Forum Speakers


 

Carolyn Berkowitz
Managing Vice President, Community Affairs and President, Capital One Foundation, Community Affairs, Capital One Financial Corporation - @CapitalOne

Carolyn Berkowitz is responsible for Capital One’s award-winning corporate community investment strategy and its Market President Network. As President of the Capital One Foundation, she also leads initiatives that foster the link between quality education and community economic development outcomes. Under Ms. Berkowitz’s leadership, both Capital One and the Capital One Foundation invest in creating economic opportunity in communities where the company does business.  Her work includes supporting economic opportunity, education and financial literacy through grants, volunteering and signature programs.  In 2012, she assumed leadership for Capital One’s Market President Network, partnering with business leaders to represent the company’s civic interests in markets throughout the footprint. Ms. Berkowitz champions corporate-community engagement that goes beyond “checkbook philanthropy” and as such, led the development of cutting-edge programs that direct the expertise of Capital One’s talented associates to address community needs.

Ms. Berkowitz serves on the boards of several organizations including Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Communities in Schools of the National Capital Area, and the Business Civic Leadership Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, Ms. Berkowitz was named one of the Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business.This award recognizes the region's most influential women who have made a difference in their communities, blazed a trail for others and impacted business in the Greater Washington area.Prior to joining Capital One, Ms. Berkowitz served as Senior Vice President for Community Mobilization for the America’s Promise Alliance, and as Vice President of the Points of Light Foundation. Ms. Berkowitz resides in Burke, Virginia, with her husband, Alan, and their children, Leslie and Josh.

Taryn Bird
Issue Network Manager, Business Civic Leadership Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce - @tarynebird

Taryn joined the Business Civic Leadership Center in January 2008 and is an issue network manager focused on global economic empowerment issues, specifically women's economic empowerment. She manages a network of more than 50 leading companies that are interested in advancing the connection between international development and corporate social responsibility. To shape the programming associated with the Global Corporate Citizenship program, Taryn works closely with co-chairs Bo Miller, The Dow Chemical Company, and Kathy Pickus, Abbott, as well as Chamber BCLC Business Corps Chairman Stewart Alvarez, Amadeus and the entire corporate working group. Taryn has led and created several new business initiatives in the international development space, including a post-earthquake corporate mission to Haiti in 2010, a pilot project in Brazil to launch the Business Corps, and numerous issue forums and conferences, including the annual partnership event with the United Nations Office for Partnerships on International Women’s Day. In the Spring of 2012 Taryn took a fellowship with Indego Africa in Kigali, Rwanda.  She was responsible for managing the supply chain of the social enterprise’s women run cooperatives and managing the product of brand accounts in country.  Recently The Center for International Private Enterprise selected Taryn as one of the top 20 Women to follow on Twitter and in 2010 Taryn was selected as a United States Delegate for the inaugural One Young World Conference. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Enterprise from the School of International Service at The American University in Washington, DC. Prior to joining BCLC, Taryn served with the U.S. Chamber-affiliated Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America. Taryn has two bachelor degrees from Penn State University in economics and Spanish. She is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Anna Maria Chávez
Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts - @AnnaMariaChavez, @girlscouts

Anna Maria Chávez was appointed chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of USA (GSUSA) on August 24, 2011. A Girl Scout alumna and lifetime member, Mrs. Chávez had previously served as chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, where she led the council through a period of unprecedented growth and emerged a powerful advocate for issues important to girls.

Previous to joining the Girl Scout organization, Mrs. Chávez had an extensive background in public service. She served as deputy chief of staff for urban relations and community development for former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, the current U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. As deputy chief of staff, Chávez oversaw military and veteran affairs, faith-based and community initiatives, human services, child protective services, as well as housing and intergovernmental affairs. Chávez is a licensed attorney and practiced law in Washington, D.C., before serving in Napolitano’s administration. Lauded for her work in military affairs, Ms. Chávez is a recipient of The Adjutant General’s Medal and the Diversity Champion Leadership Award presented by the Arizona National Guard. She was also honored with the Exemplary Leadership Award by Valle del Sol in 2008 and was named Woman of the Year at the Latina Excellence Awards in 2007. Mrs. Chávez is also an inductee into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. Mrs. Chávez holds a law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in American history from Yale University.

H. E. Tomas Christensen
Ambassador, Senior Advisor for Partnerships, United Nations

 

 

 

Peggy Clark
Vice President, Policy Programs, Director, Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, Aspen Institute

Peggy Clark is the Vice President of Policy Programs, Executive Director of Aspen Global Health and Development, and Director of Artisan Partners @Aspen.  As Vice President of Policy Programs, Peggy provides strategic oversight and guidance to the Institute’s 28 policy programs.  As Executive Director of Aspen Global Health and Development, Peggy leads programs promoting breakthrough solutions to global development. Previously, Peggy helped to found Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative with Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and served as Managing Director.  From 2001 – 2003 Peggy was the Executive Vice President for Policy Programs and Seminars of the Aspen Institute. Peggy began her career at Aspen in 1991 when she founded the Self-Employment Learning Project, later named the Economic Opportunities Program. In this role, Peggy helped to establish the field of sectoral workforce development with the publication Jobs and the Urban Poor and crafted new legislation to support industry led workforce development, and led efforts to establish the field of microenterprise development in the US.   Prior to that, Peggy was a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation and the first Director of Small Scale Enterprise and Credit at Save the Children.   Peggy was a leader in founding and shaping the microfinance field internationally, helping to draft the first microenterprise legislation for USAID and serving on the first Microenterprise Advisory Council to the Administrator of USAID. Peggy also is a nationally recognized leader in establishing the microfinance field domestically leading the first national evaluation of the microenterprise field and helping to develop the first Small Business Administration legislation to support microenterprise in the US. In 1995 Peggy received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Microenterprise Development from President Bill Clinton.

Isobel Coleman
Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations @Isobel_Coleman 

Isobel Coleman is senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where she focuses on the Middle East and South Asia. She is the director of CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative. She is also the director of CFR’s Women and Foreign Policy Program. Her areas of expertise include democratization, civil society and economic development, regional gender issues, educational reform, and microfinance. She is the author and co-author of numerous publications, includingParadise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East (Random House, 2010),Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), andStrategic Foreign Assistance: Civil Society in International Security (Hoover Press, 2006). Her writings have also appeared in publications such as Foreign AffairsForeign PolicyThe Washington PostFinancial TimesInternational Herald TribuneUSA TodayChristian Science Monitor, and online venues such as the TheAtlantic.com and CNN.com. She maintains a blog, “Democracy in Development,” on CFR.org. Dr. Coleman is a frequent speaker at academic, business, and policy conferences. In 2010, she served as a track leader for the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2011, Newsweek named her as one of “150 Women Who Shake the World.”

Prior to joining the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Coleman was CEO of a healthcare services company and a partner with McKinsey & Co. in New York. A Marshall Scholar, she holds a DPhil and MPhil in international relations from Oxford University and a BA in public policy and East Asian studies from Princeton University. She serves on several non-profit boards, including Plan USA and Student Sponsor Partners.

Diana Daggett
America Region Director of Corporate Affairs, Intel Corporation

Diana Daggett joined Intel Corporation in 1997.  In her ten years at Intel, Daggett has served in management positions in government and public affairs at four of Intel’s domestic sites.  In her current role, America Region Director of Corporate Affairs, she manages Intel’s strategic engagement at Intel’s site communities in the United States. The responsibilities of her organization include government relations, education relations, community affairs and media relations.  

Prior to joining Intel, Daggett provided strategic planning, research and organizational development services as a political and government relations consultant.  In over 30 state and federal campaigns, she directed candidates and political committees in developing campaigns and coalitions.  In 1990 and 1996 she managed the re-election campaigns of US Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico.  In 1994, Daggett was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Political Consultants. Daggett served on the Board of Directors of the Autism Society of America from 1992 through 1996.  She is currently a member of the board of directors of the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. Diana attended the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany, the University of California Santa Barbara and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Regis University in Denver Colorado. She and her husband Michael Daggett live in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Patricia Devereux
Senior Vice President, Corporate Philanthropy and Citizenship, MasterCard WorldWide @MasterCardNews

Patricia Devereux is Group Head, Corporate Philanthropy and Citizenship for MasterCard Worldwide. In this role, she manages and directs the company’s corporate philanthropy group which includes developing and implementing the company’s philanthropy strategy globally, and overseeing strategic partnerships with various global and national charitable organizations, employee volunteerism, matching gift programs and disaster relief efforts. Ms. Devereux is also the MasterCard staff liaison to the MasterCard Foundation working with the Foundation’s board and staff to support a long-term, collaborative relationship between the two organizations.

Ms. Devereux joined MasterCard in 1996. Prior to taking on the corporate philanthropy role, she was Senior Vice President and Business Finance Officer managing business planning, budgeting, financial reporting, communications and administration for one of the company’s business divisions. Prior to joining MasterCard, she was with AT&T Universal Card Services Corp. working on consumer credit, governance, contract, litigation and regulatory matters. Ms. Devereux received her MBA from Pace University in Financial Management and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Cook College, Rutgers University.

Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, Jr. 
Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation - @chamberBCLC

Alfonso “Al” Martinez-Fonts Jr. is a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Martinez-Fonts was previously a consultant to the U.S. Chamber as president of Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in homeland security and international issues. He was also affiliated with Adelphi Capital, LLC, and Command Consulting Group. Before that, Martinez-Fonts served as assistant secretary and special assistant to the secretary for the private sector at the Department of Homeland Security. Martinez-Fonts worked directly with individual businesses, trade associations and other non-governmental organizations to foster dialogue between the private sector and the Department. He served under secretaries Ridge, Chertoff, and Napolitano. Earlier in his career, Martinez-Fonts worked for 30 years at JP Morgan Chase and its predecessors, Chemical Bank and Texas Commerce Bank. He served as president of Texas Commerce Bank in San Antonio. In 2002, he retired as chairman and chief executive officer of JP Morgan Chase in El Paso. During his 30-year tenure in the banking industry, Martinez-Fonts worked in the metropolitan and international divisions and lived and traveled extensively overseas, including managing Chemical Bank’s offices in Manila and Mexico City.

Martinez-Fonts served on many boards, including Project ARRIBA, ACCION International, and ACCION USA. He was a member of the Frito-Lay Hispanic/ Latino Advisory Board. He also served on the Fannie Mae Advisory Board and the American Bankers Association Communications Council. He was chairman of The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, The Greater El Paso Chamber Foundation, and president of The American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico City. He was the 1995 recipient of The National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award. Martinez-Fonts currently serves on the boards of the Safe America Foundation and Recall Infolink. Martinez-Fonts received his undergraduate degree in political science from Villanova University in 1971, where he serves on the Alumni Association Board. He received his M.B.A. in finance from Long Island University in 1974. Martinez-Fonts was born in Havana, Cuba, and is fluent in Spanish.

Marga C. Fripp
Founder and Chief Visionary, Empowered Women International
- @EmpowerWomenInt

Marga Fripp, the Founder and President of Empowered Women International, is an art marketing coach, journalist and entrepreneur with over 15 years experience in managing non-profits, marketing, art management, media relations, gender and entrepreneurial development. She has a passion for empowering women to make a living from their work and thrive as leaders, educators, global citizens and entrepreneurs.

Over the past seven years since immigrating to the United States, she has worked with hundreds of immigrant and American-born women of all media and cultural backgrounds, and helped build their careers and businesses. Through her vision and work, Marga gives voice to immigrant, refugee and culturally diverse women by promoting their art and cultures, and leading them to entrepreneurial success. In 2008, she formed the Entrepreneurship Academy for Artists as a business school for artists to expand art marketing, business workshops and coaching services to artists, artisans, educators, arts organizations and entrepreneurs in creative industries.

Lisa Hall
President and CEO, Calvert Foundation @LisaGreenHall, @Calvert_fdn

Lisa Hall leads Calvert Foundation as President and CEO, a post she assumed in January 2011. Having joined Calvert Foundation in 2005, Lisa's background includes nearly 25 years of industry experience at multiple policy and financial posts. Lisa has held positions in real estate and community development finance with the Enterprise Foundation, JP Morgan Chase and Travelers Insurance. She holds a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard University. In 2003, Lisa participated in the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship, a travel program for emerging leaders from the US and Europe. Lisa serves on the Boards of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, the Tides Foundation, and the Tides Network. She also serves on the executive committee of ANDE (Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs) and the Board of Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC. Lisa lives in Northeast Washington, DC with her husband and young daughter.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian
President and CEO, Women's World Banking - @MicrofinanceWWB

Mary Ellen Iskenderian is President and CEO of Women’s World Banking (WWB), the world’s largest network of microfinance institutions and banks. Ms. Iskenderian joined WWB in 2006 and leads the WWB global team, based in New York. Prior to WWB, Ms. Iskenderian worked for 17 years at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. Before, she worked for the investment bank Lehman Brothers. Ms. Iskenderian serves on the Board of Directors of Kashf Microfinance Bank in Pakistan and is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves as an Advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative and is a judge for the annual Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards. Ms. Iskenderian holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Yana Watson Kakar
Partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors
@DalbergTweet

Yana Watson Kakar is a Partner with Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a strategy consulting firm specializing in emerging and frontier markets. Yana leads the firm’s work related to Women, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. She supports clients across the private and public sectors to develop gender-inclusive strategies, programs, partnerships and evaluations. Yana works particularly closely with corporations interested in developing sustainable global market models. Yana recently worked with Intel Corporation on a project which quantified the internet gender gap and its socio-economic effects, including an estimated missed market opportunity of USD 50-70 billion. Prior to joining Dalberg, Yana worked with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), VISA International, Women’s World Banking, and Arthur D. Little. Yana holds an MBA from Wharton Business School and a BA in Political Economics from McGill University. 

William Kennedy
Senior Programme Officer, UN Office for Partnerships, United Nations - @UNpartnerships

Having previously worked in the international development assistance field for 10 years, Mr. Kennedy joined UNFIP in May 1998 where he is primarily responsible for management of the environment programme and associated portfolio of project investments supported by the UN Foundation. He brings considerable experience in project development and management having worked with several NGOs and UN agencies, including CARE, the Industry Council for Development, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service, the UN Office for Emergency Operations in Africa, and the UN Electoral Assistance Division. Mr. Kennedy has managed a range of development projects in a variety of fields, including private sector development, natural resource management, electoral assistance to post-conflict societies, and emergency preparedness planning, and has worked in several African countries, including Kenya, Sudan, Zambia and Namibia. He holds a BA from Bowdoin College and a Masters of Public Policy and Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and has completed all coursework for the Master's degree in International Affairs.

Afshan Khan
Chief Exectuive Officer, Women for Women International
- @AfshanKhan_WfWI, @womenforwomen

Afshan Khan was named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Women for Women International (WfWI) in April 2012, becoming only the second CEO in the organization's history. She succeeds Zainab Salbi who had led the institution since co-founding it in 1993. As CEO, Afshan drives all aspects of institutional performance. She is responsible for setting the strategic vision, mobilizing the necessary financial and other resources to execute that vision, and ensuring that WfWI’s work creates the most positive impact possible for women rebuilding their lives after war.

Afshan joined WfWI after a career spanning more than 20 years with UNICEF, most recently as director of UNICEF's Public-Sector Alliances and Resource Mobilization Office (PARMO). During her tenure in PARMO, she led a team that was responsible for mobilizing more than $10 billion for children and their families. Throughout her career with UNICEF, Afshan was responsible for managing key relationships and high-impact projects. As Director for Public Alliances and Resource Mobilization, Afshan's governmental portfolio included the international development agencies of Canada, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Her office also managed foundation partners among them the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rotary Foundation (for polio eradication), the United Nations Foundation (for health commodities), and the Open Society Institute (for primary education in Liberia). Afshan has spent about half of her career in some of the world's most challenging field assignments, working directly with communities affected by war, poverty, or natural disaster. The other half has been in executive positions where she has worked to make sure that policy decisions reflect the on-the-ground realities she knows firsthand. She is equally comfortable in refugee camps talking with traumatized families as she is in high-level negotiations around the boardroom table. Afshan holds both Canadian and British citizenship. Along with her native English, she speaks French, Urdu, and Portuguese.

Shannon Maynard
Vice President, Chief Talent and Knowledge Officer, Grameen Foundation - @GrameenFdn

As Vice President and Chief Talent and Knowledge Officer at Grameen Foundation, Shannon is responsible for ensuring that talent and knowledge management, as well as performance measurement and planning efforts, are aligned with the organization's mission, vision and strategy.  She also provides strategic direction and oversight for Bankers without Borders® (BwB), Grameen Foundation's global skills-based volunteer initiative to connect top volunteer talent with social enterprises, using market-based solutions tailored to the needs of the world's poorest people.  Shannon joined Grameen Foundation in 2008 as the founding director of BwB, which has collectively contributed more than 100,000 hours of donated skilled services to the social sector.

Before joining Grameen Foundation, Shannon served as the Executive Director of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation under the George H.W. Bush Administration and led strategic initiatives for the federal agency the Corporation for National and Community Service, where she spent more than eight years designing and implementing national service policies and programs.  In 2008, she spearheaded the creation of "A Billion and Change," a national campaign to mobilize $1 billion of pro bono and skills-based service by 2013 to address core issues our communities face.  Previously, Shannon held various leadership positions managing AmeriCorps programs for local and national nonprofits in the United States. Shannon's work has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review,Nonprofit Quarterly and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and she regularly speaks at conferences on corporate citizenship and volunteer management. A former AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Shannon received an MBA from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Richmond.

Brandee McHale
Chief Operating Officer, Citi Foundation - @citi

Brandee McHale is the Chief Operating Officer at the Citi Foundation, responsible for shaping the Foundation’s overall strategy, grantmaking programs including Citi Volunteers, and all operational issues.  Brandee joined Citi in 1991 and has a long history in both business management and philanthropy.  Before joining the Foundation, she served as the Director of Operations for Citi Community Capital, one of the largest community development financing entities in the United States.  Earlier assignments included a series of increasingly responsible positions in Citi’s Community Relations and Community Reinvestment Act departments.  In 2005, Brandee left Citi to join the Ford Foundation, developing a portfolio of investments that support low-income households’ efforts to participate in the mainstream economy, attain economic self-sufficiency and fulfill asset development goals. Brandee serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). Brandee holds a Master’s in Urban Policy from the New School for Social Research.

Alyse Nelson
Chief Executive Officer, Vital Voices - @AlyseNelson, @VitalVoices

Alyse Nelson is president and chief executive officer of Vital Voices Global Partnership. A co-founder of Vital Voices, Alyse has worked for the organization for 15 years, serving as vice president and senior director of programs before assuming her current role in 2009. Alyse has worked with women leaders to develop training programs and international forums in over 140 countries and has interviewed more than 200 international leaders, including Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former presidents Mary Robinson and Bill Clinton, as well as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai, and Muhammad Yunus. Under her leadership, Vital Voices has tripled in size and expanded its global reach to serve a network of over 14,000 women leaders in 144 countries. 

Previously, Alyse served as deputy director of the Vital Voices Global Democracy Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. Her position aided former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s commitment to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy objective. Alyse helped design and implement Vital Voices initiatives throughout the world. From July 1996 to July 2000, Alyse worked with the President’s Interagency Council on Women at the White House and U.S. Department of State. She attended the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. She serves on Secretary Clinton's Advisory Committee on Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society and is a Board member of Running Start. Alyse is the author of "Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World," which shares the stories of remarkable, world-changing women, as well as the story of how Vital Voices was founded.. Alyse has been featured in international and national media, including the Washington PostFinancial Times, the Miami Herald, the Wall Street JournalUSA Today and Reuters, and has appeared on BBC, PBS, CNN, NPR, FOX News, and CNBC. She completed her graduate degree work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In 2006 Alyse was named one of ''Ten Women to Watch'' by Washingtonian Magazine and was honored by her alma mater, Emerson College, with the distinguished speaker award.  In 2011 she was featured in Newsweek as one of ''150 Women Shaking the World,'' and in 2012 she was a TIAW World of Difference 100 Award recipient.

Nancy Ploeger
President, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

Nancy Ploeger is the President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Enhancing New York City's economic growth and advocacy for small businesses has been Nancy's goal for the past 18 years. Since joining the Chamber in 1994 as the Executive Director, Nancy has represented the business community on a wide range of critical issues, most notably those involving health insurance for SMEs, MWBE certification, government procurement, small businesses globalization, diversity and business resources for services sectors, among other issues. Nancy is also one of the Founders of the International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), partnering with Ambassador Ruth Davis formerly with the U.S. Department of State, Chairman of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and the Indian Federation of Chambers of Commerce. The objective of this joint effort is to promote the growth of women entrepreneurial businesses through global outreach. 

Nancy was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to serve on the Committee of the MWBE Advisory Board in 2006.  She also serves on a number of boards and advisory groups, including U.S. Chamber of Commerce (BCLC), September Concert, New York District Export Council, Parent Jobnet, Health Advocates, New York City Department of Small Business Services and the Small Business Task Force of the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. She served as the Chairperson of Chamber Alliance of New York State in 2007 and continues to serve on the Steering Committee of NYDEC World Trade Week Committee. Prior to joining MCC, Nancy was the Vice President for TSI, New York, NY where she lead the efforts to build one of NYC's premiere health and fitness corporations. Nancy lives in New York City. She is a native of St. Louis, MO and a graduate of Monmouth College '71.

Willa Shalit
President and Co-Founder, Maiden Nation - @willashalit, @maidennation

Willa Shalit is an artist, theatrical and television producer, author/editor, socially-conscious entrepreneur and philanthropist. To bring economic recovery to women in post-conflict zones, Shalit has worked to create markets in the United States for products manufactured jointly by Palestinian and Israeli women, and by women survivors of the Rwandan genocide. As a result, Fair Winds Trading, Inc. has become a leading importer of handmade goods from Rwanda; it has partnered with Macy's for the Rwanda Path to Peace project to market hand-woven Rwandan baskets in the United States, and produced hand-beaded gemstone and glass bracelets in partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine.

In addition to creating Fair Winds Trading, Inc., Willa is also the editor of the book, Becoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female, a collection of essays and reminiscences by notable women and author of Lifecast: Behind the Mask. Shalit's photos of Afghanistan, Rwanda and Israel have been published in the Chicago Tribune, theNew York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Parade magazine, Marie Claire magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, and distributed by the Associated Press wire service. Willa also produced the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several off-Broadway shows including: James Lecesne’s One Man Band, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, and Necessary Targets.  Shalit was one of the co-founders, with Eve Ensler, of V-Day, a non-profit organization that distributes funds to programs and organizations that work to stop violence against women and girls, and served as its first executive director. Willa also served as a Special Advisor to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and was named by Women’s eNews as one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” in 2006. She serves on the boards of the Hadassah Foundation and the Agohozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda. Shalit is married and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and New York City. She and her husband, Michael Schneider, have one daughter, Natasha Schneider.

Sarah Thorn
Senior Director, Federal Government Relations, Walmart - @walmart

Sarah is primarily responsible for managing international policy issues at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In this capacity, she advocates for Walmart priorities in legislation and trade negotiations that impact the company’s worldwide sourcing and retail distribution rights. Sarah also led the strategy team that developed Walmart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, which is focused on empowering women throughout Walmart’s global supply chain.Before joining Walmart, Sarah worked for seven years at the Grocery Manufacturers Association where she led the food, beverage and consumer products industry advocacy on international trade issues.  Sarah has also worked as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and served as an international relations representative with AMP Incorporated. Sarah began her career in Washington as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Information Agency. She holds a Master of Arts degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative area studies and comparative literature cum laude from Duke University. 

Luis A. Ubiñas
President, Ford Foundation

Mr. Luis Antonio Ubiñas has been the President of Ford Foundation since January 2008. Proir to his current role Mr. Ubiñas led McKinsey's Media Practice on the West Coast of the United States, advising Fortune 100 media, telecommunications and technology companies on major strategic and operating challenges. While at McKinsey, Mr. Ubiñas led research on the impact of new technologies on business and society, worked with traditional media companies responding to the effects of new media, and with emerging technology companies on the introduction of new media services.

Mr. Ubiñas has a distinguished record of leadership in the nonprofit sector, devoting much of his personal time and energy to working with nonprofits to accomplish their missions. He has advised senior management and served on the boards of Leadership Education and Development (LEAD), a national organization providing educational opportunities to low-income African-American and Latino high school students, and the Bay Area United Way. He has been an Independent Director of Electronic Arts Inc. since November 9, 2010. He has been a Director of Valassis Communications Inc. since November 26, 2012. He serves as a Director of The Steppingstone Foundation. Mr. Ubiñas served as Director of McKinsey & Company, where he worked for 18 years. Mr. Ubiñas serves on several boards and advisory committees, including the World Bank Advisory Council of Global Foundation Leaders and the UN Permanent Advisory Memorial Committee. He has been nominated by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiation. Mr. Ubiñas earned an AB degree (magna cum laude in Government) at Harvard College where, among other honors, he was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar and a John Winthrop Scholar. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As an undergraduate, he also studied at the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and earned a certificate in Latin American Studies from Harvard. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar.

Elizabeth A. Vazquez
President, CEO, and Co-Founder, WEConnect International

Elizabeth A. Vazquez is the CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, a corporate led non-profit that helps to empower women business owners to succeed in global markets. She is a serial social entrepreneur and world leader in global supplier diversity and inclusion. As the CEO of WEConnect International, Ms. Vazquez is responsible for the vision, mission, delivery, organizational growth for impact, and partner development in every region of the world. The WEConnect International network is active in countries that represent over 40% of the world population, and the corporate network represents over US$700 billion in annual purchasing power.

Ms. Vazquez sits on several Boards of Directors, including the Global Banking Alliance for Women, is an Advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative, is a Member of the U.S. Department of State’s International Council on Women’s Business Leadership Subcommittee on Access to Markets, and is the Co-Chair of La Pietra Coalition's Entrepreneurship Working Group. She has been a speaker and conducted trainings in numerous countries on globalization, value chains, trade, diversity and

inclusion, social sustainability, technology, women's entrepreneurship, and corporate and government sourcing policies and practices. As CEO and Co-Founder of TradeBuilders, Ms. Vazquez works with corporate and government leaders on Internet-based “Virtual Trade Missions” and other trade events in countries such as Canada, Chile, Cyprus, India, Israel, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK and the U.S. As the Executive Director of Quantum Leaps, a global non-profit dedicated to the growth of women owned businesses, Ms. Vazquez received the WBENC Applause Award for exceptional accomplishments that expand opportunities for women's business enterprises. Ms. Vazquez was born in Mexico and has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, where she studied development economics and international negotiation as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She also completed graduate seminars at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government, the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and Sookmyung Women’s University in South Korea.

Renee Kuriyan Wittemyer
Director of Social Impact, Corporate Responsibility Office, Intel Corporation - @reneewittemyer

Renee Kuriyan Wittemyer is the Director of Social Impact in Intel Corporation’s Corporate Responsibility Office. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley focused in development studies. She has a Masters degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School with a focus in international development and science and technology policy. She has extensive experience conducting research on a range of technology and development topics in emerging economies as a research scientist in Intel Labs. Past experience includes projects with the World Bank, United Nations Development Program, NGOs, and Microsoft Research India. She has published over 20 papers in academic journals, edited books as well as more popular venues on topics such as technology and development, poverty, social entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion.