FIU and Georgetown International Business and Public Policy ProgramProgram Faculty and Experts

Susan Amat, PhD

Susan Amat is the executive director of GEN Accelerates and the vice president for education at the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). A serial entrepreneur, she built media businesses for over a decade, including the first CD-Rom magazine and a national television show. She is the founder of Venture Hive, an entrepreneur education company, and Flitepath, a SaaS solution that provides accountability and transparency tools and content to support innovation management and entrepreneurship programs in Fortune 500 businesses.

Amat has completed her MBA and earned a PhD in Strategic Entrepreneurship (coursework in industrial engineering, business, and education). While teaching at the University of Miami, she founded The Launch Pad, which was considered the top model in entrepreneurship education. Her program and platform were replicated internationally as Blackstone LaunchPads in universities including USC, UCLA, and Case Western Reserve University.

Amat served as the founding chair of the STEM Board for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and is a trustee of Miami Dade College, the largest college in the United States with more than 165,000 students. She actively speaks about entrepreneurship and innovation education internationally and has worked with the U.S. State Department, the Kauffman Foundation, and the World Bank on program development, training, and evaluation. In 2012, Amat was honored as a Champion of Change at the White House.


Matias Bendersky

Matias Bendersky is the chief of the Resource Mobilization Division at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), where he is responsible for forging and expanding the IDB Group’s strategic alliances with partners from the public, private, non-profit, foundation, and academic sectors. With the support of a team of professionals, Bendersky helps to channel funding and knowledge from diverse organizations into the region, working toward the end goal of accelerating development and improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition, Bendersky’s team is tasked with exploring how to best leverage blended and innovative financing instruments as vehicles for achieving the sustainable development agenda in the region. Prior to joining the IDB in 2007, Bendersky worked for the World Bank in various sovereign guaranteed operations including countries in South East Asia and Latin America. Previously, Bendersky worked for six years as a corporate and transactional attorney in both, Buenos Aires and Washington D.C. Bendersky holds a JD from the University of Buenos Aires and a joint master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and its Law School in Chicago.


Brian Burlingame

Brian Burlingame's expertise in the Latin American communications and business landscapes has been developed over a 25+year career living and working throughout the region. He has consulted multinational companies across a variety of industry sectors and geographies. Burlingame holds a MBA and Master in International Business from the University of Miami, a Bachelor in International Business from Missouri State University, and is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Jerry HaarJerry Haar, Phd

Jerry Haar is a professor and executive director of the Office of Executive and Professional Education, in the College of Business, Florida International University. He is also a global fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a non-resident senior research fellow at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He has held visiting appointments at Wharton, Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and the American Enterprise Institute and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Brazil.

A former director of Washington Programs for the Council of the Americas, Haar holds graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Harvard and has authored 17 books and numerous articles. A consultant to multinational firms, he has appeared in media such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Miami Herald and CNN.


Jose Luis Irigoyen

Jose Luis Irigoyen is the operational advisor in the Infrastructure and Energy Sector of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He previously served as country coordinator for Haiti. He has worked on infrastructure projects, private sector development and regional integration projects. He has a master's degree in economics and finance from the University of Navarra in Spain and has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of San Andrés in Argentina.


Lee Kane

Lea Kane is counsellor (commercial) and senior trade commissioner at the Embassy of Canada to the People’s Republic of China. Kane’s team manages bilateral commercial relations between Canada and China in investment, aerospace, automotive and rail, life sciences and health care, information communication technology, creative industries, winter sports, tourism, consumer products and e-commerce. He is correspondingly the counsellor-level science and technology representative at the Canadian embassy. He also oversees Canada’s 10 commercial trade offices across China.

Kane was previously counsellor and head of Canada’s Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service at the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai until August 2017. From 2011-2015, he served in Beijing as team leader and trade commissioner, managing the natural resources, energy, clean technology, forestry and infrastructure files at the Embassy of Canada to the People’s Republic of China.

Prior to his three diplomatic postings in China, Kane was responsible for the natural resources and energy, clean technology, investment, and construction files on the China desk at Global Affairs Canada headquarters in Ottawa, Canada. Before joining Global Affairs Canada, he worked in the private sector in Toronto, Montreal, Shanghai, Paris and Geneva.

Kane received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. He is a recipient of the Deputy Minister’s Award of Excellence, as well as the Award of Excellence from Canada’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.


Manuel LasagaManuel Lasaga, PhD

Manel Lasaga is president of Strategic Information Analysis Inc. (StratInfo), an economics and finance consulting firm established in 1993 in Miami, Florida.

As a business economist he has more than 25 years’ experience advising entrepreneurs, multinational corporations, financial institutions, government agencies and professional services firms. He has a nationally recognized capability for independent analysis of the Florida, U.S., and Latin American economies and financial markets and is an advisor to banks in the areas of strategic planning and asset/liability management. He is also an investment advisor.

Lasaga has held high-level positions with Citicorp in New York, Wharton Econometrics in Philadelphia and Southeast Bank in Miami. In addition, he has consulted for 18 years with the World Bank in Washington, DC, specializing in the evaluation of capital markets and development projects in emerging markets.


Walter O’Leary

Walter O’Leary is the managing partner at South Pointe Capital. He is a seasoned financial markets expert with more than 20 years of experience advising businesses from taking public leading emerging market financial groups to building and merging boutique firms, to sourcing deals for single/ multi-family offices and, more recently, raising capital for entrepreneurs.

Prior to establishing South Pointe Capital in Miami in 2012, O’Leary founded WOL Partners in London in 2008 and opened a Zurich office in 2010 to advise institutional clients with origination, structuring and executing private equity and debt financing such as bank debt/senior loans, mezzanine debt and equity for growth and special situations across industries.

O’Leary started his financial training after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in economics. He started as a commercial bank lending officer and due to his international background was tapped to market global ADRs to international companies looking to list and raise capital in the NYSE and Nasdaq with The Bank of New York. He then was hired by a client of the bank to run international ADR trading with specialist firm Robb, Peck McCooey (acquired by LaBranche who was then acquired by Cowen) on the NYSE. His interest to learn more about the capital raising process led him to apply and enroll in the Full-Time MBA Program at Chicago Booth and then successfully transitioned to investment banking with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in New York. He then relocated to London to provide research sales coverage to European institutional investors for six years ultimately with William Blair before leaving to open a European broker dealer for the largest Brazilian bank – Bradesco. As head of Europe for Bradesco BBI, O’Leary built a team that successfully placed some of the most visible emerging market IPOs such as BM&F’s $3.33 billion capital raise with leading investors in the U.K., Europe, Middle East and Asia.

O’Leary is a lecturer in finance and entrepreneurship at the University of Miami Business School and an adjunct professor at the FIU College of Business. O’Leary has been actively involved in the Miami tech startup community. He was a judge at the eMerge Americas Startup Showcase Competition in 2016 and this year will be showcasing a recent University of Miami Business Plan Competition 2nd place winner.

O’Leary enjoys sailing his classic sloop in Biscayne Bay.


Jeffrey Macher, PhD

Jeffrey T. Macher is a professor of strategy, economics, and policy in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is also the academic director of Georgetown’s Center for Business and Public Policy. He teaches full-time, evening, and executive MBA and executive education courses in microeconomics, competitive strategy, and the management of technology and innovation.

Prior to Georgetown University, Macher worked for Braxton Associate (a strategy consulting firm now part of Deloitte Consulting), IBM, and Motorola. Macher is a member of the Academy of Management (AOM), the American Economics Association (AEA), the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon), the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics (SIOE), and the Strategic Management Society (SMS). He is on the editorial boards of Production and Operations Management Journal and Strategic Management Journal, and a reviewer for several academic journals. He is also a special government employee (SGE) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Macher holds a PhD from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California - Berkeley, and MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a BSE from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.


Edgardo PappacenaEdgardo Pappacena

Edguardo Pappacena has 35+ years of global business experience and has worked in 50+ countries throughout his career advising C-level executives in multinational companies in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

He has recently retired from PwC, where he was a senior partner and held key global leadership roles, including global strategy officer. Currently, he is the CEO of Cani Investments LLC, responsible for translating global macro trends into investment portfolio strategies.

He is an adjunct professor of strategy and international business at Florida International Univesity. His executive courses focus on helping business leaders think critically about the future through the exploration of global strategic issues at the intersection of economic, geopolitical, and technological megatrends. He also serves on FIU’s MBA Advisory Board.

Pappacena holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Master in Economics and Accounting from the University of Buenos Aires.


Eliot Pedrosa

Eliot Pedrosa represents the United States on the Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Inter-American Investment Corporation/IDB Invest. He was appointed by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate.

Prior to his appointment, Pedrosa practiced law for twenty years, focusing on international dispute resolution and financial institutions. In private practice, Pedrosa chaired the Miami litigation practice of a global law firm, representing clients in commercial matters throughout the Americas, spanning a wide range of industries including finance, defense, logistics, infrastructure, healthcare, technology and media.

Pedrosa is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has an undergraduate degree in sociology and anthropology from Florida International University, where he graduated summa cum laude. While at Harvard, Pedrosa served as a research assistant at the Harvard Institute for International Development, focusing on legal reform in Central America.


Charles J. Skuba

Charles J. Skuba is senior associate dean for Custom Executive Programs and professor of the practice in marketing and international business McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. In 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2010, Skuba received the Professor of the Year Student Choice award from the McDonough School of Business Academic Council. Skuba specializes in international trade and international marketing strategy. Prior to coming to Georgetown, he was chief of staff, market access and compliance at the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. Previously, he had a long career in international marketing as a senior executive at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and as an international marketing consultant with numerous large global corporations. Skuba received an MBA in International Business from the George Washington University and a BSFS in International Affairs from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.


Romaine Suguin

Romaine Seguin is president of UPS Global Freight Forwarding. Romaine delivered a TED Talk in 2016 on global trade and is a frequent speaker at community and business events internationally. She has received multiple awards and recognitions for her work in the international business community.

Suguin began her career with UPS in the Missouri district in 1983 as a part-time hub supervisor. She held a variety of operational and management roles in Missouri and was later promoted to hub manager. In 1989, she accepted a five-year assignment in Europe and lived in both the U.K. and France. She returned to the U.S. in 1994 as controller for the air district, based in Louisville, Kentucky. She held several posts in Kentucky, Michigan and Minnesota before moving to Milan, Italy, as managing director of UPS South Europe. She was promoted to chief operating officer for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, based in Brussels, Belgium. In September 2010, Suguin was promoted to her current position, which is based in Miami.

Suguin servess on several boards, including the Florida International University (FIU) School of Business Dean’s Council, the Board of Trustees of William Woods University, the United Way of Miami-Dade board, the Conferencia Latinoamericana de Compañías Express board – Latin America Conference of Express Companies, and the World Trade Center Miami board, which she currently chairs. She is a member of the Go for the Greens Executive Steering Committee.


Rossana M. Tabares, MSHRM, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, GPHR

Rossana Tabares is a global human resources executive and HR consultant with extensive experience designing HR strategies, developing talent capability and implementing talent solutions required to deliver sustainable business results.

Her practice covers the full spectrum of Human Resources disciplines with a deep a focus on talent management, leadership development, executive coaching, change management, people engagement, and organizational development practices.

During her career, she has held various senior level corporate positions in Fortune 500 organizations and has consulted for companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 within multiple industries. Her geographical span includes North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Sub-Sahara Africa.

Rossana is also adjunct professor at Florida International University where she earned her Master of Science in Human Resources Management. She additionally holds the designations of Senior Certified Professional (SHMP-SCP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPRH), and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR). She has served as Board Member for the Greater Miami Society of Human Resources Management (GMSHRM) in various capacities since 2008.


Elias Tefarikis

Eliaz Tefarikis is the senior innovation consultant at the competitiveness, technology and innovation division at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). For over 12 years, He has designed and implemented several innovative initiatives to strengthen the innovation ecosystem amongst entrepreneurs and investors in Central and Latin America.

Tefarikis co-designed the value proposition of the innovation agenda of the countries of the Pacific Alliance and other initiatives to create innovation ecosystems in Central America. He is a board member of Laboratoria Chile, a social enterprise that identifies young women with high potential and gives them the opportunity to become developers.

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