Dr. Mitchell is an author, consultant, and assistant professor of international business and strategy at Drake University. He also serves as the executive editor of the journal International Business: Research, Teaching, and Practice and is the chair of the largest national chapter of the Academy of International Business. He holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from Rollins College and a Ph.D. in International Business from the University of South Carolina—the world’s leading program in international business. His research investigates the relationship between firm strategy politics and religion in different global markets. He has written many conference papers, book chapters, and journal articles on these topics. For example, his most recent research projects have investigated 1) the returns of conventional vs. Sharia-compliant stock indices, 2) the interpretation of intellectual property protection efforts by religious communities in East Asia, and 3) the evolution of the life insurance industries in India and China among others. Matthew has traveled, lived, and worked in more than 75 countries and has been invited as a consultant and guest lecturer at companies, NGOs, and universities around the world.



Dr. Kappen holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude from Beloit College in International Relations and Modern Languages, an MBA in International Business and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Organization Studies from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. He has spent ten years working with companies from start-ups to the Fortune 100, which included over three years working and studying in Europe and South America. An assistant professor at Drake University, he is currently working on research examining integration efforts among emerging markets such as the BRICS, transnational institutions and governance, and the role of language and conflict resolution in multinational firms.




Kavi has spent the majority of his career as a strategy advisor and consultant to private and public sector organizations supporting them with the development and execution of their global growth strategies. Kavi’s sector expertise include financial services, energy, FMCG, and the non-profit sector. His regional expertise are focused in high growth markets, especially the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to transitioning into an advisory role, Kavi was in the investment banking industry. His research interests are at the intersection of faith, finance and impact, with a specific focus on asset management for faith and values based investors. Kavi is also a Partner in Impact Investment Partners, a London based, FCA regulated asset management and investment advisory company, and a Co-Founder of Growmada, a fintech platform focused on scaling social enterprises. Kavi holds a B.A. in Economics, History, and Political Science from Drake University, a Masters in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.



Christianna holds a BA in Marketing and Business Administration, a Diploma in Teaching from St. Michael’s College in Vermont, USA and is a US Certified life-coach and mentor (CTI). She has 23 years of work experience, which include development, management, and oversight of international concepts and brands, as well as corporate and private events internationally; from the Middle East to Asia, Europe and the USA. Since moving to the UAE in 2004, and until 2010, Christianna managed an international portfolio of Islamic Finance events, which brought together leading Scholars, experts and practitioners from around the world and were established as the go-to events for the industry.

In 2011 and for a period of fours years, she Co-Founded and acted as Managing Partner for INNOVERTO, a corporate training and event management company also based in the UAE, with an extensive portfolio of international (exclusive) certifications and high profile events across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

Christianna joined the B|G team in early 2016 in the role of Regional Lead for EMEA, capitalizing on her expertise in advising international organizations on marketing and business development activities in multicultural markets and with the responsibility of building the firm’s regional network and business.

In parallel, her entrepreneurial nature led her to create a new business concept, The Gift Concierge, which, while still a start up, has already turned into a very promising venture.

Christianna is the UAE Chapter Chair for Educate Girls Globally (EGG), a non profit organization dedicated to ensuring education for underprivileged girls in developing countries, where she overseas and drives the event and fund-raising activities. She is also an active supporter of the “Growing Leaders Foundation” and “Emfasis Foundation” and has a very extensive and active Corporate Social Responsibility activity in both the Middle East and Europe. She spent her childhood in Jeddah, KSA and has been a resident of the UAE for the last 13 years.