Workplace Summit Speakers


AMY GALLO is an expert in conflict, communication, and workplace dynamics. She is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, a how-to guidebook about handling conflict professionally and productively. She combines the latest management research with practical advice to deliver evidence-based ideas on how to improve relationships and excel at work. In her role as a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, she writes frequently about a range of topics with a focus on interpersonal dynamics, communicating ideas, leading and influencing people, and building your career. She has contributed to numerous books on feedback, emotional intelligence, and managing others, and is the co-author of the HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case. Gallo is on the faculty of the Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification program, recently launched by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence. She taught at Brown University and is a graduate of both Brown and Yale University. @amyegallo

CELESTE HEADLEE is a communication and human nature expert, and an award-winning journalist. She is a professional speaker, and also the author of Heard Mentality and We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter. In her twenty year career in public radio, she has been the executive producer of On Second Thought at Georgia Public Radio, and anchored programs including Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She also served as co-host of the national morning news show, The Takeaway, from PRI and WNYC, and anchored presidential coverage in 2012 for PBS World Channel. Headlee’s TEDx talk, sharing ten ways to have a better conversation, has over nineteen million total views to date. @celesteheadlee



W. BRAD JOHNSON, PhD is professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a faculty associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. A clinical psychologist and former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy’s Medical Service Corps, Johnson served as a psychologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and the Medical Clinic at Pearl Harbor where he was the division head for psychology. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Teaching Excellence award. He has served as chair of the American Psychological Association’s ethics committee and as president of the Society for Military Psychology. Johnson is the author of more than one hundred journal articles and book chapters—many on the topic of mentoring— and twelve books, in the areas of mentoring, professional ethics, and counseling. Books of related interest include: On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty (2nd Ed.) (2015), The Elements of Mentoring (Revised Ed.) (2008, with Charles Ridley), The Elements of Ethics for Professionals (2008, with Charles Ridley), and Becoming a Leader the Annapolis Way (2006, with Greg Harper).

LORI NISHIURA MACKENZIE is executive director of Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the co-founder of the new Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab. Under her leadership, the Lab launched a corporate affiliates program, a learning community of corporations, government agencies and thought leaders working together for change. Mackenzie speaks globally at organizations such as the European Central Bank, the Texas Conference for Women, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. She publishes her work in outlets including Harvard Business Review, has been cited in The New York Times, the BBC, San Francisco Chronicle, brand eins, and more. She was featured as one of the BBC’s “100 Women in 2017,” and she was interviewed for the 2018 documentary Bias. She led the work as the founding educational partner for the launch of, and teaches executive education at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mackenzie brings twenty years of marketing strategy and business management experience from companies including Procter & Gamble, Apple, eBay and PayPal, and is a board member for the Alliance for Girls. She earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, and a BA in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. @lorinmackenzie

DAVID SMITH, PhD, is the co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women and associate professor of sociology in the Department of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College. A former Navy pilot, Smith led diverse organizations of women and men culminating in command of a squadron in combat and flew more than 3,000 hours over thirty years including combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a sociologist trained in military sociology and social psychology, he focuses his research in gender, work, and family issues including gender bias in performance evaluations, dual career families, military families, women in the military, and retention of women. Smith is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters—many on the topic of gender and the workplace.


RACHEL THOMAS is co-founder and president of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. Under Thomas’ leadership, the foundation supports a community of more than two million women and men in 150 countries and runs public awareness and education programs that reach millions of people each year. Prior to co-founding LeanIn.Org, Thomas co-founded and served on the executive teams of several consumer technology startups. Thomas frequently writes and speaks on issues that affect women and advises several women’s advocacy groups. She graduated with honors from Georgetown University and lives in Palo Alto, CA, with her husband, two young children, and two poorly behaved dogs.




ASHRAF HEBELA is head of analytics and sales operations at Silicon Valley Bank. Reporting to the President of SVB, he is responsible for the overall strategy and operations of the bank’s enterprise analytics, and sales operations functions. Hebela is also responsible for overseeing SVB’s research and development program. Prior to his current role, he was chief of staff of Silicon Valley Bank, reporting to the chief executive office. Prior to these roles, Hebela was managing director of SVB strategic analytics and was head of product management for SVB analytics. Prior to joining SVB in 2009, Hebela was senior director of product management at NorthStar Systems, Inc. He also worked as a group program manager at Siebel Systems. Prior to that, Hebela was a consultant for Accenture, and was one of the lead analysts involved in the process and technology implementation of one of Accenture’s largest telecommunication engagements at the time. Hebela earned a BA in economics with distinction from Harvard University, and also holds a master’s degree in business administration and global management from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a BUILD mentor, a Chartered Financial Analyst Designate and a member of the CFA Society of San Francisco. @svb_financial

DAVID W. KIM is executive director, head of global inclusion and diversity at Gilead Sciences, a leading research based pharmaceutical company advancing the care of people with life threatening illnesses around the world. He joined in December, 2017 and in this role he is responsible for the development and implementation of Gilead’s inclusion and diversity strategy worldwide. He served as head of diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility at Electronic Arts, a leading interactive entertainment company providing updates to the board of directors, CEO led diversity council agenda, employee resource group executive leadership teams, and EA’s corporate social responsibility priorities on engagement, volunteerism and giving. Prior to Electronic Arts, Kim architected global diversity initiatives, helped globalize corporate social responsibility and diversity focused talent acquisition at Dell, Inc. He also held various HR and management consulting positions working with technology companies including 3Com, Cadence Design Systems and management consulting at Price Waterhouse. Kim attended Biola University and San Francisco State University’s industrial and organizational psychology MS programs. He has served on the boards of directors for the national Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), and the Center for Child Protection. @gileadsciences

STACEY CLARK OHARA is head of inclusion and diversity at Juniper Networks, and also leads the Juniper Networks Foundation Fund. At Juniper, she has implemented an executive sponsorship program to help accelerate women’s career advancement, launched training programs for conscious leadership and for managing bias, and spearheaded a program highlighting “Remarkable Women @ Juniper,” among other initiatives—and she is a dynamic advocate for I&D transparency. Ohara has more than twenty years of internal and external communications experience at global companies. She built and led the Juniper Networks internal communications function, bringing together a team of skilled professionals to create best-practice programs and processes to support the company’s rapid growth. In 2010, under her leadership, her team won two International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill awards. @junipernetworks

JENN TAIGMAN is the senior director of user experience at Akamai. She leads a global team that designs the customers’ end-to-end experience—including how they buy and try Akamai and how they use and manage their Akamai products and services. With her deep experience in user research, she has established empathy-building as the cornerstone of organizational learning. Previously, Taigman was the director of UX research at SAP Ariba, and she brings breadth of experience in UX strategy, design and user research methods from Intuit, Facebook, PayPal and eBay. She began her career at Siegel & Gale with a focus on simplified communications and information design, and she continues to apply the principle “simple is smart” to everything she does. She has taught courses in experience design at the Nielsen Norman Group’s Usability Week training, was a guest lecturer at Bentley University’s Research Field Methods in HCI, moderated the panel discussion, Empathy: It’s Good for Business!, at the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration, and most recently participated in the Hexagon Women in UX Mentorship Program. Taigman earned a BFA in design from Carnegie Mellon University. @akamai

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