A Better Global Workplace: Strategies for Process Improvement

SHRM Global Mobility and Immigration Symposium

The highly collaborative nature of global teams in multinational organizations call for a stable environment in which communication is open and effective. As many global mobility professionals are aware, business processes and collaboration across borders can be directly impacted by an organization’s culture of communication. How can global mobility teams best work across countries and time zones, facilitate cross-cultural communication and ensure a positive employee experience? This panel will discuss these topics and posit ideas for process improvement you can implement in your workplace.

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 9:45am to 10:45am

Ray S. Leki

Ray S.

Ray S. Leki is a career member of the Senior Executive Service of the United States government at the Department of State, Foreign Service Institute. He is also an adjunct professor of intercultural management with the rank of Senior Interculturist in Residence at American University, and an author. At the Foreign Service Institute, he is the director of the Transition Center, where he oversees preparation and support for employees and family members entering, transitioning within, and leaving the U.S. foreign affairs community. He has developed, designed, and overseen the implementation of international awareness training for the U.S. foreign affairs community for nearly 40 years. His work in government began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal in 1979, and continued with a series of Peace Corps staff assignments in Washington, Nepal, Pakistan, and Poland, before joining the Department of State in 1991.

Ray has taught a range of graduate courses and seminars through American University’s School of International Service, Intercultural Management Institute. They include international personal and organizational security, crisis management and communication, intercultural facilitation and training, multicultural negotiation, and spirituality and conflict transformation. He is a recipient of the school’s adjunct faculty of the year award.  

Ray published Travel Wise: How to Be Safe, Savvy and Secure Abroad through Intercultural Press/Nicholas Brealey Publishing in 2008. The book shares his thoughts, experiences, and techniques in preparing sojourners for international success through integrating cross-cultural competence, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and security awareness with careful identification and analysis of motives and motivation. Travel Wise is used by businesses, study abroad programs, international and non-governmental organizations and government employees and agencies to protect people and ensure mission success.

At the U.S. Department of State, he has been a leader in dealing with far-flung diplomatic communities experiencing crisis and trauma. Recent interventions included work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Algeria, Moscow, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He has focused his organizational efforts on creating smarter, more resilient, and more effective expatriates. In 2016, he opened the Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience as a new division within the Transition Center.

He is a fellow of the International Academy of Intercultural Researchers, and is on the advisory boards of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research USA, the Foreign Service Youth Foundation, and the International Association of Protocol Consultants. Current interests include resilience, leadership, intercultural communication, crisis management across cultures, and crisis aftermath psychology. He studied chemistry at Southern Illinois University and has his master’s from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.





Edna Diez


Ms. Edna Diez is Director for Performance, Careers and Learning at the World Bank Group.  She is responsible for promoting the continuous improvement of organizational initiatives to retain, motivate and develop World Bank Group staff. As a Human Resources transformation leader for 24 years, she helps organizations and individuals increase their effectiveness.  Edna specializes in performance management, career development and mobility, leadership development, coaching, diversity and inclusion, learning and employee engagement. Prior to joining the World Bank group, she was Director of HR Policies and Programs at the Asian Development Bank, where she led the design and delivery of HR reforms over a wide spectrum of functions.  She has held several leadership positions at the Inter-American Development Bank, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Edna holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Houston in Texas.  She is also a trained Executive Coach.

Marina Vassilev


Marina Vassilev leads Compensation, Mobility and Executive HR for BASF North American.  In her role she shapes the BASF NA compensation and mobility strategies to inspire and empower employees. 

Prior to joining BASF in August 2018, Marina was with Boehringer Ingelheim for over six years where she led a variety of total rewards projects, managed the US Executive HR function and supported the US Supply & Quality organization as a Compensation Business Partner.  Some of Marina’s accomplishments include the roll out of a total rewards optimization study and leading the design and implementation of a global Long-Term Incentive program which insured Boehringer Ingelheim remained competitive to attract, retain and motivate employees.  Prior to Boehringer, Marina was a Senior Consultant with Deloitte Consulting where she advised clients on a variety of total rewards topics. 

Marina Vassilev holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a MBA from New York University. Marina is a Certified Compensation Profession (CCP), Certified Executive Compensation Professional (CECP) and Certified Benefits Professional (CBP) with Worldatwork.

Melissa Myer


Melissa Myer is Director, Global Mobility, Total Rewards at Mastercard.  In her role she is involved in the strategic development of the Global Mobility function through policy design/implementation (lump sum and core/flex), technology and process improvements, as well as monitoring trends and best practices.  She also functions as a strategic advisor to the Operations & Technology and North America Markets business units on people movement, immigration and taxation. Melissa managed a successful phased transition of repeatable and transactional Global Mobility tasks to a shared services center and continues to provide operational oversight to this team on policy governance and relocation exceptions.

Prior to joining Mastercard in March 2014, Melissa was an Assistant Director, International Programs at Ernst & Young where she directed a team that provided mobility support for long-term and short-term structured international mobility programs for career development and busy season resources. Melissa also held leadership roles at Goldman Sachs as a Global Mobility Senior Assignment Manager and HR Business Partner during her 12-year tenure.

Melissa holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management with a concentration in Career Development from The New School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University.


Alain Verstandig


Alain Verstandig, President of the NET EXPAT Group, is an engineer who has passionately embraced International Mobility and Talent Management through personal experience.

He currently lives in the USA but was born in 1962 in Brussels, Belgium to a French mother and a German father.

He graduated with an Engineering degree, later supplemented by an MBA. Right after graduating, he travelled the world in an amazing 18-month backpacking adventure through more than 50 countries.

Alain then worked over ten years for multinational corporations in various senior positions where he acquired first-hand knowledge of international mobility, being expatriated himself on several occasions. Alain speaks five languages.

In 1998, Alain founded the NET EXPAT Group specializing in assessing, training and coaching for expatriates and their partners. Through its unique, innovative approaches, NET EXPAT soon became a global market leader, with offices in 76 countries around the world and a loyal customer base of more than 400 international corporations.

More information can be found at www.netexpat.com    

Renaissance Ballroom
Session Type: 
General Session
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