Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Virtual Summit

Speaker & Committee Bios

Find out more about our amazing slate of speakers and the dedicated ILA members serving on the Virtual Summit Committee. Click to return to the DEIB Virtual Summit home page. 

Click on a name below or scroll down to view speaker and committee member bios. 

Featured Speakers

Dr. Amer F. Ahmed

Dr. Amer F. Ahmed is an organizational strategist who helps institutions and leaders address diversity and inclusion, equity, race, and intercultural development through consulting, coaching, group facilitation, and keynote speeches. A frequently requested speaker nationwide, Dr. Ahmed’s approach is grounded in a commitment to inclusive community and excellence. He brings his identity as the son of Indian Muslim immigrants and extensive years as an intercultural and diversity consultant as the sources of a pivotal understanding of the depth of equity and inclusion work. Throughout his career, Dr. Ahmed has worked with large organizations, higher education institutions, nonprofit agencies, schools, and community groups to create understanding and change among key constituents and institutional leaders.

His thought leadership and keen sense of the latest trends informs his approaches to helping groups address potential areas of opportunity to grow and develop. Dr. Ahmed incorporates deep theoretical knowledge of the field combined with a variety of methods including storytelling, discourse on current events and connections to art and music to move audiences to profound awareness of issues and next steps. He is the host of “The Eclectic Inclusion Podcast” featuring prominent figures from the world of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and beyond. Dr. Ahmed has published key opinion pieces and has been featured in media such as MSNBC, documentary film, and other national press outlets for his commentary and critical perspective on news and significant topics in society. He also has keynoted prominent conferences including the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in Higher Education, the Global Engagement in the Liberal Arts Conference, and the Society for Intercultural Education (SIETAR) Conference.

Dr. Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of AFA Diversity Consulting, LLC, a consulting practice dedicated to enhancing the development of organizations through efforts around leadership, professional development, assessment, and strategic change. In addition to his consulting work, Dr. Ahmed currently serves as Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Faculty in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration program in the College of Education and Social Services at University of Vermont.

Daisy Auger-Dominguez

Daisy Auger-Domínguez is an accomplished executive and dynamic leader widely recognized for her ability to lead organizational transformations on the leading edge of culture. As Chief People Officer at Vice Media Group, Daisy leads a global team responsible for people operations and culture, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, corporate facilities, real estate, procurement and ESG. She recently authored Inclusion Revolution, a practical, inspiring roadmap for building and growing equitable workplaces. Auger-Domínguez kicked off her career at Moody’s Investors Service and has since played an integral part on the leadership teams at The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Viacom. 

She also founded and led Auger-Domínguez Ventures, a workplace consultancy.  Her writing has been published in Harvard Business Review, IDEAS.TED and elsewhere. Her professional and civic contributions have earned her recognition, including Hispanic Executive, Top 10 Leaders; 25 Most Powerful Women, People en Espanol, ADCOLOR Legend Award, and the New York City Council Leadership in Community Service Award. Daisy serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and St. Ann’s Warehouse.

Daisy’s bold voice in elevating the importance of inclusion, innovation and courage in workplaces make her a highly sought-after speaker and influencer in the areas of leadership, workplace culture, future of work, and equity.

Allan Bird

Dr. Allan Bird has served as President of The Kozai Group, Inc. since 2001. He is also Senior Professor at the Goa Institute of Management in Goa, India.  From 2009 to 2019 he was the Darla and Frederick Brodsky Trustee Professor in Global Business at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Bird was the Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professor of Japanese Studies and also served as Director of the International Business Institute and Director of the International MBA program in the College of Business at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has previously been a Visiting Professor at Rikkyo University in Japan, Columbia University, Monterey Institute for International Studies, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences in Finland, Osaka International University and Japan’s National Self Defense Academy. He has also served on the faculty of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication. He teaches courses in global leadership development, intercultural management, international negotiations, and intercultural and global leadership assessment.

Professor Bird received his BA in Special Studies from California State University, Fresno, his MA in Comparative Culture and International Business from Sophia University in Japan and his Ph.D. in Organizational Science from the University of Oregon, where he was named Doctoral Student of the Year in 1986 and was a Fulbright Graduate Award recipient.

He has authored, co-authored or edited nine books, over 40 book chapters, and more than 60 journal articles. His most recent book (with M.E. Mendenhall, J.S. Osland, G.R. Oddou, M.L. Maznevski, M. Stevens and G. Stahl) Global Leadership: Research, practice, and development (3nd Edition) was published in 2019.  The second edition won an Award of Merit for Research Scholarship and was a finalist for the University of San Diego’s Leadership Book of the Year Award in 2013.

His articles have appeared in the Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Executive, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of World Business, Journal of International Management, Journal of International Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management, International Studies of Management and Organization, International Journal of Intercultural Research, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Advances in International and Comparative Management, and Advances in Research on the Sociology of Organizations.

His professional service includes tenures as President of the Association of Japanese Business Studies, as well as lengthy service on the Association’s Executive Committee. He was formerly chair of the Careers Division in the Academy of Management and has served on the Executive Committee of the International Management Division. He was a key architect and founding member of the International Organization Network (ION), a network of academics and managers from around the world committed to increasing the quality and impact of research on people and their effectiveness in international organizations. He was also an architect, founding member and the first chairperson of the Consortium for Undergraduate International Business Education (CUIBE), a collaborative effort among more than 45 universities.

In other professional services, Dr. Bird served on the Graduate Advisory Board of the College of Business at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences in Finland and as Honorary Dean of the Park Global School of Business Excellence in India. He also serves on the board of the IGB Network Co., Ltd. in Japan. He has worked with numerous companies in North America, Japan, and Europe, including AT&T, Boeing, Bose, Coca Cola, Eisai, EMC, Ernst & Young, Fujitsu, GE, IBM, Medtronic, Molex, Monsanto, Nippon Express, Sharp, and Watchmark.

Growing up in California’s central valley, his neighborhood included a mix of racial and ethnic heritages, and there were more than sixty ethnic groups in his town.  Through high school, one of his best friends was a Japanese American whose parents, though American citizens, were held in a US internment camp in WWII.  This fostered within him a deep interest in diverse people and a concern for equity.  He spent two years in Japan mid-way through his junior year in college.  After graduation he lived, studied, and worked in Japan for more than 8 years, much of that at the cultural intersections of race, ethnicity, and nationalities.  Throughout his career he has continued to engage globally and work extensively with colleagues from around the world, seeking out ways to foster inclusion.  He has previously served on advisory boards that worked to provide international experiences for students from under-represented communities, served as an Affirmative Action Facilitator in his college, and worked with numerous non-profit organizations in outreach programs for under-served groups.

Joel A. Davis

Meet Dr. Joel A. Brown, the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos LLC (“Pneumos”). Joel works strategically with a variety of organizations, including non-profit organizations, Fortune 500 companies, churches, and institutions of higher learning to build consciousness, capacity, community, and collective esteem. His work spans 5 continents and his mission is to facilitate liberation for every global citizen. Joel is viewed as a master communicator and is best known for his critical analysis, creativity, humor, and his ability to build consensus. Joel is a member of several international think tanks, including D2K, the Diversity Collegium, SIETAR, SIETAR Europa, Young SIETAR, and the Global Community Dialogue. He is an expert panelist with the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks and uses Cultural Detective suite of intercultural tools when facilitating. He is an adjunct professor at the IESEG Management school in Lille and Paris, France, where he teaches executive MBA courses on emotional intelligence, strategic storytelling, and story listening. He is an expert panelist with the Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Benchmarks tool, and is certified in a variety of intercultural tools and assessments.

Joel has also spearheaded programs that focus on Dialogue, Community-building and Healing, LGBTQ+ inclusion, Cultural Design for Start-Ups, Storytelling for Leaders, and Men’s Leadership. Additionally, Joel is a certified leadership coach and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Joel graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy and a double minor in African-American studies and Spanish. Joel also received his law degree from the University of Virginia, as well as a doctorate in leadership and adult education from Saint Mary’s College of California.

In his spare time, Joel is also a nationally-known spoken word poet and storytelling.

Joel has traveled to over 40+ countries, is conversational in Spanish, and has studied abroad in Costa Rica. Joel is a huge NBA and WNBA fan and proudly supports teams in Wisconsin and Northern California. According to rumors, Joel is really famous overseas and is a proud “nerd, jock, geek, and muse.”

Yolanda Caldwell

Yolanda Caldwell is an experienced businesswoman who is committed to serving the community in the empowerment of women, young adults, and families to be intentional in living their lives for impactful purpose.  She is an entrepreneur, consultant, award winning facilitator, coach, and international speaker who specializes in creating and implementing customized solutions for organizational improvement, community development, and personal leadership development.  Yolanda is the Chief Diversity Office, inaugural Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute, and the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY and is the International Leadership Association’s Women and Leadership 2020 Outstanding Practice with Broad Impact Award recipient. Yolanda, founder and owner of Titus Enterprises, LLC, hosts the weekly empowerment call and podcast, The Heightening, where women leaders gather to equip themselves to win in their daily lives through faith. A wife and mother, Yolanda, is committed to living a life that allows her the freedom to love her family, succeed in business and serve the community.

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Gena Cox

Dr. Gena Cox is an organizational psychologist, executive coach, and author of the new book, Leading Inclusion, a groundbreaking guidebook for corporate leaders who want to build inclusive organizations from the top down. Gena is a corporate adviser and executive coach known as a straight shooter who also brings warmth and generosity of spirit to her partnerships. As the CEO of Feels Human, LLC, she guides CEOs, leaders, and boards as they respond to evolving stakeholder expectations and transformation driven by societal change and organic and M&A growth. Her differentiator is the nuanced insights and recommendations she brings from a lifetime of continuous multi-disciplinary learning, enabling her to offer clients uniquely invaluable insights. 

Gena holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational (I-O) Psychology and is a professional certified coach (International Coach Federation). While at IBM and Perceptyx, Gena advised leaders in the Fortune 500 and large global companies to build psychologically healthy and engaging organizational cultures that drive business outcomes. She has consulted with clients including Mastercard, Tech Data, Hitachi, Scotiabank, Corning, Quicken Loans, and Johnson Controls.  Gena’s previous work includes leading internal consulting teams at Raymond James Financial, Inc. and HSNi. Gena has also taught strategic human resources to master’s level students in the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida.

Gena co-chairs the Awards Committee of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and is a member of the Society’s 2022 Leading Edge Consortium Planning Committee. She is on the advisory boards of the University of South Stavros Center and the University of Tampa TECO Energy Center for Leadership. Gena’s work has been featured in national publications, including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Fast Company, Business Journals, BBC Worklife, LinkedIn News, The Telegraph (UK), and Vice. 

Tanya Cruz

Tanya Cruz Teller, M.A., is a passionate, creative leader of systemic change processes founded on principles of personal transformation, collaborative partnerships, whole systems thinking, and Appreciative Inquiry. As an Organization Development (OD) practitioner, she has committed her work to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive world through building great organizations. She has 20+ years of experience as an innovative learning & management professional in international, organizational, and community development. Tanya champions assets-based design in strategic planning, leadership development, & stakeholder engagement. Her career in the international OD and DEI arena includes her role as an expert panelist of the Global Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Benchmarks. Tanya specializes in blended, a/synchronous online Appreciative Inquiry engagements that maximize inclusion, innovation and inspired action. Tanya has worked around the world and is currently based in South Africa, where she leads Spaciousness Works, a global consulting practice providing a range of services related to DEI&B grounded in her Spaciousness Theory of Change. Tanya co­-authored Thriving Women, Thriving World: An Invitation to Dialogue, Healing and Inspired Actions (Taos Institute, 2019), published on her appreciative leadership work in South Africa in Inclusive Leadership: Transforming Diverse Lives, Organizations, and Societies (Ferdman, Prime, Riggio, eds.; Routledge, 2021), and is co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of AI Practitioner: International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry on “Learning and Leveraging Generative Approaches to Inclusion.”

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Juergen Deller

Jürgen Deller is a tenured full university professor  with Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany and also delegate of DIN to the ISO Technical Committee “Ageing Societies.” The Committee has developed ISO 25550 “Ageing societies – General requirement and guidelines for an age-inclusive workforce.” It reflects the core findings of the “Later Life Workplace Index,” a validated instrument developed at my chair. Besides his academic career, Deller has more than 10 years of work experience in the finance and car industry. He has published extensively in both German and English and given many conference papers.

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Bjørn Zakarias Ekelund

Bjørn Zakarias Ekelund, Senior consultant and Chairman of the Board, Human Factors AS, Norway; Research Fellow, Centre for Global Workforce Strategy, Simon Fraser University, Canada.  He is most known for creating the Diversity Icebreaker – a concept that combines assessment of cognitive styles with an experiential learning seminar. Besides running his own companies, he has been lecturing at management schools in organisational psychology and international management. He has been leading professional bodies in organisational psychology in Scandinavia and as a consequence he has built an extensive network among consultants in these countries. 

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Sigmund Elgarøy

Sigmund Elgarøy is a clinical psychologist who has lived and worked in Finnmark in the far north of Norway for the last 20 years. From 2002 to 2016 he worked in SANKS – Sami National Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse. He is a member of the Climate Committee of the Norwegian Psychological Association. Among his interests are Sami history and culture, the relationship between the Norwegian state and the Sami indigenous population, climate change, and ecosystem and biodiversity loss.

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Per Erik Solem

Per Erik Solem: Per Erik Solem has worked with ageing research (gerontology) since he graduated as a licensed psychologist in 1970. He has a wide orientation in gerontology and has worked with ageing in general and psychological and social ageing in particular. He has a long teaching and research experience on subjects such as active ageing, cognitive age changes, dementia, death and dying, ageism, theories of ageing, and occupational gerontology (ageing, work and retirement). In recent years occupational gerontology has been his main research field. Per Erik Solem is professor (20%) in gerontology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Gjøvik, Norway.

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Samantha Erskine

Dr. Samantha E. Erskine is a certified executive/life coach and a Research Fellow at Catalyst Inc. In September 2022, she will join UMass Boston as a tenure track Assistant Professor in the College of Management. As the Founder and President of The Imelda Consulting Group, Samantha guides purpose-driven, transformational change for individuals and organizations. Her research focuses on racialized and gendered emotions as institutional work, CEOs, antiracist feminist leadership, and flourishing/thriving. Previously, Samantha served on the boards of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) in NYC and the Cleveland Chapter of the International Coach Federation.

Prior to starting her entrepreneurial and research endeavors, Samantha worked at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Council of Urban Professionals, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Applied Research Center (now called Race Forward), and Legal Momentum (previously called the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund). Prior to, and during those years, Samantha was also an international Latin dance instructor and performer for 10 years. While she has performed on stages across the world, one of her fondest performance memories was opening for El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico while on a salsa cruise to the Bahamas.

Dr. Erskine has a PhD in Organizational Behavior from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from The New School, a Master of Arts in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and dual Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Charlice Hurst

Dr. Charlice Hurst is an organizational psychologist studying how people can develop the capabilities necessary for effective social impact. As an assistant professor of management and organization at the University of Notre Dame, Charlice teaches social entrepreneurship and social innovation to undergraduate and graduate students. Her article, “The ‘Not Here’ Syndrome” was one of the ten most read publications in Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2021. The article discusses how racism denial in organizations prevents true allyship and perpetuates racial inequality. Dr. Hurst holds a PhD in management from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Harvard University. 

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Matthieu Kollig

Matthieu Kollig works as a freelance trainer, consultant and executive coach since 2007. He is dedicated to connecting people across cultures and providing insights that assure orientation in ambiguous and volatile situations. Until 2006, he was project-manager in the Centre for the Treatment of Victims of Torture in Cologne (Germany). Before that, he supervised an international team of trainers and consultants at the German Academy for International Cooperation (GIZ) for 5 years. He is founder of the trainer network GlobalPilots and associate partner of GlobalExecutiveCoaches and Human Factors. Matthieu speaks German, French, English and Spanish.

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Niru Kumar

Dr. Niru Kumar has been honoured as Padma Shri Awardee 2021 for her
tireless work in the field of Diversity and Inclusion. She is also the National Icon
and Board member Election Commission of India.

She is a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Medical Doctor, Executive Coach,
NLP Master Practitioner trained from Dr. Richard Bandler founder NLP and a
CHI Certified Teacher and Practitioner of Hypnosis.

Dr. Niru’s consulting and training sessions are one of its kind as she skilfully
uses Diversity & Inclusion, Coaching skills, NLP and Hypnotherapy techniques
to bring profound and authentic transformation in personal and professional
lives of the participants.

A pioneer in the field of Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. Niru is the founder of a D&I
Consulting firm Ask Insights and began this journey 15 years back. This
is a woman owned firm and is the only D&I Consulting firm which has
partnered with the world’s best thought leaders in the field, Dr John Gray,
Author of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, Symmetra, The
Gender Intelligence Group, FutureWork Institute and QED Consulting.

Dr. Niru offers her expertise in Diversity Strategy, Policies, Talent Management,
Assessments and Analytics covering areas of Gender Generation, LGBTQ,
Disability and Unconscious Bias and Inclusion. She has provided consulting
to more than 50 leading organizations and trained more than 30.000 people
from Global Leaders to frontline in plants in remotest areas. Some of her
clients are Unilever, Google, Amazon, Flipkart, Aditya Birla, PepsiCo, TATA etc.

She also coaches top Global Leaders in the field of Inclusive Leadership in
one-to-one sessions. Through the workshops and these sessions, the leaders are
able to drive change within the organisation to not only be inclusive
but to leverage Diversity of Thought in Innovation and be Market Leaders.

She is currently running many Global Projects for top leaders in various
geographies in companies like Unilever, Concentrix etc.

Organizations who have partnered with Ask Insights and Dr. Niru have
achieved measurable tangible results in terms of hiring, retaining and
progression of diverse groups. They have also received global visibility and
awards for their collaborative initiatives with her. PepsiCo received the highly
prestigious international Harvey C Russel award as a result of these initiatives.

An alumnus of Maulana Azad Medical Collage of New Delhi, Dr. Niru, post her
MBBS joined Central Government Health Services (CGHS) where she officiated
for more than 25 years as a Senior Gazetted Officer. and took a voluntary
retirement to pursue her passion.

Holistic Health – She is certified in all levels of Reiki, Pranic Healing and Law of
Attraction. She has been taking care of physical, psychological and spiritual
health for more than 30 years.

Dr.Niru is an extremely popular public speaker. She often appears on TV
Shows and is featured in Business Magazines. She was recently invited to the
famous “Maan ki Baat” radio show. She is also regularly invited to schools,
colleges & universities to guide and motivate teachers, parents and students
through talks and seminars. She boldly quotes her own life experiences
where she has overcome major physical and emotional challenges in her own
life and relationships. Her positivism, optimism strength and genuineness are
indeed a source of inspiration to many.

Susanne Normann

Susanne Normann is senior researcher in Nordland Research Institute. She holds a doctoral degree from the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. In her dissertation she explored Indigenous experiences with the “double burden” of climate change; in addition to changing landscapes due to global warming, “green” industries now severely affect their territories.

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Lakshmi Ramaswamy

Lakshmi Ramaswamy Co-Founded Being You! Consulting LLP* that works with individuals, organizations & academia in strengthening competencies and empowering people. Decades of working in leading organizations like ISRO, Airtel, Zee Group & Fore School of Management, has reinforced her belief in the innate potential of an individual & the power of collective positive intent.

As a Certified Career Progression Coach, she works with Senior Leaders to enhance their abilities to perform better in their current role or transition into aspirational roles.

She has led and enabled organization-wide transformational projects through developmental interventions, change management, process design and system implementation.

She has an Engineering degree in Electronics and a Post Graduation in Management from the Goa Institute of Management. 

To balance work & family priorities, she has had to take multiple breaks during her active professional career due to child birth, elder care & spouse job re-location. However, every break gave her new opportunities to learn and grow stronger as a person. She pursued a full-time MBA program after her first child was born, which helped her to rejoin the workforce full-time(at a time when workplaces were not so women friendly). After her second child and during the maternity leave, she kept learning & upskilling and took on a larger role through an internal job posting. A few years later, when her first son was ready to go to college, she decided to take a break from full-time work. She equipped herself with a formal coaching  certification and co-founded a coaching consulting practice. She is also a certified energy healing practitioner. Having realized that an individual’s progress depends on multiple facets of life, she uses a multi-modal integrated coaching approach. 

She is passionate about taking music and education to larger masses, has organized fund-raisers for spreading education, organized several Indian classical music shows to encourage young talent. She is also a visiting faculty at various MBA colleges and mentors students & faculty there. 

Surbhi Rastogi

Surbhi Rastogi is a globally experienced talent professional with nearly 10 years’ experience in conceptualization and implementation of total reward policies and people experience strategies. She started her career as an HR consultant for one of the largest IT organizations in India. From this role, she moved to being the Rewards specialist for GE Capital in London, where she handled compensation and benefits for 12 countries across Europe. Apart from workplace learning about rewards and recognition, this role taught her to be sensitive to nuances in various cultures and develop acceptance towards inclusivity and diversity in work space.

Post this stint, she moved back to India with her husband and a toddler in tow to join Coca Cola Inc. as the Rewards Lead for their India and South West Asia business. Though she loved the role and the organization, this move was really tough on her daughter who was 16 months old at the time. The organization did not have a flexible working policy at the time (which she introduced during her stint there) and she tried her best to balance her daughter’s health with demands of the role. But having no dependable support system, she had to put in her papers. She took a break and concentrated on getting her daughter back to good health. Once her daughter was 3, she started looking for work again, only to face rejection due to the break, even though she was more than qualified for many of the positions. Meanwhile, she also had her second daughter. 

Once her little one was about 8 months, she finally got a role with Deloitte Consulting as a Rewards Lead for their Consulting practice which was around 12000+ associates at that point in time. This role comprised of creating a compensation strategy road map for the organization in mid to long term. Though she has the option of working from home for some of the days, the role required frequent travel to the headquarters and it again got tough managing two young children and the travel and hectic work timings. Unfortunately, organizations were hardly open to zoom meetings at that point of time 🙂

Again, she put in her papers, and this time decided to take a longer break to make sure her kids became more independent. She did her Certified Rewards Professional Course from Aon and started penning down stories for her children around simple messages which she wanted to convey to them. Hence her first story ‘The Little Girl Who Healed Herself’ came into being, and was well received. Subsequently, her second story ‘My Step Daughter’s First Period’ became viral with over 710K views on Momspresso. She won various awards like Times Write India Write Award 2020, Orange Flower Award 2018, Digital Women Awards from SheThePeople TV, Top Blogger of the Month Award from Momspresso for her writing pursuits. She was a part of two anthologies ‘A Jar of Memories’ – Stories by mothers as well as ‘The Woman That I am’. She also volunteered as Community Editor for SheThePeople TV and has been recently appointed as WICCI Council Member for Haryana Arts Leadership Council. 

During covid lockdown, she decided that now that her girls were independent enough, she wanted to try to resume her career in corporate. To get updated about the latest in the industry and network with like-minded professionals, she decided to pursue Executive Development Course in Human Resources from XLRI and post the completion of the course, she has been recently appointed Global Group Total Rewards Lead for AllCargo after a break of nearly 6 years. She hopes to share her experiences with many others like her and help them restart their career journeys. 

Tissa Richards

Tissa Richards has a mission to create a legion of leaders with an unshakable sense of self. She is a keynote speaker, executive coach and corporate facilitator who works with F1000 and hyperscale organizations, guiding them to create blueprints for individual and organizational success, develop high-performance cultures, and to diversify c-suites and corporate boardrooms. As a repeat software founder and CEO, Tissa sits at the intersection of entrepreneurship, fundraising and executive leadership. She has raised millions of dollars for her companies, won awards for innovation and products, and holds multiple patents for complex cybersecurity software. Learn more at https://www.tissarichards.com/

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Lyn Rudder

In the last 23 years, Lyn Rudder substantively and technically supported the vision and mission of UNFCCC in various areas and from different perspectives, including leading organizational change programs and development initiatives. Since 2019, Lyn has been the Lead of Non-structural Changes, responsible for developing and implementing change processes focusing on building an environment of trust, boosting staff motivation, and capitalizing on their interest and expertise to strengthen the secretariat’s response to the climate change emergency. Hence, achieving results by fostering a people-centered organization, sustaining a sense of belonging in the work environment, and driving cultural transformation through people, diversity and inclusion.

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Sumeet Singh

Sumeet Singh Patpatia is Schibsted´s first Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging. He has a Master of Science in Business and a Major in Economics from the Norwegian School of Business (BI) and broad experience from multinational companies, working with innovation and transformation. In addition, he has a long experience building diversity in society. He has established and led the organization Young Sikhs and the annual event “The Norwegian Turban Day”. He sits on the board of Impact Norway, is a member of the council for religious and life stance communities in Norway and is a deputy member of the Council for Multicultural Minorities in Oslo, appointed by Oslo City Council.

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Daryl G. Smith

Daryl G. Smith is Senior Research Fellow and Professor Emerita of Education and Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. She joined CGU as a faculty member after serving for years as a college administrator in planning and research and student affairs. Among other published work, she is the author of Diversity’s Promise for Higher Education: Making it Work (3rd ed), and author or co-author of  Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education: Emerging Cross-national Perspectives on Institutional Transformation, Leadership Excellence in a Pluralistic Society: The Role of Identity and Inclusive Leadership, Building Institutional Capacity for Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine, Achieving Faculty Diversity: Debunking The Myths, Interrupting The Usual: Successful Strategies for Hiring Diverse Faculty, Organizational Learning a Tool for Diversity and Institutional Effectiveness.

She has served as an evaluator and consultant to numerous projects, professional associations, and campuses across the country and to foundations such as the James Irvine Foundation, the Haas Jr. Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and The Hewlett Foundation. She served as part of two U.S. delegations to Ford Foundation sponsored trinational conferences (India, South Africa, U.S.) on campus diversity, higher education, and democracy, that took place in South Africa and the United States. Smith was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in South Africa in 2010 and 2012.

Lisa Taylor-Weaver

Lisa Taylor-Weaver is the Director of Engagement at The Cellular Connection (TCC) in Fishers, IN. She has been employed with TCC since 1999, joining the company soon after graduating from Indiana University Kokomo with a degree in Finance and Economics.  As TCC has grown, Lisa has been given the opportunity to grow, professionally, taking on several new roles and positions in her 23 years with the company.  Lisa’s greatest accomplishments with TCC has been her work with TCC Gives and More Than A Phone, the company’s non-profit initiatives along with trailblazing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives throughout the company.  As the Director of DEI, she led the program creation highlighting minority groups at both the corporate and store level.  She actively provides insight to this ongoing endeavor as the work to show proper representation and belonging continues. 

Outside of the office, Lisa is actively involved with her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and also serves on several boards in her hometown which focus on improving the lives of those in the community.  As a former student of Marion High School and forever Marion Giant, she also enjoys assisting the high school’s Black History Club with their annual College Tour in its ongoing effort of exposing high school students to colleges and universities throughout the country. 

Lisa has been married to her husband Anthony for over 19 years and has three children – Emon, Arden, and Ace.

Tamara Thorpe

Tamara Thorpe is best known as the Millennials Mentor, and is a recognized thought-leader in next generation leadership. Tamara applies a dynamic approach and compassionate approach to leadership, to create culturally smart and inclusive leaders. She has mentored and coached professionals from across the globe sharing her expertise in leadership development, understanding difference, and intergenerational collaboration.

Tamara has a Masters in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University in British Columbia, Canada and is a published author and researcher. She is a serial entrepreneur, and has taken her business and brand global with offices in the US and Ireland. She has been a guest expert on the top podcasts, blogs and radio shows for Millennial leaders. You can read more about her and her work at www.tamarathorpe.com 

Katherine Tyler Scott

Katherine Tyler Scott is the Principal of Ki ThoughtBridge, LLC, a company that is known for its integrated approach to the development of individual and organizational leadership and processes that increase adaptive capacity, efficacy, and resilience. She has developed and led numerous leadership programs, trainings, and workshops for educational, religious, philanthropic, and business organizations.

Katherine is trained in Organizational Development and is certified to administer and interpret numerous assessment tools. Among them are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Emotional and Social Competency Indicator (ESCI). She is certified in Conflict Resolution and Negotiation by The Harvard Negotiation Project.

Following her career as a clinical social worker at public and private institutions, Katherine developed and directed the Lilly Endowment Leadership Education Program, a statewide leadership education initiative. This work led to the development of a national center for leadership development – Trustee Leadership Development (TLD). During her 17-year tenure as director of TLD the organization provided leadership and governance education and training to over 50,000 not-for-profit and for-profit leaders, and over a thousand institutions.

In addition to her professional work, Katherine is an active volunteer. As a past president of the International Leadership Association – a membership organization of nearly 3,000 scholars, researchers, and educators from more than twenty-eight countries – she was President of the board and helped it transition from an advisory group to a governance board. She is a contributing author to ILA publications, is a workshop presenter and frequent Conference Weaver. Katherine is as a 2021-2022 ILA Fellow.

Katherine is a board member of Women4Change and chairs the Civic Education Committee. She is a co-creator and facilitator of the “Civics, Civility and Consensus” a series of community conversations about our governance and led the development of a series of educational videos on the Constitution. She is co-chair of the 2022 Civic Education Conference to be held October 6, 2022.

While serving as Chair of the Board of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Association (SKLA)), she was a member of the Commission for Downtown and was on the boards of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. She and a group of SKLA colleagues developed “Finding Common Ground,” a race relations training program. Katherine is a founding member of the Indianapolis chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women, and an active lay leader in the Episcopal Church. A ten-time Deputy to General Convention, she has chaired or co-chaired numerous legislative and policymaking committees. Katherine was a trustee of the Church Pension Fund and The National Cathedral Association and served as Vice Chair of the Board of both organizations. 

She is an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where she has served on the Vestry and is a Lector and Intercessor. 

Katherine has written extensively on the subject of integrated adaptive leadership, trusteeship, organizational development, and change management.

She is the author of Creating Caring and Capable Boards: Reclaiming the Passion for Active Trusteeship, published by Jossey-Bass in 2000, The Inner Work of the Leader: Discovering the Leader Within, 1999; Transforming Leadership, a Teaching Series on Transformation in religious settings; and is a contributing author to Spirit at Work, edited by Jay Conger, Jossey-Bass publisher; and Transformational Thinking for 21st Century Leadership, published in 2010. Katherine is author of “The New Basics: Inner Work for Adaptive Challenges” in The Transforming Leader, edited by Carol Pearson and published by Berrett-Koehler, 2012. The Transforming Leader was nominated for the 2014 Outstanding Leadership Book Award. Her Chapter, “The New Basics: Inner Work for Adaptive Challenges” is included in The Transforming Leader, edited by Carol Pearson, and published by Berrett-Koehler, 2012. The Transforming Leader was nominated for a 2014 Outstanding Leadership Book Award.

Katherine is the recipient of numerous awards for her professional work and community leadership. Among them are the National Association of Community Leadership Award, The Hoosier Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award; the Sagamore of the Wabash the highest award given by the Governor for outstanding community contribution and service.

Bert Vercamer

Bert Vercamer is an innovative Organizational Development leader with demonstrated expertise defining organizational vision and strategy, ensuring everyone’s voice is included (diversity and inclusion -> how to deal with difference), developing large scale impactful learning solutions/programs, guiding global program development, coaching executives, and enabling cultural transformation for global non-profits, government agencies, corporations, and educational institutions. He is adept at building and managing global programs and driving strategic initiatives through product innovation, process development, and design thinking methodologies. He leverages an entrepreneurial mindset to launch startup organizations in numerous countries and develop innovative ideas into scalable business models.

He is proficient in a number languages including Dutch, English, French, and some rusty German language skills with experience managing cross-cultural leadership and remote teams, having worked in 45 countries across four continents. He successfully created positive business and social impact through blended learning with a record of strengthening performance, improving collaboration, impacting bottom line contributions, and enabling team members to contribute in increasingly effective ways through diversity education.

Bert has a Masters in both Economics and Intercultural Relations and received his education at the University of Ghent (Belgium), University of the Pacific (USA), the School of Management and Law in Zurich (Switzerland), University of South Africa, and the Intercultural Institute in Portland (USA).

He is also qualified administrator in the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), certified administrator of the Intercultural Awareness Profile (IAP), the Global Competencies Inventory (GCI) and the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES).

Highlighted areas of expertise include:
| Program Development | Mentoring & Coaching | Diversity Education | Business Strategy Design | Change Management | Strategy & Operations | Product Development | Client Needs Analysis | Operational Excellence

Savita Vijayan

Savita Vijayan, Co-founder & Functional Strategist, The Elephant Rumble

 After working for 12 years in industries like hospitality, IT, media, and the financial sector in areas like organizational development, project management, content management & customer relations etc.; I did take a leap into creating my own business venture in partnership with my sister – The Elephant Rumble!

Back into the corporate world this year. As beautifully covered by the Tanishq advert, while i was an Entrepreneur I was also a CEO at the Boot-Camp Corp 🙂 I am a mama to a toddler boy. 

Not a Netflix-er (anyone else out there?) and I love painting, DIY, arranging and rearranging 😉 my closet and trying out local cuisines on my travels.

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Jeremy York

Jeremy York is Purple Ink’s Vice President of Talent Strategy and Success and co-author of The JoyPowered® Organization. His expertise in defining and understanding the “big picture” enables him to translate business needs into tangible solutions. Jeremy has over 20 years of experience in human resource strategy and operations. Holding various HR leadership roles, he has worked with and advised all levels of management on critical business and people-related issues. These items include HR strategy, performance management, strategic planning, talent management and acquisition, leadership, and more. With his guidance, organizations have improved employee relations, increased performance, and developed cultures based on mutual trust and respect. Jeremy earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision from Purdue University and a master’s in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. He is a SHRM-Senior Certified Professional and a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Jeremy is an adjunct faculty member for the Department of Organizational Leadership at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and is involved in SHRM, HR Indiana SHRM, and IndySHRM.

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Planning Committee

Joanne Barnes

Joanne Barnes (Ed.D.) is a Professor in the Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership program at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) and a senior consultant with Kozai Group in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Joanne also consults in Cultural Competence and Diversity and is a certified trainer/coach in the Inclusive Competency Inventory, Inclusive Behaviors Inventory, Intercultural Effectiveness Scale, Cultural Intelligence, and Global Competency Inventory. She consults with business, healthcare organizations, boards of trustees and higher ed institutions to assist in developing cultural humility and creating a more equitable work environment. She also works with institutions to help them develop curricula that prepares students to enter a global workforce that desires leaders who have cultural humility. Dr. Barnes serves on the board of trustees for Houghton College in New York and is also a board member for the International Leadership Association. She has worked with the 2019/2020 United Nations WE Empower winners as a “master leadership coach” and served as leadership coach for the 2018 UN WE Empower winner from Jordan.

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Chris Cartwright

Chris Cartwright, MPA, Ed.D. is a consultant, researcher, and instructor supporting individuals and organizations in assessing and developing intercultural, global leadership, and inclusive competencies. He is an associate of Aperian Global, the Connective Leadership Institute, icEdge, and the Kozai Group and has 40+ years of experience in multiple sectors. He is an adjunct faculty for Portland State University. He served 10 years as Director of Intercultural Assessment and Associate Director of the Graduate Program for the Intercultural Communication Institute. Prior to this, he served as the Dean of Academic Programs for the International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership.

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Bjørn Zakarias Ekelund

Bjørn Zakarias Ekelund, Senior consultant and Chairman of the Board, Human Factors AS, Norway; Research Fellow, Centre for Global Workforce Strategy, Simon Fraser University, Canada.  He is most known for creating the Diversity Icebreaker – a concept that combines assessment of cognitive styles with an experiential learning seminar. Besides running his own companies, he has been lecturing at management schools in organisational psychology and international management. He has been leading professional bodies in organisational psychology in Scandinavia and as a consequence he has built an extensive network among consultants in these countries. 

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Karen Perham-Lippman

Karen Perham-Lippman, MS, CDP, CAGS is a speaker, author, and award-winning professional with over a decade of accomplishments in diversity, equity, and inclusion; environmental, social & governance (ESG), corporate social responsibility (CSR). She has worked regional and globally with non-profit, business, state government and municipal clients. She is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director for Jensen Hughes, the global leader in engineering, consulting and technology that makes our world safe, secure, and resilient. As a first-generation college student, she proudly teaches as an Adjunct Professor in the Business Center at the Community College of Denver, which serves one of the most diverse student populations in Colorado. Karen has been recognized with numerous awards for leadership, service to non-profits and public schools, mentoring, and dedication to youth and families in poverty and in 2021 was appointed by the Governor to the State of Colorado’s Business Experiential Learning Commission. She is a Certified Diversity Professional and a PhD candidate at Eastern University.

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