Award Winners

One of the special elements of the annual Millennium Campus Conference is engaging with global leaders who are on the cutting edge of innovation in global development. These leaders are excited to meet and hear from you, and some will share remarks as well.

We'll update this section regularly ahead of our big week together. Feel free to tweet at speakers and special guests you're excited to connect with and include the hashtags #MCC16 and #ItStartsWithEmpathy.

Dr. HELENE GAYLE, CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative


Read more about her amazing work and life here.

Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of OPIC

[Global Generation Award Winner and Special Guest]

Read More about her amazing work and life here.






GLORIA JOHNSON CUSACK, President and CEO of the National Human Services Assembly


Read more about her transforming life-story on CNN and her extended bio here. Shorter bio is here...▽

Gloria Johnson-Cusack, adjunct professor at Columbia University, national Chairman of the Board of Trustees of United Cerebral Palsy, and board member of the Firelight Foundation, brings more than 20 years of management, political, and strategic communications expertise informed by leadership positions in the private sector, U.S. Congress, national presidential campaigns, municipal and federal government, and the White House.
She is the immediate past President and CEO of the National Human Services Assembly (50+ national nonprofits and business services), and was Executive Director of Leadership 18, an alliance of CEO’s responsible for the largest nonprofit organizations, most of which also hold membership with NHSA. She also served as a Senior Vice President at GMMB, a Washington D.C.-based strategic communications and advertising firm focused advancing issues on behalf of key non-profit organizations and foundations.
Johnson-Cusack served as Director of the Office of Congressional Relations at the Peace Corps, Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of National Service, and Director of Constituent Relations at the Corporation for National Service. She was Chief of Staff for the D.C. Office of the Inspector General and was policy advisor to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Senator Albert Gore, Jr.
Johnson-Cusack holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, Columbia University and a master’s degree in public administration from the Key Executive Management Program at American University. She is a founder of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership program at Brandeis University and a member of the federal Presidio Trust’s Advisory Council for the Presidio Institute focused on service and cross-sector leadership. She is married, has one daughter, and is a breast cancer “thriver.”

EMILY CONRON, Coordinator of Student Outreach at END7

Read her Bio here...▽

Emily Conron coordinates student outreach for END7, a campaign of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. She got involved in the movement to control and eliminate NTDs after learning about them in a biology class as a freshman at the University of Notre Dame, co-founding the first NTD-focused student advocacy and fundraising group, ND Fighting NTDs, in 2009. After seeing the effects of NTDs firsthand while interviewing lymphatic filariasis patients in Haiti for a psychology research project, Emily joined the END7 team to help create an international movement of students advocating for this neglected global health issue. She has since presented at more than sixty universities and conferences to recruit student supporters, created the END7 Student Advisory Board and Campus Leaders Council to strengthen student leadership, coordinated student fundraising efforts that have net more than $100,000 for NTD treatment and prevention programs, and supported thousands of student advocacy actions, including meetings with more than 70 congressional offices on the annual END7 Student Advocacy Day. Emily also coordinates Sabin’s faith-based outreach and supports the policy and communications teams with strategic projects.

KAREN KEATING ANSARA, Coordinator of Student Outreach at END7

Read her Bio here...▽

Emily Conron coordinates student outreach for END7, a campaign of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. She got involved in the movement to control and eliminate NTDs after learning about them in a biology class as a freshman at the University of Notre Dame, co-founding the first NTD-focused student advocacy and fundraising group, ND Fighting NTDs, in 2009. After seeing the effects of NTDs firsthand while interviewing lymphatic filariasis patients in Haiti for a psychology research project, Emily joined the END7 team to help create an international movement of students advocating for this neglected global health issue. She has since presented at more than sixty universities and conferences to recruit student supporters, created the END7 Student Advisory Board and Campus Leaders Council to strengthen student leadership, coordinated student fundraising efforts that have net more than $100,000 for NTD treatment and prevention programs, and supported thousands of student advocacy actions, including meetings with more than 70 congressional offices on the annual END7 Student Advocacy Day. Emily also coordinates Sabin’s faith-based outreach and supports the policy and communications teams with strategic projects.


GORDON WONG, Manager for College Organizing at ONE

Read his bio here... ▽

Gordon joined ONE in the summer of 2014 as a Manager for College Organizing. In this role, he works to recruit, train, and support ONE’s campus leaders around the country. Gordon graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2011 with a degree in Religious Studies and a concentration in Asian Studies. Prior to joining ONE, Gordon was a Recruitment Associate at Catholic Volunteer Network. Additionally, he has worked with the campus program at Oxfam America, spent a year as a community organizer in Chicago, and worked on political campaigns in Colorado and Massachusetts. Gordon hails from Boston, Massachusetts and although he doesn’t have a Boston accent he has been known to sleep talk in Mandarin and Cantonese. He enjoys cooking and baking, jamming on his guitar, and hopes to one day operate a bubble tea cart on the National Mall.

MADDY VONHOFF, Manager for College Organizing at ONE

Read her bio here... ▽

Maddy joined ONE Campus in April 2016 and serves as Manager of College Organizing. In this role, she works to train, develop, recruit, and support ONE Campus chapters and leaders in the western region of the country. She graduated with a degree in psychology and a minor in French from Western Washington University in 2012, where she studied abroad in Kenya and worked as WWU’s Club Coordinator. She grew up in Vancouver, Washington and currently lives and works in Seattle. Maddy is a former ONE Congressional District Leader from WA-07 and prior to joining ONE, Maddy was the Project Manager for the Alternatives to the Death Penalty Campaign at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. When she’s not advocating to end extreme poverty, she is on the Board of Directors for GeekGirlCon, planning her next trip abroad, or reading comic books.

Lady Tawadros, ONE, Manager For College Organizing

FADY TAWADROUS, Manager for College Organizing at ONE


Fady serves as Manager for College Organizing at ONE Campus. In this role, he works to train, develop, recruit, and support ONE Campus Chapters and leaders all over the country. He's a graduate of Augusta State University, where he studied Political Science, concentrating in International Affairs, and Journalism. Fady is a native of Alexandria, Egypt and grew up in Los Angeles, California. He’s an avid fan of conspiracy theories, the Lakers, and much like his sports idol, Michael Jordan, he too was cut from his freshman high school basketball team.


ANDY RABENS, Special Advisor for U.S. Department of State on Global Youth Issues

Read his bio here... ▽

Andy Rabens serves as the Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. He focuses on helping the U.S. Government better engage young people internationally to help solve the pressing challenges of today while also building greater global connectivity and networks to shape a more secure and prosperous future. He serves as the principal representative on youth issues for the U.S. Department of State and leads efforts to coordinate and amplify global youth policy and initiatives in three primary areas: 1) Engaging youth in honest two way dialogue - including through Youth Councils and regional networks; 2) Empowering youth as drivers of their own destinies through programs on expanded economic opportunity and skills building; 3) Elevating the voice of young people in global affairs and amplifying the issues that affect them.

Prior to joining the State Department in 2008, Andy worked for United States Senator Dianne Feinstein and for the Rt. Honorable Ed Miliband in the UK Parliament. Andy is a former Presidential Management Fellow and in 2012, was named one of the Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders under 33 by Diplomatic Courier Magazine and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. In 2013, he was awarded a “Service to America Medal” by the Partnership for Public Service for his Middle East and North Africa youth engagement work at the State Department. Andy is a Fellow with the New Leaders Council; a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project; an advisory board member with the Millennial Action Project; and a long-time Tutor at Miner Elementary School in Washington, DC.

Andy holds a bachelors degree from Harvard University and a masters degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

RAVI KARKARA, Senior Advisor for Strategic Partnerships at UN WOMEN


Read his bio here...▽

Ravi Karkara is a trained social worker with commitment to advance human rights, participation, inclusion and gender equality, accountability and social justice. He serves as a Senior Adviser Strategic Partnership & Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary-General/Deputy Executive Director of UN-Women. He has worked with several organizations on gender mainstreaming with a specific focus on children, youth, women - UN Women, UNICEF, Save the Children among others -successfully advocating the role of boys and men in gender equality from a life-cycle and gender transformative approach. He is also the recipient of prestigious NOVUS Award, that unites global shapers from around the world to tackle the today's grand challenges via actionable change.

He served as Global Advisor on Youth with UN-HABITAT. He is lead author of the groundbreaking report “Youth 21: Building the Architecture of Youth Engagement in the UN System,” which contributed to the creation of United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. Ravi represented UN-HABITAT as the co-chair of the UN Interagency Network on Youth Development. Government of Sri Lanka appointed him as the Global Advisor to the World Conference on Youth in 2014, focusing on youth perspectives in developing post-2015 development agenda. Ravi also served as the Global Advisor Strategic Advisor on Partnership with UN Millennium Campaign. He relentlessly supported UN Secretary General’s My World 2015 survey reaching close to 5.5 million youth. Ravi is co-chairs the Policy Strategy Group for World We Want 2015 – largest UN & civil society data-curation-visualization Big Data platform. 

He has extensive experience in facilitating and managing strategy development processes with diverse range of audience ranging from policy makers, development workers to local communities. He has extensive experience in knowledge creation and management. He has written more than 80 publications and has given keynote and panel addresses across the world.

TORY DIETEL HOPPS, Managing Partner of Dietel Partners

[IMPACT STUDIO: In Other Shoes]

Read her bio here... ▽

Prior to joining Dietel Partners, Tory had a 25 year career in nonprofit resource development, management and governance with a particular focus in education and health and human services. She was trained by BoardSource as a nonprofit governance consultant and was a principle of Turning Point Consulting which focused on strategic planning and organizational capacity building in the nonprofit sector.

In addition to her career in the nonprofit sector, Tory was co-founder of RockHopp Partners, a company that developed materials for parents and children which received the Teacher’s Choice Award and Parent’s Choice Award.

Tory received a heaping dose of volunteer genes from both of her parents. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Health Care Without Harm, the National Advisory Board of Wholesome Wave, the Development Committee of Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project in Uganda and Chairs the Advisory Board of Beyt by 2B Design an award-winning social enterprise based in Cambridge, MA and Lebanon.

Tory is a graduate of the Emma Willard School and the University of Vermont, as well as Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership for Philanthropic Leaders Program. She is the mother of two grown children and lives in Maine with her husband, loves the great outdoors, dancing and travel – she has travelled to more than 30 countries. At heart, Tory is a networker and strives to inspire others to lead a life of purpose and to support solutions-minded colleagues.


DR. ROBERT E. JOHNSON, President of Becker College

Read his bio here... ▽

Since Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., took office as the tenth president of Becker College in 2010, he has charged the institution with a bold, entrepreneurial mission; led the creation of groundbreaking academic programs; realized significant capital projects; and strengthened the institution’s financial foundation. He believes in higher education as a public good, and has dedicated his more-than-25-year career to transforming the lives of young people. Challenging students to build upon the three pillars of global citizenship—academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression—he encourages them to embrace the opportunities inherent in a rapidly changing future and an increasingly global society. He believes today’s graduates must be divergent thinkers with social and emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial outlooks.

ERIC STEPHENSON, Portfolio Director at the Cordes Foundation

read his bio here... ▽

Eric Stephenson is the Portfolio Director at the Cordes Foundation. He works to advance the Foundation’s impact investing, philanthropic and field building work around women’s empowerment and poverty alleviation. Prior to joining the Cordes Foundation, Eric served on the Fund Investments Team at Hamilton Lane and Global Leasing Group at Xerox. Eric earned his B.B.A. in finance from Temple University and his M.A. from the University of the Pacific where he focused on finance in education and social entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Alumni Association Leadership for the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea Program and a mentor for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a New York based non-profit focused on educational and career programs for underserved and underrepresented communities.

ALEX ALVANOS, Manager of Portfolio Performance at New Profit

Read his bio here...▽

Alex is a Manager on the Portfolio Performance and Support team at New Profit. At New Profit Alex leads the Measurement and Knowledge Management functions, and has helped to bring two organizations into the New Profit portfolio.Before coming to New Profit, Alex founded three organizations. Alex led a tech nonprofit,, was the founding Director of Programs at MCN, and Alex founded Peace through Play, which provides peacemaking education to hundreds of K-8 students in Boston. Additionally, Alex researched NGO effectiveness in Niger, created a micro-finance project in Thailand, and coordinated peacemaking efforts for youth in Palestine at Tomorrow’s Youth Organization.Alex graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northeastern University with a degree in International Affairs, and serves as Chair of the Board at the Millennium Campus Network.Outside the office, Alex loves vegetable gardening, cooking colorful vegan food, and writing songs.


KATRINA BORATKO, Communications Manager at Mama Hope

[IMPACT STUDIO : Ending Poverty Porn: The Art of Ethical Storytelling]

Read her bio here...▽

Katrina is the Communications Manager for Mama Hope. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Political Science and African Studies, where her passion for development was ignited while studying in Dakar, Senegal.Her experience spans working in refugee resettlement for the International Rescue Committee, teaching ESL in rural Thailand, coordinating fundraising campaigns for the We Women Foundation and working with low-income female entrepreneurs in San Francisco with Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment. This path led her to Mama Hope, whose people-first philosophy resonated deeply with her experience working on the ground in Africa and Southeast Asia. Hungry for more in-depth training and project management experience, she joined the first class of Global Advocates in 2012.Katrina served as a Global Advocate in Kisumu, Kenya, where she worked with Mama Hope’s partner OLPS to build the Kisumu Children’s Rescue Center. While working in Kenya she witnessed the huge change that local leaders can catalyze in their community when they have the resources to turn their vision into a reality. Since returning to San Francisco she has worked directly with every consecutive Advocate class, mentoring them on fundraising, project management and cross-cultural communication.She loves podcasts and hiking, considers herself an adventure junkie and has lived and worked on three continents.

RACHEL COHEN GERROL, Co-Founder of Nexus Global Youth Summit, PVBLIC Foundation & The Survivor Initiative

Read her bio here...▽

Rachel Cohen Gerrol is widely recognized for her work on innovative philanthropy and her projects have been featured in The NY Times, The Financial Times, The Atlantic, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Barron's, Inc. and The Huffington Post. She was named one of the “99 Most Influential Foreign Policy Leaders under 33” by the Diplomatic Courier and was honored as 2011 “Jewish Girl of the Year” by Rachel helped organize the first "White House Conference on Next Gen Philanthropy & Impact Investing" in 2014 and Co-Chaired the G8 Young Summit in 2013.

Rachel was founding Executive Director of PVBLIC Foundation. In this role she organized the 2014 and 2105 Media for Social Impact Summits at the United Nations and has curated the Social Impact Film Program for "The Collective" at The Sundance Film Festival since 2013. Through PVBLIC, Rachel also worked closely with the White House to launch the “It’s On Us” campaign to stop sexual assault on campus.

In 2012 Rachel founded The Survivor Initiative, a next-gen effort to raise awareness and funds for US Holocaust survivors living in poverty. Rachel sits on the Board of Directors of the Birthright Israel Foundation and the Next Gen Council of the USC Shoah Foundation. She is on the Speaker's Bureau and National Young Leadership Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America, has testified before the Israeli Knesset and is a Wexner Heritage Fellow. Rachel Co-Chairs the Board of Jumpstart, serves on the Advisory Councils of Girl Up (UN Foundation) and Charity Miles and is on the Advisory of BeeSpace. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In the past she has served on the Evaluation Panel for Bloomberg's Genesis Generation Challenge, the Advisory Council of Invisible Children, the Leadership Council of the Classy Awards and the Advisory Board of Women's Entrepreneurship Day.

JENNIFER FRASER, Director of College Organizing at ONE

read her bio here...▽

Jen joined ONE in 2012 and serves as ONE's Director for College Organizing. In this role, she leads ONE's efforts to engage college students in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. Jen graduated with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies from College of the Holy Cross, where she founded and led an Oxfam America club on campus and spent a year living in Spain. Prior to joining ONE, Jen worked as the Southeast Regional Field Organizer at Bread for the World. She has also worked at Oxfam America, Oxfam International, and Catholic Charities. Jen lives in Washington D.C. but originally hails from Salem, Massachusetts where she developed a strong love for all things Halloween. She is passionate about feminism and enjoys travel, art history, and interior design.


STEPHANIE CORDES, Vice Chair of the Cordes Foundation

read her bio here...▽

Stephanie joined her family foundation as Vice Chair after transitioning out of a career in publishing at Self Magazine within the Conde Nast group. Currently, Stephanie advances the foundation's initiatives that directly leverage capital to organizations that elevate the role of women and girls worldwide with a particular focus on ethical fashion and supply chains. She serves as a member of the Foundation’s investment committee, board member of Indego Africa and as an advisory board member of Soko, a Nairobi-based ethical jewelry company. She has also held various positions in the fashion industry, including Allure magazine and conscious luxury brands such as Alberta Ferretti and Maiyet.

SPENCER TON, Executive Director at Cordes Foundation and Managing Partner of the Vitrum Group

Connect on twitter @ston86

read his bio here...▽

Spencer Ton is Managing Partner of the Vitrum Group, a strategy and investment firm which aims to build supply chain solutions by investing and scaling products, inputs, and processes that positively impact people and planet. Prior to this role, Spencer was the first Executive Director of the Cordes Foundation, a private, family foundation based in New York & San Francisco. In this role, Spencer was charged with overseeing the foundation’s strategy in building out a more safe and secure world though the advancement of the foundation’s philanthropic, impact investing, and field building work around women and girls empowerment and poverty alleviation through social enterprise. The scope for the Cordes Foundation’s work is global and impact driven with partnerships across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America.

Prior to this role, Spencer was a Director at the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific, a pioneer in social entrepreneurship education hosted the U.S. China Social Enterprise, which convened and engaged 50 leaders from Mainland China in social entrepreneurship. Spencer served as a Teach in Asia Fellow in Hue, Vietnam and worked at the Friends of Hue Foundation to build out a microfinance strategy for rural farmers in Central Vietnam. Spencer also co-founded Fashion4Freedom, a social enterprise and design incubator that creates products and processes that sustain alternative supply chains to prevent environmental and labor exploitation in the fashion industry. He is deeply committed to transparency in retail supply chains and building initiatives that enhance workers rights and conscious consumerism globally. He is passionate about travel, convening, fashion, and global education reform. Spencer is a member of the United Nations Global Accelerator and serves on the board of Educate!, Design Capital, and the Millennium Campus Network.

STEVE FOX, Remmer Family Foundation & ThinkImpact

connect on LinkedIn

Read his bio here...▽

Steven Fox is the Chief Executive Officer of ThinkImpact, a student catalyst for social enterprise. ThinkImpact works in rural communities, in 5 developing countries around the globe to create and stimulate social enterprises at the nexus of student creativity and local leadership. They've sent over 600 students from around the world on such trips and manage a portfolio of 194 social enterprises.

Steven is also Chair of the Remmer Family Foundation’s Sustainable Fisheries grants. The Remmer Family Foundation supports environmental stewardship by encouraging sustainability of fisheries, oceans and freshwater systems.

Steven comes from a background of international investment experience as in sub-Saharan Africa; working in Malawi and Zambia for Sunizorro Investments. He has an MSc in Political Economy from the University of London, and a BA from the University of Richmond. And, once upon a time, he was an MCN intern.


PAUL ELLINGSTED, Managing Partner at PTI Advisors

connect on LinkedIn

Read his bio here...▽

Paul is managing partner of PTI Advisors, an independent consultancy specializing in social innovation. PTI provides clients with expertise ranging from visioning and strategy creation, partnership selection, program implementation and management, and measurement and evaluation.

He is a problem solver known for proactively collaborating and tapping the well of diversity to create unique opportunities and deliver results. A connector of people, ideas and assets to make the possible real.

Paul has over 20 years of private sector experience spanning market research, marketing, communications, consulting, and management roles with extensive experience working in a global roles with diverse, geographically dispersed teams and partnerships.

He is an evangelist and practitioner of social innovation with strong focus on global health and technology-enabled innovation (solutions and process/workflow transformation) that deliver significant societal benefit, irrespective of financing model.

JOHN BEAHM, Executive Director at the Jenzabar Foundation

connect with and read about him on LinkedIn

LAUREN GREUBEL, Education Engagement Officer at USAID

read about and connect with her on LinkedIn

Read her bio here...▽

Lauren Greubel is an Education Engagement Officer in the Office of Education at USAID. In this role she contributes to education policy guidance, implementation and reporting to support USAID's engagement in global partnerships, discussions and negotiations. Previously, Lauren worked at the Global Partnership for Education, where she led efforts to increase youth engagement, managed GPE’ Strategic Financing work and spearheaded GPE’ engagement with donors in Latin America. She was also a consultant to the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) where she wrote that organization’s strategy to engage youth led-organizations. Lauren has also worked with the International Youth Foundation in Mozambique and at the Brookings Institution's Center for Universal Education. Lauren has a MPA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Lauren speaks Spanish and Portuguese.


LISSA PIERCY, Founder and Director of Strength of Dove

read her bio here...▽

Lissa Piercy is a Boston based performance poet and social entrepreneur. She is a founding member of the performance collective Flatline Poetry, and the co-founder and director of Strength of Doves Productions, a nonprofit that represents social justice oriented spoken word artists. Lissa was a member of the 2014 Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam Team, is a MassLEAP trained teaching artist, and is a TEDx speaker. Her passion for poetry has brought her to stages across New England and beyond, including an open mic she hosts at the Opportunity Collaboration conference in Ixtapa, Mexico. Lissa has joined forces with individuals across various fields to use poetry as the catalyst for conversation within schools, conferences, and even religious services. She brings energy, passion, heart, and grit to each performance, along with determination and drive to use poetry as a means to create change through conversation and action.

AMY VANINETTI, Operations Director at Mama Hope

[IMPACT STUDIO : Ending Poverty Porn: The Art of Ethical Storytelling]

Check out these fantastic Mama Hope videos here:
1) African Men. Hollywood Stereotypes
2) The women from Nyamonge Present: Netball

read her bio here...▽

Amy has served as the Operations Director of Mama Hope since 2009. From a young age she felt a deep responsibility to aid in global transformation which lead her down a path focused on human potential, social justice and grassroots community development. Amy joined Mama Hope as the second team member, and has grown the organization’s partnerships from 2 projects in Kenya in 2008 to over 62 projects across 4 countries in Africa and is now focused on global expansion.

During her work with Mama Hope, Amy Co-Founded the Global Advocates. The Global Advocate Fellowship is an intensive 9-month international development training program for college graduates and masters students eager to make a positive impact on the world, while gaining the skills needed to jump-start their career. Through this program Amy is working to incubate a new generation of impact entrepreneurs and revolutionize the way sustainable projects are funded. Since 2012, Amy has aided in the training of 50+ advocates who have raised over $1.5M to fund life-changing projects that empower thousands worldwide.

VALERIE BOCKSTETTE, Managing Director at FSG

read her bio here...▽

Valerie has over 10 years of experience in advising leading organisations in Europe and the US on issues of strategy, evaluation, and organisational capacity. She is part of the leadership group for FSG in Europe, working across FSG’s impact areas with a particular focus on the German market and multi-national corporations. Her work with clients has spanned many topic areas, including microfinance, agricultural development, education, health, and the environment. She has also co-authored several FSG papers.


HUGH WILLIAMS, Senior Foreign Service Officer at the US Department of State

read his bio here...▽

After 40 years of government service, Mr. Williams retired in 2015 from the US Department of State as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the personal rank of Minister Counselor. He has held numerous assignments overseas and domestically. During his distinguished service, he has received Meritorious Honor awards and the Department’s Superior Honor award. He has a wealth of experience at U.S. diplomatic missions abroad as a Consular Officer in Hong Kong, Canada, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Belgium and Jamaica. He held a variety of positions domestically in the Bureau of Human Resources including service as Diplomat in Residence at Spelman College and Morehouse College and earlier as Diplomat in Residence at Florida A&M University. At Morehouse, he taught a course he designed entitled “Pathways to Diplomacy and Global Leadership”. He has also served on the Foreign Service Promotion Board and other career selection panels. Prior to joining the Service, Mr. Williams served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. He taught Math in public schools and at his alma mater, Delaware State University, which later presented him a Distinguished Alumni award. He earned graduate degrees from Texas Southern University and from the Air War College. Additionally, he received French and Malay language training at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center as well as extensive training in senior management and leadership. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, an ordained deacon, and served as Vice President of the Thursday Luncheon Group, the oldest affinity organization in the State Department.

KATHRYN ERSKINE, Director of Recruitment at Chemonics International

read her bio here...▽

Expert in international development recruitment with extensive experience in field, proposal, and home office recruitment. Currently Director of Recruitment at Chemonics International, where she has recently lead start-up recruitment efforts for the $9.5 billion Procurement and Supply Management project. Previously worked in recruitment and talent management at Creative Associates International (2009-2014).

GERALD HILDEBRAND, Director of the Center for Social Impact Learning

[Keynote Plenary Wednesday 4:30-6:30 & Impact Studio]

read his bio here...

Jerry is the Founder/Executive Director of the Center for Social Impact Learning at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, CA. The Center was established in 2014 and provides experiential learning opportunities for Millennials on the frontlines of the fast emerging fields of Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing. The Center is structured as a model Social Enterprise “start-up” and serves as an innovation hub for undergraduate and graduate students as well as young professionals. The Center operates a portfolio of ten programs will a lean mean staff of 4: Frontier Market Scouts (training and placement for graduate students and young professionals), Ambassador Corps International Internship Program (undergraduate student interns working with social enterprise start-ups in developing countries), B Corp Certification Lab, domestic microfinance, M Force (student action arm of the Center), Impact Investing Consultancy Group, Impact Pioneers Speakers Series, Action Research Unit, Fair Trade University, Mentorship and Career Coaching, and technical assistance to university start-up centers of Social Entrepreneurship.
Prior to the Center start-up in Monterey, Jerry was the founder and Executive Director of the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific, one of the pioneering university centers of social entrepreneurship. The Global Center created many of the prototype university-based social entrepreneurship innovative initiatives that opened the pathways to undergraduate involvement in this unique “do good and do well” field.
Previously, Jerry was the CEO for 17 years with the Katalysis Bootstrap Fund, a microfinance organization that provides training, technical assistance, and credit to non-governmental microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Central America (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador). The Katalysis Network of 25 MFIs provides microloans to over 290,000 clients (70% women, 98% repayment).
Prior to Katalysis, Jerry was the Caribbean regional field director for International Voluntary Services, based on the island of Antigua for six years, where he directed a socio-economic development program on ten newly independent island-nations in the Eastern Caribbean. His work in grassroots economic development started in Appalachia (West Virginia coal mining region) where he worked for 10 years to develop and direct the first rural Economic Development Corporation in the U.S. to finance community-based business enterprises in a chronically depressed region of the U.S. Jerry was one of pioneering Peace Corps volunteers in the early 60’s where he worked for two years in the Andes Mountains of Peru with Aymara Indians on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Jerry presently serves on the board of directors of the Cordes Foundation, Fair Trade University USA, Opportunity Collaboration, Stockton Impact Corps (Community Microfinance Fund), and the Semester At Sea Corporate Advisory Board.


ANA OLIVEIRA, Registered Nurse at Information Television Network

red her bio here...▽

Ana Oliveira obtained her Bachelor’s degree in the University of Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She worked as a Registered Nurse for many years until she moved to the United States to continue her commitment to her profession in several health centers in South Florida. Since 2006 she has been an active member, supporter and ambassador for the A Safe Haven for Newborns Foundation, which strives to save babies from abandonment and find them nurturing adopting families. Since 2014 Ana took her experience as a mother, businesswoman, and a nurse and joined ITV- Information Television Network (an award-winning health programming- production company in Boca Raton, Florida) to create “Raising Your Wellness IQ with Nurse Lulu,” a web-series in which she provides helpful information that will guide viewers to prevent illness and improve their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. She has also focused her effort to spread awareness about health and the importance of early detection of illness among other social causes.


read his bio here... ▽

Craig is the Founder and CEO of PCDN, the go-to hub for global social change. From 2005 to 2016 he served as professor the Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University before stepping down in June 2016 to work on PCDN full time. Craig has dedicated his life to being an entrepreneur and to creating a more peaceful world. Before creating PCDN, Craig also helped to found two NG0s – the Alliance for Conflict Transformation and the TEAM foundation in Hungary. Craig serves on a number of boards and advisory boards including the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the Inzone Project, Tech Change, Move this World, Amani Institute, and several others. He spent two years in Hungary as Fulbright Scholar and was a Boren Fellow in Bosnia.

He has led trainings, workshops and consultancies in over 20 countries organizations including USIP, USAID, CRS, Rotary International and others. Craig is a recognized leader in the social sector field. He has received several awards including George Mason’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s alumni of the year award and an alumni career achievement award from Central European University. He has published widely on peacebuilding, entrepreneurship, and innovation in higher education.

GABRIELA REGALADO, Associate Producer at Information Television Network

read her bio here...▽

Gabriela Regalado is an associate producer at Information Television Network. She is originally from Honduras and since very young she has been interested in community service and committed her time to different organizations regarding social impact and civic engagement. She completed her Bachelors degree in Radio, Internet and Television Production and Masters degree in Communications Media Studies and Practice at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. Gabriela found out about the power of communication and the vast amount of possibilities when one delivers a message to the world through different forms of media. From reporting in presidential debates to producing her own documentaries, she has gained experience in all aspects of journalistic broadcasting and documentary production, behind and in front of the camera. Currently, she works to produce wellness videos that empower individuals with information to help alleviate, cope and prevent illnesses and spread awareness about mental and physical health. Gabriela is passionate about her mission of using the media for social change, including the support of nonprofit organizations that fight for human rights and benefit underserved communities.

ALEXIS BONNELL, Divison Chief: Applied Innovation and Acceleration in the U.S Global Development Lab for USAID

connect on Twitter @alexisbonnell

read her bio here...▽

Alexis Bonnell is the Division Chief of Applied Innovation and Acceleration in the U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID. Over her career, Alexis has developed and delivered billions of dollars of humanitarian and development programming in over 25 conflict, post-conflict, and emergency countries, in almost every sector from education to stabilization, for more than 30 International Bi-lateral donors, 10 UN agencies, the military, and private sector. She has held positions with every side of development including: implementers, donors, policy makers, and beneficiaries and is proud of her “360 degrees” of development experience. Her more than 20 years of experience in management and communications has provided her incredible opportunities to work on/with: Wall Street, “Dot.coms”, Middle East Peace Plan, Afghan and Iraq Elections, global emergency response coordination and major logistics operations.

Her focus at the Lab is to help convene and connect people and organizations around the world with the most innovative applications of science, technology, innovation, and partnership to accelerate the end to extreme poverty. Alexis is leading the team to champion science and innovation into action, and most recently created the new Global Innovation Exchange, a industry level platform to share all globally relevant development R&D & innovation. Alexis is also the co-author of “Get Your Dream Job”.

ALEXANDER STAR, recording artist and Chief Brand Ambassador of AFR Clothing

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Alexander Star is a South Florida-based recording artist using music as a vehicle for positive change. In contrast to industry norms, Star refrains from profanity, misogyny and recklessness in his music, redefining popular culture with a clean, fun and transparent sound that transcends division and resonates with diverse audiences.

Alexander Star is the Chief Brand Ambassador of AFR Clothing – a fashion brand that donates 20% of its profits to educating underprivileged children in Africa.

Together they co-founded the #ThisIsMyEra Movement, which includes a school concert tour (the #ThisIsMyEra Tour) empowering youth to channel their inner potential and take action now rather than later, becoming change-makers for the betterment of society and their communities.

In addition to performing, Mr. Star teaches the art of songwriting and lyrical expression to inner city teens in Miami through The Motivational Edge – an innovative nonprofit providing a much-needed platform for positive creative expression to urban youth.


NATE HURST, Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer at HP inc.

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As Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer for HP, Nate Hurst helps drive programs with a focus on the environment, society, and integrity that are aligned with HP’s business strategy. Nate leads a global team of experts focused on driving solutions in collaboration with non-profit organizations, governments, customers, and partners. His team reinvents sustainable solutions that address societal challenges in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, and the environment while utilizing HP’s technology.

He has 20 years of professional experience in environmental sustainability and social innovation working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

Previously Nate served as director of sustainability, public affairs, and government relations for Walmart where he executed a proactive business sustainability strategy on environmental issues. As a national spokesperson for The Ocean Conservancy, he spearheaded big ideas, communications strategies, and goals for environmental advocacy and advanced policy agendas through grassroots campaigns.

Nate also served on The White House Council on Environmental Quality for President Clinton where he helped develop the Administration’s environmental agenda and implemented an extensive outreach plan. His international experience includes representing the U.S. government as a member of many official delegations.

He received his master’s degrees from the University of California – Berkeley and his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech University.


VALERIE WEISLER, Founder and CEO of The Validation Project

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Valerie Weisler was a shy high school freshman when she came across a student being bullied and said two words that changed both of their lives, “You matter.” His response, that her words “validated” him, planted the seeds for The Validation Project. Having experienced bullying herself, Valerie launched the project to help other teens gain confidence, believe in themselves more deeply, and develop the skills to address social justice issues. Teens identify their skills and passion, partner with mentors in their field of interest and then design campaigns to positively impact their community. The Validation Project's entrepreneurial curriculum has replaced government-led anti-bullying courses in nearly 1,000 schools across the globe. To date, The Validation Project has grown from a handful of New York schools into a global organization with chapters in 105 countries. So far, 6,000 teens have gone through the program and 38,500 teens have joined chapters.

JEYHUN VELIYEV, Atlas Corps Fellow and Youth for Understanding

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Jeyhun Veliyev, from Azerbaijan, is currently an Atlas Corps Fellow, serving at Youth For Understanding-International Secretariat in Washington DC. He has BA in International Relations and MA in Global Political Economy in process. His social issues are youth development, democracy and human rights in post-Soviet countries.

MOHAMED HILMI, Senior Coordinator and Technical Specialist at InterAction

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Hilmi has broad experience in humanitarian response in natural disasters, conflicts, and complex emergencies. Currently, he is managing the humanitarian Shelter and Settlement working group and Disaster Risk Reduction working group at InterAction, to collectively improve the collaboration, capacity and practice, and policy and advocacy on behalf of stakeholders who respond to humanitarian disasters and crises.
Previously, he has worked for UN Agencies and INGOs in complex humanitarian emergencies and development programs. He has responded to emergencies such as the conflict and famine in Somalia, Rwanda post-genocide refugee crisis in Tanzania, Asian tsunami in Sri Lanka, cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, earthquakes and conflicts in Haiti, Eretria, Yemen, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Sudan as well as conducted field visits and consultancies in Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar. He has also managed several large infrastructure and reconstruction programs in the MENA region. In the private sector, he has worked for Shell Petroleum in Singapore and with SAIC on a USG chemical demilitarization program in Maryland. He has a ME from University of Canterbury, New Zealand and a BE from University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka specializing in Engineering and Project Management Systems.


FARHAD JARRAL, Atlas Corps Creative Science Labs

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Farhad has more than 6 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, and earned a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan. He founded a social media and public relations consultancy firm in April, 2015 named The Social Media Consultants. Currently, he is an Atlas Corps fellow serving at Creative Science Labs in Washington, D.C.

Previously, Farhad has worked as Communication Manager with UNDP’s project Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development. He has also worked with the National Commission for Human Development, as well as Capital TV as Producer of a current affairs show, and Pakistan Peoples’ Party as central social media coordinator. He has played a pivotal role by teaming up with civil society to run campaigns for the cause of human rights. He also organized the regional South Asian Youth Conference in 2012.

Through these experiences, he developed strong communication and public relations skills. He has also managed to build close contacts in civil society, political parties, and media. He loves writing and has a deep interest in new media technologies, human rights activism, politics, and international relations.


WALI SABUHI, Engineers Without Borders at Boston University


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Guergana (Gerry) Botchoukova-Farkova is the Online Engagement Associate at the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a recent graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She holds a Masters degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Economic and Political Development and a specialization in Management. In the past she has worked with various UN agencies and organizations, among which are UNDP, UNGC, BRAC USA and Cultural Vistas. Gerry has lived and studied in Spain, Bulgaria and the United States, and speaks Bulgarian, English and Spanish. In her spare time she manages WithLoveFromBG, a cultural blog about Bulgaria and serves as the Cultural Ambassador of Tuk-Tam New York, a young Bulgarian professionals’ organization.

Alanna Sousa, Liter of Light USA

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Alanna Sousa is a Brazilian social entrepreneur, global citizen and change maker. Studying English in England, eating with her own hands and teaching English to children with HIV in India, understanding different approaches to justice and conflict resolutions in Canada, applying Restorative Justice in Mozambique, and lighting up lives in the slums and villages of Brazil and Kenya are only a few of her unique social experiences. Living in these distinct countries and cultures has taught her how to deal with differences, and showed her a passion for jobs with purpose. For over 5 years she has been dedicating her life to making a positive change in the world.
Alanna is currently an Atlas Corps Fellow and Program Officer at Liter of Light USA.

MARY APOLLO, Fellow at the Results Foundation

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Mary has five years of experience in the nonprofit sector focused on gender and women's issues, peace and conflict resolution, media engagement, human rights, and civil rights. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and mass communication from University of Khartoum, Sudan. Mary is an Atlas corps fellow from South Sudan. She is serving in Results foundation .offering assistance for different teams. She works for the Niles as a journalist, where she collects and writes news articles for publication. In this role, she has engaged with women activists by offering civics trainings, encouraging women to participate in public life, and advocating for women’s rights. Previously, Mary worked as an assistant project coordinator for Justice Africa: Sudan, where she wrote and implemented projects and compiled project reports. Mary also collected data for a collaborative research project entitled “Identity and Citizenship in Sudan,” conducted in 2011 by Khartoum University, the University of Oxford, and New York University. Mary has developed skills such as report writing, policy advocacy, government relations, and capacity building.


SAM VAGHAR, Executive Director at Millenium Campus Network

connect on Twitter @SamVaghar

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Sam Vaghar is the Executive Director and Co-founder of The Millennium Campus Network, empowering university student organizations across the United States to be effective partners for global development. In this capacity, Sam engages with numerous partners from The Jenzabar Foundation and Elite Daily to the United Nations Foundation and HP. Under Sam’s leadership, the MCN educates over 1,000 campus leaders through annual conferences and trains emerging leaders through an innovative fellowship program. In 2011, Sam was invited by the State Department as the featured speaker in a tour across Bosnia and Herzegovina. During that summer Sam met with President Barack Obama in the Roosevelt Room at the White House to share perspectives of US youth leaders. The following year, Sam was selected for the 2012 list of the “Top 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33″ by The Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Sam has addressed audiences at over two dozen institutions including talks at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at the United Nations. Sam is a 2008 graduate of Brandeis University. Sam also serves on the Steering Committee of the Opportunity Collaboration and serves as the Co-Chair of the Millennial Task Force of the Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. More on Sam's story with the MCN here.


RAINA FOX, Programs Director at the Millenium Campus Network

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Raina Fox, MA, manages the Millennium Fellowship, Global Campaign Program, and Annual Conference, as well as Outreach and Marketing for MCN. Raina brings extensive experience working with social change non-profits in India, Hong Kong, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Washington DC, Providence, and Chicago. Raina is committed to working alongside university students and diverse communities to form creative, meaningful, intentional and impactful opportunities for personal and social change. Her studies focused on ways that humanities tools can support human rights, social justice, and civic engagement. Raina completed her Bachelors in Art History and Cultural Studies from Macalester College and her Masters in Public Humanities from Brown University.


ABIGAIL KELBLE, Managing Director of the Millenium Campus Network

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Abigail Kelble, MPH, leads MCN's Operational, Strategic, and Programmatic Impact, bringing experience in leadership development, education, public-civic-private partnerships, and global health to the Millennium Campus Network. Abigail served with the Peace Corps [Moldova '06-'08] and worked with City Year, the Flour Fortification Initiative, and Broadreach. Her international work experience includes Poland, Belize, Moldova, and Jamaica. Abigail also serves on the Board of Directors with the Boston Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Abigail believes that university students and student organizations can and will make the world a better and more equitable place for all of us. Abigail completed her Bachelors in Anthropology and Biology at the University of Colorado and completed her Master’s of Public Health at Emory University.