We are Maine-based professionals focused on intercultural development. With extensive cross-cultural experience and training, we are committed to bridging across difference.

 

Co-Founders

Liz Greason

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A Mainer by birth, Liz is co-founder of Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants. She lived in the Middle East for many years, where she taught students from around the world at the American University in Dubai, with a focus on effective cross-cultural communication. Since returning to the United States, Liz has applied her knowledge of the Middle East and Islam, cultural competency, and intercultural communication to help Maine businesses, non-profits, municipalities, hospitals, and schools effectively recruit and retain a diverse workforce and serve populations diverse in terms of national origin, race, class, and age, among other differences. Liz has also served on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine (USM) and Portland Adult Education. In addition to being trained at the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon (USA) Liz holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College in Women and Gender Studies and Reed College, and a Certificate in Mediation from USM.

Deb Breiting

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Deb Breiting hails from Vancouver, Canada. Born in Montreal to immigrant parents from Germany and Japan, Deb grew up in a multilingual and multicultural home. She has a degree in Linguistics and German from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is a graduate of the UBC Certificate Program in Intercultural Studies. With professional focus on teaching English to speakers of other languages, Deb most recently taught at Portland Adult Education as part of the New Mainers Resource Center Program www.nmrcmaine.org and provided programming around cross cultural awareness and job skills training to foreign born, foreign trained professionals. Deb has traveled extensively abroad and has lived in Toronto, Munich, and Tokyo where she has worked for schools, and non-profit organizations before settling in Portland, Maine where she now calls home.

Content Area Experts

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Reza Jalali

Areas of expertise: Iran, Islam, Middle East, Higher Education, Peace Building, Women's Rights in Islam

Born in Iran, Reza is a writer, educator, human rights activist, and a Muslim scholar, who has lived in Maine since 1985. His essays, short stories, and commentaries have appeared in the local and international media. His children’s book, Moon Watchers, has received the Stepping Stone Multicultural Award. His five-act play, The Poets and the Assassin, which is about women in Iran and Islam, has been staged throughout Maine. In May of 2015, Reza was featured in the National Public Radio’s popular program, The Moth Radio. Reza is the Muslim Chaplain at Bowdoin College and is a professor in the Honors Program at the University of Southern Maine.

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Baba Ly

Area of expertise: Refugee and Immigration Experience and Process, African Cultures, Immigrant Integration Challenges

Baba was born and raised in the West African country of Mauritania, a perfect geographical and cultural merging where African black people live with Arab descendant Berbers. He grew up speaking his native language Pulaar, but also learned to speak French, English, Wolof and Arabic.

In Mauritania, Baba worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania in the Economic and Commercial Division. Prior to that, he worked in procurement for a multinational corporation, where his skills in cross-cultural engagement were honed. Baba has masters degrees from universities in Mauritania and France.

Since immigrating to the U.S., Baba has been involved in community-based organizations and public schools to support immigrants’ cultural, social and economic integration. He has taught ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and served as cultural broker in organizations throughout Greater Portland.

Baba is currently the Assistant Director of Refugee and Immigration Services at Catholic Charities of Maine and serves as the Chair of In Her Presence. Baba is also an artist who spends his spare time painting abstract art.