20th Anniversary Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research and Thought Leadership

Winner: John Rason


This article is taken from the 2024 Awards supplement in the Summer 2024 issue of Think Global People magazine

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View your copy of the Summer 2024 issue of Think Global People magazine.

Watch the highlights of our 2023 Relocate Global Awards here

Over the last ten years, John Rason has spearheaded Santa Fe Relocation’s acclaimed Global Mobility Survey (GMS) series. This research is a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence and commitment to providing invaluable insights and data to global mobility professionals worldwide. Through countless roadshows and other initiatives, John has been at the forefront of pioneering best practices in global mobility.

Announcing Santa Fe Relocation as the Best Research winner in 2023, Dr Sue Shortland explained: “When we research, we learn. When we share our research, we all move forward. That’s critical for all of us. This relocation management company has put research at the heart of what it does to drive forward its relationships with clients and industry professionals and provide tailored information on current practice and trends.”  

Growing knowledge and sharing the results

As group head of consulting, John Rason was very much behind leading that research. The 2022–23 GMS report series alone, featuring four comprehensive studies and webinars attended by thousands of participants, has provided up-to-date strategic insights and practical perspectives. A fifth report is on the way.

In 2022, he participated in Relocate Global’s first Future of Work Festival and enthusiastically co-hosted the Global Mobility Innovation Hub outdoors in the Kent countryside. The year before, he joined us for a ‘walk and talk’ as we explored creativity and wellbeing, where he also revealed his green fingers. We discussed growth in a discussion inspired by live plants and John went home with a car boot full of tomato plants!

He is deeply curious and passionate about coaching and lifelong learning and inspired by cultures and countries. In partnership with Crowe LLP, the first report, ‘Reshaping Global Mobility’, explored how the hot topic of cross-border remote working had evolved in 11 global organisations. In the second, ‘Talent’, he worked in a year-long collaboration with academics Dr Phil Renshaw and Dr Jenny Robinson. Both pieces of research confirmed there remains post-pandemic the need for traditional assignment arrangements.

Accepting the Relocate Award in 2023, he said, “We put a lot of effort into research, and, for us, research is about the industry. We collaborate and work out what we can do to add value for everyone. As much as we are doing it for us, we are doing it for our clients and we are doing it for you.”

Developing new perspectives

John Rason has contributed to and led an impressive four-year run of Relocate Award Research category wins from 2020-2023. We caught up with him on his return from a European trip when he heard of the surprise award.

“I am absolutely delighted and proud to be recognised by Relocate Global for the research contributions that I have been involved with at Santa Fe Relocation over the past 12 years. We have collaborated with so many wonderful professionals and I am always so appreciative of those global mobility and HR clients who have given up their time to get involved with the research, helping to shape it and to remain relevant. 

“Our research is given life through those who kindly take the time to participate in the surveys and interviews, as well as our clients and industry partners who engage in exploring the findings. While there are common themes – types of mobility, team structures, roles and technology – the regional and sector differences can be significantly diverse. That's why it is important to engage in webinars, in-person events and have the ability to share divergent views and opinions. 

“As an HR professional who has specialised in global mobility and been an expatriate myself, I have, over time, increasingly understood the complexities and pressures associated with taking care of global talent, the specialists who support that talent and taking care of the organisation. People make the difference in our wonderful global mobility industry and that is why I still have a passion for it after so many years.”

"John has always supported research endeavours to the benefit of all in the global mobility industry,” added Dr Sue Shortland. “He has dedicated his time to advancing our knowledge and improving practice and his award is very well-deserved"

To learn more about John's impactful contributions to global mobility, explore the Global Mobility Survey Report series:

global mobility hub

See the Winners Announced Page

We will present the Award to John in person over the summer or early autumn. An opportunity to reflect on change over two decades and to explore the future of global mobility.

Santa Fe Relocation

Visit the Santa Fe Relocation website

Watch the Award Ceremony video highlights

Read about award-winning global mobility, leadership and education in the upcoming Summer issue of Think Global People magazine, with the teams and organisations being celebrated in the Relocate Think Global People Awards 2024. Secure your copy here.


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