Announcing three amazing keynotes for the 2017 conference!

Opening Keynote: Jeanne Jackson, President at Nike

“Trailblazer in Retail, Branding and Sport: Lead Like You Mean It”

Jeanne P. Jackson has been President, Special Advisor to the CEO at Nike Inc., since June, 2016. Prior to that, Ms. Jackson was President, Product and Merchandising at Nike, from 2013 to 2016, and President, Direct to Consumer, from 2009 to 2013. She stepped into that role after serving on the Nike Board of Directors for eight years.

In addition to the eight years on the Nike Board, from 2001 to 2009, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of McDonalds, Inc. since 1999, where she serves as Chair of the Compensation Committee, member of the Governance Committee, and former Chair of the Finance Committee. She also serves on the Board of Kraft-Heinz, Inc., on both the Audit and Governance Committees. Ms. Jackson has also served on the Boards of Nordstrom, Inc., Harrah’s Inc.  (now Caesar’s Inc.), Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Motorola Mobility Holdings, CRS Inc., West Marine, Inc., and the United States Navy Exchange.

Prior to stepping off the Nike Board to assume an Executive position in 2009, Ms. Jackson was CEO of a private equity and consulting firm that she founded in 2002, MSP Capital. Ms. Jackson served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of from March 2000 to January 2002.  She was an Executive with Gap Inc., from 1995 to 2000. There she served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Banana Republic from 1995 to March 2000 and simultaneously as President and Chief Executive Officer for Gap Inc. Direct.

Prior to Gap Inc., Ms. Jackson held various senior management positions with Victoria’s Secret, The Walt Disney Company, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Federated Department Stores. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado, and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. She has been recognized by Business Week as one of the  “Top 25 Managers”, by Vanity Fair as one of the “Legends, Leaders and Trailblazers” and has been cited many times in Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.”

Ms. Jackson serves on the Board of Advisors of the University of California, Irvine, Merage School of Business, and has previously served on the Board of Advisors of  Harvard Graduate School of Business. She is the Past President of the United States Ski and Snowboard Foundation Board of Trustees, where is remains a Trustee, and formerly served on the Boards of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, and Sage Hill School in Orange County, California.

Ms. Jackson is married, with two grown children, and currently resides in Henderson, Nevada.


Afternoon Keynote: Afsaneh Beschloss, CEO/Founder of Rock Creek

“The Power of Persistence: Embracing Failure, Building Coalitions and Promoting Change”

Afsaneh M. Beschloss is Founder and CEO of Rock Creek, a leading global investment and advisory firm. Previously, she was Managing Director and Partner at the Carlyle Group and Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer of the World Bank. Ms. Beschloss has a long history working on global public policy and financial policy advising governments, central banks, and regulatory agencies.

Ms. Beschloss is a leader in impact investing and founded a public private partnership at the World Bank to invest in natural gas and clean energy projects and led the World Bank’s energy policy and investment in oil, gas, renewable energy and power projects to reduce carbon emissions. Ms. Beschloss also worked at Shell International Group Planning and J.P. Morgan.

She chairs the World Wide Web Foundation Board and serves on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the PBS Foundation, Urban Institute, and American Red Cross. She chairs the Global Advisory Council for the World Resources Institute and serves on the Visiting Committee at the Center for Development Economics at Williams College. Ms. Beschloss is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Investor Governors and the Council of Foreign Relations. She is a past Trustee of the Ford Foundation, where she chaired the Investment Committee. She is a recipient of the Institutional Investor Lifetime Achievement Award, Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award, and was recognized as one of the American Bankers Most Powerful Women in Banking.

Ms. Beschloss holds an MPhil (Honors) in Economics from the University of Oxford, where she taught international trade and economic development. She is the co‐author of The Economics of Natural Gas (Oxford) and author of numerous journal articles on energy policy.


Closing Keynote: Heidi Cruz, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs

“Empowerment Through Serving Others”

Heidi Cruz is a Managing Director in the Private Wealth Management business of Goldman Sachs.

She recently returned to the firm in a newly created role advising key US clients after spending time on the presidential campaign trail with her husband, Senator Ted Cruz.

She has spent more than a decade helping families achieve a broad range of  financial goals through education, asset allocation, and managing market risk. Previously, she served as the Region Head of Private Wealth Management for the Southwest based out of Houston. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2005.

Heidi served in the Bush Administration prior to joining the firm, including roles in the National Security Council (NSC), under then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, as the Economic Director for Western Hemisphere, as the Senior Advisor to Treasury Undersecretary John B. Taylor, and as Special Assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, then-United States Trade Representative.  In these capacities, Heidi was responsible for U.S. economic policy toward Latin America, and assisted in formulating and implementing U.S. trade policy worldwide.

Heidi has also been an investment banker with Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan, focusing on Latin American mergers and acquisitions, structured finance, and energy in Houston and New York City.

She has served on the Texas Business Leadership Council, on the Executive Board of the Greater Houston Partnership, on the Board of Directors of the Houston Ballet, and on the Board of Directors of Living Water International, a Christian charity providing clean water and sanitation equipment throughout the developing world.

Her publications include a book chapter entitled “Expanding Opportunity Through Free Trade,” in Thank You, President Bush, a book chapter in Exchange Rate Policies for Emerging Market Economies, and a Harvard Case Study, “American International Group.”

Raised in California, Heidi received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a Master of European Business from Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium.  She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Claremont McKenna College, where she was awarded Best Senior Thesis in Economics. She and her husband have two young daughters, Caroline and Catherine.


Also check out these videos of our amazing Keynote speakers from the 2016 Dynamic Women in Business Conference!

Melanie Whelan, CEO of SoulCycle:

Katrina Lake, Founder & CEO of Stitch Fix: