February 1, 2019

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Skirball Cultural Center

 

2019 Keynote Speakers

 

Valorie Kondos Field

Head Coach, UCLA Women’s Gymnastics

Alli Webb

Founder of Drybar;
New York Times best-selling author

Maya Shankar

Global Head of Behavioral Science at Google; Founder and Former Chair, White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team

Barbra Streisand

Award Recipient

Barbra Streisand

Read Bio

Barbra Streisand is a distinguished actress, director, producer, writer, composer and recording artist. Streisand is the only artist ever to receive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement and Peabody awards. She is also a recipient of the National Medal of Arts as well as France’s Legion d’Honneur. Her many other awards include an honorary doctorate in arts and humanities from Brandeis University in 1995 and an honorary doctorate of philosophy from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2013.

Making the movie Yentl early in her career ignited Streisand’s passion for ensuring that women get the same chances in life as men — whether in business, social services, medical research, education or anything else. She is a leading spokesperson and fund-raiser for many social and political causes close to her heart and has often dedicated proceeds from her live concert performances to benefit programs she supports. The Streisand Foundation has supported over 700 nonprofit organizations.

In 2012, Streisand founded the barrier-breaking Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she helps fund the research, treatment and education of women’s heart disease. This program addresses the leading cause of death among women in the United States. No stranger to Washington, Streisand has met with senior leaders in Congress and the executive branch to advocate for equitable representation in medical research to further study the unique impact of heart disease on women.

As a lifelong passionate philanthropist and political activist, Streisand has given and raised millions of dollars to combat some of the most pressing social and political issues of our time in the U.S. and around the world. A champion for the most vulnerable with a sense of responsibility to heal the world that grows out of her Jewish heritage, Streisand and her foundation have tackled a wide variety of issues, including women’s health and women’s equality, civil rights and voting rights, and educational opportunity. The preservation of the planet is also one of her most pressing endeavors. She has been a committed environmentalist for many years; she created a chair in environmental studies at the Environmental Defense Fund in 1989. Streisand was also the lead funder of the Clinton Climate Initiative. In addition, she created chairs in contemporary gender studies at the University of Southern California and cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 

Robin Abcarian

Los Angeles Times

Robin Abcarian is a columnist at the Los Angeles Times. Focusing mostly on California culture, news and politics, she roams the Golden State, reporting stories that help readers understand what makes this place unique. She has written about many aspects of cannabis, which California voters approved for recreational use in 2016. She has also written frequently about sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement.

 

Abcarian covered the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns full time, and wrote occasionally about the 2016 campaign. As a culture writer for the paper’s Calendar section, she has covered the Oscars, the Emmys and the Sundance Film Festival. For most of the 1990s, she was a columnist for the Times’ feature section, before becoming its editor in 2003. She has also been a radio talk show host and frequent guest on radio and television news programs.

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Felicia Alexander

Co-Founder, BoxUnion

Felicia Alexander’s love of community and fitness started at a young age. By age 10, Alexander was organizing soccer tournaments and obstacle courses for the neighborhood kids. She went on to play competitive sports, organizing her teammates to try the latest fitness routines and finding ways to raise money and give back to the community through active pursuits. While her grandfather was an amateur boxer, that wasn’t an activity most young women pursued at the time. But after the sudden death of her father when she was only 16, Alexander discovered a love of boxing.

 

  The car ride to train with Jesse Valdez, the 1972 Olympic bronze medalist in boxing, took more than 45 minutes and brought her to a dangerous part of town, but putting on gloves unlocked a sense of power that Alexander had never felt before. Boxing was a transformative experience that reeled her in. It gave her a taste of not only her inner strength, but the passion she would later share with others.

  A graduate of Stanford University and the UCLA Anderson School of Business, Alexander went on to have a successful career as a sales and marketing executive for companies including Sun Microsystems, Sony, Mattel and Demand Media (now Leaf Group), and she always continued to recruit new friends and members of her team to come together through fitness.

  In 2016, Alexander decided to leave corporate America to chase her childhood dream. Together with her business partner, Todd Wadler, she launched BoxUnion in March of 2017. With the goal to empower the community through boxing and to help others, no matter what their age or ability, discover their true greatness through fitness, BoxUnion’s first location in Santa Monica was a hit.

  “The goal was to build community and give people of all ages and fitness levels the ability to build their greatness,” says Alexander.

  Building on its early success, BoxUnion is already expanding in Los Angeles. While Alexander is usually at the studio, throwing a mean left hook and encouraging others to unleash their own strength on and off the bag, she can also be found hiking the nearby trails in Pacific Palisades with her husband and 11-year-old son; volunteering with a variety of local charities, including Children’s Action Network; and sampling the best organic whole food restaurants and dark chocolate treats around Los Angeles.  

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Darya Allen-Attar

CEO & Co-Founder, Women Founders Network

Darya is passionate about the advancement of women.

In 2013, Allen-Attar co-founded Women Founders Network (WFN), a virtual accelerator whose goal is to connect women founders not only with the required capital but also with the resources, connections, mentorship and sponsorship they need to grow scalable, successful businesses. Women entrepreneurs across all industries are invited to apply to compete in an annual Fast Pitch Competition for a prize package of cash and professional services. Since 2013, WFN has awarded over $1.3 million in cash and services to women founders, and alumni have gone on to raise over $45 million in funding.

 

Subsequently, Allen-Attar founded the nonprofit Women Founders Foundation (WFF) in 2017, with a mission of educating women and girls about entrepreneurship to inspire the next generation of women founders and investors. The Junior Judge program for girls in grades 6 to 12 originated under WFN and is now an integral part of the WFF’s educational program. It teaches girls the fundamentals of business and gives them the opportunity to participate in the annual WFN Fast Pitch Competition as “venture capitalists for a day” to vote for their favorite company and present a sponsored cash award to their winner.

In 2008, Allen-Attar founded Broads Circle, an executive-level women's networking group with a focus on money and power for women. The group organizes events that provide a venue for established, successful women to make high-quality revenue connections. A "broad" in Broads Circle is a dynamic, smart, successful woman responsible for driving revenue and growing capital. Over 9,500 people have attended events since its inception.

Allen-Attar has been recognized for her community service in California, by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a leading woman “Making a Difference” in Los Angeles, Rising Star Category, in 2013. She was also recognized as one of the “Most Powerful Women in California” by California Women Lead in 2016 for her community work and the advancement of women. She has traveled extensively and speaks four languages. Most recently, she was invited by the U.S. Department of State to speak on Women’s Entrepreneurship at its international forums.

Allen-Attar serves on the Investment Advisory Committee for the California Community Foundation. She also serves on the boards of the Collins & Katz Family YMCA and the Los Angeles chapter of Advisors in Philanthropy. She earned her B.A. from Kalamazoo College, a certificate in accounting from Northwestern University and her MBA in finance from Fordham University.

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Pamela Allison (’00)

Director, Digital Partnerships, Warner Bros.

Pam Allison is the director of digital partnerships at Warner Bros. Technology. Allison develops partnerships with leading technology companies to build proofs of concepts that explore how Warner Bros. can commercialize technologies in the future. Currently, her key focus is on autonomous and connected cars, and 5G.

Prior to her role at Warner Bros., Allison served as the director of digital products at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), where she led the strategy and development of the new NHRA.com and managed the NHRA All Access streaming service and mobile strategy for all mobile games, virtual reality experiences and events.

 

Prior to the NHRA, she managed digital media and mobile business strategy and development at the Disney New Technology Strategy Group, DIRECTV and Movielink. Her consulting clients include The Walt Disney Company; the University of Southern California; and Esri, a GIS software platform and location-aware data company. She launched a startup called MeowWoofChirp, which was a social network for pets.

Allison holds bachelor’s degrees in management engineering from Claremont McKenna College and mechanical engineering from Columbia University, as well as a master’s degree in computer science from UCLA and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Gail Becker

Founder and CEO of CAULIPOWER and Vegolutionary Foods.

Gail Becker is the founder and CEO of Caulipower and Vegolutionary Foods. Becker has reached the highest levels of media, politics and business, including holding executive roles at Warner Bros., the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Edelman. But as a mom of two boys with celiac disease, she was not happy with the gluten-free options available to her family. Who wants pizza that’s full of sugar and chemicals, or doesn’t taste anything like pizza, or takes 90 minutes to make? Seeing that the food industry offered no nutritious solutions for busy, foodie families to enjoy together, she took matters into her own hands and launched Caulipower in early 2017. Caulipower disrupted one of the grocery industry’s most stagnant categories and is now the number-one gluten-free pizza and fastest-growing pizza brand in the country, with availability in over 15,000 stores.

 

In 2018, Becker launched a new-mother brand, Vegolutionary Foods, as a platform for innovative, approachable and convenient meal-hacking products, including the world’s first superfood toast, Sweet PotaTOASTSTM. She is a passionate advocate for new entrepreneurs, women in business and making vegetable nutrition accessible and delicious to all, especially kids..

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Corinne Bendersky

Professor of Management

Professor of Management and Organizations Corinne Bendersky is an expert in workplace conflict, status and justice in teams and organizations. Bendersky’s research resonates in constructive and concrete ways both in academe and business.

Bendersky teaches in UCLA Anderson’s full-time and fully employed MBA programs, and in many of its executive education programs. As faculty director of the human resources roundtable known as HARRT, Bendersky engages with a mix of academic, consultant and practitioner knowledge of cutting-edge human resources topics with the roughly 50 corporate HR executives who are members.

 

An experienced mediator, facilitator of group decisions and developer of effective team process interventions, she works with top-tier HR professionals, consultants and members of the media for whom her work within the area of management and organizations has clear practical implications. She says this leadership experience has enabled her to become more “practitioner- and executive-facing,” as she embarks on more consulting and policy work.

Bendersky received her Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and her B.A. with honors from Oberlin College.

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Heather Caruso

Assistant Dean, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Executive Director, Morrison Family Center for Marketing and Data Analytics; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations

Heather Caruso is a faculty member, center director and assistant dean at the UCLA Anderson School of Management with a passion for helping people to grow, inspire and work effectively together.

Passion for facilitating collaborative success runs deep in Caruso’s life and emerged most intensely during her years as an engineer and executive in a multinational Silicon Valley startup. There she observed several fascinating ways in which interpersonal problems can derail even the most talented individual performers, while effective collaboration can raise individual contributions to new heights.

 

As a result of these experiences, she decided to devote herself to helping organizations — especially those with diverse workforces — to achieve the latter benefits, leaving her position as Director of Engineering to do her A.M. in social psychology and her Ph.D. in organizational behavior – social psychology, both at Harvard University. After layering rigorous academic training on top of practical experience, Caruso ultimately gravitated toward leadership priorities: collaborative dynamics (especially for diverse teams); management of identity, power, and influence; and strategies for optimal choice, judgment, decision making. She initially pursued these interests in many years of teaching, research administration, and scholarship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and she then moved to UCLA Anderson to enrich and expand her work.

Caruso stays connected to the everyday priorities and challenges of the workplace by consulting for private- and public-sector organization leaders across the globe, as well as by teaching classes in inclusive leadership, collaborative dynamics, and power and influence. As part of this work, she has partnered with Chicago’s The Second City to co-found the Second Science Project, which provides skill-building leadership workshops at the intersection of robust behavioral research and professional improvisational practice. Further, Caruso continues to advance cutting-edge scholarship and evidence-based innovation as a researcher and as the faculty and executive director of UCLA Anderson’s Morrison Center for Marketing and Data Analytics.

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Isaura S. Gaeta

VP of Security Research and General Manager of Intel Product Assurance & Security, Intel Corporation

Isaura S. Gaeta is vice president of security research at Intel Corporation, leading an engineering team focused on hardware security research, including penetration testing, physical attack mechanisms and outreach to academia, startups and conferences as part of the newly formed Product Assurance and Security Engineering Group in Santa Clara, California. .

 

Previously, Gaeta was vice president and general manager of systems engineering in the Platform Engineering Group (PEG) and led the team responsible for optimizing overall workflow to improve engineering efficiency and effectiveness, with a focus on improvements in execution capacity, quality management systems and operational excellence for a global engineering organization. Additionally, she managed PEG’s people systems and served as chief of staff for the group’s senior vice president of engineering.

A 30-year veteran of Intel, Gaeta spent the first two decades of her Intel career managing the development of various semiconductor processing technologies. Her work during that period led to two patents and five Intel Achievement Awards, the company’s highest recognition.

Gaeta holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She founded Intel’s Network of Executive Women for the Latin America region and was the chair of Intel’s Hispanic Leadership Council. Outside of Intel, she serves on the board of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley and previously served on the board of Women in Engineering ProActive Network and the advisory board for El Centro Chicano y Latino at Stanford University. The Hispanic IT Executive Council has recognized her four times on its annual list of the top 100 Hispanic professionals in the IT industry

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Jessica Iclisoy

CEO & Founder of California Baby®

More than 20 years ago, Jessica Iclisoy embarked on a journey to create a non-toxic environment for her family. Working in her kitchen with ingredients she had sourced, Iclisoy began to create the beloved formulas for what is today the industry standard in natural skin care, California Baby. Since then, she has built California Baby into a globally recognized brand, with more than 90 products available at major retailers nationwide and through a global distribution network. California Baby is a recognized Women Owned Business, with its own certified organic and FDA-registered manufacturing operation and farm.

 

A nationally recognized business leader and entrepreneur, Iclisoy has been featured on NBC’s “Today” and in Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, Fast Company, Inc. and Entrepreneur, among many others. Recognized by Forbes for her achievements in building California Baby, she has appeared on the magazine’s annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women in 2017 and 2018.

Iclisoy believes that her mission extends far beyond creating products that are safe for children and healthy for the environment. In 2016, she launched the Natural Advisory Council to form a coalition of natural, organic and “green” product manufacturers, retailers and nonprofit consumer protection organizations to advocate, collaborate and educate on the definition and use of the term “natural” in all consumer products. She also collaborates with leading groups and companies to initiate congressional action to establish federal legislation demanding safe cosmetics, and she has participated in lobbying activities to help shape the Toxic Substances Control Act and Personal Care Product Safety Act.

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Paula McMahon

Vice President, Disney Streaming Services
Direct to Consumer and International (DTCI)
The Walt Disney Company

At the nexus of entertainment and technology, Paula brings storytelling to life through digital innovation, white-space business and culture. She is currently leading Integrated Marketing for Disney Streaming Services and partners with teams across The Walt Disney Company to find new ways to bring the direct-to-consumer video products to fans and families around the world.

 

Rooted in science, she has a passion for data and discovery. Prior to working in digital media, Paula spent a decade in biotechnology creating software and automation to speed up drug development in areas such as cancer and heart disease.

Paula holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and a BS in Biology from Indiana University.

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Alfred E. Osborne, Jr.

Interim Dean and Professor of Global Economics, Management and Entrepreneurship

Alfred E. Osborne, Jr., is interim dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management, overseeing the institution’s primary objectives to conduct essential research, educate students and serve the community. Previously, he served as senior associate dean, with oversight of a variety of key initiatives for the school, including resource development, alumni relations, corporate initiatives and executive education.

Osborne also holds an appointment as Professor of Global Economics, Management and Entrepreneurship and is the founder and faculty director of the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The Price Center serves to organize faculty research, curricula and student activities related to the study of entrepreneurship and new business development at UCLA Anderson.

As interim dean, Osborne hopes to foster a collaborative atmosphere, rooted in his beliefs regarding management education and the impact it has on the world.

 

“If I were to pick an area of focus, it would be the empowerment of those whose futures we aim to influence, namely students, in an informed and active way,” says Osborne.

Specifically, he says, he is interested in leadership development, “how young people in this turbulent world can find their voice and develop the ability to influence a challenging environment by being powerful. This speaks to my theme of moral, value-based leadership, with an active practice of achieving desired outcomes in constructive and collaborative ways.”

Osborne’s areas of academic expertise include social entrepreneurship and the development of a leadership approach that applies business models and methodologies to the nonprofit world. Under his leadership, the Price Center created a number of management development programs, including five in partnership with health care giant Johnson & Johnson: the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Head Start Management Fellows Program; the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Advanced Management Institute for Head Start; the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute; the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program; and the Management Development Institute (MDI) for health care organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Several related, innovative programs include the Institute for the Study of Educational Entrepreneurship (ISEE) and the UCLA/Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) Head Start Leadership Institute.

A deep belief in the value of entrepreneurship has guided Osborne’s vision for what is possible throughout his decades-long tenure at Anderson. In addition to founding the Price Center, he facilitated infusion of an entrepreneurial approach to leadership into the Anderson culture and curriculum, including and transcending the notion of business startups.

“Societies that don’t innovate are destined to die,” Osborne says. “My view was that our MBA students could benefit from understanding things from an entrepreneurial point of view.”

Osborne combines his emphasis on innovation with a deep belief in the value of a broad-based diversity that includes demographics but, just as important, a wide range of ideas.

“The value of cognitive diversity ― the acceptance of different points of view as expressed typically by different ethnicities, genders and cultures ― is the secret sauce of the American experience,” he says.

“I think we need to respect and cherish more of that. Life experiences shape peoples’ perspectives, and someone who grew up in a different culture is the gist of construction, connection and valuable conversations. I am a product of that diversity, coming to this country from Panama. My goal is simply to encourage people to get out into the traffic of ideas and collide with somebody with a different point of view. Physicists tell me there’s no work unless there’s friction and there’s no power or energy without collisions. Let’s collide in a more inclusive and respectful way,” he says.

Osborne is an active participant in the business community, serving as a director of Kaiser Aluminum, Wedbush Inc., and First Pacific Advisors (FPA) family of mutual funds. His nonprofit affiliations include serving as a trustee of the Geffen Academy at UCLA, Fidelity Charitable, the Harvard Westlake School, and the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation. He served many years on the corporate boards of the Times Mirror Company, US Filter Corporation, Greyhound Lines Inc., Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc., First Interstate Bank of California, Nordstrom Inc. and K2 Inc., among others.

While on sabbatical from UCLA in the 1970s, he was an economic fellow at the Brookings Institution and directed studies at the Securities and Exchange Commission that contributed to changes in Rule 144, Regulation D and other exemptive requirements to the securities laws designed to lower costs and improve liquidity and capital market access to venture capitalists and emerging growth firms alike.

Osborne’s research interests also include venture capital and private equity, family and closely-held business, and the role of boards of directors in private, public and not-for-profit organizations.

A corporate governance expert, he established a Director Education and Certification Program designed to help officers and directors of public, private and nonprofits prepare for the fiduciary duties and legal responsibilities of governance. This program also addresses best practices and topical issues confronting directors.

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Kiran Sachdeva

Director of digital products at NBCUniversal

Kiran Sachdeva is the director of digital products at NBCUniversal (NBCU). Based in Los Angeles, Sachdeva leads a bicoastal team that manages strategic partnerships across traditional and digital multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), such as Comcast, Hulu, YouTube TV and more.

In her role, she is charged with working cross-functionally to advise on contract provisions, launch content and monetization across new products and cultivate platform- and partner-based growth opportunities.

 

She pioneered a cohesive, wide-scale approach to clip distribution across the entire NBCU portfolio and has continually proven herself as an expert in defining the go-to market strategy for emerging platforms. Additionally, she leads off-domain distribution for numerous tentpole events, most notably the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2018 Winter Olympics, and won an Emmy Award for her work on the former.

Prior to joining NBCU in 2014, Sachdeva worked at UBS Financial Services in its wealth management division on a team that managed approximately $1.5 billion in assets. She completed her MBA at the NYU Stern School of Business, which laid the foundation for her transition into media. She also holds a B.A. in business economics, with a minor in management, from the University of California, Irvine.

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Carla Anderson Skogland

Director of HR Finance, Amazon

Carla Anderson Skogland began her career as a staff accountant at Starbucks Coffee Company. During her 15-year tenure, Skogland held multiple positions across finance, IT, supply chain and HR. She next joined T-Mobile as director of HR business solutions and systems. She then joined Amazon in 2012 and has since held three positions in finance. She is currently director of finance for HR.

 

Skogland earned her B.S. in accounting from Western Washington University and has continued her education through various concentrated studies at multiple universities. She serves as the chairperson of Women in Finance at Amazon, an organization with more than 3,500 global members. She is passionate about promoting diversity in STEM, traveling and spending time with her husband of 25 years, Keith, and her two teens, Mackenzie and Eric.

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Deb Spera

Television Producer

Television producer Deb Spera has her own company, One-Two Punch Productions, and is currently executive producing “Queen Fur” for Showtime Networks. She has developed and executive produced such shows as “Criminal Minds,” “Army Wives,” “Reaper,” “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” and “Finding Carter,” and has a first-look deal at AMC Networks. Spera has been published in Garden & Gun, Sixfold and LA YOGA. She was a two-time finalist for the James Kirkwood Literary Prize in Creative Writing and was a finalist for the Montana Prize for Fiction. Her debut novel, Call Your Daughter Home, will be published by HarperCollins’ Park Row Books on June 11, 2019.

Sarah Valdovinos (’01)

Co-Founder, Walden Green Energy

Sarah Valdovinos is a co-founder of Walden Green Energy, a company focused on developing utility-scale renewable energy projects. In addition to her work at Walden, Valdovinos makes discretionary growth investments in clean energy companies and ventures facilitating the shift to a low-carbon economy. These include distributed solar companies in Latin America, an EV charging station distributor and a composting facility.

 

Valdovinos is also working to ensure the workforce will be prepared to harness this trend. She is currently sponsoring and fundraising for an initiative with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to incorporate clean energy and sustainability science into middle school curriculums to provide career and technical education built on a strong STEM foundation.

Valdovinos transitioned to clean energy after a career in commodities sales and trading. Prior to Walden, she was a managing director at Barclays and served as head of commodities origination for Latin America, Canada and U.S. oil and gas. She joined Barclays from Goldman Sachs’ commodities Latin America team. Valdovinos started her career in energy at Southern California Edison.

Valdovinos holds a B.A. in political science and a B.A. in ethnic studies from UCSD, and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Amanda Williams

Senior Program Manager

Amanda Renee Williams, originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, has optimized herself for impact throughout her career. Currently working in customer experience in retail, Williams has also held roles in product development, operations and technology project management. In addition to her work in the private sector, she has prioritized social impact as a volunteer with several nonprofit organizations, most recently as an advisory board member and court-appointed mentor to at-risk youth. She holds three degrees from Stanford University (MBA, M.A. in sociology and B.A. in psychology) and currently lives in San Mateo, California, with her husband. 

Meaghan Wilson

Director, Digital Production, HBO Digital and Social Media

Meaghan Wilson is an Emmy-nominated interactive producer based in New York City. Wilson has a degree in literary, cultural and film studies from the College of William & Mary. Her work has spanned PBS, “PBS NewsHour,” “FRONTLINE,” multiple media outlets and numerous documentaries. Her work as director, digital production at HBO includes leading multi-team digital media initiatives for “Big Little Lies,” “Silicon Valley,” “Insecure,” “Veep,” “True Detective,” “The Leftovers” and “Sesame Street.” Her work has been recognized with multiple Webby, PromaxBDA and Clio awards.