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IMI Faculty

Ray Leki

IMI Faculty Member

Ray S. Leki is a career member of the Senior Executive Service of the United States government at the Department of State, Foreign Service Institute. He is also an adjunct professor of intercultural management at American University, and an author. At the Foreign Service Institute, he is the director of the Transition Center, where he oversees preparation and support for employees and family members entering, transitioning globally, and leaving the U.S. foreign affairs community. His work in government began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal in 1979, and continued with a series of Peace Corps staff assignments in Washington, Nepal, Pakistan, and Poland, before joining the Department of State in 1991.

Ray teaches several Skills Institutes at American University’s School of International Service, Intercultural Management Institute. They include international personal and organizational security, intercultural facilitation and training, multicultural negotiation, and spirituality and conflict transformation.

Ray published Travel Wise: How to Be Safe, Savvy and Secure Abroad through Intercultural Press/Nicholas Brealey Publishing in 2008. The book shares his thoughts, experiences, and techniques in preparing sojourners for international success through integrating cross-cultural competence, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and security awareness with careful identification and analysis of motives and motivation. Travel Wise is used by businesses, study abroad programs, NGO and government employees and agencies to protect people and ensure mission success.

At the U.S. Department of State, he has been a leader in dealing with far-flung diplomatic communities experiencing crisis and trauma. Recent interventions included work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Jordan, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He has focused his organizational efforts on creating smarter, more resilient, and more effective expatriates.

Current interests include leadership and crisis management across cultures, and crisis aftermath psychology. He studied chemistry at Southern Illinois University and has his master’s from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Skills Institutes

Intercultural Training and Facilitation (Offered in Fall 2012)

What does it mean to be a "trainer"? What are the skills necessary to be effective with diverse populations, including children? Effective intercultural training must first be effective training. This course will review the unique combination of skills necessary for effective and responsible intercultural training with an experienced practitioner and provide participants with an opportunity to work on training designs for a variety of intercultural training challenges.

What people have said about Ray and this skills institute:

“The instructor is more than an expert he is really full of knowledge.” –Fall 2011

“Ray is fantastic, very accessible, and knowledgeable.” – Fall 2011

“I appreciated going over the training model and understanding it as a practice tool to take back with us. Also, being able to identify our own learning styles and being made to feel a sense of safety and recognition/ acknowledgment of how we may understand/ process info was helpful.” –Fall 2011

“The most helpful portion of this institute was the analysis/macro/micro model for setting up training sessions. Group projects were helpful because it was good practice + actually relevant to cross-cultural training.” – Fall 2011

Personal and Organizational Security in a Global Age

This course will share effective personal security strategies for participants who envision moving into a highly mobile and international life and career. The basics of personal security, the dynamics of safety and security across cultures, and the phenomena of coping with business security threats on an office and organizational level will be covered. Participants will take away a personal security strategy and an awareness of the dynamics of coping with personal and organizational crises in international settings.

What people have said about Ray and this skills institute:

“Mr. Leki’s personal experience with these issues gave the entire program authenticity and credibility. I also appreciated the concrete examples of steps to take (emotional as well as logistical) before moving abroad particularly to dangerous places.” –Spring 2012

“Learning about the basis of what safety and security are, was extremely helpful. I feel like I gained insight, especially about how to behave personally to offset our environment. Sharing personal stories and experience also helped make the material feel realistic.” –Spring 2012

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