Cynthia began her career after law school as a political officer with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was posted to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as a diplomat, an experience which spurred an abiding love for the Arab world.
After completing a master’s degree in Middle Eastern politics at the University of London’s School of Asian and African Studies (SOAS), Cynthia crossed over to the private sector and became a management consultant. She completed consulting engagements with Adam Smith International, BearingPoint (KPMG consulting) and Grant Thornton in the UK, the United States, Iraq, Pakistan, the UAE, and Jordan.
Most recently, Cynthia served as the first female CEO of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a peak level trade organization in Australia, where she led a complete branding and strategic reorganization.
As Managing Director at Dearin & Associates, Cynthia specializes in business consulting services, business matching and government relations, with a focus on the Middle East & North Africa. She also lectures at the La Trobe Law School in Melbourne.
Cynthia commentates on topics associated with international trade, the Middle East and North Africa. She is the author of Camels, Sheikhs and Billionaires: Your Guide to the Business Culture of the Middle East and North Africa and the host of the Business Beyond Borders podcast. She speaks English, French and Arabic.
International Procurement Expert
Peter Evans is an international procurement expert and the founder of Mawson Global, a global procurement consulting firm. He has had extensive international experience in many areas of strategic business growth.
He has worked with senior executives with some of the world’s largest global supply chain experts like Walmart Stores International, Aldi Stores, Woolworths and also many Australian small and mid market businesses.
He has been responsible for the establishment and management of factories in China and Vietnam and sales teams in Asia and North America.
He brings real world experience and pragmatic, affordable solutions to help businesses “buy better” or “sell more” to improve their profitability in Asia.
Senior Consultant, Europe and the US
Luca is a management consultant and marketing professional with over 15 years experience in numerous sectors in Europe, the US and Australia. He founded and managed a luxury goods export business based in Florence, was Head of Marketing for an international jewelry company in Australia and is now General Manager of a Sydney based marketing consulting business. His main areas of expertise are sales and marketing strategy, strategic planning and execution, financial analysis, brand development and management, and cultural alignment. Although he consults across various sectors, his main expertise is in luxury and lifestyle goods/services
Luca holds a Bachelor of Science in International Relations and Politics, and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Southampton in the UK. He is also a recipient of the ECIS Award for International Understanding. His passion for strategic marketing is contagious and his knowledge and experience in international business are extensive.
Connect with Luca via LinkedIn.
Middle East Energy Specialist
Michael Barron has more than 25 years experience analysing, living and working in the Middle East and North Africa including engagement at the highest levels of government. He has more than 12 years experience working as a government and public affairs manager for the major gas company BG Group with assignments in Egypt, Oman and on the Gaza Marine project. Michael studied Arabic at the University of Edinburgh, including spending time in Cairo. He has also worked for Middle East Broadcasting, Control Risks Group and Eurasia Group.
At BG Group, Michael also gained experience in South East Asia. He was a member of the project team for Myanmar country entry from the first visit to the country through to submission of a successful bid for four blocks in the 2013 offshore license round. He also undertook a short term assignment in Bangkok providing government relations support for a proposed major business change and advocating for increased transparency in the upstream oil and gas sector.
Michael also has an in depth knowledge of transparency issues, particularly the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and EU legislation in this area. He managed this issue for BG Group, chaired an industry task force and served as an industry representative on the UK’s EITI multi-stakeholder group.
Michael has particular expertise in government relations strategies to manage complex issues such as country entry (and exit), major negotiations and disputes and navigating through complex political situations.
Stacey Martin is known as a strategic connector. She founded the Expat Advisors Community network for professionals with internationally connected clients, a platform for financial and professional services ongoing business engagement with Asia.
With a Wealth Advisory career spanning twenty years providing financial strategy and investment advice to Company Directors, executives and SME’s, increasing global mobility saw the development of a niche in cross-jurisdictional wealth planning. Her paper “How to maximise offshore assignments: Financial strategies for Australian expatriates” highlights issues to consider prior to departure, whilst offshore and importantly repatriating wealth for return.
Today, Stacey assists companies looking to do business in China to navigate culture, facilitate strategic connections and provide professional services introductions.
International Business Advisor, San Francisco
Jemima Riley is an international business and marketing consultant specialising in emerging markets, including the Middle East, China, and Indonesia.
She has worked across a range of international consulting projects, including food and beverage market access to Indonesia, investor relations and business development in China, and strategic business connections programs between Australia and the Gulf States.
She was the Project Director of the 2014 and 2015 Australian Arab Business Forum, and previously managed the NSW Chapter of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI).
She holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics from Macquarie University, and a Masters of Commerce, majoring in International Business from the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
Program Manager and Executive Assistant to the Managing Director
Ghenwa joined Dearin & Associates in 2014 as a Marketing and Communications Intern, where she worked across a range of marketing projects including the 2014 Qatar International Businesswomen’s Forum and the 2015 Australian Arab Businesswomen’s Forum. She re-joined the team in 2016 as an Executive and Marketing Assistant to the Managing Director, and became a Program Manager in 2017.
Ghenwa is of Lebanese origin, having been born in Beirut and raised in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, where she acquired her High School Diploma from the International School of Choueifat. She continued her Education in Beirut at the Lebanese American University (LAU), completing a Bachelor Degree in Business Marketing and a Masters of Business Administration in Management and Marketing.
She worked at the Lebanese American University (LAU) as a Graduate and Academic Assistant in the Department of Economics and Finance. Ghenwa was also a part time Marketing Instructor at the Arts Sciences and Technology University in Lebanon (AUL) where she taught Consumer Behavior. She has four years of banking experience in Bankmed - Lebanon as a Customer Service Representative and has successfully completed the Lebanese Financial Regulations exam held by Banque du Liban (Central Bank of Lebanon)
International Business Advisor, Perth
Maher is an International Business Advisor focused on Brand Development and Customer Relationship Management. Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia and having lived in the Middle East for seven years, he is experienced in dealing with people of different cultures and backgrounds. He has a passion for designing marketing strategies that reflect these differences when helping businesses expand into the international market.
Having started his career in Management, he also has a wealth of knowledge in directing both teams and individuals towards a common goal whilst being highly results driven. After joining GlobalTech as a Marketing Coordinator his love for Branding and New Product Development became more evident. This experience allowed him to realise his own desire to assist business owners create success through the implementation of the most suitable and effective plans and strategies, giving them a far more risk-free approach when looking to grow and expand on a global scale.
Maher has a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring in Marketing from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and has taken part in a number of Business Mastermind Groups to further develop his ability to assist businesses as they move onwards and upwards. He speaks English and Arabic.
Marketing and Research Assistant
Masa Tuffaha is an international business professional, specialising in project management and research.
Masa started her research experience in 2009 as an awareness employee at Palestine Capital Market Authority (PCMA) (Insurance Directorate), where she developed a consumer awareness
strategy based on customer needs assessment, and research.
She then worked in project management during her career at the Palestine Ministry of Foreign Affairs (International Cooperat for managing). Here she was responsible for managing a number of projects within the Ministry, in collaboration with other line ministries, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.
In 2013, she moved to Perth, Australia where she obtained her Master’s degree in International Business from Curtin University, and has been living in Australia since then.
Her research interest focuses on international consumer behaviours, international HR practices, and international market research.
She speaks fluent Arabic, English and some French. She also holds a Bachelor of Public Administration from Birzeit University.