- Dotcho Mihailov, Ph.D – Senior Social Scientist; Manager, Eastern Europe and Central Asia
- Michel Filion, M.A. – Facilitator, Project Management Specialist
- Janette Simbron,B.A., M.A. – Senior Tourism Specialist; Manager, Blackstone Operations, Latin America
JANETTE SIMBRON BA, MA – SENIOR TOURISM SPECIALIST
MANAGER, BLACKSTONE OPERATIONS, LATIN AMERICA
Janette Simbron has a strong background both in the social sciences and in tourism. Blackstone retained Janette to act as Project Manager for its multi-disciplinary assignment to develop a large tourism loan between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Bolivia. As a result of the considerable success of that sensitive and complex project, which successfully led to a $20 million loan agreement, Janette was assigned to head up Blackstone’s operations in Latin America, resident in La Paz.
Janette’s education includes a B.A. (Psychology) from the University of Chicago and a Masters of Anthropology (Belgium). She has worked in the tourism sector for more than 20 years, and is the owner of a highly successful receptive tour operator firm and a hotel. Janette is also part of a private sector network consisting of the top tour operators operating in and around Bolivia, and has extensive knowledge of tourism trends, markets and products throughout South America. She is very knowledgeable about the social and economic challenges facing rural communities. Janette regularly travels to European trade and travel shows, and has an extensive international network in the hospitality industry.
In addition to her tourism credentials, Janette is also a social scientist with extensive experience related to stakeholder engagement and community consultation, and social impact assessment. She has excellent “people skills” that allow her to be able to work closely and confidently within the challenging institutional environments that characterize many of the lesser developed countries.
Janettehas a strong interest in indigenous populations, and has worked with several communities to develop successful community-based tourism initiatives in Bolivia. She has carried out several socio-economic assignments including, for example:
With her broadly based public and private sector tourism experience, and her experience as a tour operator and hotelier, Janette brings hands-on tourism skills, and Spanish-language capability, to Blackstone.
DOTCHO MIHAILOV, Ph.D – Senior Social Scientist and Manager, Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Dotcho Mihailov is a highly experienced social scientist, with an M.Sc. in social psychology and Ph.D. in Social and Management Psychology. Proprietor of ASA (Agency for Socioeconomic Analysis) in Sofia, Bulgaria, Dotcho is a Senior Blackstone Associate and Manager of Blackstone’s operations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Dotcho began working with our firm in 2003, when he was retained to carry out quantitative surveys throughout Bulgaria associated with Blackstone’s World Bank assignment on “The Economic and Social Impacts of Farm Restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe”. His work included a business survey and a regional survey in three districts among a sample of 598 households and 57 Farmers. The Blackstone team’s work was highly regarded, and results were published in a World Bank monograph titled “A Stocktaking of Land Reform and Farm Restructuring in Bulgaria, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.” Most recently, Dotcho was retained to work with Blackstone on our major projects for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, undertaking field investigations of private sector company activities in China, Africa and Turkey with a view to assessing company/community relations and providing these international agencies with suggestions regarding a planned update to their Performance Standards and Safeguards.
Dotcho has extensive experience working in Eastern Europe on social analysis assignments for the UN, an array of international agencies and government agencies. He has particularly strong skills related to quantitative social surveys and analysis, using computerized tools such as SPSS. Other special areas of expertise include:
· Development research (surveys manager, analytical reports and statistical processing);
· Evaluation studies;
· Good local governance (citizen participation, community development, decentralization, communication strategies);
· Social inclusion, minority and marginalized groups;
· Rural development (Quality of life and diversification; LEADER);
· Health safety and social inclusion (family models, demography, ethnic relationships, health policies); and
· Statistical processing, including multidimensional statistics.
With his strong credentials, and able to work in English, Russian, Macedonian and Bulgarian, Dotcho is well-suited to manage Blackstone’s assignments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
MICHEL FILION, TRAINER, COACH AND FACILITATOR IN MANAGEMENT