USF World Advisory Council

Membership Directory

advisory council membership, 2022-2025

Sandra Campbell headshot

Sandra Campbell
U.S. Commercial Service

Sandra Campbell is the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service Tampa Bay, the local office for the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce located in Clearwater, Florida. Since 1998, Sandra has counseled and developed export strategies for small and medium-sized companies with U.S. products and services throughout the Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida regions. International projects and missions have included Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Panama, Poland, and Spain, as well as brief assignments at the U.S. Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic and the U.S. Consulates in Vancouver, Canada and Milan, Italy.

Sandra completed a rotation in 2016 at the U.S. Department of State's Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs in Washington, D.C. She is also a member of the U.S. Commercial Service's Global Healthcare Technology and Global Education Teams.

Sandra is a cum laude, honors program graduate from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Marketing and International Business, with a minor in Italian. She has also attended Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England and the Università per Stranieri di Perugia in Perugia, Italy. Sandra is a member of the Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations and alumna of the FBI Tampa Citizens Academy.


Vickie Chachere headshot

Vickie Chachere
Executive Editor
Florida Trend

Vickie Chachere was recently named the Executive Editor of Florida Trend, an award-winning magazine that is one of the nation’s largest regional business publications.
Vickie had spent the previous 13 years as a member of the University of South Florida communications team, serving as a speechwriter in the Office of the President and later as the director of strategic communications for USF Research & Innovation.

A veteran Florida journalist, over two decades Vickie worked as a reporter and editorial writer for The Tampa Tribune and served as the supervisory correspondent for the Associated Press in Tampa. She is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and is a native of southern Oregon.


headshot of Ashley Gairing, of the USF World Advisory Council

Ashley Gairing
Educational Consultant

Ashley Gairing started volunteering at age eight, accompanying her grandmother to help at the Red Cross Blood Bank. Later, when her three children were small, she served on the boards of the Suncoast Dream Fund, Center Against Spouse Abuse (CASA), Brookwood, and Community Preschool, and chaired fundraising events for a variety of local non-profits.

Ashley served at Shorecrest Preparatory School as Assistant Director of Advancement, Assistant Director of Admissions, and Director of Communications, Marketing and Alumni Affairs. Simultaneously, she earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University, where she was chosen to be the student commencement speaker.

She moved to Independent Day School as a doctoral intern while she attended Nova Southeastern University’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership. After finishing with an Outstanding Dissertation Award, Ashley worked at Canterbury School of Florida as Director of Advancement and Admissions.

Her volunteer activities included two terms as Junior League Sustainer President and Centre College Parent Committee Chair plus several years on the Centre College Career Services Advisory Board. Most recently, she was Executive Vice President of Suncoasters. Today she is retired and focuses on her second year as president of USF St. Petersburg’s Town and Gown. Ashley also serves on a drug task force in Boyle County, Kentucky, and helps develop workshops with Greenwood Associates that focus on people 50+ who are planning their next chapter.


Maribel Garrett headshot

Maribel Garrett
Community Engagement Coordinator & Hispanic Liaison
City of Tampa

Ms. Garrett is the Community Engagement Coordinator & Hispanic Liaison for the Community Engagement & Partnerships Department with the City of Tampa.  In this role, she works alongside other departments to help bring City Hall to West Tampa and Tampa’s growing Hispanic community to ensure Spanish speakers are informed and engaged.

Garrett was born and raised in Puerto Rico, getting her degree at the University of Puerto Rico. When she decided to work on her master's degree, she moved to Tampa to attend the University of South Florida. Once here, she became involved with different Hispanic Organizations within and outside of USF giving her the opportunity to stay connected with her culture and traditions. Garrett has also been extremely involved with Community organizations like the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council and Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc both of which focus on raising scholarship funds for Hispanic Students attending USF, HCC, and the University of Tampa. 


Headshot of Alex Heiter, member of the USF World Advisory Council.

Alex Heiter
Director, Research and Air Service Development
Tampa International Airport

Alex Heiter, a 25-year veteran of the aviation industry, joined Tampa International Airport as Director of Research and Air Service Development in August of 2021. In this role, Alex leads TPA's efforts to attract new air service in addition to providing insightful analysis of passenger research.

Prior to joining TPA, Alex worked at Boeing Commercial Airplanes for 15 years, half of which as an executive in the Marketing organization. Most recently Alex served as Managing Director of Marketing for Europe, overseeing the market strategies and analysis in support of sales and product strategy for airlines in the region.

Previously, as Director of Network & Fleet Planning, Alex led a team of consultants responsible for analyzing and planning route networks and developing fleet plans. Alex’s first Boeing role was as a long-range product forecasting focal for the Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), a 20-year view of the worldwide demand for commercial airplanes. Alex’s ongoing duties also included providing consultative services to senior management on various issues regarding the global airline marketplace.

Prior to joining Boeing, Alex worked at Continental Airlines, serving as Senior Manager of Network Planning. Other positions held at Continental included Strategic Planning, International Route Planning, Pricing and Revenue Management. Alex has also worked for Sabre Airline Solutions as a principal in their airline consulting practice. Alex holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. He resides in Pasco County with his wife and two school-aged children.


Headshot of Richard Jacobson, member of the USF World Advisory Council.

Richard A. Jacobson
Shareholder and Director
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney - Law Firm (Shareholder, International Tax) and
Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations

Richard Jacobson is a shareholder in the Tax Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Board Certified by The Florida Bar in International Law. Richard is the firm's lead representative to the TerraLex global legal network of 150 firms located in 100 countries. In this capacity, he has developed relationships with his counterparts throughout the TerraLex network, providing clients and attorneys immediate access to cross-border expertise. With his immigration team, he offers “unique and coordinated one-stop immigration and international tax services.”

Richard’s practice includes:

  • Assisting foreign clients with pre-residency tax planning
  • Coordinating U.S. tax and immigration planning
  • Helping foreign investors in U.S. real estate (FIRPTA) and other business ventures
  • Representing U.S. companies exporting products or services or conducting business internationally
  • Assisting U.S. clients with their foreign manufacturing activities
  • Helping U.S. business executives plan extended tours of duty overseas
  • Managing IRS Voluntary Disclosure, Streamline, FATCA and FBAR/FinCen reporting
  • Handling inquiries from foreign attorneys, trust companies, and accountants
  • Providing international estate planning services


black and white headshot of a male executive in a suit with short sandy-colored hair

Karl Kaliebe
Executive Director, World Trade Center Tampa Bay

Karl Kaliebe is the Executive Director of the World Trade Center Tampa Bay and an entrepreneur assisting business development of advanced biomedical and environmental technologies. Karl has comprehensive experience managing both client relationships and technology commercialization projects. Additionally, with almost 15 years living in Taiwan, he is skilled at building productive working relationships in both English and Mandarin Chinese. 

Karl attended Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa and was awarded a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University, a liberal arts college in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he played Division III football and was president of the Wisconsin Beta chapter of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. His professional career started in Taiwan with a US-based corporate identity systems consulting firm. Karl worked his way to group account director responsible for development of key corporate accounts including campaign execution and related business processes. He supervised client activities for key accounts for several multi-national corporations such as Scott Paper, Heineken, Nestle and Chrysler Motors. 

In 2000 he co-founded E2Joy - a market leader in Taiwan for state-of-the-art biotechnology facility and equipment solutions. Karl acted as the senior business contributor to establish and foster quality relationships with government, academic and private research organizations. He continues to consult on BSL 2/3/4 projects in Taiwan and works closely with US equipment and design/construction firms. Karl returned to Florida in 2007 to be closer to his family and accepted a position at Source Interlink in Bonita Springs, Fl as a Senior Director with oversight of the operational and fiscal responsibility for engineering, prototype departments and manufacturing facilities.

By 2010 Karl was back in Tampa working for US-based clients on technology sourcing and manufacturing projects in Asia. He works on domestic and international projects with a diverse group of companies applying advanced technologies in the medical, environmental and educational fields. Since 2015 Karl has acted as the managing partner in the World Trade Center of Tampa Bay – part of the World Trade Center Association (WTCA, which includes 326 organizations located throughout the world). The WTCA serves as an “international ecosystem” of global connections with iconic properties, integrated trade services and business networking in more than 90 countries, connect 15,000 professional staff members and represent over 750,000 business members worldwide. WTC Tampa Bay’s mandate is to bring together business experts and government agencies involved in international trade, provide education, consultation and connections to expand the economy of the region

WTCTB, business sponsors and its members are dedicated to: 

  • Encouraging the expansion of world trade
  • Promoting international business relationships
  • Fostering mutual assistance and cooperation among stakeholders and members.


Headshot of Sister-Cities Sarasota President, Miriam Kramer

Miriam Kramer
Sister Cities Association of Sarasota

Miriam Kramer serves as President of Sister Cities Association of Sarasota, FL (SCAS), a nonprofit that promotes peacebuilding exchanges between its global partners.  SCAS comprises six Sister Cities: Mérida, Mexico; Dunfermline, Scotland; Perpignan, France; Tel Mond, Israel; Xiamen (Siming District), China; and two Friendship Cities: Busseto, Italy; and Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland. In this position she works with City leaders and representatives from government, firms, nonprofits, and academia to decide the best ways to enhance the City of Sarasota with SCAS’s international projects.

After being elected President in 2021, Miriam took a hiatus after she won the Kathryn Davis Peacebuilding Fellowship and attended the Russian Immersion Program at Middlebury College that summer. Before ascending to the presidency, she started off at SCAS as City Director for Vladimir, Russia, winning a grant in October 2019 to attend the Fifth Municipal Conference in Moscow and visit her Sister City for two weeks.

As the daughter of an Air Force attaché, Miriam Kramer grew up living in England, Nigeria, and Germany. She is a dual citizen in the US and the UK. The year after her college graduation she attended Middlebury’s intense Summer Russian Language School for the first time.

Miriam worked in the Washington, DC area for many years. She served as Production Editor of The Journal of Democracy, an international affairs quarterly discussing the problems and prospects of democracy as a publication of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy. Having studied in Russia right after the fall of the Soviet Union through Georgetown University, she moved to Russia in the late 1990s, finding a job writing and editing at Internews, whose Russian branch featured a nascent journalism school for journalists from the former USSR. It was shut down by Vladimir Putin in the 2000s.

As a contractor for EEI Communications in Northern Virginia she worked at National Geographic, the Humane Society, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and other such entities in the DC area. Primarily she worked as Head Research Reports Editor and Writer at InterMedia Survey Institute, formerly the research arm of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. There she edited audience and market research reports for foreign radios such as the BBC, RFE/RL, Voice of America, Radio Martí, and Radio Free Asia, along with other international organizations.

She eventually accepted the position of Director of Communications and Development for the Alliance for Peacebuilding in Washington, DC, a hub for American and overseas commercial, nonprofit, and governmental organizations that promote conflict prevention and resolution. Before moving to Sarasota, she worked at the Hospitality and Information Service at Meridian House, welcoming diplomats to the United States and arranging educational and artistic programs for them such as seminars on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as well as plays and ballets.

For sixteen years Miriam has written book reviews on diverse topics for the Old Town Crier, a lifestyle magazine with a circulation of 75,000, in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Miriam graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the College of William & Mary in Virginia with a degree in English Literature and Russian Area Studies. She earned an MA, magna cum laude, in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Her outside interests include reading, throwing pottery, photography, and figure sculpture. 


Lucie Lapovsky headshot

Lucie Lapovsky, Ph.D.
Lapovsky Consulting

Dr. Lucie Lapovsky, principal of Lapovsky Consulting, is an economist who consults, writes, and speaks widely on issues related to higher education finance, pricing, strategy, governance, and enrollment management. She also specializes in searches for chief financial officers. Her clients include private schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States, and various companies and organizations throughout the world. Recent clients include the Japanese Educational Foundation, The National Association of Independent Schools, The Endeavor Foundation, Nomura Securities, Pitzer College, York College of PA, Roanoke College, Illinois Wesleyan University, The Kiski School and Cheshire Academy.

Dr. Lapovsky served as President of Mercy College (1999-2004), a multi – campus institution of 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students with campuses in New York City, Westchester, and on-line. Prior to joining Mercy College, she served as Vice President for Finance at Goucher College, and worked at the University of Maryland at College Park. She is the co-editor of three books: Strategic Financial Challenges for Higher Education: How to Achieve Quality, Accountability, and Innovation; Roles and Responsibilities of Chief Financial Officers both published by Jossey-Bass and The White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership. She is a frequent contributor to Forbes and is the author of more than 200 chapters and articles as well as a frequent speaker at major higher education conferences.

Dr. Lapovsky chairs the board of the Suncoast International Women’s Forum and serves on the boards of the American Public University System (chair of Student Affairs Committee), the Education Foundation of Sarasota, the Asolo Theatre, and the Tuition Exchange. She received her B.A. degree from Goucher College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park. She also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard and the Directors Institute at Duke. In 2016 she received the Donna Shavlik award from the American Council on Education for Advancing Women’s Leadership in Higher Education in 2016.


Headshot of Madison Lawson, member of the USF World Advisory Council.

Madison Lawson
Regional Manager of International Trade and Development
Enterprise Florida

Joining Enterprise Florida in August of 2021, Madison Lawson is the international trade and development manager for the Tampa Bay region. In her role at Enterprise Florida, Lawson provides export counseling to companies in 10 Florida counties. Her responsibilities include managing trade grants, promoting international trade shows and missions, and coordinating educational programs and events for Florida businesses interested or engaged in international trade.

Lawson’s background in international economic development began at the Tampa Bay EDC as the international business manager for the local organization as well as the manager for the regional trade and investment promotion partnership known as Global Tampa Bay. In this role she executed several trade missions to Latin America and foreign investment missions to France and the Netherlands. She was also responsible for marketing and social media for the partnership as well as managing international project leads.

With a master’s degree in International Development and Emerging Economies from King’s College London and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa, Lawson has a depth of knowledge in international business and a personal connection to the Gulf Coast of Florida. While receiving her graduate degree, Lawson worked at Catholic Relief Services to promote the use of innovative technology in international development projects. At the University of Tampa, Lawson spent time conducting research on the informal economy in Cusco, Peru in addition to founding a social enterprise project in northern Ghana.


Lawrence Martin headshot

Lawrence M. Martin
Major General
U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Major General (retired) Lawrence M. Martin, Jr served his country on active duty for over 32 years before returning to Tampa with his wife, Julia, in 2017. His family first came to Tampa in 2008 when he served as the wing commander at MacDill Air Force Base. He is a command pilot with over 3,700 hours in several aircraft, served in Southwest Asia, taught history at the United States Air Force Academy, and held leadership assignments at Air Mobility Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Transportation Command and Headquarters, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. Prior to his military retirement, he served as the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, where he oversaw 226 Washington, DC based employees managing Air Force international matters with U.S. government, industry partners and over 100 worldwide air forces.

General Martin is a Senior Consultant for Two Blue Aces Consulting, specializing in assisting organizations with strategic planning, process improvement, leadership development, building alliances, international relations, and crisis management. General Martin serves as a Tampa Bay Defense Alliance board member and as an Advisory Council member for Mission United—United Way Suncoast and was the volunteer President and Chief Executive Officer, Medal of Honor Convention Tampa Bay 2019.

A native of Minnesota, General Martin was a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, the U.S. Air Force Squadron Officer School, the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, graduated from the U.S. Air War College with highest academic distinction and earned a Master of Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


headshot of Andrew McIntosh

Andrew L. McIntosh
Attorney at Law
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

Working with clients in a broad range of industries, both nationally and internationally, Andrew is a business and transactions lawyer and partner at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP at Tampa with more than 30 years’ experience advising individuals and business entities. His collaborative approach enables him to effectively and efficiently counsel clients in various areas, including business organizations, mergers and acquisition, distribution, commercial contracts, cross-border and international business expansion.

As a member of the firm’s international practice group, Andrew provides representation to clients involved in cross-border and global business, both inbound and outbound. In doing so, he draws on his experience and relationships developed as a member of both the Ontario Bar and the Florida Bar. Maintaining a solutions-oriented mindset, he co-founded a project management and consulting business designed to lift businesses seeking to expand their platforms through exports or direct investment.  He also is a co-founder of Estabrook International, a consulting firm to the shipbuilding industry primarily in Canada.  That experience from the business owner’s side has uniquely equipped Andrew to provide comprehensive guidance and support to his clients’ efforts.

From 2005 to 2012, Andrew served as Honorary Consul of Canada for Florida, pursuant to the Government of Canada's "Enhanced Representation Initiative." He continues to provide services to facilitate trade and investment activities through the Canadian Consulate General at Miami and as founder of the Canada-Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of Canada, Andrew was awarded the Governor General's Visit Medallion as well as the Maple Leaf Award.  

Andrew earned his J.D. (with Honors) from Florida State University.  A native of Canada,  Andrew earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from Queen’s University and a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University.


Headshot of Manish Moah, member of the USF World Advisory Council

Manish Mohan
Chief Global Talent Officer

Manish Mohan joined Kforce in 2000 and serves as its Chief Global Talent Solutions Officer. He is also a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.

Mr. Mohan has over 25 years of experience in strategy, sales, and operations at Kforce, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Bank of America. Since joining Kforce, he has led many initiatives including the inception of the Global Talent Solutions team in 2009. While at Kforce, his team has been recognized multiple times with Team of the Year awards.

A graduate of BITS Pilani with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Engineering, he received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also an adjunct faculty at University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business and teaches People Analytics to graduating seniors.


headshot of an older middle-aged woman with shoulder-length blonde hair wearing a navy blue shirt

Fran Mys
Independent Development Finance Consultant

Fran Mys is a development finance expert with over 25 years’ practical and comprehensive international experience building and growing financial institutions’ financial and business development services targeted to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. She has worked with financial institutions in emerging markets in Africa and the Middle East, South and Central Asia, the South Pacific, and Eastern Europe. Her experience includes implementing projects funded by the U.S. Government (USAID), British Government, the World Bank/International Finance Corporation and the Gates Foundation. Ms. Mys has an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. During the 2022-23 academic year, Fran was the U.S. Peace Corps Recruiter for the University of South Florida.


headshot of Bernardo Piccolo, Realtor

Bernardo Piccolo
Charles Runtenberg Realty, Inc.

Bernardo Piccolo P.A. CRS,CIPS,GRI,ABR,SFR is the leader of a residential and commercial real estate practice with 15 years of market experience in the Tampa Bay and surrounding area. With over 800 transactional parties assisted and $100+ millions in real estate sales, Bernardo Piccolo PA is within the top 1% in sales volume and units sold in the Tampa Bay region. Bernardo and his team specializes in domestic and international  relocation, investment real estate, residential  and commercial sales. Bernardo is serving on the Advisory Council at the request of Council Member Suelie Bonaparte.


Lynne Platt headshot

Lynne Platt
Senior U.S. Foreign Service Officer (Retired)
U.S. Department of State

A senior Foreign Service Officer retired in 2018 with the rank of Minister-Counselor, Lynne Platt’s career spans 31 years and three U.S. Government agencies. She entered public service as an auditor in the General Accounting Office and became a policy analyst in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Lynne joined the State Department Foreign Service in 1994 and was assigned to U.S. Embassy Cairo (1995-1997) and U.S. Consulate Casablanca (1995-1997). Lynne worked as Press Officer/Spokesperson at the U.S. NATO Mission (2001-2004), and U.S. Embassies in Paris (2004-2008), and London (2011-2014). She managed large foreign assistance programs – as Deputy Director of the Iraq Office of Provincial Affairs at Embassy Baghdad (2008-2009), and as head of the Office of Law Enforcement and Narcotics Affairs at Embassy Port-au-Prince (2009-2011). Lynne served as U.S. Consul General in Vancouver, British Columbia (2014-2017). Domestically, she worked in the State Department’s Near East Asia Bureau and as a 2017-2018 Fellow at the non-partisan Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute.

Lynne and her husband relocated to Saint Petersburg, Florida in 2020. A Board Member of the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs, she helped organize the February 2022 Conference. She is an elected Governor and Trustee of DACOR, a DC-based organization of foreign affairs professionals. She also serves on the Board of the Foreign Service Retirees Association of Florida. Lynne received a B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa), M.A., and ABD in Political Science from the University of Washington in Seattle.


Jennifer Roeper headshot

Jennifer G. Roeper
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Jennifer G. Roeper is a shareholder in the Tampa office of Ogletree Deakins. She is board certified by The Florida Bar in Immigration and National Law and practices in the firm’s immigration practice group.

Jennifer represents companies throughout the world in all aspects of immigration law including the full range of employment and family based temporary visa processing, applications for permanent residence and naturalization. She assists corporate clients in developing global mobility policies and maintaining compliance with U.S. immigration laws and represents companies in government audits and investigations.


Headshot of Brett Simons, member of the USF World Advisory Council

Brett Simons
International Business Manager
Tampa Bay Economic Development Council

In January 2022, Brett Simons joined the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council as International Business Manager. In this role, he works to increase foreign direct investment, new business recruitment, and increase exports for companies in Tampa Bay.

A graduate of Carroll College in Helena, Montana with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Brett brings to the team four years of Federal and State government experience. Brett recently moved to Florida having served in the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development where he handled foreign direct investment inquiries and acted as the Governor’s International Affairs Advisor. Brett resides in Bradenton with his fiancé and their cat Clementine. He enjoys experiencing all the new and exciting opportunities that Florida has to offer.


Bethany Valente headshot

Bethany Valente, Ph.D.
Founder and Managing Partner
Tempo 7, LLC

Dr. Bethany Valente is the Founder and Managing Partner of Tempo7, LLC. Dr. Valente works with business leaders and professionals to assist them in uncovering growth opportunities and developing strategic initiatives in today's dynamic marketplace. Dr. Valente developed her Open Innovation Opportunity framework from her global academic research in Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States within a $484M Japanese biopharmaceutical firm. Her Open Innovation Opportunity Program framework has been featured in Forbes.

Dr. Valente has been recognized as top 30 global sales professional and top 85 global sales professional in two Fortune 100 firms. Dr. Valente has been a featured speaker at the Small Business Development Center in Tampa, Florida, and the Small Business Development Conference in Orlando, Florida, for her international business expertise. Dr. Valente is a guest contributor in CEOWorld Magazine, Pharmaceutical Executive, PharmaLive and Innovation Management.

Dr. Valente holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Capella University, a master’s degree in Global Business Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria, and her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Ohio Northern University.
Her research interests include open innovation, dynamic capabilities, national innovation systems, and national culture. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, her four pets, and traveling.


Headshot of Deborah Wilkinson, member of the USF World Advisory Council

Deborah Wilkinson
Executive Director
Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council

Deborah Wilkinson is the Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council. The Council was created to work closely with the Consular Corps and business community to promote and develop the Tampa Bay area as an international hub. Ms. Wilkinson coordinates with other international organizations to leverage the strength of Tampa in cultivating education, business, and culture.

Ms. Wilkinson also is the Founder/President of Wilkinson Global Connections, LLC that houses Tampa Bay Trade & Protocol. WGC’s purpose is to strengthen Diplomatic Corps globally; collaborate with American Chambers of Commerce; execute strategic plans with regions and states going global; and conduct inbound and unbound missions. Clients range from private firms, city governments and other international organizations.

Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Wilkinson was the Chief Development Officer for Broward County’s Office of Economic and Small Business Development. Ms. Wilkinson is also an international trade specialist and has an extensive international trade policy background. Ms. Wilkinson coordinated and developed an international trade strategy for Broward County that resulted in the first International Trade/Protocol Desk in the county. Ms. Wilkinson has served on numerous International Trade Advisory Boards and was the Chair of Florida Economic Development Council for FY 2010-2011.

Prior to her move to Florida, Ms. Wilkinson was the Deputy Trade Representative for the State of Washington where she successfully created a coalition of 40 State Governors in support of granting China “Most Favored Nation” status and coordinated and facilitated the historic Gore-Chernomyrdin, US West Coast/Russian Far East Conference in 1995.

In 2021 she was recognized among “Influential Women” in Tampa Bay Edge Magazine and is the 2012 recipient of the United National Women’s Day Award by the World Trade Center of Miami. She obtained her master’s Certification in International Management through the Executive Program at Thunderbird.


usf world directory

Dr. Kiki Caruson
Interim Vice President

Amanda Maurer
Director, Education Abroad & Global Learning on Campus

Marcia Taylor
Director, International Student and Scholar Immigration Services

Sean Gilmore
Director, International Pathway Programs and Global Academic Partnerships

Wendy Baker
Director, USF World St. Petersburg Campus

Brandon McLeod
Director, USF World, Sarasota-Manatee Campus

Vanessa Martinez
Assistant Director, International Community Relations, and Global Alumni Outreach

Kathy Weber
Executive Administrative Specialist to the Vice President