Your Story: Redefined

About the Speakers & Panelists

Keynote Speakers



Founder & CEO, MM.LaFleur

Sarah Miyazawa LaFleur is the Founder & CEO of MM.LaFleur. Before founding the company, Sarah worked in the luxury goods group of Starwood Capital in New York and Paris. Prior to that, she was a management consultant at Bain & Co. and TechnoServe, where she advised consumer packaged goods and financial services companies as well as agribusinesses. She graduated from Harvard and sits on the junior board of the International Rescue Committee. MM.LaFleur is named after her mother, whom she calls her biggest inspiration.



President & CEO, Nasdaq

Adena Friedman assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Nasdaq on January 1, 2017 and is a member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Friedman brings more than 20 years of industry leadership and expertise and is credited with significant contributions that shaped Nasdaq’s strategic transformation to a leading global exchange and technology solutions company with operations on six continents.

Prior to her appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Friedman served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Nasdaq throughout 2016 and was responsible for overseeing all of the company’s business segments with a focus on driving efficiency, product development, growth and expansion.

Ms. Friedman rejoined Nasdaq in 2014 as President to oversee the technology, information, and corporate businesses that comprised over two-thirds of Nasdaq’s revenues. Prior to her return, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group from March 2011 to June 2014, and played a significant role in taking the company public in May 2012.

Before Carlyle, Ms. Friedman was a key member of Nasdaq's management team for over a decade, serving in a variety of roles including head of the company's data products business, head of corporate strategy, as well its Chief Financial Officer. She played an instrumental role in the company's acquisition strategy, overseeing the acquisitions of INET, OMX, and the Philadelphia and Boston Exchanges. She originally joined Nasdaq in 1993.

Ms. Friedman earned an M.B.A. from Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a B.A. in political science from Williams College in Massachusetts.



VP Marketing and CMO, Google Cloud

Alison Wagonfeld is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Google Cloud, covering Google Cloud Platform, G Suite, Maps and Education businesses. Previously, she was an operating partner at Emergence Capital, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm focused on enterprise cloud companies, where she worked with over 30 companies and developed the firm's branding and marketing programs. Prior to Emergence, Alison was Executive Director of the Harvard Business School California Research Center where she worked with faculty to build the entrepreneurship curriculum, helped develop programs for the Harvard Innovation Lab and led Harvard student "entrepreneurship immersion" trips to Silicon Valley. Before her role at HBS, Alison led Marketing and Business Development at Greenlight, a venture backed start-up, and worked at Intuit, where she co-founded the Quicken Loans business. Earlier in her career, Alison worked as a product manager at Microsoft and as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York and Hong Kong.  Alison has a BA,  magna cum laude, from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. The San Francisco Business Journal named Alison one of the "Most Influential Women in the Bay Area."

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Rudina Seseri (VIP Dinner Keynote)

Founder and Managing Partner, Glasswing Ventures

Rudina Seseri is a Founder and Managing Partner at Glasswing Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to investing in the next generation of AI-powered technology companies that connect consumers and enterprises and secure the ecosystem. With over 15 years of investing and transactional experience, Rudina has led technology investments and acquisitions in startup companies in the fields of robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), SaaS marketing technologies and digital media. Rudina’s portfolio investments include Talla, Celtra, CrowdTwist, Jibo and SocialFlow. Rudina has been appointed by the Dean of the Harvard Business School (HBS) for a fourth consecutive year to serve as Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the Business School, as Executive-In-Residence for Harvard University’s innovation-Lab and has most recently been named to the 2018 HBS inaugural group of Rock Venture Capital Partners. She is also a Member of the Business Leadership Council of Wellesley College.

Rudina also serves as Advisor for L’Oreal USA Women in Digital, as Director on the Board of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX) and on the Board of Overseers for Boston Children’s Hospital. She has been named a 2017 Boston Business Journal Power 50: Newsmaker, a 2014 Women to Watch honoree by Mass High Tech and a 2011 Boston Business Journal 40-under-40 honoree for her professional accomplishments and community involvement. She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Economics and International Relations and with an MBA from the Harvard Business School (HBS). She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Epsilon honor societies.

Keynote Panelists

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GranT Freeland

Senior Partner, Global Leader of People and Organization Practice, Boston Consulting Group

Grant Freeland is a Senior Partner in the Boston office of the Boston Consulting Group as well as the Global Leader of BCG's People and Organization Practice. In this role, he has helped multiple companies implement large-scale change including cost take-out, organizational redesigns, post-merger integrations, creating high-performance organizations, culture change, and leadership team effectiveness. Over the past  two decades, Grant has become an expert in both the hard and soft sides of driving change. In addition to broad change efforts, he has worked with HR functions in both their overall people strategy and HR operations. He also works directly with clients on a broad range of business issues such as strategy, new business development, operational re-engineering, and acquisitions and divestitures. In conjunction with HBS Professor Leslie Perlow, Grant was responsible for the creation and implementation of BCG’s sustainability initiative, PTO, which has now been integrated throughout BCG offices globally.

Grant joined the Melbourne office of BCG in 1989 and transferred to Boston in 1993. Previously, Mr. Freeland was a marketing communications manager for Hewlett-Packard. He received his undergraduate degree in marketing from the Chisholm Institute of Technology. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, where he was the medal winner for corporate strategy.

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Natasha Radden

SVP, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, TIAA

Natasha is Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer reporting directly to the Chief Human Resources Officer at TIAA. In this role, Natasha oversees diversity and inclusion efforts for the enterprise. She is responsible for building and socializing the enterprise strategy, embedding diversity and inclusion in all employee programs, guiding the company’s efforts to build an inclusive work environment, enhancing employee engagement through creating the platform for our ERGs to engage nationally, and managing external relationships in an effort to support our external employment brand. She also oversees the business area diversity and inclusion strategy to ensure alignment with the enterprise strategy as well as the design of actions aimed at demonstrating Diversity and Inclusion’s value to the business and accountability of actions. In addition, she and her team will prioritize, develop and deliver programs that build both diversity of the workforce and promote a culture of inclusion and respect with an end goal of promoting innovation, creativity, increased productivity and improved business performance.

Natasha joined TIAA in 2007 as a Human Resources Business Partner focused on human capital efforts in support of building the Wealth Management business. The majority of her career has been in the business partner role, with her last assignment as Vice President, Human Resources Business Partner for the Office of the COO. In this role, she provided oversight and guidance for the company’s HR-related enterprise initiatives in the areas of total rewards, talent assessment, development, acquisition and deployment, learning, organizational development and diversity and inclusion.

She joined TIAA from Charles Schwab, where she was an Enterprise HR Leader and responsible for Schwab’s Investor Center Network. She served as HR Liaison and transformation coordinator to U.S. Trust National Bank and State Street Private Asset Management. Natasha provided key inputs, which led to the start-up and implementation of Schwab’s business concept, Schwab Private Client. This effort marked Schwab’s entry into a competitive advisory and managed money strategy aimed at the mass affluent market. Natasha also held HR leadership roles at Milliken & Co. where she started her HR career.

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Umaimah Mendhro

Founder & CEO, Vida

Umaimah is the Founder & CEO of VIDA. She grew up in rural Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - with no access to formal education most of her life - but a deep passion for design and art and a drive to make a difference in the world. She charted her way to Cornell University and later Harvard Business School, and built a career in technology, working with a highly select portfolio of game-changing tech companies and managing and growing million dollar businesses.

Umaimah is also the founder Dreamfly, a global initiative that connects communities in conflict around common causes through education, exposure, and empowerment. She started by building a school in her home village, empowering citizens in the US to connect with and support children in Pakistan, and later expanded into Afghanistan, Rwanda, India, and Colombia.

In 2014, Umaimah’s strong belief that fashion can be responsible and accessible got her to take the leap and found VIDA - a global platform that brings together creatives and manufacturers from around the world to create unique, original, art inspired apparel and accessories. A curator of creative voices, VIDA represents art and culture from New York to LA, Mumbai to Madrid, and Tokyo to Tel Aviv, bringing to market products that are made responsibly and that help break the chain of poverty in the world of fashion. VIDA today has over 100,000 artists on the platform representing over 150 countries around the world.

Umaimah lives in California with her husband and two children, ages 4 and 7.


Paula Tolliver

Corporate Vice President and CIO, Intel Corporation

Paula C. Tolliver is Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Intel Corporation. Her IT organization capitalizes on information technology to accelerate the company’s vision of making things that are smart and connected, and that work best with Intel technology. Under Tolliver’s leadership, thousands of IT professionals worldwide are protecting Intel’s assets, driving competitive advantage and providing innovative IT solutions.

Tolliver joined Intel as Chief Information Officer in 2016. Before coming to Intel, she was Corporate Vice President of Business Services and Chief Information Officer at The Dow Chemical Co. In her more than 20 year career with Dow Chemical, Tolliver led a progressively expanding portfolio of global business services with a strong track record for driving business results and corporate-level transformational change, spanning strategic sourcing, business process and operating discipline improvements, and digital initiatives, as well as leveraging advanced analytics for competitive advantage. She led a services business for Dow Chemical with $1 billion in revenue, and she is a sought-after industry expert in cybersecurity for global enterprises.

Tolliver holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Systems and Computer Science from Ohio University and completed the Babson College Executive Education Program.

Featured Panelists

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Sydney c. atkins

Director of Investment Advisory, Ellevest

Sydney C. Atkins is currently the Director of Investment Advisory at Ellevest, an innovative digital investing platform geared toward women. Ellevest is driven by the mission to change the landscape of investing for women through a unique investing algorithm that takes longer life spans, career breaks, gender pay gaps, and more into effect.  Prior to joining Ellevest, Sydney built a business as an Investment Advisor at Goldman Sachs, where she also ran the Boston Women Network.  Sydney received her BA degree from Middlebury College, where she studied Neuroscience and Studio Art.  She later received her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. 


Lisa Skeete Tatum

Founder and CEO, Landit

Lisa Skeete Tatum is founder and CEO of Landit, a technology platform created to increase the success and engagement of women in the workplace, and to enable companies to attract, develop, and retain high-potential diverse talent. Landit provides each woman with a personalized playbook that empowers them with the tools, resources, know-how, and human connections they need to more successfully navigate their career path.

She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., BBC Business and named one of the Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016 by Inc. Landit was named one of the Top 10 Innovations That Made Women’s Lives Better In 2016 by Fast Company.

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Kate Stookey

KNP Communications

Kate Stookey has 20 years of experience in communications, marketing, and brand development. Prior to serving as director of global communications for Pathfinder International, she worked across sectors in the U.S. and Central Asia, developing marketing strategies for brands such as The History Channel, Jose Cuervo, the United States Tennis Association, and Late Night with David Letterman. She has served in management roles with organizations including the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Global Communities, and A&E Television Networks.

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Global Leader of Negotiation Service Line, McKinsey & Company

Milan is a Co-Founder and the global leader of McKinsey & Company’s negotiations service line. Milan’s client service focuses heavily on the topic of negotiations, having led client workshops for over 10,000 participants in 200 organizations across 30 countries globally. Moreover, Milan works with closely with clients in developing negotiation strategies, conducting scenario-analysis and designing situation specific negotiation game-plans, as well as architecting and executing interactive war-gaming simulations.

Milan’s negotiations support for clients includes working directly with C-suite executives and board members, as well as functional leaders in purchasing, supply chain, manufacturing, sales, finance, corporate strategy, technology, legal, real estate, etc.

Additionally, Milan conducts research on institutional maturity and practices around negotiations infrastructure (e.g., negotiation processes and playbooks, governance and policies, organizational biases, setting targets and performance management, knowledge capture, and capability building), as well as individuals’ approaches and mindsets in negotiations. 

Milan has published short articles on negotiations and speaks at conferences, industry forums, and roundtables on negotiations. Milan also teaches an MBA course on negotiations at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  

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Cynthia Hallenback

Board Member, Walker & Dunlop

Cynthia has recently joined Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO), engaging students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry, as the interim CFO.  Previously, Cynthia was the CFO of the Environmental Defense Fund, Inc.   These positions followed her move to the non-profit world in 2010 when she joined the Council for Economic Education as their Interim CFO/COO partnering with Nan Morrison, MBS ’87, CEO, in a turnaround situation.  Previously, Cynthia spent over 14 years at Merrill Lynch and almost 7 years at Citigroup both in a variety of finance, treasury and operations roles.

In addition to her role at FHAO, Cynthia is a member of the board and Audit and Compensation Committees of Walker & Dunlop (NYSE:WD) where she was the impetus for forming a now very dynamic women’s initiative.  She is also a member of the audit committee of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the board of the Wellspring Foundation.  Finally, Cynthia was a founding member of the HBS Women’s Association of NY and is a past president of the organization.

Cynthia has BA from Smith College and an MBA from HBS.  She has two daughters – one a registered nurse working in a hospital in Rochester, NY and one a first year student at HBS.

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Katherine MacDonald

Director of Strategic Partnerships, Greentown Labs

Katie is an entrepreneurship enthusiast with experience in international development, business acceleration, and strategic partnerships within the cleantech sector.  As Greentown Labs’ Director of Strategic Partnerships Katie is responsible for catalyzing Greentown’s corporate innovation programs, investor program and external partnerships. She oversees Greentown Labs’ internal accelerator, dubbed Greentown Launch, in which Greentown Labs partners with at least one strategic partner to identify and derisk startups for potential investment and partnership.

As the former Executive Director of Cleantech Open Northeast, Katie led the region’s premier cleantech business accelerator for three years. Under Katie’s leadership, the accelerator saw record breaking application numbers, a 100% recommendation rate from startups, and the first National prize in the Northeast chapter’s history. In 2016, Katie also represented Cleantech Open at the White House for World Water Day. Katie has worked for organizations including, the World Bank,, and Amherst College to build innovation programs, organize communities, and drive sustainable impact.

Katie enjoys the great outdoors and painting and is a big foodie (her new favorite spot is Tasting Counter – Greentown Labs next door neighbor and Best of Boston Fine Dining 2016).

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Kate Gulliver

Vice President, Global Head of Talent, Wayfair

Kate Gulliver oversees the Talent team at Wayfair where she is responsible for global human capital management including recruiting, organizational design, talent management, talent analytics, compensation and learning and development. Prior to her role in Talent at Wayfair, Kate managed the company's Investor Relations function where she drove all communication and relationship development with outside investors, and led the company in their efforts to become publicly traded. Previously, Kate worked as an investor for nearly five years at Bain Capital, the Boston based private equity firm. She started her career in consulting at McKinsey & Company. Kate holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a B.A. from Yale University. Kate lives in Boston's South End with her husband and two daughters.

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Mary Ellen Mondi

Vice President, Marketing Communications & Digital, Emerson

Mary Ellen graduated from HBS in June 2009 and joined Emerson Electric as a Strategic Planner at their headquarters in St.Louis, MO.  She has worked for Emerson in a variety of roles and locations since 2009 and in her most recent role is overseeing marketing communications and digital for the $4B product portfolio comprised of valves, actuators and regulators.  She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard magna cum laude in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Prior to HBS, Mary Ellen worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and the World Bank.

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Lauri Union

Board Member, Planned Parenthood League of MA

Lauri has focused her career on organizational transformation to achieve aspirational goals. In 1992, Lauri became President and CEO of Union Corrugating Company, a deeply troubled manufacturer of building products. Lauri led the company’s transformation with significant growth to become an industry leader. She completed a private equity sale, remaining on the Board until 2016. In 2013, Lauri became Chief Restructuring Officer for a large seafood company. She led the strategic, cultural and operational transformation of that business over 12 months from severe distress to stability and profitability. In 2015, Lauri became Board President of Solomon Schechter Day School. The school faced an existential enrollment crisis stemming from leadership and strategic challenges. Within 12 months, Lauri led the Board and community to outline a new strategic vision and the leadership to implement it. Today the school is on a solid upward trajectory. Lauri joined the Board of Planned Parenthood League of MA in 2017 because of her desire to take action supporting her long-term commitment to women’s rights to control their bodies, their health and their lives. Lauri’s other current projects are focused on transformational initiatives in 21st century education and Jewish life.

Lauri earned a BA in Economics from Princeton University as well an MBA from HBS. She began her career at Bain and Company and served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at HBS. In 2015, Lauri along with her husband and four children embarked on a transformational 7-month, 21 country adventure focused on engaging with local people in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

Lauri lives in Brookline where she served as an elected member of Town meeting. She is both a Wildacres and Acharai Leadership Fellow. You can read more about Lauri in the book “How She Does It” by Heffernan and in HBS two cases.

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Mariko Meier

Director of Bill Utility Management, EnerNOC

Mariko McDonagh Meier is a Director of Utility Bill Management at EnerNOC, a Boston-based Energy Intelligence Software company.  Prior to joining EnerNOC, she managed strategic projects at Southern California Edison, the largest utility in California.  She began her career in the New York office of McKinsey and Company, a global consultancy. She earned her BA from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  Mariko lives in South Boston with her husband John, her daughter Maeve, and her three-legged cat, Frank. 

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Sarah Vlasic

Director of Back Office Systems, Zappos

Sarah Vlasic is the Director of Back Office Systems at and brings with her 10 years of analytic retail experience.  She presently oversees a team of approximately forty people, including developers, product managers and analysts, who work together to develop and maintain an integrated data platform that is leveraged by the various departments at Zappos.  Each department is supported by highly skilled analysts who use this platform to make cross-functional decisions to power business success.  She provides the strategy, vision and direction for the platform and always looks to improve business processes throughout the company whenever possible.

Sarah’s team focuses on data governance and encouraging Zappos’ employees to make data-driven decisions.  In order to support Zappos in a big data world, Sarah created an internship program where she and her team mentor and train Zappos’ employees to gain analytical skillsets.  These individuals are then placed in roles throughout Zappos in order to teach their peers how to best leverage and utilize the data available to them.

Sarah began with Zappos in the Merchandise Planning Department.  She decided to move into Product Management in order to make the tools and systems she had been using better fit the needs of the end-user.  Sarah’s passion to drive efficiency and inspire users to make data-driven decisions led her to her current position.

Sarah completed a B.S. from John Carroll University with a concentration in Marketing and Business Logistics and an M.B.A. from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a concentration in New Venture Management.

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Anitha Gopalan

CFO, Catalant Technologies

Anitha is the CFO at Catalant Technologies, on-demand business expertise and talent platform company. She brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in finance and operations and an accomplished track record of success in building strong teams, driving change, and scaling operations to deliver growth, manage risk and drive mission-critical results. She has extensive experience in technology, media and telecommunications industries with entrepreneurial, high-growth pre-IPO and public companies.
Before joining Catalant, Anitha was a Vice President of Finance at Rapid7, a Boston-based cyber security company, where she teamed up with other executives to deliver rapid growth from venture-backed start-up to a successful and oversubscribed IPO. Prior to Rapid7, Anitha was in Silicon Valley where she held financial leadership roles at iPass, and spent nearly a decade in Ernst &Young. Anitha brings high energy and dynamic leadership skills in addition to her success in achieving aggressive growth and global expansion at innovative technology companies.

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Anh Hoang

Co-founder and CSO, Sofrogen

Dr. Hoang (PhD) brings strong interdisciplinary scientific training to Sofregen.  As a co-founder of Sofregen, Anh leverages her 10+ years of biomedical research experience with her strategic vision to bring silk-based products to market.  She has built a strong R&D team and developed a robust regulatory strategy for the company to bring these products to market.   Anh has published her research in high impact peer-reviewed journals.  She is also an active member of the New England Women in Science Executives Club and on the Mount Holyoke College Career Development Leadership Board.  She earned her doctorate degree in interdisciplinary material science engineering from Vanderbilt University as a National Science Foundation (IGERT) graduate fellow. She completed her post-doctoral training in biomedical engineering at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts

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Paula Campbell Roberts

Director on the Global Macro and Asset Allocation team, KKR

Paula Campbell Roberts (New York) joined KKR in 2017 as a Director on the Global Macro and Asset Allocation team. Prior to joining KKR, Ms. Roberts was an Executive Director of Morgan Stanley and the US Consumer Economist.  Leading coverage of the consumer sector on the US Economics team, she provided in-depth analysis and research on the spending and balance-sheet dynamics of US households, and forecasted key short-term consumer and sector indicators. Prior to that, she was a management consultant leading case teams and advising Fortune 500 companies at Bain & Co. Paula earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Yale University. Currently, Ms. Roberts serves on the boards of The Brearley School, the American Friends of Jamaica and the Northside Center for Child Development. She is also a Compass Charter School Advisory Board member.

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Zohreh Khademi

General Manager, Devices Program Management - Microsoft

Zohreh Khademi is a technical professional with more than 29 years of experience in engineering, product launch management and leading large engineering teams. In her capacity as Engineer, Program Manager and Sr. Director working for multiple consumer devices, she has gained extensive experience managing highly complex programs for consumer and high tech companies and in leading large teams of engineers and technical program managers. She has a working knowledge of various consumer products, manufacturing, and the supplier base in Asia. Zohreh has been with Microsoft since January of 1998. She is the general manager of New Product Introduction and supply chain Management in MSC, responsible for delivery of all new hardware products (Surface, Surface Hub, Xbox, Hololens and Microsoft band) and high-volume manufacturing at world-class levels of quality, all while implementing Design for Excellence and process efficiencies to maximize design for manufacturability, quality and cost outcomes.

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Ngozi Kanu

Strategy and Operations Manager Google Finance, Google

Ngozi Kanu is currently a strategy and operations manager within Google’s Finance Department where she manages global operations for supplier maintenance and 'Accounts Payable' Service Centers.  She is a graduate of Harvard Business School (‘14) and Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering (‘08).  Prior to Google, she worked at American Express (AmEx) in Service Operations where she led new product servicing initiatives for the Amex prepaid card. Before HBS, Ngozi worked at Cisco Systems as a Sales Engineer where she developed IT solutions and implementation strategies for her customers and vast network of Cisco resellers. Over the course of her career she has focused in technology, operations, and customer service areas.

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Ketki Karanam, PhD

Senior Associate, PureTech Health

Ketki Karanam, PhD, is a Senior Associate at PureTech Health, and is part of the Innovation team focused on founding new initiatives in lymphatic biology and immunology. She is also a co-founder of The Sync Project, a company developing music as medicine. Dr. Karanam has been recognized as one of the top 40 healthcare innovators under 40 by MedTech Boston, and was an invited TedMed speaker in 2016.

Dr. Karanam completed her doctoral work at Harvard University in the Department of Systems Biology, focusing on genomic instability in cancer cells. While a graduate student, Dr. Karanam served as a Fellow with the Harvard Office of Technology Development, where she worked on translating emerging life science technologies into commercial healthcare products. Dr. Karanam received her BS in Microbiology from Pune University, India and her MS in Biological Sciences from the Indian Institute of Science, during which time she held the national JNCASR and Rajiv Gandhi Science Talent fellowships. She received her PhD in Systems Biology from Harvard.

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Alexandra Dickson Cheng

Associate Director, Multiple Sclerosis Customer and Market Insights, Biogen

Alexandra Dickson Cheng has a background in life sciences strategy and operations, with experience in early stage and commercial businesses. She began her career at Health Advances, a healthcare strategy consulting firm. While there, she worked with medical device, diagnostic, and biopharma clients to inform commercial decisions. Cheng then transitioned into the biotech industry, spending time in Celgene’s cell therapy division during her MBA, and then joining Biogen post-MBA, where she supported the launch of Biogen’s hemophilia franchise. She then transitioned to a focus on early stage life science ventures, building fertility diagnostic startup LuminOva as part of the Blavatnik Fellowship at Harvard Business School, and then joining Third Rock Ventures, where she focused on the launch of cell therapy company Magenta Therapeutics. Cheng then returned to Biogen, where she currently leads the Multiple Sclerosis Customer & Market Insights group for the US commercial business. Cheng holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Evolutionary Biology from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently lives with her husband Royce who she met in the HBS Healthcare Club in 2011.

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Deborah Dunsire, MD

CEO and President, XTuit Pharmaceuticals

Deborah joined XTuit in 2017 to focus on new therapies to address fibrosis and cancer through targeting the microenvironment. She brings over 25 years of experience in developing and commercializing novel therapeutics across three continents. She is the former President and CEO at FORUM Pharmaceuticals, which focused on therapies for Alzheimer's disease, other dementias and schizophrenia. She served as CEO and President of Millennium Pharmaceuticals from 2005 to 2013, bringing novel therapies through development and commercialization in the areas of cancer and inflammatory disorders. Under her leadership at Millennium, Velcade® for multiple myeloma transformed outcomes for patients and became a multi-billion dollar product, with Johnson & Johnson as the commercial partner outside of the US. In 2008, Takeda Pharmaceuticals of Japan acquired Millennium for $8.8 billion and. following the acquisition, Deborah became the first woman to be appointed to the board of Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the company's 236-year history. Prior to Millennium, Deborah spent 17 years at Novartis in South Africa, Switzerland and the US. For 11 years, she led the Novartis Oncology business in North America, developing and launching a number of transformational cancer therapies. During her tenure at Novartis, the North American oncology business grew from $50 million to more than $2.2 billion.

Deborah is a member of the board of trustees for the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, Northeastern University, and Boston's Museum of Science. She serves on the Department of Chemistry Visiting Committee at MIT and on the MGH Research Advisory Council. She has served for many years as a board member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

Deborah was born in Zimbabwe and completed her medical training at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Professor Kathleen L. McGinn

Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

Kathleen L. McGinn is the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She previously served as Harvard Business School’s Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Director of Research, and Chair of Doctoral Programs. Professor McGinn studies the role of gender at work, at home, and in negotiations. Her current field research investigates these issues internationally—in families, among women “firsts,” in North American professional service firms, across organizations and communities in Mexico and India, and in relation to health and welfare outcomes for young women in Zambia.

Professor McGinn advises not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, gender and employment relations. She chairs the board for WAVE (US & Nigeria) and is a member of the board for CFK (US & Kenya). Before coming to Harvard, Professor McGinn taught at Cornell University’s Johnson School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where she received her Ph.D.. Prior to her academic career, Professor McGinn was a director of labor relations in the public sector. When her daughter left for college, Professor McGinn and her husband moved to a long-abandoned farm and are (forever) in the process of bringing it back to some semblance of its prior self.

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Ailis Tweed-Kent, MD

CEO, Cocoon Biotech Inc

Dr. Ailis Tweed-Kent is an up-and-coming entrepreneur and leader in the development of innovative medical technologies. With her education in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Ailis has first hand knowledge of the burden of disease. In 2013, Ailis was inspired by her patients to found Cocoon to develop innovative silk therapeutics for osteoarthritis. Prior to Cocoon, she worked on the design, development, and delivery of diagnostic technologies for global health collaborating with organizations such as PEPFAR/Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Global Health Delivery Project. She brings a multidisciplinary approach with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. 

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Deanna Singh

Chief Change Agent/Founder of Flying Elephant

Deanna Singh is recognized as a leading authority in building innovative opportunities within underserved communities. As Chief Change Agent and Founder of Flying Elephant, Deanna is a highly respected thought leader, who has spent almost 20 years researching, designing and building asset-based solutions to complex social challenges. Today she travels the world inspiring and educating audiences.

Her 15 years of social entrepreneurship and advocacy experience also included leadership positions with the Burke Foundation, Robert W. Baird Foundation, Milwaukee Renaissance Academy, Legal Action of Wisconsin and The Milwaukee Street Law Project. Singh also has served as adjunct professor at Marquette University Graduate and Law School. She recently completed her first two children’s book I Am a Boy of Color, and I Am a Girl of Color and was a featured as a TEDx speaker.

Singh was recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal as one of the community’s most influential 40 under 40 leaders and the 8 Under 40 to Watch for the University of Wisconsin School of Business. She is also the recipient of the United Way’s Philanthropic Five Award, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Leadership Development Hero Award and was a White House Fellowship Regional Finalist.

A native of Milwaukee, Singh earned her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Fordham University, a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Singh lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Justin, and two sons, Zion and Zephaniah.

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Kristine Langdon

Senior Client Partner, Korn/Ferry

Kristine Langdon is a Senior Client Partner in Korn Ferry’s Boston office and a member of the Firm’s Life Science, Financial Officer and Global Technology Practices. She specializes in the recruitment and leadership development of senior-level executives. Prior to joining Korn Ferry, Ms. Langdon began her search career in 2001 at Spencer Stuart.

Previously, Ms. Langdon was the CEO and founder of Thermo Vision Corporation, an early leader in photonic technologies. She took the company public in 1997. Prior to creating Thermo Vision, Ms. Langdon gained a wealth of experience with Thermo Electron where she served as President of several of the company’s major instrument subsidiaries. When she first joined Thermo Electron, she served as director of business development, spearheading the acquisition process for more than a dozen transactions.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Langdon was an engagement manager for McKinsey & Company in the firm’s Boston office. Ms. Langdon began her career at Raytheon as an engineer and physicist working on laser radar systems. Ms. Langdon was selected as a White House Fellow serving the National Security Council and the GAO during the Reagan administration. In addition, Ms. Langdon has served on the board or as an advisor to multiple early stage companies and nonprofit organizations dedicated to the promotion of science and technology.

Ms. Langdon holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Yale University. She is the mother of two young professionals, son Jamie at 3M and daughter Rory at PWC.  

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Helen Lo

CEO Lo & Sons

Helen Lo is the founder and CEO of Lo & Sons, a designer and online retailer of premium travel bags and accessories. She started the company with her two sons, Jan and Derek, after becoming frustrated in her search for a lightweight, stylish and functional carry-on.

Born in southern Mainland China and brought up in Macau, Helen earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, and a PhD in Social Welfare Administration from Brandeis University. While raising her sons, and moving frequently with her husband, the noted astronomer Fred Lo, she pursued a career as a community health administrator, consultant and activist. After moving to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Fred was director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Helen retired and began accompanying her husband on his international travels.

Her futile quest for a fashionable yet practical carry-on bag prompted her son Jan, a product design researcher, to suggest she create one of her own. Helen eventually recruited both Jan and Derek to join her at Lo & Sons, which she self-funded and launched in 2010 at the age of 65.

While she had no prior experience designing travel bags, a commitment to user-centered design became the driving force behind the company’s product development approach.  She and her oldest son Jan spent days in airports observing female travelers struggling with shoulder bags that swung off roller board handles, and fumbling with pocketless black hole totes.  This field research guided the creation of their first products, and this thoughtful design approach is a major reason for the growing popularity of their travel products, which also now includes men’s weekender bags and backpacks.  

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Lawler Kang

Founder and CEO, League of Allies

League of Allies was founded by two male executives to help male executives realize, and benefit from, the accretive value of gender parity, balance and inclusion. The founder’s career and life paths have crossed some distinctly novel terrain that has provided them with unusual and powerful perspectives on gender/diversity dynamics. We believe business, the planet, and humanity, will be significantly, sustainably and ethically improved, by getting more women in leadership positions, from business schools to Boards.

The inspiration for The League most recently came from Lawler’s second book, The E Ticket. While a fictional thriller, with the assistance of ~200 sourced footnotes, it makes the case women are bio-evolutionarily better suited to lead.

Lawler penned The E Ticket on the side for three years while serving in positions such as Chief People Officer at Rue La La, a leading fashion/lifestyle ecommerce business, and Sr. Director of People Strategy at Medullan, a health-focused software consultancy. His first book, Passion at Work, led to a speaking/workshop business servicing leaders such as Cisco, HP, EY, Pfizer and Oracle. He draws on 15+ years of strategy, technology, incubator, and turnaround consulting and management, and has degrees from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania and Vassar College. He lives in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, with his wife, three kids, and a rather smug cat, and has recently become a stand up paddleboard fanatic.

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Gay Gaddis

Founder and CEO, T3

Gay Gaddis is CEO and Founder of T3 - The Think Tank. In 1989, she started her company after cashing in a $16,000 IRA. Today, T3 has offices nationwide and creates innovative digital marketing programs for Fortune 200 clients. T3 is a top ranked innovation firm and one of the largest agencies owned by a woman. Gay has been nationally recognized for the unique family-friendly policies she has initiated at T3.

Gay serves on the Board of Directors of Monotype Imaging Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: TYPE), sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council to The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, is the first female Chairman of the Texas Business Leadership Council and is former Chairman of The Committee of 200 (C200), a top women’s business organization that advances women’s leadership in business. She and her husband own the historic Double Heart Ranch in the Texas Hill Country. An active spokesperson, writer and artist, Gay is a regular contributor to Forbes and part of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Insider Network. She has received numerous awards and honors including Fast Company’s “Top 25 Women Business Builders,” Inc. Magazine’s “Top 10 Entrepreneurs of the Year” and C200’s Luminary Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Her bold Texas landscape paintings have hung in New York City gallery shows and earned her distinction by Texas Monthly magazine as one of the top ten artists to collect now.


Patricia Martone Carrolo

Director, Integrated Healthcare Services, IBM Global Markets

Patricia Martone Carrolo leads IBM's Integrated Healthcare Services Team for IBM Global Markets. In this role, she is responsible for serving IBM's largest Healthcare clients with revenue responsibilities exceeding $1.1B. Ms. Carrolo is accountable for client success and profitability for the entire IBM portfolio consisting of IBM Watson, services, hardware, and software.

Prior to joining the Watson team, Ms. Carrolo was Global Enterprise Competitive Leader and Territory Manager for IBM General Business, Executive Consultant at IBM's Corporate Headquarters, and Global Alliances Executive for IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Carrolo was Product Manager for Medical Imaging Solutions at Hewlett-Packard’s Medical Products Group (now Philips Medical), Senior Consultant at CSC Corporation / Index Group, and Product Manager at Sun Microsystems. As a Dean’s Research Fellow at Harvard Business School, she published several case studies and teaching materials on the subject of Customer Relationship Management.

Ms. Carrolo holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, with high distinction, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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Gail Horwood

SVP, Integrated Marketing, Kellogg Company

Gail Horwood is SVP, Integrated Marketing at the Kellogg Company leading the brand building process and commercial planning model globally and overseeing media, digital, CRM, content, design, shopper marketing, retail promotion and agency management. 

Gail is responsible for building and deploying transformational marketing capability and improving the impact of brand-building investment, globally.

Gail was most recently Vice President, Worldwide Digital Strategy, at Johnson & Johnson. Inthis role, she led digital transformation and was responsible for marketing capability development and acceleration, digital and social media, marketing technology and analytics,data and e-commerce.

Prior to joining J&J, Gail was EVP, Digital Programming and Strategy at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia where she was responsible for the strategic vision, content and management of all digital products, properties and platforms. She has held executive roles at, Time Inc. Interactive and Zagat Survey and was a founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning food site,


Elizabeth Lyle

Principal, BCG

Elizabeth joined The Boston Consulting Group in 2007 and is now a Principal in the Boston office. She is a core member of BCG's Leadership & Talent Enablement Center and the broader People & Organization Practice. Recent work includes designing and delivering custom programs to build leaders' capabilities in the midst of large-scale changes like turnarounds, or digital transformations; and rethinking talent strategies and systems to better deliver for – and adapt with – rapidly changing business models.

Elizabeth graduated with her Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in May 2012. Prior to joining the firm in 2007, she graduated with Distinction from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce (concentrations in Management and Marketing) as well as a Minor in History. Outside of BCG, Elizabeth spent a summer as a Bondline Analyst for Morgan Stanley on the Individual Fixed Income Sales and Trading Floor in Westchester, NY. While attending business school, she spent a summer at New York Road Runners in New York City directly supporting the CEO, COO, and Director of Strategic Planning.


Hiltrud D. Werner 

Member of the Board of Management for Integrity and Legal Affairs, Volkswagen Group

 Hiltrud D. Werner is an experienced senior corporate executive with deep expertise in auditing, compliance and legal affairs within the automotive sector. Ms. Werner assumed her current role as the Member of the Board of Management for Integrity and Legal Affairs at the Volkswagen Group in February 2017. In this role, she is tasked with overseeing compliance and risk management structures and promoting an enhanced culture of transparency and integrity at the Volkswagen Group and its brands. Ms. Werner joined the Volkswagen Group in January 2016 as the Head of Volkswagen Group Auditing. 


Matthew Kohut

Managing Partner, KNP Communications

Matt Kohut is the co-author of Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities that Make Us Influential and managing partner of KNP Communications. He has prepared CEOs, entrepreneurs, ambassadors, scientists, and best-selling authors for events ranging from television appearances to TED talks. Prominent clients include Fortune 500 firms and 3 of the world’s top 10 business schools. He has held appointments at George Washington University and Bennington College, and his writing has appeared in publications ranging from Harvard Business Review to Newsweek.


Lauren Coyle

DaVita, Division Vice President

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 Division Vice President at DaVita, Lauren manages three regions of 42 clinics, a book of business worth over $155M.  She leads over 700 teammates and has the privilege of serving nearly 3,200 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.

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Genevieve Smith

Project Manager, ICRW Advisors (International Center for Research on Women)

Genevieve Smith is a specialist in gender and markets, with a focus on women’s inclusion in clean energy value chains and women’s economic empowerment, more broadly. Prior to working for ICRW, Genevieve was a consultant to the U.N. High-level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, where she was a member of the research team that wrote the report, “Leave No One Behind: A call to action for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.” With the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, she worked with corporate clients, conducted research on private sector efforts to advance women’s empowerment, and developed a strategy guide for companies to identify and implement women’s economic empowerment initiatives within their value chains. Genevieve has consulted for various organizations on women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the clean energy sector, such as the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Winrock International / USAID. She has also engaged for many years with communities in Peru, where she co-founded and currently serves on the board of Visionaria Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to learning and leadership solutions that enable young women to be social innovators in their own lives and communities. Genevieve holds a Master in Development Practice (MDP) from the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a B.A. in International Affairs from University of Colorado, Boulder.

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Sheila Smith

Advisor, Gordon Brothers

Sheila is a member of Gordon Brothers’ Board of Advisors. She has over 25 years of experience in financial advisory and restructuring services. Sheila retired in 2015 from Deloitte after serving in numerous leadership positions including Restructuring Service Line Leader for the Americas Region, Service Line Leader of the U.S. and the New England FAS practice. She has participated in hundreds of bankruptcy, restructuring, financial consulting, and §363 sell-side advisory engagements. She is considered a leading authority in the restructuring marketplace and has been recognized by numerous professional organizations including the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), New York Institute of Credit (NYIC), and Turnaround Management Association (TMA).

Smith began her professional career as a special education teacher moving to Boston to get her MBA in Public Management.  Thereafter she was a senior finance officer of a building materials company that failed, resulting in her introduction to insolvency.

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Jennifer McCleary-Sills

Senior Program Officer for Gender Integration and Innovation with Gender Equality team, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Jennifer McCleary-Sills is the Senior Program Officer for Gender Integration and Innovation with the Gender Equality team, which she joined in 2016.  Prior to this role with the foundation, Jennifer was the Director of the Global Program on Violence, Rights and Inclusion at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) in Washington DC. At ICRW she served as Principle Investigator for more than a dozen studies on gender inequality in global development and provided technical assistance and training on gender integration to international financial institutions and large INGOs.  During her tenure with the Gender Cross-Cutting Solution Area at the World Bank Group, she co-authored the flagship World Bank publication "Voice & Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity" and was the Bank’s lead on the multi-sectoral Violence Against Women and Girls Resource Guide.   Jennifer has more than 15 years of experience designing and evaluating international development projects in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. She holds honors degrees from Yale University (BA) and the Boston University School of Public Health (MPH), and a PhD in social and behavioral science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She is an adjunct faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

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Dr. Nkiru Balonwu

Founder and Managing Partner, RDF

Nkiru is Founder and Managing Partner of organisational strategy and stakeholder engagement consultancy, RDF. The company provides expertise in investor relations, social outreach, government relations, boards, reputation management, and partnerships to execute strategy through successful communication. Within the first twelve months of its formation, RDF has already worked with more than a dozen entities including brands, state institutions, and C-Suite executives.

Prior to forming RDF, Nkiru was CEO for Spinlet – the leading digital music platform for African music across the continent and around the world. Before this, she held positions as a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Lagos and was a founding member of Ratio Consulting. Nkiru is also creator of Bukkipa, a user-friendly mobile app that simplifies the accountancy and cash flow management processes for individuals and SMEs.

Nkiru holds a Doctorate Degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a Masters from University College London (UCL) and a First Degree from the University of Manchester. She has been called to the Bar in Nigeria, England & Wales and New York State.

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Pamela Craig

Board Member, Merck and Akamai Technologies

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 company boards:  Merck & Co., Inc. where she is chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Governance Committee and 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.  Pam served on Walmart's Board of Directors from 2013 to June 2017. Ms. Craig is an Advisory Board member of Spencer Stuart, a global executive search and recruitment firm.

Ms. Craig is actively involved in charitable organizations. She is Vice Chair of The Committee of 200, a membership organization of women entrepreneurs and corporate innovators and Chair of the C200 Foundation. Pam also chairs the Board of Comprehensive Development, Inc., a non-profit that provides academic and social service support to at-risk students at three public high schools in downtown Manhattan.

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

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Deborah Sundal

Senior VP 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 stakeholders, academic leaders and external industry partners to bring new care delivery models, chronic care management programs and transparency solutions to the market. She 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 leads the UnitedHealth Group Corporate Innovation Council. 

Deborah’s insights into consumer engagement and practical approaches to scaling and implementing new programs have led to success on important initiatives that address prenatal care, childhood obesity, adult weight loss, prediabetes and diabetes and transparency in health care cost and quality.

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.

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Shweta Bhardwaj

Partner, Bain & Company

Shweta is a Partner in the Boston office and graduated from HBS class of 2009. Shweta is a member of the Retail and Consumer Products practices. She first joined the firm in 2004 and has also worked in Bain’s Atlanta and New Delhi offices.

While at Bain, Shweta has worked with a range of retail and consumer goods clients (including beauty, grocery, drug, department stores and banking), developing strategies for pricing, customer experience and loyalty, organizational design and stores of the future.

Outside of casework, Shweta participates actively in global training programs, mentorship and consultant recruiting.

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Holly Maloney McConnell

MD, General Catalyst

Holly began her career as an investor at Guidepost Growth Equity (FKA: North Bridge Growth Equity) several years ago. While there, she worked closely with companies such as Dyn, Erecruit, Spoonflower, and WP Engine and was focused on infrastructure, communications, human capital management, marketplaces, manufacturing, and digital media. At General Catalyst, Holly focuses on later-stage companies that have already achieved some success, and have demonstrated capital efficiency prior to their involvement. Holly also enjoys being active - running, hiking, biking, exploring. She proudly supports the Boston chapter of Soccer Without Borders, an international organization that serves young people in under-resourced communities through the game.

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Parul Singh

Principal, Founder Collective

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, food and commercialization.

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 managed the video player on the homepage.  Before joining Founder Collective, she founded and ran an edtech assessment and analytics company which aimed to provide an 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.  She grew up in the Boston area and has an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and an MBA from MIT.  Parul lives in a converted schoolhouse in Cambridge with her husband and two children.

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Nancy Brown

Venture Partner, Oak HC/FT

Nancy joined Oak HC/FT as Venture Partner in 2014. She is a Board Member on axialHealthcare, a Board Observer on Limeade and is actively involved with Devoted Health. Nancy is also on the New England Capital Association Board of Directors and is a mentor for MassChallenge where she helps the next generation of high-impact entrepreneurs grow and succeed.

Prior to joining Oak HC/FT, Nancy was Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for McKesson Technology Solutions. At McKesson, she was responsible for helping the company develop, acquire and apply new capabilities that position it to lead the industry and accelerate its Better Health 2020™ strategy, helping healthcare networks reduce costs, coordinate care, assume more risk and manage complex payment models. Earlier, she spent eight years at Harvard Community Health Plan where she held several senior management roles.

Nancy earned a BS at the University of New Hampshire, and an MBA from Northeastern University.

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Kerry Rupp

Partner, True Wealth Ventures

Kerry Rupp is a General Partner at True Wealth Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund investing in women-led businesses in the sustainable consumer and consumer health sectors. In addition, Kerry provides innovation & strategy consulting through her DisRuppt practice. She is also a nationally-certified instructor for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, helping university-based teams to commercialize their science and technology research. Previously, Kerry was CEO at DreamIt, a Top Ten US startup accelerator and early-stage venture fund, where she was directly involved with the launch of over 150 companies. Before DreamIt, Kerry was herself the founder of an online travel service, Holiday Golightly, which organized unique group travel excursions for women. She has held Vice President level positions at, Jobster, and LexisNexis. Kerry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Biology from Duke University. She serves on the board of the Texas 4000 for Cancer, the advisory board for the Austin Tech Alliance and Texas Health Catalyst at the Dell Medical School at UT, and on the steering committee of Women@Austin.

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Tiffany Nida

Senior Manager of Product Management, Amazon

Tiffany Nida is currently a Senior Manager of Product Management in Amazon Transportation, working to launch a new initiative.  Previously, Tiffany launched Amazon Home Services (plumbers and electricians on Amazon) as well as was a part of the Grocery team, responsible for multiple categories and P&Ls. Tiffany graduated from Harvard Business School where she was awarded the Dean’s Award for service to the community. Prior to school, Tiffany worked in strategy and management consulting at the Parthenon Group.  She graduated cum laude from Harvard with an A.B. in Psychology and Economics. Tiffany currently serves as a University of Washington mentor as well as co-President of the HBS Club of Puget Sound.

Tiffany is passionately dedicated to providing opportunities and environments for women to succeed.  Tiffany was a founding partner of Smart Women Securities (an investment fund for college women), served in various positions on the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business and HBS Women's Student Association organizations and alumnae boards, founded a Harvard alumni Interest Group for women, was chosen as an MBA Forte Foundation Fellow and recipient of the Forte Foundation Edie Hunt Inspiration award, and serves as an active Forte Launch advisor.  Tiffany sincerely believes in the power of women to share and learn together and feels that Forte, offering skills, development, and access, is a wonderful platform for women to do so.

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Katie Ng-Mak

Sales Director, Hubspot

Katie Ng-Mak is a Sales Director at HubSpot where she manages a 65-person sales organization and is in charge of the company’s North American channel business. She began her career in tech 8 years ago with HubSpot when the company was a startup with 80 employees and has seen HubSpot go public and scale to the 2000-employee global company it is today. Before joining HubSpot, Katie started her career on Wall Street, working at BlackRock and Bear Stearns. She studied Economics-Operations Research at Columbia University and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.

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Shannon Bergstedt

Business Development and Partnerships, Verily Life Sciences

Shannon Bergstedt is on the Strategic Business Development team at Verily Life Sciences. She began her career in genomic diagnostics at CardioDx focused on product launch, provider adoption and payer coverage. She later spent time in venture capital evaluating investment and new business creation opportunities in digital health at KPCB and GE Ventures. Immediately prior to joining Verily she was the second employee at Evidation Health, a startup founded by GE Ventures and Stanford Healthcare, focused on Business Development & Sales. Shannon has an undergraduate degree in Biology and Master's in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Julia Cheek

CEO and Founder, EverlyWell

Julia is the CEO and Founder of EverlyWell, the next-generation health testing platform empowering consumers to order, self-collect, and understand lab tests. Based in Austin, TX, EverlyWell has raised $5 million to date and is one of the fastest-growing consumer healthcare startups in recent history. They’ve reached millions in sales in just one year after launching in beta. The company has 17 employees and thousands of customers around the country. Julia was also named the number one female entrepreneur to watch by CIO magazine for 2017.

Prior to founding EverlyWell in 2015, Julia was the Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at MoneyGram International, a public financial services company that operates in 200 countries. As the youngest VP in the company, she worked for MoneyGram’s CFO for several years, leading corporate transactions, restructuring projects, and special projects for the CEO.

After attending Vanderbilt, Julia started her career in management consulting at Deloitte and went on to earn her MBA from the Harvard Business School, where she graduated as a Baker Scholar with high distinction. She also is a former multiple World Champion equestrian, officially retiring in 2009.

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Anula Jayasuriya, MD, PhD

Founder and Managing Director, EXXclaim Capital

Anula has been investing in life sciences and health care since 2001, first with TVM and Skyline Ventures and subsequently with funds she co-founded or founded. She combines successful investment expertise and industry operating experience together with scientific and medical knowledge. Most recently Anula formed EXXclaim Capital to capture the compelling yet under invested business opportunity in women's health.

In 2007, Anula co-founded a private equity fund, Evolvence India Life Science (EILSF I), to provide growth capital for companies in health care delivery, medical devices and generic pharmaceuticals in India.  A second fund, ILSF II, was raised in 2014 and is actively investing in the Indian health care sector.  

Anula received her AB, summa cum laude, MD, PhD, and MBA, all from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. She also has a M. Phil degree in pharmacology from the University of Cambridge, England.

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Anna Marie Wagner

VP at Bain Capital Private Equity

Anna Marie Wagner is a Vice President at Bain Capital Private Equity. She currently focuses on investments within the Technology, Media, and Telecom industries and has also worked extensively within Bain Capital Private Equity’s Consumer Retail Vertical.

Ms. Wagner received her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She graduated cum laude with a BA in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College. She currently lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young sons.

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Gong Ke Gouldstone

Head of Product at Clora, Inc.

Gong Ke Gouldstone (HBS MBA 2015, MIT EECS BS ‘99, MEng ‘00) is an entrepreneur and technology executive with broad experience in different industries and roles.  She began her career as an engineer at Akamai Technologies before starting a retail food startup.  Later she led projects in engineering and product at Google before attending Harvard Business School.  

Post graduation, Ms. Gouldstone joined TripAdvisor to build the new business line for mobile traffic acquisition and grew it to over $10M ARR in less than 2 years.  She then led a critical product pivot at HR startup WeSpire, enabling them to double upsell opportunities.  She is currently Head of Product at Clora, Inc, a VC-backed seed stage startup that connects experts with projects in life sciences, pharma and medical device industries.

Ms. Gouldstone is also a mentor and judge at MassChallenge, TechStars Boston and MIT Alumni Angels.  She lives in Arlington, MA with her husband and their three energetic boys.

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Tracey Massey

President Americas, Mars Wrigley Confectionary

Tracey Massey is the President of the Americas for Mars Wrigley Confectionery, responsible for leading strategy, sales and operations in North and South America for the world’s largest manufacturer of chocolate, confections, gum and mints. Tracey oversees a multi-billion-dollar portfolio of iconic global brands that include M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, SKITTLES®, STARBURST®, ORBIT®, and ALTOIDS®, among others.

Previously Tracey served as President of Mars Chocolate North America, where she focused on delivering exceptional customer service, consumer insights, and innovation across the company’s portfolio of chocolate brands. 

Under Tracey’s leadership, the company invested over $400 million in its U.S. manufacturing operations to create a more agile supply chain, resulting in the creation of hundreds of new jobs across the country. In addition, Tracey was instrumental in leading the confectionery industry to form its first-ever health and wellbeing commitments, teaming up with the Partnership for a Healthier America to increase product transparency, offer more choices below 200 calories and clearly market confections as treats, not snacks, food or meal replacements.

Tracey has worked across a variety of roles for Mars, both in the U.S. and in Europe. Tracey holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Loughborough University in England and is a qualified management accountant in the UK, accredited through CIMA.

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Lissy Hu

CEO Careport

Dr. Lissy Hu works with leading health systems and accountable care organizations to optimize post-acute care outcomes.  She serves as the CEO and Founder of CarePort Health which enables healthcare providers to enhance post-acute outcomes and costs by guiding patients across the care continuum and tracking their recovery in real-time.  In 2016 CarePort was acquired by Allscripts to extend its breadth as the largest connected acute and post-acute provider network in the industry.

Dr. Hu and CarePort received a certificate of special congressional recognition for outstanding contribution to Massachusetts. CarePort has been named “10 Boston Healthcare Tech Companies to Watch” by VentureFizz and “Best Patient Relationship Management Solutions” by MedTech.  CarePort is a past winner of the Harvard Business Plan Competition.

Dr. Hu is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, where she was a recipient of the Kaplan Life Sciences Award, and holds a bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University.

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Kathleen Murray

Principal, McMorran Strategists

Kathy Murray is an experienced and creative business growth executive, angel investor and advisor. She applies her sales and operational skills to achieve significant cooperation, operational efficiencies and revenue in order to increase each firm’s growth strategy.  Kathy is Principal of McMorran Strategists, LLC.  Earlier, Kathy held C-Suite roles at publicly-traded firms and partnerships - Aetna, PwC and FARO - in sales, business development and operations.

Other current affiliations include:  Board Member Daily Gazette (a Schenectady family-owned media firm), Chair of Executive Forum and Founder of Executive Forum Angels, Immediate Past President of Harvard Business School Women's Association of NY, Trustee on the University of Rochester Board and Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association.  Kathy is a frequent speaker/instructor on business development, angel investing, innovation, strategic thinking and building relationships.

In 2016, Kathy was named one of thirteen Centennial Laureates by the Ellis School in Pittsburgh, recognized for an outstanding career in business and philanthropy.  Kathy was also honored in 2016 at the Women’s Venture Fund’s Defining Moment Gala in NYC for her work with entrepreneurs.

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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Jennifer Breese

Manager, Corporate Learning Institute, FedEx Ground University

Jennifer leads the Corporate Learning Institute at FedEx Ground Headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Among many other initiatives, her team focuses on the development and delivery of Leadership, Quality Science, and Diversity and Inclusion education.   She and her team are at the forefront of building, supporting, and sustaining a culture of diversity and inclusion across the organization and its service communities.

Her previous leadership positions include over seven years at FedEx Services in Pittsburgh and Boston.  Prior to FedEx, Jennifer held high-level positions with various technology companies. She spent several years in academia as both an Adjunct and an Associate Professor, and currently teaches Information Systems Technology courses at a Penn State branch campus.

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


Allison H. Mnookin

Senior Lecturer, HBS

Allison Mnookin is a Senior Lecturer in the Technology and Operations Management (TOM) Unit at the Harvard Business School. Allison brings two decades of experience as a technology executive for successful cloud and business software companies. She most recently was CEO of Quick Base Inc. and currently serves on the company’s Board of Directors. At Quick Base, Allison was responsible for setting the business strategy and overseeing a client base of more than 500,000 business subscribers, including more than 50 percent of the Fortune 100. Prior to Quick Base, Allison held several leadership positions at Intuit. Most notably, she served as vice president and general manager of a $500M portfolio of small business products, including QuickBooks, which served more than 3 million small businesses at the time. Allison was also instrumental in the early formation and growth of Quicken Loans. 

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Jacquelyne J. Cavanaugh

Portfolio Manager, Analyst, Putnam Investments

Ms. Cavanaugh is a Portfolio Manager of Putnam Global Financials Fund and Putnam Research Fund, and an Assistant Portfolio Manager of Putnam Capital Spectrum Fund and Putnam Equity Spectrum Fund. In addition, she is an Analyst in the Equity Research group, focusing on the global financials sector. Ms. Cavanaugh is responsible for conducting fundamental analysis and valuation of companies in the global investment banking, global brokerage, alternative asset management, and global insurance industries, and for making buy/sell recommendations. She joined Putnam in 2011 and has been in the investment industry since 1995. 

Prior to joining Putnam, Ms. Cavanaugh was a Leader of the Global Financials Team and a Senior Equity Analyst at Janus Capital Group from 2005 to 2011; a Vice President, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, at Goldman Sachs & Co. from 2003 to 2005; and a Financial Analyst, Investment Banking Division, Media/Entertainment Group, at Goldman Sachs & Co. from 1995 to 1998. In addition, she was an Associate in the Investment Banking Division, Media/Entertainment Group, at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette from 2000 to 2002. 

Ms. Cavanaugh has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where she earned high distinction as a Baker Scholar, and has a B.A. from Brown University. 

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Kris Pederson

EY America’s 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 telecommunications.

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. 

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, plus golf and global travel. 

Jacqueline Loken

VP, CAVU Ventures

Jacqueline has spent over a decade in the consumer and retail industry working with startup, small cap and large cap consumer and retail companies. Prior to Cavu Venture Partners, Jacqueline was an investment professional at BrandProject, an early-stage consumer VC fund, and L Catterton, one of the leading consumer focused private equity firms. She also worked as a consultant for early stage fashion and retail brands at Marvin Traub Associates. Jacqueline started her career as an analyst at UBS Investment Bank in the Consumer Products & Retail group. She earned a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Suzanne Norris

Partner, Victress Capital

Suzanne Norris is a Partner at Victress Capital, an investment fund that discovers and invests in companies with female-founders and gender-diverse teams. Founded in 2016, Victress Capital currently manages a portfolio of 17 companies, and we continue to actively identify investment opportunities across multiple industries. Prior to joining Victress Capital, Suzanne held several ecommerce and marketing leadership positions at apparel and accessories brands including Kate Spade, Liz Claiborne and Ellie Kai.

Ms. Norris has an MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from Harvard University.  She lives in Cohasset, MA with her husband and three children.