Panels and Workshops

10:00am – 11:00am

11:15am – 12:15pm

2:30pm -3:30pm

Bridging the Entrepreneurship Gender Gap (Aldrich 112)

The 21st Century CEO (Aldrich 112)

Empowering Women in the Boardroom (Aldrich 112)

Moving Towards Gender Equality at the Partner Level in Consulting (Aldrich 107)

Work/Life Balance in a Dual Career Household (Aldrich 10)

Female Leaders in Public Policy (Aldrich 109)

Diversity in Tech: Women’s Leadership Effecting Change (Aldrich 108)

Scaling Social Enterprise (Aldrich 7)

“Femvertising”: Empowering Women through Marketing (Aldrich 111)

Managing International Experiences: How Top Female Execs Navigate Regional Differences (Aldrich 111)

Succeeding as a Woman in General Management (Aldrich 8)

Current State of Feminism (Aldrich 107)

Uncovering the Who, When, and How of Mentorship (Aldrich 12)

Building a Successful Career in Alternative Investing (Aldrich 12)

Transforming Healthcare (Aldrich 108)

Better Business, Better World: Women in Sustainable Development (Aldrich 109)

Workshop: How to Be Unafraid to Shine in Your Spotlight (Aldrich 11)

Finance: Breaking Through Wall Street’s Glass Ceiling (Aldrich 12)

Workshop: Breaking Biased Habits: Why Josh is More Likely to Speak for his Team than Jessica: (Aldrich 110)

How Can Women Make a Social Impact through Entertainment & Media? (Aldrich 9)

Workshop: Empower Yourself: Building Confidence in Your Personal Finance (Aldrich 110)

The Role of Education in Corporate Talent Management and Career Empowerment (Aldrich 11)



Bridging the Entrepreneurship Gender Gap


Though many studies show female founders actually out-perform their male peers, male founders tend to start more businesses and raise more capital than women. Our panel of startup founders and CEOs will discuss the challenges they faced both as women and generally when starting their businesses, and how they overcame them.

Ambika Singh | Armoire, CEO

Ambika Singh, Sloan MBA 2016, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Armoire. A wardrobe-as-a-service company, Armoire rents and delivers high-end clothes for busy professional women. With a growing waitlist, the company aims to serve what it calls the “boss lady.”

Ambika’s past experiences include marketing & sales roles at Microsoft, two consumer facing web startups, and a mid-sized systems integrator that was recently acquired by Harman Kardon. Ambika graduated from Dartmouth College in 2007 with a double major in History and Asian Studies modified with Economics; she completed a thesis about microfinance risk models in rural India. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling, eating, hiking, camping, soccer, spending time with friends & family, and thinking about startups.

Janet Kraus | Peach, CEO

Janet Kraus is the CEO of peach, a discovery platform of inspiring, feel good apparel, accessories and content for women who believe in better. peach mobilizes its inspiring stylist corps to showcase seasonally unique collections of feel-good and meaning-filled apparel and accessories both in the home and on social media. peach collections feature products made by peach AND by totally cool, up-and-coming and mission-aligned entrepreneurs. peach collections are supercharged with content that positively reinforces women on their journey to live a life of purpose and panache.

Janet is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Harvard Business School and was a member of the entrepreneurship faculty at HBS from 2010 to 2014.

Prior to her role at Peach and HBS, Janet co-founded and sold two companies in the high-end travel and leisure industry. Circles (sold to Sodexo in 2007) is a concierge and events company, and Spire (sold to Perfect Escapes in 2010) was a high end travel and leisure social resource.

Janet is a recipient of Boston’s 40 under 40 and was a finalist of Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Circles was awarded the Small Business of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce. Janet received a BA from Yale University in Political Science and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. An entrepreneur’s advocate, Janet sits on the board of directors of three start-up companies and advises many others. She currently lives outside of Boston with her husband and 10 year old twin daughters.

Jennie Baik | Orchard Mile, CEO

Jennie Baik is an avid consumer technology and next generation retail strategist and currently serves as the CEO and Co-founder of Orchard Mile, a newly launched digital shopping experience that is the first and only fashion platform that allows women to shop the full assortment of their favorite contemporary and luxury brands’ sites, updated daily, in one place, with the ease of one checkout.

Previous to her role at Orchard Mile, Ms. Baik served as the Head of Strategy for Burberry Americas from September 2012 to July 2014, where she focused on creating powerful brand experiences to position the company for multi-national growth. She also served in various positions in her four years at Omnicom Group; including as Director of Strategy & Business Development from 2010-2012, where she was responsible for the development and execution of a strategy to harness the power of big data to create targeted marketing campaigns. While at Omnicom, Ms. Baik also led teams in architecting integrated marketing strategies, focusing on developing rich brand identities and communicating these stories both online and offline. Ms. Baik also spent time as a management consultant at Booz Allen & Co. as well as in leveraged finance at Goldman Sachs prior to graduating from business school.

Ms. Baik received her Masters degree from Harvard Business School in 2008 and also holds a BBA/BA in Business Honors and Plan II from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a frequent notable speaker at the annual Harvard Business School’s annual Dynamic Women in Business and the Retail and Luxury Goods conference, as well as the Luxury Marketing Council’s events in the New York area.

Jules Pieri | The Grommet, CEO

Jules Pieri is Co-founder & CEO of the The Grommet, a site which has launched more than 2,000 consumer products since 2008. The company’s Citizen Commerce™ movement is reshaping how products are discovered, shared, and bought. Jules started her career as an industrial designer for technology companies and was a senior executive at Keds, Stride Rite, and Playskool. The Grommet is her third startup, following roles as VP at Design Continuum and President of

Jules completed her undergraduate degree summa cum laude at the University of Michigan and people tell her she is the first designer to graduate from Harvard Business School, where she is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence.

Jules was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013 and one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Interesting Entrepreneurs in 2014. In June 2014, Jules was invited to the White House Maker Faire to launch The Grommet Wholesale Platform. This extension of the Grommet business connects Makers with Main Street Retailers by bridging the gap between the two and helping to ensure Grommet’s goal that within five years 10% of all products flowing through U.S. retail originate from independent small-scale Makers.

Jules is frequently asked to speak on consumer trends and technologies, design, and entrepreneurship. She has presented as HBS, SCAD, MIT, and at conferences, including SXSW, Internet Retailer, and the Conference on World Affairs. She’s been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and many other media outlets. She writes a personal blog on these subjects at and posts as @Julespieri on Twitter and Instagram.

Julia Kemp | Rock Center (HBS), Associate Director | Moderator

As Associate Director of The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, Julia Kemp leads the student-facing entrepreneurship programing and event at HBS, such as the Rock Accelerator, New Venture Competition, and Rock Summer Fellowship program.

Her mission is to create, articulate and claim value for disruptive startups. Bilingual in both design and business, she is known as a “Product Storyteller”. Julia has worked with over 300 startups to launch 1000’s of products. Julia was part of the original startup team at The Grommet, a curated e-commerce launch platform that was among the first online retailers to leverage video and empower people to shop in alignment with their values. She is a proven predictor of success and led the Grommet launch of FitBit, S’well water bottles, Back to The Roots, Lunchskins, Squatty Potty and Urbio, long before they were household names.

Julia started her career as an Industrial Designer and was was recruited out of school to design for Target. She holds a B.F.A in Industrial Design from Savannah College of Art and Design and MBA from Simmons College.

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Moving Towards Gender Equality at the Partner Level in Consulting

With the dynamic nature of the work consultants do and the “up or out” culture, women must navigate the career ladder in a way that sets them up for success. How do women in consulting reach the partner level? What challenges do they encounter? Why aren’t there more female partners? How do we move towards gender equality in number of partners?

Sabine Awad | Deloitte Consulting, Principal

Sabine Awad is a Principal at Deloitte Consulting, focused in the Federal Health space. She has almost 20 years of experience leading strategy, business transformation and program management engagements in the public sector across Education and Public Health. For the last 11 years, she has led major efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to strategic planning, organizational design, performance measurement and evaluation, grants management, process improvement, change management, and technology implementation. Sabine is the sponsor of Deloitte Federal Consultant Program and is the Dean of all Deloitte consultant related learnings. Sabine graduated with B.A from Wellesley College and M.A from Harvard University.


Dianne Ledingham | Bain, Director

Dianne Ledingham is a Director in the Boston office. She is one of our senior partners in Bain’s Telecom, Media and Technology Practice Areas and had deep expertise in Sales and Channel Excellence. Dianne joined Bain in 1990 and has played a number of leadership roles across the firm.

Over her tenure with Bain & Company, Dianne has led a number of client relationships focusing on profitable growth strategies and transformation programs in technology and telecom markets, including clients participating in the software, IT services, mobile and networking equipment industries. In addition, Dianne has been the Global Leader of Bain’s Sales and Channel Excellence practice. Dianne has led a number of sales transformation efforts for clients in a variety of industries including technology, industrial and medical equipment.

Dianne has published articles in Harvard Business Review and other business journals on the topics of sales effectiveness, customer relationship management and product-to-services migration.

In addition to her consulting responsibilities, Dianne has been an active participant in firm governance and is currently a member of Bain’s Global Nominating Committee. She has previously been elected to Bain’s Global Board of Directors and also has been Chairperson of the Global Compensation and Promotion Committee. Dianne is actively involved in consulting recruiting, and has led several talent initiatives locally and globally.

Prior to joining Bain & Company, Dianne worked for IBM as an engineer designing integrated circuits and circuit boards. She also held positions in marketing and sales at IBM. During her Bain tenure, Dianne also pursued an externship for a client and was acting Sales and Marketing VP for a software division while the company conducted an executive search.

Dianne earned her MBA from Harvard Business School with distinction. She is a graduate of Brown University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with honors.

Dianne was elected to the Pegasystems Board of Directors in October 2015 (NASDAQ: PEGA). Dianne is the Chairperson of the City Year Boston Board of Directors, as well as treasurer for Ventures for Hope. She been on the Advisory Board of MyDials, a software start up. Dianne is married, has three children, and resides in Wellesley, Massachusetts.


Jung Paik | McKinsey, Associate Partner

Jung Paik is an Associate Partner in the Boston office of McKinsey & Company. Her client work is focused on operational transformations in the public and private sector. She is a leader in McKinsey’s Corporate and Business Support Functions Practice and the State and Local Government Practice. Jung helps lead women’s recruiting for McKinsey’s Northeast offices. Prior to transferring to the Boston office in 2010, she was a Social Sector Fellow in McKinsey’s Washington D.C. office, focusing on education and economic development.

Jung holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.P.A. from Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a George Fellow in the Harvard Center for Public Leadership. She received a B.A. with honors in biochemical sciences from Harvard College. She lives in New Haven, CT with her husband and 8 month old daughter.


Frances Taplett | BCG, Global Talent Director

Frances Taplett, Director, joined The Boston Consulting Group in 2008. She has been in our Washington DC, Chicago, Houston, and Boston offices working primarily in our Healthcare Practice Area. Frances currently leads the Global People Team serving as Chief of Staff and managing people processes globally. She is tasked with creating core strategy & execution including Women@BCG and PTO. She also develops priorities for BCG’s future strategy including evolving our People Operating Model, strategic placements and other core topics. Frances received her MBA in 2008 from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College where she was a Tuck Scholar with Distinction. Frances graduated from Stanford University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. She has two daughters aged 2 and 5 and enjoys teaching them to ice skate, bake cookies and to sail.


Sydney Neuhaus | Finsbury, Partner | Moderator

Sydney Ann Neuhaus has more than 25 years’ experience in developing and managing strategic communications and reputation management programs. She works directly with CEOs, senior administrators, Board members and subject matter experts for Fortune 500 companies, professional associations, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. She is experienced in helping clients manage sensitive or high-stakes situations, offering strategic counsel and support in communicating with key stakeholder audiences and the media.

Sydney is co-leader of Finsbury’s global diversity committee and a founding member of the firm’s U.S. Women’s Initiative Committee, which seeks to empower and advance Finsbury’s female staff at all professional levels.
Prior to Finsbury, Sydney worked at FleishmanHillard, receiving the John D. Graham Award for Excellence, given to individuals who best exemplify leadership and the firm’s values. Previously, Sydney headed the PR division of Harrison & Star and began her PR career at Edelman PR.

Sydney was named one of PR Week’s “Champions of PR” in April 2016. She received a B.A. from Cornell University, graduating with Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two children.

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Diversity in Tech: Women’s Leadership in Effecting Change

Gender diversity in tech has been a hot topic in the last few years, receiving attention in national publications. Companies have publicly posted their hiring statistics, hired Chief Diversity Officers, and more and more women in leadership roles have been receiving widespread visibility. Beyond the media attention, how are things really going for women working inside these companies? Which corporate initiatives have been the most successful in driving professional development and empowerment for women? In which areas in tech – be it industry, function, or job level – do women still have the most room to grow?


Catherine Allegra | Markit Digital, Global Head

In 1991, Catherine Allegra co-founded Wall Street On Demand with James Tanner in New York City and moved the company to Boulder, Colorado in 1996. Wall Street On Demand, now called “Markit Digital”, is part of IHS Markit (ticker: INFO), and with more than 500 team members, is the leading provider of design, development and hosting services for the brokerage industry. Catherine grew the company through at least seven different owners, both private and public. In 1998, she sold the company to Bridge, which went bankrupt in 2000. After a year of being part of Reuters, the couple bought the company back with the help of Charles Schwab, its largest customer, and two Boulder private equity firms. In 2006, after three years of being independent again, she sold the company to Goldman Sachs, for five times their purchase price; and after managing the company through the financial crisis, she helped Goldman Sachs sell the company to Markit in 2010, yielding Goldman three times their investment.

Catherine continues to head the organization she founded. Catherine’s work and passion is creating innovative and collaborative cultures and developing the managers to lead them.

In addition to her career at IHS Markit Digital, Catherine was the National Executive Director of Plays for Living, a non-profit theater company in New York focused on social and health issues; she worked as a professional actress in Boston and Chicago and taught high school in the Chicago Public Schools. Catherine has served on many non-profit and corporate boards including the Bryn Mawr College Board of Trustees where she has served as Vice-Chairman, Special Representative and Co-Chair of the Two College Joint Council with Haverford College. Catherine is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and majored in history. She is married to James Tanner who is the Chief Innovation Officer at Morningstar. They live in Chicago and have three sons: Xan Tanner, Co-founder of Panorama Education; Zac Tanner, Paralegal Casehandler at The Legal Aid Society and Jackson Tanner, a sophomore at Latin School of Chicago.


Helen Bui | Skylet, Founder and CEO

Helen Bui is an entrepreneur, media & advertising veteran, coder, advisor, mentor and economic empowerment champion.

Helen is the Founder and CEO at Skylet, a lifestage focused financial education platform helping young women become smarter about their money. Members get access to education, apps & tools, product reviews, and community support. Skylet Campus, Skylet’s college platform, is helping thousands of young women in over 20 college campuses across the US become smarter about their money. Skylet is committed to effective financial education for all. For every new member of Skylet, Skylet donates a membership to a young woman in an underserved community. Skylet is made with love by immigrants, refugees, minorities and women from all backgrounds and religions in Brooklyn, NY.

Prior to Skylet, Helen was the Head of Innovation at News Corp where she was in charge of establishing and managing the Innovation program that developed, incubated, tested and launched new digital products and businesses. Prior to News Corp, Helen held numerous leadership roles at The Wall Street Journal.

Helen is dedicated to bringing more women into entrepreneurship and technology, and empowering others through her advisory and mentorship work. She is the co-founder of Women in FinTech, a guest lecturer in communications at NYU Stern, on the advisory board at Dream Project Incubator Vietnam, and a mentor at The Product School and VietChallenge.


Jen Cotton | Twitter, Experience Design Lead

Jen is responsible for designing the Home Timeline at Twitter, leading a team of designers on the overall user experience across mobile and web. She also leads Twitter’s Diversity in UX group, an employee resource group focused on inclusion and diversity in the user experience community. Prior to joining Twitter in 2013, Jen was an interaction designer at New York Magazine, where she worked across both and Earlier, she was at Scripps Networks and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Jen earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Design & Technology from Parsons School for Design and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Creative Writing. She is @jencotton on Twitter.


Asha Keddy | Intel, VP and GM, Next Generation and Standards

Asha R. Keddy is Vice President in the Communications and Devices Group and General Manager of Next Generation and Standards at Intel Corporation. She is responsible for investigating and delivering the technologies, business use cases, collaborations and trials that will usher in the era of 5G wireless connectivity as well as broadly fostering innovation in mobile communications and ecosystem intelligence for future products. Asha is also responsible for wireless standards at Intel including 3GPP and IEEE. The organization’s focus areas include designing and developing the full systems needed and also building blocks such as RF, BB ASICs, hardware, algorithms, systems, modems, early prototypes and platforms to also scale to industry verticals.

Ms. Keddy has more than 20 years’ experience leading and managing wireless and mobile broadband areas and multiple patents. In her spare time she enjoys reading books, painting, hiking, biking and kayaking with her husband, and spending time with her beloved dog, Henna.



April Underwood | Slack, VP of Product

April Underwood is VP of Product at Slack, where she oversees product vision and strategy. April also drives key growth initiatives, including the development of platform products, API integrations, and developer relations. A technology industry veteran, prior to Slack April was at Twitter for nearly five years. During this time, she was part of Twitter’s growth from groundbreaking startup to IPO, and led the development and launch of both the Tweet Button and Twitter API. April also managed strategic partnerships with Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.
Prior to joining Twitter, April was a product manager and software engineer at Travelocity and a senior partner technology manager at Google.

April has an MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at Berkeley, is a co-founder of #Angels—an angel-round investment group consisting entirely of former and current female Twitter executives. She was named one Fortune’s “40 Under 40”, as well as one of the “Most Creative People of 2015” by Fast Company magazine.


Chiara Farronato | HBS, Assistant Professor | Moderator

Chiara Farronato is an assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit. She draws from the fields of industrial organization and technology to study the economics of innovation and the Internet.

In her research, Professor Farronato focuses on the market design of peer-to-peer online platforms. Her work has been cited by media outlets including Bloomberg Businessweek, The Huffington Post, The Economist, and FT Magazine.

Professor Farronato received her PhD in economics from Stanford University. She earned an MSc in economics in a joint program of Bocconi University in Italy and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium; her bachelor’s degree is also from Bocconi University.

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Managing International Experiences: How Top Female Execs Navigate Regional Differences


Today at Harvard Business School it is generally accepted that pursuing a global career is not only “good”, but desirable. Our panel will begin by discussing the value global exposure brings to one’s career and move on to sharing stories of challenges that females may uniquely encounter when working across different regions and cultures. We will conclude by sharing strategies that our accomplished panelists have employed to overcome these challenges and what they have learned along the way to the top of their respective organizations.

Laura Bronner | EF Education First, Head of Brand

Laura Bronner is head of brand for EF Education First, the world leader in international education. EF offers every imaginable way to see the world, experience another culture, learn a language, or earn an academic degree with more than 43,000 staff members working across 500 offices and schools in over 50 countries. As EF’s head of brand, Laura and her team conceptualize and bring to life campaigns that highlight the magic of the EF experience; creating sparks of curiosity, empathy and open-mindedness. Prior to EF, Laura served as the Interim Executive Director for the New England Venture Capital Association where she helped Boston startups create and execute digital marketing plans. Laura has extensive experience building and running marketing and operations strategies, including email, content, customer acquisition, customer retention, and social media marketing. Laura co-founded Gloss48, a digital beauty eCommerce marketplace and discovery platform featuring indie brands. Before launching Gloss48, Laura spent several years revolutionizing the nail and waxing salon industry, running marketing and operations for venture backed nail and waxing concept MiniLuxe, which continues to successfully “Starbuck” the salon industry. Prior to her work in the startup world, Laura ran a $400M women’s department at Gap, Inc. She also honed her analytical skills as a consultant at Ernst & Young. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a BA from Duke University. Laura serves on the advisory boards of two Boston startups and advises Duke undergraduate entrepreneurs through the Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs program. Laura is also an avid Duke Basketball fan, travel junkie and the mother of two, dashingly handsome young men.

Anne Myong | Walmart eCommerce, CFO

Anne Myong is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Walmart’s Global eCommerce business across 11 countries. In this role, Anne leads Walmart eCommerce finance, accounting, strategic planning, M&A and integration activities. She joined Walmart China in 2011 as its Chief Administrative Officer and became CFO the following year. She is a member of the President’s Global Council of Women Leaders at Walmart and on the Board of Goodwill Industries International and Walmart Mexico (WALMEX). Anne was previously Agilent Technologies’ China CFO for five years, based in Beijing, China. Prior to China, Anne spent 12 years in Silicon Valley across a spectrum of large companies and start-ups; at Agilent Technologies and Hewlett-Packard Company, she held a variety of roles in corporate M&A, finance transformation, and corporate venture capital, investing in early stage start-ups. Anne started her career with McKinsey & Company in Washington, DC and New York, serving retailing, consumer goods, and pharmaceutical clients. Anne received an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and graduated, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor degree in Computer Information Systems from James Madison University.

Jana Barbe | Dentons, Global Vice Chair

Jana Barbe serves as Global Vice Chair of Dentons, the largest law firm in the world. Since the inception of Dentons, Jana has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of a strategic vision that created a top tier global legal business comprised of a 7500-attorney law firm and multiple ancillary companies. She has done so by balancing aspiration and ambition with fiscal responsibility and, in the process, has earned a reputation for her integrity, her candor and her pragmatism. In her governance role for this billion-dollar, international business, with 141 locations serving 58 countries and comprised of more than 13,500 lawyers and staff persons, Jana is known for her ability to build consensus and is frequently called upon to navigate differences among diverse global regions.

In addition to serving on the Global Board of Dentons, the Global Advisory Committee and the U.S. Board, Jana chaired the firm’s Financial Institutions Sector – the largest sector of the law firm and its economic driver – as well as its pre-eminent real estate practice. Jana skillfully led both during the economic downturn of the past decade and did so in a manner that both preserved and protected the firm’s brand while positioning the firm to maximize opportunities on behalf of its clients during the anticipated, and now realized, recovery. As a real estate professional who advises many leading global financial institutions and insurance companies, Jana is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential and highly regarded practitioners in real estate law. Her highly specialized substantive expertise bridges tax, corporate, partnership, finance and real estate law further enhancing her business acumen. As one Firm client put it, “Jana is unique in that she sees things from many different directions, anticipating issues and opportunities. Jana asks all the right questions and is very practical and solution-oriented, which makes her so effective on delivering sound advice to complex matters.”

Equally committed to serving her community, Jana is the president emerita of Thresholds, Illinois’ oldest and largest provider of supportive services and housing to individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses and one of the Chicagoland area’s most visible and well-respected non-profits. Jana led Thresholds’ prominent board comprised of Chicago community leaders from 2013 – 2015, a time when Thresholds had an operating budget of $80 million, a staff of over 1000, and was recognized as one of the Chicago Tribune’s “Top Workplaces” and one of Chicago’s “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For”. Her service to Thresholds, which serves more than 9,500 adults and youths each year, has spanned more than 25 years.


Michelle Seale | EY, Principal, Advisory – Oil & Gas | Moderator

Michelle is a Principal in EY’s Strategy and Customer practice. She has more than 20 years of experience in the Energy sector with an emphasis in Oil and Gas, Power and Utilities, and Mining. Her primary area of expertise is Mergers and Acquisitions focused on operating model and organizational design, day 1 functional and operational readiness, communications, and employee/customer experience related activities. She also has a great deal of experience leading large scale transformational programs focused on operating model implementations, process optimization and technology enablement.  Michelle has led post-merger integration efforts focused on Board required succession planning, workforce analytics and predictive modeling, as well as integrated talent management strategies to support newly defined business models.

Michelle has significant international experience and has led major initiatives in Canada, South Africa, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Michelle has a BA from Marquette University and a MBA with a concentration in Finance from Tulane University.

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Uncovering the Who, When, and How of Mentorship


What are the resources and ways to find a mentor? Who can fit for you as a mentor and how do they compare to you? Are they a man or a woman, old or young, on your same career path? Finally, how can you retain a mentor relationship over time and how will you use this to grow into a mentor yourself?

Daisy Dowling | Kiddy & Partners, Principal Consultant

Daisy Dowling is a human capital practitioner, advisor, and thought leader. Her work focuses on maximizing individual and organizational performance in demanding, high-stakes business and commercial contexts. She currently serves as Principal Consultant at Kiddy & Partners, the human capital advisory firm, where she works with U.S. and multinational organizations on talent strategy, leadership assessment and development, board effectiveness and organizational design issues. Separately, she is the founder and CEO of Workparent, which provides advice and solutions to working parents and to the organizations that employ them.

Before joining Kiddy in 2016, Daisy served as Managing Director and as the first Head of Talent Development for Blackstone Group, where she created the firm’s leadership development, training, and diversity initiatives. In addition, as COO of Blackstone’s Human Resources function, she held global responsibility for human capital strategy development, budget, and communications. Previously, she served as Global Head of Leadership Development for Morgan Stanley; Vice President of the Pine Street senior leadership development team at Goldman Sachs; and Associate, Acquisition Finance at JP Morgan. She earned her B.A. from Brown University and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Daisy lives in New York City with her husband, Luc, and two young daughters.

Daisy publishes regularly on leadership-related topics. To date, she is the author of 14 articles in Harvard Business Review magazine, for which she created and wrote a column on CEO-level leadership. Her feature article “Why Did We Ever Go Into HR?”, an examination of the value of strategic human capital development, became a top-10% HBR bestseller. Her book, Remember Who You Are (Harvard Business School Press, 2004) became an international bestseller and has been published in ten languages. She has also published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. Additionally, she and her work have been featured in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal online.

Monica Furgeson | Solemates, Co-Founder & CEO

Monica Ferguson graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Finance. She spent several years at Goldman Sachs working in various sales and trading roles in New York including within Private Wealth Management and in Public Finance. Upon graduating from Columbia Business School, she returned to the Investment Management division at Goldman before resigning to launch Solemates. She is an avid reader, traveler, and soul cycler.

Janette Raab | Partners Healthcare, Corporate Manager, Project Management Group – Information Systems

Janette Raab is Corporate Manager of Project Management Group for Information Systems at Partners Healthcare.  In her role, she oversees a team of Senior Project Managers responsible for infrastructure enterprise-wide projects.

Janette has over twenty-five years working with healthcare information systems where she has been mentee with 3 different leaders and has been a mentor for 4 different individuals.

She received an undergraduate degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University and her Project Management Certificate from Boston University.


Liza Lefkowski | Wayfair, Senior Director / GM, Promotions & Curation

Senior Director/GM, Promotions & Curation

Liza Lefkowski leads Promotions, Content & Curation for, which includes front-end merchandising of the sites (effectively the virtual end cap and store window). This team owns much of the curated content featured in premium site real estate including, but not limited to, the homepage, our daily email to 25M+ opt-in subscribers and the print catalog. The team of merchandisers, campaign planners and analysts controls our daily curated “flash” events, major seasonal and life stage campaigns, gift guides, curation of our print catalog and merchandising of our wedding registry. Prior to joining Wayfair in 2015, Liza was a Principal in the Private Equity practice at Bain & Company, where she advised on retail and consumer oriented investments. Liza earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and her ScB in Computer Science from Brown University.


Kristin Mugford | HBS, Senior Lecturer | Moderator

Kristin Mugford is the Melvin Tukman Senior Lecturer of Business Administration in the Finance Unit at the Harvard Business School. She currently teaches “Creating Value through Corporate Restructuring,” a popular elective course that analyzes how economic stress and restructuring creates challenges and opportunities for businesses and their stakeholders. She previously taught “Venture Capital and Private Equity,” an elective course that explores the private equity industry in the United States and abroad.

In 2013 Kristin retired from her position as Managing Director of Bain Capital, one of the world’s leading private investment firms. Bain Capital and its affiliated advisors manage over $75 billion and make private equity, public equity, fixed income and credit, venture capital, and absolute return investments across multiple geographies and industries.

Kristin joined Bain Capital’s private equity business in 1994 and at the age of 32, became the first female Managing Director in the firm’s history. Kristin helped start Bain Capital Credit (founded as Sankaty Advisors), and prior to her retirement was responsible for the oversight of their high yield investments and a senior member of Bain Capital Credit’s management team and investment committee. Bain Capital Credit is one of the leading corporate and distressed debt managers, managing over $30 billion with 230 employees in seven offices around the world. Kristin is currently a Senior Director of the firm.

Kristin began her career at the Walt Disney Company, where she worked in corporate strategic planning and the consumer products division. She graduated from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar and holds an AB with honors from Harvard College.

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Better Business, Better World: Women in Sustainable Development


In a world with a rising global population, eminent climate change and widespread political instability, it has become an imperative to drive a sustainable, inclusive economy.  There is an enormous opportunity if the private sector is able to understand economic, social and environment challenges and align their companies with social and environmental impact. This panel hopes to explore how phenomenal women are accelerating inclusive growth through sustainable development in different contexts.

Gim Huay Neo | Temasek, Managing Director for Enterprise Development and Managing Director for Sustainability

Ms. Neo Gim Huay is the Managing Director for Enterprise Development and Managing Director for Sustainability in Temasek. Temasek is an investment company, headquartered in Singapore with a net portfolio value of S$240 billion.

Gim Huay is responsible for seeding new businesses as well as working with Temasek’s existing portfolio of companies to develop strategy and build new capabilities. She also spearheads and promotes Temasek’s sustainability strategy and initiatives across the organisation and within the community.

Prior to joining Temasek, Gim Huay was a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Co in the Lagos, New York and San Francisco offices. She also served in the Singapore Public Service as an Administrative Officer, with stints in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the Singapore Embassy in the United States.

Gim Huay holds a Masters in Business Administration (Arjay Miller Scholar) from Stanford University and a Masters of Engineering (Distinction) and Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honors) from Cambridge University. She was selected as an Eisenhower Fellow in 2015.

Mirtha Kastrapeli | State Street, Vice President – Senior Research Analyst, Center of Applied Research

Mirtha has more than 13 years of experience in the private and public sectors, analyzing capital markets and helping shape public policy. She worked as a global macro strategist for State Street Global Markets in Boston where she presented at the annual Research Retreat and at the Central Bank and Official Institutions Conference.

In the public sector, Ms. Kastrapeli served as an advisor to the Secretary General of the Ministry Economics, Industry and Trade in Nicaragua. She also worked at the Economic and Commercial Office of the US Embassy in Managua.

Ms. Kastrapeli earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in finance and economics from Ave Maria College in Nicaragua and a Master of Business Administration from the Brandeis International Business School in 2007.


Kris Pederson | EY, Americas Advisory, Strategy & Customer Leader

Kris has 25 years of management consulting, auditing and financial analysis experience.  She currently leads both EY’s Strategy and Customer practices within EY Advisory Americas overseeing a team of 900+ partners and practitioners.  Prior, Kris was the Americas Leader for “Purpose Led” Transformation, a cross-EY, firm-wide priority offering which she co-founded.  Kris is an expert in large scale transformation with skillsets including: purpose led transformation, strategy consulting, executive leadership/alignment, organizational change, organization design, value realization/financial engineering, and process/technology-driven transformation. Before joining EY, Kris was Vice President of Transformation within IBM’s Global Business Services organization where she managed external client strategic transformation programs and also led various internal IBM change efforts.  She had been a Management Consulting Partner at PriceWaterhouse, LLC, which was acquired by IBM in 2002.  Earlier, Kris was a Consulting Manager with Gemini Consulting, and before that, an Internal Auditor for Consolidated Electrical Distributors.  Industry focus includes high technology, consumer products, industrial products, retail, banking, automotive and telecommunication.

Kris serves in various board positions as well.  She is currently an advisory board member for Windward Reports and is the Programs Chair of NACD (National Association of Corporate Directors) for the Rocky Mountain chapter.  Previous board roles include: corporate director and audit committee member of Great Western Bank, and advisory director of Microplas, a subsidiary of Nypro.  Kris is also active in national association boards including ASME (Association of Mechanical Engineers) and the Harvard Business School Women’s Advisory Board.

Kris is a featured conference speaker in areas such as purpose, corporate transformation, employee engagement, value realization, and women’s initiatives.  She was recently awarded Consulting Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016 and before that, honored as a Top 25 Consultant by the magazine in 2007.

Kris received an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA in Psychology and Business Administration from UCLA.

Her husband Rob and their daughter Jordan, keep her focused on outdoor activities such as skiing and running in the mountains of Boulder, CO, plus golf and global travel.

Laura Alfaro | HBS, Professor | Moderator

Laura Alfaro is the Warren Albert Professor at Harvard Business School in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit. She was Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy in Costa Rica from 2010-2012. She is also Research Associate in the National Bureau of Economic Research’s International Macroeconomics and Finance Program, Member of the Latin-American Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF, Comité Latinoamericano de Asuntos Financieros), Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and member of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies’ (DRCLAS) policy committee.

Professor Alfaro is the author of multiple articles published in leading academic journals, and of Harvard Business School cases related to the field of international economics and in particular international capital flows, foreign direct investment, and sovereign debt. As professor at Harvard Business School since 1999, she has taught in General Management Program, the Program for Leadership Development, and in other executive education offerings as well the first year and second year of the MBA program and the doctoral program. She currently teaches the course the Microeconomics of Competitiveness (MOC) a joint course Harvard Business School-Kennedy School of Government and is Faculty Chair of the Program Managing Opportunity and Risk in the Global Economy. Laura Alfaro earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1999, where she was recipient of the Dissertation Fellowship award. She received a B.A in economics with honors from the Universidad de Costa Rica in 1992 and a ‘Licenciatura’ from the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile in 1994, where she graduated with highest honors. In 2008, she was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

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Workshop: Breaking Biased Habits: Why Josh is More Likely to Speak for his Team than Jessica


The next time you’re in a meeting where people are offering updates on a team’s progress, notice who speaks. Chances are you’ll hear from more men than women, even if women participated heavily in the group’s work behind the scenes.Why does this happen? It’s a dynamic that can emerge among the most well-intentioned and well-educated groups.

We’ll look at some of the ways popular culture treats men as having more intellectual heft and more valuable decision-making skills. How might these all-too-common assumptions about gender and judgment unconsciously play out in how men and women behave? How many women need to be in the room before they typically participate on par with men?

In this interactive workshop, we’ll develop strategies for curbing gender bias in group work and meetings, regardless of the gender ratio. We’ll share approaches for bringing everyone’s best ideas to the table.

Therese Huston | Seattle University, Faculty Development Consultant

Therese Huston, Ph.D. is looking to change how we see women as decision-makers. Therese is a cognitive scientist at Seattle University, and The New York Times calls her book, How Women Decide “required reading on Wall Street.” She’s written for The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, the Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, and her work has been featured on NPR. In October, Therese gave her first TEDx talk on what smart groups have in common.

O! Oprah’s Magazine listed How Women Decide in their “21 Books for Your Summer Reading List” for 2016, and Forbes Magazine featured an interview with Therese earlier this year.

Therese received her BA from Carleton College, a B.S. and PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University, and a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship with the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at the University of Pittsburgh. She founded the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Seattle University. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, play with numbers, spend time with her husband and dog, and bake amazing gluten-free chocolate cake.

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The Role of Education in Corporate Talent Management and Career Empowerment


Education within a corporation is essential to the development and management of talent. This panel aims to assess how educational opportunities, both formal and informal, can be integrated to help women build the necessary skills to navigate the corporate environment, and ultimately improve diversity and talent management practices. Panelists will reflect upon their own experiences, discuss thought provoking ideas and answer questions as to how educational opportunities can be used to empower women in the workplace.

Lori Richardson | Score More Sales, Founder and CEO

Lori Richardson is founder and CEO of Score More Sales, a company that helps leaders of mid-market businesses solve their sales team issues. She is also president of WOMEN Sales Pros. Lori worked in sales and leadership roles at Apple, Thomson Reuters, and Siemens. Her book, She Sells, She Leads, about getting more women in technology sales will be out this year. Lori is listed in Forbes as the 12th Top Social Sales Influencer in the world.

Jennifer Breese | FedEx, Manager, Corporate Learning Institute

Jennifer Breese, D.Sc. has worked in several leadership positions including over seven years at FedEx Services in Pittsburgh and Boston. Prior to FedEx, Jennifer held high-level positions with various technology companies during the Dot-com era. She spent seven years in the collegiate education environment as both an Adjunct and an Associate Professor. Jennifer recently returned to FedEx at the Ground Headquarters as Manager, Corporate Leadership Institute. Among many other initiatives, she is in the process of developing Women’s Leadership programs at all levels of the organization adding diversity and inclusion elements as well as associated career latticing.

Jennifer holds a Doctorate in Information Systems and Communications (2011) from Robert Morris University and a Master’s of Leadership from Duquesne University. She has authored many research and conference publications; her focus explores how societal norms change based on technology adoption.

Mandy Taft-Pearman | Bridgespan, COO

Mandy Taft-Pearman has been with the Bridgespan Group since 2003. She is a partner in the Boston office and has served as the organization’s chief operating officer (COO) since 2012. In her role as COO, Mandy oversees Bridgespan’s HR/Talent, Finance, and Information Services functions. She also works with the organization’s leadership team more broadly to set and manage Bridgespan’s annual strategic and operating agendas.

Prior to becoming COO, Mandy was an operating partner working with a variety of clients in the youth development, education, and environmental sectors. In addition, she has developed a particular expertise on nonprofit networks, having served many different network clients of varying sizes, missions, and legal structures. Mandy is the co-author of two Bridgespan articles: “Getting Replication Right: The Decisions that Matter Most,” and “Growing Network Impact: How Nonprofit Networks are Raising the Bar on Results.”

Prior to joining Bridgespan, Mandy worked for the National Safe Kids Campaign, a national network focused on children’s public health, and served as an independent consultant for several other nonprofit organizations. Mandy has been active as a volunteer with many nonprofits over the years, most recently serving as a board member of Hale Reservation in Westwood, MA.

Mandy earned her BA in History from Yale University magna cum laude and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, where she was an F.C. Austin Scholar and president of the school’s Social Impact Club.

Simeen Mohsen | HBS, Director of Marketing and Product Management

Simeen Ali Mohsen is the Managing Director of Marketing and Product Management for HBX, Harvard Business School’s digital learning initiative.  She is responsible for consumer marketing, learner acquisition, and managing the product portfolio.  Prior to her current role, Simeen was a member of the Harlequin (a division of HarperCollins Publishers) Leadership Team, serving in roles including VP of Marketing and Business Development and VP of Strategy.  She has also held senior general management roles at Time Inc., including People Magazine,,,, and

In addition to her media and publishing industry experience, Simeen worked as a management consultant at A.T. Kearney, serving clients in consumer products and retail industries.  Simeen holds a B.S. from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.



Cynthia Inglos | Simmons School of Management, Professor of Practice | Moderator

Cynthia Ingols is a Professor of Practice, consultant and researcher, who specializes in the ways individuals lead and organizations change and negotiate with their environments. At the Simmons School Management, she teaches in the Undergraduate, MBA and Executive Education programs. She is the faculty director of Strategic Leadership for Women, an executive education program that strengths the leadership skills, attitudes and motivations of its women participants. Ingols focuses her consulting work in three areas: developing interactive executive education programs, particularly using cases and simulations; coaching women managers and executives to enhance their leadership capacities and careers; and conducting diagnostic work to promote change in organizations. Her research on executive education programs has been published in leading journals, such as Harvard Business Review, Organizational Dynamics, and Training. She has published articles about women’s careers in the Journal of Career Development, Human Resource Development Quarterly and Gender in Management. She co-authored two practitioner books on careers:  Take Charge of Your Career, and A Smart, Easy Guide to Interviewing. Ingols co-authored a textbook on leading change, Organizational Change: An Action-Oriented Toolkit (2012 & 2016). She received her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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The 21st Century CEO


Recent advances in technology and the rise of connectivity have taken static, slow-moving industries and turned them on their head. How can CEOs harness these changing environments to create new business models? How do leaders create an adaptable culture that embraces disruption? Most importantly, how can businesses maintain a competitive edge in fast-changing industries?

Alex Friedman | LOLA, Co-Founder and CEO

Alex is the co-founder of LOLA, a feminine care brand for women, by women. Along with Jordana Kier, she introduced LOLA in July 2015 to modernize the industry. The pair initially set out to create a subscription service for existing tampons, but it soon became clear that the more pressing issue was lack of available information about ingredients. So, they sourced their own products and created LOLA to give women peace of mind by being transparent about what’s in your feminine care.

Prior, Alex led analytics at Flurry Analytics (acquired by Yahoo in Aug 2014) and was a consultant at Boston Consulting Group in New York. She received her MBA at Wharton and attended Dartmouth College for undergrad. Over the years, Alex been actively involved in the Young Women’s Leadership Network.

Sara Rodell | Loop & Tie, Founder and CEO

Before starting Loop & Tie, Sara worked at UBS in New York City as an institutional equity sales broker. After spending way too much money and time on buying client holiday gift baskets, she decided to create a platform that helps companies quickly send gifts people actually want. Sara frequently speaks on panels focused on entrepreneurship, women in entrepreneurship and consumer technology. Sara is a native Austinite and a graduate of the University of Virginia where she earned a B.A. in Economics.


Shan-Lyn Ma | Zola, Founder and CEO


Parul Singh | Founder Collective, Principal | Moderator

Parul Singh is a principal at Founder Collective, one of the first seed stage VC firms in the country.  There she focuses on early stage investments across a wide range of industries, with technology as a unifying theme.  She has particular interests in SaaS, analytics, consumer products, and developer tools.

Parul is a former developer turned product manager for venture backed startups and media companies like the NY Times, where she helped launch the video and multimedia vertical and build their video syndication business.  Before joining Founder Collective, she founded and ran an edtech assessment and analytics company aiming to provide a viable alternative to standardized testing.

Parul lectures on data analytics at Northeastern University and is deeply involved in the startup ecosystem in Boston and in building support networks for entrepreneurs at every level via initiatives like the Startup Leadership Program and Lean Startup Challenge.  She has an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and an MBA from MIT and currently lives in a converted schoolhouse in Cambridge with her husband and two children.

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Work/Life Balance in a Dual Career Household


To explore the challenges and opportunities of dual career couples to balance work and life priorities in a fast-paced, changing world. The focus of this panel will be on the personal experiences of successful partners and will attempt to explore potential solutions and recommendations.

Seema Kumar | Salesforce, Vice President Product Marketing

Seema is the Vice President of Product Marketing at Salesforce. She is passionate about building products that solve problems for customers and are also delightful to use. She gets excited about the intersection of consumer and enterprise technology and loves shipping product.

Prior to joining Salesforce, Seema built products at Slide and VMware, created hundreds of powerpoint decks at Bain & Company, and blew away her quota as an Account Exec at Intel.

Kelsey Calhoun | Liberty Mutual, Director, Strategic Services, PI Finance

Kelsey Calhoun is the Director of the Strategic Services group in Financial Operations for Liberty Mutual. In her role, she is responsible monitoring industry trends and setting short and long term strategy for Liberty’s billing and payment offerings for US consumers. Prior to her role, she has worked as Director of advanced analytics in Finance, and in the U.S. Claims Organization rolling out Liberty’s lean management system. She first joined Liberty through the two year Corporate Development Program in 2010. Prior to Liberty, she worked at the National Football League in Corporate Development – serving as an internal consultant working on key sponsorship deals, team sales and overall revenue sharing framework. Kelsey holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University (2004) and a MBA from Harvard Business School (2010). Outside of work, Kelsey is often found on the floor or in the kitchen of her Husband’s restaurant (80 Thoreau) or enjoying other foodie events. When at home, she is either watching sports (huge football fan) or playing with her 2 year old daughter, Fiona.

Ian Calhoun | 80 Thoreau, Owner and General Manager

Ian Calhoun is the owner and general manager of 80 Thoreau an independent, fine dining restaurant located in Concord M.A., which opened its doors in April of 2011. 80 Thoreau has received critical acclaim, earning three stars from the Boston Globe and featured in Boston Magazine, and now employs over 30 full time staff members. He is currently working on opening his second restaurant in Boston.
Calhoun earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 2010. While at HBS, Ian focused on entrepreneurship and developed 80 Thoreau’s business plan with his wife, Kelsey, as part of the HBS business plan contest. Calhoun passion for food and hospitality started when he would cook with his mother as a child. He formally started his career in the restaurant industry in high school working as a line cook on Cape Cod. Calhoun attended Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality in 2004. While in college, Calhoun used his summer breaks to continue cooking throughout New England. In 2003 Ian attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France where he earned a Cuisine Diploma upon completion of a nine-month course in classic French cuisine. After college, Ian worked as a manager at Cipriani in New York City and then as the opening General Manager of Bar Martignetti, a restaurant SoHo area of New York City. He currently lives in Concord, MA with his 2 year old daughter, Fiona and wife, Kelsey, whom he went to HBS with.

Spela Trefalt | Simmons College, Associate Professor, School of Management

Spela Trefalt is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Simmons School of Management in Boston and an executive coach. In her coaching, she works with professionals seeking more meaning and better work-life balance. Her research focuses on work-life issues of professionals and appears in top academic journals such as Academy of Management Journal, in European Management Journal, and in Journal of Management Education. She teaches leadership, organizational change, human resources management, negotiations, and strategic networking to MBA and undergraduate students and to executives. She is a founding member of the Work and Family Research Network, a faculty affiliate of the Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management, and an affiliate of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School Affiliate. She earned a DBA in Management from the Harvard Business School, an MBA from University of Kansas, and a BA in Law from University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Prior to her academic career, she spent six years in human resources management and consulting, and eight years in the media. When she is not working, she loves spending time with her husband and two daughters, paper crafting, and enjoying all things delicious.


Thomas C. Liu | Anna Jacques Hospital, MD, Gastroenterologist

Tom Liu M.D. is a New York native and attended Stuyvesant High School. He received his BA and MD from Northwestern University. He performed his postgraduate training in internal medicine at the University of Maryland and his gastroenterology fellowship at Boston Medical Center. After completing training, he returned to Weill Cornell Medical Center/New York Presbyterian hospital as an expert in gastrointestinal motility. He then served as Chief of Gastroenterology at New England Baptist Hospital with a joint teaching/practice position at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is well known in the Boston area for performing the first local fecal transplantations starting in 2009. Dr. Liu joined Newburyport Gastroenterology at Anna Jaques Hospital in 2014 and remains on as adjunct physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His primary hobby is blowing glass, which he considers his second career.


Helen E. Clement | Global Consultant Relations, Managing Director and Consultant Relations Manager | Moderator

Helen is part of a dedicated team responsible for developing and enhancing the firm’s working relationships with investment consulting firms. This work encompasses close engagement with business development, product management, and relationship management teams as they interact with the consultant community. Helen is a member of the firm’s Hedge Fund Oversight Committee and the Alternative Products Advisory Group.

Helen was previously the business manager for Wellington Management Funds Global (WMF Global), the group responsible for the development and operation of the firm’s non-US mutual fund businesses. In this role, she oversaw the management of WMF and played a leadership role in a variety of fund-related initiatives and activities. Prior to joining Wellington Management in 2007, she was a vice president for Strategic Marketing for two years at Fidelity Investments (2005 – 2007) and a director of Product Management at iPhrase Technologies, a privately held software company acquired by IBM Software in 2005 (2003 – 2005). Earlier, she worked in the asset management and financial services practices of McKinsey & Company for four years (1996 – 1998 and 2001 – 2003).

Helen received her MBA from Harvard Business School in 2001, and her BA in politics, philosophy, and economics, with First Class Honours, from Oxford University in 1996. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Boston.

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Scaling Social Enterprise


Social enterprise is a rising phenomenon right across the world. Even though we have made great progress in the last decade, the need for further growth is far from trivial. The social enterprise panel will try to shed light on how organizations are thinking about scalability and answer questions such as: How should leaders think about the challenge of balancing scale with depth of impact? How can non-profits leverage talents from private and public sectors to achieve these goals?

Karen Avery | PBS Foundation, Senior Director of Institutional Giving

Karen E. Avery is Senior Director of Institutional Giving of the PBS Foundation. In this role, she is responsible for generating new opportunities for support from the foundation and corporate sectors for PBS priorities and programs. Avery currently serves on the Wolf Trap Foundation Associates Board of Directors, and is especially proud to be closely connected with America’s only national park for the performing arts. She is a contributing author to Real Women, Real Leaders, Publisher John Wiley & Sons, © 2015.

Before PBS, Avery was Director of Foundation Relations at the Smithsonian Institution. During her tenure at the Smithsonian, she was selected as a member of the inaugural class of the Smithsonian Leadership Development Program, and also served three years as Chairperson of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Avery was Assistant Dean of Harvard College and functioned as Director of the Ann Radcliffe Trust, a women’s initiative for Harvard undergraduates. In her capacity as Assistant Dean, Avery created and oversaw a grants process for the Trust, and worked to grow the Trust’s endowment. She also was the appointed sexual harassment hearing officer for Harvard College. Preceding her work in the Dean’s Office, she was a Senior Admissions Officer for Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, and was also an Assistant Dean of Freshmen at Harvard.

Avery received her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a concentration in administration, planning and social policy, and her A.B. from Harvard in psychology and social relations. A native of Loudonville, New York, she currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, a daughter and a son (ages 17 and 14), and one crazy dog.

Margaret Honey | NYSCI, President and CEO

Dr. Margaret Honey joined the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) as President and CEO in November of 2008. Under her leadership, NYSCI has adopted Design-Make-Play as its signature strategy to promote STEM engagement and learning.

Throughout her career, Dr. Honey has been widely recognized for her work using digital technologies to support children’s learning across the disciplines of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Prior to joining the New York Hall of Science, she was vice president of Wireless Generation, an education technology company. Earlier, she spent 15 years as vice president of the Education Development Center (EDC) and director of EDC’s Center for Children and Technology. While at EDC, Dr. Honey was the architect and overseer of numerous large-scale projects funded by organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences, The Carnegie Corporation, The Library of Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Energy. She also Co-Directed the Northeast and Islands Regional Education Laboratory, a 40 million dollar federally-funded initiative designed to help educators, policy makers, and communities improve schools by helping them access and leverage the most current research about learning and K-12 education.

A graduate of Hampshire College with a doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University, Margaret Honey has helped to shape the best thinking about learning and technology with special attention to traditionally underserved audiences. She has directed numerous research projects including efforts to identify teaching practices and assessments for 21st century skills, new approaches to teaching computational science in high schools, collaborations with PBS, CPB and some of the nation’s largest public television stations, investigations of data- driven decision-making tools and practices, and with colleagues at Bank Street College of Education, she created one of the first internet-based professional development programs in the country.

Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey | Say Yes to Education, President

Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey is President of Say Yes to Education, a national nonprofit that partners with communities to help give every public high school graduate access to a college or other postsecondary scholarship. Say Yes also works with communities to set milestones along the pathway to postsecondary readiness, and to organize and deliver supports and services intended to eliminate predictable barriers to achievement, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds. In 2012, she was appointed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Education Reform Commission.
For six years Schmitt-Carey was President and Chief Executive Officer of New American Schools (NAS), which merged with American Institutes for Research (AIR), helping that nonprofit grow from a pilot to the model for a national school improvement program called Comprehensive School Reform. During 11 years at NAS, Schmitt-Carey also served in several other key leadership positions. Prior to NAS, she was the Director of the Goals 2000 Community Project at the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, Schmitt-Carey has worked in public relations and has held several senior level positions in national political campaigns. She received her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Stephanie Khurana | Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Managing Director

Stephanie Khurana is responsible for identifying and supporting DRK Entrepreneurs.  Stephanie currently serves on the boards of DRK portfolio organizations Braven, Immigrant Justice Corps, Empower Schools and EdBuild. Stephanie was on the founding team of Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP), a visionary startup in the tech space that went public and was one of the first entities to foresee the transformation from mainframe-centric solutions to client-server architecture and packaged solutions. She previously was Co-Founder, CEO, and Director of Surebridge, a web-based software provider which was ultimately sold to Time Warner. She has served as Acting Executive Director at the Tobin Project, a nonprofit organization that sits on the forefront of major research initiatives that address some of society’s most pressing problems and helps transform public policy debates, inspired by economics Nobel laureate James Tobin. She currently serves on their Board of Directors. Stephanie received a “Top 40 under 40” award from the Boston Business Journal in 1999. She serves on the President’s Council of Cornell Women and is a Faculty Dean of Cabot House at Harvard University. She has consulted with clients ranging from early stage to established organizations in the nonprofit, technology, and healthcare sectors and serves on several social enterprise boards. She received her BS in Applied Economics with a concentration in International Relations from Cornell University, an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


Herman (Dutch) Leonard | HBS/HKS Professor | Moderator

Herman B. (“Dutch”) Leonard is Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Sector Management at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, he serves as co-chair of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative. He teaches extensively in executive programs at the Business School and the Kennedy School and around the world in the areas of general organizational strategy, governance, performance management, crisis management and leadership, and corporate social responsibility. His work on leadership focuses on innovation, creativity, effective decision-making, and advocacy and persuasion. His current work in leadership and management is focused on the relationship between governance, accountability, and performance, and emphasizes the use of performance management as a tool for enhancing accountability. He has also worked and taught extensively in the area of crisis management and on issues related to corporate social responsibility. He is the co-author Why Was Boston Strong?(2014) and of Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business (2011), co-editor of Managing Crises (2009), the author of Checks Unbalanced: The Quiet Side of Public Spending (1984), of By Choice or By Chance: Tracking the Values in Massachusetts Public Spending (1992), and (annually from 1993 through 1999) of The Federal Budget and the States (an annual report on the geographic distribution of federal spending and taxation).

Professor Leonard is a member of the American Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees, was a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a 1,000,000-member Massachusetts HMO and is a former director of the Hitachi Foundation and of the ACLU of Massachusetts. He was for a decade a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority and of CIVIC Investments, and was a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Performance Enhancement. He has been a financial advisor to the Connecticut Governor’s Office of Policy and Management, to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, and to the Central Artery-Third Harbor Tunnel Project. Professor Leonard was a member of the Governor’s Council on Economic Policy for the State of Alaska, of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Infrastructure in Massachusetts, and of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee’s Private Sector Advisory Committee on Infrastructure. He served as chairman of the Massachusetts Governor’s Task Force on Tuition Prepayment Plans, on the National Academy of Sciences Committees on National Urban Policy and on the Superconducting Supercollider, and on the New York City Comptroller’s Debt Management Advisory Committee. In addition to his academic studies and teaching, he has been chief financial officer and chief executive officer of a human services agency and has served as a director of public, non-profit, and private sector organizations.


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Succeeding as a Woman in General Management


What does it really take to be a woman in a general management role? What traits do women have that help them succeed leading large teams and large P&L’s? There are so many valuable opportunities in the General Management space; how can women make sure they are not shying away from these opportunities due to a lack of confidence.

Becky Miller | 3M, Global Business Manager

Becky Miller is currently a Global Business Manager at 3M in the Industrial Adhesives and Tapes division.  She is responsible for leading the global business and cross functional operations of select single-coated specialty tapes valued at nearly $250M.  With a background in product development, marketing, and business operations, Becky brings strategic vision, focused leadership, and passion to the organizations she leads.  Since joining 3M in 2007, Becky has held a variety of positions in corporate strategy, marketing, new business development, and lean six sigma.  Prior to 3M, Becky worked in engineering and supply chain for SC Johnson and Eli Lilly.  Becky holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.  Becky is married with two children and enjoys the beach, traveling to different countries and experiencing the local culture, and participating in her family’s activities.



Lauren Coyle | DaVita, Group Regional Operations Director

Lauren Jobe Coyle is a 2010 graduate of the Harvard Business School who graduated with high distinction as a Baker Scholar. Before earning her MBA, she worked as an associate consultant at Bain and Company and in operations at SCORE! Educational Centers, a division of Kaplan, where she worked to revolutionize education, one child at a time.

As a Group Regional Operations Director at DaVita, Lauren manages two regions of 27 clinics, a book of business worth over $110,000,000. She leads over 500 teammates and has the privilege of serving nearly 2,500 patients.

Although she is a seventh generation Texan, Lauren moved to North Carolina in July 2010, with her husband, John, a law professor at UNC Chapel Hill. Lauren and John have three young children, two daughters and a son, whom Lauren is trying to get to love the Dallas Cowboys as much as she does.



Andrea Blankmeyer | SoFi, VP Finance

As SoFi’s Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development, Andrea Blankmeyer is responsible for treasury and liquidity management, FP&A, corporate development, and institutional investor relations. She’s been with SoFi since June 2015, when she joined the company as Director of Strategy and Business Operations. Before SoFi, Andrea was at the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, where she focused on the financial services and technology sectors. Previously, she worked as a consultant at Bain & Company in New York.

Andrea graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Economics and East Asian Studies from Harvard University.


Sue Thirlwall | Skin Laundry, CEO

Sue Thirlwall is a General Management executive known for building strong iconic brands. She is currently the CEO of Skin Laundry, a beauty start up that provides skin treatments. In her past roles she has served as CEO and President of MiniLuxe, Vice President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Board, and COO of Baskin-Robbins.

Sandra Sucher | HBS, Professor of Management Practice | Moderator

Sandra Sucher is Professor of Management Practice, Joseph L. Rice, III Faculty Fellow at Harvard Business School. Sucher joined the faculty of Harvard Business School after 25 years in industry and nonprofit management and is a member of the General Management Unit. Sucher’s executive experiences have shaped her interests, teaching, and research. She is currently writing a book on managing the future of work based on eight years of research on global companies’ best practices in managing the workforce challenges of the future. Research sites include headquarter offices and subsidiaries of Honeywell and Lincoln Electric (U.S.) Michelin (France), Royal Dutch Shell (The Netherlands), Nokia (Finland), Recruit Holdings (Japan) and Suzhou Good-Ark Electronics (China). For ten years, she taught (and for five years, led) the required MBA course, “Leadership and Corporate Accountability.” For fifteen years she has taught “The Moral Leader” – an elective in the MBA curriculum that examines leadership and moral decision making through literature and historical accounts. Sucher is the author of two books: The Moral Leader: Challenges, Insights and Tools, (Routledge 2008) and Teaching The Moral Leader: A Literature-based Leadership Course, A Guide For Instructors (Routledge 2007).

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Building a Successful Career in Alternative Investing


This panel will explore what is required to grow a successful career in alternative investing through a discussion with professionals from a variety of firms including private equity and venture capital. The panelists will share their career paths and experiences in the industry, as well as their perspectives on what it takes to succeed.

Polina Sims | Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Senior Principal (Value Creation)

Polina is a Senior Principal with the Portfolio Value creation team and is based in the Toronto office. Her responsibility is to help portfolio companies identify and implement value creation opportunities. Polina’s past areas of focus have included Day 1 / Day 100 planning and scoping and implementation of value creation programs.

Prior to joining CPPIB, Polina was a Principal with The Boston Consulting Group, where she spent 10 years advising clients on organizational effectiveness, large-scale transformations, and design and implementation of strategic initiatives. She served clients in Health Care, Financial Services, and other industries. Polina was also a subject matter expert on public-private partnerships. Prior to BCG, Polina worked in the Ukraine with a local consulting firm developing and implementing World Bank and European Union-sponsored infrastructure and restructuring initiatives.

Polina holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Amara Suebsaeng | TA Associates, Vice President

Amara Suebsaeng is a Vice President at TA Associates, a $7Bn global growth private equity firm. Amara joined TA in 2010 and focuses on investments in business, technology-enabled and information services companies in North America. She previously worked at Morgan Stanley in Investment Banking in the Power & Utilities Group and at Logi Analytics in Product Management and Business Development. Amara graduated from Harvard Business School with a Master in Business Administration and Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

TA Associates is a global growth private equity firm with offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong. The firm leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in a variety of industries. TA Associates has raised $24 billion in capital since its founding and manages over $7 billion in actively investing funds. The firm invests with the intent to help companies increase their long-term value and realize management teams’ ambitions.

Anushka Sunder | Blackstone, Principal

Anushka Sunder is a Principal in Blackstone’s Private Equity Group and is based in New York, where she focuses primarily on the healthcare and technology sectors.

Since joining Blackstone in 2013, Ms. Sunder has been involved in the execution of Blackstone’s investments in JDA Software, NCR, Optiv, Outerstuff, and TeamHealth. She serves on the Board of Directors of JDA Software and Optiv.

Before joining Blackstone, Ms. Sunder was an associate at TPG Capital, where she evaluated and executed private equity investments across several industries. Prior to that, she worked in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Financial Institutions Group.

Ms. Sunder received an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Kristin Mugford | HBS, Senior Lecturer

Kristin Mugford is the Melvin Tukman Senior Lecturer of Business Administration in the Finance Unit at the Harvard Business School. She currently teaches “Creating Value through Corporate Restructuring,” a popular elective course that analyzes how economic stress and restructuring creates challenges and opportunities for businesses and their stakeholders. She previously taught “Venture Capital and Private Equity,” an elective course that explores the private equity industry in the United States and abroad.

In 2013 Kristin retired from her position as Managing Director of Bain Capital, one of the world’s leading private investment firms. Bain Capital and its affiliated advisors manage over $75 billion and make private equity, public equity, fixed income and credit, venture capital, and absolute return investments across multiple geographies and industries.

Kristin joined Bain Capital’s private equity business in 1994 and at the age of 32, became the first female Managing Director in the firm’s history. Kristin helped start Bain Capital Credit (founded as Sankaty Advisors), and prior to her retirement was responsible for the oversight of their high yield investments and a senior member of Bain Capital Credit’s management team and investment committee. Bain Capital Credit is one of the leading corporate and distressed debt managers, managing over $30 billion with 230 employees in seven offices around the world. Kristin is currently a Senior Director of the firm.

Kristin began her career at the Walt Disney Company, where she worked in corporate strategic planning and the consumer products division. She graduated from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar and holds an AB with honors from Harvard College.


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Workshop: How to Be Unafraid to Shine in Your Spotlight

Have you ever been plagued with the voice “Who do you think you are?” when you’ve been presented with huge opportunities? During this interactive workshop, you will understand the origins of Impostor Syndrome and you will be guided to erase critical voices so you can boldly shine and cross the finish line of your ambitious goals.

Emily Liu Filloramo | Soar to Greatness Now, LLC, Founder

Emily Liu Filloramo is the Founder of Soar to Greatness Now, LLC. Emily is a Self-Leadership Expert, Mentor, Trainer, a Transformational Executive Coach and the author of “How to Permanently Erase Negative Self-Talk: So You Can Be Extraordinary.” Emily guides leaders and teams to master the deepest inner game of success, leadership and life.

Emily facilitates lasting transformation, utilizing an evidence-based model of accelerated self-awareness and personal growth, Internal Family Systems (IFS). Results achieved with IFS include greater levels of executive presence, confidence, self-awareness, courage, collaboration, creativity, productivity and success.

Emily is a graduate of Cornell University and her professional trainings include Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) and Internal Family Systems modality of Self-leadership. Emily’s combination of challenging life experiences, 27-year pharmaceutical sales career, holistic nutrition expertise and passion in peak performance psychology, gives her a unique platform to help clients soar to greatness from the inside-out and cross the finish line of their ambitious goals.

Emily’s website is

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How Can Women Make a Social Impact through Entertainment & Media?


Women are consistently underrepresented on and off screen – 20% of the top grossing films had female leads and 2% were directed by female directors in 2014. What challenges do these storytellers on and off-screen face? How could women as storytellers in the Entertainment and Media industry make a social impact in perception of women? How have they moved forward despite these challenges? What kind of issues are still present and need to be overcome in the upcoming years?


Rupa Dash | World Woman Foundation & Dash Global Media, CEO

Rupa is an entertainment entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. She is the Co-Founder & CEO of World Woman Foundation, a global stage for women voices and Dash Global Media, a leading entertainment company in Los Angeles. She is also associated with Brillstein Entertainment Partners, an organization regarded as the premier entertainment management group in Hollywood. An ardent advocate for social entrepreneurship and leadership development for women in business and entertainment Rupa is involved with UN Women, International Film Market, Davos Forum and Hollywood Film Festival advocating Gender Equality in Film and Entertainment Industry.

She is the first Indian American Managing Director of the World’s Largest Women Entrepreneurship Network recognized by White House and the first women to receive the International Telecom Union Award from United Nation. Rupa attended the Anderson School of management at UCLA, Los Angeles and focused on Entrepreneurship.

Rashida Geddes | Bell TV1, Producer/Host of BTWR

Rashida is on a mission to help passionate and purpose driven Millennials create a business, career AND life – ON THEIR OWN TERMS! Helping them unlock their gifts and stand in their POWER with confidence, Rashida is teaching Millennials how to value themselves and unapologetically OWN their brilliance in the marketplace! As the executive producer & host of her TV show “Business Talks” on Bell TV1 she has a reach of over 1 million viewers across Canada. These POWERHOUSE business leaders share their insights on growing a successful business while teaching viewers to “call the shot” on their life!

Tired of waiting for permission from everyone but herself, Rashida decided to start owning her story and gifts by leveraging her more than 10 years of corporate experience and investing in herself and her dreams. Trained by best selling author Valorie Burton of the CaPP Institute in personal development coaching, Rashida utilizes the power of positive psychology in her business and her life. A voice for the next generation of women leaders through her speaking, coaching, and training, Rashida is helping Millennials find the tools and confidence they need to claim the power they bring to life!

Diane Paulus | American Repertory Theater, Artistic Director and CEO

Diane Paulus is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Paulus is the 2013 recipient of the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical (Pippin). A.R.T.: Eve Ensler’s In the Body of the World, Waitress (currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater), Crossing (a new American opera with music and libretto by Matt Aucoin), Finding Neverland (currently on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre), Witness Uganda, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival, NAACP Award, Best Direction), Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, The Donkey Show. Her other recent work includes Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, currently on tour in Europe, Invisible Thread at Second Stage, The Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London’s West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, the complete Monteverdi cycle, and the trio of Mozart-Da Ponte operas, among others. Diane is Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University’s English Department. She was selected as one of Variety’s “Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014” and Boston Magazine’s “50 Thought Leaders of 2014.”


Yalda T. Uhls | UCLA, PhD, Expert on Child Development, Research, Education and Media | Moderator

Dr. Yalda T. Uhls, an award winning child psychological researcher, works with schools, non-profits, and companies. Her understanding of the academic literature along with her many years of senior management experience in the entertainment industry allows her a unique and relevant perspective, steeped in an understanding of the business world. She is passionate about translating science into useful knowledge and takeaways for parents, organizations and educators. Her position is balanced, based in fact and relevant to those concerned with using media in realistic and positive ways to shape youth development. In addition to her consulting and other work, Dr. Uhls works with Common Sense Media, a national non-profit, as their Director of Creative Community Partnerships and also does research with UCLA.

Dr Uhls’s research focuses on how older and newer media impacts the social behavior of preadolescents. The studies have been featured in Time Magazine, the NY Times, USA Today and NPR as well as in many scholarly publications. Notable awards include UCLA’s Psychology In Action Award, for excellence in communicating psychological research to audiences beyond academia and the Society for Research in Child Development’s Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation. Prior to her academic career, Yalda spent over fifteen years as a senior entertainment executive and producer at studios such as Sony and MGM and consulted for Google. Her book Media Moms and Digital Dads: A Fact not Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age hit the Number 1 Hot New Release on Amazon in Child Psychology several times. Most importantly, as a mom of two digital teens (a boy and a girl) she has hands-on experience dealing with these issues.

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Empowering Women in the Boardroom


Research has shown that diverse boards enhance business performance. This panel will explore the power of gender diversity in the boardroom. The panel invites senior women with a vast amount of both operational and board experience to share their rich experiences and views. We will also explore how to empower more women in boardrooms, including board recruiter needs, networks, and innovative avenues for connecting women and boards.

Blair Christie | theBoardlist, Strategic Advisor | Cisco, VP and Former CMO

Blair Christie is a tech-executive and independent board member with a broad range of operating experience across Marketing, Finance, Government Affairs, Policy and Corporate Communications. She is currently Chief Development Officer for Landit, a talent management platform that delivers a unique, personalized playbook to women seeking to move their career forward. Christie also serves as a Strategic Advisor to theBoardlist, a curated talent marketplace that recommends, discovers and connects highly qualified women leaders with public and private company board opportunities. Previously, she was an Executive Officer and Senior Vice President with Cisco, the world’s leading networking technology company, where she spent 18 years in various roles. In her most recent role as Chief Marketing Officer, Christie oversaw the strongest growth of Cisco’s brand value in the company’s history, as well as revamped its digital and marketing automation strategies. Prior to becoming CMO, Christie was Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, where she led all internal and external corporate reputation initiatives. Before joining Cisco in 1999, Christie held several positions in investor relations at InterDigital Communications Corporation and Aqua America. Christie is an independent director on the board of MINDBODY, Inc., serving as Chairman of the Compensation Committee, and member of the Audit and Nomination & Governance committees. She is a fellow of the 2015 class of the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Christie holds a B.S. degree in marketing and business administration and an MBA, concentrating in investment management, from Drexel University. She resides in Annapolis, MD with her husband and three children.

Margaret Pederson | President & CEO, Amirexx and Corporate Board Director

Margaret Pederson is an experienced independent board director of private and public companies. She complements traditional board composition through expertise in business development, marketing, strategy and innovation in business and consumer sectors, focusing on transforming organizations to meet 21st opportunities and challenges. Her current board assignments include Viad (NYSE: VVI), Charter Chairman of Innovation and Marketing Strategy Committee, Member of Compensation and Nominating and Governance Committees; Xamax Industries and Xamax Industries International, Vice Chair and Chair Strategy Committee; National Association of Corporate Directors, President & CEO Connecticut Chapter. Her former board assignments include TextureMedia Inc where she was integral to its sale to a multi-billion dollar private company after advising management on its strategy and path to exit and serving on the Compensation Committee. Women Corporate Directors Advisory Board. She has also been Chairman and on multiple board committees for global industry associations and trade organizations plus NTFs

Margaret is Vice Chair of Xamax Industries where she focuses on strategy, business development, marketing and digital. She runs Amirexx, a boutique consulting group that focuses on creating value for middle market and private companies. Margaret invests in early stage and growth companies at Golden Seeds (Media and Technology) and Noble Sensors (Medical and Life Sciences).

Margaret’s prior experience includes domestic and international operating and business development experience in stand-alone plus large multidivisional companies leading operations in USA and Canada and development globally while living in London, Paris, Tokyo and Manila. Margaret’s past roles include Division President at PRIMEDIA (NYSE) and held senior operating roles at Reed-Elsevier, now RELX Group, RELX PLC (London) and RELX NV (Amsterdam).

She holds a BA from University of Virginia, an MBA from HBS and a GC from LSE ( London School of Economics) Margaret enjoys adventure travel, trekking, real estate renovation, reading and her 3 Ms. Her introduction to boards started by preparing board materials for Corning Glass and PepsiCo.



Pamela Craig | Corporate Board Director | Accenture, Former CFO

Pamela J. Craig served as Accenture’s chief financial officer from 2006 through 2013. She served in a variety of leadership roles at Accenture during her 34 years with the company.

Ms. Craig currently serves on several company boards: Akamai Technologies, a worldwide provider of internet optimization services where she is currently chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee, retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. where she is a member of the Audit, Technology and eCommerce Committees and Merck & Co., Inc. where she is chair of the Audit Committee and a member of Governance, Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility Committee. Ms. Craig is an Advisory Board member of SpencerStuart, a global executive search and recruitment firm.
Most recently, Ms. Craig has been named a Senior Advisor for Teneo, a global CEO advisory firm.

Ms. Craig also serves as a director of charitable organizations: The Committee of 200 and Comprehensive Development, Inc., a non-profit that provides academic and social service support to at-risk New York City high school students.

Ms. Craig has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Smith College and an MBA from New York University Stern School.


Sheila Ronning | Women in the Boardroom, Founder & CEO

Leadership & networking expert and board strategist, Sheila Ronning is a trailblazer in working towards gender equality in the boardroom. In 2002 she founded Women in the Boardroom with a revolutionary vision to create an environment where women could assist other women in achieving their leadership and corporate board service goals. In less than 15 years, she has scaled Women in the Boardroom from concept to membership organization with global reach across multiple industries, and influence in private and public boardrooms, including Fortune 100 companies.

Sheila has built an impressive track record in connecting influential female executives with the people and tools they need to succeed in business and the boardroom. She uses her powerful network to help women achieve their goals of obtaining board membership, sharing more than 100 board openings with Women in the Boardroom VIPs. Sheila’s accolades and accomplishments include a spot on prestigious “40 Under Forty,” membership of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Insider network, and with features in Washington Post, ForbesWoman and WSJ. A subject matter expert on board diversity and leadership, Sheila is also a sought-after speaker who, with characteristic candor, advises women to always “show up, stand up and speak up.”


Molly Baskin | Ansley Consulting Group, Managing Director | Corporate Board Director

Molly Baskin has been Managing Director of the Ansley Consulting Group, a retained executive search firm, since 1999.  Her previous professional experience is financial:  commercial and work-out banking, corporate controller, and auditor.  She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard Business School.

She served on the Board of Directors of American Capital, LLC (NASDAQ: ACAS), a specialty finance firm, from 2000 to 2017;  she was a member of the Audit Committee and the Executive Committee.

She was previously a member of the Board and chaired the Audit Committees of several privately held businesses:

  • SAV Holdings, a provider of audio-visual services for corporate meetings and events;
  • Core Financial Holdings, an asset-based lender;
  • eLynx, a software company serving the residential mortgage industry; and
  • Confluence Watersports, the world’s leading kayak and canoe manufacturer.

She is a member of Women Corporate Directors;  the Wellesley College Business Leadership Council;  and the Board of Directors of the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago.  In addition, she currently serves on several not for profit Boards, including the Presbyterian Mission Agency;  the PC(USA) Board of Pensions, which provides pensions and health insurance for Presbyterian pastors and lay workers in PC(USA) organizations;  the Alumnae Advisory Board of the Women Students Association at HBS, which she Chairs;  and the Session of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Kathleen Murray | McMorran Strategies, Owner | Moderator

Kathy Murray is currently Founder & Owner of McMorran Strategists, LLC. Earlier, Kathy held C-Suite level positions at publicly-traded firms and partnerships – Aetna, PwC and FARO – in sales, business development and operations.

Other affiliations include: President of Harvard Business School Women’s Association of NY, Trustee on the University of Rochester Board, Board Member at the Daily Gazette (a Schenectady family-owned publishing firm), Advisor to TempBuddy (a Dublin startup software for managing temp employees), Vice Chair of Executive Forum and Founder of Executive Forum Angels and Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association. Kathy is also a frequent speaker/instructor on business development, angel investing, innovation, strategic thinking and building relationships. Earlier, she served on the Board of New England Mechanical Services (a regional HVAC firm).

Kathy received a BA in Math and General Science from the University of Rochester and the Advanced Management Program Degree from Harvard Business School.

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Female Leaders in Public Policy



Leaders in business often transition into the public sector – in appointed or elected positions – to leverage their skills to achieve greater impact. As in business, women are underrepresented in public sector leaderships. Worldwide, women account for nearly half of the public sector workforce, but only 20 percent of top positions. Consequently, women enjoy fewer opportunities to shape legislation, develop public policy, and wield influence in the uppermost echelons of government.

Join an impressive group of female leaders in business and government – in both the White House and federal government agencies – to discuss these topics and questions like: How do female leaders make contribution to shape public policies? What obstacles impede the path to leadership positions in government, and do they differ from the for-profit world? What might MBA students contribute and learn from time spent in shaping public policies, and how might career timing play a role? What lessons they want to share with young professionals aspiring to successful careers spanning both the public and private sectors.


Anya Boutov | Department of Treasury, Senior Policy Advisor

Anya is a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she advises senior officials on policy decisions that influence domestic and global capital markets. Her areas of focus include financial regulation, market structure, and housing finance. Prior to joining Treasury, she was a Vice President in interest rate products sales at Goldman Sachs in New York. Anya received a B.A. in History, magna cum laude, from Columbia University.

J.J. Raynor
 | HBS, Former Special Assistant to the President

J.J. Raynor was a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy focused on technology and innovation. As a member of the Obama Administration, J.J. spearheaded work on advanced manufacturing, social safety nets for a digital age, and autonomous vehicles. J.J. also coordinated the Administration’s response to the fiscal and economic crisis in Puerto Rico and helped turnaround the implementation of the International Trade Data System.

J.J. joined the Obama Administration from McKinsey & Co. where she was a senior associate and acting engagement manager in the Atlanta, Dubai, and DC offices. Her work at McKinsey included identifying business development opportunities in education technology, working on national and local economic development initiatives, and developing transportation growth strategies.

Currently a first-year student at Harvard Business School, J.J. graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At Carolina, J.J. served as Student Body President and as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.


Jannine Versi | Versi Advisory, Founder


Jannine is the founder of an advisory firm that works with startups focused on the intersection of health and technology. Previously, Jannine served as a senior executive in the Obama Administration at the Department of Commerce and at the White House.

From 2014-2016, Jannine was the chief of staff to the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, overseeing a 2,200-person global team responsible for U.S. federal trade policy and the Trans Pacific Partnership, in particular, as well as export promotion, and attracting foreign direct investment from overseas. Before HBS, Jannine worked in strategy, operations, and marketing at Google in the U.S., U.K., and Middle East. Jannine holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and was a Fulbright scholar in India.

Karen Mills | HBS/HKS, Senior Fellow
 | Moderator

Karen Gordon Mills served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from 2009 until August 2013. She currently has a faculty appointment at the Harvard Business School where she teaches entrepreneurship and writes on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation. Mills is also President of MMP Group, Inc., which invests in early-stage companies.

Mills was the SBA Administrator and a Cabinet member during the Great Recession and the subsequent recovery, one of the most difficult times for small businesses in our nation’s history. During this period, Mills served on the President’s National Economic Council and was a key member of the White House economic team. At the SBA, she led a team of more than 3,000 employees and managed a loan guarantee portfolio of over $100 billion.

Mills’ leadership transformed how the SBA served small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country. Her first focus was to streamline the agency’s loan programs, including shortening turnaround times and reducing paperwork. These efforts resulted in record-breaking years for SBA lending. In addition, Mills launched new initiatives to help small businesses grow and create jobs, including regional economic clusters, early-stage capital funds and accelerators, and support for exports and government contracting.

Prior to the SBA, Mills held leadership positions in the private sector, including as a partner in several private equity firms, and she has served on numerous public and private boards including Scotts Miracle-Gro and Arrow Electronics. Currently, she is president of MMP Group, whose investments include companies in software services, food, skin care, and large-scale data analytics. She serves as Vice Chairman of VisaNow, an immigration services company.

Mills earned an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Harvard Corporation, Harvard’s principal fiduciary governing board. Mills is a regular contributor to Fortune and her writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review and Politico magazine.

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”Femvertising”: Empowering Women through Marketing


How has the portrayal of women in marketing and advertising evolved? What do you do to promote women in a positive light through advertising campaigns and in store promotions? What decisions & considerations go into this? Have you seen the conversation around this topic shift within your company? How do you see this changing in the future?

Amanda Burlison | General Mills, Sr Associate Marketing Manager for Cheerios

Amanda Burlison (HBS ’14) is a Sr Associate Marketing Manager for Cheerios. Amanda specifically manages the Honey Nut Cheerios brand, owning the P&L for one of America’s favorite cereals and working with creative agencies to develop marketing that drives the business. In her previous roles, Amanda focused on growing several emerging wellness brands in the Mills portfolio, including Cascadian Farm, Liberte, and Mountain High Yoghurt. Before General Mills, Amanda was a consultant in Deloitte’s Atlanta office and interned in Nike’s Corporate Strategy group. A lifelong athlete from Nashville and avid yogi, Amanda is energized by incorporating wellness trends into food and building deep consumer empathy to grow brands.

Nina Montgomery | Flamingo Brand Strategy, Brand Strategy

Nina is a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford where she studies the movement-making power and potential of brands. Specifically, her research focuses on how the commercial branding of ‘culture’, ‘heritage’, and ‘nationalism’ shapes the way people see themselves and their world.

Nina is also a brand strategist at Flamingo International, an Omnicom Group consultancy. At Flamingo, Nina enjoys turning human-centric insights into actionable strategic direction for a global portfolio of clients including Google, Diageo, and Apple. Her project experience spans brand positioning, market innovation, campaign development, and market-entry strategy. Nina is particularly passionate about developing women-focused brand purposes and recently partnered with Unilever to develop campaigns celebrating women in the US and Latin America.

Nina received a BA in Classics from Dartmouth College and is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where she received a Masters in Classical Archaeology as a Reynolds Scholar.


Deborah Singer | Girls Who Code, VP of Marketing

Deborah Singer is the VP of Marketing and Communications for Girls Who Code, the national non-profit dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Through it’s summer programs and after-school clubs, Girls Who Code educates, equips, and inspires girls to pursue careers in technology. Prior to Girls Who Code, Deborah was the VP of Marketing at Lulu, a mobile app for women to research and review men. She helped grow the Lulu user base 10X in 2 years to reach 1 in 4 US college women and launched the app in dozens of countries. Deborah started her career at Google, where she worked on the communications team in New York and Sydney, Australia.

Deborah received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she served as the co-President of the Women’s Student Association. She received a BA in Intellectual History from the University of Pennsylvania and now lives in Brooklyn with her husband Sam.



Sandy Greenberg | Terri & Sandy, CEO

“This agency breathes new life into iconic brands,” is the headline Adweek wrote describing TERRI & SANDY, the advertising agency Sandy Greenberg founded with her long-term creative partner Terri Meyer. From People Magazine to Disney Princess to Avon, Sandy has earned a reputation in the advertising industry for reinventing classic brands for a new generation.

Sandy rose through the ranks as a copywriter at several of the largest agencies in the world: Foote Cone & Belding, J. Walter Thompson and DMB&B. Despite the fact that only 3% of women reached Creative Director level at that time, Sandy and Terri cracked that glass ceiling and were promoted to EVP, Executive Creative Director, running the agency’s largest account, Kraft Foods. Subscribing to the adage “Leave the party first,” Terri and Sandy decided to strike out on their own in 2010.

The duo started TERRI & SANDY on Terri’s dining room table. They quickly won a series of new business pitches against agencies 100 times their size. They garnered 6 stories in The New York Times, won Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year, Northeast Gold and were named the 4th most effective agency in North America by the prestigious Effie Awards. Their roster is now lined with #1 brands traditionally housed at big agencies.

In addition to garnering virtually every industry award, Sandy’s work has permeated pop culture and has been featured on CNN, Jimmy Kimmel, The View, Access Hollywood, TBS Funniest Commercials and Today.

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Current State of Feminism


To discuss and exchange ideas on the evolution of feminism over the years, the 
current perception of what it stands for and its manifestations across various different verticals, whether it be media, politics or the workplace and lastly, what the role of feminism should be in the next stage of women empowerment and how we can work together towards a more equal world.

Anna Maria Chavez | Girl Scouts of the USA, Former CEO

Anna Maria Chávez is an attorney and one of the world’s top experts on women’s leadership and youth development. Most recently, Anna was the Chief Executive Officer of the iconic Girl Scouts of the USA from 2011 – 2016. Anna was the first woman of color to lead the organization in their 104-year history.

Previously, Anna held numerous posts in President Clinton’s administration, including senior policy advisor to former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater.

Lauded for her leadership, Anna has been named one of FORTUNE’s World’s Greatest Leaders of 2016. Also in 2016, Anna was inducted into the U.S. News & World Report’s STEM Leadership Hall of Fame. Anna was awarded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s highest honor, the 2016 Medallion of Excellence Award, during its Annual Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Anna attended Yale University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree before pursuing a juris doctorate at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.


Anna Auerbach | Werk, Cofounder and Co-CEO

Anna Auerbach is the Cofounder and Co-CEO of Werk, a job marketplace that allows ambitious job seekers to discover career-building opportunities, all with pre-negotiated types of flexibility. Werk’s goal is to keep talented women in the workforce by updating traditional work structures to create life-compatible work arrangements. Prior to founding Werk, Anna was a strategy consultant for 10+ years, most recently as the COO of a philanthropy catalyst firm. She began her career at McKinsey & Co. Anna is an alumna Brandeis University and Harvard Business School.


Jody Greenstone Miller | Business Talent Group, CEO

Jody Greenstone Miller is the Co – Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Business Talent Group (BTG), the leading marketplace for high-end independent consulting talent. BTG was named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious list of the 5000 fastest-growing companies in America in 2015 and 2016. In January of 2015 BTG was named to the Forbes list of “100 Most Promising Companies,” one of only four female-led companies named to the list. Fortune magazine named Miller one of its ten “Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs” in September 2015.

An outspoken thought leader on the future of work, Ms. Miller has been featured in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Business Insider, The Economist, The Financial Times, CNN, Fox Business and Bloomberg. Clay Christensen in the Harvard Business Review cited BTG as a “disrupter” of the traditional consulting model and Fast Company referred to Jody Miller as a “workplace innovator.” Along with her husband, Matt Miller, Ms. Miller wrote the “Big Idea” feature for the Harvard Business Review, “The Rise of the Supertemp” which remains the definitive analysis of the independent professional talent trend (To view media highlights, click here.)

Ms. Miller has served in senior roles in business, government, media, law, and the non-profit world. Prior to founding BTG from 2000 to 2007, Ms. Miller was a venture partner with Maveron, the Seattle-based venture capital firm. She was previously executive vice president and later acting president and COO of Americast, the digital television and interactive services partnership of The Walt Disney Company and regional telephone companies. Ms. Miller also served in the White House as Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton, where she was Deputy to David Gergen, Counselor to the President.

A relentless innovator, Ms. Miller helped to launch a successful documentary television division for Time-Life Television early in her career and established a Lehman Brothers investment banking office in South Carolina. A lawyer by training, Ms. Miller was selected as a White House Fellow and served in the Department of the Treasury under President George H. W. Bush and served as Legal Counsel to South Carolina Governor Richard Riley. Ms. Miller began her career as a lawyer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York.

Ms. Miller serves on the board of directors of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ) and served on the board of TRW (NYSE) for 10 years until their acquisition by ZF in May 2015. Ms. Miller serves on the advisory board of the Drucker Institute, and on the board of Peer Health Exchange, Inc. She is also a co-founder and board member of the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage and Unplanned Pregnancy

Ms. Miller holds a BA from the University of Michigan with highest distinction and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was Order of the Coif and winner of the Lile Moot Court competition. Ms. Miller resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.


Beth Bovis | A.T. Kearney, Partner, Global Organization & Transformation Practice Leader

Beth Bovis is an A.T. Kearney partner and the global leader for our Leadership, Change and Organization practice. She also plays a critical role as the leader of the firm’s Women’s Network and sits on the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion council.

Her consulting focus includes organizational strategy, design and governance, global business services, change management, leadership effectiveness and large scale transformation. She works across industries with a focus on global business models, highly decentralized cultures, and non-profits.

Beth has passion around her clients and her firm. She has served on the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership team of A.T. Kearney. Beth was selected as one of the Top 25 Consultants in 2014 in recognition for her leadership. She was also honored by the Girl Scouts of Greater NY as a Woman of Distinction in 2014.

In addition to working with non-profits as clients, Beth is also actively engaged with multiple non-profits. She currently sits on The Conference Board’s Advancing Women in Leadership council. She is the former Chair and current Emeritus Board member for Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, the A.T. Kearney liaison for the American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer, has collaborated with the Network of Executive Women on key research in diversity.

Beth’s also worked at, where she was the Vice President Product Management and General Manager for Work Life Products. She earned a B.S. in economics, finance and multinational management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Beth has worked part-time for the past 16 years. She lives in Madison Wisconsin and is the mother of two children, ages 14 and 11.


Robin Ely | HBS, Professor | Moderator

Robin Ely is Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration and faculty chair of the HBS Gender Initiative. She conducts research on race and gender relations in organizations with a focus on organizational change, group dynamics, learning, conflict, power, and identity. In her former role as Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community, Professor Ely lead a culture change initiative at Harvard Business School to ensure that all members of the HBS community are able to thrive and reach their potential for advancing the School’s mission. Professor Ely has taught MBA courses in leadership, diversity, teams, and statistics and doctoral courses in gender and race relations and in field research methods; she has also taught in HBS’s executive education programs, including leadership programs designed specifically for women.

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Transforming Healthcare


Rising healthcare costs have challenged stakeholders across all sectors of healthcare to look for innovative solutions to improve quality, expand access, and maximize value. The healthcare panel invites senior women leaders in the field to share their experiences in shaping the future of healthcare, ranging from helping build accountable care organizations to implementing value-based healthcare.

Rachel Klein | MassHealth, Director of Payment Reform Implementation

Rachel Klein is the Director of Payment Reform Implementation at MassHealth, the Medicaid and SCHIP plan for Massachusetts providing healthcare services to ~30% of the state’s low-income and disabled residents and accounting for ~40% of the state’s annual budget. MassHealth is undergoing a major restructuring of the existing delivery system, including the introduction of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Community Partners (CPs), and a Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP).

Rachel has a fully integrated view of ACO and CP implementation, working between the Policy/Design, Operations, and IT teams to ensure the right data flows, analytic strategies, business requirements , and workflow processes are place for execution of these critical innovations.

Previously, Rachel was with CVS Health, where she was on the PBM’s Medicare and Medicaid Strategic Process Improvement team leading operational projects including both business improvement processes and IT solution design and implementation. Rachel’s dabbled in health care venture capital and started her career in investment banking. She received her MBA with honors from HBS class of 2014 and graduated with a BS in Applied Mathematics from University of Colorado, Boulder.

Elizabeth Mort, MD, MPH | Massachusetts General Hospital and MGPO, Senior Vice President Quality & Safety, Chief Quality Officer

Elizabeth Mort is a practicing general internist with more than fifteen years of experience in clinical performance management and operational improvement activities in an Academic Medical Center and Integrated Delivery System setting. Dr. Mort currently holds the titles of Senior Vice President of Quality and Safety, Chief Quality Officer at the MGH and the MGPO.

Dr Mort has extensive experience in health care quality measurement, quality and safety improvement, managed care medical management strategies, pay for performance contracting and hospital operations. At MGH she oversees the Center for Quality & Safety and is responsible for high stakes quality and safety measurement and improvement work across a broad range of initiatives. In her recent roles at Partners HealthCare as Senior Medical Director, she played leadership roles on system-wide initiatives related to quality, safety, contracting and pay for performance.

Dr. Mort has held many state and national roles on committees related to her field. She was on the AHA panel on Healthcare Acquired Conditions in 2011. She co-chairs the Mass Medical Society’s committee on the quality of medical practice until 2015. Dr. Mort has been a member of the NCQA’s Women’s Health Measurement Advisory Panel. She was a member of the National Quality Forums Technical Advisory Panel for the development of hypertension measures. She has served as a member of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Composite Measures Workgroup inpatient quality indicator sub-workgroup. She has served on the NQF Steering Committee for Additional Priorities for Acute Hospital Quality Measures.

Dr. Mort completed her residency in primary care internal medicine at MGH in 1986 followed by two fellowship years at the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. She also completed a Masters in Public Health at the University of Michigan in 1982. Dr Mort is currently an Assistant Professor in both the Department of Medicine and Health Care Policy at HMS.

Deborah Sundal | UnitedHealth Group, VP of Product Architecture, Enterprise Research and Development

Deborah Sundal is Vice President of Product Architecture, Enterprise Research and Development, UnitedHealth Group. A noted health care industry product and operations expert, Deborah works collaboratively with corporate leadership, internal partners, academic leaders and external industry partners to bring new care delivery models, chronic care management programs, and transparency solutions to the market. Deborah has substantial experience developing and implementing transformational health care products and services that transition quickly from academic research into business settings. Deborah’s expertise allows her to effectively lead the design and implementation of an extensive portfolio of programs that engage consumers, improve health care quality, reduce costs and modernize the health care system.

In addition to leading a portfolio of transformational projects, she also leads the UnitedHealth Group Corporate Innovation Council. This council communicates corporate wide innovation goals and successes, builds collaborations inside and outside of the company, facilitates innovation challenges and partners with internal businesses through the delivery of consulting support, tools and capabilities. These assets enable the delivery of innovations for consumers and customers alike. Deborah goal is to bring evidence-based innovations to the marketplace quickly, so that people can live healthier lives.

Deborah previously served as Director of Wellness Operations at OptumHealth, where she spearheaded the initial development of consumer wellness products including Healthy Weight, Telephonic Wellness Coaching and Quit Power. In this capacity, she also led operational development and management at the organization. Before joining UnitedHealth Group, she co-developed MYnetico, a patent-pending online weight management program for families and children.

Deborah earned a Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts from Luther College in Decorah, IA. She resides in Minnesota with her husband and two daughters.

Liz Kah | Kaiser Permanente, Senior Director of Resource Stewardship

Liz Kah is the Senior Director of Resource Stewardship and Utilization Management at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, with responsibility over external medical costs, referrals and authorizations, inpatient hospitalizations, claims review, and medical review. Liz works to leverage Kaiser’s integrated medical system to control health care costs, specifically focusing on costs outside of the integrated model. Working across the healthcare continuum, Dr. Kah manages outside medical costs from primary care through specialty, surgical, hospital, contracting, claims, and appeals. Balancing the efforts to control health care costs, Liz also has responsibility for ensuring the highest quality of care and an exceptional member experience. Previous to her role in Resource Stewardship, Liz led Strategy for Kaiser Colorado.

Previously, Dr. Kah was a core member of Boston Consulting Group’s healthcare practice, where she advised across the healthcare industry. Liz worked for clients in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, payers, and providers, and consulted on strategy, business model innovation, and transformation. Liz also worked in West Africa with the US Refugee Resettlement Program and the UN High Commission for Refugees, and prior to that served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana. Liz received her MD with honors from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and her BA with honors from New York University.

Leemore Dafny | HBS, Professor | Moderator

Leemore Dafny is the MBA Class of 1960 Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2016, she served as Director of Health Enterprise Management and Professor of Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Her research examines competitive interactions among payers and providers of healthcare services, and the intersection of industry and public policy. Dafny’s work has been published in academic journals such as the American Economic Review and the New England Journal of Medicine, and featured in popular media such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Current projects include studies of consolidation in the U.S. hospital industry and the kidney dialysis industry, products and pricing on the public health insurance exchanges, copayment coupons for prescription drugs, and the implications of for-profit ownership of insurance companies.

Dafny graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company prior to earning her PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has won several teaching awards as well as Kellogg’s leading research prize, the Stanley Reiter Best Paper award. Dafny is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Editor of The International Journal of Health Economics and Management, and a Board Member of the American Society of Health Economists and the Health Care Cost Institute.

Dafny’s expertise spans both the public and private sectors. She currently serves on the Panel of Health Advisers for the Congressional Budget Office. In 2012-2013, she was Deputy Director for Healthcare and Antitrust in the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC. Dafny advises companies, government agencies, and nonprofits on a variety of issues including antitrust matters, strategic decisions, and public policy.

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Finance: Breaking Through Wall Street’s Glass Ceiling


The world of high finance is a notoriously difficult industry to break into, and is even harder to rise through its ranks. For women in finance, the glass ceiling feels especially thick. Our generation is fortunate to have a growing number of role models who have endured through the challenges of reaching the upper echelons of finance and who have helped pave a path for others. We will listen to some of the most accomplished women in the industry share their lessons learned and advice for building a successful career in finance.

Geraldine Keefe | Goldman Sachs, Partner, Industrials 

Geraldine is a managing director in the Industrials Group within the Investment Banking Division. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2000 as an analyst on the UK Advisory team in London and transferred to the Industrials Group in San Francisco in 2004. After leaving in 2006 to pursue an MBA, Geraldine rejoined the firm in 2008 as a member of the Americas Special Situations Group in the Securities Division in New York, where she worked on minority equity investments in privately owned businesses. Geraldine returned to the Industrials Group in 2009 and was named vice president the same year. She was named managing director in 2013 and partner in 2016.
Geraldine earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Bristol University in 2000 and an MBA, with high distinction, from Harvard Business School in 2008.

Jane Levy Vance | Bain Public Equity, Associate

Jane Levy Vance is an associate at Bain Capital Public Equity, where she is part of the technology team, covering software and services stocks. Prior to joining Bain Capital Public Equity, Ms. Levy Vance worked as an associate at Berkshire Partners in their private equity practice, performing due diligence and analyzing companies across a range of industries.  In addition, she also worked at Stockbridge Investors, Berkshire’s public equity affiliate, analyzing public companies for potential investment.  Prior to that, she worked at Morgan Stanley in investment banking in the media and telecommunications  group, advising companies on corporate transactions, including merger & acquisitions and debt and equity financings. Ms. Levy Vance received her MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar and graduated cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics.

Kelley Morrell | CIT Group, Director of Strategy

Kelley Morrell is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. She is responsible for leading the evaluation and execution of a wide range of strategic initiatives, including large-scale strategic mergers and acquisitions, as well as for partnering with senior leaders across the organization to develop the company’s strategy and execute its strategic priorities.

Morrell’s areas of expertise include corporate strategy & business development, mergers & acquisitions, restructurings, turnarounds & transformations, regulatory & government relations and business transition & integration.

Prior to joining CIT, Morrell served as a senior director of the U.S. Treasury’s Automotive Industry Financing Program, the Federal government’s $81 billion portfolio of investments in the American automotive industry, which originated during the 2008 financial crisis. She oversaw the government’s investments in Chrysler Financial, and in Chrysler Group following its emergence from bankruptcy, and through its restructuring and successful exit from government ownership. Morrell also led the development of strategic alternatives for Ally Financial, and was part of the team that executed the initial public offering of General Motors after its emergence from bankruptcy.  

Previously, Morrell was an investment professional at Hellman & Friedman, the San Francisco-based private equity firm. She began her career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in its Financial Institutions Group.  

Morrell graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received her MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

Leah Lakarosky | PJT Partners, Senior Associate

Leah is currently an Associate in the Restructuring & Special Situations Group (RSSG) at PJT Partners in New York. Since joining PJT, she has worked on several debtor and creditor side deals including most recently advising the secured lenders in Basic Energy Services’ $1 billion Chapter 11 restructuring.

Founded as part of The Blackstone Group in 1991, RSSG transitioned to PJT as part of a spin-off in October 2015. RSSG is among the most accomplished and experienced groups in the world advising management teams, boards of directors, creditors, and financial sponsors through distressed situations including in-court and out-of-court restructurings, capital raising, exchange offers and debt repurchases, and union issues such as pensions and OPEB.
Prior to PJT, Leah worked in the Valuation Advisory Services practice at Duff & Phelps in Chicago where she focused on independent financial assessments of business and asset value.

Leah received a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Nori Gerardo Lietz | HBS, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration | Moderator

Nori Gerardo Lietz is a Senior Lecturer of Business Administration in the Finance and Entrepreneurial Management Units. She presently teaches Real Estate Private Equity and Venture Capital and Private Equity.

Nori Gerardo Lietz is the founder of Areté Capital, a real estate advisory firm.  Until June 2011, Ms. Gerardo Lietz was a Partner at Partners Group, a Swiss based private alternative asset manager.  At Partners Group she was the chief strategist for private real estate and chairman of the private real estate investment committee.   Ms. Gerardo Lietz co-founded Pension Consulting Alliance in 1988 and developed its real estate investment management and advisory activities. The firm became the largest real estate advisory firm in the world in terms of client assets. In that capacity she represented many of the largest real estate investors in the world. Previously, she co-founded Public Storage, Inc., an institutional money management firm deploying pension capital to acquire real estate assets. She began her career as an attorney at Paul, Hastings   specializing in SEC and ERISA matters on behalf of pension funds, real estate managers and real estate pension consultants.

Ms. Gerardo Lietz holds an AB with honors from Stanford University. She also holds a juris doctorate from the UCLA School of Law where she was the Chief Comment Editor of the UCLA Law Review. She is a former member of the Pension Real Estate Association Board of Directors and of the Real Estate Research Institute.  In 2005 she was the Commencement Speaker for the MIT Center for Real Estate.  She received the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award for the Elective Curriculum from the Harvard Business School Class of 2014.  The Private Equity Real Estate Magazine named her one the 30 most influential industry leaders in 2006, the second most influential real estate person globally in 2007, and one of the 10 most prominent women in real estate in 2010.

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Workshop: Empower yourself: Building Confidence in Your Personal Finance

Women in the 21st century are often juggling between advancement in career and obligations within family. Personal finance plays an important role when women are making trade-off decisions such as timing for maternity leave, balance between career and family, retirement, etc. This personal finance workshop will enable the female young professionals to embark on their careers with necessary planning frameworks. It will provide the tools and resources young women need to gauge their financial fitness in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. Topics will include: how to build a personal balance sheet, how much to save for retirement, Roth vs. regular 401(k), how much to be saved versus investment versus pay down student debt, etc.

Shawn Tydlaska | Ballast Point Financial Planning, Founder

Shawn Tydlaska is a Certified Financial Planner™ and is dedicated to empowering young professionals (ages 25-45) to understand and take control of their financial lives. Shawn holds a BA in Economics with a minor in Education from UCLA and an MBA from the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business. In May of 2016, Shawn launched Ballast Point Financial Planning, a fee-only firm to provide his clients peace of mind around money so they can focus on the things they love in their lives.

Shawn enjoys running and has finished the Boston Marathon twice with a personal best time of 2:58. He and his wife, Jen – Section F – HBS ‘10, live in the Bay Area with their new puppy Coop and enjoy an active lifestyle, road trips, camping, and photography.


Kelly Leuthje | Willow Planning Group, Founder

Kelly’s financial planning career began when she took a hard look at her own finances. She asked herself why she wasn’t able to save outside of her 401(k) or make a bigger dent in her student loans. She found that balancing a good salary with debt payments, high rent, and the cost of engaging in life experiences, wasn’t an easy process. Along the way she discovered how valuable financial planning is to young professionals, not just retirees. Young, busy and adventurous people need to feel good about their finances to create the life they want. Kelly launched Willow Planning Group in 2015 and now helps clients across the country plan for life’s adventures.

Born and raised in Nebraska, Kelly earned a B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Upon graduating, she moved to Boston, MA, and earned a Master of Business Administration from Simmons School of Management. Kelly later obtained a Certificate in Financial Planning from Boston University and most recently earned CFP® Certification.

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