Sarah Brennan is a consultant working on climate and energy policy, ocean conservation, and philanthropic strategy. Until mid-2018, she led the Robertson Foundation’s environmental grantmaking. The Robertson Foundation supports activities that it believes will lead to comprehensive federal regulation of greenhouse gases; improve public understanding of human-caused climate change; and reduce near-term emissions from coal. Previously, Sarah worked at the Earth Institute at Columbia University where she conducted research on policy issues related to using carbon capture and storage technologies to address climate change. She has also served as an economic consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was a case-writer at the Harvard Business School, and is on the boards of the Lower East Side Ecology Center and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Sarah holds an MPP from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, an MBA from Columbia University, and a BA in History and Public Policy from Brown University.
Hafizah Geter, Editor, Little A, Amazon Publishing
Born in Zaria, Nigeria, Hafizah Geter serves on the board of VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts and co-curates the reading series EMPIRE with Ricardo Maldonado. Her writing has appeared or in The New Yorker, Tin House, Narrative Magazine, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and West Branch, among others. She is on the poetry committee for the Brooklyn Book Festival and has previously worked for literary organizations such as Cave Canem, PEN America Center, and Poets House. She received her B.A. in English and Economics from Clemson University and her MFA from Columbia College Chicago. She is currently an editor at Little A from Amazon Publishing where she acquires full length works of literary fiction and nonfiction.
Nekpen Osuan is a Manager at Deloitte Consulting, leveraging her experience in business development, project management and data analytics. Nekpen is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and New York University and a contributing author for Women@Forbes on Forbes.com.
Nekpen is a 2017 Council of Urban Professional Fellow, 2018 LEE Public Leadership Fellow, 2017 Baylor University Black Alumni of the Year, and 2018 Walker’s Legacy #Power15 Honoree. Her most notable speaking engagements have led her to engagements at The White House, The United States Military Academy at West Point, AdWeek, Essence Festival, The National Urban League, The National Association of Black Journalists, Harvard University, The Wharton Business School, Columbia University and Baylor University.
Nekpen is passionate about women’s economic empowerment and is the CEO and Co-Founder of the non-profit WomenWerk (@WomenWerk) and is the 2018 #BlogHer Social Impact Voice of the Year. WomenWerk was founded in 2013 and has provided women’s empowerment programming impacting over 5000 women and girls. In addition, Nekpen is the Head of Business Development for the startup The Black Women’s Guide and serves as the US Brand Ambassador for the Nigeria-based shoe brand Keexs Global (@KeexsTribe).
In addition, Nekpen’s social impact ventures have led to serve on the DNC’s Young Professionals Leadership Committee, the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum, Manhattan Community Board 9, New York City School Board 6 and non-profit boards including Generation Citizen New York, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, New Leaders Council, and The College Initiative, and in service of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. Stay connected with Nekpen on Twitter: @NOsuan
Millie Tran, Global Growth Editor, The New York Times
Millie Tran is Global Growth Editor at The New York Times. Most recently, she was Director of Global Adaptation at BuzzFeed, leading a team of editors and producers around the world to share the best of BuzzFeed across languages, platforms, and formats. She was also a founding member of the team that launched the award-winning BuzzFeed News app, as well as the creator of the BuzzFeed News newsletter. Millie’s experience in media spans editorial, product, data, tech, marketing, and strategy at a variety of organizations such as the American Press Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, and National Journal — but always rooted in journalism with an obsession on connecting audiences with great editorial content and products. Millie holds a B.A. in global studies with a minor in geography from UCLA and was a fellow at Atlantic Media.
Katie Rogers, Senior Director, Customer Experience, Harry's Inc.
Katie Rogers is the Senior Director of Customer Experience at Harry’s Inc., a company that manufactures and sells razor blades and grooming products to brands and consumers all over the world. Katie oversees the growing Harry’s Customer Experience team to deliver high value customer experiences on behalf of the Harry’s brand. As the 12th employee to join the team, Katie has been with Harry’s since the company’s launch in March 2013. Formerly, Katie worked at Gilt Groupe, where she helped build out their customer service team, including launching new satellite locations domestically and abroad as well as new customer service channels. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Katie currently resides in Harlem, New York and performs improvised comedy in her spare time.
Michelle Sarlo Dauwalter, Director of Analytics, Revenue, and Optimizations, Google
Michelle Sarlo Dauwalter leads a client-facing analytics and consulting team focused on driving insights around content, audience, and revenue. Through bespoke yield management consultations in search, direct display advertising, programmatic trends, audience and content development, her team has shared hundreds of millions of dollars in both tactical and strategic optimizations with Google’s large publishing partners. The team also works cross-functionally to automate product solutions at scale. Prior to Google, Michelle led teams in media planning, account management, business development, ad operations and yield management at OgilvyOne, iVillage, Yahoo!, and NBC Universal. She earned a BA in Psychology from Cornell University and an Executive MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She lives in Northern NJ with her husband and 2 daughters; and is an avid traveler, foodie, and fan of word puns and puzzles.
Elizabeth Kandel, Director of Marketing, Roundabout Theatre Company
Elizabeth Kandel currently serves as Director of Marketing for Roundabout Theatre Company, the largest not-for-profit theatre institution in the country. Roundabout is home to three Broadway and two off-Broadway theatres, and an education program that transforms theatres into classrooms, serving over 30,000 students, teachers, and patrons annually. She oversees all earned revenue strategies, contributing to Roundabout’s $50 million annual budget. Prior to joining Roundabout’s senior leadership team, she worked for Situation Interactive, a digital marketing agency with the philosophy that the world is a better place when people are doing rather than having. She has guest lectured for New York University, Brooklyn College, The Broadway Speakers Bureau, and numerous conferences. She holds degrees from Syracuse University, where she created a major in Theatre Management. In her spare time, Elizabeth crochets blankets for shelter animals via the Snuggles Project, for victimized children via Project Linus, and for the homeless through Warm-Up America.
Wendy Chow, Associate General Counsel, Visiting Nurse Service of New York
Wendy Chow is Associate General Counsel for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), the largest not-for-profit home care agency in the country. At VNSNY, Wendy has managed the day to day legal needs for the corporate parent and all of its various subsidiaries and is now fully dedicated to VNSNY’s health plan. It is her personal philosophy to provide practical and strategic legal leadership to support the fluid operation of a complex, highly regulated organization in changing times. Prior to her work as in-house counsel, she was in private healthcare practice at firms in New York and Nashville. Wendy holds a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans. She is passionate about the power of written communication and spends her free time writing and volunteering as a reading tutor for kids.
Brittany Berckes, Entertainment Attorney, Loeb & Loeb LLP
Brittany Berckes is an entertainment/media attorney at the law firm Loeb & Loeb LLP. She practices in all areas of entertainment including film, television, theater, book publishing, music and digital media law. Brittany acts as production counsel for theatrical films (including independent films, major studio films and documentaries) and scripted and non-scripted television productions, represents live stage theater producers in connection with the acquisition of underlying rights, and the financing and production of Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals and dramatic plays, represents musicians and video artists in connection with the development and production of entertainment projects, represents executives in the entertainment industry in connection with employment agreements as well as fiction and non-fiction authors involved in publishing, films, documentaries and television agreements. Brittany earned All-American Honors for four years as a member of the Varsity Women’s Tennis Team at Amherst College (B. A.) and is a two-time NCAA National Champion. She earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School (J.D.).
Tammy Manganello, Vice President Data, Technology & Innovation, Publicis Media
Tammy Manganello is currently Vice President in the Data, Technology and Innovation group at Publicis Media. In this role she manages digital-first, data-driven global software platforms delivering client value and business transformation. Her previous experience as a developer, producer, project and product manager give her a unique perspective and the ability to seamlessly integrate into multi-discipline teams. As an engaging manager and problem solver, Tammy is a developer of talent and thoughtful leader who challenges others to bring their best.
Nina Brandt, Public Information Officer, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Nina Brandt has been with the United Nations for over 12 years and currently supports the coordination and strategic direction of the Capacity Development portfolio at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Prior to that, she was the Head of a revenue-generating outreach program at the UN called “Development Business”, a global platform that connects the private sector to business opportunities with the World Bank, all Multilateral Development Banks, UN agencies as well as national governments. She led the unit for 7 years and built it to a global brand with strong partners and more than 2000 clients. Before joining the UN, she enjoyed working as a radio reporter, in hospitality and in market research. As a recipient of a Fulbright and other scholarships, she studied and worked abroad in 4 countries and holds a MS./BS in Psychology from Heidelberg University, a MA in Media from the New School and a Diploma in Advanced Management from IESE Business School.
Sarah Russo, Head of Publicity and Trade Marketing, Oxford University Press
Sarah Russo is Head of Publicity and Trade Marketing for Oxford University Press. In her role she oversees the four publicity and trade marketing teams covering North America, the U.K. and rest of world as well as OUP’s Global Academic Communications team. Prior to her return to Oxford, Sarah was a freelance publicist and communications specialist. She worked largely with publishers, authors, literary organizations and start-ups. Sarah got her start in publishing at Alfred A. Knopf and moved up as a publicist through Doubleday, Scribner, and Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. She was the Associate Director of Publicity and Communications at Oxford from 2006 – 2011. Sarah received her BA in English Literature from Rutgers University and she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Marissa Gutiérrez-Vicario, Founder & Executive Director, Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE)
Marissa Gutiérrez-Vicario is the Founder and Executive Director of Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE). As a committed human rights activist, artist, educator, and advocate for youth, Marissa launched ARTE in 2013 to help young people amplify their voices and organize for human rights change in their communities through the arts. Marissa holds an M.P.A. from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Currently, Marissa serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at the City College of New York in the Art Education Department.
Stephanie Little is the Vice President, Finance & Administration at ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization that seeks to spur reform and expose abuses of power using the moral force of investigative journalism. She oversees all finance functions, including investment strategy, accounting, and systems management in addition to directing human resources policy and benefits administration. Stephanie began her career with Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions after receiving her BS in Education from the University of Georgia. Upon relocating to New York City, she began to recognize her passion for non-profit work and went on to earn her MBA in Finance and Media from Fordham University before joining The Metropolitan opera as a budget analyst. Prior to ProPublica, Stephanie was the Director of Business Operations for Vision Education and Media, a community-based organization that provides STEM learning opportunities for students in the New York City area.
Carol Aguirre, Policy Manager, NYC Department of Education
Carol Aguirre is the Policy Manager at the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality. In this role, she oversees policy initiatives impacting teacher recruitment and supports department-wide priorities to ensure all NYC children have high-quality teachers. Previously, Carol spent four years in Washington, D.C. working at the highest levels in education policy, including an appointment in President Obama’s administration. Carol has over eleven years experience advocating for minority groups, public education and gender equity. Passionate about paying it forward, Carol serves on the board of the NYC Mujeres de HACE, a program focused on supporting Latinas to succeed professionally through professional development and education management. Carol holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Notre Dame de Namur. In her free time, Carol loves to dance salsa, cook and explore her new neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY.
Jes Kast, Associate Pastor, West End Collegiate Church
Reverend Jes Kast is the Associate Pastor at the historic West End Collegiate Church where she leads A Taste of Heaven (TOH) Soup Kitchen. Her work focuses on providing dignity, belonging, and spiritual sustenance to some of New York City’s most vulnerable populations. Reverend Kast has appeared on Al Jazeera America and numerous podcasts. She started a conference for women in ministry titled She is Called which seeks to empower women across religious identities into greater leadership. Her written work appears on Huffington Post, The 12 blog, and she is a sought after preacher on matters of religion, faith, and feminism. She currently volunteers on the National Clergy Advocacy Board for Planned Parenthood. Her previous volunteer work included serving as the President of the Board for Room for All which works for the inclusion and advocacy of LGBTQ persons in the church. She is active on social media and invites you to join her on topics of pop culture and religion on twitter @JesKast.
Lois Jeffers, Assistant Director, Talent - Diversity & Inclusiveness, Ernst & Young LLP
Lois Jeffers is an Assistant Director within the talent development team at Ernst & Young LLP (EY) and serves as a diversity & inclusiveness (D&I) consultant to the Financial Services Advisory practice. She develops and executes the practice’s D&I strategic priorities, facilitates programs focused on inclusive culture building and manages the practice’s mentoring and sponsorship programs. Lois previously worked as a D&I consultant at VallotKarp Consulting and began her career as an attorney in the litigation department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. She has also worked as a Career Advisor at Columbia Law School where she helped law students prepare for professional practice. Lois is passionate about mentoring and currently volunteers with the Posse Foundation, iMentor and EY’s College MAP program. She holds an A.B. from Lafayette College, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and an M.A. in Social-Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Joana Bekerman has over 20 years of banking and finance experience. Prior to joining SMBC Nikko, Joana was responsible for all of SMBC’s middle market financial sponsor coverage and origination activities in North America. She has significant experience providing debt capital for LBOs, acquisitions, recapitalizations, refinancings and capital expenditure programs. As a founding member of the Middle Market Corporate Banking team, she helped lead the team to become one of the most visible and active lenders in the U.S. middle market. Previously, Joana held various positions in the Energy and Project Finance team at SMBC as a relationship manager for utilities and energy companies. Prior to joining SMBC, she held several finance functions at a global energy firm, including new product development and leading the financing for multi-billion dollar power projects in Brazil, India and Bolivia. Joana holds undergraduate degrees from Boston College and an MBA in International Finance from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management. She also holds Series 24, 63 and 79 licenses. Joana is a founding member of SMBC’s Women’s Inclusion Network (“WIN”) and together with the Mentoring Committee, responsible for rolling out SMBC’s first formal mentoring program. She lives on Long Island with her husband, two children, and two rescue cats. She has completed multiple marathons and Ironman triathlons.
Nogie Udevbulu, Managing Director, Global Portfolio Trading, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Nogie Udevbulu is a Managing Director on the Global Equity Portfolio Trading Desk at Bank of America’s Global Markets division. She manages the Global Equity Index Strategy team which covers well over 100 global equity indices. Her team provides insights and advisory services to Quantitative, Long-Only and Hedge fund managers on index related events as it pertains to methodologies, special corporate actions and event driven situations. Nogie spearheads the prediction and analytics of multi-billion dollar of global indices and ETFs rebalances and has handled the analytics of several multi-billion dollar portfolio transitions for some of the largest index fund managers in the industry. Nogie joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2005 as a summer associate, receiving a full time offer and returning in 2006. She is an active member of the Women’s Leadership Council. Nogie was among the 2013 Rising Star finalists of the Bond Women’s Club Association. She earned her MBA from the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Investments from Baruch College, City University of New York.
Tess Cohen, Deputy Chief, Prescription Drug Investigation Unit, Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor
Tess Cohen is the Deputy Chief of the Prescription Drug Investigation Unit at the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. She handles and supervises a variety of complex investigations and prosecutions involving prescription medications, principally those involving medical practitioners accused of illegally prescribing opiates and other medications. She is also a member of the NYC Bar Association Criminal Justice Operations Committee. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College and a Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School.
Valerie De La Rosa, Director of Marketing, Condé Nast Entertainment
Valerie De La Rosa is the director of marketing at Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE). In her position, De La Rosa develops marketing campaigns for platforms that include social, 360/VR, and TVOD across the entire Condé Nast portfolio. De La Rosa manages and oversees the Media Strategy team responsible for branded video content campaigns. CNE is an award-winning next generation studio and distribution network with entertainment content across film, television, premium digital video, social, and virtual reality. De La Rosa has been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award twice from The Office of the President of the United States of America during the Obama administration. She is a Participatory Budget Delegate for the New York City Council’s District 3, and is a past Fellow for the Arts & Business Council of New York’s Emerging Leaders of New York Arts program. De La Rosa has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from The University of Texas at Austin.
Rasha Khoury, MD MPH, Doctors Without Borders / Montefiore Medical Center
Rasha Khory is an emergency obstetrician with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and fellow in maternal fetal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. Rasha’s clinical work and research focus on reducing maternal morbidity and mortality by improving access to safe abortion, contraception, high quality antenatal and delivery care. Rasha’s core identities are humanitarian aid worker and social justice activist.
Adee Telem, National Director of Development, J Street
Adee Telem is an entrepreneur, fundraiser and business development professional with a strong interest in the intersection between technology and social good. She currently serves as National Director of Development for J Street, a political advocacy group, overseeing fundraising and leadership engagement across the country. Adee co-founded the London-based social change strategy firm The Social Investment Consultancy, helping businesses, non-profits and philanthropists maximize their impact. She was previously West Coast Director for the OneVoice Movement, an award-winning conflict resolution NGO led by KIND Snacks founder Daniel Lubetzky. Adee has been named one of 65 foremost American-Jewish Leaders by the Center for Leadership Initiatives and one of 25 Emerging Leaders in Conflict Resolution by the U.S. Department of State. She graduated from the Honors Program at UMD and completed the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship at Cambridge’s Judge Business School. She lives in NYC with her husband and daughter.
Alicia Perez-Porro, Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution
Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Alicia Perez-Porro received her PhD in 2014 from the University of Barcelona conducting her research at Harvard University and the Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC, Spain) on marine sponges. By day, Alicia is a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) studying the effects of climate change on marine sponges and their ecosystems. By night, she is a board member of the Association of Spanish Scientists in the USA, where she founded and chairs the Commission for Women in STEM. She has been selected to be part of the biggest all-women expedition to Antarctica, Homeward Bound 2018, to advocate for women in science and train the world’s next leaders to fight climate change. She recently published an op-ed in Scientific American about why women drop out of academia. In a past life she was also a professional dancer. You can learn more about her at www.aliciaperezporro.com.
Christine O'Connell, Assistant Professor, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, School of Journalism, Stony Brook University
Christine O’Connell, Ph.D., is an expert in the field of science communication, policy and engagement. She provides strategic direction to grow non-profit and academic organizations, research initiatives, and environmental and community campaigns. She was the founding Associate Director at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University where she helped create and build the Center and its curriculum to international acclaim. She led the growth of many of the Alda Center’s flagship programs and under her direction the Alda Center’s workshop program trained thousands of scientists worldwide to be more effective communicators. She received her B.S. from Cornell University, and Ph.D. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. She currently teaches and builds research and curriculum initiatives at the Alda Center and is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism. Her research focuses on best practices in science communication, science policy, and women in STEM.
Holly Shen, Director and Curator of Visual Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music
Holly Shen is the Director and Curator of Visual Arts at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), where she organizes a broad range of exhibitions and interdisciplinary programs. In 2016 she co-founded Forward Union, a new platform connecting artists and art workers with critical social justice organizations. Ms. Shen is also an adjunct faculty member at FIT, SUNY, in the graduate program for Art Market Studies. Prior to joining BAM, she was a curator for the Ambulatory Care division of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, implementing a new exhibition program at outpatient facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Ms. Shen was formerly a curatorial liaison for Artsy and a collections manager at SFMOMA. She holds a BA in art history from Georgetown University and an MA in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
Alison Jonas Sullivan, Director, Omnichannel Strategy, Global Brands Group
Alison Jonas Sullivan is Director of Omnichannel Strategy at Global Brands Group, where she is focused on driving omnichannel growth and developing a best-in-class unified commerce platform for the multi-brand portfolio, which includes The Frye Company, Spyder, and BCBG. Previously, Alison was a Director of Strategy at Li & Fung, where she oversaw various initiatives in corporate strategy, acquisitions and business development. Alison has also held positions at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Analysis Group in New York. She is the published author of a case study profiling female entrepreneurs in developing countries. She is also active in strengthening New York City’s retail community as a 2013 NYC Fashion Fellow – a partnership between the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the 92nd Street Y. Alison holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth Gwinn, Communications Director, The Studio Museum in Harlem
Elizabeth Gwinn is the Communications Director at The Studio Museum in Harlem. In this role, she leads a broad range of strategies encompassing content production and distribution. Working with a communications team of four and a broad range of Museum departments, she oversees media relations, marketing, and branding; manages print and digital initiatives including the award-winning, biannual Studio magazine, studiomuseum.org and social media; and leads a cross-departmental editorial process to facilitate effective and engaging institutional messaging.
Liz received a MA in Museum Studies from NYU and a BA in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic. In addition to her ever-evolving work at the Studio Museum, where she started as Executive Assistant to Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden in 2006, Liz has worked as a Development Associate at the ICA Boston, Biennial Intern at the Whitney Museum of American Art and held numerous part-time, volunteer, temporary, and intern positions for artists and organizations including Exit Art, Performance Space 122, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Brooklyn Museum, Mierle Laderman Ukeles (artist in residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation), NYU’s Program in Museum Studies, Creative Time, and the City Reliquary Museum and Civic Organization. She received the American Association of Museum’s Public Relations and Marketing Committee Fellowship in 2010. Liz enjoys knitting, yoga, travel, and imbibing cleverly-named cocktails at museum restaurants.