Rick Amado

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 07

Rick Amado
Founder, Architect
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Amsterdam


My father was a professor of theoretical physics. I had a small library in our house where he and I would sit for hours talking about big fundamental ideas. Just outside the library my brother would bang out his etudes on the Steinway. And upstairs my mother would practice her violin – my mother was from a family of famous string musicians.


My domain as a child was the basement workshop. To fix things. Anything mechanical. And to build models. A talent for understanding how and why things work drew me to Stanford University to study mechanical engineering. Later my curiosity about cultures and organizations led me to business school at UCLA. And then to live in Europe.


I have a talent for making connections. Connections to people and cultures. And connections between disparate worlds that lead to creative, often visionary, insights about complex problems. Maybe this is because I was brought up to listen like a musician and think like a physicist.


My professional experience spans the engineered materials, automotive and electronics industries with Avery Dennison, Hermetic Seal corporation and Honda R&D, with functional leadership positions in finance, engineering, design and consulting. All of my work has been at the intersection of international business, technology and entrepreneurship. With a heavy dose of cultural bridge building. Recently I have become active in cultural philanthropy – supporting the arts and primary education – as director of the Maurice Amado Foundation, a charitable foundation from my father’s family. I currently serve on a number of boards of charitable and cultural organizations focusing on music and education.


When I am not cooking for my family, I am logging kilometers on my bicycle in the city of Amsterdam, leading a project to radically improve primary education; consulting for an Impact Investing fund; and accelerating my development as a creative leader in the THNK program.