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  /  Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dzulkifli

Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dzulkifli

Sejahtera Leadership

Sejahtera is framed on the indigenous concept of hati budi which resonates closely to a scientific idea of “heart-brain” discovered recently. This at once makes Sejahtera Leadership unique in its understanding and approach to leadership (namely, kepemimpinan). Thus, Sejahtera is not easily rendered into other languages because of its comprehensive and multi-layered meaning and nuances. It underscores that indigenous knowledge and wisdom have had their own uniqueness, strength, and relevance for the local community over the years. Although it is often translated as ‘well-being’ or even ‘prosperity’, its inherent meaning is much more than that. In fact, it is ‘beyond well-being.’ It is human-centric in that it spans the macrocosmic-microcosmic nexus. It is macrocosmic because it relates humans to the external environment – nature and fellow beings, including other species. It is microcosmic because it embraces the ‘self’ and the inner (esoteric) dimensions, including spiritual consciousness. Taken together the status of sejahtera can be described as a balanced and harmonious lifestyle summarised by at least ten different elements neatly woven into the acronym SPICES, namely spiritual, physio-psychological, intellectual, cognitive, cultural, ethical, emotional, ecological, economic, and societal dimensions.


Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (or for short, Dzul) is currently the Rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia. He was the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) from 2000-2011. He is the immediate past president of the International Association of Universities (IAU), a UNESCO-affiliated organisation, based in Paris. He was the Convenor of the Regional Centre for Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development based in USM, one of seven pioneering centres worldwide, beginning 2005. Dzul was awarded the prestigious 2017 Gilbert Medal by Universitas 21 in recognition of “his long term commitment to a sustainable approach to international higher education.” He is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (FASc), the World Academy of Art and Science (FWAAS) and the World Academy of Islamic Management (FWAIM).


Dzul was an Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham from 2014 until August 2020, He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Right Livelihood College Steering Committee based at University of Bonn and an Advisory Board Member, Institute of Sustainable Development and Learning at Leuphana University of Luneburg. He was an invited speaker at the 2015 Nobel Dialogue in Sweden. In October 2020, he was appointed as a member of Qatar Foundation Higher Education Strategy Advisory Panel. Besides, Dzul is also a member of the UN Academic Network for Development Dialogue (ANDD), World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) and National Digital Economy & Fourth Industrial Revolution Council. In February 2021, he was invited to serve as an Expert for the Futures of Higher Education Project at UNESCO’s Institute for Higher Education (IESALC) based in Caracas.


Dzul was awarded the 2017 Tokoh Akademik Negara (National Academic Laureate) and recipient of number of Honorary Doctorate from various international universities. Locally, in October 2018, he was conferred Professor Emeritus by USM, whilst in November 2019, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) conferred him an Honorary Doctorate of Dakwah and Islamic Management in recognition of his efforts in widening the dimensions of dakwah through various research and leadership while serving at the University. In addition, the Government of Japan, in recognition of his contribution to the academic collaboration and exchanges between the two nations has conferred him “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon” in September 2019.

Since 1995 Dzul writes weekly Op-Ed columns for Malaysia’s dailies especially, The New Straits Times.