Dean Foster, President
For over two decades, Dean Foster, President, DFA Intercultural Global Solutions (a Dwellworks company), has been involved in researching, writing about, and consulting on the nature of culture and its role in society, work and politics in a globalizing world. As founder and former Worldwide Director of Berlitz Cross-Cultural, as well as the current founder and President of his own company based in NYC, Dean has played a central role in the development of the field of cross-cultural training and consulting. Dean works with most major Fortune 500 companies, national governments and NGOs (the United Nations and World Trade Institutes, among others), and as guest lecturer and faculty for a variety of premier educational institutions, such as Harvard Business School, Columbia University School of Business, NYU, Darden Business School, and others. His work has taken him to over 95 countries. He is the host on CNN of the nationwide “Doing Business in…” series, a frequent guest commentator on culture, global work and social issues for CNN, CNBC, the BBC and other radio and TV shows; and has been interviewed in Newsweek, USA Today, the New York Times, and elsewhere.
Dean is a familiar presenter at major international conferences related to international cultural issues. He is an active member of and speaker at the National Foreign Trade Council, the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the International Institute for Human Resources (IIHR), Worldwide Employee Relocation Council, the Forum for Expatriate Management and other organizations, and served as an Executive Board member of the International Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR).
Dean has written many articles as well as the book, Bargaining Across Borders, published by McGraw-Hill and voted as one of the top ten business books of the year in 1994 by the American Library Association. Dean’s other books include The Global Etiquette Guide to Europe , The Global Etiquette Guide to Asia, The Global Etiquette Guide to Africa & The Middle East and The Global Etiquette Guide to Latin America (John Wiley & Sons). Dean is a past Contributing Editor with National Geographic, having written the monthly “CultureWise” column in National Geographic Traveler Magazine. Dean is on the faculty of American University, Intercultural Management Institute, Washington, DC, and he received his Master’s degree in Sociology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, NYC. He was inducted into the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council Hall of Fame in 2013, and received the Forum for Expatriate Management’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
Sheryl Foster, Vice President
Sheryl Foster is Vice President and co-founder of DFA. Working with Dean Foster in the intercultural training field for over twenty-five years, she was co-founder and Vice President of Cross-Cultural Consulting Associates, NY, Director of Berlitz Cross-Cultural North America and Director of New Product Development for Berlitz Publishing. Most recently, she served as Director of Client Services at GMAC/Windham Global Relocation Services, directing international account managers responsible for coordinating all relocation services for international corporate clients.
Sheryl is a member of the American Society for Training and Development, Society for Human Resource Management and the Employee Relocation Council.
Francois Longeiret, Vice President, Sales and Marketing
François Longeiret joined DFA in 2009 and since August 2010 has served as Vice president, Sales and Marketing. In 1987, François relocated from Marseille, France to the Baltimore-Washington DC area, where he spent eighteen years. Not only did he change countries, but also changed careers after eight years in the finance industry. He joined Berlitz International, first as a French Language Instructor, and then worked his way up to LC Director and helped the world communicate there for over twenty years.
As LC Director in various locations in the Mid-Atlantic region and finally Atlanta, GA, François managed and oversaw the day-to-day operations of more than 260 instructors and administrative staff from all over the world. He was responsible for management, sales and marketing, service and quality control.
François holds a French Professional Diploma in Banking and Finance. He is bi-lingual French/English. He is a member of the American Society for Training and Development, Society for Human Resource Management and the Employee Relocation Council.
Joe McClure, Director, Sales and Marketing, Midwest Region
Joe McClure is Director, Sales and Marketing, Midwest Region and is also a Senior Trainer at DFA. He received his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and began his career in Human Resources at GM’s Harrison Radiator Division in Lockport, NY. Joe moved to Detroit in 1977 and was involved in bringing the personnel function into the computer age with the launch of GM’s first Human Resources system. In 1981, Joe and his family moved to Zaragoza, Spain where he served as the Manager of Human Resources and Expatriate services for over three years.
Joe repatriated to the International Assignment Services staff of GM in 1984 and worked in various capacities within that staff including Manager of International Policy Development for more than 1250 expatriates.
Teh Kheng Wah, Director, Sales and Marketing, Asia
Kheng Wah Teh is Director, Sales & Marketing, Asia at DFA. He is bilingual in English and Chinese and possesses an extensive knowledge of the regional Asian market. He began his career in marketing and spent 7 years with The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) as Technical Instructor in the field of Avionics. Kheng Wah joined Tetra Pak in 1982 as Technical Instructor and held several management positions including Training Manager and Senior Manager, Training Management over a 23-year tenure.
Kheng Wah graduated from Ngee Ann Technical College (Ngee Ann Polytechnics) in 1972 with a Diploma in Electronics Engineering. He is trained on Systematic Selection Process (SSP) where he played a vital role in recruiting technical personnel. He is also certified to use both (PI) Predictive Index® and DiSC ® Classic profiling tools in behavioral analysis. He holds a B.A. degree from The International Management Centre in Buckingham, UK and a Diploma in Marketing from The Institute of Marketing, UK.
Courtney Lind, Program Manager
Courtney Lind is a Program Manager at DFA. She recently received her M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University and holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Prior to working with DFA Courtney assisted with project development for the Communication & Information unit at UNESCO in Bangkok. She also speaks conversational French, having studied in Paris and worked in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Now in New York City Courtney is a member of the United Nations Association Young Professionals, serving on the European Affairs committee, and continues to find opportunities to be involved with the international community.
Sally Martin, Director, Sales and Marketing, Europe
After gaining a degree in Classics, Sally began her career in media in the mid 90’s and now has nearly 20 years sales & marketing experience, working in publishing, conferences & exhibitions. Sally’s focus has mainly been business development and she has been responsible for events in the UAE & Germany as well as the UK and has also lived and worked in Arizona & New York. Sally has experience across a wide range of markets including business travel, IT & telecoms, online & direct marketing & manufacturing but has spent the last 3 years working in global mobility media.
Nicole Barile, Executive Director
Nicole Barile is Executive Director at DFA. She is also an intercultural consultant specializing in the U.S. and Latin America. Nicole holds an M.A. in Intercultural Relations from the University of the Pacific & Intercultural Communications Institute and a B.A. in Global Economic Relations. She earned her Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (CTEFL) while in Guadalajara, Mexico and has taught English to non-native speakers. She is a member of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV), the New York chapter of the Society of International Education, Training and Research (SIETAR), and the Intercultural Management Institute at American University, where she was also a presenter. Nicole has been published in Global HR News, MOBILITY magazine, and Intercultural Management Quarterly. She has lived in Argentina and Mexico and speaks conversational Spanish and Portuguese.
Program Manager, Program Manager
Michelle Mara, Senior Manager, Program Management & Content Development
Michelle Mara is a Sr. Program Manager at DFA and is responsible for program coordination and the development of program materials. She holds a B.A. from Northeastern University in International Affairs & Journalism and an M.A. from NYU in International Education and Cross-Cultural Exchange. Michelle’s work experience in higher education and international business has provided her with a background uniquely suited to her position at DFA.
She speaks conversational Spanish and has plans to build upon her Italian and Russian language knowledge in the future. Michelle believes strongly in the adage “to get respect, you must first give it,” and believes it is a concept that is not only applicable to life in general but one that must be understood by all people traveling to live, work or study abroad.
Fabrizio Spademan, Program Manager
Fabrizio Spademan is a Program Manager at DFA. He is a graduate of SUNY Purchase College with a B.A. in Chinese History, and speaks conversational Mandarin. Following graduation, he spent several years coordinating family and community programs with the YMCA, before making a full time move to Beijing to assist in developing a youth-leadership program. Having joined the DFA team, he is looking forward to continuing his international involvement. Fabrizio is a member of the Asia Society, and a trainer for the International Award for Young People.
Hellen Ohonde, Program Manager
Hellen Ohonde is a Program Manager at DFA and is responsible for the coordination of intercultural trainings. She obtained a M.A. in North American Studies and English Literature from the University of Bonn Germany. During her studies Hellen assisted at the annual United Nations Climate Change Conferences in Bonn and Deutsche Welle Radio. Most recently, she worked at Berlitz Corporation as a Service Representative and as an instructor for German and Kiswahili for face to face and virtual programs. Hellen is a passionate advocate for international exchange and looks forward to working with expats and cross-cultural trainers around the world.
Heidi Karlsson, Director, Client Services, Southwest
Heidi Karlsson is Director of Client Services, Southwest region at DFA. She also facilitates training programs that help business leaders, government officials, military and police personnel, representatives from international organizations, non-governmental employees, journalists and religious scholars on intercultural negotiation, mediation, culture and gender issues in conflict resolution, counseling diverse cultures and peace building education. Heidi has worked and lived in Japan, England, Sweden, France, Mexico and the Caribbean. With nearly 10 years of experience in intercultural communication working for Publicis, WPP and Interpublic Group, Heidi launched her career as a Cross-Cultural Liaison for the Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau at UNESCO in Paris, France. Her assignments have included travel to over 25 countries in Asia, North and Central America, Europe and North Africa among other places.
Ms. Karlsson holds a master’s degree in Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management with emphasis in Cross-Cultural Communication from Southern Methodist University. She received her bachelor’s in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and is certified in Advanced Negotiation and Dispute Resolution by the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.
Tristan Franz, Program Manager
Tristan is a Program Manager at DFA. He earned a B.A. in Communication from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and a TEFL Certificate from the International Cambridge Training Center in Mexico. He has taught ESL/EFL for several years in Mexico, Peru, Colombia and at home in New York City. Tristan speaks English and Spanish and volunteers as a translator for various non-profit organizations. He is passionate about cross-cultural exchange as a means of educating and uniting people.
Robert Maisel, Program Manager
Rob is a Program Manager at DFA. He received both his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and his Master of Business Administration from the University at Albany in New York. He’s passionate about cross-cultural communication, has traveled to 35 countries and has worked in 4 of them. He spent 3 years living and working in Tokyo, Japan. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and conversational Mandarin Chinese.
Michael Campbell, Program Manager
Michael Campbell is a Program Manager at DFA. He holds a B.S. in Business, Law, and Mandarin Chinese from Fordham University and spent several months studying at East China Normal University in Shanghai. Prior to working with DFA, Michael oversaw the translation and localization of a variety of medical documents with a major translation company, until he began working with a small China-based expert network for several months. Michael is passionate about globalization, foreign language and culture. He is very excited to be working with people from across the globe, and is continuously seeking opportunities to stay involved with an international community of peers.
Justine Leininger, Program Manager and Program Content Coordinator
Justine Leininger is a Program Manager and Program Content Coordinator at DFA. She received her M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University in 2014 with a minor in English and Textual Studies. Prior to her full-time position at DFA, she was a DFA CultureGuides intern in the fall of 2014. During her undergraduate studies Justine studied abroad in Australia and Cameroon and had the opportunity to intern in the fields of conflict resolution, international trade policy, and international education with the United States Trade Representative Office of African Affairs, Soliya, and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She speaks conversational French and looks forward to expanding her breadth of knowledge in cross-cultural affairs.
360° Cultural Training programs provide international assignees and their family members with the critical cultural information necessary to succeed both personally and professionally in their new country.
The DFA CultureCompass is an on-line cultural navigation tool that allows users to compare their own personal cultural work orientations with over 150 countries and evaluate a customized set of best practices and strategies for bridging any cultural differences.
Culture-On-The-Go is a blended solution for businesspeople who require something more flexible than classic in-person training. Includes access to the CultureCompass, rich country information, and 3 virtual support sessions with a DFA-certified CultureCoach.