Mink Stavenga chosen to head GIA School of Business

The Gemological Institute of America has appointed Mink Stavenga as Dean of the GIA School of Business. In his new position, Stavenga will strengthen and build the current business program tailored for the gem and jewelry industry at GIA.

Stavenga comes to GIA with more than 25 years of experience in the academic and business worlds. He most recently served as system-wide dean at the San Diego-based Alliant International University, formerly known as United States International University (USIU). He was responsible for strategic direction and management of the business school and for oversight of all of the university’s international and U.S. campuses.

Born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1957, Stavenga is of Dutch heritage. He moved to Ghana when he was two and lived there until he completed high school.

Stavenga attended the University of Kent at Canterbury, England, where he was one of the first four in the founding class to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1978. He minored in cybernetics.

In 1979, Stavenga moved to San Diego to enter USIU’s international business program, where he received a master’s degree in 1981.

The following year, Stavenga served as an international financial consultant for Interbeton Overseas in Qatar, where he developed a foreign exchange management program for a multinational subsidiary. He also devised and implemented successful marketing programs as vice president of Finance and Marketing for Walsh Enterprises in San Diego and as chief financial officer for the Alhamrani Group of Companies in Saudi Arabia.

Stavenga returned to USIU, where he earned his Doctor of Business Administration degree in finance in 1984. He then worked as a professor at USIU in January of 1986, before becoming assistant dean the following year. By 1989, Stavenga was acting dean.

“The wonderful opportunities that have always attracted me to academia are the same things that brought me to GIA,” Stavenga said. “I have a chance here to help build a business program with enormous potential for the future.”

“He (Stavenga) brings a wealth of experience from his longtime tenure as dean at an international university,” said Brook Ellis, vice president of GIA Education. “The gem and jewelry industry is a global industry, so his widespread knowledge of international business education and extensive leadership experience are great assets for our School of Business.”

For more information about the GIA School of Business, or to enroll, call 800-421-7250, ext. 4001 or 760-603-4001 from outside the U.S. E-mail eduinfo@gia.edu or visit www.gia.edu. The next round of courses for the Jewelry Business Management Diploma Program begins Sept. 13.