Melodena Stephens

Melodena Stephens

Melodena has 30 years of corporate and academic experience. She has a multicultural background, having lived in India, the USA, Taiwan, UAE, and Germany. She consults in the STI policy space and the frontier tech governance space working with IEEE, Agile Nations, UAE, and other governments on topics like AI and SynBio. She has spearheaded projects on Agile Government and Anticipatory Governance. She is actively involved in training of local and international diplomats and government officials and senior executives of the industry.

Before her Ph.D., she worked in India for the Tata Group. Her corporate experience includes market potential estimation, new market and product development, and joint venture negotiations. Her doctorate looked at how firms in Taiwan and India handled crises, looking at the Asian Financial Flu. More on her thought leadership is available at

She has been involved in strategic planning, accreditations, course development, and industry outreach in academia. She is the Professor of Innovation Management at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), part of the Government of Dubai. Before MBRSG, she was one of the first female Indian deans for a German University – Karlshochschule International University. For over a decade, at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), one of UAE’s oldest private universities, she held positions like Deputy Dean, Associate Professor, and Program Director of MBA.

Her areas of research are brand strategy, place/country marketing, social entrepreneurship, and crisis management. She is an active contributor to articles in this area. She has published extensively – over 200 publications and 13 books. Her latest book is “AI Enabled Business: A Smart Decision Kit,” a must for anyone working in the AI space. Her didactic approach to teaching has been to facilitate an interdisciplinary, co-created problem-solving competency with a global mindset. She has won several teaching and research awards, including two UAE National Research Foundation grants.

Melodena is the founder of the Academy of International Business – Middle East North Africa Chapter (AIBMENA), a nonprofit social initiative founded in 2009 in Dubai under UOWD. The purpose of the organization is to act as an ambassador and champion for the MENA region by fostering research and teaching in the field of international business. AIBMENA was awarded the ‘Dubai Brand Ambassador Status’ by the Dubai Conventions & Events Bureau, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in 2012.

Key Intervention @ International Human Rights Day

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