IAQ is an independent, self-supported, non-profit, non-governmental organization that is administered by a collegial assembly of individuals who have been elected by their peers from among the most respected, active and experienced protagonists of quality in the world.
Academicians are invited proportionately from among the major regions of the worlds and are approximately divided into thirds from Asia, America, and Europe-Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Individuals may not apply for membership as the Academy identifies and recruits both thought leaders and exceptional practitioners to receive invitations for membership. Currently, members represent over 45 nations.
Academicians make significant personal contributions to the advancement of quality and collaborate on team-based projects through participation in Think Tanks that operate within the Academy. Academician outreach has helped to establish many of the national and regional quality organizations and IAQ has supported the United Nations in its early efforts to bring quality to the developing world. Currently, IAQ is assisting national quality movements in Brazil, Russia, India, and China as they develop mature programs that support capacity development. Think Tanks concentrate IAQ member resources on the contemporary applications of quality that require focus and coordinated support to advance knowledge and to leverage lessons learned in order to accelerate the development and adaptation principles and methods to improve performance for the benefit of society or to improve applications of core quality-related methods. Think Tanks currently address the following social areas of application: governance, healthcare, and education. In addition, IAQ Think Tanks also address standards and compliance and applied statistics.
The Origin of IAQ
While Dr. Armand V. “Val” Feigenbaum was serving as an ASQ volunteer leader (then called American Society for Quality Control) (he was a Vice President from 1958-1961 and President from 1961-1963), he came to understand the global nature of quality and had first-hand insight into the power of quality to transform the post-war economies of Japan and Europe. He was a catalyst in uniting the world’s thought leaders from the European Organization for Quality (EOQ – then called European Organization for Quality Control) which had just been formed, along with the more firmly established ASQ and Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE).
While Feigenbaum served as the first Chairman of the International Academy for Quality (IAQ), he was most explicit in noting the origins of the concept and the influencers of this international quality movement. The initial idea for forming an international association actually originated from the President of the EOQ, Dr. Jan van Ettinger and Feigenbaum observed in his first report about the IAQ that the JUSE had always been “internationally minded” noting that JUSE managing director Dr. Kenichi Koyanagi had received the ASQ Edwards Medal in recognition of his international contributions to the cause of quality. Feigenbaum also noted the strong influence of American contributors to furthering the cause of quality globally starting with Dr. Walter Shewhart whose lectures in the United Kingdom stimulated the interest of Dr. Karl Pearson (he was later credited by Dr. Juran with influencing the early statistical concepts of some leading Japanese thinkers (especially Yashui Ishida of Toshiba who credited Pearson with introducing him to the ideas of Shewhart)). In his initial report on the IAQ, Feigenbaum listed those Americans who had brought quality to other lands: Professor Paul C. Clifford, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Dr. Joseph M. Juran, Dr. Sebastian B. Littauer, Dr. Ellis R. Ott, and Dr. William R. Pabst. He modestly omitted his own name even though part of his General Electric job was to help rebuild the industrial base of their European business partners.
Subsequently in 1966, a ‘six man board’ was established to form what was first called the “International Quality Association” with membership representing the three major quality organizations to study potential need, design and development of a new global organization that could facilitate an international exchange of information about quality in order to promote quality throughout all nations. JUSE, EOQ, and ASQ each nominated two individuals to formulate this study team and the target was to complete the organization of this new organization by 1971. From Japan, JUSE nominated Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa and Dr. Masao Kogure (who was later replaced by Dr. Tetsuichi Asaka ). Representing Europe two board members of EOQ were named to the board: Frank Nixon (from the United Kingdom who also generated support from the British Productivity Council) and George Borel (France). ASQ nominated past-Presidents E. Jack Lancaster (who Val later credited with sparking the ASQ interest in developing such an organization) and Feigenbaum to the team.
A preliminary organizing meeting of the International Quality Association was held in New York in June 1966 and the first formal meeting of the “Board of Six” was held in Stockholm later that month. After much correspondence a second meeting was held in London in June 1967 at which time the organizing date for the International Academy for Quality (IAQ) was set for 1971 and the invited membership was expanded to twenty-one individuals with equal representation from the three geographic regions. The first Americans included in the Academy were: Leon Bass, Charles A. Bicking, C. Eugene Fisher, Julius Y. McClure, and Thomas C. McDermott in addition to Feigenbaum and Lancaster. Japan and Europe also nominated seven members each. The initial Japanese members included: Keijiro Inoue, Kotaro Itoh, Masao Kogure, Shigeru Mizuno, and Mamoru Yamaguchi in addition to Asaka and Ishikawa. The first European Academicians were: J. D. N. De-Fremery (Netherlands), Olle Jonson (Sweden), Walter E. Masing (Germany), Umberto Turello (Italy), and Agnes H. Zaludova (Czechoslovakia) who joined Borel and Nixon.
Three individuals are credited with leading this founding period of the IAQ: Val Feigenbaum, Kaoru Ishikawa, and Walter E. Masing who have been recognized as ‘service leaders’ by an internal “Academy Award” – The IAQ Founders Medal – which is given for especially meritorious service over the Academy’s triennial management period.
The original purpose of the IAQ was three-fold: to coordinate attention to technical problems in quality; assure the broad dissemination of the results of such work to the greatest benefit of those concerned; and promote recognition of the role and importance of quality in other disciplines as a concept and as a decisive factor in stimulating success in all disciplines.
Feigenbaum had a key role in organizing the Academy and he served as its first chairman. Jack Lancaster was elected as the first President, then Feigenbaum followed him as the second President. The influence of Feigenbaum’s leadership style and contribution to the Academy has deeply influenced the entire history of the IAQ and will probably continue to influence its direction into the foreseeable future. The history and global nature of the Academy’s development can be observed through its sequence of leaders.
List of Presidents
A complete list of presidents of the Academy includes (note that IAQ presidents graduate to position of chairman at the end of their term):
2023-present Lars Sorqvist, Sweden
2021-2022 Shinichi Sasaki, Japan
2019-2020 Liz Keim, USA
2015-2018 Pal Molnar, Hungary
2012-2014 Janak Mehta, India
2009-2011 Gregory Watson, Finland
2006-2008 Tito Conti, Italy
2003-2005 Spencer J. Hutchens, USA
2000-2002 Marcos E. J. Bertin, Argentina
1997-1999 Marcos E. J. Bertin, Argentina
1994-1996 Yoshio Kondo, Japan
1991-1993 H. James Harrington, USA
1987-1990 Herman J. Zeller, Germany
1984-1986 Murray E. Liebman, USA
1981-1983 Kaoru Ishikawa, Japan
1978-1980 Walter E. Masing, Germany
1975-1977 Armand V. Feigenbaum, USA
1971-1974 E. Jack Lancaster, USA
United Nations Global Compact
Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed rights; and
make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;
the effective abolition of child labor; and
the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
encourage development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.