The Distinguished Speakers in International Business Series

The Distinguished Speakers in International Business Series (DSS) brings together policymakers, industry leaders, academia, and students to present and discuss emerging trends in international business throughout the year.

The DSS is supported by the Title VI CIBE grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education to foster international understanding and promote the ability for U.S. businesses to compete globally.

Past Events

February 5, 2024

Featuring: Erik Peterson, Partner and Managing Director, Global Business Policy Council, Kearny

Join the Center for a discussion on Countering Adversity with Innovations, the Kearney report that outlines the five significant trends that will dramatically shape the global outlook and operating environment from 2023 through 2028. Trends include the race to slow biodiversity loss, industrial policies, rapid transit, the value of e-waste, and digital twins.

Read: Policy Expert Takes Stock of Global Trends Over the Next Five Years

February 6, 2023

The Center for Global Business hosted Erik Peterson, Partner and Managing Director of the Global Business Policy Council at Kearney for a discussion on A Convergence of Acute and Urgent Threats, the Kearney report that outlines the five significant trends that will dramatically shape the global outlook and operating environment from 2022 through 2026. Trends included the race for climate change adaptation, protracted stagnation, data privacy laws, nuclear energy, and AI-assisted politics.

Read more about the event.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Event highlights & video: Promise and Peril

Join the Center for Global Business and CGB Academic Director Kislaya Prasad for a discussion with Erik Peterson, managing director of Kearney's Global Business Policy Council, on Promise and Peril, the Kearney report that outlines the five significant trends that will dramatically shape the global outlook and operating environment from 2021 through 2026. Trends include the race for quantum supremacy, rise in water dislocations, ungovernability, mainstream central bank digital currencies, and the new age of genetic manipulation.

November 16, 2021

Event highlights & video

The Center for Global Business hosted this event during International Education Week on “Global Competencies for the 21st Century Workplace” where four Maryland Smith alumni joined Rebecca Bellinger, executive director of CGB, for a virtual discussion about the disruptors in the global workforce and the importance of a global mindset in today's business environment.

Panelists included:

  • Marisa Beardsley, ’05, Manager, International Trade Compliance, Northrop Grumman
  • Vandy Gyandhar, MBA ’01, Senior Global Program Manager, Amazon Web Services
  • Matt Kurlanzik, ’06, Executive Director, Global Public Policy, The Walt Disney Company
  • Chris Steadley, MBA ’12, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Gartner

Speaker Bios

Marisa Bearsley, ’05

Marisa Bearsley currently serves as a manager for international trade compliance and an empowered official at Northrop Grumman Corporation. Bearsley is part of Northrop’s Aeronautics Systems Sector and provides global trade compliance guidance supporting export regulations and licensing. In her position, Bearsley is responsible for the overall export compliance of programs, products, and pursuits within her portfolio.

Bearsley has been involved in international trade for fourteen years, all in the aerospace and defense sector. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman Corporation, Bearsley worked at Thales as an import/export specialist and production control planner. Bearsley received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in general business with a specialization in international business and a master’s degree from Penn State in supply chain management.

Vandana Gyandhar, MBA ’01

Vandana (Vandy) Gyandhar has a global engineering mindset. Her two master’s degrees - in civil engineering and finance - represent her interest in the engineering and financial aspects of complex systems. Gyandhar has over twenty years of experience in the design, delivery and management of major technically complex capital and infrastructure programs. She has worked in a variety of roles throughout the project/program lifecycle including project initiation, feasibility and preconstruction planning; technical design management; program governance setup and review; construction management; budgeting and financial control/forecasting; project/program management; testing and commissioning; claims analysis and dispute resolution. Gyandhar has significant engineering, financial and program management experience and extensive knowledge of best practice standards, processes and procedures for the successful delivery of capital programs and products in both the public and private sectors.

Matt Kurlanzik, ’06

Matt Kurlanzik is the executive director of global public policy at the Walt Disney Company covering the Asia Pacific region. Kurlanzik has been living in Asia for the past eight years and is currently based in Singapore after six years in Hong Kong. With a focus on policy and regulatory issues impacting the digital ecosystem, Kurlanzik has played a key role in the launch of Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Previously Kurlanzik worked on international strategy for an e-commerce company and in various roles across the finance sector. He holds a BS in international business and marketing from the University of Maryland and a MA in international affairs from Columbia University.

Chris Steadley, MBA ’12

Chris Steadley holds a BS in management science from Virginia Tech, an MS in systems engineering from George Washington University, and an MBA in marketing and international business from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. As a businessman interested in how personal development makes a well-rounded professional, Steadley has studied and traveled around the globe working with Oracle, Deloitte, and PwC. In 2020, he was accepted into the Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) Signature Fellows program as a member of the class of 2021, which is invested in addressing key socio-economic issues facing Chicago and the broader region. Steadley currently leads Gartner's Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Center of Excellence.

October 12, 2021

Event highlights & video

The Center for Global Business hosted a discussion with three experts from the International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, and Brookings about economic disparities exacerbated by the global pandemic and nongovernmental efforts and opportunities to address the growing crisis in the developing world.

Speaker Bios

Aloysius Uche Ordu

Dr. Aloysius Uche Ordu brings over three decades of international development and private sector experience. He was previously Vice President at the African Development Bank. In that capacity, he played active roles in the senior management team during the Bank’s sixth General Capital Increase and the record 12th Replenishment of the African Development Fund. Before his appointment as Vice President, Aloysius was Regional Director for Eastern Africa where he introduced innovative approaches to portfolio management, quality assurance, and rigorous analytical work that informed the formulation of policies, strategies, programs, and project lending. Prior to his positions with the African Development Bank, Aloysius served as Director of Operations Policy and Quality and other leadership capacities at the World Bank for over 22 years.

Prior to joining the Brookings Institution in August 2020, he was Managing Partner, Omapu Associates LLC, a boutique advisory services and consulting firm. In that capacity, he was lead advisor of the African Development Fund’s Policy Innovation Lab, an independent think-tank financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that produced the High-Level Panel Report (2017) “Reinvigorating African Concessional Finance: Transforming Trust in the AfDB Group into Influence.” In these capacities and many other capacities, Aloysius continued to build on his well-established connections with Africa’s policy makers, business and thought leaders, foundations and civil society organizations.

Zeynep Kantur Ozenci, MS ’00

A 13 year IFC veteran, Zeynep is currently leading IFC’s market creation and upstream activities in Health & Education sectors, including development of scalable global solutions and early stage project development initiatives. In addition, Zeynep is also leading IFC’s efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an objective of increasing healthcare security and resilience in low and middle income countries.

Zeynep's professional background blends a mix of diagnostic and policy work at the IBRD, investment and market creation projects at the IFC, and debt capital market structuring experience in the private sector. Among her flagship contributions in IFC, Zeynep has led the launch of the Global Health Platform , as part of the World Bank Group’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an objective to increase private sectors capacity to meet the immediate demands of the pandemic as well as future pandemic preparedness.

Before joining IFC in 2008, Zeynep worked at HSBC, focusing on debt capital market transactions across sectors, and prior to that at the World Bank headquarters, working on development of capital markets in developing countries. During her time in the World Bank, she gained experience and knowledge of capital market development issues in a number of developing countries including Russia, Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Kenya and Zambia.

Alejandro Prada, MBA ’18

Dr. Alejandro Prada, LL.M., MBA is a Colombian attorney, with studies in law and business in Colombia, Spain, Germany and the United States. He has 20+ years of professional experience in international business, banking, project and corporate finance and business strategy. Over his career, Alejandro has adviced and participated in transactions in several European, Latin American and Caribbean countries, across different economic sectors. Currently, he is Principal Advisor for Strategy and Corporate Affairs of IDB Invest, in charge of strategic outreach and partnerships. IDB Invest is the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the premier multilateral development bank in Latin America and the Caribbean. Alejandro is based in Washington, DC.

September 14, 2021

Event highlights & video

Join the Center for Global Business for the first Distinguished Speakers in International Business Series of the academic year. The center and executive director Rebecca Bellinger will host a live podcast with The Trade Guys, where trade experts Scott Miller and Bill Reinsch of the Center for Strategic and International Studies break down the buzz around trade, how it affects policy, and how it impacts your day-to-day.

Speaker Bios

Scott Miller

Scott MillerScott Miller is a senior adviser with the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy, focusing on leadership development programs for public- and private-sector executives. From 2012 until 2017, he held the William M. Scholl Chair in International Business at CSIS. The Scholl Chair focuses on key issues in the global economy, such as international trade, investment, competitiveness, and innovation. From 1997 to 2012, Miller was director for global trade policy at Procter & Gamble, a leading consumer products company. In that position, he was responsible for the full range of international trade, investment, and business facilitation issues for the company. He led many campaigns supporting U.S. free trade agreements and has been a contributor to U.S. trade and investment policy over many years. Miller is a member of the State Department’s advisory committee on international economic policy. Earlier in his career, he was a manufacturing, marketing, and government relations executive for Procter & Gamble in the United States and Canada.

William Alan Reinsch

William Alan ReinschWilliam Reinsch holds the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and is a senior adviser at Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP. Previously, he served for 15 years as president of the National Foreign Trade Council, where he led efforts in favor of open markets, in support of the Export-Import Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation, against unilateral sanctions, and in support of sound international tax policy, among many issues. From 2001 to 2016, he concurrently served as a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, teaching courses in globalization, trade policy, and politics.

Reinsch also served as the undersecretary of commerce for export administration during the Clinton administration. Prior to that, he spent 20 years on Capitol Hill, most of them as senior legislative assistant to the late Senator John Heinz (R-PA) and subsequently to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV). He holds a BA and an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies respectively.

March 25, 2021

Event Highlights & Video: Closing the Gender Gap in the Global Economy

Join the Center for Global Business and executive director Rebecca Bellinger for a conversation about making strides to position women for success in the global economy. Hear from women leaders of global organizations that drive change, influence policy, and create programs to close the gender gap and support women in the workforce.

Download speaker bios: Closing the Gender Gap in the Global Economy.

The Global Shakeout: Global Trends 2020-25

February 8, 2021

Join the Center for Global Business and academic director, Kislaya Prasad for a discussion with Erik Peterson on the five significant trends that will dramatically shape the global outlook and operating environment. Trends include embattled governments, a push to national self-sufficiency, stranded segments of society, a rise in food insecurity, and industry consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions. Read the full report: Global Trends 2020-25.

Global Trade in the New Year

The Center for Global Business and Kislaya Prasad, academic director, hosted a conversation with two trade experts about the global trade outlook for 2021, specifically how the post-Covid environment, vaccine distribution, and a new U.S. administration will impact global trade.

Global Competencies for the 21st Century Workplace

The Center for Global Business held its annual Distinguished Speakers Series in International Business during International Education Week on "Global Competencies for the 21st Century Workplace". Smith School alumni discussed the importance of a global mindset in today's business environment.

Catherine Mann, Global Chief Economist at Citibank

The Center for Global Business and Academic Director Kislaya Prasad hosted a conversation with Catherine Mann, global chief economist at Citibank, on Thursday, October 15, 2020. The conversation centered on how the COVID-19 global pandemic has affected the global economy and what an economic recovery could look like in a post-pandemic world, specifically focusing on the relationship between fiscal and monetary policy and how these policies contribute to bolstering private sector activity.

EY CEO on How to Build, Think and Be in the New Economy

A commitment to seeking digital solutions, investing in technology and putting people first isn’t just how EY has weathered the global health crisis and ensuing economic upheaval. It’s part of the strategy that young people hoping to make a difference in the corporate workforce should embrace, the CEO and global chairman of the powerhouse professional services firm told a Maryland Smith audience on Sept. 8, 2020.

Global Trade During COVID 19: WTO Response

Kislaya Prasad, academic director of the Center for Global Business hosted Emmanuelle Ganne of the World Trade Organization to discuss the "Global Trade During COVID 19: WTO Response." Topics discussed included how global trade has been impacted by the pandemic, WTO's responses worldwide, tools it has to support the economic recovery, and how countries are thinking about the future of trade, through the lens of an expert from the WTO.

Women Know Global: A Conversation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce President

In conversation with Suzanne Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in celebration of Women’s History Month at Maryland Smith. Focus is on the U.S. Chamber’s goals for global trade and new workforce development initiatives, Clark’s career path, and the challenges and opportunities for women in international business.

Year-Ahead Predictions 2020, the A.T. Kearney Report

Kislaya Prasad, academic director of CGB and Erik Peterson, partner and managing director of the global business policy council at A.T. Kearney, have a discussion on the ten significant trends and events that will impact the global business environment this year. Access the report.

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