Speaker Bios

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NazliChoucriNazli Choucri
Professor of Political Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Nazli Choucri is Professor of Political Science. Focusing on international relations, she concentrates on sources and consequences of international conflict and violence. Professor Choucri is the Principal Investigator and Director of a multi-year multi-disciplinary collaborative research project of MIT and Harvard University on Explorations in Cyber International Relations. She is the Associate Director of MIT’s Technology and Development Program (TDP), and the architect and Director of the Global System for Sustainable Development (GSSD), a multi-lingual web-based knowledge networking system focusing on the multi-dimensionality of sustainability.

Professor Choucri is the founding Editor of the MIT Press Series on Global Environmental Accord and the former General Editor of the International Political Science Review. The author of eleven books and over 120 articles, Dr Choucri has been involved in research or advisory work for national and international agencies, and for a number or countries, including: Algeria, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. She is a member of the European Academy of Sciences, and has been re-elected President of the Scientific Advisory Committee of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformation (MOST) Program.

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JohnClarkJohn Clark
Enterprise Market Manager
Skybox Imaging

John is an Enterprise Market Manager at Skybox Imaging. Skybox empowers global businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations to make better decisions with timely satellite imagery and analytic services. At Skybox, John is building a network of humanitarian partners that leverage Skybox technology to advance their missions.

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Lewis Curtis
Director, Microsoft Services Disaster Response

As the Director of Microsoft Services Disaster Response, Lewis is accountable for the safety and success of all Microsoft services teams and ground operations for disaster response worldwide. Lewis has been a long time technology architect and program manager for many years at Microsoft leading initiatives in datacenter design, cyber security and disaster recovery and resiliency operations. Before Microsoft, Lewis worked for Sun Microsystems and Digital Equipment Corporation.
Outside of work, He and his wife Linda have been married for over 15 years and reside on their 12 acre farm in Duvall WA raising dairy goats, chickens, honey bees and hogs.

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Rebecca E. Curzon
Senior Program Manager
IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs

Rebecca E. Curzon is Senior Program Manager with IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, with leadership roles in business integration, philanthropy, and volunteer enablement. Ms. Curzon manages IBM’s global strategy in humanitarian disaster response, applying IBM technology, solutions, expertise and innovation to critical needs in the aftermath of disaster; and developing strategic partnerships around mitigation of the effects of disaster using technology for smarter and more resilient cities. She represents IBM on the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Disaster Assistance and Recovery Working Group. She is on the board of directors of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts.

Ms. Curzon also leads IBM’s global citizenship Grant-making Center of Excellence, providing IBM’s worldwide citizenship team with training, tools, resources, and best practices for awarding strategic grants from IBM’s growing portfolio of Impact Grant offerings, all in support of local nonprofit and education partners as they address societal issues and achieve results.

Ms. Curzon has been part of global teams to integrate IBM’s strategies in corporate citizenship into the business and to leverage business offerings for community benefit. In 2003 she helped launch the On Demand Community, IBM’s flagship global initiative and website to support IBMers as they volunteer in their communities. For nine years she led creation of all content for the site, including dozens of activity kits for use in volunteering in schools and nonprofits, which were made available to the public (ibm.com/volunteer) in honor of IBM’s Centennial Celebration of Service in 2011. These free kits focus on topics ranging from STEM and “Watson” (the gameshow-winning computer) to mentoring and nonprofit capacity building. Ms. Curzon came to IBM from Lotus Development Corporation where she managed volunteerism and philanthropic programs focusing on nonprofit use of Lotus software. Previously she was with the Smithsonian Institution. She is a certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute. She has volunteered actively for decades at schools, nonprofits, and in her faith community.

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Gembara_ProfileAlbert Gembara
Technology Integration Officer

Albert Gembara is the Technology Integration Officer (TIO) for the U.S. Agency for International Development – Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). OFDA is the office that is responsible for leading and coordinating the U.S. Government’s response to international crises and disasters. As TIO, Albert serves as OFDA’s lead advisor on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in humanitarian assistance and foreign disaster relief operations. Prior to this assuming this position, Albert was a disaster operations specialist (DOS), where he assisted in developing USG foreign disaster response strategies, and managed grants for humanitarian donor organizations. He has been with USAID/OFDA since 2010, and has supporting disaster response activities around the world.

Before coming to USAID, Albert was on active and reserve duty as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, where he was a team leader for a Maritime Civil Affairs team (MCAT). As a Maritime Civil Affairs officer, he acted as a civil-military liaison, and supported foreign humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

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goentzel-jarrodJarrod Goentzel
MIT Humanitarian Response Lab

Jarrod Goentzel is founder and director of the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab, which strives to make supply chains more responsive to human needs. His research focuses on supply chain design and management, transportation procurement and planning, humanitarian needs assessments, information management and the use of technology to facilitate decision-making. Based in the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, Dr. Goentzel has developed graduate-level courses in supply chain finance, international operations and humanitarian logistics and has extensive experience using simulation games to develop intuition and leadership skills. He also directs the MIT Renewable Energy Delivery project.

Previously, Dr. Goentzel was Executive Director of the MIT Supply Chain Management Program, where he was responsible for design and management of the nine-month professional master’s degree program. He joined MIT in 2003 to establish the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program, which developed novel education, research, and outreach programs with the Zaragoza Logistics Center in Spain. Dr. Goentzel has also led supply chain consulting and product development teams with a large ERP company and technology startups.

Dr. Goentzel received a Ph.D. from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a M.S. in applied mathematics from Colorado State University, and a B.A. in mathematics from Tabor College with studies at the Technical University of Budapest (Hungary).

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Jose Holguin-VerasJosé Holguín-Veras
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Dr. José Holguín-Veras, is the William H. Hart Professor and Director of the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems, and the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2013 White House’s Transportation Champion of Change Award, the 1996 Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award, and the 2001 National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award. His research interests are in the areas of freight transportation modeling and economics, and humanitarian logistics. His work has opened the door to new paradigms of freight systems that, not only increase economic efficiency environmental justice. His research has led to major changes in transportation policy and substantial improvements in the ability to improve urban freight systems. His work on humanitarian logistics has played an influential role in disaster response procedures, and has led to deeper insight into how best to respond to large disasters and catastrophic events. He is President of the Scientific Committee of the Pan-American Conferences of Traffic and Transportation Engineering, and member of the Scientific Committee of the World Conference of Transport Research. He is a member of numerous technical committees and editorial boards of leading journals. He received his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1996; a M.Sc. from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1984; and a B.Sc. from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo en 1982.

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Andre Kearns
Senior Director, Solutions Marketing

Andre Kearns is currently Senior Director, Solutions Marketing at DigitalGlobe and leads the effort to identify, evaluate and incubate new solutions that enable the company to drive profitable growth. An accomplished executive, Andre has focused his career in technology, primarily serving in marketing and strategy roles.

Andre holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA in Business Administration from Morehouse College. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children and offices out of the DigitalGlobe Herndon office.

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Jacob Korenblum
President & CEO

Jacob leads Souktel’s growing team, building on his past experience managing economic development and emergency relief projects for US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) projects. Fluent in Arabic and French, Jacob has worked in the emergency aid sectors in the Middle East, East Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean. He is a frequent panelist on technology, development, and labor markets–with speaking engagements ranging from the GSMA Mobile World Congress to the World Bank Human Development Forum. He has co-authored a chapter in the sector publication “Mobile Technologies for Conflict Management” and has written articles on mobile technology for the MIT Innovations Journal, CNBC Online, and the Overseas Development Institute. His work as a Souktel co-founder has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company and the UK’s Guardian newspaper. Jacob holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University, where he also served as a Harvard Reynolds Foundation Fellow in Social Enterprise from 2005-06.

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jlascherJonathan Lascher
Partners In Health

Jonathan Lascher is the Haiti Program Manager at Partners In Health (PIH). Since joining PIH in 2009, Jonathan has been responsible for managing programs and operations in Haiti. He helped manage the Haiti-based response efforts to the 2010 earthquake, coordinating emergency relief supplies, donated materials, and product distribution throughout PIH’s network of hospitals. Jonathan also managed PIH’s campaign to introduce the cholera vaccine in Haiti and oversaw the vaccination of nearly 50,000 people in the rural Lower Artibonite region. He also managed a partnership with the Abbott Fund to construct a production facility for peanut-based ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). In addition to his work at PIH, Jonathan serves as Outreach Director for Hope Through Health (HTH), www.hthglobal.org, a health and social justice organization based in Togo, West Africa dedicated to ensuring access to health care. Before joining PIH, Jonathan served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in northern Togo working with the community, local government, and HTH to open the region’s first community-based HIV/AIDS treatment center. Jonathan graduated from The George Washington University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and African Studies and a minor in Peace Studies.

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emanuele_lubranoEmanuele Lubrano
Founder and Vice-President for Drone Adventures
Head of Industrialization for senseFly

Emanuele Lubrano, Ph.D., is one of the founders of Drone Adventures. The goal of this non-profit organization is to demonstrate the many great applications of drones in conservation, cultural, humanitarian and search and rescue domains. This is done by carrying out practical missions using drones in the four corners of the earth and communicating the results through videos, articles and conferences. Emanuele organized and took part in several Drone Adventures mapping missions, including one in Haiti with the IOM, and another in Peru with University College London. He is also the Head of Industrialization of the civil drone manufacturing firm senseFly.

Before working for senseFly and founding Drone Adventures, Emanuele was working for the Swatch Group. Emanuele has a Ph.D. in Manufacturing Systems and Robotics, from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), on the subject of nano-precision robotics.

See www.droneadventures.org for more information.

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NicoleLurieNicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H.
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
U.S. Public Health Service
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Lurie is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The mission of her office is to lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters, ranging from hurricanes to bioterrorism.

Dr. Lurie was previously Senior Natural Scientist and the Paul O’ Neill Alcoa Professor of Health Policy at the RAND Corporation. There she directed RAND’s public health and preparedness work as well as RAND’s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services; in state government, as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health; and in academia, as Professor in the University of Minnesota Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Lurie has a long history in the health services research field, primarily in the areas of access to and quality of care, mental health, prevention, public health infrastructure and preparedness and health disparities.
Photograph of Dr. Lurie

Dr. Lurie attended college and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency and MSPH at UCLA, where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. She is the recipient of numerous awards, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Finally, Dr. Lurie continues to practice clinical medicine in the health care safety net in Washington, DC. She has three sons.

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Patrick Meier, QCRI

Patrick Philippe Meier
Director of Social Innovation
Qatar Computing Research Institute

Patrick Meier (PhD) is an internationally recognized thought leader on the application of new technologies for crisis early warning, humanitarian response and resilience. He presently serves as Director of Social Innovation at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) where he develops and prototypes Next Generation Humanitarian Technologies using Social Computing, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Patrick is also a UNICEF Humanitarian Innovations Fellow, a Rockefeller Foundation and PopTech Fellow, a Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and a member of the Academy of Achievement (AoA). His influential blog iRevolution has received over 1.2 million hits and his LinkedIn profile is in the top 1% of most-viewed profiles.

Prior to QCRI, Patrick co-founded and co-directed the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) Program on Crisis Mapping & Early Warning and served as Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi. He has consulted extensively for several international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank. He co-founded CrisisMappers, MicroMappers, Digital Humanitarians, the award-winning Standby Task Force and sits on the Board of iLab Liberia. Patrick is an accomplished speaker, having given talks at the White House, UN, Google, Harvard, Stanford and MIT. He has also presented at major international conferences including the Skoll World Forum, Club de Madrid, Mobile World Congress, PopTech, Where 2.0, TTI/Vanguard, SXSW and several TEDx’s. In 2010, he was publicly praised by President Bill Clinton for his digital humanitarian efforts. Given his unique expertise, Patrick is often interviewed by the media, which has included the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, UK Guardian, CNN, NPR and Wired. He is also a distinguished scholar, holding a PhD from The Fletcher School, a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from Stanford University, an MA from Columbia University and EAP from UC Berkeley. In addition, he was a Research Fellow at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and holds an advanced certificate in complexity science from the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). Patrick has given numerous guest lectures and has taught several professional, graduate and undergraduate courses. He writes the widely respected iRevolution blog and tweets at @patrickmeier.

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Lina NilssonLina Nilsson
Innovation Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies
University of California Berkeley

Lina Nilsson is the Innovation Director at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California Berkeley. At the Center’s Development Impact Lab (DIL), a USAID Development Lab headquartered at UC Berkeley, she designs financial and technical support platforms for university innovations (from ‘lab bench to community’).

Lina also runs the Center’s On-Ramp, a pre-accelerator program for early stage innovators. She has previously worked on novel TB diagnostics in Vietnam, and is also the founder of Tekla Labs, a group that creates instructions for building laboratory equipment using locally available supplies.

Lina has a Dr.sc from the ETH Zurich and is a recipient of the ETH Medal for her doctoral thesis work. In 2013, she was recognized as a MIT Tech Review Innovator under 35.

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AmyNoreuilAmy Noreuil
Geographic Information Specialist and Co-Team Lead, Geographic Information Unit
USAID Office of Transition Initiatives

Amy Noreuil is a Geographic Information Specialist and Co-Team Lead for the USAID Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) Geographic Information Unit. USAID/OTI supports U.S. foreign policy objectives by helping local partners advance peace and democracy in priority countries in crisis. Seizing critical windows of opportunity, OTI works on the ground to provide fast, flexible, short-term assistance targeted at key political transition and stabilization needs. The Geographic Information Unit is tasked with providing data analysis and visualization support to inform OTI country programs around the world.

Amy holds a BA in International Affairs from the Elliot School of International Affairs and a MA in Geography from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Prior to working for USAID/OTI, she held positions at USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, U.S. Embassy Gabon – Political Section, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Council for Excellence in Government.

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TedOkadaTed Okada
Chief Technology Officer
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

A member of the Senior Executive Service and FEMA’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Mr. Ted Okada is responsible for leading the technology strategy and direction for a wide variety of mission, business and enterprise systems, providing guidance, advisory services as well as investment and change management planning. Under his leadership, he has aspired to drive FEMA towards the ethos of an “expeditionary start-up organization” by leveraging a broad range of continuous improvement initiatives involving open data, geospatial technologies, as well as a whole community approach to interoperable communications in the event of a disaster.

Mr. Okada is the creator and executive sponsor of OpenFEMA—a project that ensures FEMA is providing timely, usable, and accurate information to constituents to enhance and promote a transparent and collaborative culture within FEMA. This growing open source and digital nature of information-sharing and communications were opened up for use by the media, non-profits, and universities immediately after the Hurricane Sandy disaster that resulted in a number of outcomes benefitting storm survivors.

Mr. Okada has been with FEMA since March 2012 and previously served as the Senior Advisor for Technology for the FEMA Administrator. He has over thirty previous years in international relief and development with a decade in internet services architecture and two technology start-ups. He served as the Director of U.S. Global Public Private Partnerships as well as Director of the Humanitarian Systems Group, both positions at Microsoft. In this position, Mr. Okada developed solutions to the world’s most vexing and least served humanitarian problems. He supported and developed programs in Uganda, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Haiti, DR Congo, Albania, Dominican Republic, Kosovo, Pakistan, Guatemala and the Philippines. With a background in child survival, community health systems, food security, agricultural extension, and emergency management, Mr. Okada also managed advocacy programs for refugees during the 1980’s and worked on landmark citizenship legislation.

While at Microsoft, Mr. Okada led his team in response to the Kashmir Pakistan earthquake in 2005, humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, and was part of the rapid deployment team that assisted the city of Galveston during Hurricane Ike. He is also lead inventor with former colleagues at Microsoft’s Concept Development Labs on a 2009 US patent filing related to mesh networks in disasters.

Mr. Okada is a 1982 graduate of Northwestern University with a B.A. in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and Economics, studying under the late Michael Dacey and Nobel Laureate, Dale Mortensen. Mr. Okada is a member of Burke Fire Station 14 in Fairfax County, Virginia, and is a licensed General Class Amateur Radio Operator. While reachable through email, Mr. Okada typically listens on the Maritime Mobile and National Hurricane Nets at 14.300 and 14.325 Mhz.

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Ramesh RaskarRamesh Raskar
Associate Professor
MIT Media Lab

Ramesh Raskar is an Associate Professor at MIT Media Lab. Ramesh Raskar joined the Media Lab from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories in 2008 as head of the Lab’s Camera Culture research group. His research interests span the fields of computational photography, inverse problems in imaging and human-computer interaction. Recent projects and inventions include transient imaging to look around a corner, a next generation CAT-Scan machine, imperceptible markers for motion capture (Prakash), long distance barcodes (Bokode), touch+hover 3D interaction displays (BiDi screen), low-cost eye care devices (Netra,Catra), new theoretical models to augment light fields (ALF) to represent wave phenomena and algebraic rank constraints for 3D displays(HR3D).

In 2004, Raskar received the TR100 Award from Technology Review, which recognizes top young innovators under the age of 35, and in 2003, the Global Indus Technovator Award, instituted at MIT to recognize the top 20 Indian technology innovators worldwide. In 2009, he was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship. In 2010, he received the Darpa Young Faculty award. Other awards include Marr Prize honorable mention 2009, LAUNCH Health Innovation Award, presented by NASA, USAID, US State Dept and NIKE, 2010, Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project Award (first place), 2011. He holds over 50 US patents and has received four Mitsubishi Electric Invention Awards. He is currently co-authoring a book on Computational Photography.
[Personal webpage http://raskar.info] http://www.media.mit.edu/~raskar

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Julie ShahJulie Shah
Boeing Assistant Professor
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab


Julie Shah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and leads the Interactive Robotics Group in CSAIL. Her research goals are to develop innovative methods for enabling more fluid human-robot teamwork in high intensity domains—drawing on expertise in artificial intelligence, human factors, and systems engineering. Her research interests include multi-agent coordination, dynamic plan execution under uncertainty, and temporal reasoning. Prior to joining the MIT faculty, Julie Shah worked with Boeing Research and Technology on robotics applications for aerospace manufacturing.


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JamesSmithJames A. Smith
Professor, University of Virginia
Founder & Director, PureMadi

James A. Smith is the Henry L. Kinnier Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Virginia. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1983 and 1984, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University in 1992. He has worked as a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1985 to 1992. In 1992, he accepted his current position as a faculty member in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Virginia. Mr. Smith has served as the UPS Foundation Visiting Professor of Environmental Engineering at Stanford University (1998-99) and as the William R. Kenan Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University (2004-05). At the University of Virginia, he has been the recipient of the Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award (1997) and has held the Cavalier’s Distinguished Teaching Chair (2000-02). He was selected to receive the AEESP/McGraw Hill Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002. Mr. Smith is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is the founder of PureMadi, a not-for-profit organization working to solve global water and health problems by working at the interface of water, societal, and human health disciplines. His research interests include sustainable point-of-use water treatment technologies for the developing world and their impact on human health, the disinfection properties of zero-valent nano-silver and nano-copper particles, organic vapor transport in the vadose zone, low-impact development (LID) teachnologies for stormwater runoff, the fate and transport of emerging environmental pollutants, the engineering properties of organoclays, phytoremediation, and bacterial chemotaxis in porous media.

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NigelSnoadNigel Snoad
Google Crisis Response

Nigel is a product manager for Google’s Crisis Response team, which is changing how citizens stay informed during crises by providing information and tools to help people collaborate during emergencies and build resilient communities.

Before joining Google in 2011, Nigel led R&D on humanitarian systems at Microsoft working on crisis solutions and responses in Afghanistan, Haiti and elsewhere. Nigel spent several years at the United Nations helping lead global pandemic contingency planning and the UN Joint Logistics Center’s responses in Iraq in 2003, after the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and in Darfur in 2004/2005. Nigel has taught courses in Humanitarian Design at Parsons the New School for Design, partnering with groups like the World Bank and the Red Cross to develop innovative design-thinking approaches to complex humanitarian and development problems. Nigel has a PhD in complex adaptive systems from the Australian National University and has held research fellowships at the Santa Fe Institute and Stanford University.

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Martha Symko-DaviesMartha Symko-Davies
Director, ESI
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Dr. Martha Symko-Davies is the Director of Partnerships for Energy Systems Integration (ESI) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden. Specific collaborations are focused around the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) addressing the challenges of large-scale integration of energy technologies into the energy systems infrastructure. Previous to this role she was the architect for the PV Technology Incubator resulting in over $1.4 billion in private investments. Recently she was selected by DOE as one of the top Innovators in the area of photovoltaics. In addition to numerous publications/presentations in this area she has also recently received four R&D 100 Awards. She recently spoke at TEDXDU.

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Tomicah_TillemannDr. Tomicah S. Tillemann
Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies
U.S. Department of State

Secretary Clinton appointed Dr. Tomicah Tillemann as the State Department’s Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies in October 2010. He continues his service under Secretary Kerry.

Dr. Tillemann and his team operate like venture capitalists, identifying ideas that can strengthen new democracies and civil society, and then bring together the talent, technology and resources needed to translate promising concepts into successful diplomacy. He and his team have developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and Secretary of State.

Dr. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009 and collaborated with her on over 200 speeches. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate’s Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Dr. Tillemann’s other professional experience includes work with the White House Office of Media Affairs and five U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. He was a reporter with Reuters New Media and hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Tillemann is also a co-holder of four patents on advanced clean technologies and a co-founder of IRIS Engines. He has helped to found and lead numerous civil society organizations, including the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and the Student Campaign for Child Survival.

Dr. Tillemann received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) where he also served as a graduate level instructor in American foreign policy. He has lectured at Yale and Princeton and testified repeatedly before Congress. Secretary Clinton personally nominated him for the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award in recognition of his innovative efforts to strengthen democracy and civil society worldwide.

Follow Dr. Tilleman on Twitter, @TomicahTD.

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Patrick VinckPatrick Vinck
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Patrick Vinck, Ph.D., is the director of the Program for Vulnerable Populations at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He works on peace, reconstruction and development projects throughout Africa and Asia including most recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Ivory Coast. He has written about the consequences of war, trauma and societal reconstruction, displacement and resettlement, and the role of justice, better governance and transitional mechanism to achieve peace. He also serves as a regular consultant on vulnerability analysis and evaluations to the United Nations World Food Programme, World Bank, and Peacebuilding Fund. Prior to joining HHI in 2011, he founded the program at the University of California Berkeley’s Human Rights Center. Vinck also-cofounded KoBoToolbox (www.kobotoolbox.org), a digital data collection project to advance human rights, humanitarian, and social science data collection. This work has led him to focus part of his research on the opportunities and challenges of new application of technologies in the field. He was the editor of the 2013 World Disasters Report on Technology and Humanitarian Action.

Vinck holds appointments at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health, the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Science and Tulane University. He also serves as a member on the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He graduated as an engineer in applied biological sciences from Gembloux Agricultural University (Belgium), and holds a Ph.D. in International Development from Tulane University.