2020 National Forum Speakers

Featured Speakers

Additional Speakers


Elizabeth Andersen
Executive Director, World Justice Project

Elizabeth AndersenElizabeth “Betsy” Andersen is Executive Director of the World Justice Project, leading its global efforts to advance the rule of law through research, strategic convenings, and support for innovative programs. Ms. Andersen has more than 20 years of experience in the international legal arena, having served previously as Director of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and its Europe and Eurasia Division (previously known as the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative or ABA CEELI), as Executive Director of the American Society of International Law, and as Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division. Ms. Andersen is an expert in international human rights law, international criminal law, and transitional justice, and she has taught these subjects as an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Williams College, as well as on the governing and advisory boards of several international non-profit organizations. She is the recipient of a number of awards for her work in the international rule of law field, including a Williams College Bicentennial Medal, the American Society of International Law Prominent Woman in International Law Award, and the Case Western University Law School Humanitarian Award. Ms. Andersen began her legal career in clerkships with Judge Kimba M. Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and with Judge Georges Abi-Saab of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Ms. Andersen received a B.A. from Williams College, an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.


Akhtar Badshah
Author, The Purpose Mindset

Akhtar Badshah

Akhtar Badshah, Ph.D., is the Distinguished Practitioner and Associate Teaching Faculty at University of Washington; and is the Founder and Chief Catalyst at Catalytic Innovators Group, where he advises individuals and organizations to catalyze their social and philanthropic investments. He is also the founder and curator of Accelerating Social Transformation, a mid-career professional development certificate course on social impact. Badshah led Microsoft’s philanthropic efforts for ten years, where he administered the company’s community investment and employee contributions. Badshah is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in international development, managing a corporate philanthropic program and co-founding a global nonprofit for social enterprise. His new book Purpose Mindset: How Microsoft Inspires its Employees and Alumni to Change the World, Harper Collins Leadership Series, has just been released. Badshah serves on the boards of Microsoft Alumni Network, Global Washington (Chair), and The Indus Entrepreneurs, Seattle. He is an accomplished artist and a doctoral graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Badshah and family are active philanthropists in the Seattle area.


Kate Behncken
Vice President and Lead, Microsoft Philanthropies

Kate BehnckenMicrosoft Philanthropies helps bring to life the company’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more by bringing technology, skills, and a focus on employability to drive sustainable social impact and economic opportunity for all. Kate Behncken and her team are focused on innovating in new ways to help realize the promise and potential of technology for everyone, as they work with underserved communities. Microsoft Philanthropies seeks to create systemic change by investing in four strategic pillars: Digital Skills & Employability; Global Community Engagement (including a focus on rural/smaller cities); Technology for Social Impact, and its own Employee Engagement. Behncken brings over 20 years of international experience leading initiatives that help drive organizational, legal, and strategic business success. Previously she led the Microsoft Philanthropies Global Community Engagement team and was associate general counsel at Microsoft, where she led the Office of the President team and served as chief of staff to company president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith. Behncken began her legal career in Australia and has worked in legal lead roles across APAC and EMEA. Her legal practice included counseling on a broad range of issues, including licensing, services, privacy, regulatory, marketing, distribution, and compliance. Behncken currently serves on the boards of the World Affairs Council in Seattle and the United Way of King County.


Jasmine Burton
World Economic Forum Global Shaper

Jasmine BurtonJasmine Burton a social inclusion and design specialist with a focus on gender equity, meaningful youth engagement, and innovation in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and global health sectors. She has a BSc in product design from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Msc in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and is driven by health equity, human rights, and social justice. As a serial social entrepreneur, she is the founder and CEO of Wish for WASH, the principal and founder of the Hybrid Hype, LLC, and a co-founder of Period Futures. With 7+ years of various WASH, global health, and gender equity experiences across 10 countries in research, communications, and management roles within the public, private, and social enterprise sectors, Jasmine identifies as a social impact designer and storyteller who seeks to couple design thinking, business acumen, and evidence-based science to accelerate access to universal health and sanitation for all because #everybodypoops and #menstruationmatters. (jasminekburton.com).


Clarence Edwards
Legislative Director, Sustainable Energy and Environment
Friends Committee on National Legislation

Clarence EdwardsClarence Edwards leads FCNL’s work on sustainable energy and environmental policy. He brings extensive experience in government relations, issue advocacy, and strategic communications. Edwards has represented the policy interests of governments, nongovernmental organizations, and foundations. Prior to joining FCNL, he spent six years at the Australian Embassy in the United States, where he advised on strategies to engage the Congress and executive branch. As a lobbyist and advocate, he represented the interests of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the ONE Campaign, and the Enough Project. He has also served as a congressional appropriations liaison for the Department of Energy, managed congressional outreach for the Council on Foreign Relations, and served in the Bureau of Public Affairs at the Department of State. A graduate of Baltimore Friends School, Edwards holds a Master’s in international public policy from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and studied economic development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


Zia Khan
Senior Vice President for Innovation
Rockefeller Foundation

Zia KhanAs Senior Vice President for Innovation, Zia oversees the Rockefeller Foundation’s approach to developing solutions that can have transformative impact on people’s lives. He partners with various initiative teams to incorporate innovation into their strategies. He also leads programmatic work to develop new tools, fields, and movements to improve the social impact of innovations, particularly those related to data and technology. He advises a number of partners and grantees on strategy and leadership. His prior roles at the Foundation included leading strategy, the program portfolio, and monitoring and evaluation. Zia is currently on the Board of Directors for Atlas AI, DataKind, and the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. He has served on the World Economic Forum Advisory Council for Social Innovation and the U.S. National Advisory Board for Impact Investing. Prior to joining the Foundation, Zia was a management consultant, advising leaders in technology, mobility, and private equity sectors. He spent most of his career at Katzenbach Partners, where he founded the San Francisco office and led the West Coast practice. He worked with Jon Katzenbach on research related to leadership, strategy, and organizational performance, leading to their book, Leading Outside the Line. Zia holds a B.S. from Cornell University and M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.


Ali Mokdad
Chief Strategy Officer
University of Washington Population Health

Ali Mokdad Chief Strategy Officer, University of Washington Population HealthAli H. Mokdad, PhD, is Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Chief Strategy Officer for Population Health at the University of Washington, a 25-year effort to create a world where all people can live healthier and more fulfilling lives. Prior to IHME, Mokdad worked at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mokdad has published more than 450 articles and numerous reports, including groundbreaking research on local-level disease trends and leading risk factors for poor health. His work on obesity is among the most highly cited in the field. He has received several awards, including the Global Health Achievement Award for his work in Banda Aceh after the tsunami, the Department of Health and Human Services Honor Award for his work on flu monitoring, and the Shepard Award for outstanding scientific contribution to public health for his work on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. He received his bachelor of science in biostatistics from the American University of Beirut and his doctor of philosophy in quantitative epidemiology from Emory University.


Blessing Omakwu
Deputy Director, Goalkeepers
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Blessing OmakwuBlessing Omakwu is a Nigerian-American strategist, gender advocate, lawyer, and writer. She is currently a Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she leads the Goalkeepers initiative. Goalkeepers is a catalyst for action on the Sustainable Development Goals—bringing together leaders from around the world to accelerate progress toward ending poverty and fighting inequality. Over the past decade, Blessing has worked with and advised a variety of international organizations and government agencies, including the ONE Campaign, the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives, and the United Nations. A self-proclaimed “Women’s Equality Evangelist,” Blessing is also the Founder of The She Tank—a modern think-tank dedicated to the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 5 for women of African descent. Blessing has overseen the design of national and global gender campaigns; and ran a blog for five years that explored the intersection of gender equality, religion and popular culture. In 2020, Blessing served as the co-lead of Room 5 of the Rockefeller Foundation and Brooking’s Institute’s 17 Rooms initiative with Michelle Nunn (CEO, CARE). Blessing earned her Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University Law School, where she was the recipient of the USA National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Graduate award.


Will Poole
Managing Partner, Capria

Will PooleWill Poole is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor. He is co-founder and managing partner of Capria Ventures, a global financial services firm leading, partnering with, and funding the largest network of fund managers collaborating to deliver superior returns and scaled impact in emerging markets. Will also co-founded Unitus Ventures, India’s leading profit-first impact fund that invests in early-stage businesses with India scale and global potential. Focused on local innovation, as well, Will is a managing director of The W Fund, a Seattle-based tech and life-sciences fund affiliated with the University of Washington. Will serves on boards of African health systems transformer, Village Reach, industry connector and convener, Global Washington, and blended-finance pioneer, Convergence. In his technology career, he was a Corporate Vice President at Microsoft where during his decade plus tenure he led several business lines, including the USD $13 billion Windows client business. Will’s career started by founding startups at the dawn of the PC era, working in the early days at Sun Microsystems, and pioneering e-commerce at eShop, which was acquired by Microsoft in 1996.


Tazin Shadid
Founder, Spreeha Bangladesh

Tazin is on a mission to build a world inspired by the culture of innovation, one which nurtures limitless opportunities for all. A practitioner of Human Centered Design for almost 20 years, Tazin spent 10 years at Microsoft as a Senior Design Strategist, where he focused on bridging the gap between technology, users, and engineers, and helped develop innovative products and services. Tazin is the founder of Spreeha, a non-profit that designs creative solutions to some of the toughest social issues of our times. He has also co-founded multiple startups such as AmarLab, neofarmers, Spider Digital, Cholo Shobai, and Druto Sheba. Tazin also works with global brands in consulting and advisory roles on topics related to human-centered design, UX/CX, leadership, organizational strategy, entrepreneurship, non-profit management, public health, and more.


Nikhil Taneja
Global Advisory Board, Goalkeepers
Co-Founder and CEO, Yuvaa

Nikhil TanejaNikhil Taneja is a Mumbai-based writer, producer, storyteller, teacher, entrepreneur, and youth mental health advocate. He’s currently the co-founder and CEO of a youth media and data insights organization called Yuvaa (@weareyuvaa), a platform that creates purpose-driven entertainment to empower young Indians. He also serves on the Global Advisory Board of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s community, Goalkeepers. Most of Nikhil’s work has been in and around urgent issues like youth empowerment, gender equality, sex education and LGBTQ+ rights, including the 6 Pack Band, India’s first transgender pop group, which won the Cannes Grand Prix Glass Lion Award in 2016. He has previously led creative teams at some of India’s biggest media and entertainment conglomerates, Yash Raj Films, Viacom18 Digital, MTV India, and Hindustan Times, but has found the most joy as a professor, teaching journalism students at Jai Hind College, Mumbai for seven years. With Yuvaa, Nikhil has travelled across India to 35+ cities and 100+ colleges and met over 10,000 young people, to document mental health and identity issues faced by India’s Gen Z and to create safe spaces for young people to express themselves in person and online.


Additional Speakers

Adriana Alejandro-Osorio
Philanthropy Officer – Midwest, UNICEF USA

Adriana Alejandro OsorioAdriana Alejandro-Osorio, PhD, is a passionate advocate for children’s rights, fiercely working towards a world that upholds the rights of every child. She is the philanthropy officer for the Midwest at UNICEF USA, advancing the global mission of UNICEF to ensure children everywhere have a safe, protected and healthy childhood, and help them reach their potential of building the future they want. Bringing the UNICEF Child-Friendly Cities Initiative to the City of Minneapolis is one of her biggest sources of pride, as this serves as a conduit to increase youth engagement and participation in decisions that affect children and youth. A scientist by training, Dr. Alejandro-Osorio has previously advised Fortune 500 companies and non-profits in global corporate social responsibility, democratizing philanthropy, and adoption the Sustainable Development Goals through her work at Global Impact. As an independent consultant, she advised various non-profits, biotech startups, and Big 4 consulting firms on making targeted investments in global health and development. Her consulting work started during her time at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she managed funding for infectious disease
research programs focusing on vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic biomarker discovery. Alejandro-Osorio received her bachelor’s in chemistry from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and a doctorate in biomolecular chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She serves in the State of Minnesota Commission for Judicial Selection, the Minnesota Young Women’s Initiative Council, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Minnesota Advisory Committee, MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change, and has volunteered for various councils and boards nationwide.


Carla Blauvelt
Director, Programs, VillageReach

Carla BlauveltAs VillageReach Director, Programs, Carla Blauvelt supports the vice president in the oversight of program quality and development of standards for program management. She also leads the multi-country Transitioning Well Initiative for the seamless transfer of program ownership from VillageReach to governments and other partners. Based in Malawi, Blauvelt helps develop frameworks and standards for effective transitions throughout VillageReach’s portfolio, as well as working with donors, governments, and other social impact organizations to amplify these practices and create transformational change. Blauvelt is also the innovation focal point for the organization and leads replication efforts for the Malawi MOH and VillageReach’s Health Center by Phone. In her previous role, Blauvelt was the Malawi country director for VillageReach, where she managed a multidisciplinary team of over 70 employees, leading the team in streamlining policies and procedures, improving communication and supervision structures, and effectively managing personnel, as well as providing strategic technical guidance for all programs in Malawi. Prior to VillageReach, Blauvelt was the country representative for The Carter Center in South Sudan, supporting the South Sudan Ministry of Health’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program and Trachoma Control Program. Prior to that she held a number of technical positions within The Carter Center South Sudan office, and served as research coordinator for maternal and newborn programs at Johns Hopkins University, developed quality assurance standard operating procedures for Partners in Health in Peru, and helped coordinate a clinical vaccine trial for Rotavirus in Kenya for the CDC. Blauvelt started her global health career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya.


Anne Costello
Director of Green Coffee, Peace Coffee

Anne CostelloAnne Costello is the director of green coffee at Peace Coffee, a 100% fair trade and organic coffee roaster located in Minneapolis.  Since 1996, Peace Coffee has been “In It For Good,” having purchased more than five million pounds of green coffee from small-scale farmer cooperatives. The socially conscious coffee roasting company is a Certified B Corp, bringing transparency to the coffee industry while producing expertly roasted, small batch organic coffee.  At Peace Coffee, Costello oversees the company’s value chain, from sourcing coffee to tracking the company’s impact on producers and continued progress in meeting Peace Coffee’s mission. Costello became immersed in coffee over ten years ago at a green coffee importer, where she directed sourcing, hedging, quality control, and logistics. She has had the opportunity to learn from coffee farmers throughout the world over many cups of coffee and works to find solutions to the barriers they face to build real, sustained, and meaningful change to the way coffee is grown and valued. She remains continually inspired by the complexity of coffee and how it connects people and places thousands of miles away.  She holds a B.A in environmental studies from Vassar College. She currently serves on the boards of Grow Ahead, a crowdfunding platform that address climate change, and Cooperative Coffees, a green coffee importing cooperative committed to supporting small-scale farmer families.


Matthew Harris
Director of Business Development, Latin America Solar Energy International

Matthew HarrisMatthew Harris first began his renewable energy journey in 1999 as a student of Solar Energy International (SEI), where he has also worked since 2004. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science in architecture with a focus on restorative and resilient buildings. Harris believes that the story of place is a key component to communities and to renewable energy development. During his time with SEI, Harris has played collaborative roles in the natural building education program, co-leading the planning and development of two training centers for solar PV installers in Colorado, and Costa Rica, and launching the SEI training program for Spanish speakers, for which he has served as director of business development since 2013. Harris and his team aim to create long-term value for Spanish speakers in the solar PV industry in the U.S. and Latin America through innovative technical training programs. Since 2013 these efforts have brought training to over nine Spanish-speaking countries, established a comprehensive online learning platform, trained over 7,000 Spanish speakers, and developed the aforementioned training center in Costa Rica. Harris is passionate about a world powered by renewable energy and as equally dedicated to his wife, Alexis, and their two cats, Magic and Percy, growing food, cooking with any one of his six solar ovens, performing improvisational comedy, playing soccer and pickleball, and enjoying the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.


Mary Ellen Iskenderian
President & CEO, Women’s World Banking

Mary Ellen IskenderianMary Ellen Iskenderian is president and CEO of Women’s World Banking, the global non-profit devoted to giving low-income women in the developing world access to the financial tools and resources they require to achieve security and prosperity. She joined Women’s World Banking in 2006 and leads the Women’s World Banking global team, based in New York, and also serves as a member of the Investment Committee of its two impact investment funds. Iskenderian is a passionate advocate for women’s economic empowerment through greater access to finance and is a leading voice for women’s leadership in financial services. She has spoken widely and published extensively on the topic of equality of economic opportunity and women’s financial inclusion. Prior to Women’s World Banking, Iskenderian worked for 17 years at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. She had previously worked for the investment bank Lehman Brothers. Iskenderian is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a member of the Women’s Forum of New York, and the UN’s Business and Sustainable Development Commission.

A 2017 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Fellow, she holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor of science in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.


Robbin Jorgensen
Founder & CEO, Women Igniting Change

Robbin JorgensenRobbin Jorgensen is the Founder and CEO of Women Igniting Change®, a global, purpose driven organization that unleashes the contribution of women around the world. She is a status quo disruptor, human rights activist, female change agent, and global citizen. She is a sought-after global speaker and women’s leadership strategist with 25+ years of experience in sales and marketing, training and business development. Jorgensen’s expertise has been delivered in 14 countries on 6 continents in over 250 seminars, workshops, and events. Her company is trusted by major brands, including General Electric, Bank of America, Cisco, Deloitte, Oracle, Publicis Media, Intuitive Surgical, Vanderbilt University (and many more). Jorgensen was honored as a Human Rights Champion by the United Nations Association of the USA, is the U.S. Ambassador for AVEGA Agahozo in Rwanda, and has been featured by the Cartier Women’s Initiative, Voyage ATL, the Dana Barret Show, OWN IT Magazine and the Atlanta Small Business Network (to name a few). She delivered the keynote address for the 170th Anniversary of the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY, joining the ranks of previous speakers who included Hillary Clinton. Jorgensen is also the founder of the CORA Women’s Center, an economic empowerment initiative in Rwanda that transforms the way women are seen, included, sought out, and relied upon.


Marie-Noëlle Keijzer
Co-founder, CEO WeForest France

Marie Noelle KeijzerMarie Noëlle Keijzer provides strategic guidance to WeForest France. As a multilingual social entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in senior corporate leadership in supply chains, corporate social responsibility, and business transformation, she offers expertise in business development, strategy, marketing, communication, advocacy, and public speaking. She holds a master’s degree in environmental science from the ULB, Belgium, a master’s degree in business administration from IADE, Spain, and is a member of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps.


Jonathan Papoulidis
Jonathon PapoulidisExecutive Advisor on Fragile States, World Vision

Jonathan Papoulidis is Executive Advisor on Fragile States at World Vision where he provides leadership on the Agency’s policy, programs and partnerships for fragile contexts. He previously served with the United Nations, including in Indonesia as UN Coordinator for Aceh and Nias and UN Security Coordinator for Sumatra. From 2004-2006, he served in the UN peacekeeping mission in post-war Liberia as advisor to the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Governance and Recovery. Before that, he was the senior UN OCHA representative in Turkey, preparing for the 2003 Iraq humanitarian response. Prior to these postings, Papoulidis served at UN headquarters in New York, focusing on protection of civilians, conflict prevention, private sector partnerships and post-crisis transitional planning. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University and the Center for Refugee Studies, York University. He has written extensively on resilience, fragility, adaptive management and development cooperation for the Brookings Institution, OECD, World Bank, Harvard International Review, Yale Journal of International Affairs, DevEx, New Humanitarian, US Institute of Peace and the Cambridge Review of International Affairs. He has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.


Ted Piccone
Chief Engagement Officer, World Justice Project

Ted PicconeTed Piccone currently serves as the World Justice Project’s Chief Engagement Officer, where he leads efforts to bridge research, policy, and action to strengthen the rule of law around the world. A recognized expert on global democracy and human rights policies, emerging powers, multilateral affairs, and U.S.-Latin American relations, Piccone also serves as a nonresident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy program. Previously, he served as the Foreign Policy program’s acting vice president and deputy director and was the inaugural Brookings-Robert Bosch Stiftung Transatlantic Initiative fellow in Berlin. Piccone is the author or editor of multiple publications on international affairs, including books on Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order and Catalysts for Change: How the UN’s Independent Experts Promote Human Rights. Piccone served eight years as a foreign policy advisor in the Clinton administration at the National Security Council, the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning, and the Pentagon. He was also the Washington office director for the Club of Madrid and continues as an advisor. He holds degrees with honors from Columbia University’s Law School and the University of Pennsylvania and has taught international human rights law at American University’s Washington College of Law.


Luka Powanga
Professor Economics and Finance and Founder Energy Africa Conference Regis University, Anderson College of Business and Computing, Denver, USA

Luka PowangaLuka Powanga, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of Economics and Finance in the Anderson College of Business at Regis University.  He is the founder of the Energy Africa Conference, which puts together high level decision makers from national governments, business, academia, and civil society from all over the world to meet their colleagues from Africa to exchange ideas, best practices, and technologies, and to form partnerships to invest in the effort needed for Africa to develop power systems that are clean, efficient, cost effective, and appropriate to increase energy access in Africa and mitigate the effects of climate change. The conference, in collaboration with partners, sources and actualizes energy projects in Africa to recast the lives of the region’s citizens. The conference has become one of the world’s premier events on energy in Africa. Powanga is also the founding member of the Denver Chapter of the Angel Capital Group, in addition to connecting U.S. investors to projects in Africa.  He co-founded the Africa Healthcare Group, focused on improving the quality and access to healthcare in Africa. He worked in the mining and telecommunications industry at local and international levels. He taught at Colorado School of Mines before transitioning to Regis University. Powanga consults in economic and mineral development, energy, international trade and investment and education. He holds a BSC degree in metallurgy and mineral processing from the University of Zambia, masters and PhD degrees in mineral economics from Colorado School of Mines USA, with a minor in finance.  He also holds a masters degree in computer information technology (MSCIT) and a graduate certificate in object-oriented programming from Regis University.


Jonathan Scanlon
Scanlon Consulting

Jon ScanlonWith more than 15 years of experience in public policy, campaigning, and advocacy at the state, federal, and global level, Jonathan Scanlon operates Scanlon Consulting. He assists organizations with public policy, advocacy, and rights-based campaigning work, including policy and political analysis, research, advocacy campaign strategy, grassroots and grasstops organizing, communications, coalition building, corporate campaigns, and advocacy Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning. In previous roles, Scanlon worked at Oxfam, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Senate, CARE, and the State of Georgia. Scanlon has a B.A. from Emory University, and an M.S. in international affairs from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Irit Tamir
Director, Private Sector Department, Oxfam America

Irit TamirIrit Tamir is the director of Oxfam America’s Private Sector Department. In her role, she is focused on working with companies to ensure that their business practices result in positive social and environmental impacts for vulnerable communities throughout the world. Tamir leads Oxfam America’s work on business and development, including shareholder engagement, value chain assessments, and collaborative advocacy initiatives, such as the successful “Behind the Brands” campaign. Tamir is co-author of Community Voice in Human Rights Impact Assessments and has contributed to numerous reports at Oxfam, focused on business and human rights issues. She is a frequent commentator on agricultural policies, labor, human rights and their intersection with business in major news outlets including NPR, The Guardian, and The New York Times. Tamir has a JD from Boston College Law School and a master’s in international law from the University of Miami Law School, where she was a Ford Foundation fellow. A devoted human rights activist, she has spoken publicly about human rights, climate resilience, and the food system. Tamir has had years of experience in government relations and is a former prosecutor who supervised civil rights prosecutions and hate crimes.


Atul Tandon
Chief Executive Officer, Opportunity International

Atul TandonAtul Tandon, CEO of Opportunity International, has a background marked by building, scaling and turning around some of the world’s best-known for-profit and non-profit enterprises. Over a 35-year career, his work has impacted financial services and consumer banking, the social sector, non-profit management and governance, the digital economy, and marketing. Prior to Opportunity International, Tandon founded and served as CEO of the Tandon Institute, which provides strategy, solutions and staffing to enable social sector enterprises. Before that, Tandon served as the leader of United Way Worldwide 41-country International Network, helping shape and form the world’s largest network of community-based charities. He also served as United Way’s executive vice president of investor relations, where he oversaw the organization’s worldwide donor engagement and fundraising functions. In 2000, Tandon joined World Vision United States as senior vice president of donor engagement. He served on World Vision’s executive team for nine years and led the organization through a period of unprecedented expansion, tripling revenues over his tenure. In addition to his U.S. responsibilities, he led World Vision’s global initiatives to expand its fundraising in 25 countries. He also served on the board of VisionFund International, World Vision’s microfinance network. Prior to his leadership roles in the non-profit sector, Tandon had a successful career in the global financial services industry. He helped launch Citibank consumer banking franchise in India, introducing services such as ATMs, credit cards, mortgages, consumer loans and remote banking for the first time in the region. Citi brought him to the U.S. in 1992, where he led the turnaround of its bank in California/West, then pioneered customer-centered relationship banking, and went on to serve as Global Branch Distribution for Citi’s worldwide operations. During his tenure, the bank grew its global consumer networks to more than 146 million accounts with $5.3 billion in income with a presence in 101 countries. Tandon began his career in India, where he launched a financial services start-up, introducing innovative financial leasing to Indian capital markets. He earned an MBA and Bachelor of Commerce with honors from the University of Delhi. He holds a certificate in governance from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has taught at both University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, and University of San Francisco’s McLaren School of Business.