Twenty American executives will travel to Havana, Cuba for an exclusive week-long first look at business opportunities and challenges in this key Caribbean country.
The group will be led by William Hernandez Requejo, a Merage School faculty member and United Nations Development Program (PNUD) expert in the area of foreign investment negotiations in Cuba. Requejo is executive director of the Center for Global Leadership at UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of business, and the only American to participate in PNUD meetings that brought together Cuban Ministry officials, ambassadors and international experts from all Cuban sectors.
After more than a half century of commercial silence between our two countries, the doors of cooperation are now beginning to open again. During the 50 years we have forgotten how to interact in positive and creative ways. The University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of Havana (UH) have collaborated in developing educational programs for executives in both countries with the proximate goal of making commercial transactions between organizations in the two countries more effective and efficient. Indeed, at the deepest level we seek to help executives in both countries work together inventively toward building sustainable commercial relationships that will benefit the citizens and economic development in both countries. UH and the UCI Center for Global Leadership began this work in 2009. In 2013 thirty graduate students from the UCI Schools of Business and Law traveled to Havana for a one-week residential course hosted by UH. The American students visited commercial operations and institutes, learned from UH faculty and other Cuban officials on a variety of topics, and met with Cuban graduate students. This first joint venture between the universities proved a great success by all accounts. Now we are offering our initial program for executives interested in developing commercial ventures in Cuba.
Also leading the group will be Professor John L. Graham, academic director of the UCI Center for Global Leadership. Graham has taught international marketing and negotiation at the Paul Merage School for more than 20 years and has consulted for numerous Fortune 500 firms. He was named U.S. Trade Educator of the Year in 2009. Please see bios and the accompanying schedule
for more information.