Dr. Ramakrishna Sithanen

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Dr. Ramakrishna Sithanen Former Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, Mauritius

Rama Sithanen’s professional career of almost 40 years is split among public sector, private sector and international consultancy and advisory work. He has held senior positions in the private sector as an economist, a partner in a consulting firm and a group strategist in a large conglomerate in Mauritius.

He was Minister of Finance between 1991 and 1995 and was instrumental in shaping policies to diversify the economy and laid the foundation for the emergence of Mauritius as an international financial centre.

He has acted as an international consultant and an adviser, working in Africa and the Indian Ocean, advising Governments and public sector bodies on public policies.

He was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance between 2005 and 2010. He introduced bold institutional, policy and fiscal reforms that turned around the economy and moved Mauritius from dependence on trade preferences to global competitiveness.

He worked as Director of Strategy at the African Development Bank in Tunis, Tunisia in 2011.

Since 2011, he is Chairman and Director of International Financial Services, one of the largest management companies in Mauritius, engaged in providing fund administration services for capital market and private equity/venture capital funds to global corporates and institutions.

He was Chairman of the Rwanda Development Board between 2013 and 2017.

He was adviser to the Government of Rwanda and tax, competitiveness and financial services issues between 2013 and 2015.

He is Chairperson of 4 Sights, a fourth industrial revolution technology company that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and operates in many countries.

He also chairs Thomas Cook (Mauritius), a company engaged in foreign exchange transactions and tourism –related activities.

He also sits on other corporate boards.

He was chosen by the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum in 1994, as one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow for contribution in both the public and the private sectors at the age of 40.

He was bestowed with the highest mark of distinction of Grand Commander of the Star and Key (GCSK) in 2009 for contribution in the economic and political fields.

He speaks, reads, writes and understands English and French.

Dr Sithanen holds a BSc Economics (with First Class Honours), an MSc Economics (with a Mark of Distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a PhD in Political Science from Brunel University, UK.

Gerald Lawless

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Gerald Lawless WTTC Ambassador Former Chairman of WTTC
Former President & Group CEO of Jumeirah Group

Gerald Lawless started his career with Forte Hotels which culminated in him setting up and growing Forte’s operations in the Middle East.

After a 23-year career with Forte Hotels, he joined Jumeirah in 1997 and helped establish it as one of the premier luxury hotel brands in the world. Taking on the challenge of launching Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel, after the successful introduction of Jumeirah Beach Hotel to an eager travelling public, Mr. Lawless went on to become President
& Group Chief Executive Officer of the Jumeirah Group.

At the beginning of 2016, having served for 18 years at the helm of the Jumeirah Group, Mr. Lawless assumed a new leadership position responsible for tourism and hospitality in Dubai Holding, the Group’s parent company. He is also Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Gerald is a Graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland and holds an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management by the Johnson & Wales University, State of Rhode Island, USA; an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the National University of Ireland, Galway; and an Honorary Doctorate by the Middlesex University Dubai. He is a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Mobility of the World Economic Forum; a fellow member of the Institute of Hospitality; and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

Mr. Lawless also served as Chancellor of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and is an Honourary President of the Jumeirah Group.

Recipient of the 2017 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.

Anita Mendiratta

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Anita Mendiratta Founder & President CACHET Consulting

A trusted and respected strategic advisor and six-time author in Tourism & Development, London-based Anita Mendiratta is the Founder and President of CACHET CONSULTING. With over two decades of global professional working and living experience, Anita has developed an innate ability to feel the ‘heartbeat’ of societies – the economic, social, political, cultural and environmental dynamics impacting and inspiring nations facing change, making her highly sought after strategist & advisor in the areas of national growth, development, and often, recovery.

Alongside her business leadership, Anita is also honoured to hold roles including:

  • Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the UNWTO
  • Strategic partner to the WORLD BANK GROUP, IATA, ATAG and the WTTC
  • Lead consultant of CNN International’s T.A.S.K. GROUP

With an international reputation as a confidante at the highest levels, Anita has become a sought after speaker, moderator, facilitator, Board member and coach for leaders and nations across the globe.

Nisha Amb

ITIC 2018 Park Lane London
Nisha Amb CEO, Elevated Consultancy and Advisor to Bhutan

Nisha is a tourism practitioner, consultant, corporate trainer and higher education academic with more than 25 years extensive management experience in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the area of tourism and has published book chapters, research publications and conference papers. Nisha has also published tourism industry based research to enable partners to make sense of current developments and assess new market opportunities.

As a tourism practitioner, Nisha has been involved in tourism product development, sales & marketing, customer relationship management and MICE. Currently, Nisha is engaged in regional consultancy work in the area of tourism development in developing countries that includes Sri Lanka, Bhutan & Vietnam. She has provided marketing and management consul to destination marketing companies and tourism SMEs to develop long term strategic plans in light of the global changes and challenges. Nisha has also been involved in capacity planning and development of tourism workforce to enhance the quality of service provision in Singapore and emerging tourism markets. She has extensively trained and developed travel intermediaries, tourism boards and hotel employees. Capitalising on her tourism experience and knowledge, Nisha has been invited as a keynote speaker, subject matter expert and panellist for conferences and seminars in Singapore and the region. In recognition of her dedication and professionalism, Nisha has received several accolades from national agencies and international universities.

Francois Baird

ITIC 2018 Park Lane London
Francois Baird Founder & Chairman Baird CMC

François Baird is a founder and chairman of Baird’s CMC Ltd, Baird’s US LLC and Calbridge (Pty) Ltd. Baird’s CMC is an international communications management consultancy with 34 partners in 17 countries who employ about 500 people. He is also the founder of the FairPlay anti-dumping trade movement.

François consults internationally on issues, communication and strategy to clients across the world in the USA, Africa, India, Europe and the Middle East. His specialties are market entry strategies, public affairs, corporate reputation risk assessment and management, communication strategy and crisis management. He consults to governments, international institutions and companies.

He has a special interest in developing countries and institutions and has advised the Rectors of Stellenbosch University (Brink and Botman) and the Chancellor of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Botha). François is a Board member of the University of Pretoria Centre for Communication and Reputation Management and the Child Witness Foundation. He serves on the Board of the Presidential Precinct and is an advisor to its Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI) program.

He has a long track record in advising boards and top management, advising state owned enterprises, financial institutions and technology companies, among many others.

He has worked in Africa outside South Africa since 1988. Over the years he has managed election campaigns for President Chiluba of Zambia, for President Chissano in Mozambique and advised on election campaigns invarious other African countries.

François is an American citizen who was born in South Africa, grew up on a farm in its Northwest province, started his career on the gold mines, attained a degree in international politics and political science at the University of Pretoria, served as a commissioned officer in the SA Air Force and founded his own business in 1987, following various corporate management positions at Gold Fields of SA, Small Business Development Corporation and Sappi, the South African multi-national forestry products company. He is also emeritus Chairman, Africa of Daniel J Edelman Inc.”

Jeremy Jauncey

ITIC 2018 Park Lane London
Jeremy Jauncey CEO Beautiful Destinations

Jeremy is a serial entrepreneur, investor and social media expert having spent over 10 years in the digital advertising industries.

He is the Founder & CEO of Beautiful Destinations. Voted by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2017, Beautiful Destinations is the award-winning creative agency behind the world’s largest tourism community on social media. Every day over 20million people in 180 countries turn to Beautiful Destinations on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube & Weibo to be inspired about travel & tourism. He has a background in elite sport, having represented Scotland at rugby whilst at school and has served on the Board of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), as a dealmaker for UK Trade & Investment’s Global Entrepreneur Program, is a fellow of the British American Project and ambassador for the World Wildlife Foundation.

Derek Moore

ITIC 2018 Park Lane London
Derek Moore Chairman AITO

After a brief career as a teacher Derek Moore worked for some 13 years as a Tour Leader leading group tours for various overland and safari companies before co-founding Explore Worldwide, one of the earliest adventure travel companies. He was Operations Director at Explore for some 20 years, developing itineraries and programmes in most parts of the world and seeing changes in the group tour sector over those years.

After selling Explore he became Chairman of AITO, and additionally now presents seminars and training sessions for tourist boards and DMCs on aspects of marketing and promoting niche tourism products. In his spare time he plays golf and music, although accuracy is a feature of neither.

Thebe Ikalafeng

ITIC 2018 Park Lane London
Thebe Ikalafeng Founder & CEO Brand Africa

Thebe Ikalafeng has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African Magazine and worked with over 100 diverse brands in the public and private sector across every region in Africa. He is the founder of Brand Leadership, an award-winning brand and reputation advisory firm, Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the most referenced research and ranking of brands in Africa and Public Sector Excellence, an initiative to research and recognise excellence in the public sector.

A Fellow of the Institute of Directors, he is deputy chairman of South African Tourism and non-executive director of Mercantile Bank Holdings, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and JSE listed Cartrack Group. In a distinguished corporate and consulting career which started in brand management at Colgate Palmolive in New York and concluded as marketing director for Nike for the Africa region, he has won over 75 industry awards globally. He has served on all notable industry bodies, including as the founding deputy chairman of the Brand Council of Southern Africa (2011-2013) and chairman of the Loeries advertising awards (2001-2003), judged major industry awards globally, including the prestigious Red Dot design awards in Germany (2014-2017) and St. Gallen Wings of Excellence in Switzerland (2015-2017).

Widely recognized across Africa, he has co-hosted the CNBC Africa Marketing, Media and Money Show, and has been featured or quoted in respected media such as CNN, BBC, CNBCAfrica, FT, African Business and New African. He writes, speaks and counsels leaders and organizations globally on branding, reputation management and related matters across Africa.

Ikalafeng holds BSc and MBA degrees from Marquette University (USA), completed executive education at Wits Business School and Harvard Business School, and is a Chartered Marketer (SA). A well-travelled adventurer, he has been to over 70 countries globally, summited the highest mountains in Africa (Mt. Kilimanjaro) and Europe (Mt. Elbrus), jumped off the world’s highest bungy (216m) at Bloukrans Bridge (South Africa), travelled to the furthest south point in Africa where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, in between paragliding, skydiving and other daring adventures around the world.

Prof. Lee Miles

ITIC 2018 Park Lane London
Prof. Lee Miles Professor of Crisis & Disaster Management Bournemouth University

Lee Miles is the Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management at Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC), which has an international reputation for excellence in the provision of disaster management education, training and technical assistance. He is also a Professor of Political Science at Karlstad University in Sweden. Lee is a distinguished scholar, being awarded his first Professorial title in 2006, and now having held Professorships at four universities in the UK and Sweden: (Liverpool (2006-2009), Karlstad (2009 – ), Loughborough (2011-2015) and now Bournemouth (2015 – ), and twice being awarded the prestigious title of Jean Monnet Professor in 2003 (Hull) and 2004 (Liverpool) by the European Commission for his work on EU crisis management.

Lee has authored and/ or edited some 15 books, written over 90 publications, and successfully completed over 20 externally funded research project in the last 20 years, attracting competitive funding from international institutions, such as, the United Nations, European Union, the Nordic Council of Ministers and NATO, as well as national governments, research councils, regional authorities and private business in Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and the UK. He has also worked extensively with private enterprise, and recently participated in the ‘Hotel Resilient’ (2016) pilot study investigating minimum international standards for hotels and resorts under the auspices of UNISDR, GIDRM and PATA.

Lee’s is presently researching the relationship between innovation and resilience in successful crisis and disaster management, and particularly the impact of policy entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in determining effective international crisis and disaster management, with a specific emphasis on developing concepts of ‘entrepreneurial resilience’. He is also involved in several projects examining the role of communication strategies, gaming, exercising and simulations in crisis and disaster management and their place in aiding understanding of how to be more resilient when handling disasters in theory and in practice.