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Khaliya is a philanthropist, venture capitalist, public health specialist and active advocate for social change. Both her professional and philanthropic work focus on the intersection of design, technology and social entrepreneurship. She received her Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University, her Bachelor’s degree in European Studies and International Affairs from New York University, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria from 1999 to 2001. Additionally, she studied Computer Science at New York University and Film at the New York Film Academy.
Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
Alice M. Agogino is the Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and is affiliated faculty at the Haas School of Business, Energy Resources Group and Women & Gender Studies. Agogino is currently chair of the Graduate Group in Development Engineering housed in the Blum Center for Developing Economies and has served as chair of the UC Berkeley Academic Senate and associate dean of engineering. Agogino works with over 100 companies and nonprofits on research and educational projects in product design, design for impact, and sustainability. Agogino has supervised 131 MS projects/thesis, 44 doctoral dissertations, and numerous undergraduate researchers. Agogino has authored over 270 peer-reviewed publications and has won numerous teaching, mentoring, best paper, and research awards. Agogino is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and has served on a number of committees of the National Academies.
Founder, Editor-in-Chief, MuslimGirl.net
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh is the founder and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.net, the leading online magazine for American Muslim women. Reclaiming the Muslim women's narrative in Western media with its own unprecedented columns in outlets like Teen Vogue, Fortune, and Huffington Post, MuslimGirl is currently forging a new path by becoming the forefront of Muslim women's issues in mainstream coverage. Al-Khatahtbeh made the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2016, making her the first veiled woman to be honored in the media category and MuslimGirl the first Muslim company to ever receive the recognition. Al-Khatahtbeh was named one of Teen Vogue's "New Faces of Feminism" in its February 2016 issue. She recently debuted her new weekly webshow with MTV called "Uncovered" on Snapchat Discover.
Senior Program Manager, American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
Maya Alkateb-Chami is the director of Jusoor, a non-profit organization focused on helping Syria through education. Winner of the prestigious Academic Freedom Award of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, Jusoor's work is focused on higher education scholarships, remedial education for refugee children, academic mentorship for adults, and support for business entrepreneurs. Previously, Chami founded and led the United World Colleges' scholarship program for Syria, directed admissions at UWC-USA, and served as a consultant and trainer in the areas of NGO capacity building and youth engagement, including for institutions UNRWA, and Maastricht School of Management. Recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, Chami has a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Damascus University, and a master's degree at Indiana University Bloomington focused on program design and evaluation in the area of youth empowerment through the arts. Chami is additionally the author of "Syrian Silk: Portrait of a Living Cultural Heritage."
Co-Founder, Breakthrough Communities
Carl Anthony is an architect, author, regional design strategist, and Co-Founder of Breakthrough Communities, building multiracial leadership for sustainable metropolitan communities. He was co-founder of the Urban Habitat Program in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving for 8 years as executive director. At the Ford Foundation, Anthony served as acting director of the Community and Resource Development Unit, responsible for the Foundation’s worldwide programs in fields of Environment and Community Development. Anthony also spent 7 years as Ford’s director of the Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative (SMCI) and the Regional Equity Demonstration. In 1996, he was appointed fellow at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Anthony was presented the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by Congresswoman Barbara Lee in 2014. His forthcoming book is entitled "The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race: Discovering New Foundations for the Great Work of Our Time".
Co-founder and Chief Strategic Officer, Wellbody Alliance
Mohamed Bailor Barrie grew up in poverty in rural Sierra Leone. After finishing secondary school, he received one of two scholarships in the country to study medicine at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Barrie trained in general medicine, building his skills in all areas of medicine. The civil war in Sierra Leone forced him to suspend his studies and, after two years as a refugee in neighboring Guinea, he graduated with his degree in medicine in 2004. After obtaining his degree Barrie worked as a medical officer at a rural nonprofit hospital and was one of two physicians in his graduating class to continue to practice medicine in Sierra Leone. He has also acted as a consultant for UNICEF and World Health Organization. In 2006 Barrie co-founded and became the executive and medical director of Wellbody Alliance, a nonprofit healthcare organization based in Kono District, Sierra Leone. His current role is as chief strategic officer. Barrie is the recipient of the 2013 Grace Humanitarian Award from Thomas Jefferson University. In 2013, Dr. Barrie was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to study global health delivery at Harvard University.
Betsy Beaumon is the president of Benetech, a Silicon Valley nonprofit with a vision to serve humanity through technology. She is the co-founder of two software companies, including the first web-based Information and Referral service for social services, and has developed products across the telecom, semiconductor, and information sectors. Beaumon grew Benetech’s largest social enterprise, Bookshare, now providing over 1.5 million books every year to people with disabilities in 50 countries. Through Benetech’s Human Rights Program and Benetech Labs, Beaumon and her team are working to drive significant impact across sectors through new products and services. She holds a BSEE from Northwestern University.
Chief Executive Officer, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
Jim Bildner is the chief executive officer at Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm investing in early stage social enterprises that are tackling some of the world’s most challenging problems. Bildner is also an adjunct lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a senior research fellow at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society, and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University. Bildner is a trustee of the Kresge Foundation and chair of its investment committee, and was the chair of their social innovative capital committee. Bildner serves on the board of multiple organizations including The Nonprofit Finance Fund, IDEO.org, EducationSuperHighway, Worldreader and SIRUM. In his board service, Bildner serves on the investment committees with aggregate endowments in excess of $5.5B, as well as a member of ten finance, investment and/or audit committees of these boards.
Chairman, Blum Capital Partners, Founder, Blum Center for Developing Economies
Richard C. Blum is Chairman and President of Richard C. Blum & Associates, Inc., the general partner of Blum Capital Partners, L.P., a long-term strategic equity investment management firm which acts as general partner for various investment partnerships and provides investment advisory services. Blum currently serves on the board of CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. He is a director of Pacific Alliance Group Holdings, Ltd. and Fairmont Raffles Holding International. He serves as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank Economic Advisory Council, President Obama’s Global Development Council and the National Democratic Institute’s Board of Directors. Blum is former Chairman of the University of California Board of Regents, and continues to serve as a Regent. Blum founded the American Himalayan Foundation and Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the Honorary Consul of Nepal and serves on the board of trustees for The American Cancer Foundation, The Brookings Institution, California Academy of Sciences, The Carter Center, Glide Foundation, The Wilderness Society and Central European University. Blum earned his B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2006 he received an honorary doctoral degree from the University of San Francisco’s McLaren College of Business. Most recently, he was awarded the Haas School of Business’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
Elias N. Bou Saab
Minister of Education and Higher Education, Lebanon
Elias N. Bou Saab was named Minister of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon in February 2014. Minister Bou Saab, a native of Dhour El Choueir, co-founded the American University in Dubai, the first US accredited university in the Gulf and has overseen its development into one of the premier institutions higher education in the region.
Over the past two decades, Bou Saab has garnered vast experience in varied areas such as establishing new institutions/programs and scholarships, negotiating and implementing collaboration with many major U.S and European universities, and advising governments on higher education, and other investment projects throughout the Arab world.
Bou Saab earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing (magna cum laude) from The American College, and his Master of Arts in International Relations from Boston University.
Lead for Sustainability, Google
Kate Brandt leads sustainability across Google’s worldwide operations and products. In this role, Brandt coordinates with Google’s data centers, real estate, supply chain, and product teams to ensures the company is capitalizing on opportunities to strategically advance sustainability and circular economy.
Previously Brandt served as President Obama and the Nation's first Chief Sustainability Officer. In this capacity, she was responsible for promoting sustainability across Federal Government operations including 360,000 buildings, 650,000 vehicles, and $445 billion annually in purchased goods and services.
Prior to the White House, Kate held several senior roles in Federal Government including Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy, Director for Energy and Environment in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and Energy Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy.
Kate received a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She graduated with honors from Brown University.
Student, University of California, Berkeley
Courtney Brousseau is a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley intending to study Political Science with minors in Computer Science and Public Policy. As a proud graduate of a public high school, Brousseau is especially interested in education policy and reform. In 2013, Brousseau founded Students Transforming Education with the goal of involving students in reforming California’s antiquated teacher tenure system. Over the course of two years, Brousseau collected 2,500 student signatures in favor of common sense reforms, partnered with California State Superintendent candidate Marshall Tuck, published an editorial on TIME.com, and signed onto an amicus brief to the appeals court regarding Vergara. Since coming to Berkeley, Brousseau has maintained his passion for education reform. He recently joined the XQ Super School project as a Student Ambassador.
Ann Marie Burgoyne
Managing Director, Social Innovation, Emerson Collective
Anne Marie Burgoyne is the Managing Director, Social Innovation at the Emerson Collective where she manages the investment process for non-profit social entrepreneurs and innovators in a wide array of sectors, including education, immigration, social justice and the environment. Burgoyne also works with the diverse team at Emerson to assure that partner organizations access EC’s capacity building, amplification, convening and advocacy supports. Her work spans across domestic and international geographies with a focus on strong leaders and strong models that have the capacity to scale and create systems change. Burgoyne received her MBA and a public management program certificate from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. She also holds a BA in English and a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and its Wharton School, respectively.
President and CEO, Autodesk Foundation and Senior Director, Autodesk Sustainability, Autodesk, Inc.
Lynelle Cameron is president & CEO of the Autodesk Foundation and senior director of sustainability at Autodesk, Inc. Cameron established both to invest in and support people who are designing solutions to solve today’s most epic challenges. Under Cameron’s leadership, Autodesk created the Sustainability Workshop, an online learning platform teaching sustainable design that has reached over two million students and professionals worldwide, and launched two software donation programs, the Technology Impact program for nonprofit organizations, and the Entrepreneur Impact program for early-stage cleantech and social impact companies around the world. She’s also led the company in setting ambitious science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets, committing to 100% renewable energy and integrated reporting. Since Cameron joined eight years ago, Autodesk has received numerous awards for sustainability leadership and innovation.
Chief Executive Officer, theMIX agency
Founder and CEO of theMIX agency, a full-service marketing, design, and communications boutique based in San Francisco and LA, Vanessa Camones has been working in strategic communications for over 15 years, with clients including Pixar, Cisco, Samsung, Nokia, the Institute for the Future, and the Stanford Center on Longevity. Camones frequently writes about branding and marketing in tech for outlets including TechCrunch and VentureBeat, and often speaks on these subjects at conferences including Digital Hollywood, SF Beta, and South by Southwest, where she is also an advisor.
A passionate advocate for gender and racial diversity in Silicon Valley, Camones regularly speaks, writes, and hosts events on these topics. Peruvian by birth, Camones studied at Santa Clara University and lives in the Bay Area.
Founder and Executive Director, Black Girls Smile Inc.
Lauren Carson is the founder and executive director of Black Girls Smile Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging positive mental health education, resources and support in the hopes of destigmatizing the conversation surrounding mental wellness and empowering individuals to lead mentally healthy lives. Fletcher is also a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post and serves on several committees through her alma mater, the University of Virginia. Fletcher brings a unique and impactful voice and perspective to mental health, illness and wellness specifically within the African American and youth communities.
Manager of Student and Community Strategy and Relations, XQ Institute
Marlene Castro's personal education journey and passion for issues of equity have allowed her to thrive as an educator and in her current role leading strategy for developing Student & Community Relations with the XQ Institute. Castro's talents lie in community-informed organizing, teaching, mentoring, counseling, & managing and facilitating workshops for historically underrepresented students and families from under-resourced communities in the Bay Area. Castro became a first-generation high school and college graduate after her parents immigrated from Mexico to allow her the opportunity for an education they never had, and she grew up committed to her education despite facing socio-economic disadvantages growing up in the communities of East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks, CA. Through her many roles she has been able to serve students in critical points of transition in education: outgoing high school seniors, incoming college freshman, incoming high school freshman, and fifth graders through her positions at the Incentive Awards Program/UC Berkeley, Destination: College, College Track, and Teach for America.
Ann Mei Chang
Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director, U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID
Ann Mei Chang is the Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID, the newest bureau at USAID which aims to transform global development through science, technology, innovation, and partnerships. Prior to USAID, Chang was the Chief Innovation Officer at Mercy Corps, an international NGO. Chang also served as the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Chang has over twenty years of engineering and leadership experience in Silicon Valley. Most recently, she served as a Senior Engineering Director at Google for 8 years, where she led worldwide engineering for Google's mobile applications and services. Chang oversaw 20x growth of Google's mobile business in just three years, delivering over $1 billion in annualized revenues.
Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation
Chelsea Clinton’s work at the Clinton Foundation emphasizes improving global and domestic health, creating service opportunities, and empowering the next generation of leaders. Chelsea focuses especially on the Foundation’s health programs, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative, which strengthens health care and access to lifesaving services in the developing world; the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which fights childhood obesity in the United States; and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, which addresses preventable disease in the United States. She also established — and continues to lead — the Clinton Foundation Day of Action program, which identifies and organizes meaningful service opportunities for Foundation staff, friends, and partners and for the wider Foundation community. To help advance the full participation of women and girls around the world, Chelsea and Secretary Clinton, co-lead the Foundation’s newest initiative, No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project. As one of the strongest champions of the Clinton Global Initiative University, Chelsea works to empower the next generation of change makers to take action on some of the world’s most urgent challenges. In addition to her Foundation work, Chelsea is a special correspondent for NBC News. She previously worked at McKinsey & Company and Avenue Capital. Chelsea also serves on the boards of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the School of American Ballet, Common Sense Media, the Africa Center and the Weill Cornell Medical College. She is the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Of Many Institute at NYU. Chelsea holds a B.A. from Stanford, a MPhil from Oxford, a MPH from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a Doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University. She and her husband, Marc, live in New York City.
President Bill Clinton
Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative, 42nd President of the United States
Elected president of the United States in 1992 and 1996, President Bill Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice. Under his leadership, the United States enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in its history. His administration resulted in moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest home ownership and college enrollment rates in history. He also increased investment in education, expanded access to technology, encouraged investment in underserved communities, protected the environment, and countered the threat of terrorism while promoting peace and strengthening democracy around the world. After leaving the White House, President Clinton founded the Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the U.S. and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.
NASA Astronaut, NASA Office of the Chief Technologist
Cady Coleman is a NASA Astronaut with over 180 days in space, accumulated over two Space Shuttle missions and a six-month expedition to the International Space Station (ISS). She launched and landed aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and she acted as the lead robotics and science officer during her tenure aboard the ISS, performing the second-ever free flyer robotic capture from the ISS. After returning from space, Coleman integrated supply ship operations for NASA's newest commercial partners, SpaceX and Orbital. Presently, she works for NASA's Chief Technologist managing innovation programs and creative public private partnerships. She graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Chemistry and then from the University of Massachusetts with a Ph.D in Polymer Science and Engineering. She was commissioned in 1983 as a second lieutenant and served in the US Air Force for 26 years.
Community Manager, MasterCard Foundation
Ashley Collier is currently the Scholars Community Manager at the MasterCard Foundation. Before joining the Foundation she worked at Free the Children for over five years as the Director of Domestic Programming. Collier was responsible for developing the year-long, social-justice themed campaigns and programs for over 10,000 schools engaged across North America., focusing on action they could take locally and globally. Previously, Collier worked in Ghana at a local NGO where she was a part of a research team looking at barriers to access to education.
Vice Chair, Cordes Foundation
Stephanie Cordes joined her family foundation as vice chair after transitioning out of a career in publishing at Self Magazine within the Conde Nast group. Currently, Cordes advances the foundation's initiatives that directly leverage capital to organizations that elevate the role of women and girls worldwide with a particular focus on ethical fashion and sustainable supply chains. Cordes serves as a member of the foundation’s investment committee as well as an advisory board member of Soko, an ethical jewelry company based out of Kenya. Cordes is also a long time fashionista and has held various positions in the fashion industry, including Allure magazine and conscious luxury brands such as Alberta Ferretti and Maiyet.
Editor in Chief, PCMag.com, Ziff Davis
As the Editor-in-Chief of PCMag.com and the senior vice president of content for Ziff Davis, Dan Costa oversees the editorial operations for PCMag.com, Geek.com, ExtremeTech.com as well as PCMag's network of blogs, including AppScout and SecurityWatch. These sites reach more than 20 million readers every month on their phones, e-readers, tablets, laptops, and, internationally anyway, their local magazine newsstand.
Costa's mission is simply to redefine "personal computing" to include the world-changing technological developments of this digital age.
Mike de la Rocha
Founder and CEO, Revolve Impact
Mike de la Rocha is the founder and CEO of Revolve Impact (a social impact firm that combines organizing and the arts to drive communities to action) with an impact portfolio that spans 20 years. Highlights include founding Artists for 47, a coalition assembled to pass California’s historic Prop. 47 that impacted more than 1 million Californians and led to the largest record change effort in U.S. history; launching the Justice Policy Network, the country’s first fellowship focused on increasing the number of leaders in the government sector advancing a new justice agenda, and co-managing John Legend’s #FREEAMERICA campaign. De la Rocha has served as the director of strategic partnerships for Californians for Safety and Justice, legislative deputy for then L.A. City Councilmember (and now Congressman) Tony Cárdenas, and policy advisor for the L.A. Human Relations Commission. In 2014, de la Rocha was selected as one of GOOD Magazine’s top 100 people changing the world, Stanford Social Innovation Review’s top innovators in America and received the Hispanicize Positive Impact Award for his work on reducing gun violence.
Senior Director Social Innovation, Indiegogo
Breanna DiGiammarino is the senior director of social innovation at Indiegogo, the world’s largest global crowdfunding company.
Since joining Indiegogo in 2012, DiGiammarino built the first operational infrastructure for the company’s vertical team, and led the development and launch of its dedicated cause site. DiGiammarino raises awareness about the value of crowdfunding for social impact and works to empower many fundraisers on the site, such as blogger Humans of New York’s fundraiser to address bonded labor in Pakistan with a $2.3M fundraiser. DiGiammarino has helped fundraise to address bonded labor in Pakistan and provide relief in Nepal after the 2015 earthquakes.
Before Indiegogo, DiGiammarino was the senior associate at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, and an associate consultant at The Bridgespan Group. DiGiammarino holds a master’s of public administration in nonprofit management from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in biology and government from the University of Virginia.
Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
Nicholas B. Dirks is the 10th chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. An internationally renowned historian and anthropologist, he is a leader in higher education, known for his commitment to and advocacy for accessible, high-quality undergraduate education, to the globalization of the university, and to innovation across the disciplines. Before coming to Berkeley, he was the executive vice president for the arts and sciences and dean of the faculty at Columbia University, where, in addition to his work with undergraduate programs, he improved and diversified the faculty, emphasizing interdisciplinary and international initiatives. The Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and History, Dirks joined Columbia in 1997 as chair of the anthropology department. Prior to his appointment at Columbia, he was a professor of history and anthropology at the University of Michigan. Dirks has held numerous fellowships and scholarships and received several scholarly honors, including a MacArthur Foundation residential fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Lionel Trilling Award for his book Castes of Mind. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Founder and CEO, Amplifier Strategies
Allison Duncan is an industry leader and advisor to global change-makers on philanthropy, impact investing and social entrepreneurship. Her passion to modernize philanthropy and make a difference on the world’s most urgent challenges led her to launch Amplifier to build and scale mission-driven programs. Since its inception in 2007, Amplifier has offered a partnership with an integrated team that imagines, designs and implements strategies that change social and economic systems. By activating capital, building strategic capabilities and inspiring networks, Amplifier aims to achieve audacious results in our lifetime. Since 2007, Amplifier has activated more than $500 million and launched new ventures, portfolio strategies, and cutting-edge solutions for influential foundations and organizations around the world.
Duncan began her career in philanthropy with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. She served as the Program Director for a $400 million environmental investment and as the Director of Program Finance, where she created a practice to conduct due diligence, measure outcomes, and structure $1 billion in grants and program-related investments. Prior to joining the Moore Foundation, Allison worked at Deloitte in the Carolinas, Russia, New York and Silicon Valley
Board of Directors, Doctors Without Borders
Kassia Echavarri-Queen began her field work with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in 2007 as a supply manager in Sierra Leone, having previously worked in marketing and strategy for technology companies, start-ups, and the Fritz Institute, which focuses on supply chain improvement for disaster response and recovery. In the years that followed, Echavarri-Queen worked extensively in the field with MSF as program coordinator and country director in Guatemala, Kenya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Syria. Her two most recent missions were an Ebola response program in Liberia and a project in Nepal following the earthquake there in April 2015. All told, Echavarri-Queen has over 14 years of international program management experience. Now living in her native San Francisco, Echavarri-Queen holds a BA in international relations from Alliant University (USIU) and an MA in international economics and management from the SDA Bocconi.
Senior Economic Advisor, Africa Economic Development & Policy Initiative (AEDPI), Co-Convener, #BringBackOurGirls Movement
Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili is a senior economic advisor for Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI) Abuja.She is a co-founder of “#BringBackOurGirls Movement in Nigeria, a chartered accountant/consultant and holds an MA in International Law and Diplomacy, an MA in Public Policy and Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Ezekweslil is a founding director of Transparency International. Ezekwesili was Vice President of World Bank (Africa Region) and former Nigerian Minister of Education, Minister of Solid Minerals, head of Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit as well as Chairperson of NEITI. She was a Director of Harvard – Nigeria Economic Strategy program in Boston and Abuja working with Professor Jeffrey Sachs. Ezekwesili serves on the boards of Bharti Airtel, WWF, School of Public Policy of Central European University, Budapest; Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy, Tel Aviv University Israel; Center for Global Leadership at Tufts University, Boston and the New Africa Magazine, among others.
Founder and Research Software Engineer, 4th n Town Engineering
Born in the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq in 1990, Yad Faeq works in the field of computer science as a specialist in web technology and machine learning.
A computer science graduate from The American University of Iraq in Sulaimani, Faeq has successfully helped start several social and educational ventures. Due to his extensive passion for technology, with the support of his peers, Faeq started the first ACM and Microsoft student chapters in Iraq. He also helped develop the first independent Iraqi newspaper, AUIS Voice.
Presently, Faeq resides in Silicon Valley, continuing his journey far from home yet with the same objective of creating value and building ventures for all of humanity.
Chief Executive Officer, BioCarbon Engineering
Lauren Fletcher was born in Reno, Nevada and proud to be a fifth generation Nevadan. Fletcher has 20 years of multidisciplinary study that include research with NASA and numerous global organizations. His areas of expertise include environmental bio-technology and biological sciences, systems engineering and space systems, physics, environmental engineering and sciences, planetary sciences, education and outreach.
Fletcher’s key interest is how we take exponential technologies, including those developed for space application, and apply them in order to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges, such as access to water, food, and energy while protecting and building healthy environments.
Internet Activist and Co-Founder, Parlio
Wael Ghonim is a computer engineer, an Internet activist, and a social entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Parlio, a new media platform for public conversations that rewards civility, which has been acquired by Quora. Ghoniml is a senior fellow at Ash Center for Democratic Governance at Harvard University.
Ghonim spent 6 years at Google during which he used to head up Marketing and Product in the MENA region responsible of driving the growth of Google's products across the region and evangelizing the use of the Internet and growing the Arabic content in the region.
In 2011, Ghonim was named one of Time 100's most influential and received JFK Profile in Courage Award. Coined the "keyboard freedom fighter," he used the power of the internet and social media to fight for social justice, democracy and human rights in Egypt.
Ghonim is the founder of "Tahrir Academy", a nonprofit online knowledge sharing platform for Arab youth. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering from Cairo University and earned an MBA from the American University in Cairo.
Staff Attorney, Disability Rights Advocates
Honored as a White House Champion of Change, a Forbes 30 under 30 leader, and the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, Haben Girma advocates for the civil rights of persons with disabilities. A celebrated speaker, she introduced President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Her TEDx Talk, highlighting her pioneering work, continues to inspire people to strive for a more inclusive world.
Girma works at the Berkeley-based nonprofit Disability Rights Advocates. She helped achieve a legal victory in National Federation of the Blind v. Scribd, the second case to hold that the ADA applies to e-commerce. She received her J.D. in 2013 from Harvard, and her B.A., magna cum laude, in 2010 from Lewis & Clark College.
Founder, Apne Aap Women Worldwide
Ruchira Gupta is a feminist campaigner, writer, visiting professor at NYU, and founder of Indian anti-sex trafficking organization, Apne Aap Worldwide. In Apne Aap, Gupta has helped more than 20,000 girls, women, and their family members exit prostitution systems.
Gupta helped create the Trafficking Fund for Survivors at the UN by addressing the UN General Assembly and taking survivors to speak there. Gupta testified to the US Senate for the passage of the US Trafficking Victim Protection Act, and led survivors after the 2012 Dec 16th bus rape, for a new Indian anti-trafficking law.
Gupta has won an Emmy for The Selling of Innocents, the Clinton Global Citizen award, and the UN NGO CSW Woman of Distinction of Award. Gupta has edited two anthologies: “River of Flesh & Other Stories: The Prostituted Woman in Indian Short Fiction”, and “As if Women Matter: The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader.”
Director of Organizing, The Black Organizing Project
Reggie Harris has organized around a range of issues nationwide, including healthcare, education equality, and worker’s rights. Prior to joining Black Organizing Project (BOP), Harris worked on education Bed-Stuy, New York. Harris grew up in the DC metro by way of Ohio where he was organizer for “Obama for America” during the 2012 presidential campaign and for “Working America AFL-CIO”, during the 2008 presidential campaign. Harris' dedication to working to increase power, leadership, and love among Black people, stems from his time working for some of our nation’s largest and most progressive institutions. In these spaces he realized that Black people were too often tokenized and held little real power. At BOP Harris and his team pride themselves most in making sure the unusual suspects have a meaningful seat at the table of power and that their voices are heard. Harris currently resides in East Oakland.
Executive Director, Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS)
Abdirashid Hashi is the executive director of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS), Somalia’s first think tank based in the capital, Mogadishu. Prior to working with HIPS, Hashi was the Horn of Africa analyst with the International Crisis Group, and has also served as deputy chief of staff at the Somali prime minister’s office, secretary to the council of ministers, communications director at the presidency, and as a cabinet minister responsible for public works, housing, and reconstruction. Hashi holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from the University of Toronto.
Co-Founder and CEO, Aclima
As CEO and Co-Founder of Aclima, Herzl leads a team of engineers, scientists, and designers who are committed to serving humanity with breakthrough innovations for a flourishing, more resilient world. To advance Aclima’s mission, Herzl applies a multidisciplinary approach to creating new technologies and powerful partnerships that deliver transformative business, environmental and societal value. With a commitment to big impact, Herzl has brought together public and private players, such as Google and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to harness the power of large-scale environmental sensor networks to improve both human health and planetary health.
Acting Director of Development and External Relations, Africa Governance Initiative
Dan Hymowitz is acting director of Development and External Relations for the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) where he is responsible for communications, fundraising and thought leadership.
From November 2014 to March 2015, Hymowitz worked alongside the head of the Ebola response in Greater Monrovia, Liberia. Hymowitz's work focused on devising and implementing a strategy, which involved decentralizing management of response activities, that helped Liberia to reach zero new Ebola cases.
Previously Hymowitz set up and managed the Philanthropy Secretariat, a unit within the office of the president of Liberia, which pioneered a new approach to how governments work with international foundations and philanthropists. Hymowitz has a post graduate degree in public policy from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Art from Tufts University.
Founder and Executive Director, Digital Democracy
Emily Jacobi is the founder & executive director of Digital Democracy, a US-based non-profit that works globally to leverage technology for good. Beginning her career as a youth journalist at the age of 13, Jacobi has led technology, media, and research projects in Latin America, West Africa, Southeast Asia, and the U.S. Prior to founding Digital Democracy, Jacobi worked for Internews Network, AllAfrica.com, and as assistant bureau director for Y-Press. Jacobi has presented on the intersection of technology, civic engagement, and human rights to the U.S Congress, the State Department, the United Nations, and numerous universities and conferences. Devoted to protecting the planet and democratizing the design process, Jacobi works with the staff and board, oversees strategic planning and development, and works directly with grassroots partners to design programs and tools that empower marginalized communities to defend their rights.
Lecturer, Blum Center for Developing Economies, University of California at Berkeley
Kate Jastram is a lecturer at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, University of California at Berkeley. She teaches and writes on forced migration and armed conflict. Jastram's current project examines refugee protection and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
Jastram has served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration Advisory Task Force on Civil Immigration Detention Standards and was a lead expert on asylum issues for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent bi-partisan federal agency. She has worked, taught, and lectured in a number of countries.
Prior to joining the Blum Center for Developing Economies, Jastram taught at Berkeley Law, and was a legal advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Jastram holds a BA summa cum laude from San Francisco State University, an MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and a JD from Berkeley Law.
Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Tom Kalil is the deputy director for technology and innovation for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Senior Advisor for Science, Technology and Innovation for the National Economic Council. In this role, Kalil serves as a senior White House staffer charged with coordinating the government’s technology and innovation agenda. Prior to serving in the Obama Administration, Tom was special assistant to the chancellor for science and technology at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2007 and 2008, Kalil was chair of the global health working group for the Clinton Global Initiative. Previously, Kalil served for 8 years in the Clinton White House, ultimately as the deputy assistant to the president for technology and economic policy, and the deputy director of the national economic council. Kalil received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and completed graduate work at Tufts University’s Fletcher School.
Founder and CEO, Khan Academy
Salman Khan is the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, a not-for-profit with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy is a learning platform which is comprised of instructional videos, practice exercises, dashboard analytics and teacher tools which empower learners in and outside of the classroom to study at their own pace. Khan Academy currently reaches over 37 million registered students in 190 countries, features a library of over 10,000 video lessons in more than 36 languages and covers a variety of subjects from math to science, history, economics, computer science and more. Khan holds three degrees from MIT and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Khan has been profiled by 60 Minutes, featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine, and recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World”. In late 2012, Khan released his book, "The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined."
Congressman, Georgia's 5th Congressional District Representative
John Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "the beloved community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress.
John Lewis is the recipient of numerous awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the highest civilian honor granted by President Barack Obama, the Medal of Freedom, the Lincoln Medal from the historic Ford’s Theatre, the Golden Plate Award given by the Academy of Excellence, the Preservation Hero award given by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Capital Award of the National Council of La Raza, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-Violent Peace Prize, the President’s Medal of Georgetown University, the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the National Education Association Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award, and the only John F. Kennedy "Profile in Courage Award" for Lifetime Achievement ever granted by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
Director of Development & Host, Discovery Digital Networks’ Seeker
Laura Ling is an award-winning journalist, author and Director of Development at Discovery Digital Networks, where she develops, produces and hosts insightful, thought-provoking programming for Seeker, including Rituals with Laura Ling and Going Off Grid.
Prior to joining Discovery in November 2014, Ling worked as a correspondent for Current TV, traveling the world to cover dozens of controversial and dangerous issues such as slave labor in the Amazon, Mexico’s drug war, women’s rights in Turkey and censorship in China.
In March 2009, while reporting on the trafficking of North Korean women, Ling was detained along the Chinese-North Korean border. She and her colleague Euna Lee were arrested and held captive for 140 days in North Korea. Both women were pardoned and returned to the United States following an unannounced visit to North Korea by former US President Bill Clinton on August 4, 2009. Since her imprisonment, Ling continues to expose the problem of human trafficking and bring greater awareness to the seriousness of imprisoned journalists around the globe.
Chief of Staff, University of California, San Francisco, Global Health Sciences
Amy Lockwood has a background spanning the business, non-profit and academic sectors. Her work often involves deep partnerships with Ministries of Health and health system managers to develop tools and processes, implement programs, and draft policies to improve the quality of and access to health care. As the Chief of Staff at UCSF’s Global Health Sciences, Lockwood leads strategy, business development, and operations for the AIDS Research Institute and the Institute of Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy. Lockwood is also pursuing her PhD in Global Health Sciences at UCSF, with a research focus on identifying the components of management and leadership that have the greatest impact on health outcomes. Prior to work in global health, Lockwood worked in the private sector as a strategy consultant with a specialty in branding and communication. In addition to receiving her MBA from the Stanford, Lockwood holds a BS and MS in Communications from Northwestern University.
Director of Special Projects, Blum Center for Developing Economies
Heather Lofthouse is director of special projects at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley. She supports the Center’s operation and growth, including the USAID-funded Development Impact Lab and the Center’s expansion to all 10 University of California campuses. She focuses on incentivizing research around the adoption and scale-up of promising innovations at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Lofthouse recently served as the founding Managing Director for Inequality Media, a new non-profit founded by Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich. Previously, she developed health and education programs for children in the US and Latin America as Managing Director of Absolute Return for Kids US. She also managed and contributed to a body of research on franchising healthcare delivery microentrepreneurs in Africa and South Asia while serving as the Private Sector Program Manager at UCSF’s Global Health Group. She has an MPP and MPH from UC Berkeley. Lofthouse serves on the Board of Advisors for Inequality Media.
Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Fronteir Foundation
Jennifer Lynch is a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and works on privacy and civil liberties issues implicated by new technologies. Lynch writes and speaks frequently on government surveillance programs, and successfully sued the federal government to obtain thousands of pages of previously unpublished drone records. She challenges surveillance technologies like location tracking devices, biometrics and drones, through the courts and works to promote privacy-protective laws in federal and state legislatures. Lynch has testified about surveillance in the United States Senate and in the California state legislature and has been interviewed as an expert by major and technical news outlets across the country.
Director of Health and Wellness, Refinery29
Anna Maltby is the director of health and wellness at Refinery29, where she oversees coverage of health, sex and relationships, psychology, and body image, among other topics. She previously worked as an editor at SELF, Marie Claire, and Condé Nast Traveler, among others, and her writing has appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and O magazine. She received her BSJ and MSJ from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and holds a personal trainer certification from the American Council on Exercise. She resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Executive Director, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
As the inaugural executive director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), Kim Meredith has been responsible for strong financial performance and organizational growth, including scaling the budget ten times in five years. Meredith led the team to acquire the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), and opened Stanford PACS at Peking University. Before joining Stanford PACS, Meredith served as the chief development officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America in New York City. Prior to PPFA, Meredith served for nine years as chief operating officer at Planned Parenthood in San Francisco, and began her business career at AT&T for 10 years.
Meredith’s current board service includes, California Family Health Council (Title X), George Lucas Education Foundation, and Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2). Meredith has a bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford University and Stanford Graduate School of Business Fellowship; Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.
Strategic Advisor, XQ Institute
Linda Murray was the superintendent of San Jose Unified School District for eleven years and led its school reform initiative to raise the graduation requirements to match the UC/CSU entrance requirements. Upon retirement, Murray joined the Education Trust-West to help other districts adopt policies and practices to ensure college and career readiness. Murray recently joined the XQ Institute to help develop tools that support the school design work of XQ innovators
President, University of California
Janet Napolitano is the 20th president of the University of California. She leads a university system with 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program. As president, she has stabilized in-state tuition and achieved financial stability; improved the community college transfer process; will achieve carbon neutrality across the UC system by 2025; accelerated the translation of UC research into products and services; focused UC resources on food issues; and strengthened engagement with Mexican peer institutions of higher education. She implemented the Fair Wage/Fair Work plan, which established a $15 minimum wage at UC for employees and contract workers – the first for a public university – and implemented reforms to ensure compliance among all UC contractors. In 2014, she was appointed a tenured faculty member of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Napolitano has served as Secretary of Homeland Security, Governor of Arizona, Attorney General of Arizona, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Napolitano earned a B.S. in Political Science from Santa Clara University and received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal (Law). In 2015, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Principal, Golden State
Eric Nonacs is the principal of Golden State, a consultancy that focuses on results-oriented collaborations among and between the private sector, governments, philanthropy, and NGOs to address global challenges such as climate change, pandemic disease, poverty, and economic inequality.
From 2010 to 2013, Nonacs was the VP for Alliances and Partnerships at the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Previously, Nonacs was the Managing Director for Global Affairs at Endeavour Financial, a merchant bank in Vancouver, Canada. From 2002 to 2007, he was the Foreign Policy Advisor to President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Throughout his career, Nonacs has implemented programs focusing on economic and social development, conflict resolution, and climate change across Africa, Europe, North America, and Latin America.
Nonacs holds an AB from the University of Chicago, an MA from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from NYU. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Social Justice Minister, Ramsey Social Justice Foundation
Jenny Norton is the Social Justice Minister for the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation. Norton's determination is to community-organize with agencies and populations towards ending homelessness, building green affordable housing with safe environmental status, and advocating human rights for women, girls, and the under-represented.
A Harvard graduate and two-time president of the venerable and notorious Harvard Lampoon, O’Brien moved to Los Angeles upon graduation and joined the writing staff of HBO’s “Not Necessarily the News.”
In 1993, Michaels selected O’Brien to succeed David Letterman as the new host of “Late Night” on NBC. During his years at “Late Night”, O’Brien and his team were consistently honored with Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy-Variety Series and, in 2007, the “Late Night” writing team won their first Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy or Variety Series after ten years of nominations.
O’Brien’s talk show “CONAN” premiered on November 8, 2010. “CONAN” has a strong influence in both the broadcast and digital space, with clips from the show often going viral. O'Brien's recent historic trip to Cuba was marked with both ratings and critical success.
Co-Founder, Breakthrough Communities
Paloma Pavel is president of Earth House Center and co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project, dedicated to multi-cultural leadership for building healthy just and sustainable metropolitan regions. Pavel was educated at Harvard University and the London School of Economics and is currently a visiting faculty at UC Davis’ Center for Regional Change, where she received the Distinguished Service Leadership award. Her recent book is Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis. Pavel is co-editor of the MIT Press Sustainable Metropolitan Communities books series, producer of the PBS series The New Metropolis, Fulbright Specialist grant, Sierra Club’s Trailblazer Award, and alum of 2015 Emerge California. Paloma circled the earth as the first North American faculty on the Peace Boat. She has also presented at the Soil not Oil International Conference. Pavel’s forthcoming book is Climate Justice: Frontline Stories from Groundbreaking Coalitions in California.
Executive Director, Global Glimpse
Eliza Pesuit is the executive director of Global Glimpse, a nationally recognized global education and youth development organization that makes transformational travel and 21st century skill building accessible to high school students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Pesuit has lead Global Glimpse to expand ten-fold over the past seven years from 85 to 900 students. Pesuit is a featured entrepreneur with the Edwin Gould Foundation in New York and a recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service. Her work has been featured in Forbes, the Atlantic, the Chicago Tribune, and on NBC, CBS, and ABC.
Co-Founder and CEO, One Earth Designs
Catlin Powers is the Co-founder and CEO of One Earth Designs. Powers has taken the lead from its humble beginnings in a nomadic tent in the Himalayas to reach customers in 60+ countries. Powers has overseen the development of a responsible supply chain, sustainable product design practices, and overall sustainable operating procedures that have earned One Earth Designs the first B Corp certification in China and one of the highest GIIRS ratings yet awarded. One Earth Designs has now been on the B Corp Best for the World List for three years in a row. In addition to her work with One Earth, Powers also lectures on Sustainable Business and Technology at Harvard University. Her clean energy work has been recognized by the US National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Powers is also the recipient of the Marry White Peterson Prize for Innovation in the Biological Sciences, the Camilla Chandler Frost Prize for contributions in the field of environmental studies, and the St. Andrews Prize for the Environment.
Executive Director, Biomimicry Institute
Beth Rattner is the executive director of the Biomimicry Institute. The Institute reaches nearly 600,000 people each year through its online tool, AskNature, has thousands of educators and members in its Global Network, and provides resources for students and practitioners around the world to create nature-inspired, radically sustainable products and services through its Biomimicry Design Challenges. Rattner speaks publicly on how biomimetic design in products, cities, and agriculture can restore our economy and ecosystem, which in turn spur new levels of social equity.
Prior to this position, Rattner worked with William McDonough and Michael Braungart on The Upcycle, the sequel to Cradle to Cradle, before she helped co-found the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and became its first executive director.
An attorney by training, Rattner was also a managing director for one of the first sustainability business consultant firms, Blu Skye, and business manager for Hewlett Packard’s Emerging Market Solutions (EMS) group, providing some of the first photography and computer experiences to people earning less than $2/day.
Managing Director, OpenIDEO, IDEO
Jason Rissman is the Managing Director of OpenIDEO, which enables people everywhere to collaborate in using IDEO’s design thinking methodology to address pressing global issues. OpenIDEO builds and supports communities to collaboratively address social and environmental problems through open innovation challenges and custom design engagements. OpenIDEO's sponsored online challenges have taken on topics ranging from Ebola to renewable energy. OpenIDEO has built a network of over 100,000 social innovators, and thousands of offline Meetup attendees. OpenIDEO also supports organizations in exploring new models of collaborative problem-solving.
Prior to his role at IDEO, Rissman helped Google.org launch and grow projects that utilized technology for social impact across a broad range of issues. Rissman originally hails from Chicago, has lived in Nicaragua, Spain, New York, DC, and Ithaca. He now calls Berkeley home, and is the proud dad of two girls. Follow @jasonrissman on Twitter.
Founder, One Two Three Organization
Abuzar Royesh is a Tufts University senior studying International Relations, and the founder and director of One, Two, Three Project, an education and leadership project for at-risk youth in IDP camps in Afghanistan. In the past, he has worked with the vice speaker of the Afghan parliament and nonprofit organizations, and has been published in Foreign Policy Magazine. On campus, he is a member of Institute for Global Leadership, Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide (IMAGE), and International Relations Director’s Leadership Council. Royesh aspires to return to Afghanistan to help disenfranchised youth access educational opportunities in order to combat extremism.
Associate Editor, Devex
Adva Saldinger is the Associate Editor of Devex Impact, where she covers the intersection of business and global development. While she covers the role of the private sector and private capital broadly, she has a particular interest in innovative finance and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Devex she spent time in Ghana ghostwriting a book and has reported for various daily newspapers in the U.S. and in South Africa.
Founder and CEO, Lava Mae
Doniece Sandoval is the founder of Lava Mae, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that converts public transportation buses into showers and toilets on wheels for the homeless. Driven by a fierce belief that everyone deserves the right to be clean, Sandoval was inspired to build Lava Mae after learning about the appalling lack of showers and toilets available to those experiencing homelessness across this country.
Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
Raj Shah is the founder and managing partner of Latitude Capital, a global emerging markets private equity firm and a distinguished fellow at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Shah previously served as the 16th USAID Administrator, where he was credited with transforming a government agency through creative public-private partnerships and the application of innovative new technologies. Shah also managed the government’s humanitarian response to global catastrophes including the Haiti earthquake and the Ebola epidemic and served on President Obama's National Security team. Previously, Shah served as Undersecretary and Chief Scientist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading efforts in global health, agriculture and financial services. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and the Wharton School of Business.
Co-Founder and President, Kiva.org
Premal Shah helps lead Kiva.org —a crowdfunding website that connects people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, over 1 million people crowdfunded $800M in loans to 1 million underserved entrepreneurs in 90 countries — with a 97% repayment rate. The site has been named as one of Oprah's Favorite Things and a Top 50 Website by TIME Magazine. Shah's inspiration came while volunteering in India while on leave from PayPal, where he had been an early employee. Shah began his career as a management consultant and graduated from Stanford University. Shah is passionate about making it easier for anyone to discover their own power to make real impact. He serves on the board of VolunteerMatch.org & Watsi.org — a crowdfunding for developing world health care site. For his work as a social entrepreneur, Shah was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and selected to FORTUNE magazine’s “Top 40 under 40″ list.
Co-Founder and CEO, Pinterest
Ben Silbermann grew up in Iowa, where he spent a lot of time collecting bugs. Today, Silbermann helps millions of people collect and discover the things they love as co-founder and CEO of Pinterest. Before Pinterest, Silbermann worked at Google on AdSense and studied at Yale. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons.
President & CEO, Youth UpRising
Olis Simmons has established a network of related organizations in one of our nation’s most disinvested communities. In 2005, she founded Youth UpRising, a celebrated multi-service youth leadership development organization. In 2014, Simmons partnered with the Oakland Unified School District to found Castlemont Community Transformation Schools, a cradle-to-career continuum that holds students as drivers of neighborhood improvement. Simmons is now launching Castlemont Renaissance, a collective action anchor to coordinate individual and collective growth that preserves legacy residents while transforming the place through mixed income housing, business development, and wealth-building in place of service delivery.
Executive Director, Global Communications, Public Affairs & Social Impact, Laureate International Universities
Adam Smith works at the intersection of higher education and corporate social responsibility, ensuring Laureate's values and ‘Here For Good’ philosophy are embedded and celebrated throughout the communities Laureate serves.
Prior to taking on this role, Smith was a speaker, facilitator and consultant specializing in partnership development and network building in school education. Smith was Chair of the Australian Government’s Family School Community Partnership Bureau, a Board Member of the Public Education Foundation and the Australian Council for Educational Research, and regular education commentator on 'The Project’ - a leading nightly news and entertainment program on national television. As former CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians and Education Foundation Australia, Smith has personally generated significant philanthropic and corporate investment in schools. In 2009 Smith was named Young Executive of the Year by BOSS Magazine.
Smith volunteers as a mentor, facilitator and advisor for many non profits, including those supporting LGBT youth.
Portfolio Director, Cordes Foundation
Eric Stephenson is the portfolio director at the Cordes Foundation. He works to advance the Foundation’s impact investing, philanthropic and field building work around women’s empowerment and poverty alleviation. Prior to joining the Cordes Foundation, Stephenson served on the fund investments team at Hamilton Lane analyzing and recommending private equity managers for its fund-of-funds strategy. Stephenson began his career as a financial analyst in the global leasing group at Xerox. Stephenson earned his B.B.A. in finance from Temple University and his M.A. from the University of the Pacific where he focused on finance in education and social entrepreneurship. He is a member of the alumni association leadership for the Semester at Sea program and is mentor for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a New York based non-profit focused on educational and career programs for underserved and underrepresented communities.
Director, Vodafone Americas Foundation
Leading the Foundation’s technology for social impact strategy, Sugiyama created the Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project, a competition seeking the best wireless technology solutions to address critical social issues around the world; it’s identified innovations in digital health monitoring, diagnosis, data collection, financial literacy, and economic development.
Sugiyama enjoys the challenge of creating alignment between corporate strategy, philanthropy and CSR; supporting incubation of social innovation start-ups; stimulating technology funding by developing funder & nonprofit education programs; searching innovative ways to harness mobile data for nonprofits to serve the community better, faster, safer while considering privacy and security. Her recent efforts are focused on diversity in the workplace, women and girls in STEM and creating employee programs.
Listed in 40 Women to Watch Over 40, Sugiyama has served on advisory and board capacities at Northern California Grantmakers, Foundation Center San Francisco, Vodafone Group Foundation and United Nations Foundation Technology Partnership and others.
Executive Director, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation
Nick Tilsen is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and the founding executive director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. Tilsen has over 15 years of experience working with non-profits and tribal nations on projects that have a social mission. As the founding executive director of Thunder Valley CDC Tilsen has played a vital role in creating a community development organization that is working with the local grassroots people and national organizations in the development of a sustainable regenerative community that creates jobs, builds homes and creates new opportunity on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Since 2013 Tilsen has served as a local point of contact for President Obama’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, working to make targeted investments into America’s poorest communities. This community based grassroots work has led Tilsen to become a National leader in the Equity Movement. In 2014 Tilsen was selected as an ASHOKA Fellow joining a global network of the worlds leading social innovators.
Correspondent and Producer, VICE on HBO
Gianna Toboni is an Emmy-nominated producer and correspondent for HBO’s Emmy-winning documentary show, VICE. Toboni created, produced and presented a series for VICE that won the Webby Award for Best Documentary Series in 2014. As a rising influencer in media, Toboni was invited to give a TEDx Talk in 2014. Recently, Toboni has interviewed ISIS fighters, reported from the front lines in Iraq, investigated international surrogacy in India, and embedded with Egyptian tomb raiders. Prior to VICE, Toboni worked as a correspondent for Al Jazeera and a producer for ABC News. Originally from San Francisco, California, Toboni currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Professor, UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business & Blum Center for Developing Economies
Laura Tyson is a professor and the director of the Institute for Business and Social Impact at the Berkeley Haas School of Business. She chairs the Board of Trustees for the Blum Center for Developing Economies. From 2002-2006, she served as dean of London Business School and from 1998-2001 she served as Dean of Berkeley-Haas School of Business. Tyson was a member of the US Department of State Foreign Affairs Policy Board and a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. She served in the Clinton Administration as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1995 and as Director of the National Economic Council from 1995 to 1996. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Morgan Stanley, AT&T, CBRE Group Inc. and Silver Spring Networks.
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Back to the Roots
Back to the Roots was founded in 2009 by then college seniors Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora after discovering how to grow gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. Since then, Back to the Roots has evolved from urban mushroom farming to a thriving business on a mission to undo food and reconnect families to it through fun, innovative, and delicious ready to grow and ready to eat products. Back to the Roots currently sells its products in over 14,000 stores worldwide, including Whole Foods Market, Target, Costco, The Home Depot, Nordstrom, Petco, Cost Plus World Market, Loblaw, Giant Eagle, Wegmans, The Fresh Market, Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters, Safeway, and Kroger.
Arora and Velez have been honored with several awards recognizing their efforts in sustainability and entrepreneurship including BusinessWeek’s “Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25,” Inc.’s “30 Under 30,” Inc. 500, Forbes’ “30 Under 30,” and CNN’s “10 Next Entrepreneurs to Watch.” In addition, Back to the Roots was named a 2013 Martha Stewart Top Ten American Made honoree and recognized by President Obama as Champions of Change.
Chief Operating Officer, XQ Institute
As Chief Operating Officer for XQ, Beverly Watson brings over 20 years’ experience working in a combination of fields, including international development, education, law and business. Before joining the XQ team, Watson was the VP of Relationship Management for Laureate Education, focused on increasing academic and business performance of Laureate Institutions by the leveraging an innovative mix of products and services by the global network of 80+ universities across 28 countries. Prior to Laureate, Watson was the President and CEO of Global Imprints LLC, a company designed to empower communities and individuals to address pressing global issues through meaningful interactions and strategic international exchanges. Watson’s other career highlights include: Associate Country Director for Mozambique for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC); Project Development and Finance Associate at the law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP in NY; and Director of Schools Division for Achieva.com.
EVP of Learning and Innovation, Singularity University
Carin Watson is responsible for the execution of Singularity University (SU)’s global product strategy. She oversees most of SU’s education and innovation businesses, including executive programs, custom programs, the Innovation Partnership Program (IPP), conferences and SU labs. Prior to this role, Watson led the development of a corporate innovation partnership program at SU Labs, where she helped small entrepreneurial teams from large organizations leverage SU’s unique global community to incubate new ideas and drive transformational innovation. Watson has almost 20 years of marketing, product development and corporate innovation experience with Fortune 500 companies.
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Seneca Family of Agencies
Kimberly Wayne is the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Seneca Family of Agencies, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to providing unconditional care through a comprehensive continuum of behavioral health care services to children and families who have experienced high levels of trauma. In her two-decade tenure at Seneca, Wayne has worked directly with children in group homes, overseen residential treatment for children with severe emotional disturbances, and provided leadership to both residential and school-based programs. Wayne currently directs Seneca’s programs in Oakland Public Schools, and is the director of Seneca’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative. Wayne holds a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare: Management and Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
Comedian, Writer, Disability Advocate, New York Arab American Comedy Festival
Maysoon Zayid is an actress, comedian, disability advocate, and writer. She is a graduate of and a Spring 2016 Guest Comedian in Residence at Arizona State University. Zayid is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Zayid most recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey Network’s In Deep Shift, 60 minutes, and also had the number one TEDTalk of 2014.
As a professional comedian, Zayid has performed in top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour. Zayid appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and walked in New York Fashion Week 2015. Zayid is the founder of Maysoon’s Kids.