Monica Francois Marcel, Partner
Monica co-founded LCW in 2000 with Randall Stieghorst and a mission of inspiring professionals to connect across cultures. To every LCW client engagement, Monica brings a perspective that is rooted in experience on-the-ground in over 45 countries and work with dozens more, as well as 20+ years' of leading communication, learning, and organizational development projects. Her primary role today is serving as LCW's Master Consultant and Chief Engagement Leader for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to world class universities and the U.S. Peace Corps; she helps them achieve cultural transformations, develop cultural competence, interrupt unconscious bias, engage global talent, and better connect to the local contexts in all the locations where they operate.
Monica's particular expertise is developing global skills, mindsets, and systems for North Americans to succeed among culturally diverse workplaces, markets, and project teams. Recent client engagements include comparing gender equity strategies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) across world regions, assessing and developing executive leadership teams' cultural competence and skillset for managing unconscious bias, setting global talent development and global diversity strategies, researching best practices for global Employee Resource Groups, benchmarking global ethics and compliance programs, and customizing skill-building suites for "Leading & Operating Globally" and "Managing bias in the selection process” as well as "Engaging & Developing Everyone" and "Building Innovative Teams through Inclusion". A sample of recent clients include the One Acre Fund (OAF), Aon Hewitt, Syniverse, Hyatt, Kellogg School of Business, CSAA Insurance, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), General Mills, Allstate, Hospira, Mercer, Howard University, NASDAQ OMX, Boston Scientific, Towers Watson, California State University, and the Outback Steakhouse parent company Bloomin' Brands.
Monica is also a highly sought after presenter and key note speaker, and is regularly invited to share insights on the topic of cultural competence, managing unconscious bias, and global diversity at major professional conferences and university forums. Her expertise is regularly quoted by the media, appearing in such outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Yahoo! India, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen and Frommer's Budget Travel. Her professional insight is also featured in periodicals from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Ethics and Compliance Officers' Association (ECOA), and the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). Monica has published in Multilingual magazine as well as Diversity Best Practice's Global Diversity Primer, and is the co-author of "Cultural Detective®: Global Business Ethics" volume as well as a university-level textbook chapter titled "Global Communications" published by McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Monica and LCW are also known for expertise in India-North America cross-cultural work, and Monica has personally delivered LCW solutions for thousands of participants in India working with North America, and thousands more in North America who are working with India. Supporting this work is the original body of research she led for LCW that includes many hundred interviews with managers and teams in both geographies, regarding challenges and best practices for fully leveraging the opportunities present. Additional LCW research regarding the complexities of pyschological distance, remote performance management and people leadership globally has expanded her body of work for Indian, North American and European teams seeking to collaborate across complexity.
Monica earned her Master's degree in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, with a thesis focused on transportation, sustainability, and multi-organizational planning projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her undergraduate degree is from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. A brief fellowship in Sustainable Development Studies later brought her to the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm, Sweden. Early in her career she was a senior program officer for the National Academies of Science and Engineering's Transportation Research Board and a metropolitan planner with the U.S. Department of Transportation. There she directed consensus-building around policy and technical issues with the largest and most diverse communities in the U.S., and coordinated technology sharing, communication, and education programs with committees of international scope and membership.
Monica's passion for cross-cultural work was awakened in the late 1990s while living in Eastern Europe (Latvia) as a Peace Corps Volunteer. There she served as an international development consultant for engineering and infrastructure projects with multinational teams from the Baltic states, Spain, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Sweden, and Denmark; she worked in partnership on several ventures proposed for European Union funding and cooperated closely with entrepreneurs, business leaders, technical experts, community organizers, and Ministry officials. A handbook she co-authored for developing non-profit agencies in the former-Soviet Union has also been translated into three languages. Monica has also served for a decade on the U.S. Peace Corps’ Staging team with responsibility over pre-departure programs for Americans departing on two-year international development assignments.
Monica was a founding member on the Advisory Council for the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of Illinois, and Adjunct Faculty at the Loyola University Chicago Graduate School of Business. She was also a board member for five years to the Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (SIETAR-USA.) She has pursued on-going studies through the Intercultural Communication Institute in Oregon with a focus on best practices for global organizations. She is professionally active in the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association and Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics; the OD Network; the Human Resource Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC;) her local chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD;) and the Professional Women's Club of Chicago.
Monica resides in Chicago, Illinois (USA) with her stay-at-home and classically-trained/gourmet-chef husband, Anthony. She also travels much less these days, hoping to catch as many precious moments as possible with Ash Declan, their 4-year old son who so far refuses all pleads to quit growing.