Our Mission and Vision
The Professional Development Institute
PDI Inc. is a leader in the creation and delivery of online and face-to-face
learning solutions, skills-development services and cutting-edge products to excel
in three of the critical pillars of sustainable decisions, namely collaborative innovation,
principled and caring team leadership, execution with the details that count.
Available in English, French and Spanish,
our webinars and seminars address these elements and underlying issues, including competitivity, uncertainty, risk, complexity
and ambiguity with unprecedented rigor, agility, novelty,
compassion and an unwavering commitment to eco-responsibility, sustainable development, social and governance goals (SDG/ESG).
Led by Alain Paul Martin
PDI-team comprises professionals whose experience spans across a wide range
of sectors from biotechnology, software development,
banking and strategic communications to education, aerospace, energy, sustainable mining,
R&D management and government (agriculture and food security,
international trade, diplomacy, intelligence, national defence,
emerging transportation technologies).
We are the only organization licensed by Harvard University to create
and deliver Harvard University Global System™
software applications. HUGS is among the propietary
frameworks and instruments we exclusively apply to help our clients innovate and excel in
the performance and productivity of virtual and hybrid teams
in a turbulent environment.
is to facilitate worldwide access to cutting-edge innovation and decision-science
expertise and education, including co-elevating leadership and management,
by pushing the boundaries of innovation and complexity reduction.
Our mission is twofold:
- Coaching and providing leaders with impartial-expert advice;
- Empowering professionals at all levels with proven innovation, team-leadership and execution
skills, universal competencies and practical instruments to excel,
as high achievers.
, we mean the competitive competencies,
skills and best practices essential for today's executives, entrepreneurs,
managers (at all levels), executive assistants and other professionals,
regardless of their role, function and educational background.
These universal competencies
include resilient self-leadership and
exemplary-team leadership, principled negotiation,
collaborative innovation, project and risk management, system thinking, finance,
strategic and operational communications,
time management (including managing virtual teams),
and management of crises (from incubation diagnosis and
communication to resolution). We build on ur expertise in addressing high-severity risks
(climate change, supply-chain and market dislocations, mining, nuclear power, aerospace,
food and airport security, pandemics).
Universal skills not
only complement but also facilitate the mastery of the technical skills
specific to your job.
Tailoring in-house sessions to client needs is among our distinctive strengths.
International Board of Advisors
Excellence, gender parity and global diversity characterize the exclusive membership
of our distinguished
International Board of Independent Advisors comprised of entrepreneurs and
professionals in private equity, finance, economics, governance,
marketing, science (medicine, astrophysics, biotechnology),
IT, diplomacy and government policy.
All members share our vision to democratize exemplary leadership and
management education worldwide, by pushing the boundaries of
innovation and complexity reduction in decision-making.
Mr. Erik Baker
Erik Baker is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of
GF Capital Management & Advisors, LLC
a private equity firm based in New York. He is a member of the firms Private Equity Investment
Committee, where he concentrates on making investments in the media and branded consumer product
sectors. Mr. Baker is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Jonathan Adler, Blue Man Group,
Whalerock Industries and GF Sports Holdings, and was formerly a board member of Airborne, Repucom
and Trade Service.
Prior to co-founding GF Capital in 2001, Mr. Baker served as a Senior Vice President of Arnhold and
S. Bleichroeder ("A&SB"), where he worked in the Corporate Finance department in addition to
managing a number of A&SB corporate development activities. Prior to A&SB, he was an Analyst
with Gleacher & Co., an M&A advisory boutique. Mr. Baker has been a featured speaker at
several private equity conferences.
Mr. Baker graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (B.S. with honors),
and is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at
the University of Pennsylvania.
Ambassador Nouzha Chekrouni
Dr. Nouzha Chekrouni is a Senior Fellow, Advanced Leadership,
at Harvard University, who holds a Doctorate degree and
a post-graduate Diploma in Linguistics, both
from Sorbonne-Nouvelle University in Paris. Her diversified experience
combines six years in diplomacy as Ambassador of Morocco in
Canada and 22 years in academic, political and union leadership,
during which she undertook ground-breaking initiatives in job creation,
social justice and solidarity, both nationally
Ambassador Chekrouni held several Cabinet-Minister
porfolios. As the first woman in the Cabinets
economic domain responsible for the countrys
diaspora affairs, she built strategic levers for
international trade, investment and community relations,
including initiating the consultations that led to the
establishment of Bombardier as an anchor for an aerospace
cluster in Morocco. Dr. Chekrouni was also Minister for the
Advancement Women, Family and Children
Protection, Secretary of State for the Handicapped
and Co-Chair of both
the Immigration and Foreign Relations Committees.
She was a full-Tenured Professor and Chair,
French & Foreign Languages
in the Faculty of Arts & Social
Sciences at the University of Meknès;
Visiting Professor, Middlebury College in
Vermont and Lecturer on Linguistics
at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris.
As a Vice-President, Socialist
International Organization (London, UK), Ambassador
Chekrouni played an active role
on a host of projects and initiatives (geopolitical, human
rights, social justice), all focusing on international,
progressive and innovative solidarity for a more
equitable and fairer world.
Ms. Isabèle Chevalier
Isabèle Chevalier is President of
Bio K+ International Inc.
, a leading
company in the research, innovation, manufacturing and retail of probiotics.
She is an experienced leader in manufacturing, R&D, sales and marketing
in the health food, drug and mass retail sector in Canada and the
United States. Mrs. Chevalier is a woman of passion and determination
who has held all positions in the company and is now driving for its
next level of development.
Bio K+ International grew from 8 employees to over a hundred, and expanded
its market from Québec-based natural-food-stores to a network
of hospitals and clinics, natural-food stores and grocery and pharmacy
chains, across the U.S. and Canada. It owes its success to innovation,
rigor, exemplary leadership and a dedicated professional team.
By continuously pursuing research, optimizing its products quality
and effectiveness, the company gained outstanding results in the fight
against intestinal and infectious diseases and successfully obtained
the first worldwide claim on C. Difficile acquired infections.
Mrs. Chevalier has been involved in every step of the growth
and played an active role in all aspects of the company from accounting
to research, production, sales and marketing, customer service,
IT and distribution. Through time, she has led the strategic vision,
developed and launched product lines, managed and supervised budgets,
timelines and teams both in Canada and the U.S. She ingrained a new
culture of communication within the organization, implemented
training programs, gained new distribution in key markets and
segments, enforced better control systems through implementation
of CRM and Salesforce accountability generating better velocity
Isabèle Chevalier holds a Master's in Management
from the University of Montreal's HEC business school.
Involved in a host of pro-bono activities, she
takes to heart children and health involving herself to make a
difference in peoples lives and in her community.
Professor Emmanuel Duplàa
Dr. Emmanuel Duplàa is a professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa,
specialized in information and communication technology (ICT) for learning.
After earning a BA in mathematics and a masters degree in cognitive sciences,
he completed a PhD in education on the
unconscious dimensions of online relationships in the context of e-Learning.
He participated in different projects on ergonomic design and planning
(Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique in France), on e-learning
(Télécom-ParisTech and Centre dÉtudes Supérieures Industrielles)
and training aspects of
e-Health (TÉLUQ, the distance learning arm of the University of Quebec).
He is currently conducting research at the Faculty of Education on
digital literacy, on design processes in e-learning and on
educational video games (in partnership with the School of Information Technology
Dr. Ismahane Elouafi
Dr. Ismahane Elouafi is the Director General of the
International Center for
Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA)
, a cutting-edge
research organization with a team of international scientists conducting
applied R&D to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability
in marginal and saline environments. Previously, Dr. Elouafi was Director of
the Research Management and Partnerships Division at the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Deputy Minister
of Research at the Federal Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) in Canada.
She has also worked as a scientist with Japan International Research Center
for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), the International Center for Agricultural
Research and Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the International Maize and Wheat Center (CIMMYT).
Dr. Elouafi holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from Cordoba University (Spain) and has
a passion for science, its leadership and management and its integration with policy.
She considers science as fundamental to decisions and sustainable-development
plans necessary to achieve the innovations and efficiencies to alleviate discrimination and poverty.
Dr. Elouafi is a recipient of many international awards, including the Excellence
in Science award from the Global Thinkers Forum (2014), and the National
Reward Medal by His Majesty Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco (2014).
In 2014, Muslim Science ranked Dr. Elouafi among the 20 Most Influential
Women in Science in the Islamic World under the Shapers category, and
the CEO-Middle East Magazine listed her among the World's 100 Most
Powerful Arab Women in the Science category.
Professor Jean-François Geneste
A mathematician, a physicist and a broad-spectrum engineer,
Professor Geneste spent 33 years in the aerospace field,
including writing the satellite roadmap for Astrium
Telecommunications, before being appointed Chief Scientific
Director of Airbus Group, a position he held for 10 years.
In this role, he was in charge of the group's
overall scientific roadmap for 20 years and beyond. He was also
responsible for the careers of the overall Airbus Group's
technical experts and their recruitment.
Throughout his experience before and at the Airbus Group,
Professor Geneste has proven his ability
to address deep and complex problems in diverse areas to
the satisfaction of key stakeholders: clients, shareholders
peers and other stakeholders, including the supply chains and other
organizations. He has designed and produced a host of exceptional
and disruptive prototypes; sold them to clients; and been recognized
both as an outstanding scientist and an opinion leader.
Among his unclassified achievements, he designed tropospheric
and stratospheric airships, a new launcher and a stratospheric
platform. He also studied indepth the fractionating of satellites
and the issue of "responsive space".
Jean-François Geneste was also invited for two years,
as an international
expert and professor of innovation and entrepreneurship,
to the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
(founded, in Moscow, in collaboration with the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology).
Dr. Reyes Tamez Guerra
Dr. Reyes Tamez Guerra is a leading scientist and an international authority on education and
leadership. A 2012 Harvard Fellow in Advanced Leadership. Dr. Tamez served as Secretary
of Education both in the national cabinet of President Vincente Fox and for the State of Nuevo
León where he also was President of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL).
A recipient of the Jorge Rosenkranz National Prize in Medical Research, Dr. Tamez
co-authored two immunochemistry books, has presented over 120 papers at national and
international conferences and has published over 30 articles in several national and
Dr. Tamez graduated from the Autonomous University of Nuevo
León with a bachelors in Chemistry, Biology and
Parasitology and received both a masters degree and
a doctorates in immunology at the National Polytechnic
Institute (IPN). He did his postdoctoral residency at
France's Gustave Roussy Institute, the premier European
Cancer Centre, among the world's top 5 best cancer hospitals
for research, innovation, education and patient
. He was inducted into the Mexican Academy of Sciences in 2001.
Professor Cecilia Kindelàn
Dr. Cecilia Kindelàn is concurrently Associate Director, MBA Program, IESE Business School
in Barcelona; Director of the MBA Exchange Program & International Affairs; and
Secretary General, Fundación Excelencia, where she works with the
Board of Trustees (24 Nobel prize-winners, former heads of state/government and eminent experts)
multidisciplinary conferences and events on leadership, science
and technology, bringing together these dignitaries and university students.
Previously, she was the Vice Principal of the Spanish Association of Corporate Directors
and CEOs (AED); Director of Postgraduate Programs
Sek International University in Ecuador, focusing on the creation and implementation
of new graduate degrees; and Professor &
Researcher in the Faculty of Communication. In Canada, Dr. Kindelàn led
a strategic project for Saint-Paul Universitys Rector, developing
a new degree-granting curriculum (Social-Solidarity Economy) and advising the Rector
and the Deans in strategic planning and international opportunities
for the University. She also led the communications portfolio
of Universia which is co-owned worldwide by a consortium of 1100
universities. Early in her career, Dr. Kindelàn led the
development of the international
communication and marketing strategy for the internet company iBest
in Mexico, Brazil and Spain.
Dr. Kindelàn holds a Doctorates, Summa Cum Laude, in Comunication
from the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a Masters in
Leadership & Strategic Management from IESE Business School
(University of Navarra), a Law Degree from the National University
of Distance Education (UNED) and a Degree in Information
Sciences & Communication from University San Pablo, a Masters
in Corporate Communication Management from Complutense University.
Ms. Sophie LHélias
Sophie LHélias began her career as an M&A attorney
in New York and Paris. She later joined an event-driven hedge fund in New York
as Managing Director and founded a strategic corporate governance advisory firm.
An expert on governance issues, she co-founded the International Corporate
Governance Network (www.ICGN.org
todays leading global investor-led
governance organization, where she had several roles. Sophie LHélias
recently founded LeaderXXchange™ in the United States, which
collaborates with institutional investors, business leaders and other
market participants to promote diversity on corporate boards worldwide.
Author of the book Le Retour de lActionnaire
(The Shareholder Comeback),
Ms. LHélias has frequently had articles published in Europe, the United
States and Canada and is a regular speaker at international business and
academic forums on international corporate governance, shareholder
activism and board diversity.
Sophie LHélias is an inactive member of the New York and Paris Bars.
She holds an MBA from INSEAD, an LLM from the University of Pennsylvania,
and a Masters of Laws from the law schools of the University of
Pantheon-Sorbonne- Paris I, following law studies at the University
of Saarbrücken, Germany.
Sophie LHélias is a Senior Fellow at economic, strategic or governance think
tanks in the United States including the Conference Board, Governance Center and the Samuel
Heyman Center for Corporate Governance at Cardozo Law School in New York. She has been
a member of Sciences-Po US Foundation in New York and the Board of Governors of
the University of Ottawa, Canada. Since 2016, she is an independent director
in the board of Kering SA
a company listed on
Euronext Paris and a world leader in apparel and
accessories that manages the development of a series of renowned Houses
in Fashion, Leather Goods, Jewelry and Watches: Gucci, Saint Laurent,
Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron,
Pomellato, Dodo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux,
as well as Kering Eyewear. In 2017, Kering had nearly
29,000 employees and a revenue exceeding €10 billion.
Hadrien Lessard has made a remarkable contribution to the Canadian
aerospace industry. He is among the very few technical leaders
who combine advanced education with cutting-edge expertise in
leadership skills and innovative aircraft-engineering talent
in propulsion, aerodynamics, structure, aircraft systems and
flight simulation, in commercial, business and military jets.
Armed with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering and Management
from the University of Glasgow (Scotland), an engineering
degree from the École Polytechnique of Montréal
and an MBA
from HEC Montréal, all of which with distinguished scholarships, Hadrien currently
leads the deliveries of Textron's full flight simulators
to airlines and flight training centers around the world.
Mr. Lessard started his professional experience as structural
engineer on the Canadian F-18 Hornet at L3 MAS, a leading
aerospace defence company. He went on to Bombardier in
his role as project manager, leading different aircraft
certification campaigns. He worked notably on the
certification of the A220 (former CSeries), which now
became one of Airbus' flagship products.
Hadrien Lessard works in French and English,
has a comprehensive fluency of Spanish
and a basic knowledge of Vietnamese.
Ambassador Gabriel-M. Lessard
Gabriel-M. Lessard is a retired career diplomat who has served as
Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam and Ethiopia and held postings in Switzerland
and throughout Africa, involving trade policy, personnel management
and the United Nations. In the Department of External Affairs
(now Global Affairs), Ambassador Lessard held several positions
in the fields of human rights, Israeli-Arab relations,
human-resource management and the United Nations.
He was Director of Francophonie Affairs, Deputy Executive Director
and Director of Global Issues of the Intelligence Assessment
Secretariat of the Government of Canada. While on leave from
the government from 1977 to 1980, he worked for Alcan Aluminum
in Aix-en-Provence, covering Africa and the Middle East.
Active in several pro-bono community services, Ambassador Lessard
is currently President of the Association Richelieu Fondateur, Former Secretary of
Fondation Montfort and Member and Former President of
le Comité Juno-Canada.
He is also interested in arts, literature and music and is
a designer and producer of artistic stained glass panels.
Ambassador Lessard received the Peacekeeping and Service
Vietnam medals for his participation in the International
Commission of Control and Supervision (ICSC), and decorated with
lOrdre du mérite des arts des lettres et de la communication
of Burkina Faso and the insignia For Peace and Friendship
between Nations of Vietnam. Ambassador Lessard holds
a Bachelors in Political Science & Economics and a
Masters in International Relations from Laval University.
He is an Executive-Program alumnus of London Business School.
Dr. Irene Porro
Dr. Irene Porro brings to the Board an unwavering commitment to social justice,
a wealth of scientific and pedagogical expertise and a diversified experience
including managerial and entrepreneurial leadership.
She is the Director of the Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Center for
integrated Science Learning at Framingham State University.
Dr. Porro combines research skills in physics and astrophysics with
an interdisciplinary approach to education. Over the years, Dr. Porro
developed a deep understanding of the issues in formal science education
and a strong expertise in informal science education. She also pursued
important collaborations with educators and scientists at local and national
universities, science centers and out-of-school time organizations. For the
past fifteen years, she has had regular opportunities to teach at the
undergraduate level for teacher professional-development programs and
courses for non-science majors.
A native of Torino, Italy, Dr. Porro received her Ph.D. in Space Science
and Technology from the University of Padova (Italy). Before entering the
field of education, she was a researcher in astrophysics at the Harvard-Smithsonian
Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge (MA), and the Max Planck Institut für
Astronomie in Heidelberg (Germany). She then joined the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology where she became the Director of the Education and Outreach Group
of the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. She is an alumna
of the International Space University, an international education program that
specializes in providing graduate-level training to the future leaders of the
emerging global space community.
Dr. Porro strongly supports the integration of artistic and science learning
experiences, where both the arts and the sciences are fully respected and valued.
She is also a Design Team leader at the Central Square Public Charter School
(Lynn, MA) which promotes a project-based and integrated learning environment and
the development of social entrepreneurship skills. The aim of the School is
to implement, test and disseminate educational strategies
based on sound research in pedagogy, psychology and education. These strategies
are accomplished in accordance with the needs of local communities to allow all
children, and especially those who struggle in a traditional education setting,
to fully develop into lifelong learners and productive members of society.
Dr. Ivan Schumkov
Ivan Shumkov has taught at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD),
New York University, Pratt Institute School of Architecture,
Parsons the New School for Design, International University of Catalonia,
and ETSA Barcelona. A New York based architect, entrepreneur,
professor, scholar and curator, he is a pioneer in online education
and founder of the BUILD ACADEMY
professional education for the building industry. He graduated with masters degrees
from ETSA Barcelona, University of Florence, and Harvard University GSD, as a Fulbright
scholar. He earned his PhD in Architecture in 2009 at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia
and Columbia University GSAPP, as fellow of the Fondation Le Corbusier.
He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Alumni Association 2011-14 and as
founding president of Harvard Architectural and Urban Society Alumni 2008-14.
Dr. Shumkov is a licensed architect in Spain and Italy and principal of ISA - Ivan Shumkov
Architects, a company working in the fields of architecture, urbanism, landscape and design
with offices in New York. He has worked, lectured and exhibited his projects and research
in Europe, Brazil, Colombia, China, and the USA.
Dr. Rob Stephens
With a PhD in nanotechnology and a track record in directing engineers
and scientists, Dr. Rob Stephens is a strategic thought leader
and an innovator in the mining and advanced materials industries with
international experience in Canada, the United States, Australia,
and New Zealand. He has thirty years of technical and strategic
leadership, includes two years as Sr. Partner, Science & Engineering at PDI,
six years as Director, Applied Research and Technology (ART) for Teck
(Canada's largest diversified resources company), and including
a decade supporting the development of innovation ecosystems
in Canada. Dr. Stephens continues to provide expertise in
minerals and materials processing, non-destructive testing,
aviation, professional development, and venture capital.
During twenty years with Teck, Dr. Stephens built and led large,
diverse teams of internal and external technology specialists
and vendors to advance and integrate technologies to solve Teck's
complex challenges. His ART
team of forty engineers, scientists, and technicians, a third
of whom had doctoral degrees and supported by an extended
team of thirty external experts. The team worked on a broad portfolio
of technical projects and programs, ranging from advances in ore body
knowledge, coal, oil sands and mineral processing technologies to
environmental sustainability. Its hallmark was the
ability to rapidly learn new technical disciplines to
integrate ideas and partial solutions from a wide
range of sources and become experts in the required disciplines.
Dr. Stephens' expertise ranges from foresight and strategy
development, people and team development, technology
and innovation management, environmental and climate
change technologies, to ore body knowledge, advanced materials
and minerals processing, and metals smelting and refining.
Dr. Stephens has been a director for not-for-profit organizations,
leader in professional societies, and a member of oversight boards
for complex technical programs, as well as significant
capital projects. He played a national leadership role in developing
collaborative innovation ecosystems through participation in the
Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC), engagement with numerous
universities and science and technology organizations such as
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the National Research
Council (NRC), and advising on government policy and program
Professor Thierry Warin
Professor Thierry Warin has published extensively on finance,
economics and global affairs in refereed journals. He is a
Visiting Scholar in Harvard Universitys Weatherhead Center
for International Affairs and Associate Professor,
International Business at HEC in Montreal. He is also a member
of the Board of Directors of the International Trade & Finance
Association and a Board-of-Editors member of the of International
Journal of Economics and Business Research.
Professor Warin is Fellow and Past Vice-President Strategy and
International Economics at the Centre for Interuniversity Research
and Analysis on Organizations (CIRANO); Researcher and a member of
the Steering Committee of the European
Union Center of Excellence (EUCE).
At the École Polytechnique of Montréal, he
was Associate Professor of International & Financial Economics,
Head of the International Projects program, Co-Founder of the
Global Management of Technology research group (GMT Lab),
Founder of PolyFinances investment fund and Academic Supervisor of
PolyMonde (Europe, South Africa and Australia campuses).
Professor Warin was also the Editor-in-Chief of
Le Québec International, Co-Founder of Avant-Garde
for Young Leaders and Associate Professor of Economics
and Director of the International Studies and the International
Politics and Economics programs at Middlebury College,
Visiting Professor in Beijings University of International
Business and Economics and Academic Director &
Visiting Professor at Guangzhous Sun Yat Sen University.
Earlier in his career, Professor Warin lectured at the Sorbonne
and both HEC and ESSEC in Paris.
Professor Warin holds PhD (Highest Honors) in Monetary Economics
and Finance from ESSEC in Paris. He is pro-bono President
and co-founder of the NGO Ed Haiti and Adjunct Professor at
the Institute of Sciences, Technologies and Advanced Studies of Haiti (ISTEAH).