Stephanie Baptist, Director and Curator, Medium Tings
Stephanie Baptist is an independent cultural producer and curator. She lives in Brooklyn where she founded the contemporary art gallery and project space, Medium Tings. She has previously served as Program Director for En Foco, a Bronx based non-profit photography organization and as Head of Exhibitions and Public Programs for Tiwani Contemporary an art gallery in London. She has edited several publications such as: Rotimi-Fani Kayode (1955-1989), and Simone Leigh and Njideka Akunyili: I Always Face You Even When It Seems Otherwise, and has served as contributing editor and correspondent for online platforms Another Africa and Contemporary And. She is on the Board of Advisors for contemporary art gallery Boys’ Quarters Project Space in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Stephanie holds an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths University of London.
Megan Carroll, Team Leader/Evaluation Officer, United Nations
Megan Carroll works at the United Nations where she evaluates peacekeeping missions. Previously, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as a White House Fellow. She has led programs for the UN Development Program, served as Acting Director of The Carter Center’s Democracy and Conflict Resolution Programs in South Sudan and Sudan, and as an Advisor to the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Earlier in her career, she managed Harvard University’s Scholars at Risk Program and taught in Japan. She holds a masters degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College. She is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations Term Member, French-American Foundation Young Leader, and participated in the the US-Japan Leadership Program.
Solana Chehtman, Vice President of Public Engagement, Friends of the High Line
Solana Chehtman has over 15 years of experience as a cultural producer, arts administrator, and philanthropy officer and consultant -both in her country of origin, Argentina, and internationally. Solana offers comprehensive expertise in convening and supporting artists, constituents, and broad networks of partners at the service of sustainable and authentic community-building, civic participation, and social change. In her current role as Vice President of Public Engagement at Friends of the High Line, she collaborates with artists to create transformative experiences that intentionally promote a sense of belonging and relevance for a broad diversity of neighbors and New Yorkers. She also leads a team that works to advance youth opportunities and offers multigenerational engagement and learning programs. Solana holds an Ed. M. in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the MA in Arts Administration at Baruch College, CUNY.
Liora Danan, Chief of Staff, NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
Liora Danan is Chief of Staff for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, where she oversees coordination with other cities nationally and globally on advocating for pro-immigrant policies and sharing best practice on inclusive local programs. She was previously the inaugural Chief of Staff for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs, and served as a policy advisor for the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Prior to that, she was a fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and director of special projects for the Middle East Program of the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. She graduated from Yale University with an MA in international relations, and received her BA in political science and policy studies from Rice University.
Ejieme is a career customer advocate and has advised Fortune 500 companies on how to best engage with their customers. In her current role she is VP of Customer Success at Snaps, where she delivers the promise of conversational messaging automation to Fortune 500 brands. Prior to Snaps, she was Managing Director of Customer Experience at The New York Times and was responsible for building customer experience capabilities to drive retention, loyalty and brand advocacy. Ejieme spent over 8 years in management consulting at PwC and Accenture. In these roles, she developed her passion for customer experience and for delivering amazing experiences that drive business value. She’s led projects across retail, pharma, tech and government sectors. She has a BA in Economics from NYU’s College of Arts & Science and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Jeanne Garbarino, Director, RockEDU Science Outreach, The Rockefeller University
Jeanne began her tenure at The Rockefeller University first as a postdoctoral trainee in the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, where she studied how individual molecules of cholesterol moved around inside a cell, and how disruptions in this process can impact heart disease risk in humans. After nearly five years, she transitioned to leading efforts centered on public engagement with science as the university’s Director of RockEDU Science Outreach. In this role, Jeanne works with the RockEDU team to build sustainable collaborations between scientists and K-12 science teachers, and to foster a genuine appreciation of science and its impact on society among K-12 students. She is also leading national efforts to promote science outreach as both a field and a practice. Jeanne earned her BS in biology from SUNY Geneseo, and her Ph.D. in metabolic biology from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University.
Valisha Graves, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley
Valisha Graves is an Executive Director on the Strategic Client Onboarding Product Development team at Morgan Stanley. She leads the One Client initiative and the use of client centric data to help drive the advisory, investment solutions and digital Wealth Management businesses. During her tenure at Morgan Stanley, she has held a variety of Fintech Product Management roles within Equity Research, Investment Banking, Global Capital Markets and Enterprise Computing. Valisha helped launch EDIT (Enhancing Diversity in Technology), the first Wall Street forum for Black and Latino technology professionals. Valisha has a passion for education and teaching and has been a guest lecturer on Fintech Strategy at Case Western, Columbia University and UMass Lowell business schools. She is a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women, Cornell Mosaic and the LEAD Alumni Council. She holds a BA in Government/International Relations from Cornell University and an MBA from Columbia University.
Patton Hindle is the Director of Arts at Kickstarter where she helps visual and performing artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions realize ambitious projects. Hindle was previously the Director of Gallery and Institutional Partnerships at Artspace and is a founder of Lower East Side gallery, yours mine & ours. She is a co-author of the second edition of How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery. Hindle was raised in London and attended university in Boston at Boston College.
Tia Hodges is a Program Officer at the Citi Foundation where she leads the implementation of the Pathways to Progress initiative across the U.S. Tia also focuses on strategy development and leads grant relationship management for the Foundation’s Youth Economic Opportunity portfolio. She works closely with community partners to structure grant programs that focus on helping young people link educational goals with leadership training, professional networks and onramps to employment. Prior to joining the Citi Foundation, Tia spent more than 13 years in the non-profit sector. She most recently served as Program Manager-Community Engagement at KaBOOM! focused on a national advocacy program that collaborated with Mayors and civic leaders from more than 200 cities across the U.S. to implement policies and programs and highlight national best practices to create healthier communities for children and families. Tia holds a B.A. in Sociology from Loyola University of Chicago and an M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
Sheila Iwano has built an illustrious career at Catalina over the past 13 years and is currently serving as Vice President of Marketing, Sales Enablement. After years of successfully helping Fortune 500 clients market their products, she has refocused her efforts internally to help elevate the Catalina brand itself. Catalina pioneered the concept of 1:1 marketing over 30 years ago and is powered by the world’s largest database of shopper purchase history. Today, it continues to digitally innovate with omnichannel capabilities that meet the evolving needs of consumers, retailers & CPG brands via mobile, online or in-store solutions. As a multi-cultural consumer who is also a self-professed data-geek, her passions for personalized marketing run deep and she believes that there is no more exciting time for marketers and consumers than now, amidst this digital revolution.
Rita Ko heads The Hive, a multidisciplinary innovation lab that applies data science and machine learning to build awareness and support for refugees within USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Recognized as one of the most innovative not for profits in the world by Fast Company in 2017, The Hive prototypes new solutions to change the conversation around refugees in the United States. Rita previously worked at the Vancouver Mayor’s Office as Former Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Director of Operations where she advanced public policy priorities such as becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020, and successfully elected Mayor Robertson for three consecutive terms. In 2017, Rita was named by LinkedIn on their Next Wave List as one of the top 10 professionals under 35 in social impact. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with honors from the University of Toronto, and MBA from Cornell University.
Julia Kostova is Executive Editor at John Wiley & Sons, one of the world’s leading scholarly publishers, where she manages a portfolio of high-profile journals on behalf of leading international scholarly societies. In her role, she’s responsible for editorial, content, marketing and business strategy for the partnerships. Prior to joining Wiley, Julia was Senior Acquisitions Editor for the Humanities at Oxford University Press. She oversaw the Press’s digital and scholarly reference publishing program in literature, religion, philosophy, cinema and media studies, and linguistics. Julia is also co-founder of K+A Consulting, a publishing consultancy dedicated to helping academic institutions, scholarly societies, funders, and researchers develop successful publishing strategies aimed at elevating their research profile. Julia frequently writes and speaks at international venues on scholarly publishing and literature. Julia holds a PhD in French literature from Rutgers University. She has spent a decade teaching university level at Rutgers and later Columbia University.
Linda Li, Global Strategy, Planning & Operations Lead, Facebook
Linda leads global strategy, planning and operations for news partnerships at Facebook. Prior to that, she was executive director of global strategy and development at The New York Times, where she was responsible guiding the company’s growth in international markets. Previously, she served a few stints at various technology companies, including as head of business development and marketing for the business financing product at Lending Club. Linda began her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she also served as the Chief of Staff to the Chairman of McKinsey Asia. She received her BA, MPP, and MBA from Harvard and is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ana Maestre-Merens, Medical Affairs Fellow / Director, Novocure / Fostering Docs Mentoring Program (ECUSA)
Ana Maestre-Merens holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Autonoma University of Madrid (Spain). After her graduation, she came to NYC to work as a postdoctoral research scientist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she specialized in Virology and Immunology. Interested in science communication and mentoring, she has always been actively involved in teaching, being Instructor for medical students at Mount Sinai, Adjunct Assistant Professor at CUNY, and mentor at several science-educational programs in NYC. Besides her academic duties, Ana has devoted her time to developing new scientific community engagements; specifically, she has founded and led the New York chapter of the international scientific NGO, ECUSA (Spanish Scientists in the USA). Currently, she is the co-founder and director of ECUSA’s mentoring program Fostering Docs, to promote the professional development of early-career scientists, and Medical Affairs Fellow at Novocure, an oncology company pioneering a novel therapy for solid tumors.
Beth Michelson, Senior Managing Director, Cartesian Capital
Beth Michelson is a seasoned emerging markets private equity executive, having spent 20 years sourcing and managing investments in several emerging markets and serving on the boards of various portfolio companies. She is currently a Senior Managing Director at Cartesian Capital Partners, a global private equity firm. Prior to the formation of Cartesian in 2006, Beth had been working with AIG Capital Partners since 1999. Prior to AIGCP, Beth was an Associate at Wasserstein Perella Emerging Markets focusing on private equity investments and structured products. Previously, Beth worked in financing for media and entertainment at Dresdner Bank AG, as a financial journalist in Prague, and in the U.S. House of Representatives. She holds a BA with distinction from the University of Michigan, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and an MIA from Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. Beth is a CFA charterholder. Ms. Michelson currently serves on the boards of Arlington Industries (UK), BTS Torres (Latin America), and Brilia (Brazil) and on the Global Advisory Board of Columbia Business School’s Chazen Institute for Global Business. She lives on the Upper West Side with her husband, two daughters, and goldendoodle. She has run two NYC marathons and enjoys snowboarding, OrangeTheory, and Flywheel.
Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Kiana Marie Milani is a Director in Technology and Operations at BlackRock where she responsible for contributing to and executing against key initiatives as well as delivering strategic process and project oversight for her group. Prior to joining BlackRock, Kiana held a variety of asset management roles at Goldman Sachs in both the United States and Singapore. Kiana holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Howard University School of Business. Kiana is passionate about serving others having been a longtime mentor with Minds Matter NYC and a participant in Global Village trips to Fiji and Vietnam with Habitat for Humanity. She is also an avid traveler and adventurer having visited more than 40 countries around the world and conquering Mt. Everest Base Camp.
Anya Mukarji-Connolly is a Supervising Attorney at the Brooklyn Defender Services where she supervises a team of attorneys in a fast-paced, high-volume family defense practice. Anya has been an advocate for low-income and homeless communities in New York for over 15 years. Prior to joining BDS, Anya led NYLAG’s LGBTQ Law Project. At NYLAG, Anya managed a team of attorneys who represented low-income clients in immigration, housing, employment and other civil legal matters. She managed the program’s private and public funding and developed its Advisory Board. Before joining NYLAG, Anya was the Director of the Urban Justice Center’s legal services program for homeless and at-risk youth. At PCYP, Anya directed its civil legal services attorneys, managed the Project’s state and city legislative and system advocacy work and directed its fundraising which enabled her to expand the program during her tenure.
Salima Nathoo, Senior Director Global Customer Intelligence, The Wall Street Journal | Dow Jones
Salima Nathoo is currently the Senior Director of Global Customer Intelligence at The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, where she leads cross functional teams to accelerate product innovation across platforms and drive engagement through cogent customer insights and data analytics. She is passionate about consumer behavior, market research, design thinking and leveraging these disciplines to tackle her organization’s toughest challenges. She is also serving as a Judge for UC Berkley’s Big Ideas Contestâ€”an innovation program that provides mentoring to help students scale their social impact ideas. Prior to WSJ, she held senior roles at number of marketing strategy and design firms including Truth Consultancy and rsg. She holds a Master’s of Science from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s of Science from Concordia University. Last, she is committed to empowering young women to pursue STEAM education so that they can learn to think critically, independently, and confidently to become tomorrow’s leaders.
Camellia Phillips, Vice President of Development, Roosevelt Institute
Camellia Phillips is Vice President of Development at the Roosevelt Institute, a leading economic and social policy think tank, and home to the nation’s largest network of student policy leaders. She manages all aspects of Roosevelt’s fundraising, ensuring the annual budget is not only raised, but that funds align with organizational priorities and support high-impact programming. Drawing on more than 15 years of experience with social justice and civic engagement nonprofits, Camellia works with teams across Roosevelt to develop and evaluate program strategies. Camellia is also a writer: her fiction has appeared in CALYX Journal and Cream City Review and her nonfiction in Voices of a New Generation: A Feminist Anthology. She is a co-curator of the Guerrilla Lit Reading Series in NYC, and holds an MFA from the New School and a BA from Western Washington University.
Emily Rueb, a reporter with The New York Times, has pioneered interactive storytelling and audience engagement throughout a 15-year career in media. She created New York 101, a multimedia series for The Times to draw attention to critical infrastructure, like how electricity is delivered to our sockets, water to our taps and why the roads are always under construction. As the lead producer for City Room, The Times’s first breaking news blog covering the metro area, she directed and contributed to coverage of hurricanes, elections, crime and the economy, and developed niches reporting on avian life, competitive birding subcultures, urban beekeeping and yoga trends. She also edited Metropolitan Diary. Winner of an Emmy and a Knight-Batten Award for Innovation in Journalism, Ms. Rueb also has contributed to The Financial Times, BBC Scotland, Time Out Paris and Cleveland Magazine. From 2017-2018, she was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
Shiri Sandler, Managing Director, The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village
Shiri Sandler is the Managing Director of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. In this role, she oversees fundraising and Board development, manages communications and administration, and develops strategy for Agahozo-Shalom, a youth village for 526 orphaned and vulnerable youth in Rwanda. Previously, Shiri was the U.S. Director of the Auschwitz Jewish Center at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where she led immersive programs on dehumanization and genocide for military students and developed new ethics programs for professional school students. Prior to joining the Museum, she was the Interim Chief of Staff at the Genocide Intervention Network, a Darfur genocide activism organization founded and staffed by students. Shiri has a MA in History from Brown University and a BA in History from Cornell University.
Callie Schweitzer is the founder of CSCH, a creative strategy and consulting firm that works with well-known brands and top executives at FORTUNE 500 companies to increase reach, relevance and revenue. She has received wide industry recognition for her impact including being named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women in Tech Under 30, AdWeek’s list of Future Publishers, and one of TIME’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds in the World. She most recently served as the Chief Content Officer at Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, overseeing editorial and corporate content and advertising sales. She has held leadership positions working across editorial, audience, marketing and revenue at Time Inc. and TIME, Vox Media and Talking Points Memo. At TIME, she launched a women’s brand called Motto. She is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, The Huffington Post and PEOPLE.
Stephanie Siaw, Associate General Counsel/Advocate's Office Director, NYC Department of Probation
Stephanie Siaw is Associate General Counsel and Director of the Advocate’s Office for the New York City Department of Probation, an agency responsible for supervising and rehabilitating respondents in the family court system and defendants convicted of crimes. Stephanie advises the agency on various legal issues and investigates allegations of employee misconduct. Stephanie’s prior experience includes working in Ghana for the Ghanaian subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation as in-house counsel. A native of the Bronx, Stephanie graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a B.A. in Political Science and Communications and earned her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She is barred in New York and Ghana. Stephanie is a member of the NYC Bar Association where she serves on the Committee for African Affairs and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Stephanie is passionate about community service and engages in mentoring and service projects in her free time.
D Simmons Jendayi, Manager of the Dean's Special Initiatives, Liberal Studies, New York University
D Simmons Jendayi is an organizational development strategist committed to using the power of social impact to create diverse and equitable cultures of inclusion. At NYU, she currently serves as Manager of the Liberal Studies Dean’s Special Initiatives, where she directs priority projects and elevates the unique branding for the school as a member of the senior leadership team. Previously, D led social marketing, relationship management and multicultural engagement for nonprofits and PR and advertising agencies, and served on the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service. D earned her B.A., with honors, from Stanford University. Passionate about paying it forward, she feels blessed to serve as a Stephen Minister at the historic Marble Collegiate Church. She is honored to have served on several national advisory boards and committees, where she received awards for exemplary and long-standing volunteer service. D loves traveling and volunteering, and is an ardent Prince fan.
Theresa S. Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life & the Chapel, Princeton University
Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames is the Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University where she leads worship and engages in campus life by exploring faith and meaning-making within a university community. As an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, Theresa served as a local pastor in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for nine years. She is a graduate of Howard University, Duke University Divinity School, and Wesley Theological Seminary. Theresa is passionate about the intersections of theology, gender, organizational development, and social justice. She is a challenging preacher, thoughtful theologian, and devoted friend. Theresa is a lover of life and a music connoisseur who prioritizes self-care and believes that radical joy is resistance.
Raquel Vazquez is a community development finance and planning professional based in New York City. Currently, Raquel is a Portfolio Manager at Santander Bank’s Community Development Finance, where she oversees a national portfolio of affordable housing and economic development investments. Prior to her current role, she worked at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), where she managed the finance, planning, and development aspects of low-income and mixed-income new construction affordable housing projects across New York City. Prior to HPD, she served as a Morgan Stanley/ Association of Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) Fellow and worked on preservation strategies for HUD-financed subsidized housing portfolios. Raquel holds a Master in Public Administration from the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a BA in Sociology from Binghamton University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude, and a Real Estate Finance Certificate from the Baruch College Newman Real Estate Institute. Raquel proudly serves on Manhattan Community Board 10 in Central Harlem, where she is Chair of the Committee for Transportation, Historic Preservation, and Landmarks. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Raquel holds a longstanding passion for serving underrepresented, low-income communities and strives to accomplish this by continuing her contributions to the community investment and lending arenas in New York and beyond.
Kristina is a digital operations leader and former database engineer focused on designing and orchestrating smooth digital product delivery systems. Kristina got her start in Geographic Information Systems with a BA in Geography from Clark University. She currently leads international engineering teams, develops systems to conceive, design, and build digital products while also managing her company’s People Operations and Product Management Groups in NYC, Buenos Aries, Argentina, and Manila, Philippines.
Katie White is Vice President of Integrated Marketing & Network Partnerships at NBCUniversal, where she oversees a team focused on building best in class integrated marketing programs for advertising partners across Bravo, Oxygen & Universal Kids. Previously, she worked for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she oversaw various consumer, integrated, and trade marketing initiatives for their broadcast division. She has also held positions at A&E Networks, Votigo and Napkin Labs. Katie holds a BA in Art History from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a MBA from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. In her free time, Katie is enjoys trying new restaurants with friends and is an traveler with only two continents left on her bucket list.