Prof. Debra Dianne Ali-Lawson
Prof. Debra Dianne Ali-Lawson Externe Fachperson
Dozentin für Intercultural and International Management
Abteilung Grundlagen und Methoden
Culture's impact on business and management
Bachelor in Business Administration
Bachelor in Business Administration (International Programme)
Cross-cultural Competence Development
- Debra Dianne Ali–Lawson was born in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa of South African parents. She is married to Philipp Ali, a Swiss citizen and has two sons. She has family in South Africa, Australia, UK and Canada.
After obtaining a B.A. in English from the University of South Africa (UNISA); she taught English to adults in a number of private institutions, including the Swiss PTT and Swisscom between 1981and 1989. At this time she was also a teacher trainer, test writer and language examiner for the International Certificate Conference and Cambridge Examinations Board. She obtained her master degree in applied linguistics at the University of Essex, UK in 1991. She was a translator (E-D) at the Credit Suisse, Switzerland. She then took on a teaching post at Swiss College of Agriculture before teaching Business English to undergraduates at the University of Applied Sciences in Fribourg. In 1995, she was offered a teaching post at the HSW (Hochschule für Wirtschaft) which then later became a part of the Berne University of Applied Sciences. Her teaching focus moved from Business English to the development of intercultural competences and the impact culture has on cross-cultural encounters in international management/business practices. She was also given the task of internationalizing the then Business Division of the Bern University of Applied Sciences and was responsible for, amongst other things, building up a network of international partner institutions, initiating and managing student and lecturer mobility between 2006 and 2012 as well as establishing the International Programme of the Bachelor in Business Adminstration which she was responsible for from 2006 till 2012 and again from 2015 till 2018. Additional activities include the creation and implementation of the Certificate of Global Competence issued by the BFH as well as the Certificate of Engagement for the BFH Business School.
Childhood experiences in the multi-cultural environment of South Africa, especially during the Apartheid years, ignited her interest in the impact cultural differences have on people's behaviours, values and belief systems. This increased with her relocation to Switzerland and her teaching and training engagements in the UK, Germany, Italy and Russia to mention a few. Over a longer period of time, and based on many intercultural encounters during her private and professional life, she studied cultural theories before shifting her teaching focus to culture studies and undertaking a Master in Business Administration (MBA, Open University, UK) which she completed in 2009.
In her free time she loves visiting far-flung family members; meeting and working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, reading novels of authors from Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and South America; working in her garden and renovating furniture.
- 1981 - 1986 Teacher of English Migros Klubschulen, PTT
- 1984 - 1986 Teacher Trainer & Examination Writer International Certificate Conference, Frankfurt a. M.
- 1992 - 1994 Translator Credit Suisse, Bern
- 1994 - 1999 Lecturer in English/Business English Schweizerische Hochschule für Landwirtschaft, Zollikofen & Haute École de Gestion, Fribourg
- 1999 - 2006 Lecturer in English Berner Fachhochschule, Dept WGS
- 2006 - 2012 Head of International Office Berner Fachhochschule, Dept WGS
- 2006 - 2012 & 2015 - 20188 Responsible for BBA International Programme Berner Fachhochschule, Dept. Wirtschaft
- 2006 - current day Lecturer in Intercultural and International Management Berner Fachhochschule, Dept. Wirtschaft
- 1981 Bachelor of Arts in English & History University of South Africa, ZA
- 1991 Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics University of Essex, UK
- 2005 Master in Business Administration Open University, UK