Naficy Consulting's Thought Partners

Meet Naficy Consulting's Partners

Mercedes N. D’Angelo (She/Her/Hers)

President & Founder
Naficy Consulting Group, Inc.

Mercedes Naficy D’Angelo has been an intercultural communication practitioner for 30 years She recognized the connection with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion over 10 years ago, adding DEI to her practice. She has led global and regional sales teams, managed client relationships with a variety of Fortune 500 companies, and small startups.

Mercedes is a graduate of Princeton University, with an A.B. in English Literature and a Certificate in Theater and Dance. This focus in theater has helped hone her facilitation skills, enabling her to keep participants in her sessions not only engaged but entertained. Mercedes also holds an MBA from Tulane University with a concentration in Human Resources Management and Organizational Change. She is a certified coach with the International Coaching Community (ICC), and is also certified in the Cultural Orientations Inventory, and the Global Competence Aptitude Assessment.

Her passion is consulting with senior leadership and Human Resources leaders to support them in developing and executing with excellence innovative solutions to address their talent management and diversity, equity and inclusion needs. Mercedes’ strong experience in sales, marketing, and business strategy, enable her to work with functional leaders such as supply chain, R&D, and manufacturing. She helps identify where organizations can enhance mutual appreciation and understanding to create an intentional culture of inclusion, knowing this will speed up individual performance, and ultimately, companywide innovation, engagement, and revenue growth.

Over her career, Mercedes has presented at national and international conferences on a variety of topics: Global HR Competence Development; Global Diversity and Inclusion, and International Assignee Support at conferences such as Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and many of their local chapters around the USA, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), The International Benefits Group and the European Relocation Association (EuRA) multiple times.

Happiest when sharing her passion for diversity and culture with an audience, the following short testimonial is one of many reflecting her passion and talent as a facilitator and a speaker:

Powerful, clear, funny: one of the best speakers I heard at SHRM. Full of both conceptual & practical content – Excellent.

A product of a bi-cultural family (1⁄2 Iranian and 1⁄2 Puerto Rican), Mercedes has lived and/or worked in Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Middle East. She has a deep appreciation for the impact of cultural competencies on performance and behavioral health. This experience, including relocating internationally with her four children gives her the insight needed to help organizations tailor their global talent development programs to their needs.

Mercedes believes that there is always something new to learn when working in our diverse global societies. She says her marriage is living proof of this!

Leeza Erfesoglou (She/Her/Hers)

Leeza Erfesoglou is a Certified DEI Practitioner who creates and implements strategies that intentionally foster diversity, equity, and inclusion for an ever changing, dynamic workforce. She focuses on executing data and human-informed strategies that embed DEI competencies into an organization’s day-to-day operations, including employee retainment and inclusive leadership development. To ensure those goals are met, she collaborates with leadership, ERGs and assesses progress by monitoring diversity metrics and employee feedback.

She has lived and worked in Europe for five years and has experience working with organizations in both nonprofits and forprofits. Leeza graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Houston and attained her Master of Arts in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is Bilingual in Greek and has studied both Spanish and German.

As a Black Greek biracial woman, Leeza has the innate ability to meet people where they are while making it clear where they need to be. She is committed to cultivating an environment where everyone can bring their whole/hole self to work and achieve their professional ambitions without additional emotional labor.

Mahshad Aryafar (She/Her/Hers)

Registered Psychotherapist & Integral Professional Coach™

Mahshad has a BA in Graphic Design and Visual Communication, Diploma in Psychotherapy and Counseling, and is certified as an Integral Professional Coach™. For over a decade she has dedicated her work to helping clients find the gold in the mud, the light in the shadow, and the way in the fog. She loves nothing more than to see others becoming empowered within themselves with integrity and inner clarity.

With her she brings education and experience in the fields of advertising, portfolio consultation, creative talent representation, entrepreneurship, integrative psychotherapy, and Integral Professional Coaching™, along with learnings from the master teacher, life itself. She has crossed continents and set up home in three different cities, has loved and lost, and learned to love again. She’s navigated through successful careers in Advertising, Talent representation, integrative psychotherapy, and professional coaching. Her approach is integrative with a particular view on the multiplicity of cultural identities and what brings about a sense of wholeness and well-being for individuals and groups of one or more cultures.

Mahshad’s genius comes to life in collaboration. She is masterful at bringing together different theories, perspectives, and ideas to help make sense of complex situations, identifying barriers and opportunities, and helping her clients arrive at a sustained sense of cohesion. She facilitates with a light touch and a hopeful attitude, gets excited about challenging topics and shadow feelings, always searching for wisdom in hidden corners of any situation.

Christi Hunter (She/Her/Hers)

Global Competence Associates

Christi Hunter is the President of Global Competence Associates, LLC where she works to assess, prepare, and enhance the global workforce of tomorrow. She is a primary author of the Global Competence Aptitude Assessment (GCAA)®, which is a diagnostic tool that measures the self-awareness, attitudes, knowledge, and inclusive interpersonal skills necessary for effective interactions with people of diverse backgrounds. She conducts global competence research, training, and certification programs, and she provides consultation to support global competence development across education, business, government, and nonprofit sectors for worldwide clients. She has been training participants in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) appreciation since 2004.

Previously Christi worked for major global corporations, directly within Research and Development, and also as a professionally certified Talent Acquisition consultant. She provided career development support to individuals as well as talent acquisition services and talent pipeline consultation to organizations’ Human Resources, Sales, R&D, Quality Assurance, and Engineering departments through Management Recruiters International. During this time, she recruited diverse candidates capable of delivering against the multinational corporations’ growth objectives. She holds a B.S. degree from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. degree from Kansas State University, both in the USA.

She has delivered DEI and global competence development programs to domestic and international audiences, including the following conference gatherings: Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (SIETAR), International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), Human Capital Forum, and AFS Global Conference, and has been selected to present at the Association for Talent Development (ATD) International Conference and Exposition.

Christi began her intercultural journey over 30 years ago as a teenager when she hosted an exchange student in her home and established enduring friendships with students from other nations. Learning about and exploring diverse cultures has been part of her life ever since. She is passionate about assisting others develop the soft skills that are necessary for success in the global economy. She is also a firm believer in diverse team collaboration and truly recognizing, appreciating, and celebrating the unique talents and perspectives that each person has to offer.

Iñigo Lopez (He/Him/His)

BiCortex Languages & Translations

Inigo Lopez is a seasoned business executive with more than 20 years’ experience in management positions in global and multicultural companies.

Prior to BiCortex, Inigo co-founded Eszett Business Language Services, and before that, he had several management positions in Sales, Marketing and Customer support in Telecommunications, Software Development, IT and International Trading companies.

He has been an expatriate in Ireland, the UK, France and Brazil, and has business level fluency in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Additionally, he has a B2 level in German and B1 in Italian.

He holds an MA in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Cantabria and an Executive MBA from ESIC.

Shannon Murphy (She/Her/Hers)


Shannon Murphy, CEO of BrainSkills@Work, applies neuroscience to help individuals be more inclusive, culturally agile, and more effective leaders. Shannon brings over 20 years of expertise in diversity and inclusion, intercultural management, and leadership development. She is co-author of book Neuroscience of Inclusion: New Skills for New Times, and the BrainStates Awareness Profile. She has successfully created and implemented large scale training initiatives (20,000+ employees) with companies like Deloitte, CHRISTUS Health, Medtronic, Deluxe, Barr Engineering, University of Michigan, Mayo Clinic, Boston Scientific, and others.

She has an M.A. in Intercultural Management and Leadership Development. In May 2012, she achieved advanced certification as a NeuroBusiness coach at Harvard with Dr. Srini Pillay. She was faculty at the Intercultural Communication Institute teaching neuroscience of inclusion, and an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business Executive Education. She is certified in the Intercultural Development Inventory, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Quantum Healing. She loves traveling, scuba diving, and spending time with her daughters.

Kristin M. Sampson (She/Her/Hers)

GPHR, Global Mobility Solutions Specialist

Kristin has accumulated over 25 years of extensive experience in Global Mobility Management and International Finance, demonstrating proficiency in both corporate and consultant settings. As a natural working leader, she excels in managing multiple priorities, and stands out as a creative problem solver. With a collaborative approach, strong analytical ability and an aptitude for numbers, Kristin has built a reputation for fostering client relationships.

In her role as a Global Mobility Consultant, Kristin aids employers in efficiently navigating the complex challenges of relocating employees internationally. Her attention to detail, organizational skills, and self-discipline all contribute to the success of each relocation project.

From 2007 to 2022, Kristin initiated, established, developed and managed Gallagher’s Global Mobility Consulting Practice. Prior to that from 1995 to 2006, she spearheaded the development and management of Bausch & Lomb’s international relocation and Global Mobility Program.

Kristin collaborates closely with clients to identify relocation goals, and to determine assignment type needed to achieve targeted outcomes. Her focus ensures a seamless relocation, proper management of global compensation and benefits, and compliance with tax, local labor laws and immigration requirements. Additionally, she keeps clients informed about up-to-date competitive policies. Kristin’s guidance and strategic planning empower clients to achieve maximum cost efficiencies.

Kristin holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Biola University (La Mirada, CA). She received certification from the HRCI Management Institute as a Global Professional in Human Resource (GPHR) in 2007 and subsequently became part of the HRCI Global Expertise Board, contributing to GPHR exam development.

In addition, Kristin has been a frequent speaker at the IBIS Academy international conferences. She has also developed and led IBIS Global Mobility tracks in various locations, including Amsterdam (Netherlands), Cannes (France), Berlin (Germany), and Milan (Italy). Furthermore, she has presented on Global Mobility for other international conferences such as Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM), Deloitte International, and various universities. Most recently Kristin spoke at a global conference in London (England), showcasing her expertise and thought leadership in the field.