Learn about past speakers, authors and delegates of the Forum as well as search and connect with like-minded people from our community.
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American Cancer Society
John Seffrin, PhD has been CEO of the American Cancer Society since 1992, but his first encounter with this disease dates to his childhood. His grandmother, who was living with his family at the time, died of cancer when he was only 10 years old. He has since lost his mother to cancer, and his wife of 45 years, Carole, is a breast cancer survivor.
Associate Director and Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygeine
Mr. Sanjay Wijesekera is Associate Director of Programmes in UNICEF and head of the organization’s global programmes for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Before joining UNICEF in 2011, he worked for the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), where he was responsible for managing overall policy and global programmes related to achieving the water and sanitation Millennium Development Goals. Mr. Wijesekera is a national of Sri Lanka. He is a Chartered civil engineer, and holds a Master’s degree in Water and Environmental Management from the University of Loughborough, UK.
Director, Global mHealth Initiative
Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Alain Labrique is the founding director of the Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative, a multi-disciplinary consortium registering over 82 faculty projects and 150 students engaged in mHealth innovation and research across the Johns Hopkins system. An infectious disease epidemiologist, with training in molecular biology and over a decade of field experience running large population-based research studies, Dr. Labrique serves on the faculty in the Global Disease Epidemiology and Control Program of the Department of International Health. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Department of Community-Public Health in the School of Nursing of the Johns Hopkins University. He is lead investigator in several research projects measuring the impact of mobile information and communications technologies on improving maternal, neonatal and infant outcomes in resource-limited settings, primarily in South Asia. Dr. Labrique was recognized as
Serial sustainability entrepreneur since 1982 (see: mgmc.nl), especially interested in combined solutions to the development and sustainability challenges. Most recently founded WakaWaka, a company producing and distributing superefficient solar LED lights and chargers (www.waka-waka.com), combined with a foundation (www.wakawakafoundation.org). Trying to reinvent sustainable enterprise.
Founder & CEO
Melanie is founder and CEO of Mobile Metrix, a socially-driven market research company serving low-income communities. Young adults are employed and trained to collect demographic/consumer data door-to-door in their own neighborhoods using handheld technology. While on these hard-to-reach doorsteps, social benefits are also distributed. Melanie’s experience spans both the private & public sectors: she worked in management for J.P. Morgan, International Data Group (IDG) & as an executive for Key Accounts at AT&T. She launched the Global Technology Corps, a “digital Peace Corps,” with the U.S. Department of State & co-created the United Nations Information Technology Service. Melanie is a Return Peace Corps Volunteer from Togo, Africa, a Reuters Digital Vision Fellow at Stanford University & an Echoing Green Fellow, PopTech Fellow, SOCAP Scholar, AVINA Partner and Fast Company Innovation Agent. Melanie is also an adjunct professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Vital Voices Global Partnership
Alyse Nelson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vital Voices Global Partnership. A cofounder of Vital Voices, Alyse has worked for the organization for 15 years, serving as vice president and senior director of programs before assuming her current role in 2009. Alyse has worked with women leaders to develop training programs and international forums in over 140 countries and has interviewed more than 200 international leaders, including Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former presidents Mary Robinson and Bill Clinton, as well as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai, and Muhammad Yunus. Under her leadership, Vital Voices has tripled in size and expanded its global reach to serve a network of over 14,000 women leaders in 144 countries.
Third Sector Partners
Pari Jhaveri heads Third Sector Partners, a high end executive search firm which recruits senior management and boards across verticals of NGOs, CSR, BOP markets. Pari is Co-founder of barefootjobs.org, India’s first interactive job portal for NGO sector and Katalyst, an initiative for underprivileged girls enabling their higher education and economic emancipation.
Stuart Yasgur, Managing Director Stuart leads Ashoka’s global Social Financial Services and contributes to Ashoka’s emerging core process: Venture Collaborative Entrepreneurship. In this capacity, Stuart focuses on using market forces to address social and environmental challenges at large scale. While at Ashoka, Stuart worked with others to initiate efforts that have mobilized more than $500 million in funding for social entrepreneurs, engaged the G20 through the Toronto, Seoul and Los Cabos summits and helped form partnerships with leading financial institutions and corporations. Earlier in his career, Stuart was Managing Partner of a New York-based consultancy and has more than a decade of experience working with start-up and growth stage companies. Stuart taught at New York University and the London School of Economics. Stuart received a PhD from the London School of Economics, a Master’s degree from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
Author and Speaker
Jess Search is Chief Executive of the BRITDOC Foundation which gives funding and support to award winning documentaries such as Hell and Back Again, Afghan Star, Ping Pong, The Yes Men Fix the World and was launched in partnership with Channel 4 in 2005. In partnership with the Bertha Foundation, BRITDOC runs new funds for international documentary outreach and journalism. In partnership with PUMA, they run a 50,000 award for the documentary that creates the most social impact and in partnership with the Sundance Institute Doc Program the Foundation created and runs The Good Pitch which partners films with NGOs, foundations and brands. _Previously Jess was a Channel 4 commissioning editor for 5 years. Jess co-founded Shooting People, the online filmmakers network, has an MBA from Cass Business School and is currently a trustee of progressive think tank IPPR.
Author and Speaker
Inside Straight Strategies
A veteran environmental leader, Mr. Pope served with the Sierra Club for more than thirty years. In that time he served as Political Director, Conservation Director, Executive Director, and Chairman. He stepped down as Chairman in 2012 to become an independent consultant heading Inside Straight Strategies, a practiced focused on the intersection of sustainability and economic development. His current practice focused on disrupting the economic distortions which lock the world economy into dependence on unaffordable and unsustainable fossil fuels, unlocking competition and open markets which will accelerate the energy revolution away from fossil fuels. During his tenure as Executive Director, Sierra Club added 400,000 new members and supporters, growing to approximately 1.2 million. It led campaigns to move the United States Beyond Coal, and to establish new regulations to drive the auto industry into an era of fuel efficiency.