Samara Hakim, JD


Samara Hakim is an international thought leader, strategist, speaker, writer, and facilitator who equips leaders and organizations to integrate culture into their business metrics towards a more inclusive, innovative work environment.  

Samara has over 10 years of experience in cross-cultural communication and conflict management, diversity and inclusion, implicit bias impact, and culture transformation. She is a dynamic speaker that engages people to think beyond their comfort zone and to work across differences. She draws on a range of experiences including her work across cultures, acculturation in the U.S., her legal career, and her personal background. Samara was honored with the 2018 Women of Excellence Entrepreneur Award by Diversity Professional Magazine.

Samara has worked on projects for Fortune 500 and 100 companies, including culture transformation and integration, corporate initiatives, inclusive leadership, gender culture empowerment, global marketing and sales, team-building, and inclusive procurement. She has facilitated workshops in multiple industries, for-profit and non-profit organizations, corporations, start-ups, universities, community colleges, and schools. Workshops have been at San Diego Gas & Electric Co., American Honda, Qualcomm, BD (previously Carefusion), San Diego County District Attorney's Office, UCSD, ASU, SDSU, Stanford University, American University of Beirut, and Rady's School of Management, among others. 

Samara thrives on working with people from all walks of life, inspiring them to work with those that seem different and to acknowledge everyone’s uniqueness while finding commonality. She has worked with executives, professionals at all levels, entrepreneurs, graduate and undergraduate students, law enforcement, former convicts, expatriates, youth, refugees, and immigrants. 

Samara has been a lead consultant and trainer for the National Conflict Resolution Center since 2014. She is a consultant and instructor for Hera Labs, an accelerator for women entrepreneurs. She is a member of Women for Social Impact, Humankind of San Diego, a mentor through the Aztec Mentor Program at SDSU, and a member of the board of World Peace through Law, a section of the Washington State Bar. Samara was also the Education Committee Chair for the San Diego Diversity Council and a member of the advisory board for the Center for Innovation in Women Leadership at Alliant International University. Prior to founding The Culture Factor, Samara was Director of Operations and Senior Advisor at a culture strategy firm that was later acquired by Ernst and Young.

Samara’s work has been copyrighted, and she has been featured in a book on global leadership and in several media outlets. She has been a guest lecturer or speaker at The University of Notre Dame, SCORE, SDSU, USD, California Public Utilities Commission En Banc, and Internations, among others. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Intercultural Management from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor from the University of Oregon School of Law. She received her BA in History and BA in Political Science from the University of Portland. 

Samara grew up in Lebanon. She has traveled extensively and is fluent in French, Arabic, and English, and conversational in Spanish.