Hall of Fame Emerging Leaders

Asian Americans

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Inclusion

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Sustainability

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Technology Innovation

Hall of Fame Honoree Testimonials

The Hall of Fame ebook

The List

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LILIAN LIU

Sustainability Strategist

Futerra

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At Futerra, which is a sustainability creative agency, Lilian leads and deliver projects to identify visionary strategies for clients that provide clear sustainability and business value. This includes developing sustainability frameworks and impact metrics, competitive research, materiality and stakeholder engagement.

 

She works closely with creative and marketing teams to create sustainability communications, campaigns or strategic partnerships. She helps translate sustainability jargon into storytelling and something consumers understand while steering clear from greenwashing. Clients include Facebook, Google, YOOX-Net-A-Porter, Estée Lauder Companies, Bolt Threads, Calvin Klein, Colgate-Palmolive.

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AMEER SHAKEEL

Co-Founder

Agrospheres

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Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, AgroSpheres is dedicated to providing hardworking farmers with accessible and reliable bio-based solutions for crop protection. AgroSpheres' innovative technologies are set to change the future of the agriculture industry, which is particularly impressive considering the company is led by such a young team. Founded by Payam Pourtaheri and Ameer Shakeel, AgroSpheres presents farmers with a genuine alternative to traditional pesticides. Payam and Ameer are both passionate about developing environmentally friendly solutions that are scalable and highly effective.

AgroSpheres' products have proven to offer superior efficacy without the negative environmental footprint of chemical pesticide usage, presenting a huge opportunity for farmers and investors alike. The innovative technology and the potential to significantly impact the crop protection industry excited investors, leading to Payam and Ameer securing over $9.5M from Ospraie Ag Science, Cavallo Ventures, and Angel investors.

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ERIC ZHANG

Founder & CFO

Acoustic Wells

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Eric Zhang is Founder & CFO at Acoustic Wells — an Industrial IoT Solution to Reduce Oil Fields’ Carbon Footprint - an acoustic-based control method that is capable of precisely determining down-hole conditions and finding leaks.

Acoustic Wells has developed a patent-pending, acoustic-based control method that is capable of precisely determining down-hole conditions and finding leaks using a simple and affordable surface sensor. Acoustic Wells’ simple plug-and-play hardware processes the data at the edge and seamlessly connects to their cloud platform using long range IoT networks. Artificial intelligence algorithms automatically monitor the pump operation and optimizes the production by adjusting the pumping rate, while also predicting potential critical failures of the system and while reducing the amount of unwanted methane pumped by as much as 70 percent.

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AKSHAT THIRANI

CEO & Co-founder

Amper

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Growing up in India, Akshat’s childhood was saturated in the manufacturing industry. All of his family and friends had some part in the local manufacturing and production business, and his father raised his children with a manufacturer's mindset. As CEO & co-founder at Amper Technologies, he is creating a FactoryOS to monitor and manage manufacturing operations.

Amper's goal is to eliminate waste across the manufacturing supply chain, starting by helping factories better monitor and improve their machine performance. Their first product is a machine monitoring system that translates electrical signatures into machine metrics by using IoT sensing device and machine learning technology. Amper has raised capital from top investors, including Slow Ventures, 1517 Fund and SOSV, and we have been part of HAX and Alchemist Accelerator.

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BILL PANG

Chief Investment Officer

Divergent Asset Management

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Bill Pang is the founder and CIO of Divergent Asset Management, and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the firm's investment, operational, and developmental efforts. Previously, he was a head portfolio manager at Millennium Management and led an investment team of 4, trading a billion dollar portfolio focused on global index rebalance and corporate events. Prior to that, he worked in various trading and investment roles at Bridgewater Associates and Goldman Sachs. By the time he was hired by Millennium Management at age 26, Pang became one of youngest head portfolio managers ever to join the New York investment firm. Three years later he had grown that portfolio to $1.2 billion and generated tens of millions of net profits for Millennium as of 2019.In 2020, Bill became the youngest honoree on Fortune magazine's 40 Under 40 in Finance.

 

Pang's advice to other traders looking to move to the buy-side is to: "Approach your job and approach the market with an alpha-seeking mentality, be an independent thinker and don't just believe what people say, no matter how senior they are or how many of them are saying the same thing." He also says you should, "always verify yourself with data and your own independent and authentic analysis."


Bill holds a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. He serves on the board of Eduvision International, a NY based non-profit, and has donated millions to charitable causes in the city.

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SUNAYNA TUTEJA

Chief Innovation Officer

Federal Reserve System

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Sunayna Tuteja has been appointed as the Federal Reserve System’s chief innovation officer, a new role in which she will lead efforts to identify, research, enable and advocate for new technologies while fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration and experimentation.

 

Tuteja, who will be a senior vice president, joins the Fed’s National IT organization from TD Ameritrade, where she served most recently as head of digital assets. The appointment is effective February 22.

 

“Innovation is fundamental to the Fed’s IT strategy, so I am very excited that Sunayna was willing to take on this new opportunity,” said Federal Reserve Chief Information Officer Ghada Ijam. “She will be collaborating with business and technology leaders to formulate an agenda that advances technology research and leverages the great innovation work already underway across the Fed.”

 

Tuteja’s responsibilities during more than a decade working at TD Ameritrade included being head of strategic partnerships and emerging technology, and head of digital strategy, experience and innovation. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta.

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RIDHIMA YADAV

Sustainable Finance Group

Goldman Sachs

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Riddhima works with Goldman Sachs’ Sustainable Finance Group, which partners with the firm’s global businesses to drive sustainable solutions related to climate transition and inclusive growth. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Riddhima worked with former Secretary of State, John Kerry on climate initiatives as well as the United Nations. She holds a B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University and is a member of the board of directors of the We Are Family Foundation.

In 2014, the Yale student was one of eight panelists — and the youngest — for the “Leader’s Forum on Women Leading the Way — Raising Ambition for Climate Action,” which took place in New York City on the eve of the U.N. Climate Summit. The event was attended by more than 130 women leaders from across the globe, including a half-dozen former heads of state, as well as by President Michelle Bachelet of Chile and Peru’s First Lady Nadine Heredia de Humala.

The 19-year-old Yadav was not in the least bit fazed by her youth as she emphasized in her address the importance of women’s voices in policy-making regarding climate change.

 “You don’t need to be older to be able to do something. Age is just a number,” says Yadav, adding that she also believes that her peers — both women and men — have much to offer to the conversation about how to create a more sustainable future for the planet.

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ROBERT LUO

CEO & Founder

Mi Terro

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MiTerro was started after Robert visited his uncle’s dairy farm in China and saw buckets and buckets of spoiled milk on his farm, which led him to investigate surplus food in agriculture and later in all industries.

 

Mi Terro is the world’s first biotechnology company that creates ocean degradable and home compostable packaging materials made from agricultural byproducts and surplus food. It is not about turning agricultural byproducts into beverages or snacks. Instead, it is about giving agricultural byproducts and surplus food a new life by repurposing them to replace plastic and cotton.

Their proprietary technology re-engineers’ agricultural byproducts and surplus food into plastic-alternative packaging material. Their packaging film is 3–5 times cheaper than other bio-based materials (PLA, PHA, PBAT), is at a similar price as LDPE film, is home compostable, ocean degradable, heat sealable, provides excellent water and oxygen barrier, low thickness, and is potentially edible. Their technology can potentially apply to any type of agricultural byproducts and surplus food, including plant, dairy, and vitamin supplement byproducts.

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SHILPEN PATEL

Lead Medical Director

Genentech

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Shilpen Patel MD is a Radiation Oncologist who specializes in thoracic and gastrointestinal malignancies who works as an Associate Professor in both Radiation Oncology and Global Health at the University of Washington. He received his MD from the University of Texas and trained at the Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland for his residency. 

 

Dr. Patel joined the UW faculty in 2006 and is board-certified in radiation oncology. He is the associate program director of the Department of Radiation Oncology and cares for patients at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and UW Medical Center. He has also actively worked in global health for a number of years, participating in projects in Peru, Vietnam, China, and Tanzania. He also serves on the board of Radiating Hope. Most recently, he led the Rad Aid delegation to Yinchuan, China to improve the practice of radiation oncology.

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SHAMEEK BOSE

Global Leadership Fellow

World Economic Forum

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Shameek holds three mandates within WEF, including scaling the Forum’s membership base, building partnerships with fortune 500 companies, and advising CEOs on disruptions and innovations taking place within their respective industries (a.k.a., “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”)

Some of his notable accomplishments include growing WEF’s membership base by adding 70 companies to North American portfolio by demonstrating value of the WEF platform to senior executives across industries; while increasing WEF’s brand awareness in major US cities.
 

He also managed the North American portfolio for WEF, including key partners that represent several million in annual revenues for WEF. This included fostering C-Suite relationships within LinkedIn, Airbnb, CIBC, Chobani, Maple Leaf, Gulf Stream, Amazon and many other Fortune 500 companies

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SRI VISWANATH

Chief Technology Officer

Atlassian

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“The beauty is that things that are sustainable are actually good for the company, even monetarily,” says Sri Viswanath, chief technology officer at Atlassian Corp. , a Sydney-based maker of online collaboration tools for businesses.

Atlassian aims to run all its direct operations, primarily buildings, on 100% renewable energy, including wind and solar, by 2025. The company has 12 offices in seven countries. Its Mountain View, Calif., office is already fully powered by renewable energy.

 

The company shut down its data centers about three years ago and moved to Amazon.com Inc.’s public cloud in part to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, Mr. Viswanath said. His technology team also rebuilt the code underlying two of Atlassian’s biggest products in part so that software developers used less computing power, which resulted in less energy use. That project took about two years.

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ARVIN VOHRA

CEO

Redaptive

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For Redaptive CEO Arvin Vohra, sustainability isn’t merely a passion, it’s a necessity for what he sees as a planet in crisis.

Redaptive guides commercial and industrial customers through the process of planning, installing and financing renewable energy solutions for their buildings. The company takes care of everything from replacing lighting fixtures to upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Through the use of directly measured building data, Redaptive enables energy efficiency upgrades without upfront capital. With its work, the company aims to help numerous enterprises both reduce their operation costs and help the environment. Redaptive has raised $181.5 million in venture capital financing to date.

Prior to Redaptive, Arvin was at Enlighted as VP of Project Finance where he was responsible for creating the Lighting as a service platform. Prior to joining Enlighted, Arvin spent 5 years at Barclays Capital on their Power and Utilities Team.

Arvin has a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley in Statistics and Economics.

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SHUBHA MAHESHWARI

ED of Sustainability, Fitwel Ambassador,

Verdani Partners

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At Verdani, Shubha serves as Sustainability Director for Colony NorthStar Inc., the 5th largest global real estate investment manager with ~$58 Billion of assets. Before that, she was leading Verdani’s Technical Services team. Her background in Architecture and Master’s degree in Sustainability from Carnegie Mellon University, in addition to a decade of diverse experience, allows her to understand sustainability concepts from the designers’, consultants’, and owner’s perspective.


During her time at Adrian Smith Gordon Gill’s’ engineering firm in Chicago, she used energy modeling tools to improve building performance of several international sky-scrapers including Kingdom Tower (upcoming tallest building in the world). She was also the creator of the ‘Encompass tool’, an online calculator for the city of Chicago, that helps building owners and managers quickly evaluate major retrofit opportunities. Shubha then worked as an Energy Engineer at Goby, where she performed energy audits and provided LEED consultation for more than 10 million sq. ft. of commercial space. She has also been involved in several speaking engagements at local and international conferences and universities.


Looking forward, Shubha aims to expand Verdani’s business internationally to countries including India.

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AMBAR BHATTACHARYYA

Managing Director

Maverick Ventures

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Ambar Bhattacharyya is a managing director at Maverick Ventures, a $400 million venture capital fund based in San Francisco. He currently sits on the board of directors of Artemis Health, Docent Health, Centivo, and Cityblock Health, and serves as a board observer at Collective Medical Technologies and hims. He was previously a board observer at Homology Medicines.

 

Prior to joining Maverick, he was a vice president at Bessemer Venture Partners, where he helped lead and actively worked on many successful investments. Previously, Bhattacharyya worked at Bain Capital Ventures and Bain & Company, where he began his career. He also served as assistant to the CEO at MinuteClinic, where he helped the company grow its national footprint prior to its acquisition by CVS.

 

Bhattacharyya currently sits on the Bay Area Board of Generation Citizen and was previously a board member of UP Academy Boston and Dorchester. He has been selected by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper and as one of the top 50 individuals in digital health by Rock Health in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He has been cited by publications including the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Business Insider, and CNBC for his thoughts on the start-up ecosystem.

Bhattacharyya holds a BS in economics and a BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

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PREM TUMKOSIT

Managing Director, Global Health Innovation Fund, Merck

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Prem Tumkosit is a Managing Director responsible for identifying opportunities across digital health and health information technology. He has over 10 years of experience in corporate strategy, growth strategy and financial advisory across the healthcare sector.

 

Prior to joining GHI, Prem co-led the Life Sciences M&A platform and the Growth & Innovation Capital Practice at Accenture Strategy. At Accenture, Prem advised clients on growth initiatives focused on molecular and digital therapeutics, patient services, health care information technology, medical devices and acute care workflows. Prior to Accenture, Prem worked in healthcare investment banking at Credit Suisse where he advised health and life sciences clients on M&A, debt and equity financings.

 

Prem holds an MBA from Yale University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

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EDWARD KIM

Co-founder & CTO

Gusto

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Edward Kim is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Gusto. He is responsible for the software development and technical framework of Gusto’s people platform. He has also committed his career to building diverse and inclusive engineering teams.

Edward Kim’s first office was a Palo Alto walk-in closet he rented for $300. Kim and co-founders Josh Reeves and Tomor London started Gusto with the brave and noble goal of making payroll, benefits and HR less painful for smaller businesses. From those most humble beginnings, Gusto grew into a thriving company that serves over 60,000 businesses and employs 600 people – a hundred of which are engineers.

Kim’s first love is coding and much of his work in the early days involved designing and building the systems that make Gusto a market leader. As the company grew, so did the demands of being a people manager and Kim dedicated himself to become the best leader he could for his team.

Kim is Stanford-educated and armed with his newly-minted master of science in electrical engineering, began his career with a telecommunications company before moving on to Volkswagen of America Electronics Research Lab. In 2008, he founded Picwing – an online photo-sharing app – that was eventually acquired by PicPlum three years later.

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ARJUN DUGAL

CTO, Financial Services

Capital One

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As one of the largest financial institutions in America, Capital One would naturally be very selective about who they chose for their senior leadership. A member of the C-suite team, Arjun Dugal currently serves as the chief technology officer for Capital One’s financial services division.

 

The Indian-born tech professional received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Pune University and a master’s in management and operations from Harvard University. From there, he spent a large part of his IT career working in the consumer-facing retail space with Fortune 500 companies including Staples and Macy’s. Dugal gives his time to charitable causes and holds a board position with Girls Inc. – a non-profit that empowers girls – as well as co-founded an organization called Dream a Dream – an agency dedicated to supporting at-risk children.

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KUMESH AROOMOOGAN

Co-founder & CEO

Accern

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As co-founder and CEO of Accern, a data design startup that uses artificial intelligence to design predictive analytics solutions from more than one billion websites and premium financial news data feeds, Aroomoogan is able to provide users with quick delivery of actionable stories before they are exposed to the mass media, helping users make quicker and more informed decisions in either their investment or public relations strategies. 

 

By doing so, Accern has put institutional investors in a unique position to make strategic investment moves before the crowd and significantly minimize risks on their current holdings.

Prior to Accern, Aroomoogan held positions as an analyst and accountant at corporate environments including Citigroup, SIFMA, and Ford Foundation, and co-founded several entrepreneurial ventures as a Pace student including BrandingScholars, Auxral, and X|Fitness. In 2018, he was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 as running the only fintech company in the enterprise technology category.

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DEE CHOUBEY

Founder & CEO

MoneyLion

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Diwakar (“Dee”) Choubey is the Founder and CEO of MoneyLion. After beginning his career in investment banking, Dee co-founded MoneyLion in 2013 with the goal of combining AI and machine-learning technology and behavioral science to advance consumer finance to the next level. With its built-in system of rewards, points, and incentives,

 

MoneyLion encourages good financial behavior and better financial outcomes for over 2 million customers. The Company has offices in New York, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Previously, Dee held senior positions at leading financial firms including Goldman Sachs, Citadel and Barclays Capital, where he advised on mergers and acquisitions as well as capital raising deals with a specific focus on payments and specialty finance companies. Dee holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with honors from the University of Chicago.

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URVASHI TYAGI

CTO

ADP

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Urvashi Tyagi is the Chief Technology Officer at ADP, where she is responsible for long-term technology vision and strategy, modernization and migration to the public cloud, enterprise customer experience and developer experience,

 

She is responsible for ADP’s approach to emerging technologies such as Blockchain and Real-Time Payments, and ensuring technology alignment across the enterprise. Prior to ADP, Urvashi served as Vice President, Global Commercial Data Engineering at American Express, where she led technology transformation for global products and modernized company platforms. She also led the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Center of Excellence for commercial payments. Before Amex, Urvashi was Director of Engineering for Amazon Audiobooks and original programming at Audible, where she launched the mobile store worldwide, modernized the consumer tech stack, launched a scalable platform for international expansion, led entry into enterprise business, and established digital technology teams for CRM and search traffic. Earlier, Urvashi worked at Microsoft, IBM, and Bridgewater associates. Urvashi is the founding advisor of Her Computing, a non-profit that makes coding accessible, easy and fun for underrepresented students in K-12 and is a co-founder of Scarlet Fresh Shoe which drives innovation in shoe repair that reduces our carbon footprint.

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MONISHA GHOSH

CTO

FCC

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Federal Communications Commission CTO Monisha Ghosh has been at the United States government agency in Washington D.C. for a year.

 

Prior to this, she was at NSF as a rotating Program Director since September 2017, in the Computer and Network System (CNS) division within the Directorate of Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) where she managed wireless networking research within the Networking Technologies and Systems (NeTS) program. Dr. Ghosh is also a Research Professor at the University of Chicago, with a joint appointment at the Argonne National Laboratories, where she conducts research on wireless technologies for the IoT, 5G cellular, next generation Wi-Fi systems and spectrum coexistence. Prior to joining the University of Chicago in September 2015, she worked at Interdigital, Philips Research and Bell Laboratories, on various wireless systems such as the HDTV broadcast standard, cable standardization and on cognitive radio for the TV White Spaces. She has been an active contributor to many industry standards and was recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation for her outstanding contributions to IEEE 802.22. She is a Fellow of the IEEE.

She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1991, and her B. Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India) in 1986.

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BHAWNA SINGH

SVP Engineering and CTO

Glassdoor

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In her current role, Bhawna leads and oversees all of Glassdoor's engineering operations, the company's websites and mobile platforms, in addition to its software engineering, data platform and machine learning teams.

Bhawna joined Glassdoor in 2016 to lead the Jobs Search engineering teams while also building out the San Francisco office with engineering and product talent. Before taking on the CTO role, she was leading the consumer engineering and machine learning teams. Prior to joining Glassdoor, she was senior director of engineering at Ask.com, where she led the search intelligence organization that focused on search, machine learning, data science and platform services.

Bhawna is on a path to innovate the product offerings for both job seekers and employers. Responding to the pandemic itself, her team rolled out features for users to help weather the spike in unemployment by highlighting employers who are actively hiring. A similar feature is available for employers to mark themselves as "surge hiring" during COVID to help them be more visible in the search. 

 

Bhawna Singh holds master's degrees in software engineering from San Jose State University and in computer applications from Gujarat University, in addition to a bachelor's degree in electronics from Gujarat University.

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ROWENA YEO

Chief Technology Officer & Global Vice President, Technology Services

Johnson & Johnson

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Rowena Yeo serves as Chief Technology Officer & Vice President, Technology Services for Johnson & Johnson globally, responsible for delivering new levels of innovation and operational excellence to the enterprise. Rowena is a firm believer that technology is an enabler for growth, agility and improving healthcare outcomes. Rowena is a member of J&J’s Technology Leadership Team, serves on J&J Global Data Science council and co-sponsors J&J Intelligent Automation Council.

 

Prior to J&J, Rowena has served as Global CIO for the Agricultural Procession & Trading Enterprise of Cargill, Inc and concurrently as CIO, Asia Pacific Region. She is a passionate advocate for sustainable corporate practices, enhanced diversity and inclusion, as well as business value for local communities and the environment. Rowena currently serves as a board member for National Centre for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and is a strong champion for women in STEM and women’s leadership and inclusion.

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AJ JAGHORI

Co-founder, CEO & Board Member

Cura.AI

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AJ Jaghori is a serial Technopreneur, Data Scientist, Inventor, Early Blockchain Pioneer, Founder of the MIT Social Genome Project, and a Fortune Magazine Most Influential People in Business - 40 under 40 nominee.

 

A self-taught, dyslexic coder, he started his first tech company at 17 from the back of a car in Palo Alto and sold it at 19. He’s since had 4 successful exits including to Google and Verizon, 2 failed ventures, a month-long digital detox with a Buddhist monk whose teachings helped him overcome burnout, and a patent litigation battle that nearly bankrupted him --- all before the age of 30. AJ is the CEO and Co-founder of personalized healthcare blockchain upstart Cura AI,

 

Author of the upcoming book SURVIVING THE STARTUP ECHOCHAMBER. A counterintuitive model for accelerating from concept to market, and Entrepreneur In Residence at the Human <> AI Project where among other moonshots, his team is developing a platform that is capable of storing over 200 petabytes in a single gram of DNA.

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TRISHA AYYAGIRI

Global Brand President,

Maybelline New York

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Maybelline has always believed in the power of making things happen in your life.  And we know that mental health is critical in feeling ready to do that," says Trisha Ayyagari, Global Brand President, Maybelline New York.  "We want to use our global voice to de-stigmatize the conversation around mental health and make support easily accessible.  Now, more than ever, we need to be there for those living with anxiety and depression." Under her leadership, she launched the Maybelline Brave Together global cause program to help destigmatize anxiety and depression, provide critical one-on-one support and help everyone, everywhere bravely take on their world. Over the past two years, Maybelline facilitated expert-led research and conducted focus groups to better understand the topic of mental health. Maybelline has also been working with non-profit partners CRISIS TEXT LINE, JED, AND NAMI to have a tangible impact on people struggling with anxiety and depression. One of the program's key experts is Dr. Kathleen Pike, clinical psychologist and professor at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Pike is a scientific advisor to the Brave Together program and is leading a global study, funded by Maybelline, on the rates and reasons for anxiety and depression specific to Gen Z women. Maybelline is committed to investing $10M over the next five years to mental health organizations worldwide who share the goal of making a real difference.

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TOMMY CHOI

Co-Founder & Owner

Weinberg Choi Residential & Keller Williams Chicago-Lincoln Park

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Tommy Choi co-founded the Weinberg Choi Residential team in 2007 with his business partner Josh Weinberg. They celebrated the opening of their own Keller Williams brokerage in January of 2017.

The Weinberg Choi Residential team has sold over 1,000 properties, and over $500 million dollars in sales volume. They are consistently ranked in the top 10 real estate teams in Chicago, which puts them in the Top 1% of Chicago Association of Realtors' top producers.

Tommy also served as the 135th president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and the first Korean-American president in the association's 135 year history. He also serves as an active member of the Illinois Realtors, and was the Chair of the National Association of Realtors’ YPN Advisory Board. In 2021, he will serve as the Vice President of Association Affairs for the National Association of Realtors. 

Tommy has a long history of involvement in the Chicago area. He served as CAR’s president in 2019 and is involved with the Chicago Community Trust “On the Table” program, the Development Board for the Academy for Global Citizenship, Asian Real Estate Association of America and the Women’s Council of REALTORS®. Previously, Choi was the Chairman for CAR’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) and the former Associate Board VP of Chicago Gateway Green.

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APOORVA MEHTA

Founder & CEO

Instacart

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Instacart’s 33 year old founder and CEO, Apoorva Mehta, started the grocery delivery firm Instacart in 2012. He has seen demand for his company’s services skyrocket in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The San Francisco-based unicorn announced on June 11, 2020 that it had raised $225 million in a new funding round, catapulting its valuation from $7.9 billion to $13.7 billion. 

Instacart, a booming on-demand delivery business, allows customers to select groceries online. Shoppers then pack and deliver the orders to a customer’s home. Demand for the service, which is available to more than 85% of U.S. households and 70% of Canadian households, has surged under the pandemic as millions of people began sheltering in place. Order volume has gone up by as much as 500% in the past 12 months, and the average customer spent up to 35% more per order, according to Instacart.

Over the last four years, he has grown the company to more than 300 full-time employees and tens of thousands of part-time grocery shoppers. The start-up offers on-demand and same-day grocery delivery in hundreds of cities in 20 states.

He has a degree in electrical engineering course at the University of Waterloo. Mehta spent his post-college years working for technology companies such as Qualcomm and BlackBerry, and even did a stint at a steel factory. His goal was to try a bit of everything to help figure out what he really wanted to do. He eventually moved to Seattle to be a supply chain engineer at Amazon.com, where he developed fulfillment systems to get packages from Amazon’s warehouses to customers’ doors.

 

During those years, he learned two things: He liked to build software, and he wanted to be challenged. After two years at Amazon, he felt that he was no longer being challenged. With no other role lined up, he quit his job.

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SHIKHA GUPTA

Executive Director

Get Us PPE

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Shikha, MD, is ED at Get Us PPE. She leads a team of staff & volunteers around the clock to build innovative technology and solutions to equitably and efficiently distribute scarce resources in terms of crisis. Previously she served as VP of Get Us PPE's Executive Board and as Director of Communications + Development. 

She has made it to the TIMENext100 2021 list on the basis of her rapid response to the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Dr. Shikha Gupta wasn’t on the White House Task Force. She wasn’t a governor or a member of Congress. She held no title other than doctor and citizen. But when she and her colleagues saw a need—and a hashtag—they met the moment and took action. Powered by a dedicated coalition of medical professionals and other team members, the Get Us PPE organization—where Gupta is the executive director—has helped distribute more than 6.5 million pieces of PPE to frontline workers.

 

Their fight, like this pandemic, is not done. But across the country, millions of people working to save lives can do so with confidence because of Gupta and her colleagues’ small acts and incredible impact.

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TINA HUANG

Founder, CTO, Board Member

Transposit

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Tina Huang is the founder and CTO of Transposit, the automation platform for the modern stack that unifies operations and incident management at scale. She believes in taking a human-centric approach to solving complex engineering problems and encourages engineers to practice end-to-end ownership while breaking down the silos in engineering organizations.

 

Prior to Transposit, Tina began her career at Apple designing and building APIs for Apple’s application framework. As an early Google engineer, she worked on Google’s Blogger team and played an instrumental role in re-architecting the Google News frontend. At Twitter she architected, built, scaled and operated the social media company’s notification platform.

 

Tina received her electrical engineering and computer sciences degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She studied humanities at the University of Chicago, framing her viewpoint on human-technology interaction.

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NIKHIL BASU TRIVEDI

Cofounder & GP

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Having built products and companies as an entrepreneur in his teens, Nikhil now focuses on discovering, investing in, and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs. As a former partner at Shasta, he led investments in consumer-oriented businesses. Nikhil also has a strong interest in industries that have yet to be transformed for the better by mobile and web technology, including healthcare, education, energy, and the life sciences. Nikhil is a board member /observer at ClassDojo, Frame.io, Imperfect Produce, Plays.tv, Tally, The Farmer’s Dog. He has co-sponsored many of Shasta’s investments since joining the team in 2012. Nikhil was named in 2015 to Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list for Venture Capital.

 

He discovered a love of entrepreneurship while a student at Princeton University. In 2008, during his sophomore year, Nikhil co-founded Artsy, an online platform for discovering and collecting art. Today, Artsy employs over 200 people and has raised over $50M in venture capital. Before joining Shasta, Nikhil was a member of the investment team at Insight Venture Partners in New York City.

 

Nikhil earned an A.B. in Molecular Biology with a certificate in finance from Princeton University, where he won the Spirit of Princeton award. He was co-president of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club for two years, laying the foundation for a campus-wide entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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DR. SHIKHA JAIN

Asstt. Prof. of Medicine

Rush University Cancer Center

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Jain joined Rush in December 2018. Since then, she created the first neuroendocrine tumor board at the health system and has completely revamped Rush’s neuroendocrine program, moving it from an inpatient to an outpatient setting. In taking on the role of physician director of media for the Rush Cancer Center, she’s also active in trying to de-mystify and humanize cancer care.

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DR. KAPIL DHINGRA

Physician in Chief

Permanente Medical Group

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Dhingra oversees a 500-physician multispecialty practice that manages care for 250,000 members. Some of his recent successes include overseeing the launch of an on-site urgent-care center in San Leandro and expanding surgical services for transgender patients. 

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FA-SHEN VINCENT WANG

Foreign Affairs Officer, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State

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Fa-Shen Vincent Wang is a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Previously, he was the Senior Center Coordinator for the Brookings Institution’s China Center, working on Chinese politics, U.S.-China relations, and U.S. foreign policy in Asia.

 

Vincent has also worked in domestic politics and policymaking on the local, state, and federal levels. He has written on U.S.-China, U.S.-Taiwan, and cross-Strait relations for The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief and the European Council on Foreign Relation’s China Analysis. Vincent is a board member of the Asian American Foreign Affairs Association, a member of the inaugural class of the Atlantic Council’s LGBTI Fellows, and a Pacific Forum Young Leader.

 

From 2014-2016, he co-chaired the Asian Pacific Islanders Queers United for Action (AQUA-DC). Vincent holds an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and graduated with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley.

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NEIL NORONHA

Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy Reserve

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Neil Noronha is a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a full-time MBA student at Yale University School of Management. Previously, he served in the Obama administration as a Defense Fellow at the Pentagon and as a Special Assistant on the White House National Security Council Staff. For the latter, he oversaw the presidential disaster declaration process declaring severe man-made and natural incidents as major disasters or emergencies. Neil has conducted research for Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and Carnegie India (as a Henry Luce Scholar). He also worked on Capitol Hill as an APAICS foreign policy and defense fellow for Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). His work focuses on the intersection between national security, law, and economics, and his writing has appeared in Carnegie India, The Diplomat, and The Print.

 

Neil received his M.A. in Security Studies and B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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VERONICA VALDEZ

Policy Advisor, Port of Seattle and former Department of Defense Political Appointee

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Veronica Valdez is the policy advisor to the Commission President at the Port of Seattle, a critical gateway to Asia. Her primary duties are to develop policies and advance Commission priorities that are equitable, environmentally sustainable, and fiscally responsible.

 

She was the former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Air Force and served as her policy advisor during official visits to Asia-Pacific, South America, and Europe. Veronica also served the Secretary of the Navy as his Asia-Pacific policy advisor.

 

She received the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Navy Superior Public Service Award, and Presidential recognition. Veronica received a B.S. in International Business from The Ohio State University, a Master’s in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego and studied Mandarin at Peking University. She is a Truman National Security Project Fellow. Ms. Valdez is Filipino and grew up in Sydney, Australia.

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WELTON CHANG

CTO

Human Rights First

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Dr. Welton Chang is Chief Technology Officer at Human Rights First (HRF). Prior to joining HRF, Welton was a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), where he led teams and developed technical solutions to address disinformation and online propaganda.

 

Before joining APL, Welton served for nearly a decade as an intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency and in the Army, including two operational tours in Iraq and a tour in South Korea.

 

Welton received a PhD and MA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from Georgetown University, and a BA from Dartmouth College.

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LINA KHAN

Associate Professor of Law

Columbia Law School

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Lina Khan teaches and writes about antitrust law, infrastructure industries law, the antimonopoly tradition, and law and political economy. Several of her writings have focused on the ways that dominant digital platforms freshly reveal the shortcomings of the current approach to antitrust. 

Khan’s work has been published by the Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, The University of Chicago Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal. The New York Times has described Khan’s scholarship as having “reframed decades of monopoly law,” and Politico has called her “a leader of a new school of antitrust thought.” Her article “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” was awarded the 2018 Antitrust Writing Award for Best Academic Unilateral Conduct Article, her article “The Separation of Platforms and Commerce” won the 2019 Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund’s Best Antitrust Article on Remedies, and her co-authored article “The Case for ‘Unfair Methods of Competition’ Rulemaking” received the 2020 Antitrust Writing Award for Best General Antitrust Academic Article.

 

Khan’s scholarship has also been profiled or discussed by The Atlantic, Bloomberg, The Economist, Financial Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She has been named to the Politico 50, Foreign Policy magazine’s Global Thinkers, Prospect magazine’s Top 50 Thinkers, WIRED25, National Journal 50, and Time magazine’s Next Generation Leaders.

 

Prior to joining Columbia Law, Khan served as counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, where she helped lead the Committee’s investigation into digital markets and the publication of its landmark report. She has also served as legal adviser to Commissioner Rohit Chopra at the Federal Trade Commission and legal director at the Open Markets Institute.

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MEERAH RAJAVEL

SVP & CIO

Citrix

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Meerah Rajavel is SVP, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS), a leader in unified workspace, networking and analytics solutions that help organizations unlock innovation, engage customers, and boost productivity without sacrificing security.

 

She leads Citrix’s global information technology organization and is passionate about enhancing customer service delivery and championing employee experience and engagement. She brings more than 25 years of experience in technology and cybersecurity, previously holding leadership roles with Forcepoint, Qlik, McAfee, Cisco, Infosys, Nortel, Cybersource and Solix. Rajavel has been recognized with industry and business leadership awards including the Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity by The Software Report, Stevie Award for Most Innovative Woman of the Year – Technology, and Women of Influence Award from Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Meerah is known for her advocacy on Cyber Security - prior to joining Citrix, she spent the last 12 months of her stint at Forcepoint improving cybersecurity awareness within the Company – with great success. She believes that cybersecurity awareness requires a top- down commitment. Under her leadership, Forcepoint has established board-level governance on cybersecurity on a periodic basis throughout the company - starting Forcepoint’s Executive Security Council.

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KAVITHA MARIAPPAN

EVP, Customer Experience & Transformation

Zscaler

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Kavitha Mariappan is a seasoned go-to-market executive with a penchant for rapidly translating technology into customer-centric value, mobilizing global teams and operations, and transforming them into high growth businesses.

 

Over her 20+ year tenure spanning enterprise software and service provider, she has held various high-impact roles spanning marketing, product management, and engineering at industry-leading companies, including Databricks, Riverbed, Cisco and Philips Electronics. She most recently served as CMO at Split Software, a venture-backed startup where she built the company's go to market engine from ground up and was instrumental in defining a new category for product decisions.

 

Kavitha holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Communication Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

 

Kavitha is responsible for driving global transformation and innovation across all facets of Zscaler’s business, customers, strategy, products, and operations, with a strong focus on customer value creation.

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ASHISH LARIVEE

Chief Product Officer

Onapsis

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As CPO, Ashish is responsible for ensuring that Onapsis (a company focused on helping you build in the cyber resilience you need to pursue digital transformation) products continually evolve to address the latest developments in the business-critical application security market. She is in charge of planning product roadmaps and executing effective product strategies for the Onapsis product suite. With more than two decades of experience in the cybersecurity industry,

 

Ashish has helped build new markets and industry-disruptive products. Prior to joining Onapsis, Ashish managed an array of products at Cybereason as the first executive hire and was instrumental in establishing the company and product as a leader in the Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) market.

 

Ashish was also an early executive at Veracode and helped create the first SaaS-based application security service. She holds a Master's Degree in Computer Applications and studied strategy at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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TIM HWANG

Founder & CEO

FiscalNote

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Tim is currently the Founder and CEO of FiscalNote, a real­time legal analytics platform that uses AI and natural language processing to help global organizations take control of their government risk and understand the law. The 150­person company now powers some of the world’s largest and most influential law firms, legal departments, and governments. With Hwang’s technology and over $30M+ in funding from the likes of Mark Cuban, Jerry Yang, Steve Case, NEA, Renren and others, FiscalNote is revolutionizing access to legislation, regulations, and court cases for organizations around the world.

 

Prior to starting FiscalNote from a Motel 6 in Silicon Valley, Hwang started his career in politics as a field organizer for the Obama ‘08 campaign. He was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Education a year later, overseeing a budget of over $4 Billion for 22,000 public employees. Tim also served as the President of the 750,000 member National Youth Association and the founder of Operation Fly. Inc., ­ a national 501(c)(3) organization that served inner­city children in underprivileged areas around the country.

 

Tim was profiled in Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. 30 Under 30, CNN’s Top 10 Startups, Business Insiders Top 25 Hottest Startups, and many others. He is a graduate of Princeton and currently deferring Harvard Business School. He is also currently a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and a member of the The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

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CHARANYA KRISHNASWAMI

Director, Advocacy Americas

Amnesty International

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Charanya Krishnaswami is the Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA. Previously, she worked with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, where she managed the agency’s refugee status determination work in 23 countries and territories in the Caribbean region, worked to facilitate refugees’ access to economic and social rights, and led trainings for government officials and UNHCR staff on the international refugee protection framework. Prior to that, she was the Peter and Patricia Gruber Fellow in Global Justice at Public Counsel in Los Angeles, where she advocated for precedential protections for children fleeing gang- and cartel-based violence and co-counseled a groundbreaking lawsuit advocating for universal legal representation for children in U.S. deportation proceedings. She also worked as an attorney at the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network in Denver, Colorado, where she provided legal representation to detained immigrants in the region, and as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, California.

 

Charanya received her law degree from Yale Law School, where she was a Coker Fellow and an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and her undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University, where she was the Robert and Nancy Dedman Outstanding Senior Student. Charanya’s writing has appeared in Slate and the Washington Post, and she speaks Spanish and French.

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LEI YANG

VP Engineering

Twitter

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Lei Yang is currently VP Engineering at Twitter. Before assuming this role in September, 2020, Lei was Vice President and Head of Engineering at Quora. At Quora, Lei used machine learning to rank the home feed for users, personalizing what topics, what answers, and what questions are the most relevant to users at this moment. She also applied machine learning for internal search, recognizing topics, and recommending the right users for users to follow as well as the right spaces to join, and also ranking all the answers for one particular question depending on the quality and how users receive them. Prior to Quora, Lei worked at Google for over seven years, most recently as Staff Software Engineer, where she actively engaged with the Google Research Award program and was the Google liaison for many university research programs. She holds a Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in Computer Engineering. Dr. Yang has over 10 years of hands-on experience on machine learning and has built and led teams in the areas of ranking, personalization, content recommendation, and more.She started her career as a Research Intern at NEC Laboratories America.

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YANBING LI

VP Engineering

Google

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Yanbing Li is Vice President of Engineering at Google. Prior to Google, she was at VMware for over a decade, as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Storage and Availability Business Unit (SABU). In this role, under her leadership, SABU became the fastest growing business for VMware in the past two years with the market-leading product vSAN growing from under $100 million annual booking run rate to $600 million. Prior to VMware, Yanbing spent six years at Synopsis in engineering management.

 

At Google, Yanbing has been leading from the front during the pandemic. "Our initial focus was on business continuity—we needed to quickly assess and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and, subsequently, working from home, on employees, teams, operations, and customers. Following this, we transitioned to our next phase, which highlighted productivity. Understanding and improving team productivity was key in both keeping engineering execution predictable and fulfilling customer commitments, especially with the knowledge that we will be working from home for the long haul. 

We then moved to managing growth. Google Cloud is a hyper-growth business equipped with a rapidly increasing customer base and revenue, an ever-expanding portfolio of products, and the ceaseless process of hiring and onboarding. While the pandemic has caused great uncertainty in the global economy, the demand for digital transformation and cloud services remains stronger than ever. Managing business growth and onboarding a large number of new employees while the world seems to come to a standstill is truly a surreal experience. It is challenging, yet also incredibly fulfilling to know we’re making a positive impact. Throughout these phases, our utmost priority has been focusing on people: the well being of our own community and the changing needs of our customers. We are providing flexibility and accommodations to our teams and continuously working to better understand and support how the pandemic is impacting each of their personal circumstances."

 

Yan Bing has been educated in the US and China - Ph.D, Princeton University; Masters from Cornell; Executive Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BS, from Tsinghua University. 

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RAJI ARASU

CTO, EVP

Autodesk

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Raji joined Autodesk in February this year as EVP and CTO, where she oversees and is responsible for technology strategy and ensuring alignment against long-term innovation priorities and short-term technology imperatives.

Raji is a technology executive with over 25 years of experience focused primarily on eCommerce, marketplaces, payments, and fintech systems. She specializes in leading through transformative change across people, product, platform and process to accelerate customer benefits and revenue growth. At Intuit, Arasu helped shape the platform strategy and technology culture, led its cloud journey and expanded foundational core capabilities that amplified the pace of innovation for Intuit's customers. Prior to Intuit, Arasu served as Chief Technology Officer for StubHub and held leadership roles at eBay.

 

Arasu has received public recognition for technology leadership, promoting diversity, and mentoring women to be successful leaders in technology. She serves on the board of directors for NIC Inc. and MediaAlpha Inc.

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NING LI

VP Engineering & Product

Facebook

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Ning Li joined Facebook in 2009 and as VP Engineering & Product, she leads the core Ads Product Group (Delivery & Signals) as Product Group Lead supporting both Engineering and Product Management functions in Facebook's Ads & Business Products org. The core Ads Product Group is primarily responsible for showing the right ad to the right person at the right time. Her group includes teams such as Ads Infrastructure, Ads Ranking and Quality, Ads Signals, and Responsibility and Privacy, and supports core ads products such as Targeting, Optimization Goals, Bidding, Budget, Dynamic Product Ads, Automated App Ads, etc.

She began her career working at IBM Almaden Research Center for eight years as a Software Engineer.

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MARIA ZHANG

VP Engineering

Instagram

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Maria joined Instagram in December, 2020, to head engineering efforts at Instagram. Prior to this role. Maria led engineering efforts for LinkedIn Talent Solutions, the largest hiring ecosystem for SMB and enterprise customers; and LinkedIn Careers, helping professionals discover, assess and get career opportunities that improve their lives.

 

Prior to LinkedIn, Maria was the Chief Technology Officer, and led development efforts at Tinder, building and scaling the app for its global user base, assembling and guiding a world-class team of engineers and challenging everyone to build for simplicity, no matter how complex the problem. She oversaw all feature releases, code quality and design, while creating and maintaining the processes, schedules and strategy surrounding product development.

Before Tinder, Maria was VP of Engineering at Yahoo, where she led the Personalization, Mobile and Content teams for the Publisher Platform organization where she was responsible for the direction and execution of Yahoo News Stream on Homepage and Yahoo mobile app. Prior to her role at Yahoo, Maria founded Alike, a mobile local recommendation app which was acquired by Yahoo in February 2013. Before starting Alike, Maria was a Principal Software Development Manager at Microsoft, a Product Team Lead at Zillow.com, and a Senior Software Engineer at NetIQ Corp.

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NISHA KUMAR

Managing Director & CFO

Greenbriar Equity Group

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Nisha Kumar joined Greenbriar in 2011. Prior to joining Greenbriar, she was Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of e-commerce company Rent the Runway and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of global internet services company AOL. Previously, Ms. Kumar held senior executive positions at Time Warner, Inc., priceline.com and Morgan Stanley.

 

Ms. Kumar is an independent director of Aberdeen Asset Management plc's The India Fund, Inc. and Legg Mason's Closed End Funds, serves on the Leadership Council of the Harvard School of Public Health and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Nisha has an AB from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, AB and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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LAKSHMI HANSPAL

Chief Information & Security Officer

Box

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Lakshmi Hanspal is the Chief Information Security Officer at Box. She is responsible for corporate, physical, and cyber security of Box’s footprint, including data protection and privacy. Prior to joining Box, Lakshmi was the CISO for SAP Ariba and has held senior positions across Paypal, Bank of America, among other companies. Her career spans across 23 years in information security, risk management, and privacy.

 
She holds a Masters in Computer Science from Boston University.

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JULIE ZHUO

Co-founder

Sundial

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Julie Zhuo is a Chinese-American businessperson and computer scientist. She is currently building Sundial with Chandra Narayanan and a stellar team across US and India. Their mission is to help builders makes meaningful use of data to fulfill *their* mission. Before that, she consulted with high growth companies through her advisory firm Inspirit.

For most of her career she designed and led teams at Facebook, where she served as VP and Head of Design and Research for the Facebook app. She joined Facebook when it was ~100 people as Facebook's first intern and had the privilege of growing with the company, working across many social communication products and learning how to create and scale them worldwide.

She is the author of the best selling book "THE MAKING OF A MANAGER", published in 2019, and is Wall Street Journal's bestselling field guide to management. Amazon rated it one of the best leadership books of the year.

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NABEEL ALAMGIR

Co-Founder

Lunchbox

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More than 110,000 U.S. restaurants--one in six--permanently closed in 2020, according to the National Restaurant Association. Of those that have survived, many have been forced to rely heavily--or exclusively--on delivery and take-out orders. Alamgir believes his New York City-based startup can provide a cheaper solution. Instead of charging a per-order commission, Lunchbox operates on a SaaS model, charging restaurants a flat fee of about $200 per month per location. "We want to be an afterthought," says Alamgir. "The better you do, the more we don't matter."

 

The startup's early clients include Clean Juice, Mexicue, Zaro's Family Bakery, and Chip City, as well as Alamgir's previous employer, Bareburger. In October 2020, Lunchbox announced a $20-million Series A that included investments from Coatue, Primary Venture Partners, and Jonathan Neman, CEO of the salad chain Sweetgreen.

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SAYID ABDULLAEV

Product Marketing Manager

Google

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Sayid Abdullaev is a product marketing manager at Google, where he works on brand and policy strategy for YouTube. Motivated by his personal experience as a refugee, Sayid has founded multiple initiatives for LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees and helped raise over 1 million USD for a variety of social causes. Previously, he worked as a consultant at the United Nations, focusing on the World Humanitarian Summit and youth empowerment programs.

 

As a refugee, he overcame homelessness and violence which galvanized him to become a human rights advocate, utilizing his story to inspire people to take action to protect LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. He has been recognized by multiple organizations and foundations, including former US presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, for excellence in global activism. Sayid has recently ranked #4 on the Financial Times Outstanding TOP 30 Rising LGBT Leaders. Sayid is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s Venture Management Fellowship and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Point Scholarship to complete his bachelor’s degree in political science and entrepreneurship.

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NILLA ALI

SVP Commerce

BuzzFeed

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Nilla Ali is the Senior Vice President of Commerce at BuzzFeed, where she oversees the company’s affiliate business across more than 1,000+ retail partners, including key strategic relationships. Nilla works with the BuzzFeed editorial and business teams to find marketing solutions for brands at the intersection of content and commerce.She has also worked at Ann Taylor and Time Inc.  She has many successes but the one that stands out is the project that she spearheaded - a unique affiliate partnership with Walmart and recipe shopping technology provider Northfork. The goal was to create an environment that delivered really strong conversion from content to action, via a frictionless experience for the end user. That meant driving positive consumer behavior through an innovative affiliate partnership. BuzzFeed’s expertise centers around food and recipes, Walmart’s around groceries and Northfork’s around digital grocery shopping behavior and the tech that enables it. Each organisation had a clear role and place within the partnership, meaning that they could grow the project together while leaning on each other’s expertise.The arrangement has resulted in considerable success for Tasty (BuzzFeed's App) and in an optimized experience for the app’s end users — which was the whole point of the project

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AMY HONG

Managing Director & Head of Market Structure Strategy

Goldman Sachs

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Amy is responsible for cross-asset strategic business development efforts for the division. Her areas of focus include market infrastructures, systemic and operational risks and industry digitization. Amy also oversees the Global Markets Division Strategic Partnerships Program, responsible for managing key industry relationships. She is a member of the Clearinghouse Risk Council and the Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC Fixed Income Best Execution Subcommittee. Amy leads the Global Markets Division's Women in Trading program and was previously co-head of the Global Markets Division's Women’s Network. Earlier in her career, Amy was in Global Credit Trading. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2006 as an analyst in the Investment Banking Division and was named managing director in 2017. Amy serves on the US Commodity Futures.She led Goldman Sachs’s efforts to develop new product offerings on Tradeweb, which went public in 2019. And earlier this year, Goldman Sachs leadership selected Hong to present on the future of market structure at its first-ever investor day.

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ERIC WU

CEO & Co-founder

Opendoor

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Eric is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Opendoor. Prior to founding Opendoor, Eric was the founder and CEO of Movity.com, a geo-data analytics company acquired by Trulia.com in 2011. At Trulia, Eric led location, social, and consumer product development. He also co-founded RentAdvisor.com, which was later acquired by Apartment List.

Opendoor is the leading business in the “iBuying” market, a relatively nascent industry that lets homeowners quickly offload their houses to the company, which then lists them on its platform. Opendoor uses algorithms to determine how much it pays—too little, and potential customers won’t want to sell; too high and the company could take a loss. 

When Opendoor’s public offering was first announced in September, 2000, the company had an enterprise value of $4.8 billion. By December, its market value stood at nearly $18 billion. 

Eric became a billionaire in December, 2020, the day the home-buying firm began trading through a merger with a SPAC called Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings II. At the close of markets, his 6% stake in the firm was worth $1.01 billion. The company, for its part, says it’s willing to lose money in the near future as it battles for market share - continuing to grow the number of markets it operates in - taking it to 21.

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SUNEERA MADHANI

Founder & CEO

Fattmerchant

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Suneera Madhani is a payments innovator who has disrupted the industry. After seeing the need for a better payment experience for merchants, her entrepreneurial spirit took hold and she decided to solve the problem herself. She built Fattmerchant from the ground up, providing a sophisticated and merchant-friendly platform. Suneera is a new mom and has led her company Fattmerchant to more than $1 billion dollars in transactions. She’s flipped the credit card processing industry on its head and cultivated a loyal, transparent business.

 

In 2017, Fattmerchant set up shop in Atlanta and raised an additional $5.5 million in funding from Atlanta-based Fulcrum Equity Partners. She strongly believes in the power of women and is raising her daughter to have the same Girl Boss morals she holds.Fattmerchant members pay a flat monthly membership that gets them access to the direct cost of interchange, which is made of the percentages set by the credit card companies that everyone has to pay. With this model, they're able to empower small- to medium-sized businesses and give them the same leverage as the bigger guys. So, it was definitely difficult to break the mold in the beginning and stand up to the people who said it wouldn’t work, but it kept evolving. Working with merchants has shown that it is, in fact, possible to love your payments provider.

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PRIYA MULGAONKAR

Project Manager

Hester Street

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Priya Mulgaonkar is an organizer, advocate, and urban planner with experience developing grassroots campaigns and community-informed policies for environmental justice and equitable climate resilience. As a Project Manager at Hester Street, she supports a range of projects addressing equity, climate, public health and community development. She brings a background in coalition-building, policy development, strategic research, and facilitation.

Priya previously worked as the Resiliency Planner for the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, a citywide network of 11 grassroots organizations serving low-income communities and communities of color on the frontlines of the climate crisis. She represented NYC-EJA and its members in coalition efforts that led to the passing of the historic NYC Waste Equity Law in 2018 and the NYS Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in 2019. She previously organized a solar campaign for Environment America and supported post-Superstorm Sandy research efforts at Rebuild By Design.

 

Priya serves on the Local Land Use and Government Advisory Group informing the implementation of the CLCPA, and was named a 2020 GreenBiz 30 under 30, recognized for her work with the NY Renews coalition. She also serves as Board Secretary for BK Rot, New York City’s first community-supported, bike-powered, BIPOC-led, fossil fuel-free food waste hauling and composting service.

 

Priya holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sociology from New York University, and is completing a Masters in Urban Planning at Hunter College in May 2021. She loves making all things fermented and dabbling with watercolors.

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MATT PANOPIO

Program Manager, Energy & Sustainable Operations

Amazon

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Matt Panopio helps Amazon evaluate and execute renewable energy opportunities. He was enlisted to evaluate and execute renewable energy opportunities in partnership with Amazon’s regulated utility providers to increase their renewable energy portfolio and reduce the carbon emissions of the company’s U.S. fulfillment network and retail operations. 

Panopio analyzed baseline energy consumption and carbon intensity of Amazon’s operations, researched regulated U.S. electricity markets for approved green utility programs, and compiled a priority list of the most cost-effective opportunities. He executed one contract agreement to supply four Amazon facilities with 100% renewable energy in the Midwest. Additionally, Panopio developed a roadmap and response plan to guide Amazon’s evaluation for green utility opportunities in the future.

As the company continues to grow its infrastructure, scaling up the use of renewable energy will be a critical part of Amazon’s goal to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2040. Panopio’s execution of the renewable energy deal and roadmap for future green utility opportunities will increase Amazon’s renewable energy portfolio and reduce carbon emissions from fulfillment and retail operations as the company pursues its aggressive sustainability goals.

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CYRUS RIVETNA

Principal

Rivetna Architects

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The founder and principal of Rivetna Architects is both creative and practical. He is the recipient of the prestigious American Institute of Architects Henry Adams Award; a published and exhibited photographer; and an expert on ancient Zoroastrian fire temples, witness a recent interview for a CBS documentary. Much of his professional formation happened during his “Doshi Years”, a two-year stint as senior architect at Sangath (India) at the office of iconic architect Shri Balkrishna Doshi who worked with Le Corbusier in Paris and who returned to Ahmedabad to supervise Le Corbusier’s projects. Those “Doshi Years” were the crucible where the ancient architectural idiom of the east fused with the process and technology of the west, creating what would become the focus of Rivetna Architects: producing quality architecture which satisfies both the spirit and the practical.

Sustainable technologies are both intuitive and integral to their design methodology. It is not an afterthought, and they base all their recommendations on cost analyses, not doing green merely for its own sake.

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NEELA WICKREMESINGHE

The Robert A. and Elizabeth Rohn Jeffe Director of Restoration and Preservation

Greenwood National Historic Landmark

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Neela K. Wickremesinghe joined the Green-Wood team during fall 2016. Ms. Wickremesinghe holds a BA in Architecture and Urbanism from Smith College and a MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Before her time at Green-Wood, Ms. Wickremesinghe worked as a conservation foreman and technician for EverGreene Architectural Arts. Over the past year Neela has implemented digital tracking of restoration repairs, launched staff training in stone conservation/preservation best practices, and created an in-house restoration shop within the cemetery. 

Neela Wickremesinghe was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. Her father immigrated to New York City from Sri Lanka and her mother grew up in Brooklyn.

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DILIP GOSWAMI

Co-founder, President & CTO

Molekule

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Dilip Goswami is the co-founder, President and CTO of Molekule which is a San Francisco-based science and clean air company that has developed a fundamentally new approach to cleaning the air. The company has raised $100 million from top tier investors such as Crosslink Capital, Uncork Capital, Foundry Group, TransLink Capital, Highway1, Foxconn Technology Group, Hack VC, Founders Circle Capital, Hone Capital, CSC, Inventec Corporation, and RPS Ventures.

Under his leadership Molekule is on a mission to provide clean indoor air to everyone, everywhere. Based on more than 20 years of research and development, their patented photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology destroys a whole range of tiny pollutants, including VOCs, mold, bacteria, viruses and allergens. Using science to revolutionize air purification in ways that the industry hasn’t seen, PECO sits at the crux of Molekule’s air purificati