Global Panel

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Photo by iStock.

The Global panel members share successful practices and challenges of working in a global society.  Discussions include how to deal with expats, customs in other countries and immigration challenges to name a few. 

Panel Members

Baskaran Ambalavanan, SHRM-SCP

Principal Consultant, Hila Solutions LLC and Group50 Consulting

Baskaran is a business focused HR/Workforce Technology consultant with 20+ years of international experience in India, Oman, and the US, with substantial business experience and a keen grasp of HR Technology trends. His area of expertise includes HR Technology strategy, system selection, global planning, global project management, global implementation, adoption, optimizing/leveraging HR technology, global business process improvement, building analytics & advanced analytics. His expertise includes worldwide designing and implementing policies and procedures for the global workforce and universal benefits and compensation, and global performance management. Baskaran has rich experience in the International assignment, comprehensive labor laws, ROI of global jobs, Immigration laws both comprehensive and the US and worldwide talent management.

Baskaran earned his MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK, Master of Arts in Public Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration from Annamalai University, India. Baskaran is a certified SHRM-SCP. Currently serves on the board for PIHRA South Orange - as Chair for the Programs and Technology committee, as a member at PIHRA Task Committee for the annual California HR Conference and as HR Advisory Board Member at the California State University, Long Beach.


David Epstein, SHRM-SCP

Director of Domestic Human Resources, Doctors Without Borders/MSF-USA

David Epstein is Director of Domestic Human Resources for the US office of Doctors Without Borders. Prior to joining MSF-USA, David was Director of Human Resources at the New York Foundling Hospital Center for Pediatric, Medical and Rehabilitative Care, Inc. (Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center) where he received the NYAHSA (now LeadingAge New York) Professional of the Year Award for contributions to pediatric long-term care. A SHRM and IPMA Certified HR Professional, David teaches human resources and customer service courses for eCornell . He holds a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, a Master of Administrative Science and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Farleigh Dickinson University, and he is also a Certified Workplace Mediator and a practitioner member of the Association for Conflict Resolution. David is an Executive Scholar at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and has published articles in Nursing Management, Public Personnel Management, and HR Magazine. He also holds an LLM in Employment Law from the University of Central Lancashire (UK), Lancashire Law School, and is an Adjunct Faculty at New England College.


Neal Goodman, Ph.D.

President, Global Dynamics Inc.

Dr. Neal Goodman, co-founder and president of Global Dynamics Inc, is an internationally recognized authority on globalization, global leadership, cultural intelligence, virtual workplace excellence, team building, and diversity and inclusion in organizations. Through the auspices of Global Dynamics Inc, Dr. Goodman provides training, strategic planning and consulting to top-tier Global 1000 corporations and international organizations that wish to succeed in the global arena. With a focus on cultural intelligence, organizational transformation, global leadership, executive coaching, global mindset development, international OD and HR development, teambuilding, expatriate relocation, strategic planning, and consulting, Dr. Goodman's programs have helped hundreds of thousands of corporate executives to be more effective in international and multicultural settings.


Ihuoma Onyearugha, SHRM-CP

Executive Director of Human Resources and Medical at Chevron Nigeria Limited

Ihuoma Onyearugha is a 1981 graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she obtained a BSc. (Botany). She also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education and a Master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

She is currently the Executive Director of Human Resources and Medical at Chevron Nigeria Limited, a global leader in the oil and gas industry. She has occupied this position for since April 2012 and has demonstrated admirable leadership and consistent success in talent management in her company. She is on the board of Chevron Nigeria Limited and Chevron Closed Pension Fund Company. As part of her role, she drives talent management and development initiatives. She oversees a workforce of over 7,000 people (2400+ employees and 2500+ contract workers) in seven locations including Houston and with expatriates from more than 12 countries. This also involves the focused nationalization of the different business segments including the Escravos Gas To Liquids plant and the company's deep offshore locations.

She envisions a world-class HR function that will be recognized as a strategic partner whose place at the table is earned and respected.

Ihuoma began her career with Chevron Nigeria Limited in February 1992, as a Human Resources Representative. Over her 26-year career, she has held a number of increasingly important leadership assignments in different functional areas of the company (locally and internationally) leading her to an executive leadership position.

Prior to joining Chevron, she worked briefly in the University of Maiduguri library and commenced a teaching career in Lagos State in 1984 where she gained valuable insights in people management. In 2003, she became the People Development Manager, responsible for talent development in the Business Unit during which she started the HR Business Partner model of service delivery in Chevron Nigeria Limited. In 2005 she assumed the role of Senior HR Advisor in Chevron Corporation Headquarters and supported executive leadership and U.S. expatriates in various countries.

Ihuoma is a thought leader, with good influencing skills and a good network in the oil and gas industry. Over the course of her career, she initiated a new interview process that supports talent acquisition which is still being used in the company today.  She also led the Leadership Development Project which resulted in a Leadership Development Program that was adopted as a best practice globally.

She is a member of professional associations like Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM – U.S.A) and Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN). She holds a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certifications from SHRM. She has shared HR knowledge and practices in different fora including Lagos Business School, CIPM Annual Conference, HR Leaders Africa and Nigeria Employers' Consultative Association. She currently chairs the HR Sub-committee of the Oil Producers' Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce.

She has been distinguished with multiple awards including the Best HR Director Award from CareerNation, an international organization and a Vice President's Award for leading an international team that customized a leadership development programme that was deployed in more than 15 countries and in four languages. She has also been honored severally by different groups in her community and the University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Lagos.

Under her leadership, her company has won several people related awards which include the 2014 Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria Overall Best Practice Award for Nigeria and the Oil Industry and the 2015 Employer of Choice Award by People Magazine and the 2015 People Magazine Best Company to Work For Award.

As a personal social responsibility contribution, Ihuoma engages in community development with a focus on women and children. Her platform for this community effort is the 'Yes I Can' Foundation through which she got support from Chevron to build the first Basket Ball Court in her community. 


Nina Woodard, SHRM-SCP
President, Nina E. Woodard & Associates

Ms. Woodard serves currently as the President and Chief ‘N’ Sights Officer of Nina E. Woodard & Associates and is a Lecturer in the College of Business at Cal State San Marcos and Claremont Lincoln University.  She also Lectured at San Diego State University in 2015.  She launched her company upon her return to the US at the end of third quarter 2008. Using customized executive coaching and strategic business consulting strategies, Ms. Woodard strives to support business efforts to build a new business vision for the new business world. Her approach heightens confidence in her business leader clients as they move into the Indian or other foreign markets.  She is able to help them increase their understanding of the cultural nuances influencing business to engage in more meaningful and productive communications with ALL colleagues for increasing business results.  

Prior to founding Nina E. Woodard & Associates, Ms. Woodard served as the Executive Director for Strategic Human Resource Management India Pvt. Ltd., the wholly own subsidiary of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) US.  In that role, she assisted in building the new business entity in India and provided support for Business Development and Marketing efforts.  She also served on the Board of Directors.  Prior to her position with SHRM India, Nina served as the Managing Director of Aradhanaa Human Resources Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. her own Indian based company founded in June 2002.  

Nina’s career has encompassed 32 years in the field of banking.  Her rich Human Resources background includes leadership roles in practical day to day activity as well as leadership in strategic change initiatives, including Mergers and Acquisition work and building the Finance Shared Services Center for Finance in Standard Chartered Bank.  

She has worked across North, Central and South America, in the Middle East and in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. These experiences have given her a truly global business perspective.  In all her roles, she worked as an HR Strategic Business Partner with the line managers she supported.  

She has a BS Degree in Management, an MBA, as well as a Graduate degree in Banking from Pacific Coast School of Banking. She is a graduate of American Banking Institute Graduate School of Human Resources and is certified a Senior Professional in Human Resources by Society for Human Resource Management.  

Carol Olsby
Managing Director, Carol Olsby & Associates

Carol Olsby is a senior international human resources executive with over 20 years of demonstrated experience designing and scaling domestic and global technology companies in rapidly changing environments. She is a Principal at Carol Olsby & Associates where she provides global and domestic HR consulting services to a variety mid to large companies. Previously, Carol was employed as a Director, Human Resources – Americas & Asia with Tieto where led the fastest growing region employing nearly 2,500 employees. Tieto a 2.1 billion Euro public global software (Telecom, Banking, Gas & Oil, Forest & Healthcare) & IT company employing 18,000 employees in 26 countries. For the past seven years, Olsby has been the WA SHRM International Director where she is responsible for sponsoring educational opportunities for global HR professionals. Due to her SHRM global large scale growth and certified members, her work was profiled as a "2011 SHRM Pinnacle Finalist". She also co-founded the Global HR Consortium, the society for international human resources professionals which has over 130 member companies. She founded and chairs the HR Roundtable, the northwest's society for high-technology human resources professionals, which has nearly 150 member companies. She has represented technology companies as a technical expert for WA State laws that would have negatively affected business. All the lobbying efforts she has been involved in were successful resulting in amendments to WA State laws. 

Olsby has been a presenter at numerous business and investor events to include: UW Law School, UW MBA program, NW Entrepreneurial Network, SHRM programs, etc. She was in recent global HR articles in the Swedish HR Magazine "Personal & Ledarskap", SHRM, Financial Times, and Global HR News, etc. Olsby has an MS in Human Resources from Chapman University and a BS in Business with honors from Columbia Union. She obtained the World at Work Global Remuneration Professional (GRP) and Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designations. She also has received an International Business Program Certificate from a program sponsored by Tieto at the IFL and the Stockholm School of Economics. Olsby is a board member for Wireless Advocates and Car Toys. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Critical success factors for international assignees
  • Cultural differences and business practices between countries 
  • Effective use of translators and translations
  • European Union directives on workplace and employment 
  • Expatriate family support 
  • Expatriation 
  • Foreign language training 
  • Global compensation and benefits issues/Global costs of living (also C&B) 
  • Global management competencies
  • Global mindset
  • Global performance management processes 
  • Global relocation 
  • Global talent management processes 
  • Global tax and social security issues/Pension portability (also C&B)
  • Hazard pay (also C&B)   
  • Hiring foreign nationals (also workforce staffing)
  • International assignment management
  • International HR practices 
  • International law 
  • Laws that apply to foreign companies operating in the U.S. 
  • Laws that apply to US firms operating abroad 
  • Local country collective bargaining processes/strategies and concepts 
  • Local country ethics and customary business practices
  • Local country workplace and employment laws 
  • Localization 
  • NAFTA labor provisions 
  • Outsourcing
  • Region/Country of greatest HR experience/knowledge
  • Repatriation 
  • Risk management - kidnapping, emergency evacuations, security issues abroad 
  • ROI of international assignments 
  • Selecting staff for global assignments (also workforce staffing) 
  • Visas, immigration laws U.S. and all countries (also workforce staffing and deployment)


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