Director and Founder
Richard Baraniuk is the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University and Founding Director of Connexions (cnx.org) and OpenStax College (openstaxcollege.org). Launched in 1999, Connexions was one of the world’s first and today is one of the world’s largest “open education” platforms, providing free and remixable e-textbooks to millions of users from 200 countries. OpenStax College is leveraging Connexions to provide free and open textbooks for the highest impact college courses at over 400 institutions nationwide. Connextions received a WISE Award in 2011.
Director of External Relations
Sa•d Business School
Amy’s role as Director of External Relations encompasses alumni relations, corporate relations and development. Her career includes Director, International Relations at the University of California, Berkeley and Head, Pacific Rim Outreach for ETH Zurich. Prior to this, she worked in marketing and international communications, based in the US, UK and Japan in the private and non-profit sectors. She is most proud of the year 1991 which she spent in London working for a theatre in education charity focused on teaching young people environmental awareness. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Northwestern University and University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She speaks Japanese and French.
Having worked for more than 10 years in humanitarian emergencies – from Rwanda to Darfur – I joined the IRC (International Water and Sanitation Centre) in 2006. First as Head Information & Communication, then coordinating the WASHCost project and I am currently holding the COO position. At IRC, we believe that turning on a working tap should not be a surprise or cause for celebration. We believe in a world where water, sanitation and hygiene services are fundamental utilities that everyone is able to take for granted. For good. We face a complex challenge. Every year, thousands of projects within and beyond the WASH sector fail – the result of short-term targets and interventions, at the cost of long-term service solutions. This leaves around a third of the world’s poorest people without access to the most basic of human rights, and leads directly to economic, social and health problems on a global scale. IRC exists to continually challenge and shape the established practices of the WASH sector. Through collaboration and the active application of our expertise, we work with governments, service providers and international organisations to deliver systems and services that are truly built to last.
Co-Founder, Oacsoft Technologies
Joseph Ajao is an entrepreneur, engineer and technologist. He is an Alumni of Silicon Valley's top technology community, Singularity University and Stanford's BASES. He co-founded Oacsoft Technologies at 17, a software company that develops low cost software for schools, SMEs and government agencies in Nigeria and has been featured on Forbes and other technology journals. He is currently an MBA (Finance) Student at the Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University and hopes to create an African-focused venture capital firm that will invest in budding technology entrepreneurs in Africa after his MBA. In 2013, Joseph wasawarded ‘Top-50 Global Entrepreneur” by the World Bank/InfoDev in an event that was celebrated in South Africa.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Ossama Hassanein is an entrepreneur, mentor, and venture capitalist. Over the last 30 years, he has managed $1 billion of international technology funds in diverse leadership roles including Chairman of Technocom Ventures in Paris, President of Newbridge Networks Holding in Ottawa, and Chairman of the Rising Tide Fund in Silicon Valley. He was chairman or cofounder of seven leading-edge digital communication startups in the US, UK, Switzerland and France whose combined market value at exit exceeded $2 billion. He currently serves on the board of Bank of the West in San Francisco, is chairman of TechWadi, and charter member of the C-100, both Silicon-Valley based associations dedicated to mentoring and financing MENA and Canadian entrepreneurs. Dr. Hassanein is the Willard Brown Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo School of Business. He lectured at Stanford University, the University of San Diego, University of Santa Clara and U.C. Berkeley.
World Resources Institute
Dr. Kete is Director of EMBARQ, the WRI Center for Sustainable Transport, where she oversees a global network of NGOs dedicated to catalyzing and implementing sustainable solutions to the problems of urban mobility. A geographer, she is attracted to large-scale problems at the energy-environment interface. Her work on acid rain in North America resulted in the 1990 Clear Air Act Amendments. She was the architect of the acid rain control provisions of that law, the first large-scale practical application of a tradable emissions program. She serves on the National Transportation Policy Project of the Bipartisan Policy Commission and is on the board of directors for CTSMexico and CTS-Brasil.
Singer / Performer
After emerging in the 70s, Eva Ayllón immediately set a landmark by establishing herself as the leading exponent of Afro Peruvian music. Ayllón focuses on the elegant and lively genres of the coastal plains of Peru. She is known for singing the landó, the festejo, and the vals, all mestizo blends of Peru’s indigenous, African, and Spanish musical heritage. Eva’s recording career spans 30 albums, five Latin Grammy nominations, and multiple performance sell outs including the legendary Carnegie Hall.
Chief Executive Officer
Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Sevi Simavi is the Chief Executive Officer of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. In this capacity, Sevi oversees Foundation's strategy, impact and programme delivery, with a reach to 70 countries around the globe. With over twelve years of global public policy and financial sector development experience gained in over 50 countries across the globe through work at the World Bank Group and the private sector, Sevi's expertise includes business and financial regulation, institution and capacity building, women’s entrepreneurship and results measurement. She has advised governments, central banks and non-governmental institutions in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Middle East on investment climate reform, access to finance for SMEs and women’s economic empowerment. She initiated and rolled out innovative programs and functions from ground up. She has published extensively on women’s economic empowerment, access to finance and business enabling environment.