dean foster
global cultures

Speaker, Author, and Cultural Concierge

The Latest

Beyond Training:
CULTURAL CONCIERGE SERVICE©-Why Your Global Managers Need a Cultural Concierge


About Dean Foster

Dean Foster has been speaking, writing and consulting for more than two decades on the nature of culture and its role in society, work and politics in a globalizing world.

Dean is the founder of DFA Intercultural Global Solutions and founder and former Worldwide Director of Berlitz Cross-Cultural. Based in NYC, Dean has played a central role in the development of the field of cross-cultural training and consulting.

Dean Foster

Dean Foster presentations


Dean's presentations on culture, travel and work have been acclaimed around the world as informative, essential and engaging audience experiences, providing critical insight on cultural effectiveness for organizations working and individuals living globally in the 21st century. His presentations are flexible for both keynote and plenary session formats.

Continue to see Dean's presentation topics and to view videos.


Read more about Dean's newsletter, his column on Medium, and his five published books on business and global culture.

Podcast: Oops, Your Culture's Showing!


Oops, Your Culture's Showing!

Dean Foster and Tom Peterson's brand-new series on culture: How to live abroad without losing your mind; how to work abroad without losing the respect of your office mates; how to travel globally without being an ugly tourist; and generally, how to survive in the global village once known as Earth.

Cultural Concierge Service©

Cultural Concierge Service© is a new subscription service that provides immediate, on-call cultural guidance, whenever and wherever you or your global managers need it. Continue for more information, to contact Dean and to order.


Dean consults on intercultural competency development for individuals and organizations working around the world. He and his team of over 200 worldwide intercultural training consultants provide your organization with the knowledge and skills required for global success in the 21st century.

Continue for more information on consulting and to contact Dean about consulting for your organization.

China dragon

About Dean Foster

Dean is the founder of DFA Intercultural Global Solutions ,and founder and former Worldwide Director of Berlitz Cross-Cultural. Based in New York City, Dean has played a central role in the development of the field of cross-cultural training and consulting.

Dean has worked with most major Fortune 500 companies, national governments and NGOs (the United Nations and World Trade Institutes, among others), and as guest lecturer and faculty for premier educational institutions, including Harvard Business School, Columbia University School of Business, New York University, and Darden Business School. His work has taken him to more than 100 countries. He is the host on CNN of the nationwide “Doing Business in … ” series; a frequent guest commentator on culture, global work and social issues for CNN, CNBC, the BBC and other radio and TV shows; and has been interviewed in Newsweek, USA Today, New York Times, and elsewhere. He is the creator and host of the more than irreverent podcast, "Oops, Your Culture's Showing!"

Dean is a frequent presenter at major international conferences related to international cultural issues. He is an active member of and speaker at the annual international conferences of Worldwide ERC©, the National Foreign Trade Council, the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the International Institute for Human Resources (IIHR), and other organizations.

In 2012 Dean was inducted into Worldwide ERC’s prestigious “Hall of Leaders”; in 2013 he received the Forum for Expatriate Management’s acclaimed Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dean has written many articles and published five books, including Bargaining Across Borders, voted as one of the top ten business books of the year by the American Library Association. As a contributing editor with National Geographic, he wrote the monthly “CultureWise” column appearing in National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

Dean is on the faculty of American University's Intercultural Management Institute in Washington, DC. He received his Master’s degree in Sociology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, NYC.


Dean is a frequent presenter—both live and virtual— at major international conferences speaking on global cultural issues.



Today, almost every meeting is virtual. And while virtual enables us to work with our global teams and colleagues across time and space, virtual does not make the cultural differences at the table just go away. In fact, virtual often masks those differences, increasing confusion and misunderstanding. Whether managing language differences, different expectations about how to handle agendas and scheduling, misunderstandings caused by accents and misread body language, miscues around who is expected to talk to whom, when and why … the list of cultural challenges in virtual meetings goes on.

Topics in this virtual webinar include: how to handle those awkward silences; how to engage the non-speakers and handle the dominant speakers; the 12 fundamentals of overcoming language and accent barriers; how to read non-verbal behaviors correctly, no matter the culture; essential greeting behaviors; how to manage scheduling challenges; how to build long-term critical trusting relationships; virtually, managing time-zones; virtual jet-lag; ear of the camera; how to discover—and motivate—the decision makers; rules for successful global negotiations, conflict resolution, project management, critiquing and rewarding … and so much more.

Audience: Business leaders, managers and global teams.

"OOPS, YOUR CULTURE'S SHOWING!" Lessons I've Learned from Working in Over 100 Countries Around the World.

In this presentation, Dean shares his real-life stories and adventures of having worked in more countries than most people will ever visit; the big and small mistakes he's made; and the best practices for managing the cultural differences that most business travelers will inevitably encounter. Most important, he'll share his observations about what makes us all the same, despite our differences, and how we can leverage those similarities to our advantage when working globally.

THE CULTURE PROPHECY: How Culture Reveals the Hidden Destiny of Nations.

Why is China becoming the world’s factory; India the world’s back office; France, the world’s philosopher? And where does that leave the US? It may seem as if politics and economics drive the headlines, but a deeper look reveals the hidden driver behind the great events of history: Culture. This presentation will explore key national cultural characteristics and their roles in shaping the great events of history and today, and provide a new framework for thinking about the real forces that drive our world.

Audience: International business, global current affairs

BUILDING THE INTERNATIONAL TEAM: Creating High-Performance Teams Across Cultures.

Today’s global team needs to work across time and space, challenged by language and cultural differences, different levels of technical expertise, and different perspectives on the task the team must accomplish. Developing an effective, smooth-working team requires an understanding of the dynamics of global teamwork, and this presentation explores the cross-cultural competencies that must be mastered in order for teams to succeed in today’s global world.

Audience: Global teams, global business

BARGAINING ACROSS BORDERS: The Dos and Don’t’s of Successful Negotiating Anywhere in the World.

Different cultures negotiate business in different ways, and can even perceive the essential elements of the negotiating process in very different ways. Based on Dean Foster’s award-winning book, “Bargaining Across Borders”, this presentation explores everything you need to know to successfully negotiate business in the world’s major cultural regions, from China and India in Asia, to Brazil and Mexico in Latin America, to the EU and the developing nations of the Middle East and Africa.

Audience: Global Business leaders

COMMUNICATING ACROSS CULTURES: Developing Cross-Cultural Fluency in a Global World.

Communicating is tough work: we often don’t succeed even with those with whom we are most intimate, our friends, partners, children and parents. Now add cultural differences, language differences, time zones and the pressure of business requirements, and it’s no wonder that communications often break down in the real-time world of global work. This presentation will explore all the elements of successful cross-cultural communication, from what makes a successful email to how to manage language differences in a videoconference meeting. Essential information for anyone working long-distance with colleagues around the world.

Audience: Global business, international travelers

CULTURE CLUES: Travel & Unlock the Hidden Truths About Cultures

Everyone has their travel stories, memories of successful and romantic adventures, as well as horrible missteps and mistakes. But our travel experiences also provide hidden clues to the deeper meanings that the culture we are journeying through is trying to reveal to us. In this new, interactive keynote, Dean reveals the secret meanings of many of the world’s most meaningful cultures, through the stories of his own travel experiences. Learn how to transform your own next travel experience, and those of your friends and clients, into a deeply rewarding journey to understanding a culture like never before.

Audience: Travel and business travel industry


“WHEN IN ROME … ”: Getting it Right Around the World.
Whether traveling for leisure or business, putting your best foot forward can make the difference between an enriching or disappointing vacation, a successful or failed business trip. Today’s global travelers need far more information than just where to go and what to see: they also need to know how to get along, in order to be welcome wherever they are. This presentation will explore those aspects of global etiquette, for each of the world’s five major regions, that are essential to leisure and business success.

Audience: International travelers, armchair culturephiles


THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF CULTURE: Leveraging Cultural Differences for Global Success.

Technical expertise alone is no longer the determinant of success in the global, 21st century: being able to transfer and translate your organization’s hard-won expertise across cultural boundaries has become the single most important competitive advantage in today’s global world. The future belongs to those organizations who can leverage cultural differences to their advantage. This presentation will show you the critical cultural issues faced by global organizations today and how to manage them for positive results.

Audience: International business travelers, global managers, global entrepreneurs


Dean has written five highly acclaimed books on working and traveling in global cultures, including the award-winning Bargaining Across Borders, which provides critical information on how to negotiate successfully in all the world’s major cultures.

His four-book, “Global Etiquette Guides” series explores the important cultural dos and don’ts for each of the world’s major regions, providing rich background information that explains how to behave more effectively when working and traveling in all the world’s countries.

Dean’s next book, CultureClues, will help both business and leisure travelers unlock the hidden meaning of the cultures they visit by finding the cultural clues in their own travel experiences.

Global Etiquette Guides

The Dean Foster Global Cultures newsletter shares articles, insights and announcements of interest to the global cultures community.

Dean's online column on Medium delves a little deeper into current global culture and other issues affecting global businesses today.


Oops, Your Culture's Showing!

Dean Foster and his co-host Tom Peterson travel the globe to reveal some amazing cultural dos and don’ts, holding up the mirror to discover (surprise!) how we actually look to others.  All this while searching for their own lost premise. 

Oops, Your Culture's Showing! is a fun and (almost) always irreverent look at how life—at least Dean’s—can sometimes play havoc with the best laid plans for becoming a culturally correct, 21st-century, global citizen.

Cultural Concierge Service©


Everybody working in the 21st century is instantly global: you are on a conference call with your global team; your next big market is somewhere overseas; you are sourcing new talent abroad. No matter who you are, or what you do, today you are crossing cultures to do it. And while crossing borders today is easy, crossing cultures is hard: if you don’t get the culture right (and your competition does), you don’t win the business (they do).

But getting the culture right can be a challenge. What does it mean to be “culturally competent”, to develop individuals who ooze cultural competency when they work and travel abroad, to create a culturally competent organization, top to bottom, from the C-suite, to your global managers and teams? What does every CEO and their team need to know about Chinese negotiations before they make that next trip to Beijing? What does every global manager need to know before they jump on the next video-conference call with their Brazilian team? What does every support person back at HQ need to know in order to communicate successfully on every email, on every phone call, with associates abroad?


Because we know that the needs of each of these groups can be very different, creating culturally competent CEOs, global managers, and home staff requires different kinds of support. In the past, there was typically only one way to provide cultural information, through a one-time trainer-driven event that provided good general background information about a culture, but at a high cost. Technology has certainly expanded our options, providing quick access to lots of (sometimes questionable) cultural information but often unable to insure that learners actually know what to do with cultural information in real-life situations.

The solution? Every business, every CEO, every global manager, every global team member needs Cultural Concierge Service©, which integrates the efficiencies of technology-driven learning with the high-touch support of the very best intercultural consultants on a continuous, as needed, basis. Cultural Concierge Service© insures that the best information, the best tips, the most valued guarded secrets about winning in a culture abroad, are shared in a strategically targeted coaching context exactly when they are needed, just-in-time, laser-focused and curated to your specific situation of the moment. You wouldn’t make a financial decision without advice from your CFO; you wouldn’t make a marketing decision without input from your Marketing Director, and you certainly shouldn’t enter a new culture abroad without guidance from your company’s Cultural Concierge. You don’t have a Cultural Concierge? Now, you do.


Cultural Concierge Service© is a new subscription service that provides immediate, on-call cultural guidance, whenever and wherever you or your global managers need it. Cultural Concierge Service© is NOT your grandfather’s cultural training. Cultural Concierge Service© IS an on-going personal consultation service with me and my team, as needed, uniquely designed to guide you through whatever culture or issue you, your global managers and global teams, might be facing.

Need to prepare for that meeting in Singapore? Need to generate faster, more valid virtual communications with Mexico? Want the best tips for managing language differences on a phone call with Rome? Need to host your guests from Seoul in Seattle? Or maybe, quite simply, a suggestion for the best gift to bring to that business dinner tonight in Almaty? Whatever — and wherever — your cultural concerns might be, your Cultural Concierge is always there to provide answers, information, support and guidance.


Cultural Concierge Service© is available to your entire organization, or just the select individuals you want to invite, as a subscription service, for a one-time annual organizational subscription fee. There are no per-use or per-program fees, and no limits on the frequency of use, resulting in a far more meaningful on-going learning experience at a far lower per learner cost than traditional training. For the details on how we can help guide you and your organization to new heights of cultural competency, faster, easier, more efficiently and more effectively, click the button below to send me a message, and let's amp up the global competency adventure together.


Through a variety of training, consulting and coaching interventions, including Dean's exclusive curated, just-in-time on-going Cultural Concierge Service©, Dean and his team of over 200 worldwide intercultural training consultants provide your organization with the knowledge and skills required for global success in the 21st century. Whether supporting relocating international transferees and their families; global managers and their teams; or C-suite global decision-makers; we help develop the cultural competencies you need to accelerate success across cultures, anywhere in the world.