Member Spotlight - Rachel Fleishman

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Name:

Rachel Fleishman

Job title:

Head, Advocacy & Sustainability Communications Asia Pacific

Company:

BASF East Asia, Regional Headquarters

Industry:

Chemicals

AmCham member since:

On and off since 2008. Happily on again now.

How long have you been in Hong Kong and what do you like most about life here?

I moved here with my husband and kids (then 6 and 4) on Christmas Eve, 2007. There is a lot to love about Hong Kong! I appreciate the mobility of the city (I’m a big fan of the MTR), the ability to go from skyscraper to hiking trail in about 10 minutes, and the general openness to new ideas – you can get a first meeting with anyone, it seems, in Hong Kong.

Favorite weekend getaway?

It’s hard to choose. I love places that combine rural life, outdoor adventures and history, so would opt for Da Nang, Koh Samui, Penang, Luang Prabang…

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I grew up on a farm in rural Maine. My father was the first and only psychiatrist that the town (or the county) had ever seen, and I was the only Jewish student in my school. Even stranger, for anyone paying attention: we were only Jewish family I knew of who raised pigs and ate them.

If I wasn’t a business leader, I would be…

A helicopter pilot, a playwright and a dancer. (Actually, Otherhood, a play I co-authored, was performed in HK a few years ago. I dance whenever I can. So I just have to work on the helicopter part.)

What was your first ever job?

Consulting for the U.S. government on arms control options for short-range nuclear weapons in Europe, just after graduate school. Soon thereafter the U.S. decided to remove these weapons from Europe – a good move; and a good time for me to move on (to the Pentagon).

Favorite piece of advice (work-related or otherwise)?

The only difference between a vision and a hallucination is the number of people who see it.

Outside the office, where can we find you / what can we find you doing?

Making my kids tell me about their day in French at the dinner table, or hiking on Lantau or HK Island with my favorite hiking partner, my husband Eli.

Name something on your bucket list.

Becoming a senior climate change advisor to a future U.S. administration.

What compelled you to become a member of Amcham?

I spent five years as Policy Director at AmCham EU, leading a team of young professionals to lobby on behalf of U.S. companies. It was a fabulous experience and gave me a great appreciation for public policy professionals.

Which AmCham event are we likely to find you at next?

Anything having to do with environment, sustainability, advocacy, innovation, leadership or wine – perhaps not in that order!