Franklin. Through Tom Pegues, I met President Warden which started the conversation that eventually got me involved at the university as a consulting scholar. I feel honored to be part of this group.
His contribution to the mission of Franklin and the students is: being open to hearing and helping students as much as possible. He acknowledges what a privilege it is to live in Lugano, quite a paradise, as well as having the international background of living, studying and working in different parts of the world. This allows you to have such a different perspective on the world and supports Franklin for providing such abundant exposure. Similarly, the network that is created around the world is something that he can guarantee will be a bond forever.
It was a true pleasure to talk to Mr. Doley III. Him and I found many similarities in our paths, such as seeing the whole world as our home. He is a man with ambitious goals determined to accomplish them and change the world in any positive way he can. With that being said, he is extremely open and fun to talk to, who invites all members of the FUS community to reach out for a chat! I encourage members of the FUS community, mainly students, to reach out to Mr. Harold Doley for a short or long chat!