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Focused Researchers & Innovators

Jessica Higgins


Jessica Higgins is an agent of change for public, private and non-profit organizations around the world. Her focus is on facilitating the development of an enterprise’s authentic voice as a means of conveying their core values to stakeholders through their internal and external words and actions.

Beyond her advisory work, Ms. Higgins is a best-selling author as her first book: 10 Skills For Business Communication, reached #1 in New Releases for Communication and Social Skills books. Her work has also been published in over ten thousand media outlets including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Thrive Global, Huffington Post, CBS, and Newsweek.

In addition to serving as a Partner of R+I, Ms. Higgins is the President of Curated Financial, an investment fund manager she founded in order to streamline the cultivation of bespoke investment opportunities for private clients after finding a general lack of cohesion in the investment selection process of alternative investment options. Curated Financial advises a venture capital fund and a fund of funds focused on the selection of emerging managers.

Ms. Higgins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Behavioral Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctorate / Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami. In addition, Ms. Higgins is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification holder with specialty in Systems Design and holds an executive education certificate in Behavior Design from the Design Lab at Stanford University.

Alex Burns


Alex Burns is a strategist and tactician with an expertise that spans a prodigious scope of diverse subject matter. His focus is on the generation of value, frequently by optimizing existing latent attributes that may be in a currently overlooked state. Knowing something about conflict, he also regularly works with clients and their advisors bringing a differentiated perspective on adversarial matters and their efficient resolution.

Previously, Mr. Burns has held principal level positions at a number of organizations from running his own single family office, to founding an award winning rum distillery, and while in his twenties, he was the co-founder and chief strategist of a multi-billion dollar financial services company with investments across a wide variety of sectors.

He is a past member of the YCC / Acquisitions Committee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Executive Roundtable of the Republican Governors Association, as well as the Board of Visitors of the Medical University of South Carolina.

Mr. Burns holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies from Columbia University in the City of New York and attended the Presidents & Key Executives MBA program at the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University as well as the Juris Doctorate program at the Charleston School of Law, and is the recipient of awards from the US Army & Office of Naval Research for Computer Modeling of Complex Systems.

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