The Cultural Intelligence Center is a growing, innovative research institute that is changing the way individuals and organizations are approaching diversity and global engagement. Based on nearly two decades of research, our mission is to build bridges and remove barriers for working and relating across cultures. We’re headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan but our team works across the globe.
The work of the Cultural Intelligence Center is supported by dozens of team members and partners around the world including trainers, consultants, researchers, etc. A few key individuals you may interact with as part of our team include the following:
Lola Audu is a CQ Associate Trainer with over 20 years experience in real estate, community development, and nonprofit work. Originally from West Africa, her international perspective is shaped by the experiences gained from living and working in various settings. Lola is passionate about wisdom – gaining and sharing it. She frames conversations through the lens of story telling to engage her audiences to re-consider familiar topics in new ways. She is a sought after speaker and trainer in the real estate industry, non-profit and business community. Find Lola on LinkedIn.
Anindita Banerjee, PhD
Anindita Banerjee, PhD is our leading consultant and facilitator in South Asia. She works with companies and universities to integrate cultural intelligence through consulting, training and coaching, and instructional design. She holds a Masters degree in Mathematics, an MBA and PhD in cross-cultural management. Anindita lives in India with her husband and two boys and she leads the diversity and inclusion practice at Renaissance Strategic Consultants. She enjoys travelling and immersing herself in different cultures, especially in local cuisines. Find Anindita on LinkedIn.
Buhle Dlamini is a CQ Associate Trainer and an international speaker and consultant based in Canada and South Africa. He is the founder of Young and Able Pty (Ltd) in South Africa and Mindgro Consulting in Canada. He was also the co-founder of Heartlines Values TV Series project for which he, alongside Garth Japhet (founder) received an award from Arch-Bishop (emeritus) Desmond Tutu. He speaks on Leadership, Strategy and Cultural Intelligence. Find Buhle on LinkedIn.
Kristin Ekkens is a CQ Associate Trainer with experience training and consulting on cultural intelligence for corporations, universities and nonprofits. She is also the Manager of Inclusion & Diversity at an integrated healthcare system with over 23,000 employees. In addition, she has experience as a business owner, executive director of a national nonprofit, and language program director. Kristin brings a unique perspective to global leadership and talent management. She has a graduate degree in TESOL and has participated in international study abroad programs. Find Kristin on LinkedIn.
Lisa Giron coordinates all of our training projects and ensures everything happens from A to Z without a glitch. In addition, she provides administrative support to all of our work with educational institutions. Lisa has a degree in Business Administration and has extensive experience in dealing with customers from across different cultures. She’s fluent in Spanish and is working on her MBA. In what little spare time she has left, she loves spending time with her son, traveling, music and cooking.
Tina Kessel coordinates all of our administrative systems and works with our clients to ensure we support them well. She combines her attention to detail with her love of people to keep us all moving in the same direction. Tina has an engineering background and joins our team’s love of different cultures. She and her husband love to camp, hike, and travel, and when she can’t be found outside in the sun, she’s usually working on a home improvement project.
Mike Knox is responsible for legal, accounting, finance and administrative functions and works with Dave and Linn on business strategy. Mike is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded six businesses, raised millions of dollars in investment capital, and done business development in North America, Mexico, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
Lyla Kohistany is a CQ Associate Trainer. She has extensive experience integrating cultural intelligence and facilitating cross-cultural training with governments and military personnel, as well as teaching in corporate settings. Lyla has vast global experience having lived across Europe and Asia and she served as the Cultural Adviser to the Commanding General of the NATO Special Operations Component Command/Joint Task Force-Afghanistan. Lyla consults for USSOCOM to prepare Special Operations units for deployment. She has earned a Presidential Daily Brief Award as well as two Joint Commendation Medals and a Navy Achievement Medal.
Dave Livermore, PhD
David Livermore, PhD leads the Cultural Intelligence Center and works with our team and partners around the world. Dave has written nine books on cultural intelligence and global leadership and has worked with companies, governments, and non-profits in more than 100 countries. He speaks at several international conferences annually. Dave and his wife have two teenage daughters. They love traveling together (fortunately!) and sampling the local delicacies, wherever they go. For a full bio, visit Dave’s website.
Kate Mondal is the Business Administrator for the Cultural Intelligence Center. Kate has the responsibility of providing administrative leadership for the company and organizing our expanding work with staff, partners, and clients around the world. Kate graduated from Taylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, and from Cornerstone University with a Master of Business Administration. She also has a TESOL Certificate from Taylor University. Kate enjoys reading, traveling, and hiking with her dog.
Julie Slagter is our CQ Certification Partner. She works with our CQ Certified Facilitators and clients around the world to help them implement cultural intelligence in their organizations. Julie has a graduate degree in Intercultural Studies and has lived and worked internationally. She has also written and contributed to publications addressing global humanitarian issues. Julie likes to read and be outdoors, and she loves to travel, especially when there’s access to a beach! Find Julie on LinkedIn.
Sandra Upton, DSL
Sandra Upton, DSL leads our work with schools and universities through her role as Vice President of Educational Initiatives. In addition, she’s a regular speaker, trainer, and consultant on cultural intelligence with companies and non-profit organizations. As a former business school dean and organizational consultant, Sandra understands how to effectively integrate CQ with organizations’ D&I initiatives and global leadership programs. She has also facilitated study abroad experiences in places such as China, Europe, Israel, and South Africa. Sandra finds her greatest pleasure in spending time with her husband and two children. She also enjoys travel, reading, watching a good film and long walks. Find Sandra on LinkedIn.
Linn VanDyne, PhD
Linn VanDyne, PhD oversees the ongoing research on cultural intelligence and works with Dave in developing the long-term strategy for the Center. Linn is one of the pioneering researchers on cultural intelligence and worked together with colleague Soon Ang to design the CQ Scale. She is a Full Professor at Michigan State University where she has taught and conducted research for 16 years. She has also taught at the University of Minnesota and has served as a Visiting Scholar at Indian School of Business and as Senior Fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. For a full bio, visit Linn’s website.
Keyla Waslawski manages our operations at the Cultural Intelligence Center. She uses her attention to detail and problem-solving skills to oversee all our operational processes, including all our assessment functions, accounting, and the many programs and projects going on at any given time. Keyla graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in mathematics and she loves to apply her math and organizational skills to the cultural intelligence work with researchers, partners, and clients around the world. Keyla’s hobbies include gardening and home decor, but what she enjoys the most is spending time with her husband and two children.