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Senior Research Scholars

Iain Thornton Christie

Private Sector Development and Tourism

Mr. Christie is a Senior Research Scholar and lecturer at The George Washington University and, prior to 1999, was a manager and adviser at the World Bank. He consults on tourism and enterprise development for strategic growth and economic diversification for public and private sector groups. He led preparation of the World Bank’s Africa private sector strategy in 1997, its framework paper “Tourism In Africa” in 2000 and regularly publishes on tourism issues. Mr. Christie joined the World Bank in 1972 as a financial analyst and has covered tourism, infrastructure, finance and enterprise development. Mr. Christie has been a hotel manager (US and Europe), assistant professor at Michigan State University and a management consultant in New York City. He attended Strathclyde University, Scotland, and has graduate degrees in economics and business from New York and Michigan State Universities, respectively.

Stephen J. Hiemstra

Senior Research Fellow

Stephen J. Hiemstra, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Scholar with the Master of Tourism Administration Program at The George Washington University. Steve is a marketing economist and Professor Emeritus from the Hospitality and Tourism Department at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, where he was Director of their Ph.D. Program for a decade. He taught Economics of Tourism, Hospitality and Tourism Marketing, and Food Purchasing at Purdue for many years. Prior to that, Steve was with the U.S. Department of Agriculture working for the Food and Nutrition Service as Assistant to the Administrator in charge of evaluating the USDA food programs: Food Stamps, Child Nutrition Programs and the WIC Program. Previously, he was with the Economic Research Service where he authored the National Food Situation and did food price, food consumption, and food demand analysis for a decade. He has his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and attended the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, CA.

Geoffrey H. Lipman

Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization

Geoffrey Lipman is Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization. He is Chair of Green Globe 21 the responsible/sustainable tourism group and of Green Global Village (GGV) its consultancy arm. He is President of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) - a platform connecting socially responsible tourism organizations & people, focusing on poverty alleviation through Tourism, particularly in Africa. He has served as Tourism Envoy for the Administrator of the UNDP and is Tourism Advisor to the Commonwealth & the World Economic Forum. He is a Board Member of Great Canadian Railway Company.

Between 1990 and 1999 he was the first President of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global business leaders forum and prior to that Chief of Staff and Head of Government Affairs at IATA.

He has written and lectured around the world on tourism strategy, sustainability and airline liberalization, co-authored books on opening up European Aviation and established a Think Tank on Free Trade in the Air. He was a member of 2 European Union High Level Commissions - on Airline Liberalization and on Tourism Employment as well as a member of the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Development. He is a Member of the President of Zambia’s Business Advisory Council and the Ethiopia Think Tank and Senior Research Scholar at The George Washington University in the US.

Kesh Prasad

Hospitality Management Consultant

Since 2004, Kesh Prasad has been the Executive in Residence at GWU's Business School, Master of Tourism Administration Program, and has conducted graduate level courses in Hotel Brand Management and Tourism Marketing.

He has had vast experience in managing, teaching and consulting, having held senior management positions in manufacturing and hospitality in the US and India. For many years he was with Promus Hotels (now Hilton Hotels) based in Memphis, TN where he was a member of the market information and strategy team supporting leading hotel brands such as: Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites. Later he became Director, Hotel Practice at J. D. Power and Associates in Los Angeles, CA and after that Vice President, Opinion Research Corporation, Princeton, NJ. His is a consultant to National Geographic and a couple of software companies. He began his career as a member of the faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India after receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Alvin Rosenbaum

International Tourism Development

Mr. Rosenbaum is a Senior Visiting Scholar at The George Washington University and is Senior Tourism Fellow in Residence at the Citizens Development Corps. He is former CEO of the National Center for Heritage Development and was president of the National Coalition of Heritage Areas. He serves as a tourism a advisor on various international development teams, including assignments in the Balkans, Euasia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Mr. Rosenbaum has worked extensively on public affairs, heritage development and cultural tourism projects as a consultant in the United States and abroad for more than thirty years. He lectures widely and is the author of several books, including Usonia: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Design for America and White House Christmas, both published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Luis Ernesto Simo

Deputy Minister Luis Simo, an experienced journalist and marketer, was born in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He attended Arizona State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Broadcasting. He holds an Associate Degree in Architecture from Colegio Tecnologico de la Comunidad of San Juan, Puerto Rico and received art training from the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena and the New York School of Visual Arts.

He has a Master Degree in Marketing from University Unapec in Santo Domingo and extensive business training from Open University in Santo Domingo and is currently finishing his Masters in Tourism Management from the Universidad Operta de Cataluna.

Mr.Simo has been the Editor in Chief of several Dominican tourism magazines. He has been president of the National Association of Travel Writers as well as Vice President of the Latin American Federation of Travel Writers. He has been CEO of two communications companies, Media, S.A. and CLS Communications. He also speaks English, Italian, French and German.

In his role as Deputy Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic in charge of International Relations, he has been Vice President of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and as of today, is the Vice President of the Special Committee on Sustainable Tourism of the Association of Caribbean States. He presided over the Evaluation Committee for Projects of the Special Tourism Committee of the Organization of American States as well as been Vicepresident of the Regional Commission for the Americas of the World Tourism Organization.

In his government role, he is also in charge of the community tourism development projects of the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic.

Scott Wayne

Principal, SW Associates

Scott Wayne is a Senior Research Scholar and lecturer at George Washington University and Principal of SW Associates, a Washington, DC-based consultancy focused on sustainable development through tourism. He consults on sustainable tourism development in Europe, Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and Latin America for USAID, the World Bank, NGOs and private sector clients. Prior to 2002, he directed the North America office of the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council and was Chief of Communications for the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization. He was also the Vice President of an internet travel venture and worked for Lonely Planet and Sierra Club Books as author of seven travel books and an Egyptian Arabic phrasebook. Scott has a BS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and an MS from the Schools of Public Policy and International Relations at the University of Southern California.