Keynote Speakers

Oscar Salazar Gaitan

Entrepreneur, Investor and Founding Chief Technology Officer, Uber

Oscar Salazar Gaitan is a seasoned entrepreneur, senior executive and investor in numerous successful technology firms. Oscar was one of the early architects and the founding CTO of Uber. Through Uber, he was instrumental in helping to redesign the architecture of on-demand transportation worldwide. Oscar provides his telecommunications and engineering expertise in the design and architecture of innovative products and systems to make a positive impact in people’s lives. As founder and CEO of Citivox (2010-2013), Oscar helped create technology to enable non-governmental organizations and individuals to monitor and report electoral fraud, crime and infrastructure problems that needed attention in Mexico. In 2013, Oscar co-founded Pager Inc., a telemedicine company that connects patients with high quality care providers through innovative technology applications. Oscar has recently launched Ogon LLC, an advisory company through which he provides strategic, technical and marketing advice to entities such as Rubicon Global Inc., ALEX AND ANI, Sontra Cargo and many others, both in the U.S. and internationally. Oscar sits on the board of many companies and NGOs. He is greatly committed to supporting philanthropic endeavors on education, fighting against extreme poverty and gender equality throughout the world. Oscar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Telematics  from the University of Colima, Mexico, a Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering  from the University of Calgary, Canada and a Ph.D. in Telecommunications  from Paristech, France.


Rana el Kaliouby

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Affectiva

Rana el Kaliouby, Ph.D. is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Affectiva, the pioneer in emotion artificial intelligence, the next frontier of artificial intelligence. She led the development of the company’s award-winning, emotion recognition technology. This is built on a science platform that uses deep learning and the world’s largest emotion data repository of 5.2 million faces analyzed from 75 countries, amounting to more than 50 billion emotion data points. Prior to founding Affectiva, as a research scientist at MIT Media Lab, Rana spearheaded the applications of emotion technology in a variety of fields, including mental health and autism research. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, Wired, Forbes, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, CBS, TIME Magazine, Fortune and Reddit. A TED speaker, she was recognized by Entrepreneur as one of the “7 Most Powerful Women To Watch In 2014,” inducted into the “Women in Engineering” Hall of Fame, a recipient of the 2012 Technology Review’s “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” Award, listed on Ad Age’s “40 under 40” and recipient of Smithsonian magazine’s 2015 American Ingenuity Award for Technology. Rana is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo and a Ph.D. from the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge.


Jack Lew

United States Secretary of Treasury (2013-2017)

For the past four years, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew (2013- 2017) has served as the most senior economic official in the U.S. government, helping to shape policies that drove the longest economic recovery in American history. At Treasury, he oversaw all aspects of international and domestic fiscal policy, including issues related to financial regulation, global sanctions regimes, tax policy, debt management and trade. As a speaker, he brings the freshest insights and an insider’s knowledge of the individual people and policies affecting the direction of the global economy. Secretary Lew addresses these issues both from an historical perspective—given his over 30 years of government experience—and by looking forward to how the new administration and Congress may tackle the many challenges they face. With his unique perspective, Secretary Lew presents an engaging view of how complex financial and geopolitical forces are shaping our economy, both domestically and overseas.

Secretary Lew previously served as White House chief of staff to President Obama (2012-2013). Prior to that role, Lew oversaw the U.S. budget as director of the Office of Management and Budget (2010-2012), a position he also held in President Clinton's Cabinet from 1998 to 2001. Before returning to OMB in 2010, he first joined the Obama Administration as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. Before joining the State Department, Secretary Lew served as managing director and chief operating officer for two different Citigroup business units. Prior to that, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of New York University, where he was responsible for budget, finance, and operations, and served as a professor of public administration.

As OMB Director from 1998 to 2001, he led the administration budget team and served as a member of the National Security Council. During his tenure at OMB, the U.S. budget operated at a surplus for three consecutive years. Earlier, Jack served as OMB’s Deputy Director and was a member of the negotiating team that reached a bipartisan agreement to balance the budget. As special assistant to President Clinton from 1993 to 1994, Jack helped design Americorps, the national service program.

Jack began his career in Washington in 1973 as a legislative aide. From 1979 to 1987, he was a principal domestic policy advisor to House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr, when he served the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee as Assistant Director and then Executive Director. He was the Speaker’s liaison to the Greenspan Commission, which negotiated a bipartisan solution to extend the solvency of Social Security in 1983, and he was responsible for domestic and economic issues, including Medicare, budget, tax, trade, appropriations and energy issues.

Before joining the Obama Administration, Jack co-chaired the Advisory Board for City Year New York and was on the boards of the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project and the Tobin Project. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Academy of Social Insurance and the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.


Alexis Ohanian

Co-founder, Reddit and Initialized Capital, bestselling author

Alexis Ohanian is co-founder of Reddit, Initialized Capital and bestselling author based in San Francisco, California. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005, Alexis and his co-founder, Steve Huffman, started Reddit, which they sold in 2006 to Conde Nast. In 2015, he returned to a full-time capacity with Steve Huffman as the two returned to the helm of a fully independent Reddit, which is now the 8th largest website in the United States. In 2016, he joined Garry Tan in kicking off the third fund for Initialized Capital, an early stage venture capital firm.

For the years before returning to Reddit, Alexis focused his time and energy to founding and investing in companies that fit his model of making something people love and making the world suck less. Alexis helped launch hipmunk (acquired by Concur in 2016) and ran marketing, public relations and community service before becoming an advisor and joining the fight against Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). He is invested in and advised over two hundred tech startups and was a partner at Y Combinator; created and hosted a show, Small Empires, which ran for two seasons, about tech startups and their communities; and in 2013 wrote a national bestselling book, Without Their Permission. Along the way, Alexis spoke at TED, volunteered in Armenia as a Kiva Fellow and was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list two years in a row. He also proudly designed the mascots for every company he's started.


Wesley Phoa

Portfolio Manager, Capital Group

Wesley K.-S. Phoa is a fixed income portfolio manager at Capital Group. As an analyst at Capital, his research responsibilities cover quantitative research and financial economics. He has 23 years of investment experience and has been with Capital Group for 18 years. Prior to joining Capital, he was director of research with Capital Management Sciences and a quantitative analyst with Deutsche Bank in Australia. He holds a PhD in pure mathematics from Trinity College at the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree with honors from the Australian National University. He is an elected member of the Conference of Business Economists and the International Conference of Commercial Bank Economists. Wesley is based in Los Angeles.


Platon

World-Renowned, Award-Winning Photographer, The New Yorker and Master Storyteller

After working for British Vogue for several years, Platon was invited to NYC to work for the late John Kennedy Jr. and his political magazine, George. Shooting portraits for a range of international publications including Rolling Stone, The New York Times magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and The Sunday Times magazine, Platon developed a special relationship with TIME magazine, producing over 25 covers. In 2007, he photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for TIME magazine's “Person of the Year” cover. This image was awarded first prize at the World Press Photo Contest. In 2008, he signed a multi-year contract with The New Yorker. As the staff photographer, he has produced a series of large-scale photo essays, two of which won ASME Awards in 2009 and 2010. Platon’s New Yorker portfolios have focused on many themes, including the U.S. military, portraits of world leaders and the civil rights movement. The following year, Platon teamed up with the Human Rights Watch to help it celebrate those who fight for equality and justice in countries suppressed by political forces. These projects have highlighted human rights defenders from Burma as well as the leaders of the Egyptian revolution. Following his coverage of Burma, Platon photographed Aung San Suu Kyi for the cover of TIME—days after her release from house arrest. In 2011, Platon was honored with a “Peabody Award” for collaboration on the topic of Russia’s Civil Society with The New Yorker magazine and Human Rights Watch. The publication of Platon’s first monograph Platon's Republic coincided with international exhibitions in London at the ex-Saatchi Gallery as well as the Milk Gallery in New York. His second book, “Power”—a collection of portraits of over 100 world leaders—was published in 2011 by Chronicle and includes portraits of Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Hugo Chavez, Tony Blair, Robert Mugabe and Muammar Qaddafi. His most recent book, “Service,” focuses on the effects of war on soldiers and their families. Public speaking now plays a major role in Platon’s career as communicator and storyteller and is represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau. He has been invited to be a keynote speaker on leadership at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chanel, Nike, Yale University, Oxford University, Wharton University, the National Portrait Gallery in London and International Center of Photography in NY. He has also appeared on a range of television media including Charlie Rose (PBS), Morning Joe (MSNBC), Fareed Zakaria’s GPS (CNN) and the BBC World News. Platon’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both domestically and abroad. He has exhibited in New York at the Matthew Marks Gallery and the Howard Greenberg Gallery, as well as internationally at the Colette Gallery in Paris, France. The New York Historical Society has exhibited a solo show of Platon’s civil rights photographs, which remain as part of the museum’s permanent collection. Other permanent collections holding Platon’s photography include The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, Florida, The Westlicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, Austria, and the Scotland National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Platon is a member of the Global Leadership Council for the World Economic Forum.


Aaron Rodgers

Super Bowl-Winning Quarterback & Two-Time NFL MVP

Aaron Charles Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League, was born on December 2, 1983 in Chico, CA. Rodgers played college football for one season at Butte Community College before receiving a scholarship to play for the University of California. After forgoing his senior season, he was selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers.

After taking over in 2008, he quickly proved that he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league by passing for over 4,000 yards and throwing for 28 touchdowns in his first season as a starter. In 2010, Rodgers led Green Bay to a victory in Super Bowl XLV where he was named Super Bowl MVP. The following season, the Packers had one of the most dynamic offenses in NFL history – driven by Aaron’s 45 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. The team went 15-1 and he was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 2011 and league MVP by the Associated Press. He would later go on to win the 2014 league MVP award after throwing for 38 touchdowns and 4,381 yards with just 5 interceptions - he set an NFL record for most consecutive pass attempts (512) at home without an interception that season.

He has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times and other career accomplishments include: leading the NFL three times in touchdown-to-interception ratio (2011, 2012, 2014), twice in passer rating (2011, 2012), touchdown passing percentage (2011, 2012), lowest passing interception percentage (2009, 2014), and once in touchdown passes (2016) and yards per attempt (2011).

Rodgers is the NFL's all-time career leader in passer rating during the regular season with a rating of 104.1 and fourth all-time in the postseason with a rating of 99.4 (among passers with at least 1,500 and 150 pass attempts, respectively). He is the only quarterback to have a career passer rating of over 100.0 in the regular season as well as having the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history at 4.13 touchdowns per interception. He also holds the league's lowest career passing interception percentage for quarterbacks during the regular season at 1.5 percent and the single-season passer rating record of 122.5.

Aaron is the co-creator and founder, with David Gruber, of “itsAaron”, a foundation with a mission of creating awareness for organizations and people who are changing the world. He is also a strong supporter of the MACC Fund, RAISE Hope for Congo, and other humanitarian and charitable efforts.


Brian Wesbury

Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P.

Mr. Wesbury was a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from 1999-2007 and has been a regular attendee of the Economist Roundtable Luncheon at the Chicago Fed since 2007. In 2012, he was named a Fellow of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX where he worked closely with its 4%-Growth Project. His writing appears in various magazines, newspapers and blogs, and he appears regularly on Fox, Bloomberg, CNBC and BNN Canada TV.

In 1995 and 1996, he served as Chief Economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. The Wall Street Journal ranked Mr. Wesbury the nation’s #1 U.S. economic forecaster in 2001, and USA Today ranked him as one of the nation’s top 10 forecasters in 2004.

Mr. Wesbury began his career in 1982 at the Harris Bank in Chicago. Former positions include Vice President and Economist for the Chicago Corporation and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for Griffin, Kubik, Stephens, & Thompson.

Mr. Wesbury received an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Montana. McGraw-Hill published his first book, The New Era of Wealth, in October 1999. His most recent book, It’s Not As Bad As You Think, was published in November 2009 by John Wiley & Sons.

In 2011, Mr. Wesbury received the University of Montana’s Distinguished Alumni Award. This award honors outstanding alumni who have “brought honor to the University, the state or the nation.” There have been 267 recipients of this award out of a potential pool of 91,000 graduates.