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.

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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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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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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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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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.

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

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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Claudia de Castro Caldeirinha,

Claudia de Castro Caldeirinha, Leadership and Gender Equality Senior Specialist; CEO of REDSCOPE Consulting.  Claudia de Castro Caldeirinha is a sought-of Leadership, and Gender Equality Senior Advisor. She is an author, TEDx speaker, trainer & facilitator, and executive coach (ICF-PCC). She is the CEO of REDSCOPE Consulting, a social company based in the heart of the European Union, Brussels. Claudia works internationally for around 20 years. Her broad portfolio of clients includes Presidents, Prime-Ministers, EU Commissioners & CEOs – but also managers and change-makers all over the world. She is a trusted senior advisor of the European Commission and the European Parliament on matters of Gender Balance & Equity, Inclusive Leadership, and DEI.

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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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Bernardo M. Ferdman, Ph.D.

Bernardo M. Ferdman, Ph.D. principal of Ferdman Consulting, distinguished professor emeritus at Alliant International University, and Board-Certified Coach, has focused his career on supporting leaders and organizations in bringing inclusion to life. He is passionate about creating an inclusive and just world where more people can be fully themselves and accomplish goals effectively, productively, and authentically, and he consults to organizations across sectors on inclusive leadership, inclusion, equity, and diversity. Bernardo has worked with organizations around the world for over 36 years to foster inclusion, to implement effective ways of using everyone’s talents and contributions, and to build multicultural and cross-cultural competencies on the part of individuals, teams, and the whole organization, as well as to inspire individuals to find their own voice and make their full contribution. Bernardo created Inclusion@Work®, a digital coaching platform for learning about inclusion, and the Workplace Inclusion Inventory™, a pioneering measure of the experience of inclusion and inclusive behavior.

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Simran Oberoi

Simran Oberoi has more than 18 years of expertise in HR Advisory, Knowledge Development and Research across areas like Diversity & Inclusion, Rewards, Leadership Development with organizations like Aon, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Korn Ferry and Society for Human Resource Management. Faculty for the Diversity and Inclusion at the Workplace course, at Goa Institute of Management and School of Business, Mody University of Science and Technology. Simran has extensive experience of leading across geographies, as the Asia Pacific Sector Leader. Simran worked on research projects about CXO Development and Multigenerational Diversity at the Workplace (with IIM-Bangalore). Simran published 300+ articles, across journals like People Matters, Human Capital, Business Manager, Wall Street Journal Blog, Oil Asia.

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Karen Perham-Lippman Photo

Karen Perham-Lippman, MS, CDP, CAGS is a dynamic executive and mission-driven business strategist with nearly fifteen years of demonstrated strategic and processing thinking results in diversity, equity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, community outreach and employee engagement. As a practitioner with consultancy experience, she has worked with nonprofit, business, state government, and municipal clients. Ms. Perham-Lippman leads supplier diversity and ESG with Xcel Energy and is an Adjunct Professor with the Community College of Denver’s Center for Business, Industry, Technology & Public Service. Ms. Perham-Lippman received her Certified Diversity Professional credentials from Cornell University and is a Ph.D. candidate at Eastern University. 

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Misty Resendez

Misty Resendez is a consultant with Purple Ink. Her experience enables her to strongly grasp the interworking of people and the organization to positively affect cultural diversity and inclusion, organizational change, and leadership development. Misty has over 18 years of professional experience in business administration and leadership methodologies. She has practiced in for-profit and non-profit arenas holding both clinical and management roles, allowing her to utilize her expertise coaching and mentoring leaders to increase organizational performance. Misty earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University. She earned a master’s degree in Management and a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University. Misty is an Assistant Professor in Leadership Studies at Forbes School of Business and Technology at the University of Arizona’s Global Campus.

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