George Talks Business


George Talks Business is a series of 30-minute interviews with notable alumni and respected thought leaders in the business, government and nonprofit arenas. Our guests share insights on technology, leadership, global developments, ethics, and other timely and relevant topics.


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Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is interviewed by Danny Leipziger, professor of international business and international affairs


Muriel Bowser, mayor of the District of Columbia, is interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business




Our Most Recent Guest

Sharifa A. Anderson, Senior Vice President & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)

Thursday, February 8, 2024

This George Talks Business event welcomed Sharifa A. Anderson, senior vice president and the first chief diversity and inclusion officer of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). Now one of the largest entities in the United States, Fannie Mae was created by Congress to provide stability and liquidity for the nation’s mortgage market. In this conversation, attendees learned more about advances in economic and racial equity, the broadening of housing access, and the creation of more inclusive structures for homeownership and housing finance. 

Attendees also gained insight into how Fannie Mae promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion as values internally, and externally through DEI-driven external engagement and other initiatives. The conversation was moderated by Vanessa G. Perry, M.B.A., Ph.D., interim dean and professor of marketing and of strategic management and public policy at the George Washington University School of Business.

For more information about the George Talks Business series, please email Mary Catherine Chase, director of marketing and communications at the GW School of Business.


Sharifa Anderson

Sharifa A. Anderson is senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion (D&I) officer at Fannie Mae. She reports to the president and serves as a member of the management committee. Ms. Anderson is responsible for leading Fannie Mae’s ongoing efforts to create measurable, positive diversity and inclusion outcomes across the enterprise and with Fannie Mae’s suppliers, business partners, and the people and communities it serves. In her role, she leads a function that works collaboratively across the company to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, supports board oversight of strategic priorities and manages related regulatory and compliance matters.

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Most recently, Ms. Anderson was chief diversity and inclusion officer at Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. Prior to that role, she held other leadership and legal positions at FHLBank Pittsburgh focused on driving diversity, equity and inclusion and supporting housing finance and community investment. Previously, Ms. Anderson held legal positions at Relman Colfax in Fair Lending Counseling and Compliance, Ballard Spahr in Public Finance and Housing, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Office of General Counsel’s Finance Division. Earlier in her career, she worked at Fannie Mae as a senior business manager, responsible for a variety of affordable housing and community development initiatives. She is active with the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, where she has served on the Board of Directors and the association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group. Ms. Anderson has a juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a master of arts in public policy from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor of arts in economics and law and society from Hood College.




Upcoming Events
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Past Events
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Couldn't attend in person or online? In this archive, you'll find detailed information — plus the full video — from every George Talks Business event to date.

Fall 2023

December 5, 2023 - Navigating the Future: A Dialogue with Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management Industry Leaders


On Tuesday, December 5, GW alumni, students, faculty and guests explored the insights and expertise of prominent figures in the tourism, hospitality, and event management industries as they discussed the evolving landscape and shared their vision for the future. Our panelists for the evening were Sherrif Karamat, CAE, president and CEO of PCMA and CEMA; Lisa Jordan, senior director of digital marketing at Red Roof; and Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. This discussion was moderated by Seleni Matus, executive director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies at the GW School of Business.

This is the only George Talks Business event for which there is no video recording.



Sherrif Karamat

Sherrif Karamat, CAE is president and CEO of PCMA and CEMA, the world’s largest community for business event strategists, providing senior-level education, networking and market intelligence for the global business events industry.

Karamat leads the vision, mission and promise for PCMA’s global family of brands. He is a prominent business architect, enabling communities to become a catalyst for economic and social progress, organizational success, and personal and professional development.

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PCMA’s vision and purpose is to drive global economic and social transformation through business events. Central to this are expanding PCMA’s reach, enhancing its educational offerings, empowering more people, providing additional personal and professional development, and actively welcoming everyone, regardless of their ideas, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or cultural background. Karamat also emphasizes the need for a fundamental change in the ways meetings and events are approached.

He is chair of the 2023 Events Industry Council’s (EIC) board of directors and serves on the boards for Tourism Diversity Matters and the US Travel Association. Additionally, Karamat is a member of the George Washington University Leadership Council for its Master of Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management program.


Lisa Jordan

An experienced marketing and communications leader in travel and hospitality, Lisa Jordan is senior director of digital marketing for Red Roof, a leading economy hotel brand. Her professional background includes nearly 20 years of brand development, marketing strategy and implementation, team leadership, and e-commerce in travel. Previously, she served on the executive leadership team at Hostelling International USA as vice president of marketing. She held several positions during a prior 10-year tenure at Sabre Hospitality Solutions.

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She is passionate about the behind-the-scenes workings of the travel industry and through her work aims to inspire and support travelers to have moments of discovery and enriching experiences. Elevating professional and leadership opportunities for women in the industry is long-held value for her, and she advocates for women as a volunteer and a speaker.

Lisa serves on the HSMAI Marketing Advisory Board, the HSMAI Washington, D.C. Chapter Marketing Communications Committee, and is an active volunteer for Women in Travel THRIVE.  Recently, Lisa has spoken on conference panels for the Digital Travel Summit, Digital Travel Connect, and Women in Travel THRIVE on topics ranging from social media best practices to unleashing women’s potential.

Finally, Lisa is a proud George Washington University alumna who holds a Master of Tourism Administration from the School of Business. Since earning her master’s degree, Lisa has served multiple years in leadership roles, including vice president and president of the program’s alumni association, the GWU Tourism Alumni Network. Starting in 2021, Lisa led efforts to revitalize the network following the pandemic, growing its active membership and alumni engagement and partnering with the program faculty to resume its annual Outstanding Alumni Awards event.

Lisa currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


Don Welsh

A seasoned tourism executive with more than 35 years of experience in the industry, Don Welsh serves as the president and CEO of Destinations International. Since joining the association in March 2016, Welsh has implemented a strategic realignment for the association through a renewed commitment to focus on member needs to deliver the resources members have determined to be essential to the success of their organizations. Prior to joining Destinations International, Welsh served as the president and CEO of Choose Chicago. Welsh also held the CEO position at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and the Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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Prior to joining the destination marketing industry, Welsh served as senior vice president for Westin Hotels at its corporate headquarters, and has also held senior leadership positions in sales and marketing for Westin Hotels and Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.


November 1, 2023 - Ellen M. Granberg, President, The George Washington University


Ellen M. Granberg became the 19th president of the George Washington University on July 1, 2023. In this special George Talks Business event, we learned more about her professional journey in academia and industry, her early impressions and discussions with the GW community, and what leadership means to her at this pivotal moment in higher education. This event was moderated by GW School of Business Dean Anuj Mehrotra.



Ellen M. Granberg

Ellen M. Granberg is the 19th president of the George Washington University, a preeminent research university and the largest institution of higher education in the nation’s capital.

An accomplished academic leader, Dr. Granberg has a record of strengthening teaching and research excellence across disciplines, supporting a diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty, and staff, and collaborating with all stakeholders to drive transformative change and increase institutional prominence. She became the first woman to serve as GW’s president when she took office on July 1, 2023.

Previously, Dr. Granberg served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and was a professor and senior leader at Clemson University.

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As RIT’s chief academic officer, Dr. Granberg oversaw nine colleges, two degree-granting units, and international campuses in Croatia, Dubai, Kosovo and China. Key initiatives under Dr. Granberg’s leadership included increasing undergraduate student success, expanding doctoral education, improving facilities for instruction and research, and leveraging RIT’s strengths in innovation, creativity, and cross-disciplinary collaboration to advance the academic mission of the university. 

At Clemson, Dr. Granberg served as the senior associate provost and associate provost for faculty affairs. She chaired the development and implementation of the institution’s strategic plan, which spurred growth in research, graduate studies and inclusive excellence. In addition, Dr. Granberg developed a university-wide strategy for faculty recruitment, retention, compensation and development.

A nationally recognized scholar in the sociology of self, identity and mental health, Dr. Granberg began her career in academia as a professor of sociology.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Dr. Granberg spent eleven years in the telecommunications industry, leading large integrated software development teams that replaced aging billing and customer service systems.

Dr. Granberg holds a B.A. in history from the University of California at Davis and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in sociology from Vanderbilt University.


October 24, 2023 - William Chappell, VP & CTO, Strategic Missions and Technologies Division, Microsoft, and Nitin Natarajan, Deputy Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)


Tuesday, October 24 featured a conversation with William Chappell, vice president and chief technology officer of the Strategic Missions and Technologies Division at Microsoft, and Nitin Natarajan, deputy director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This panel delved into critical national security, policy and legal issues surrounding cutting-edge technologies and how they impact our nation’s critical infrastructure and businesses. We discussed the cybersecurity challenges arising from rapid technological advancements and the pivotal role that public-private partnerships can play in addressing ethical concerns and risk mitigation. Attendees also gained valuable guidance about how to lead successfully throughout digital transformations. This George Talks Business event was moderated by GW School of Business Dean Anuj Mehrotra, and was hosted in partnership with the GW Department of Athletics.



William Chappell

Dr. William Chappell is the vice president and CTO for the Strategic Missions and Technologies Division at Microsoft. As CTO for SMT, he works across the quantum, 5G, mission, space and federal teams to infuse technologies, such as our AI advances, into the product lines, while developing new concepts for the future of the cloud. On the Mission Engineering team in SMT, he developed the Azure Space and Spectrum team, as well as the strategic modeling and simulation team, which includes silicon cloud design.

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Prior to joining Microsoft, he was the director of the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the Department of Defense. Serving in this position, he focused the office on three key priorities important to national security. These thrusts included ensuring unfettered use of the electromagnetic spectrum, building an alternative business model for acquiring advanced DoD electronics that feature built-in trust, and developing circuit architectures for next-generation machine learning. MTO creates the MEMS, photonic, and electronic components needed to gracefully bridge the divide between the physical world in which we live and the digital realm where our information resides. Under Dr. Chappell’s leadership, MTO developed the basic underpinnings of computation and sensing needed for an effective, information-driven society. 

Prior to his work in government, Dr. Chappell was a professor at Purdue University specializing in electromagnetics. Dr. Chappell received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering, all from the University of Michigan.


Nitin Natarajan

Nitin Natarajan was appointed deputy director for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on February 16, 2021. Prior to joining CISA, Natarajan served in a variety of public and private sector positions spanning over 30 years. 

Most recently he served as a consulting firm executive, providing subject matter expertise on a variety of national security topics. Natarajan also held a number of federal government roles, including deputy assistant administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, director of critical infrastructure policy at the White House/National Security Council, and director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services overseeing healthcare and public health programs.

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At the beginning of his career, Natarajan spent 13 years as a first responder in New York, which included service as a flight paramedic. He was the commander of a federal medical response team based in New York and has extensive experience deploying to natural and man-made disasters throughout the nation.

He holds an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York and a graduate degree from the United States Naval Postgraduate School.


September 27, 2023 - Robin Hayes, CEO, JetBlue Airways


Wednesday, September 27 featured a conversation with Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue Airways, who discussed his career journey to becoming CEO, the current state of the airline industry, and what makes JetBlue stand out. We delved into airline route planning, explored insights on leadership and decision making, and examined the pivotal role of company culture. This George Talks Business event was moderated by GW School of Business Dean Anuj Mehrotra.




Robin Hayes

Robin Hayes is chief executive officer of JetBlue Airways Corp., which encompasses JetBlue – New York’s Hometown Airline® – as well as subsidiaries JetBlue Technology Ventures and JetBlue Travel Products.

He joined JetBlue in 2008 and served as the company’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer until becoming president of the airline in January 2014. In February 2015 he was appointed as JetBlue’s third chief executive officer, serving as president and CEO until 2018.

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Prior to joining JetBlue, Robin was executive vice president for the Americas at British Airways. Over the span of a wide-ranging 19-year career with BA, he also served as area general manager for Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Robin serves as chair of the board of Airlines for America (A4A); past chair of the Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA); and a member of the board of KeyCorp and Make-A-Wish Connecticut.

Robin is a graduate in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. He received a BSc and a master’s in engineering from the university.


Spring and Summer 2023

July 25, 2023 - Pablo Breuer, Sally Kenyon Grant and Renata Spinks


Tuesday, July 25 was a summer evening of networking and conversation as we continued the George Talks Business series with an in-person session featuring technology leaders from the government and industry: Pablo Breuer, executive director for security policy, control oversight, and regulatory alignment at Morgan Stanley; Sally Kenyon Grant, vice president of Darktrace Federal; and Renata Spinks, assistant IT director/deputy CIO of IC4 at Headquarters Marine Corps. Moderated by GW School of Business Dean Anuj Mehrotra, this discussion built on the themes of the GW Business and Policy Forum with the focus on cybersecurity and emerging technologies from the lens of market and regulation.




Pablo Breuer

Dr. Pablo Breuer is an executive director for Security Policy, Control Oversight, and Regulatory Alignment at Morgan Stanley, a senior expert at the Hybrid Threat COE, and a member of the Loomis Innovation Council. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy with tours including U.S. Special Operations Command SOFWERX, the National Security Agency, U.S. Cyber Command, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan, and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. He has been on the faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School, National University, California State University Monterey Bay, and Carnegie Mellon CERT/SEI and is a Defcon Black Badge winner. Pablo is also a co-founder of the DISARM Foundation and coauthor of the DISARM (Disinformation Analysis and Response Measures) framework.


Sally Kenyon Grant

Sally Kenyon Grant is Vice President of Darktrace Federal delivering sophisticated autonomous AI and adaptive cybersecurity protection leveraging self-learning AI and unsupervised machine learning to detect Nation State attacks and insider threats, attacks on cloud SaaS and IoT and novel malware and ransomware. With over 8400 customers in 110 countries including 130 patents, Darktrace has launched a new Federal office located in Reston, Virginia supporting the U.S. Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and the Federal Civilian Agencies.

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Sally Kenyon Grant’s dynamic leadership incorporates threat analysis and risk assessment with innovative Cyber AI autonomous capabilities to counter Adversarial AI.  Due to real-time alerts and automated response and reporting for C5ISR, C2 decision-making is delivered at tactical levels for mission targets.

In addition to defending National Security with our NATO Allies, Ms. Grant leads Government Officials, C-Suite business Cybersecurity and Chief Data Officer Executives with sophisticated AI and Machine Learning capabilities to deliver advanced data analytics to counter anomalous threat activity/attacks and mis-information/dis-information campaigns for increased production and speed efficiency, integration acceleration and improved revenue margins with risk assessment.

Supporting pillars of leadership with honor and high standards, it is important to note Ms. Grant’s work includes best practices and shared services with exceptional support for training and service to include a profound level of sophisticated cybersecurity AI/ML.  Sally Kenyon Grant is accelerating the transformation of security and data with high values, ethics, human rights and data governance and explainability.

As background, Ms. Grant was formerly at Lucd AI, Semantic AI and Point3 Security, premier companies whose leadership served with USSF, USAF, AFRL, JAIC, USMC, USN, JSOC, Army Futures Command, USSS, FBI, USSOCOM, the National Security Agency and USCyberCom including DIA and CIA.  In addition, Ms. Grant served as Director of Cybersecurity at Comtech Telecommunications Corp. and Director of Cybersecurity for the “NSA Day of Cyber.”  Ms. Grant was a senior Congressional and White House Cybersecurity Liaison for the Maryland Department of Commerce serving under General Mike Haye’s Military Affairs Team and Governor O’Malley’s CyberMaryland Initiative. Most notably, Ms. Grant served under the exceptional leadership of Dr. David Bauer, Chief Data Scientist formerly with the U.S. Army Intelligence community.

Ms. Grant’s government relations career expands over 30 years, serving in both the Clinton and Obama White House, Congresswoman Claudine Schneider’s Washington, D.C. Office and with the Cybersecurity firm, The Ventura Group with Col. Mike Sierra including a position with Cassidy & Associates working on Defense Appropriations under the leadership of General P.X. Kelley.

Sally’s critical mission work for Darktrace Federal continues to emphasize machine speed defense against Nation-State attacks across the globe. Sally’s priority is to lead with defensive superiority supporting the cyber warfighter.


Renata Spinks

Ms. Renata Spinks currently serves as the Assistant IT Director/Deputy CIO of Information, Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (IC4) at Headquarters Marine Corps. In this capacity, she also serves as the Department of Navy (DON) Deputy Senior Information Security Officer for the Marine Corps. Ms. Spinks was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in August 2021, having joined Executive Service as a Senior Leader in August 2018, serving at Marine Forces Cyberspace Command (MARFORCYBER) as the nation’s first Cyber Technology Officer. In this role, she deployed cyber based technology and served as the Executive Sponsor for intelligence informed Defense Cyber Operations (DCO) and is responsible for transitioning the USMC to a mobile workforce using Microsoft O365 in record timing.

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Prior to Ms. Spinks’ assignment to MARFORCYBER, her federal career path included serving in the U.S. Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. She is a decorated combat veteran from the 28th Combat Support Hospital, U.S. Army 44th Medical Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Ms. Spinks’ love for cyber grew when she worked with DHS ICE, DOJ, CIA and the ODNI while serving as a criminal research specialist; utilizing forensics and human intelligence to investigate human trafficking and child exploitation.

Ms. Spinks holds a BS in Information Systems, a MS in Technology Management, multiple information technology certifications, and is pursuing her doctorate in Cybersecurity.


March 15, 2023 - George Talks Business in London, England with Christine Brown-Quinn, Slim Feriani and Christophe G. de Taurines


Wednesday, March 15 featured a special edition of the George Talks Business series at the Churchill War Rooms in London, England hosted in partnership with the George Washington University UK Alumni Network. GW School of Business Dean Anuj Mehrotra moderated a panel discussion with Christine Brown-Quinn (MBA ’92), Amazon #1 best-selling author, founder of career consultancy The Female Capitalist®, and GW School of Business Dean’s Board of Advisors member; Dr. Slim Feriani (MBA '89, PhD '96), CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Djibouti; and Christophe G. de Taurines (BBA '86), senior advisor and partner at Long Harbour LTD London and member of the GWSB Dean's Advisory Council, as they discussed the most pressing global challenges, opportunities and solutions.



Christine Brown-Quinn

Following decades in international business, Christine Brown-Quinn embarked on a new career in 2010 to share with aspiring professionals globally, practical, hands-on business strategies to fast track their careers. She‘s been on a mission to bust the myth that a rewarding career and a fulfilling personal life have to be at loggerheads. Known as the ‘Female Capitalist’, Christine unveils what really matters in getting ahead in demanding corporate environments through her webinars, workshops and one-one coaching. As a former managing director in International Finance in London, Christine is well versed in what it takes to forge a thriving career in highly pressurized, alpha environments.

In March 2020 Christine launched her book Unlock Your Career Success – Knowing the Unwritten Rules Changes Everything, a five-star rated Amazon #1 Best Seller in Business & Finance. According to one reviewer, Michaela Jedinak, a fashion designer and entrepreneur, "Unlock Your Career Success empowers women with truth-telling facts from the real business world paired with practical advice and insider knowledge that will help you to be promoted to the top. Essential and inspiring reading for every working woman to realize their ambitions and aspirations.”

Christine is an accomplished international speaker and commentator on a range of issues relevant to the success of female professionals through podcasts, blogs, articles, radio & tv shows. Christine has an undergraduate degree in Foreign Languages from Georgetown University (Cum Laude) and an MBA in International Business from the George Washington University (Beta Gamma Sigma scholar). Christine is currently president of the George Washington University Alumni Association and a member of the GW School of Business Dean’s Board of Advisors as well as the Dean’s Diversity Council.

Christophe G. de Taurines

Christophe G. de Taurines is currently the head of business development at Long Harbour LTD, a London-based asset manager. He is responsible for all aspects of its business development, including product development, fundraising and investor relations. Under his leadership, Long Harbour developed its UK residential Built-to-Rent platform from less than GBP 300M to over GBP 1.2 bn. in AUM and is currently developing its expansion into continental Europe.

Mr. de Taurines has previously served as managing director of European business development and investor relations at Colony Capital; founder and CEO of Capital & Marketing Group, a global capital market agency focused on alternative investments (real estate, infrastructure and corporate private equity), which he sold to LBO France in 2013, becoming a member of its executive committee and a partner of the real estate private funds group of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (now part of Credit Suisse); managing director of LaSalle Investment Management in London; resident vice president at Citibank in the Corporate Real Estate Team; and assistant vice president in the Debt Capital Markets Division of Credit Commercial de France (now part of HSBC).

Over his career, Mr, de Taurines, with his various teams, acted and advised on over €40.0 billion of equity; for over 60 vehicles, attracting investors from around the globe. He is a trustee and member of the Investment Committee of the Saint Martin in the Fields Trust, a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Business of the George Washington University, a past board member of Sussex Place Ventures (the London Business School affiliated venture capital investment manager), and an investor in various ventures, and the past finance chair of the London Chapter of the Young Presidents Organisation. He is a regular speaker at various professional forums and exhibitions. Mr. de Taurines holds an MBA from the London Business School and a BBA from the George Washington University, achieving the Dean’s List. He speaks English, German and French as a native and is conversational in five other languages. He is an Approved Person under the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom.

Slim Feriani

Dr. Slim Feriani is the CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Djibouti. He is the former Minister of Industry, Energy, Mining, Renewable Energy and SMEs of Tunisia (2017-2020). He has worked at a number of financial services firms in the United Kingdom, including investment bank Nomura and asset management firms Martin Currie (acquired by Templeton) and Advance Emerging Capital (acquired by Aberdeen Asset Management). He has held senior executive positions including chairman, CEO and CIO as well as NED board roles in listed and privately owned companies. He is a dual British and Tunisian citizen and has lived and worked in the US, UK, Tunisia and Djibouti. He has covered and invested in more than 90 countries and visited more than 60 of them. He is fluent in English, French and Arabic. Dr. Feriani holds an MBA and a Ph.D. in Finance, Investment and International Finance from the George Washington University in Washington D.C., where he taught courses in these fields and sat on the board of advisors of the GW School of Business.

March 8, 2023 - Globant Women in Technology Award Winners Panel with Marie-Philippe Gill, Nelly Ortiz, Joti Balani, Ellen Joyce and Kathy Korman Frey


GWSB is a proud sponsor of the Women that Build Awards, sponsored by Globant, a global technology and IT organization. This event featured a panel discussion from this year's Women that Build award-winners, who advance careers in technology, manage innovation and collaboration, and promote diversity and inclusion. We explored specific challenges they have faced in their careers, and the strategies they have used to overcome them and become extraordinary women that build. This panel included Marie-Philippe Gill, NLP research developer at Croesus, Nelly Ortiz, director of business hacking and U.S. co-lead at Globant, Joti Balani, founder and managing director of, and Ellen Joyce, founder and CEO of Digital Leader Academy.

The panel was moderated by Kathy Korman Frey, professorial lecturer of management and director of the Center For Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) at the GW School of Business. It was also co-moderated by GW students and CFEE Leadership Fellows Lena Ebadi, Alexis Nazitto and Maiah Zaky.

This event was hosted in partnership with the GW School of Business Dean's Diversity Council and in conjunction with the Howard Hoffman Distinguished Lecture Series presented by the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the GW School of Business.

Marie_Philippe Gill

Marie-Philippe Gill, @girlknowstech on Instagram, is one of the biggest names in female tech blogging and is currently the NLP research developer at Croesus. Despite its humble beginnings as practice writing in her second language, Marie’s blog Girls Know Tech is now a hub of tech tutorials, interviews, and articles on other women in the tech industry. She studied software engineering at École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal.

Aside from blogging, Marie is passionately involved with hackathons and other tech events. She was part of the student lab Dronolab, which creates drones that enter competitions in Canada and the US, as well as INGénieuses de l´ÉTS, a student group who encourage women to pursue STEM-related careers. The organization occupies a close place in Marie’s heart, as she hopes it will help inspire more women to forge a career in software engineering.

Nelly Ortiz

Nelly Ortiz is an international speaker, certified design thinking coach, and award-winning business woman in tech. With a background in consulting and leadership, her career expands over several industries including financial services, retail, and real estate. She is passionate about helping her clients redefine their businesses through innovation, at the intersection of business, technology, and design. Even though Nelly’s background in digital strategy with Fortune 500 companies might suggest her talks are serious in nature, she’s anything but boring! Nelly understands the power of laughter and humor when teaching complex concepts. She even did standup, as she believes comedians are the best public speakers. Event planners love working with Nelly, often describing her as the energizer bunny of their events. Nelly has earned her master’s degree from New York University in integrated marketing (digital and brand), and a business administration title from Los Andes University in Colombia. Her most recent leadership roles have been in technology companies like Globant, Mindtree and IBM. Growing up as a “Navy brat,” Nelly went through 11 schools before college, making her hugely adaptable and eager to keep learning from different cultures. She believes diversity is a great catalyst for innovation. As a Colombian, she gives presentations in both English and Spanish, and as a true Latina she’s loud and claims that dancing is the best sport.

Joti Balani

Joti Balani, founder and managing director of, is an award-winning creative architect designing and delivering complex enterprise, human and systemic transformations. She created a multidimensional transformation framework blending AI, data science, engineering, cybersecurity and social sciences. She leads transformative innovations at Fortune 100 enterprises to create emotional, economic and brand value with her team, who represent the empowered human race in all dimensions.

She is the AI impact lead at Innovation of Large Organizations (ILO), G100 US Country Chair for Robotics & Automation, Intrapreneurship Conclave Governance Council Member/Unfold India, as well as AI Advisor to Web3 focused startups, Titlechain and solving critical, global problems in business and society with courage, creativity and technology. Joti also leads Open Voice Network’s (OVON) Industry Advisory Council to share her Conversational AI framework with the industry and is co-founder of Women in Voice/WiV, New Jersey, US chapter.

Ellen Joyce

Ellen Joyce is the founder and CEO of Digital Leader Academy. Being one of four girls, it makes sense that she ended up in the world of chaos that is startups. Originally from Ireland and being the eldest of four means she has been training to be a CEO her whole life. The Irish “gift of the gab” plus the ability to convince 3 younger sisters to do things they really didn't want to do has prepared her well.

Ellen has been an educator her whole life. Her passion is working with students to help them reach their potential. This all began when she started tutoring her younger sister Sarah, who is dyslexic, and it inspired her to start a business that focused on math education for students with learning difficulties while completing her undergraduate degree in computer science and statistics at Trinity College Dublin. She grew the school from 1 student to 50 students and $32k ARR in 2019.

In 2019, Ellen received a Naughton Scholarship to complete a Masters of Science in Technology Entrepreneurship at the University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Ellen started to investigate why there are fewer women in computer science in 2020 than there were in 1980 and how could you increase the number of women in tech. This led to her founding Digital Leader Academy (DLA), a startup that is on a mission to increase the size and the diversity of the tech workforce.

This year, Ellen was invited back to be an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame where she is teaching “Technology for Startups” to the next generation of entrepreneurs. It has been an honor to work with so many bright minds and help them start the companies of the future.

Kathy Korman Frey

Kathy Korman Frey is a professorial lecturer of management and the director of the Center For Entrepreneurial Excellence at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). She helped develop and currently teaches Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) at GWSB. WEL is the winner of a USASBE Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award. Frey is the founder of the edtech social venture The Hot Mommas Project, the world’s largest women’s case study library providing access to diverse, teachable, scalable role models and mentors from around the world. The venture’s Women’s Leadership Academies and group coaching workshops have directly reached women from 138 countries, increasing self-efficacy of participants 21 percent in a half-hour workshop and up to 300 percent in a 10-module session. The Hot Mommas Project is the winner of a Coleman Foundation Case Award and is included in the mission of the GWSB Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Hot Mommas Project have been featured in the media including the Washington Post Magazine, NPR, Working Mother, Forbes, BBC and TIME.

February 23, 2023 - Scott Smith, Partner and Principal, Ernst & Young and Brandon Wales, Executive Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)


Thursday, February 23 featured a conversation about some of the most critical issues surrounding cybersecurity risks and opportunities through the lens of national security, global business and regulation. Scott Smith, partner and principal at Ernst & Young, and Brandon Wales (CCAS '99), executive director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), were interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business. We discussed the latest efforts in reducing risk to the cyber ecosystem and the new models of public-private collaboration required to meet the scale and pace of the emerging cyber threat.



Scott Smith

Scott Smith is a partner and principal at the consulting
practice of Ernst & Young (EY), LLP and has 25+ years
of commercial and federal experience leading
engagements with the U.S. Navy, Defense Logistics
Agency, U.S. Army, Department of Homeland Security,
and multiple DoD Intelligence Agencies.

Mr. Smith leads the EY Government and Public Sector
Cybersecurity practice. He has a proven track record of
successfully leading complex programs providing
support ranging from cybersecurity, full life-cycle
systems integration, and infrastructure operations to
application development and IT strategy.

Prior to consulting, Mr. Smith served in the U.S. Navy as
a surface warfare and intelligence officer.

Brandon Wales

Brandon Wales is the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) first executive director, serving as the senior career executive helping oversee execution of CISA operations. He is responsible for leading long-term strategy development, managing CISA-wide policy initiatives and ensuring effective operational collaboration across the Agency.

In February 2022, Wales was appointed as the lead for the federal government’s domestic preparedness and response related to the Russian-Ukraine crisis. In this capacity, Wales was responsible for establishing and leading an interagency Unified Coordination Group (UCG) to ensure unity of effort, building U.S. government-wide strategic objectives, identifying and resolving gaps in operations and interagency coordination, and coordinating with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officials, as well as representatives of private sector and non-governmental entities.

From November 2020 through July 2021, Wales was the acting director of CISA. In this capacity, he led CISA’s efforts to defend civilian networks, manage systemic risk to national critical functions, and work across both the public and private sectors to raise the security baseline of the nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure. From August 2017 to December 2019, Wales directly supported the Secretary of Homeland Security, beginning as the senior counselor to the secretary for cyber and resilience and then serving as the deputy chief of staff (acting).

From 2009 to 2014, Wales was the director of the Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC), an all-hazards analytic resource for public and private sector partners covering the full array of risks facing the infrastructure community.

Wales’ contributions have been recognized with an Exceptional Performance Award from the director of national intelligence, a DHS Secretary’s Award for Excellence, and two DHS Distinguished Service Medals, the department’s highest civilian award.

Wales received his bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University and his master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

February 6, 2023 - Elena Richards, Principal & Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, KPMG


As an opening event during the GW School of Business Diversity and Allyship Week, this session on Monday, February 6 featured Elena Richards, principal and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at KPMG LLP. We discussed how diversity drives innovation, her role as a first-time CDO, and the firm’s strategy for creating an equitable workplace and sustainable societal change.

Following the interview, Dean Mehrotra invited our students to network with alumni and representatives from KPMG. Welcome remarks were delivered by Caroline Laguerre-Brown, J.D., vice provost for diversity, equity, and community engagement at the George Washington University, and Şenay Ağca, chief diversity officer and professor of finance at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB).

Elena Richards

Elena Richards is a principal and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at KPMG LLP. She is an accomplished HR, talent management and diversity professional with deep knowledge of the professional services industry. Partnering with KPMG’s management committee and board of directors, she helps to advance the firm’s Accelerate 2025 strategy, a commitment for more underrepresented talent to choose KPMG as their employer of choice, experience thriving careers within an inclusive culture, and advance to partnership and leadership levels.

A certified executive coach, Elena earned her BA in criminal justice at the University at Albany, State University of New York.


Fall 2022

October 17, 2022 - New York City Real Estate Market Panel with Charles R. Bendit, Jonathan Iger, Josh N. Kuriloff and Evan Pariser


On Monday, October 17, we spoke with GW alumni for a special edition of the George Talks Business series focused on the New York City real estate market.

Charles R. Bendit (BBA ’75), co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Taconic Partners and GW Board of Trustees member, moderated a panel discussion with Jonathan Iger, chief executive officer of Sage Realty Corporation and GW School of Business Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis (CREUA) board member, Josh N. Kuriloff (BBA ’81), executive vice chairman at Cushman & Wakefield and GW School of Business Board of Advisors member, and Evan Pariser, senior managing director of Capital Markets at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). Welcome remarks were provided by GW School of Business Dean Anuj Mehrotra, Ph.D.

The panel discussion was followed by a reception for GW students and alumni and their guests. This event was hosted by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis (CREUA), the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, and the GW School of Business.



Jonathan Iger

Jonathan Iger joined Sage in 2010 as the fourth generation of the Kaufman family and became CEO in 2014. He develops, implements and oversees Sage's corporate strategy, operating strategy and investment initiatives and provides leadership and guidance to all departments across Sage. His mission is to create value for all stakeholders. Prior to joining Sage, Jonathan served as Vice President at P&L Investments, LLC, a boutique real estate investment and asset management firm, and was founder and CEO of UrbanGradRealty, a boutique residential brokerage company that focused on the recent college graduate submarket. Jonathan is active on industry boards. He serves as chairman of the board of the Meatpacking Area Business Improvement District, a board member of the Downtown Alliance, and a member of the advisory board for the Center of Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University. And in keeping with the Kaufman family tradition, Jonathan is a proud supporter of many of New York's major institutions in the fields of the arts, healthcare, and education, including serving on the Board of Trustees of The Town School.

Josh N. Kuriloff

Josh N. Kuriloff is a 35-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry and one of the highest-ranking brokerage professionals at Cushman & Wakefield. Mr. Kuriloff is executive vice chairman and member of C&W’s Global Advisory Board. In 1998, 2009, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2021 he earned the distinction of being recognized as C&W’s top brokerage professional worldwide. In 2015, Mr. Kuriloff was ranked #1 in Real Estate Forum’s Top U.S. Brokerage Professionals feature.

Evan Pariser

Evan Pariser is a senior managing director in the New York office of JLL Capital Markets, Americas. He joined JLL as part of the HFF acquisition and has more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate finance. He was a founding member of HFF's New York office, which opened in 1994. Evan's focus involves debt and equity placement transactions, including fixed-rate, floating-rate, construction, capital, equity joint ventures and structured finance. Throughout his career, he's raised more than $10 billion of real estate capital on behalf of institutional and entrepreneurial clients.

Before joining HFF, Evan was a managing director at Walter & Samuels, Inc., and a vice president with the Real Estate Capital Group at Bear Stearns & Co.

Charles R. Bendit

Charles R. Bendit is the co-chief executive officer of Taconic Partners. Taconic an owner, operator, and developer of commercial and residential real estate, from adaptive reuse and urban revitalization to luxury residential development. Since 1997, Taconic has successfully acquired, developed, redeveloped, and repositioned over 15 million square feet of office, mixed-use, and retail space and more than 3,000 units of for-sale and multi-family rental housing in New York City with select projects in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.

A graduate of the George Washington University, Mr. Bendit sits on the Executive Committee of the Board of Advisors of the George Washington University School of Business and is a member of the Advisory Board of the University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis. Mr. Bendit is very involved in the educational community having served two terms as the Manhattan representative to the Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department, he also served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of PENCIL, an organization that creates and supports partnerships between public schools and private enterprises. PENCIL serves schools in 5 cities in the US. Currently, Mr. Bendit serves on the board of directors for The Bank Street School. He is also an active member of The Partnership for NY, serving as trustee for the Fund for the Partnership for NY.

Mr. Bendit lives in Manhattan, where he has resided for 35 years. He is married and has two daughters.

October 12, 2022 - Barbara Humpton, President and CEO, Siemens USA

On Wednesday, October 12, Barbara Humpton, president and CEO of Siemens USA, joined us for a conversation about what it takes to drive the transformation of industry and infrastructure from the lens of a leading technology company, including how Siemens incorporates diversity, equity and inclusion into its core business strategy. Barbara was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business.



Barbara Humpton

Barbara Humpton is President and CEO of Siemens Corporation, where she guides the company’s strategy and engagement in serving the company’s largest market . Siemens USA employs approximately 40,000 people serving customers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico and generated $17 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2020. She views the true purpose of technology as expanding what’s humanly possible. She’s also passionate about diversity, STEM education, and what she calls a "worklife blend" that honors her priorities both at Siemens and as a grandmother.

Most recently, Humpton served as president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. (SGT), a leading integrator of Siemens’ products and services for federal government agencies and departments. In this role, Humpton also served as an officer/direc tor member of the board of directors of SGT.

Prior to joining Siemens in 2011, Humpton served as a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton where she was responsible for program performance and new business development for technology consulting in the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security. Earlier, Humpton was a vice president at Lockheed Martin Corporation with responsibility for Biometrics Programs, Border and Transportation Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection, including such critical programs as the FBI’s Next Generation Identification and the TSA’s Transportation Workers’ Identification Credential.

Humpton is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Barbara is Chairman of the Siemens Corporation Board, the Siemens Foundation and of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). She serves on the board of directors of the Triumph Group, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), Economic Club of Washington, D.C. and the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband David.


October 3, 2022 - Durreen Shahnaz, Founder and CEO, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and IIX Foundation, and James C. Polan, Vice President of Development Credit, The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

On Monday, October 3, changemaker and impact investing pioneer Durreen Shahnaz, founder and CEO of Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and IIX Foundation, winner of the 2017 Oslo Business for Peace prize, and named member of the 2021 Forbes 50 Over 50: Investment list, and James C. Polan, vice president of development credit at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), discussed the role of innovative finance in international development and share how capital markets tools can be harnessed for development goals and expanding development finance capacity. They were interviewed by Dr. Alyssa Ayres, dean of the GW Elliott School of International Affairs, and Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business.



Durreen Shahnaz

Durreen Shahnaz is a global leader of social impact and pioneer in impact investing. She is also the founder of Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and IIX Foundation. IIX is the home of the world’s first social stock exchange and one of the world’s largest crowdfunding platforms for impact investing. IIX is also a leader in impact assessment methodology and innovative financial structures such as the world's first gender focused social bond, Women's Livelihood Bond Series. The company connects the Back Streets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world by changing financial systems and innovating solutions for women empowerment, climate action, and community resilience, thus driving forward the Sustainable Development Goals. IIX and IIX Foundation’s work has unlocked over US$250 million of private sector investment capital and impacted over 100 million direct household lives.

Shahnaz is the recipient of UN Women’s 2020 Asia-Pacific Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) award, the 2019 Sustainability Superwoman award from CSR Works, 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize for Business’, the 2017 Global Steering Group for Impact Investment Impact Market Builder of the Year award, the 2016 Asia Society Asia Game Changer Award, in addition to the prestigious 2014 Joseph Wharton Social Impact Award given by the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania. Recently, Shahnaz was named in the Forbes 50 over 50 list as a notable leader in the financial industry.

Shahnaz holds a BA from Smith College as well as an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MA from the School for Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University.


James Polan

James C. Polan serves as vice president of development credit at U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

Mr. Polan had served as vice president for small and medium enterprise finance at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), before its transformation to DFC, since July 2003. Between 1995 and 2003, he was a senior investment officer and managing director of project finance at OPIC.

Additionally, Mr. Polan provided leadership on the agency’s African and small and medium enterprise initiatives and played a key role in the creation of OPIC’s Small Business Center, where he served as the approval officer for loan requests.

Prior to joining the agency, Mr. Polan was managing director of Ngami Group Limited in Gaborone, Botswana, served as chief executive officer for Healthcare Holdings (PTY) Ltd. in Gaborone, and was manager of the projects and property development divisions for the Botswana Development Corporation Limited.

Mr. Polan received a B.A. in Business Economics from Connecticut College and an MBA in Finance from the University of London. He also attended the London School of Economics and Political Science.



September 21, 2022 - Stephanie von Friedeburg, Senior Vice President of Operations, The International Finance Corporation (IFC)

On Wednesday, September 21, Stephanie von Friedeburg, senior vice president of operations at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business, about the impact of unprecedented global challenges on emerging markets and developing economies. We also discussed opportunities and challenges in creating an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.



Stephanie von Friedeburg

Ms. Stephanie von Friedeburg is IFC’s first senior vice president of operations. She most recently stewarded the institution in the midst of the pandemic and led the implementation of IFC’s strategy to create projects, attract private investment, and ultimately support a resilient and inclusive recovery in emerging markets. Her priorities include increasing opportunities for women, scaling up investments to fight climate change, and promoting digital development. Her career spans almost three decades in the World Bank Group. She started at IFC, where she also served as the first chief operating officer, and has spent more than two decades in investment operations, developing strong expertise in Africa and Central and Eastern Europe and in sectors such as telecom, manufacturing, and a wide array of technologies. In addition to an MBA from the Wharton School, she holds a Master of Arts from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.


September 14, 2022 - Frederick S. Humphries, Jr., Corporate Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation

On Wednesday, September 14, Frederick S. Humphries, Jr., corporate vice president of U.S. Government Affairs at Microsoft Corporation, was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business, about policy and regulation in the technology sector.

This event was hosted in partnership with the F. David Fowler Career Center at the GW School of Business and the GW Department of Athletics.



Frederick S. Humphries, Jr.

Fred Humphries is corporate vice president of U.S Government Affairs (USGA) at Microsoft. Under his leadership, USGA provides policy and regulatory expertise, political engagement, and outreach that advances the company’s advocacy goals. Mr. Humphries is Microsoft’s chief public policy advocate, internally and externally, on all aspects of federal, state and civic affairs. He communicates with policymakers on Microsoft’s leadership in fostering economic and job opportunities in the U.S.

Mr. Humphries also oversees the Microsoft team responsible for engagement with the United Nations and International Organizations (UNIO), and he chairs the company’s Global Government Affairs Council, responsible for reviewing strategies and initiatives for Microsoft’s government affairs work worldwide.

As part of his stewardship of a broad, multilateral team, Mr. Humphries sets the company’s government engagement strategy on the most pressing policy issues facing the technology industry to earn trust and adapt to regulation, enable inclusive economic growth, and use technology to solve big societal problems. This includes cloud computing, privacy, trade, cybersecurity, education, racial equity, immigration, and emerging technologies.

He proudly serves on the boards of numerous non-profit and public service organizations in the Washington, DC area. Mr. Humphries received a J.D. from Temple University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Morehouse College.



Spring 2022

April 25, 2022 - David M. Rubenstein, Co-founder and Co-chairman, The Carlyle Group

On Monday, April 25, David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business.



David M. Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein is co-founder and co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private investment firms. Established in 1987, Carlyle now manages $301 billion from 26 offices around the world.

Mr. Rubenstein is chairman of the boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Gallery of Art, the Economic Club of Washington, and the University of Chicago; a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation; a Trustee of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Constitution Center, the Brookings Institution, and the World Economic Forum; and a Director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among other board seats.

Mr. Rubenstein is a leader in the area of Patriotic Philanthropy, having made transformative gifts for the restoration or repair of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Monticello, Montpelier, Mount Vernon, Arlington House, Iwo Jima Memorial, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the National Zoo, the Library of Congress, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Rubenstein has also provided to the U.S. government long-term loans of his rare copies of the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, the first map of the U.S. (Abel Buell map), and the first book printed in the U.S. (Bay Psalm Book).

Mr. Rubenstein is an original signer of the Giving Pledge; the host of the David Rubenstein Show and Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein; and the author of The American Story, How to Lead, and The American Experiment.


April 13, 2022 - Inderpal Bhandari, Global Chief Data Officer, IBM

On Wednesday, April 13, Inderpal Bhandari, global chief data officer at IBM, was interviewed by Dr. Shivraj Kanungo, vice dean for graduate programs at the GW School of Business. We enjoyed a conversation with one of the original pioneers of the CDO role globally and discussed his experience building a data-first culture at IBM, advice on how a company can use data transformation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create business value, and top trends that will shape the future of data.



Inderpal Bhandari

Inderpal Bhandari is the global chief data officer at IMB, where he has leveraged his extensive experience to lead IBM’s data strategy to ensure IBM remains the number one AI and hybrid cloud provider for the enterprise. Under his leadership, the Cognitive Enterprise Blueprint was created, a roadmap for IBM’s clients on their own transformation journeys.

Inderpal brings to IBM more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles at such leading companies as Cambia Health Solutions and Express Scripts/Medco Health Solutions. Prior to joining IBM, Inderpal served as senior vice president and chief data officer of Cambia Health Solutions, where he led the development of Cambia’s data strategy and drove the transformation of the company’s consumer experience strategies.

Prior to that, Inderpal served as vice president of knowledge solutions and chief data officer at Express Scripts/Medco Health Solutions, where he was responsible for maximizing the utility of the company’s data and its readiness to respond to emerging market trends. Before that, he founded Virtual Gold, growing the company into an international market leader for analytics in call centers and professional sports.

Inderpal is an expert in transforming data into business value and improved customer experiences by delivering strategic, innovative capabilities that use analytic insights to enable growth and productivity. In 2017, he was named U.S. Chief Data Officer of the Year by the CDO Club, and has been featured as an industry expert by Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, US News & World Report, CNN and FOX.

Inderpal earned his Master of Science Degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and holds a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.


April 7, 2022 - Dr. Mark S. Wrighton, President, The George Washington University

On Thursday, April 7, Dr. Mark S. Wrighton, president of the George Washington University, was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business. We enjoyed a conversation with President Wrighton about his extensive experience in academia, what attracted him to GW, and his vision for the university. We explored his views on creating innovation around campus and top trends shaping the future of higher education. We also learned about Dr. Wrighton's favorite ways to enjoy Washington, D.C.

This event was hosted in partnership with the George Washington University Department of Athletics.



Mark S. Wrighton

Mark S. Wrighton, Ph.D., was elected president of the George Washington University on January 1, 2022. He previously served as the 14th chancellor of Washington University from July 1, 1995, through May 31, 2019. During his tenure as chancellor, Washington University made unprecedented progress in campus improvements, resource development, curriculum, international reputation, and especially in undergraduate applications and student quality.

Wrighton served as a presidential appointee to the National Science Board (2000-06), which is the science policy advisor to the president and Congress and is the primary advisory board of the National Science Foundation. He is a past chair of the Business-Higher Education Forum and the Association of American Universities.

Wrighton has received many awards for his research and scholarly writing, including the distinguished MacArthur Prize. He is the author of over 300 articles in professional and scholarly journals, is the holder of 16 patents, and co-author of a book, Organometallic Photochemistry. His research interests are in the areas of transition metal catalysis, photochemistry, surface chemistry, molecular electronics, and in photoprocesses at electrodes.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Philosophical Society. Active in public and professional affairs, he has served on numerous governmental panels and has been a consultant to industry. He is an active member of numerous professional organizations and serves as a director on the boards of national companies and St. Louis organizations.

From 1990 until 1995, he served as provost and chief academic officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A member of the MIT faculty from 1972 until 1995, Wrighton became a full professor of chemistry in 1977. He was named Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry in 1981 and became head of the Chemistry Department in 1987. In 1989 he was named the first holder of the Ciba-Geigy Professorship. Wrighton received his B.S. degree with honors in chemistry from Florida State University in 1969 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1972.


March 30, 2022 - Anthony Shop, Co-founder, Social Driver, and Chairman, The National Digital Roundtable

On Wednesday, March 30, Anthony Shop (MBA ’11), co-founder of Social Driver and chairman of the National Digital Roundtable, was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business. This in-person conversation focused on a successful entrepreneurship journey and how winning the GW New Venture Competition played a role in starting a digital marketing company in Washington, D.C. We also discussed top trends in marketing, the “tech for good” entrepreneurial movement, and what it takes to be named the #1 LGBTQ-owned D.C. business.

This event was hosted in partnership with the GW School of Business Diversity Council.



Anthony Shop

In an era of digital transformation and disruption, Anthony Shop is a refreshing optimist and proven innovator in the field of digital and social media. As a convener, entrepreneur and educator, Anthony champions a digital mindset to create bottom-up strategies that unleash the energy in people. He has demonstrated that by putting people before technology, organizations can achieve results that seemed unimaginable a few short years ago.

Anthony is chairman of the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Through his off-the-record roundtables and public forums in partnership with premier NGOs, educational institutions, and embassies, Anthony has developed an innovative perspective that transcends industries and borders. His views on digital thinking and trends have been featured by the BBC, CBS, Bloomberg, and Al Hurra, and at conferences across the globe.

In 2011, Anthony co-founded Social Driver, a digital services firm, to help companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, content, and advertising. The firm quickly established itself as a leader and was named the “7th fastest growing agency in the United States” by The Agency 100, “Supplier of the Year” by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, “DC’s Coolest Company” by DC Inno, and the “#1 LGBT-Owned Business” by The Washington Business Journal. In only eight years, the firm’s proven digital solutions have revolutionized how hundreds of leading organizations manage issues and reputations, market products and services, and build engagement and relationships with people ranging from customers to policymakers. Social Driver has earned its place as the trusted partner time and again by delivering game-changing results for Honda, Cigna, Sprint, Goodwill, ADA, and more.

Anthony offers a global perspective on the digital future from his experience as a citizen diplomat. An Eisenhower Fellow and a German Marshall Memorial Fellow, he has researched global marketing communications trends, the world-wide fight against false news and misinformation, and China’s vastly different digital and social media landscape. As a member of the US Department of State Speakers Bureau, his talks have been simulcast to dozens of American embassies around the world. Anthony is frequently called on to host international delegations visiting the U.S. He serves on the board of Global Ties Foundation and a trustee for People to People International.

Through his use of proven frameworks and compelling storytelling, professionals around the world have embraced Anthony’s message to drive their social media and digital strategies. He has given keynotes for dozens of prominent organizations, including NASA’s Johnson Space Center, The New York Times, and Communication University of China. Anthony has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times and “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the prestigious National Press Club’s Board of Governors.

Prior to founding Social Driver, Anthony served as press secretary for a top U.S. congressional race and as a journalist. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer, and his BA from William Jewell College as a Truman Scholar.


March 8, 2022 - Globant Women in Technology Award Winners Panel with Teneika Askew, Suuchi Ramesh and Jeeva Senthilnathan

The GW School of Business is a proud sponsor of the Women That Build awards, sponsored by Globant, a global technology and IT organization. Tuesday, March 8 featured a panel discussion with the 2022 Women That Build award winners, who advance careers in technology, manage innovation and collaboration, and promote diversity and inclusion. We explored specific challenges they have faced in their careers — and the strategies they used to overcome those challenges and become extraordinary women that build.


  • Teneika Askew, Director of the Data Science and Analytics Enablements, U.S. Navy (Digital Leader Award Winner)
  • Suuchi Ramesh, CEO and Founder, Suuchi Inc. (Tech Entrepreneur Award Winner)
  • Jeeva Senthilnathan, Founder, Privando (Rising Star Award Winner)


  • Liesl Riddle, Ph.D., Vice Dean for Strategy, The George Washington University School of Business


Teneika Askew

Teneika Askew is the director of the Data Science and Analytics Enablements at the U.S. Navy, where she is the product manager and Agile coach for the Data Science as a Service portfolio that delivers data science and AI/ML solutions to transform the Department of the Navy by accelerating the delivery and adoption of advanced analytics and AI to achieve mission impact at scale.

Teneika received the Values in Practice (VIP) award in her position at Booz Allen for her contributions and excellence in client service, philanthropy, and consistently demonstrating Booz Allen values. She went on to support the launch of the Stem Girls for Social Good program, guiding SG4SG to receive two Booz Allen Excellence Awards, and she personally received the WOC STEM Technology All Star Award. She is certified in Agile/Scrum, Tableau, Power BI, AWS and more. At Deloitte, she received several performance and team awards from leadership and peer awards from firm initiatives. She has led the development of strategy and analytics solutions for 10+ organizations, increasing their fundraising targets or capital by $6M+ total.

Teneika founded her first non-profit, Ribbons of Beauty, to provide mentorship to high school women, delivering seminars focusing on ACT/SAT preparation, managing finances, higher education, and building personal brands. Ribbons of Beauty has impacted the lives of over 200 women and led to the start of BiCTech, a nonprofit focused on providing economic advancement for minorities. Outside of these initiatives, she is passionate about the economic advancement and stability of women- and minority-led nonprofits and organizations.


Suuchi Ramesh

Suuchi Ramesh founded Suuchi, Inc., a supply chain technology platform, five years ago after a 10+ year career in technology and predictive data analytics. Before starting Suuchi, Inc., she scaled the B2B side of multiple tech startups, helping them achieve unicorn status. Suuchi now plans to do the same with the GRID, an intuitive software solution that digitizes the entire supply chain, empowering participation and providing a single source of truth across suppliers, factories, brands, retailers, warehouses and customers.


Jeeva Senthilnathan

Jeeva Senthilnathan is a young Indian American who ran for office in Parker, Colorado at the age of 18. Senthilnathan was born in Chicago but was brought up in one of the most conservative counties in the state of Colorado, Douglas County. Jeeva is known for her activism in climate change, mental health, and teacher pay alongside the policies she has helped pass in gun safety with State Representative Tom Sullivan. Jeeva is an undergraduate sophomore student at the Colorado School of Mines, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She currently is pursuing research in balance control strategies for balance therapy with gesture-controlled rehabilitation robots and is also running her organization, Privando, to help solve the India’s crisis of being the most dangerous country for women through education, legislation and technology.

Jeeva has received multiple national recognitions, becoming a 2021 Global Teen Leader from Nile Rodger’s We Are Family Foundation, a 2021 Diana Awardee from Princess Diana, a 2020 Presidential Volunteer Service Awardee, and a DNC Delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders in 2020.

March 2, 2022 - Joseph F. Klimavicz, Managing Director of CIO Advisory, KPMG

On Wednesday, March 2, Joseph F. Klimavicz, managing director of CIO Advisory at KPMG, was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business.

The topic of discussion was "The Evolving Cybersecurity Landscape: What Is Our Response and Is It Enough?" This event was part of the series STEM Policy and GW: An Industry Perspective, and the event was hosted in partnership with the GW Office of the Vice Provost for Research.



Joseph Klimavicz

Mr. Joseph Klimavicz joined KPMG, LLP as a managing director in March 2020. In this position, he leads the public sector Chief Information Officer (CIO) Advisory practice and helps government clients develop and implement digital transformations, and deal with rapidly changing technology, growing complexities from budget constraints, competing agendas, and continuous attacks on their information infrastructure.

Mr. Klimavicz previously served as the Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Assistant Attorney General and CIO from May 2014 until March 2020. In this position, he provided leadership and oversight of the Department’s information and technology programs and implemented large-scale and complex digital transformations. He also served as DOJ’s Chief Data Officer, Senior Agency Official for Geospatial Information, and executive responsible for both radio frequency spectrum and all technical standards. In addition, he served as vice-chair of the Federal CIO Council.

Mr. Klimavicz’s 37-year career in the federal government began with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an imagery scientist. He subsequently served in line management positions within the CIA and the Department of Defense (DOD) leading information technology programs, to include serving as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Deputy CIO. Mr. Klimavicz also served as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) CIO and Director, High Performance Computing and Communications from January 2007 until May 2014.


February 2, 2022 - Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations, Virgin Galactic

On Wednesday, February 2, Sirisha Bandla (MBA ’15), vice president of government affairs and research operations at Virgin Galactic, was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business.



Sirisha Bandla

Sirisha Bandla is the vice president of government affairs and research operations at Virgin Galactic. In this role, Sirisha oversees legislative, regulatory, and government business priorities for the company, as well as work with research customers to fly science and technology experiments on VG’s SpaceShip class of vehicles.

Previously, Sirisha served as the associate director for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association of commercial spaceflight companies. At CSF, Sirisha worked on various policies with the aim to promote and enable the then emerging commercial space industry. Before CSF, she worked as an aerospace engineer designing components for advanced aircraft at L-3 Communications in Greenville, Texas.

Sirisha has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue and a Master of Business Administration from the George Washington University. Sirisha serves on the boards of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research, the American Astronautical Society, and the Future Space Leaders Foundation. Sirisha also helps to organize the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program, an internship and mentorship program that provides summer opportunities to current college juniors, seniors, and graduate students passionate about commercial spaceflight.

January 20, 2022 - Muriel E. Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia

On Thursday, January 20, 2022, Muriel E. Bowser, mayor of the District of Columbia, was interviewed by Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business.



Muriel Bowser

Muriel Bowser is committed to making sure every Washingtonian gets a fair shot in a growing and prosperous Washington, DC. Her administration is focused on making DC’s prosperity more inclusive, advancing DC values, and building safer, stronger, and healthier neighborhoods across DC’s eight wards.

Washington, DC is unique in the American political system — the mayor, DC’s chief executive, functions as a governor, county executive, and mayor. Like governors, Mayor Bowser runs Medicaid, issues driver’s licenses, and has tax authority. Like county executives, Mayor Bowser runs the local jail, and, unlike most mayors, also oversees the public school system. In 2020, Washington, DC is home to 705,000 people across 68 square miles, has a AAA bond rating, and an annual budget of more than $15 billion.

On November 6, 2018, Muriel Bowser became the first woman ever re-elected as the Mayor of Washington, DC and the first mayor to earn a second term in 16 years. Since taking office, the Mayor has taken bold steps to reset DC’s global and national competitiveness, speed up affordable housing production, diversify the DC economy, increase satisfaction in city services, and invest in programs and policies that allow more families to live and thrive in DC.

Mayor Bowser earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Chatham University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from American University, and received honorary doctorates from Chatham University and Trinity University. With more than 20 years of experience in local government, she first entered elected office as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Riggs Park neighborhood.



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