Kathleen Brush Women in Leadership Program


Kathleen Brush, Ph.D. is a global leadership and business consultant. Her Ph.D. is in management and international studies. She has more than 20 years of experience as a senior executive (CEO, GM and CMO) for companies of all sizes, public and private, foreign and domestic. She has been conducting business internationally since 1988.

Kathleen is also a writer. Her articles and interviews have been published by CNBC, Fox Business, the Washington Post, Newsweek Japan, Cio.com, The Street, Financial Times China, Bloomberg Business Week, Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Training Magazine. Her books include Watch Your Back and The Power of One: you’re the boss. In 2018 the first book in a series called The World Made Easy will be published, and in 2018/2019 Advantage Women: Women in Leadership will be published.

Mehran Basiratmaud, Ph.D. is the Chief Technology Officer at Florida Atlantic University. He is responsible for the strategic and operational planning of FAU Data Center, academic and High-performance computing, mission-critical applications (including Blackboard and Banner ERP), business intelligence and reporting, middleware including directory services and application integration), cloud-based applications, identity management team, database team including support for Oracle, ODS and MS SQL as well as Communication Infrastructure. Mehran earned his doctorate degree in Higher Education Leadership at Florida Atlantic University focusing on organizational transformation. He has a Master of Science Degree in Computing from Barry University and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from FIU in Miami, Florida. He has successfully completed Certificate in Systems Dynamic from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Certificate in Project Management from University of Miami, and Certificate from Educause Leadership Institute in Colorado.

Kevin Cox, Ph.D., Kevin Cox has a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Kevin received his degree in Management, with minor in Entrepreneurship as well as a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida. Currently, he serves as the Assistant Director for the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship at FAU, Entrepreneurship Professor, instructor for the new venture accelerator at FAU’s Tech Runway, instructor for FAU’s entrepreneurship bootcamp, manager/instructor for FAU’s Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program, and Faculty Adviser for FAU’s student entrepreneurship club, Owls Inc. To date Kevin has taught, mentored, and worked with over a hundred startups providing expert advice and consultation support the survival, growth, and performance of these early stage businesses. He has also published multiple research papers and book chapters, as well as dozens of conference papers on entrepreneurship.

Joel M. DiCicco, PhD, CPA, is full-time faculty for FAU's Executive MBA program, as well as adjunct faculty for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Graduate LLM Program.  He is a CPA with over 30 years of practitioner experience in finance, taxation and accounting. Previously, Joel was a program manager for the Internal Revenue Service's Global High Wealth and Financial Products industries. Joel holds the Personal Financial Specialist, Chartered Global Management Accountant, and Certified in Financial Forensics certifications from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Business Certified Appraiser designation from the International Society of Business Appraisers.

Rebekah Dickenson is the Chief Program Officer for the International Center for Emergency Management at Florida Atlantic University. In her role for the university, she also assists with special projects such as the Kathleen Brush Women in Leadership Program. Her role includes coordination the mentorship program.   

Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Economics and is the founder and Director of the Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI) in the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University. Monica’s scholarship focuses on natural disasters and political economy and her research has been published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Public Economics, Canadian Journal of Economics, Public Choice and Southern Economics Journal. She teaches Macroeconomics and Money and Banking.

Monica earned her bachelor’s degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College, her master’s degree from the University of Florida and her Ph.D. in Economics from Florida International University. Prior to joining Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Escaleras was an Assistant Professor at College of Charleston.

Sofia Johan, Ph.D., LL.B, & LL.M, will be joining FAU faculty Fall 2018 in the department of Finance. Sofia is the Extramural Research Fellow at the Tilburg Law and Economics Centre (TILEC) in the Netherlands and also Adjunct Professor with the Schulich School of Business at York University. She is associate editor of the British Journal of Management. Her research is focused on law and finance, sovereign wealth funds, market surveillance, corporate governance, and alternative investments including but not limited to hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, real estate investment trusts, and IPOs. Her research has been published in the American Law and Economics Review, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance, European Financial Management, European Economic Review, and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, among others. She has co-authored the books Venture Capital and Private Equity Contracting, and Hedge Fund Structure, Regulation, and Performance around the World. She has also consulted for a variety of governmental and private organizations in Canada, Australasia, and Europe.

Ting Levy, Ph.D. is a senior instructor of Economics in the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University. Ting's research area is International Trade and International Economic Development. Her research has been published in numerous journals such as International Review of Economics and Finance, International Journal of Economic Theory, The B. E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Theoretical Economics Letters and American Behavioral Scientist. She teaches Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Economic Development, International Trade and Managerial Economics.

Ting earned her bachelor’s degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, her master’s degrees from Carleton University in Canada, University of Florida and her Ph.D. in Economics from University of Florida. 

Karen E. Pfeffer is a leadership expert who was born and raised in Venezuela until the age of 15 by a father from Kansas and a mother from Puerto Rico, giving her a unique cultural mix that has inspired her to challenge stereotypes and capture opportunities. After earning her business degree from Florida Southern College, she entered the male-dominated field of banking and became the first woman president of the Florida Bank Marketing Association. Subsequently, she founded a full-service marketing and advertising agency, which provided a broad range of strategic and creative marketing for local, national and international clients. She also became a certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and was certified in basic and advanced PSYCH-K. In 2006, she co-founded Fire Power Seminars to provide communication, empowerment, team building and transformation programs through high-impact experiences.

Connie Phelan is a breakthrough coach and keynote speaker who has a passion for boldly challenging and helping people and groups achieve positive, lasting change. Connie’s experience playing sports at a national level shaped her lifelong desire to help others build strong teams. She has owned her own printing company and worked in advertising for Fortune 500 companies. She had a life-changing experience when she completed her first firewalk and decided to become a certified firewalk instructor. Subsequently, she founded Fire Power Seminars in 2006 to help people gain awareness of self-limiting beliefs and patterns, and, ultimately, generate successful, long-term changes.

Nancy Proffitt is a nationally recognized business coach, author, and keynote speaker. She is also an adjunct professor at FAU, where she focuses on High-Impact Leadership Development. With 20 years in senior management with FedEx Corporation and over a decade working with business clients, she has earned recognition as a “TOP 100 Leader in Fortune 100 Business.”

Nancy works with clients to prepare effectively for the future, improve employee performance, and create opportunity thinking. She helps individuals and organizations become high-impact leaders, improve corporate culture, drive best practice productivity and increase employee engagement.

Emily Sacks, Ph.D. is a senior instructor in the Business Communication Department at Florida Atlantic University.

Lotus Seeley, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Florida Atlantic University.  Lotus’ research foci are gender, work, and organizations, with an emphasis on the interactional processes through which categorical identities and status structures are (re)produced on a daily basis. Her scholarship is grounded in an understanding of gender as socially-constructed and performative and motivated by a desire to understand the influence of organizational structures on both individual ways of doing gender and general social inequality. Lotus has a Master’s in Women’s Studies from The Ohio State University and earned her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies and Sociology at the University of Michigan in 2016. 

Nina Segura is a strategic management consultant, coach, business owner, and author who works with clients to achieve transformational change. After nearly 20 years at American Express leading global programs, Nina took on the challenge of building her own multi-million dollar company dedicated to keeping billion-dollar companies and their leaders relevant.

Nina is trained as a Co-Active and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Society for Organizational Learning, North America Leadership Graduate and Certified Professional Coach with the International Coach Federation. Additionally, her work includes Everything DiSC suite of products, MBTI® Personality Assessment, Co-Active® Dimensional Leadership Model™ and Leadership SuperPowers™.

Bharti Sharma, Ph.D. is an instructor in Information Technology and Operations Management (ITOM) Department, FAU College of Business. Her Ph.D. is in Electrical Engineering and she has a vast experience teaching both undergraduate and graduate level computer science and information technology courses. Her research and teaching expertise is the field of Business and Data Analytics. On the corporate side, she  worked for 12 years at the Florida Power & Light company as a programmer and business analyst. As an educator she is very passionate regarding student learning and is committed to their success.

Steve Smith, Ph.D. has distinguished himself as an entrepreneur, consultant, and educator. As a management consultant, Dr. Smith has worked with companies such as PA Consulting of London, the BTS Group, AT&T, Sony Corporation, Xerox, Cingular Wireless, Humana, Schroeder Bank of London, Federated Department Stores, Digicel, and Kickstarter. Steve has also worked with a number of start-up businesses in the entertainment, tech, and consumer products industries. He continues to provide consulting services to a select group of clients in his role at the Florida Institute of Finance.

Steve is an Instructor in the Management Programs Department at Florida Atlantic University. His research and teaching are in the fields of strategy and international business. His research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Management and Information Science, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Health Care Manager, Economics of Education Review, and College & Research Libraries.

Alexa Sherr Hartley, J.D., is and adjunct professor at the FAU College of Business and is a business and executive coach. Alexa is a skilled coach, facilitator, and author who has worked with managers, business owners, and professional service providers in both the public and private sectors at a range of leadership levels. Alexa coaches students in the Professional MBA program who are enrolled in the Global Leadership Assessment and Career Development (GLAD) course.

Alexa’s areas of expertise include helping leaders across multiple industries improve motivation and productivity, clarify goals and solutions, refine leadership skills, and enhance career satisfaction and performance.  She presents regularly to audiences at industry and professional associations, business organizations, universities, and via web-based applications.

Ethlyn Williams, Ph.D. is an expert in organizational behavior and human resource management.  Prior to joining the faculty at Florida Atlantic University, she was a member of the faculty at the University of South Florida and at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Ethlyn teaches taught Human Resource Management, Leadership of Teams, Organizational Behavior, Principles of Management, Project Management, and Organizational Theory.

Ethlyn has published book chapters on formal mentoring, psychological contracts, and measurement issues in international research. Her research also appears in the following journals: Academy of Management Journal, Human Relations, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Education, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and The Leadership Quarterly. She is an active member of the Academy of Management, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Southern Management Association.

Confirmed Panelists:

Pat McKay, Partner and Managing Director Templeton & Company;

Deborah Curry, President/CEO of FICPA


All participants will be matched with a C-Suite level mentor and will also be required to become a mentor to an up-and-coming achiever. FAU is currently recruiting very successful executive level mentors to commit to mentoring one to two participants through the duration of the program. If you would like to be considered as a mentor, please contact Paige Garrido at pgarrido@fau.edu.

Kathleen Brush Women in Leadership Program

Program Details

  • Format: Every third Wednesday
  • Dates: Sept. 5, Sept. 26, Oct. 17, Nov. 7, Nov. 28, Dec. 19, Jan. 9, Jan. 30, Feb. 20, Mar. 13, April 3, April 24, 2019
  • Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Hours: 84 Hours - PDUs / 8.4 CEUs
  • Sessions: 12
  • Location: Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Campus
  • Fee: $4,750 - Includes materials, lunch and parking.

Contact Us

Paige Garrido
Program Coordinator

phone: (561) 297-4819
email: pgarrido@fau.edu
map: BU 86 203

© Last Updated8/15/18