Connecting Bridges and Borders Program

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Connecting Bridges and Borders Program

IDR connecting bridges logo

Objective: To Improve Global Business Through Thought Leadership.

Connecting Bridges and Borders on Youtube

Connecting Bridges and Borders on Spotify

Connecting Bridges and Borders (CBB) has a transdisciplinary academic focus to support cross border business and foreign direct investment (FDI). CBB examines pedagogical pathways supporting improved functionality to build eco-systems. Eco-system modalities are examined both from an academic scholarly prospective and the practice of advancing efficiency for the global business community. Connecting Bridges and Borders under the IDR umbrella has several focused contributions to this process including but not limited to programs, publications, student experiences, public relations, strategic communications, consulting and innovation through the IDR experiences. Examples of these experiences will be found throughout the IDR platform including our Spotify and podcast programming, publications and depositaries, strategic partnership with ECCOM Magazine Publication, collaboration with chambers of commerce and industry, supporting entrepreneurship & innovation utilizing AI, soft diplomacy, education and tailored system designed courses, and policy and standard initiatives.

    Past Events

    Domestic and International Events

    • Thought Leadership in Budapest - Key Series Part 1 - February, 2019
    IDR event connecting bridges
    IDR's Thought Leadership Four-Part Series I Entitled “One Night in Budapest” Discussing Mediation and Global Business (Spring 2019)
    IDR's Thought Leadership Four-Part Series II Entitled “One Night in Budapest” Discussing Mediation and Global Business (Fall 2019)
    • Conference: Family Enterprises and Alternative Dispute Resolution, October 2019, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary. Topic: Economic Efficiency Mediation (EEM): Addressing Global Business to Improve Process Efficiency

    Domestic and International Events

    UNCITRAL Delegate Thought Leadership Dinner 2018 was hosted by the IDR for ongoing discussions on the deliberations for the working group session held in NYC at the UN for the Enforcement of cross border commercial mediation settlement agreements.

    The Birth of Connecting and Borders

    David Weiss’s Presentation on business, SME and Family operations from the prism of how to address conflicts utilizing mediation at the Hungarian Financial Board, which is part of the Hungarian Financial Bank.

    Digital Initiatives

    • Building the Future of Global Business - WATCH HERE
    • The American Society of International Law's Africa Interest Group x IDR: Diversity in the Legal Profession - WATCH HERE
    • CIANJ’s Meet 5 Hungarian Companies - WATCH HERE

    Steering Committee

    jennifer brandt headshot

    Jennifer Brandt is an attorney and mediator in complex commercial, family law and family business disputes and one of a few multi-disciplinary mediators appointed by New Jersey Courts. She holds a Master of Arts in international relations specializing in conflict resolution. Jennifer trains judges and attorneys worldwide as mediation ambassador and Member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives which promotes mediation throughout the world, including in Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, India, and the Republic of Georgia. As a founding member of the Global Mediation Exchange Center in Jersey City, she mediates international commercial disputes. Jennifer is Chair of the Steering Committee of IDR’s Connecting Bridges and Borders Program, CEDR accredited and a member of their Global Mediation Panel, IMI certified, member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and frequently invited speaker at international conferences. Jennifer is fluent in French.

    Jennifer Brandt's IDR Experience

    thomas barat

    Thomas Barat is a retired Professor of Communication and he was the Education Director of European Media and Communication Institute. He was the Executive Vice President of the Hungarian Public Relations Association and the European Public Relations Confederation, as well. He was a council member of the International Public Relations Association. He wrote 17 books in the field of Applied Communication.

    Thomas Barat the Founder, and Editor in Chief of CCO Magazine. (  

    Thomas Barat is a member of different professional organizations. Among others: Society of Professional Journalists USA, Association of Hungarian Journalists, Hungarian Public Relations Association, Chartered Institute of Public Relations the UK. He is the Treasurer, Board, and Executive Committee Member of the Association of Foreign Correspondents in the USA.  

    Thomas Barat the Founder and President of the American Hungarian Chamber of Commerce.

    Thomas Barat's IDR Experience

    anthony russo headshot

    Anthony Russo is president of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ), a business association representing the interests of more than 900 companies. In this capacity, Mr. Russo is responsible for all aspects of the association. Mr. Russo is also the CEO and publisher of COMMERCE Magazine. COMMERCE magazine is a business to business magazine with a readership of more than 40,000 professionals. 

    Prior to his current position, Mr. Russo served as Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications for CIANJ as well as Deputy Executive Director of the National Lime Association in Washington, DC representing the interests of mining companies producing calcium oxide (aka lime) at the federal level.

    Mr. Russo started his career at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as a senior engineer issuing water quality permits. He then spent 5 years as an environmental consultant working for two firms, GES and ERM.  He began his government affairs career when he served as Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs for the Chemistry Council of NJ, representing chemical and pharmaceutical companies in Trenton on legislative and environmental matters.

    Mr. Russo is a graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with a degree in mechanical engineering.

    giorgi tsertsvadze headshot

    Giorgi Tsertsvadze is an Associate Professor at Tbilisi State University Law Faculty and practicing lawyer since 2003. He is a member of the Georgian Bar Association and founder/managing partner of the law firm J & T Consulting, one of the leading law firms in Georgia.

    A certified mediator since 2012, Dr. Tsertsvadze was the founder of the National Center for ADR at Tbilisi State University (TSU, NCADR), one of the first centers to develop and implement mediation in Georgia and serves as NCADR’s Academic Director. Dr. Tsertsvadze is also the founder and a former chairman of the Georgian Association of Mediators. Giorgi has founded EBA Mediation and Arbitration Center in Cooperation with European Business Association in Georgia. The EBA MAC is the first and only private service ADR services provider offering a full range of mediation and arbitration services.

    Since May, 2020 Dr. Tsertsvadze is also a member of the Global Mediation Panel (Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS, and UN-Women).

    Dr. Tsertsvadze has extensive international experience. He is the author of the first Georgian text books on Mediation and arbitration. Giorgi is the beneficiary of grants and scholarships from, and actively participates in, programs by the Max Planck Institute for International Private and Comparative Law (Germany), the Volkswagen Foundation (Germany), the German Academic Exchange Service (Germany), Chuo Law School (Japan), Japan Association of Arbitrators (Japan) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the JAMS Foundation (USA – Harvard University, Stanford University, Pepperdine University), and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany).