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Speaker Bios

 

Joshua Bixby
CEO, Fastly

Joshua Bixby has served as the CEO of Fastly since February 2020, and served as its President from May 2017 to February 2020. He has been on the executive leadership team at Fastly since December 2015, and served in a part-time advisory role since 2013. From February 2013 to August 2013, Bixby served as Vice President of Acceleration at Radware Ltd., a cybersecurity and application delivery solutions company. He served as President and co-founder of Strangeloop Networks, a web application acceleration solutions company, from June 2006 until its acquisition by Radware in February 2013. From October 2002 to April 2006, Bixby was a co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of IronPoint Technology, Inc., a content management software solutions company. He is the founder of Stanley Park Ventures, an early stage foundry based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bixby earned his B.A. in Management and Business Economics from the University of Toronto.

 

Hannah Riley Bowles
Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School

Hannah Riley Bowles is the Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). She chairs HKS Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences (MLD) Area and co-directs the HKS Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP).

Bowles is a leading expert on how gender influences pay negotiations and more broadly on negotiation as a micro-mechanism of inequality. Her current research focuses on women’s leadership advancement, examining both situational barriers and individual strategies. Her research appears in academic publications, such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, Psychological Science, and Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Her research has been featured in major news media, including ABC News, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Slate Magazine, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and TIME. She teaches “Conflict & Collaboration” in the MPP core curriculum and is the faculty director of Women & Power, the HKS executive program for women in senior leadership from the public, private and non-profit sectors. She won the HKS Manuel Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003. She has also been actively involved in negotiation and conflict management training, practice, and research for over 25 years, including early career opportunities to work for the governments of Argentina, Costa Rica, and Germany. She holds a Doctor of Business Administration Degree from the Harvard Business School, a Master of Public Policy from HKS, and a B.A. from Smith College.

 

Tonye Cole
Co-founder and Former Executive Director, Sahara Group

Tonye Patrick Cole, an alumnus of University of Lagos and Harvard Business School, is the co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, an energy conglomerate with operations spanning the entire energy chain in Nigeria and neighboring West African countries to East Africa and beyond. The Group operates in 38 countries around the world with over 4,000 employees and an annual turnover of $11 billion. He was directly responsible for building the Group’s global expansion and upholding her corporate governance principles, maintaining her status with global institutions like the World Economic Forum, where he was a key member of Pact Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), The United Nations, where he was a pioneer member of the advisory board of the Private Sector Advisory Group for the UNDP Sustainable Development Group Fund (SDG- F), The African Philanthropy Forum, ENACTUS Nigeria among others.

In addition to founding and running one of Nigeria’s largest energy conglomerates, Cole also spearheaded and developed work carried out the Sahara Foundation globally. He continues working to inspire the youth of Africa through charities such as his NGO, Nehemiah Youth Empowerment initiative, which aims to influence change in Africa by bringing together young and emerging leaders to develop and implement practical strategies that will produce positive outcomes for millions and more recently, Behavioral Health Institute (BHI) that he set up for the study and management of behavioral health issues especially among the youth in Nigeria.

He works closely with a number of foundations in Nigeria including the Down Syndrome Foundation, Slum-2-School Foundation, The Compassionate Center and various orphanages. In September of 2018, Cole made a life-changing decision to pursue a career in politics. He formally resigned from all board and executive roles held in Sahara Group to contest for the gubernatorial seat in his home state of Rivers. In December 2019, New African named Cole among the top 100 most influential Africans alive. He is a motivational speaker, writer, teacher and mentor.

Steve Crown
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation

Steve Crown is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Human Rights, of the Microsoft Corporation, contributing to development and interpretation of company-wide policies that support advocacy for Rule of Law and respect for human rights in the conduct of the company’s business. He works closely with colleagues across Microsoft and with external parties across the globe to advance company, industry and multi-stakeholder initiatives, including through public-private partnerships. Crown is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Futures Council on Human Rights and Technology and participates inside the Partnership on AI on the “Social and Societal Influences of Artificial Intelligence” working group. In 2016, he became the first information technology executive to address the United Nations Security Council.

Since joining Microsoft in 1997, Crown has served in a variety of roles, including as VP and Deputy General Counsel for China strategy, VP & DGC for Office, and VP & DGC for Entertainment and Devices (Xbox, Windows Phone, and television and music services).

Before joining Microsoft Steve practiced law with the firm now known as K&L Gates, served as International Business Vice President for a company that built out wireless telephone networks in Russia, and established a commercial law practice with special focus on technology transfers and international trade and investment.

Crown holds degrees from the University of Washington, the University of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School. He serves in leadership positions on a range of organizations, including the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber (past chair), the Global Network Initiative (executive committee) the International Bar Association Media Law Committee (executive committee), and the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (past president).

 

Patricia Daley
Partner, Deloitte

Patricia Daley is a Partner at Deloitte with over 24 years of consulting experience in Canada, U.S., Australia, and Europe. She leads the Diversity & Inclusion practice and has also been the Talent leader for Consulting in Canada. Her specific areas of focus are business and people strategies, innovation, customer experience, talent programs, operating models, innovation and IT strategy. Daley is a seasoned business advisor and works with a broad range of clients including those in financial services, public sector, retail and energy.

 

Francesca Daverio
Senior Counsel and Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel, World Bank

Francesca Daverio is the Senior Counsel, Gender Legal Advisor and Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President, and Group General Counsel at the World Bank. She is an experienced legal counsel with experience working in the international trade and development industry. Daverio holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) focused in the Law of Business and Commerce from Università Commerciale ‘Luigi Bocconi’ in Italy.

 

Carolyn Edgar
Managing Counsel – Technology, Intellectual Property and Social Media, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation

Carolyn Edgar is Managing Counsel of Technology, Intellectual Property and Social Media at The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. She works on technology and procurement transactions, including software licenses, application services, SaaS, Cloud, consulting services agreements, software development agreements, information services and business process outsourcing agreements. Prior to joining BNY Mellon, Edgar was Vice President and Legal Counsel for The Estée Lauder Companies.

Edgar is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

 

Mats Granryd
Director General, GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications)

Mats Granryd is Director General of the GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications), and a Member of its Board. In this role, he leads the GSMA in supporting its global membership through a range of industry programs, advocacy initiatives and industry-convening events.

Granryd is a strong proponent of sustainability and led the mobile industry in becoming the first sector to broadly commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016. He is now spearheading initiatives to amplify and accelerate the mobile industry’s impact on all 17 of the SDGs, across both developed and developing markets.

Granryd serves on the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, which is focused on leveraging ICT and broadband-based technologies for sustainable development. Within the Commission, he chairs the Working Group on Digital Gender Divide to address the digital gender divide and foster the equal inclusion of women and girls in broadband access and use. He is a leader with The B Team, a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of business leaders to catalyze a better way of doing business, for the well being of people and the planet. From 2016 to 2018, Granryd was also a Commissioner on the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, working with CEOs across many industries to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable, inclusive economy.

Granryd brings to the GSMA a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in the highly dynamic mobile industry. Prior to joining the GSMA in 2016, he was President and CEO of Tele2, one of Europe’s fastest-growing telecom operators with more than 16 million customers across nine countries.

Previously, Granryd spent 15 years in a variety of roles at Ericsson, most recently as Head of Northern Europe and Central Asia. While at Ericsson, he also led the North West Europe, India, CDMA and North Africa units, as well as the global customer accounts for Vodafone and Bharti. He holds a M.Sc. from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

 

Suneel Gupta
Author, Backable

Suneel Gupta teaches innovation at Harvard University and is the author of the upcoming book, Backable (Little Brown, 2021) – exploring how to get people to believe in your ideas. The book is rooted in Suneel’s journey from first-time entrepreneur to being named “The New Face of Innovation” by the New York Stock Exchange. Gupta’s ideas have been backed by firms like Greylock and Google Ventures, and he served as an Entrepreneur in Residence inside Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He has personally backed startups including Impossible Foods, AirBnB, 23&Me, Calm, and SpaceX. In 2019, he established the Gross National Happiness Center of America in partnership with the Kingdom of Bhutan.

 

David Hornik
Principal, August Capital

David Hornik is the Principal of August Capital. He is featured as the first “Giver” in Adam Grant’s “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drive Our Success.” Hornik teaches entrepreneurship at Harvard Law School and Stanford Business School and is one of the Ally/ Leaders in Penn Law’s class on Leadership and had played a leadership role in bringing together some of the most important voices in allyship.

For the last 20 years, Hornik has worked closely with technology companies to help them grow and prosper. He joined August Capital in 2000 to invest in a broad range of software companies. Since that time, he has invested in dozens of companies across the software spectrum, including a number of enterprise software and SaaS (e.g, Splunk, Fastly, GitLab), consumer services (e.g., Evite, Ebates, Drop), and financial technology companies (e.g., WePay, Bill.com, PayNearMe).

Along with colleagues at August Capital, Hornik started the first venture capital blog, VentureBlog, and the first venture capital podcast, VentureCast. He is the creator and executive producer of the The Lobby and Lobby: Enterprise, August Capital’s annual gatherings of the thought leaders across digital media and enterprise/SaaS software. Hornik has also served as the Tech Curator for the TED Conference in Vancouver and is the co-creator and host of TEDxStanford. He received Deloitte’s 2013 Venture Capitalist of the Year award and has been honored by Forbes as a member of its Midas List of top Venture Capitalists.

Hornik has an eclectic educational background. He received an B.A. from Stanford in Computer Music, an M.Phil. in Criminology from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He teaches courses in entrepreneurship and venture capital at Stanford Business School and Harvard Law School, and serves as a VC Partner at the Harvard Business School. He is the vice-chair of GLAAD, a leading LGBTQ rights organization, and is a member of the board of the Stanford Alumni Association.

 

Natalie Jabangwe
CEO, EcoCash

Natalie Jabangwe is currently the youngest chief executive to run a mobile money business in Africa. Her company, EcoCash, is Zimbabwe’s leading and fastest-growing mobile money service and was the 2017 corporate recipient of the Mobile World Congress “Best Mobile Payment Solution” Glomo Award. With over 11 years of experience in fintech, she began her career as a software engineer, eventually moving to Investment banking and retail banking sectors, across the EMEA region. Prior to joining EcoCash, she was a Senior Mobile Financial Services Consultant at a Fortune500 company, NCR Corporation, where she developed NCR’s digital financial service strategy across 52 countries. Jabangwe is a seasoned researcher and enthusiastic digital strategist with deep financial services and technology development experience.

She qualified with a B.Sc. in Information Technology and an Executive M.B.A. (specialization in Hi-tech Strategy and Corporate Turnaround) from Imperial College London, UK. She is a 2017 Oxford University Tutu Fellow and a member of YPO Africa. In 2018, Jabangwe was named one of World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and was ranked #14 on the Choiseul 100, Africa Emerging Leaders.

 

Paula Johnson
President of Wellesley College

Paula Johnson is the President of Wellesley College. Johnson is a highly respected and passionate leader, deeply committed to women and to sustainably improving their lives. She is recognized internationally as an innovator who has brought her broad range of experience as a researcher, educator, and expert in health care, public health, and health policy to bear in the effort to advance the well-being of women. With a remarkable track record of accomplishments—she founded the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital—she has led in the field of women’s health, taking an approach to biology that integrates insights from sociology, economics, and many other fields.

Johnson was the Grayce A. Young Family Professor of Medicine in Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School, as well as professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research, her vision, and her interdisciplinary approach to leading at the intersection of health care, education, and public health have placed her in key leadership roles in organizations around the world.

 

Andrew Kandel
Global Chief Compliance Officer, Senior Legal Officer and Senior Managing Director, Cerberus Capital Management

Andrew Kandel is the Global Chief Compliance Officer, Senior Legal Officer and Senior Managing Director at Cerberus Capital Management. Kandel joined Cerberus in 2007, and oversees compliance for Cerberus and its global operations. He is a member of the Compliance and Risk Management, Allocation, Brokerage Selection, Valuation, Securities Compliance, and Financial Risk Management Committees. He is also the Chairman of the Firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Committee.

As Global Chief Compliance Officer, Kandel works with the Firm’s business units and its professionals worldwide to ensure Cerberus is maintaining the highest standard of compliance and ethical behavior. He has been instrumental in integrating best practices into the Firm’s day-to-day operations, including through the development of a robust compliance program that, among other things, regularly monitors activities and conducts trainings to ensure the safeguarding of the Firm’s integrity and reputation. In addition, he leads Cerberus’ ESG efforts and is a key driver in incorporating ESG into the activities of the Firm, its portfolio companies, and investments.

Prior to joining Cerberus, Kandel was First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Merrill Lynch, where he was in charge of state regulation, legislation, and government relations and also handled various SEC, NYSE, NASD, and compliance-related matters. From 1995 to 1998, he was the Chief of the Investor Protection & Securities Bureau at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where he also served as Assistant Deputy Attorney General, assisting in oversight of the Antitrust, Charities, Consumer Fraud, Civil Rights, Environmental, and Real Estate Finance Bureaus. From 1993 to 1995, Kandel was Senior Special Counsel, then Trial Counsel, at the Enforcement Division of the New York Stock Exchange. He was also an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan for seven years.

Kandel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a Lecturer and Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

 

Shelly Kapoor Collins
Founding Partner, Shatter Fund

Shelly Kapoor Collins is founding partner of the Shatter Fund, a returns-driven fund investing in technology companies led and started by women.

Shatter is the culmination of Kapoor Collins’s entire career of working in the Tech industry as a founder, investor, and advisor, and her extensive experience in mentoring and empowering women in the U.S. and abroad. An unparalleled network of strong female operators built over 20 years in the Tech industry provides the Shatter team with access to some of the most exciting, mission-driven female-led companies. She has also worked at the highest level of politics, giving tech advice to President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and serving as Vice Chair of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Women in Public Service Project.

A few of Kapoor Collins’s investments include leading female-led companies GlamSquad, UrbanSitter, HelloAlice, Hint Water, On Second Thought, The Riveter, Storm Sensor, and more. Kapoor Collins is a frequent speaker for corporations and nonprofits on relevant topics including Women in Tech, Women’s Empowerment, Women in Venture Capital, STEM, and more.

 

Mehmood Khan
Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, Life Biosciences, Inc.

Mehmood Khan, MD, is Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Life Biosciences, Inc. He joined the company in April 2019. Life Biosciences was founded to advance scientific research and develop innovative new therapies to improve and extend healthy lives for everyone, including companion animals. The company has built a unique daughter company structure to systematically address eight biological causes of aging, rather than working to treat a series of isolated diseases and conditions that arise with age. Life Biosciences has established a corporate office in Boston, MA, a state-of-the-art research facility in Cambridge, MA, and a cutting-edge technology center in New York City, NY. In his role as CEO, Khan provides strategic direction and operational oversight across Life Biosciences and its six daughter companies. His vision of a more efficient and effective drug development pathway will drive innovation in the science and technology Life Biosciences advances. By leveraging his diverse experience in pharmaceutical, clinical, and consumer industries, Khan is the ideal leader for Life Biosciences through its evolution and emergence as a global leader in longevity research and product development.

Khan previously served as Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Global Research and Development at PepsiCo, a Fortune50 company employing upwards of 250,000 employees across 22 brands. At PepsiCo, he played a pivotal role in the company’s global R&D efforts to create breakthrough innovations in food, beverages, and nutrition, including the incorporation of healthier and more nutritious offerings across its portfolio. Khan also oversaw PepsiCo’s global sustainability initiatives based on the belief that success in business is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world we share. Prior to joining PepsiCo, he served as President of Global R&D at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, leading the global efforts of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world by revenue.

Before moving into industry, Khan had a distinguished medical career as a faculty member in endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School where he served as Director of the Diabetes, Endocrine and Nutritional Trials Unit. He also spent nine years leading programs in diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism and nutrition for the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Khan is a member of the Board of Directors of Reckitt Benckiser, Indigo Ag, the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also serves as Chair of the U.S. Pakistan Business Council and Chair, U.S. Council on Competitiveness in Washington, D.C.

Khan earned his medical degree from the University of Liverpool Medical School, England, and completed a fellowship in clinical endocrinology and nutrition in the Department of Medicine and Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, and a Fellow of the American College of Endocrinology.

 

Rasha Khawaja
Founder and CEO, Toucan

Rasha Khawaja is the founder and CEO of Toucan. Khawaja’s innate desire for knowledge took her to Brown University where she studied Psychiatry and Cognitive Science. Further education followed at both Oxford University and Cambridge University before she started her career at Condé Nast Publications and went on to work at Christie’s. These experiences heightened her entrepreneurial drive and after spotting a gap in the market for a way to help creatives get their businesses out in front of influential business luminaries, Toucan was born. Khawaja’s passion for innovation and nurturing new talent and business continues through her role as a member of the UKBAA, and being an active member of the advisory board of Innovation RCA and the development and strategy board of the ZSL. She also sits on the board of the Oxford Business School as well as the Oxford Global Leadership Council and is a Founding Ambassador on the Prince’s Trust Women Supporting Women Council.

Outside of the world of Toucan, Khawaja is a devoted mother and an adventurous traveler who one day hopes to conquer Kilimanjaro and to walk The Great Wall of China. She is also dedicated to a number of charities and sits on the board of ‘The Playing for Change Foundation’, as well as supporting her family’s charity, ‘The Said Foundation’. Toucan Ventures were proud to win ‘One to Watch – Best Entrant to the Angel Ecosystem’ at the 2016 Angel Investment Awards as well as being nominated for the Employer of the Year – Women in Finance Awards 2018.

 

Silvana Koch-Mehrin
President and Founder, Women Political Leaders; Former Vice-President of the European Parliament (2009-2011); Former Member of the European Parliament (2004-2014)

Koch-Mehrin is the President and Founder of Women Political Leaders (WPL), the worldwide network of female Politicians. Its mission is to increase the number and influence of women in political leadership.

Koch-Mehrin also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament (2009-2011) and Member of the European Parliament (2004-2014).

Before her time in politics, Koch-Mehrin founded and ran a public affairs consultancy in Brussels, which later merged with a larger US firm. Silvana worked as Senior Special Advisor for EY, and as a Senior Policy Advisor for GPLUS Europe.

In addition to her work for WPL, Koch-Mehrin serves on the board of the Council of Women World Leaders, the network of female Presidents and Prime Ministers. She is a member of the senior network of the European Leadership Network (ELN), and a Board Director of the Social Progress Imperative, and represents the European Union since 2016, in the Executive Committee of W20, an official engagement group of the G20. In 2019, UN Women invited Silvana to join the Leaders of Generation Equality campaign, and lend her voice, impact, and power to supporting Generation Equality from the launch on September 25th, 2019 throughout 2020. In 2018, and 2019, she has been ranked as one of the 100 most influential persons in gender equality by apolitical. She is a regular speaker at institutions such as the UN, OECD, World Bank, and other international fora. Koch-Mehrin is a Young Global Leader Alumni of the World Economic Forum.

 

René Lacerte
Founder and CEO, Bill.com

René Lacerte is a fintech entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Bill.com, one of the nation’s leading business payments networks. At Bill.com, he works with some of the nation’s largest banks and accounting firms to redefine how business payments are made. Lacerte founded Bill.com in 2006 after recognizing that business owners needed a way to simplify payments so they could focus on their business.

He is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and has over 20 years of experience in the finance, software, and payments industries. Prior to Bill.com, Lacerte founded PayCycle, the first and largest online payroll solution which was acquired by Intuit in 2009. Early in his career, he spent five years at Intuit, growing its bill payment and credit card businesses and launching Intuit’s first connected payroll product.

Lacerte was an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year national finalist and the Northern California winner in 2017. For seven years in a row he has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the accounting industry by Accounting Today. He is a graduate of Stanford University, where he received an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and a B.A. in Quantitative Economics.

 

Blake Lawit
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, LinkedIn

Blake Lawit is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at LinkedIn. At LinkedIn, Lawit is responsible for legal affairs and public policy across the globe, including regulatory, corporate, commercial, litigation, government relations, compliance, and privacy issues. Since joining LinkedIn in 2010, he has been instrumental to the company’s legal and public policy strategies and has helped to navigate complex litigation and regulatory issues. Before becoming general counsel, he led the teams responsible for litigation, regulatory disputes, antitrust, patent, employment, and legal department operations. Before he joined LinkedIn, Lawit was a partner at Howard Rice in San Francisco, where he specialized in intellectual property and litigation.

He graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and Harvard College.

 

Ambassador Michael Lawson
President and CEO, Los Angeles Urban League

Ambassador Michael Lawson currently serves as President and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, having most recently been in Montreal serving as the Permanent U.S. Representative to the Council of International Civil Aviation Organization. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Lawson served as a partner at the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flori, LLP in their New York and Los Angeles offices until he retired in 2011. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1978, and earned his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Loyola Marymount University in 1975.

 

Alan Lightman
Professor of the Practice of the Humanities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alan Lightman is a novelist, essayist, physicist, and educator. Currently, he is Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Until 2003, he was John Burchard Professor of the Humanities at MIT.

He was educated at Princeton University and at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. Before coming to MIT, he was on the faculty of Harvard University. At MIT, Lightman was the first person to receive dual faculty appointments in science and in the humanities at MIT, and was John Burchard Professor of Humanities before becoming Professor of the Practice of the Humanities to allow more time for his writing. Lightman is the author of five novels, two collections of essays, a book-length narrative poem, and several books on science. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s, Nautilus, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books, among other publications. His novel Einstein’s Dreams was an international bestseller and has been translated into thirty languages. His novel The Diagnosis was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award in fiction. His most recent books are Screening Room, A Memoir of the South (2015), named one of the best books of 2015 by The Washington Post, The Accidental Universe (2016), named by Brainpickings as one of the best books of 2016, Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine (2018), an extended essay on the intersection of science and spirituality and the basis for an essay on the PBS Newshour, and In Praise of Wasting Time (2018), which investigates the creativity born from allowing our minds to freely roam. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won numerous other awards and is the recipient of five honorary degrees. Lightman is also the founding director of the Harpswell Foundation, which works to advance a new generation of women leaders in Southeast Asia.

 

Tsu-Jae King Liu
Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering, College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Tsu-Jae King Liu is the Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering at UC Berkeley College of Engineering. Dean Tsu-Jae King Liu is internationally recognized in academia and industry for her innovations in semiconductor devices and technology, and is highly regarded for her achievements as an instructor, mentor and administrator.

Liu was born in Ithaca, New York, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University in 1984, 1986, and 1994, respectively. She was a scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) before joining the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS).

In addition to excelling in research, garnering honors and patents in the fields of integrated-circuit devices and technologies, Liu has demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing the educational experience of students. Her dedication earned Liu the EE Division Outstanding Teaching Award, UC Berkeley Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award and the Semiconductor Research Corporation Aristotle Award.

Liu held numerous leadership roles on campus prior to becoming the College of Engineering’s 13th dean. From 2016 to 2018, she was UC Berkeley’s vice provost for academic and space planning, overseeing the campus’ academic program review process, space planning, and international partnerships. In the College of Engineering, she also served as associate dean for research from 2008 to 2012, and associate dean for academic planning and development in 2016, before taking the vice provost position on campus. In the EECS department, Liu served as department chair from 2014 to 2016, EE division chair from 2012 to 2016, and vice chair for graduate matters from 2003 to 2004.

Liu is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a board member for Intel Corp. Among her awards are the Ross M. Tucker AIME Electronics Materials Award for seminal work in polycrystalline silicon-germanium thin films, an NSF CAREER Award for research in thin-film transistor technology, the Intel Outstanding Researcher in Nanotechnology Award, the IEEE Aldert van der Ziel Award for distinguished educational and research contributions to the field of electronic devices and materials, and the DARPA Significant Technical Achievement Award for her role in the development of the FinFET, an advanced transistor design used in high-end computer chips.

 

Vanessa Liu
Vice President of SAP.iO

Vanessa Liu is a builder. She is a builder of businesses, concepts, networks and connections.

Liu presently leads SAP.iO Foundries in North America, which are SAP’s accelerators for B2B enterprise startups. She has earned degrees in neuroscience and law.

Early in her career, Lui worked in the business consulting world with McKinsey Company, which took her around the world to posts in Amsterdam, London and New York, were she presently resides. Along her dynamic career path, Lui developed a keen interest in media, and she has launched and invested in a number of successful media ventures, including Inside Hook and Fevo.

Lui is a champion for social justice and a tireless advocate for under-represented business start-ups, especially those led by women or diverse founders. She graduated from Harvard with a B.A. and J.D.

 

Saki Macozoma
Executive Chairman, Safika Holdings, Tshipi é Ntle and Ntsimbintle Mining; Group Chair, Vodacom; Director, Volkswagen South Africa

Saki Macozoma is one of the most prominent business figures in South Africa. He is executive chairman of Safika Holdings, Tshipi é Ntle and Ntsimbintle Mining, group chair of Vodacom and a director of Volkswagen South Africa.

In addition to his business interests, Macozoma makes a substantial contribution to civil society. He has served as chairman of the University Council of the University of the Witwatersrand and the Council for Higher Education and is currently a member of the Board of Governors of Rhodes University. He is the chairman of the KwaZulu–Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and has served as president of Business Leadership South Africa and as a member of the G20 Business Council.

In 2012, for his fight against state oppression during the apartheid era, the University of South African (UNISA) presented Macozoma with the Calabash Award, the university’s highest honor. His fight against apartheid began in the mid-1990’s when he worked as an organizer for the South African Students Movement. When he was 19, he was arrested for leading a student protest and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment as a political prisoner on Robben Island. It was here that he met South Africa’s future president, Nelson Mandela, who mentored him.

Following his release from prison in 1982, Macozoma played a prominent role in the formation of a number of anti-apartheid organisations, including the United Democratic Front and the Mass Democratic Movement. In 1994, he became an African National Congress (ANC) member of Parliament and was elected chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications. In 1995, he was elected to the National Working Committee of the African National Congress.

In April 1996, Macozoma resigned from Parliament to become the first black managing director of Transnet, the state-owned company that runs South Africa’s ports, railways and South African Airways. In 1998, he was appointed to the board of Standard Bank and later became its deputy chairman. He has also served as deputy chairman of the prominent South African financial institutions STANLIB and Liberty Holdings.

Macozoma studied political science, economics, and journalism at UNISA and the University of Boston.

 

Kumar Mahadeva
Founder and Managing Partner Kubera Partners LLC; Operating Partner, GRS Partners; Member of the Board of Directors, Antuit

Kumar Mahadeva serves on Antuit’s Board of Directors. He is the founder and a managing partner at Kubera Partners LLC, and an operating partner at GRS Partners.

Mahadeva founded Cognizant Technology Solutions in 1994 and served as Chief Executive Officer until 2004. He was the catalyst behind the company’s accelerated growth and ranking as one of the fastest growing global technology companies.

Previously, Mahadeva served as chairman of Dun & Bradstreet for India and China and led the company’s business development in the region. He has held senior management positions at AT&T, McKinsey, and the British Broadcasting Corporation in London.

Mahadeva holds a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Cambridge University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

 

Gay McDougall
Vice-Chairperson, United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Leitner Center on International Law and Justice, Fordham University Law School

Gay J. McDougall is an American lawyer who has spent her career addressing international human rights and racial discrimination. She is currently a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Leitner Center on International Law and Justice of Fordham University Law School, and a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD Committee), one of the United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies that oversees the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. She was Executive Director of Global Rights, Partners for Justice (from September 1994 to 2006). In August 2005, she was named the first United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues, serving until 2011.

In 1998, she was first elected to serve as an independent expert on the United Nations treaty body that oversees the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). She was the first American to be elected to the body of 18 international experts who oversee compliance by governments worldwide with the obligations established under the treaty. She served a four-year term, from 1998 to 2001. She was elected to another four-year term on the CERD Committee in June 2015, and currently serves on the Committee for a term that began on January 20, 2016 and is scheduled to end on January 19, 2020. At its 1996 session, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights elected her to serve a four-year term as a member (alternate) of the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the Human Rights commission. She also served as Special Rapporteur on the issue of systematic rape, sexual slavery, and slavery-like practices in armed conflict, in which capacity she presented a study to the United Nations Sub-Commission on Human Rights that called for international legal standards for prosecuting acts of systematic rape and sexual slavery committed during armed conflict. As Special Rapporteur she also toured Sierra Leone with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to assess the devastating impact the civil war had on civilian populations.

Prior to joining Global Rights, McDougall served as one of five international members of South Africa’s 16-member Independent Electoral Commission which successfully organized and administered that country’s first non-racial elections. During southern Africa’s apartheid era, she was director of the Southern African Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law from 1980 until early 1994 and gave direct assistance to the defense of thousands of political prisoners in South Africa and Namibia by financing the defense and collaborating with attorneys.

In 1989, McDougall founded the Commission on Independence for Namibia, a bipartisan group of 31 distinguished Americans who monitored in detail the year-long process to independence mandated by the United Nations, the Commission intervened to force modifications in critical legislation, such as the voter registration and election laws, which as drafted, threatened the fairness of the election process.

McDougall earned her B.A. in Social Science from Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, her J.D. at Yale Law School, and her LL.M. in public international law at the London School of Economics and Politics. McDougall was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1999 for her “innovative and highly effective” work on behalf of international human rights. She has Honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), the School of Law of the City University of New York, Agnes Scott College and the School of Advanced Study, University of London. McDougall received a Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1990.

 

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was sworn into office on August 19, 2013, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.

From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programs to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. Prior to this, she served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005, and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996, as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.

Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global program for young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality.

She has completed her Ph.D. on Education and Technology at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

 

Craig Newmark
Founder, Craigslist

Craig Newmark is a self-professed nerd who founded Craigslist in the nineties.

He handed over management to Craigslist’s current CEO Jim Buckmaster in 2000, continuing his role in customer service.

In 2016, Newmark started The Craig Newmark Foundation, and since retiring from Craigslist is focusing 100% of his energy on philanthropy via Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

 

Hélène N’Garnim-Ganga
Head of Governance and Capacity Building, Agence Francaise de Developpement (French Agency for Development)

Hélène N’Garnim-Ganga currently serves as the Head of Governance and Capacity Building at the Agence Francaise de Developpement (French Agency for Development). A graduate of Harvard Law School and from the Sorbonne in France, N’Garnim-Ganga started her career as a lawyer and legal adviser in the private sector where she specialized in development projects, particularly in Africa. She then joined the French Agency for Development (AFD) as the legal director and later joined the AfDB to lead the operational and policy division. She was then appointed as the AfDB Resident Representative in Mali, where she has been active in supporting partnerships with the donor community and has been working to engage dialogue with the authorities about economic and financial policies. She has also led, on behalf of the AfDB, an evaluation process in Northern Mali, which was a part of the Malian peace agreement.

 

Ambassador Matthew Nimetz
Former Advisory Director, General Atlantic LLC; Former United Nations Special Representative for the Naming Dispute between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Former U.S. Diplomat

Ambassador Matthew Nimetz is a former Advisory Director at General Atlantic LLC. He joined the firm in January 2000 as Chief Operating Officer and is based in New York City. Ambassador Nimetz was a Partner and Chairman at Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City, where he concentrated on corporate and international law from December 1980 through January 2000. Prior to December 1980, he served as an Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology from February through December 1980, and as a Counselor of the Department of State from 1977 to 1980. In those capacities, Ambassador Nimetz supervised United States security assistance programs and the State Department’s international scientific and technological programs, including scientific and technical cooperation, nuclear nonproliferation issues, environmental matters, and international communications activities of the United States government.

He also supervised, among other things, United States policy on the Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus) and relationships with Eastern European countries. From March 1994 through September 1995, Ambassador Nimetz served as the President Clinton’s Special Envoy in the mediation of a dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. He previously practiced law as an Associate and Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett between 1969 and 1977.

Ambassador Nimetz served in 1974 as an Executive Director at New York Governor-elect Hugh Carey’s transition. His previous federal government positions include service as a Staff Assistant to President Lyndon Johnson from July 1967 to January 1969, and as a Law Clerk to Justice John M. Harlan of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1965 to 1967. In addition, he served as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1975 to 1977. Ambassador Nimetz serves as a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Member and former chair of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, a Trustee of Central European University, and a Trustee of Committee for Economic Development. He served as the President at Harvard Law Review. He served previously as the Founding Chairman of World Resources Institute, as a Director of The Nature Conservancy of New York, a Trustee of Williams College, Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Levin Institute of the State University of New York, and a Director of The Revson Foundation and The Nature Conservancy of New York. Ambassador Nimetz also served as the Chairman of the United Nations Development Corporation, as an Appointee of New York City Mayors Koch and Dinkins from 1986 to 1994.

Ambassador Nimetz has done a LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1965, an M.A. from Balliol College, Oxford University in 1962 where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. from Williams College in 1960.

 

Megha Parekh
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer¸ Jacksonville Jaguars National Football League Franchise

Megha Parekh is the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars’ senior vice president and chief legal officer. She is now in her eighth year with the organization. She joined the Jaguars as vice president and general counsel on March 1, 2013, before being promoted to her current position in 2016.

Parekh manages the legal, technology and people development teams at the Jaguars. Her group is responsible for employee training, support and development; technological systems and support for the office and certain systems in the stadium and at the amphitheater; and all legal matters, including transactions, compliance, disputes, risk management, government relations, and insurance. Since joining the Jaguars, Parekh has worked on Shad Khan’s acquisition of Fulham Football Club; the public-private funded improvements to TIAA Bank Field, including renovations to the stadium clubs and construction and the 2017 opening of Daily’s Place; the extension of TIAA Bank’s stadium naming rights; securing Daily’s as a naming rights partner for the amphitheater; the selection of new food and beverage and merchandise providers for the facilities; the launch of All Elite Wrestling; and on potential real estate developments around the stadium.

Parekh also serves on the board of the Jaguars Foundation and the Florida Sports Foundation and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Crisis Text Line as a crisis counselor.

Prior to joining the Jaguars, Parekh worked in the New York office of the law firm Proskauer, which is an international law firm known for its sports law group. During her time at Proskauer, she worked on public and private acquisitions and financing and securities offerings, including the acquisition of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Houston Astros (MLB), and the Cleveland Browns (NFL). While at Proskauer, Parekh also worked on a variety of matters including public and private company acquisitions and equity and debt financings.

Parekh was named in December 2012 and 2013 to ForbesMagazine’s 30 Under 30 Sports List, which honored the country’s top sports athletes and executives under the age of 30 who “represent the entrepreneurial, creative and intellectual best of their generation.” More recently, she was selected for Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list in 2018. Parekh has also been named a Woman of Influence (2014) and Ultimate Attorney (2016, 2020) since coming to Jacksonville.

Parekh joined Proskauer in 2009, after graduating magna cum laude from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. While in school, she was a sportswriter for The Harvard Crimson and served as an intern for baseball’s Boston Red Sox.

 

Peter Rabley
Venture Partner, Omidyar Network (eBay)

Peter Rabley is a Venture Partner at leading impact investing firm, Omidyar Network (eBay). Prior to joining Omidyar Network, Rabley was the founder and CEO of International Land Systems until its recent acquisition by Thompson Reuters. Post-acquisition, he was vice president for global business development and strategy for the tax and accounting government division at Thomson Reuters. He began his career implementing some of the earliest GIS/LIS into metropolitan government in the United States in the 1980s. Over the next decade, he translated this experience into innovative applications for international development as director of GIS/LIS at PADCO.

Rabley graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in economics and geography, as well as a master’s degree in geography.

 

Deborah Rhode
Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and Director of the Center on the Legal Profession, Stanford Law School

Deborah Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford Law School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Yale College and received her J.D. from Yale Law School. She clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1979.

She is the founding chair of the Section on Leadership of the Association of American Law Schools and was the founding president of the International Association of Legal Ethics, a former president of the Association of American Law Schools, a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, a former founding director of Stanford’s Center on Ethics, a former director of Stanford’s Institute of Research on Women and Gender, a former director of Stanford’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship, and a former trustee of Yale University. She worked as counsel to the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton.

She is the nation’s most frequently cited scholar on legal ethics. She is the author of 30 books in the fields of professional responsibility, leadership, and gender, law and public policy. She has received the American Bar Association’s Michael Franck award for contributions to the field of professional responsibility; the American Bar Foundation’s W. M. Keck Foundation Award for distinguished scholarship on legal ethics, the American Foundation’s Distinguished Scholar award, the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for her work on expanding public service opportunities in law schools, and the White House’s Champion of Change award for a lifetime’s work in increasing access to justice.

 

Sanjay Sarma
Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sanjay Sarma is the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He is the Vice President for Open Learning at MIT. He co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. He serves on the boards of GS1US and Hochschild Mining and several startup companies including Top Flight Technologies. Sarma received his bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology, his master’s from Carnegie Mellon University, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Sarma also worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California. He has authored over 100 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation and CAD, and is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz Award and Informationweek’s Innovators and Influencers Award. He advises several national governments and global companies.

 

David Sengeh
Research Scientist, IBM Research Africa, Nairobi; President and Co-Founder, Global Minimum Inc.

David Moinina Sengeh is a Research Scientist at IBM Research Africa, Nairobi. His research is at the intersection of applied analytics/machine learning and healthcare with a focus on Africa. He was born and raised in Sierra Leone, received his Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab, where his research in the Biomechatronics Group focused on the design of comfortable prosthetic sockets and wearable interfaces. This work was at the intersection of medical imaging, material science, human anatomy, computer-aided design and manufacturing.

Sengeh is on the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Technology for 2013, a 2014 TED Fellow, on the Wired Smart List 2013, winner of the Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize, and won many other awards. He has been invited to give talks at institutions like the United Nations, corporate and academic organizations on topics related to education, youth innovation, prosthetic design and more.

He is the President and co-founder of the international NGO Global Minimum Inc. (GMin). Currently, GMin’s main project is Innovate Challenges; the first-ever competition created to foster a culture of innovation among high-school students in Sierra Leone, Kenya and South Africa. Innovate Challenges is a mentorship program and set of workshops where youth can get help in transforming their ideas into tangible solutions. GMin was one of three winners out of 1000 nominees for the Rockefeller Foundation Next Century Innovators Awards in 2013. Previously, GMin led the distribution of over 16,000 mosquito nets to cover over 28,000 people in Sahn Malen chiefdom in Sierra Leone.

Sengeh attended the Red Cross Nordic United World College in Norway before earning his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Harvard College. At Harvard, his undergraduate work focused on making a stable, aerosolized BCG vaccine against Tuberculosis for delivery to the lower lungs. There, he was a co-founder of one of Popular Mechanics’ Innovators of the Year 2009, Lebone Solutions Inc. – a company that won $200,000 from the World Bank to produce microbial fuel cells in Africa.

He is the owner and lead designer for the clothing design company Nyali Clothing, employing over 10 employees. Sengeh is a lyricist and rapper making music that draws youth towards creativity. He has traveled and worked in over 15 countries globally on various projects related to education, health care delivery, and medical device design. He is interested in the idea of using technology and innovation to drive national development.

 

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan
Founder and CEO, Drawbridge

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan is the founder and CEO of Drawbridge, the leading technology company that is fundamentally changing the way in which brands and enterprises connect with people. Under Sivaramakrishnan’s leadership, the Drawbridge team has built the first technology-aided solution that addresses a problem central to all digital media: consumer-trusted cross-device identity. Previously, she was Lead Scientist at AdMob (acquired by Google in 2009), where she was responsible for building much of AdMob’s machine-learning stack. She also has the unique distinction of her work being on board New Horizons, NASA’s farthest space mission, to Pluto and the outer planetary system.

She received her Ph.D. in Information Theory and Algorithms from Stanford University. She has been named one of Business Insider’s “Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising” three years in a row. In 2014, she was named one of Ad Age’s “40 Under 40,” as well as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.

 

Sonya Som
Partner, Heidrick & Struggles

Sonya Som is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Chicago office focusing on executive search and consulting services. She focuses on general counsel/chief legal officer and other senior roles within corporate legal departments and law firms across industries and geographies, as well as on executing board searches and providing diversity advisory services. She provides diversity and inclusion consulting to Heidrick & Struggles internally and to its corporate clients, helping to strengthen the organizations’ culture of diversity and inclusion by positioning it as an integral component of the business.

Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, Som was a partner at another global executive search firm. For nearly a decade, she was integrally involved with various areas of recruiting within the legal field including advising organizations on their legal recruiting needs with emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

Previously, Som served for a decade as a labor & employment and immigration attorney at the associate and partner levels at various national, regional, and super regional law firms. During this time, in 2007, Sonya was named one of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch.”

In 2019, the organization Ms. JD recognized Som as a Woman of Inspiration in the Legal Profession and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association of New York honored her with its Presidential Award. In 2018, the National Bar Association’s General Counsel Invitational named Sonya its “Executive of the Year” and the Hispanic National Bar Association presented her with its “Ally of the Year” award. In 2014, Som was included on Lawyers of Color’s Midwest Hotlist.

Som is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Georgia (though she is currently in inactive status in both states). She is a member of the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago, National Bar Association, Cornell Black Lawyers Alumni Network (Midwest Chapter Co-Chair), Hispanic National Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Metropolitan Black Bar Association of New York. Sonya is a member of the WILEF Global Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of HIGH PERFORMANCE COUNSEL (HPC). She is also an Emeritus member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women.

 

Silda Wall Spitzer
Principal, NewWorld Capital Group

Silda Wall Spitzer is a Principal at NewWorld Capital Group. Before NewWorld, she was a Managing Director at Metropolitan Capital Advisors, an investment firm focusing on value opportunities, where she led strategic and business development. Prior to Metropolitan Capital, Wall Spitzer served as First Lady of New York State. In that role, she worked to support the Administration’s goal of reducing fossil energy consumption 15% by 2015, with her initiatives promoting green buildings, alternative energy, and local food sources. Her I LIVE NY program engaged constituents to create livable communities and sustainable jobs. Wall Spitzer is Vice Chair of the Urban Green Council, the New York Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

 

Gitanjali Swamy
Managing Partner, IoTask

Gitanjali Swamy is a Managing Partner at IoTask, an “Innovation of Things” (IoT) company. Swamy has founded, built and served as a board director in successful entrepreneurial or intra-preneurial enterprises with over a dozen fundraisings and acquisitions under her tenure. Swamy has also worked on the sourcing, structuring, and transaction of many investments ranging in size from seed to over a Billion USD. She has held investment or professional roles in global leaders including The Carlyle Group and Booz Allen & Hamilton. She is currently a representative to the United Nations Equals Leadership Coalition, where she leads the working committee on Gender Equitable Investment, Founder/Advisor to the University of California at Berkeley’s Witi@UC Women in Technology Initiative, Research Fellow and Director at the Private Capital Research Institute, Harvard Business School, and Board Advisor to several entrepreneurial ventures. Swamy is also currently advising State Senators and Representatives in multiple states on matters related to Private Capital Policy and Regulation. She is also currently involved in launching several public-private partnership efforts in innovative investment for sustainable economic development.

Previously, was an investment professional with The Carlyle Group. Prior to Carlyle, she consulted to Matrix Partners on investment strategy/portfolio incubation. She was a management consultant at Booz Allen and Hamilton advising clients on strategy, innovation, and new business creation efforts. She has helped clients catalyze global innovative public and private sector entities such as MIT’s Opencourseware, the Auto-ID Consortium, and the MIT Engine. Swamy has held product or line roles at Mentor Graphics, The Mathworks and senior management positions, including Chairman & CEO, while she led the companies from inception through fundraising, team recruitment to cross-border market development and acquisitions.

Swamy received her B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from the IIT Kanpur, where she was awarded Academic Proficiency Prizes, her Ph.D. in EECS at U.C. Berkeley, where she was an NSF Fellow & President of WICSE, and her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she served as CFO of HBS-SA. She is currently completing her J.D. in Law. She has nearly 25 publications and patents in the fields of data, algorithms, technology, and policy.

 

Conrado Tenaglia
U.S. Managing Partner and Co-Head of the Latin America Practice, Linklaters LLP

Conrado Tenaglia is the U.S. managing partner and co-head of the Latin America practice of Linklaters LLP, a leading global law firm with more than 2,700 lawyers and 29 offices around the world. He has over 20 years of experience in cross-border corporate finance transactions with a special focus in Latin America and Spain. Tenaglia has advised governments and companies in the region when accessing the international financial markets, undertaking strategic transactions and managing their legal risk. He is qualified to practice law in New York State, England and Wales, and Argentina.

Tenaglia is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and Harvard Law School.

 

Wanji Walcott
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Discover Financial Services

Wanji Walcott is Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel at Discover Financial Services, and is a member of the company’s Executive Committee. In these roles, she helps to set strategy and leads our corporate legal function, which plays a critical role advising on corporate and product strategies and services and managing litigation, legislative, and regulatory affairs.

Prior to joining Discover, Walcott served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at PayPal since 2017, responsible for their legal affairs, as well as managing their global legal organization. She led and coordinated legal support for complex corporate transactions, including pivotal agreements with card networks, M&A and equity investments; innovative product and feature launches; and the company’s transformative global legal entity management framework to streamline business operations.

Walcott also previously served as Vice President and Managing Counsel at American Express, where she managed a team that provided global legal support in several areas, including payments, e-commerce/social media initiatives, and data security.

Walcott earned Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from Howard University. She is passionate about employee development and diversity & inclusion, and has held leadership roles in initiatives to promote both, including the launch of PayPal’s Black Employee network and serving as Global executive sponsor of PayPal’s Women’s Employee network. She also launched a legal pro bono program at PayPal.

 

Wilma Wallace
General Counsel for REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.)

Wilma Wallace is the General Counsel for REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.). She leads the teams responsible for all legal and compliance matters and as Corporate Secretary, she is also responsible for board governance. Wallace also oversees REI’s enterprise information governance risk and compliance division. Her most recent roles prior to REI were as General Counsel (Interim) for Enveritas and over 20 years at Gap Inc., serving in various executive capacities, including Vice President for Global Sustainability and Deputy General Counsel.

Wallace has previously served on several other boards committed to the advancement of human rights, including the Center for Justice and Accountability and BRAC UK (a Southern-led international development organization). She has a law degree from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

 

Amy Weaver
President and Chief Legal Officer, Salesforce

Amy Weaver is the President and Chief Legal Officer of Salesforce. She leads the legal, compliance, internal audit, security and government affairs teams at Salesforce. She is a member of the company’s executive committee.

Prior to joining Salesforce, Weaver was executive vice president and general counsel of Univar Inc., where she was responsible globally for all legal and corporate affairs, governance, corporate transactions, compliance, litigation and employment law matters. Previously Weaver was senior vice president and deputy general counsel at Expedia, Inc. Weaver practiced law at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and at Perkins Coie LLP. Prior to entering private practice, she served as a legislative aide to a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council and as a clerk on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Weaver has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Wellesley College.

 

Timothy Wilkins
Corporate and M&A Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Timothy Wilkins is a corporate and M&A partner at the law firm Freshfields based in New York. He is also the global partner for client sustainability.

Wilkins joined Freshfields in 1999, and has been a partner since 2002. He has advised a wide range of Asian, European and U.S. multinational corporations on cross-border M&A, private equity, and joint ventures.

He serves on the Board of the New York City Economic Development Corporation as Chair of the Governance Committee, appointed by the Mayor of New York City; and is a Trustee on the Boards of the New York Public Radio and the New York Public Theater. He previously served as the vice-chair of the Legal Services Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, where he worked as an investment banker and lawyer for 11 years.

As global partner for client sustainability, Wilkins leads Freshfields’ global sustainability team which comprises leaders from the firm’s transactional, regulatory and dispute resolution practices to advise clients on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. He also leads the firm in its partnership with clients, public policy makers and regulators in their joint effort to tackle the broader range of ESG issues impacting business and society.

 

Mitch Zuklie
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Orrick

Mitch Zuklie serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orrick. Under Mitch’s leadership, the firm has pursued a strategy to be a leading advisor to the global Technology & Innovation, Energy & Infrastructure and Finance sectors. Financial Times has chosen Orrick as the Most Innovative Law Firm in North America in 2016, 2017 and 2018. And Fortune has selected the firm among the 100 Best Companies to Work For three years in a row.

Named by Chambers USA as an “eminent practitioner,” Zuklie is an experienced business and legal advisor who has completed hundreds of venture capital financings and numerous public offerings, mergers, acquisitions and licensing transactions. He counsels technology companies at all stages of their life cycles, as well as their founders, advisors and investors.

Zuklie has led the firm’s portfolio approach to innovation, including the transformation of its West Virginia operation into a center for analytics and innovation, the launch of Orrick Labs to develop customized technologies, and the creation of partnerships with leading innovation initiatives in the industry. He has also led the firm’s entry into new markets, including Boston, Santa Monica, Houston, Austin, and Geneva.

He serves on the Boards of the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity and the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, and the Advisory Boards of the Stanford Law School Center on the Legal Profession and the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession. He is also a member of the Board of the Wild Salmon Center.