Congress Speakers

CONGRESS SPEAKERS

We must proactively and thoughtfully reinvent the future of work.

L. Rafael Reif

President of MIT

The remarkable progression of technological innovation is ushering in a new era of unprecedented health, convenience, and prosperity. But the machines imbued with human and superhuman capabilities also bring a flood of collective uncertainty and anxiety about the impact on work and economies. How can we create a future of work that complements and augments human potential while contributing to shared economic prosperity?

To help us understand and meet this grand challenge, three of MIT’s most innovative, future-focused initiatives have joined forces to present the MIT AI & the Work of the Future Congress.

2019 Congress Speakers

2020 Speakers

Daniela Rus, MIT CSAIL

Daniela Rus

Director, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor, MIT EECS
Daniela Rus, MIT CSAIL

Daniela Rus

Director, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor, MIT EECS

Daniela Rus is the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. Rus’ research interests are in robotics, artificial intelligence, and data science.

The focus of her work is developing the science and engineering of autonomy, toward the long-term objective of enabling a future with machines pervasively integrated into the fabric of life, supporting people with cognitive and physical tasks. Her research addresses some of the gaps between where robots are today and the promise of pervasive robots: increasing the ability of machines to reason, learn, and adapt to complex tasks in human-centered environments, developing intuitive interfaces between robots and people, and creating the tools for designing and fabricating new robots quickly and efficiently. The applications of this work are broad and include transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, monitoring the environment, underwater exploration, smart cities, medicine, and in-home tasks such as cooking.

Rus serves as the Associate Director of MIT’s Quest for Intelligence Core, and as Director of the Toyota-CSAIL Joint Research Center, whose focus is the advancement of AI research and its applications to intelligent vehicles. She is a member of the Toyota Research Institute advisory board.

Rus is a Class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow, a fellow of ACM, AAAI and IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the recipient of the 2017 Engelberger Robotics Award from the Robotics Industries Association. She earned her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. Rus has also worked on two collaborative projects with the Pilobolus Dance company at the intersection of Technology and Art. Seraph, a pastoral story about human-machine friendship, was choreographed in 2010 and performed in 2010-2011 in Boston and New York City. The Umbrella Project, a participatory performance exploring group behavior, was choreographed in 2012 and performed at PopTech 2012, in Cambridge, Baltimore, and Singapore.

Elisabeth B. Reynolds

Executive Director, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future

Elisabeth B. Reynolds

Executive Director, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future

Elisabeth B. Reynolds is a Principal Research Scientist and Lecturer in MIT’s Dept. of Urban Studies in Planning. She works on issues related to systems of innovation, regional economic development and industrial competitiveness. She has focused in particular on the theory and practice of cluster development and regional innovation systems and advises several organizations in this area. Her current research focuses on advanced manufacturing, growing innovative companies to scale and building innovation capacity in developed and developing countries. She is a member of the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and on the board of the Friends of Wellesley METCO.

Before coming to MIT for her PhD, Liz was the Director of the City Advisory Practice at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a non-profit founded by Professor Michael Porter focused on job and business growth in urban areas.

Liz has an A.B. from Harvard in Government, a MSc. from the University of Montreal in Economics and a PhD from MIT in Urban and Regional Studies.

Andrew McAfee, MIT IDE

Andrew McAfee

Co-Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management
Andrew McAfee, MIT IDE

Andrew McAfee

Co-Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management

Andrew McAfee is the Co-Director of the IDE and a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

His research investigates how information technology changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, his work also focuses on how computerization affects competition, society, the economy, and the workforce. In addition to having numerous papers published, McAfee also writes a widely read blog, which is at times one of the 10,000 most popular in the world. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles, case studies and other materials for students and teachers of technology. Prior to joining MIT Sloan, McAfee was a professor at Harvard Business School. He has also served as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. McAfee received his doctorate from Harvard Business School, and completed two Master of Science and two Bachelor of Science degrees at MIT. He speaks frequently to both academic and industry audiences, and has taught in executive education programs around the world.

David Autor, MIT

David Autor

Co-Chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future
David Autor, MIT

David Autor

Co-Chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future

David Autor is Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the MIT Department of Economics. His scholarship explores the labor market impacts of technological change and globalization, earnings inequality, and disability insurance and labor supply. Autor has received several awards for his scholarship, including the National Science Foundation Career Award; an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship; and the Sherwin Rosen Prize for outstanding contributions in the field of labor economics—and for his teaching, including MIT’s James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for excellence in teaching; the Undergraduate Economic Association Teaching Award; and the Faculty Appreciation Award from the MIT Technology and Policy Program. He was recognized by Bloomberg as one of the 50 people who defined global business in 2017. Autor is a faculty research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and is also affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the MIT School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and the Institute for the Study of Labor. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Autor received a BA in psychology from Tufts University and a PhD in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Daron Acemoglu, MIT Economics

Daron Acemoglu

Institute Professor, MIT
Daron Acemoglu, MIT Economics

Daron Acemoglu

Institute Professor, MIT

Daron Acemoglu is Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has received a BA in economics at the University of York, 1989, M.Sc. in mathematical economics and econometrics at the London School of Economics, 1990, and Ph.D. in economics at the London School of Economics in 1992.

He is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (United States), the Science Academy (Turkey), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural T. W. Shultz Prize from the University of Chicago in 2004, and the inaugural Sherwin Rosen Award for outstanding contribution to labor economics in 2004, Distinguished Science Award from the Turkish Sciences Association in 2006, the John von Neumann Award, Rajk College, Budapest in 2007.
 
He was the recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005, awarded every two years to the best economist in the United States under the age of 40 by the American Economic Association, and the Erwin Plein Nemmers prize awarded every two years for work of lasting significance in economics. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Utrecht, Bosporus University, and the University of Athens.
 
Daron Acemoglu’s areas of research include political economy, economic development and growth, human capital theory, growth theory, innovation, search theory, network economics and learning. His recent research focuses on the political, economic and social causes of differences in economic development across societies; the factors affecting the institutional and political evolution of nations; and how technology impacts growth and distribution of resources and is itself determined by economic and social incentives. In addition to scholarly articles, Daron Acemoglu has published four books: Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (joint with James A. Robinson), which was awarded the Woodrow Wilson and the William Riker prizes, Introduction to Modern Economic Growth, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (joint with James A. Robinson), which was a New York Times bestseller in 2012; and Principles of Economics (joint with David Laibson and John List).

US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester

US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester

Co-Chair, Congressional Future of Work Caucus
US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester

US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester

Co-Chair, Congressional Future of Work Caucus

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester represents Delaware in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves as an Assistant Whip for House Leadership. Lisa sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The committee has broad jurisdiction over health care, the environment, commerce and trade, energy policy, telecommunications, manufacturing, and consumer protection.
As the Energy and Commerce Committee’s only former statewide health official, Lisa understands health care from a number of different perspectives – as an implementer at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, negotiator while serving as State Personnel Director, and advocate as CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. Lisa is focused on reducing the cost of health care and prescription drugs for middle-class families, addressing the disparity in outcomes for communities of color, and tackling our nation’s opioid and addiction epidemic. She serves as a Member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, comprised of more than 100 members united with the common goal of tackling opioid addiction.

Lisa is a leading voice in Congress on economic and future of work-related issues. As former Secretary of Labor and State Personnel Director, Lisa leverages her professional experience to advocate for legislation that boosts start-up business growth, removes barriers for citizens re-entering society, and addresses college affordability and ballooning student debt. She is a Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s Future of Work Task Force and serves as the sole Member of Congress on the Aspen Institute’s National Advisory Council for the Future of Work Initiative. She is also the founder of the Congressional Future of Work Caucus.

In the 115th Congress, Lisa was a member of the House Committee on Agriculture – the first Delawarean to serve on the committee in over 120 years. In this role, she helped craft the 2018 Farm Bill, which is a five-year re-authorization that extends U.S. Department of Agriculture programs related to the farm safety net; nutrition programs that feed children, seniors, people with disabilities, and families who rely on the social support programs; land-grant and 1890 universities; and agriculture research.

As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a strong proponent of reforming our criminal justice system, Lisa introduced first-in-the-nation legislation, the Clean Slate Act, sealing the federal records of former nonviolent offenders that remain crime-free and have earned a second chance. This bill would provide new opportunities for Americans to earn a good-paying job, pursue education and training, and rent or own a home. According to estimates by the Center for American Progress, the passage of the Clean Slate Act could boost the U.S. economy by as much as $87 billion per year.

Traveling up and down the state, Lisa is an advocate for the needs of every community, which informs her work in Washington. Having met with homeowners in the South Shore Marina development in North Bethany Beach, she learned of an error in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s coastal mapping unit for the town – preventing homeowners from taking advantage of the National Flood Insurance Program and FEMA aid in the event of a disaster. Turning their concerns into action, Lisa reached across the aisle to work with Democrats and Republicans across the country with similarly affected mapping units and introduced the Strengthening Coastal Communities Act. She worked with allies in Delaware and Washington to help usher this critical piece of legislation into law – aiding homeowners and setting aside hundreds of acres for environmental protection.

With deep roots in the First State, Lisa grew up in Wilmington, graduated from Padua Academy, and worked her first job at the McDonald’s on Market Street. She graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in International Relations and put herself through graduate school as a working mom – earning a master’s degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware.

Lisa began her distinguished career in public service as an intern and later Caseworker in a congressional office where she helped Delawareans with their Social Security benefits, disability insurance claims, IRS disputes, and housing needs. Lisa would go on to serve in the cabinets of two Delaware governors and as CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League – an action-oriented, public policy research think-tank.

Lisa also served as the Senior Executive Leadership and Systems Manager for the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she advocated for people with disabilities in their struggle for equal opportunity and civil rights. During this time, Lisa helped expand the Institute’s global footprint and advised state agencies and employers. In part due to Lisa’s work, she helped build the Institute into a fully-fledged college at the university, the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development — focused on the inclusion of all people.

Lisa currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware near her adult-aged children, Alex and Alyssa, as well as her daughter-in-law, Ebony.

Volkmar Denner

Dr. Volkmar Denner

Chairman of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
Volkmar Denner

Dr. Volkmar Denner

Chairman of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH

Volkmar Denner has been chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and a limited partner of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG since July 1, 2012. His responsibilities include corporate strategy, corporate communications and governmental affairs, and real estate and facilities. He is also responsible for the Bosch Healthcare Solutions GmbH subsidiary.
Born in Uhingen, Germany, on November 30, 1956, Volkmar Denner is married and has three children. After taking his university entrance examination in 1975, he studied physics at the University of Stuttgart, taking his diploma examination in 1981. After a research stay in the United States, he was awarded a doctorate in physics (Dr. rer. nat.) by the University of Stuttgart in 1985.
He is a member of the managing board of the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry) and of the BBUG (Baden-Baden Entrepreneurs’ Conference), as well as chairman of the Vereinigung von Freunden der Universität Stuttgart (Society of Friends of the University of Stuttgart).

Susan Houseman

Susan Houseman

Vice President and Director of Research, W.E. Upjohn Institute
Susan Houseman

Susan Houseman

Vice President and Director of Research, W.E. Upjohn Institute

Susan Houseman is Vice-President and Director of Research at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.  She is a labor economist whose recent research focuses on temporary and contract employment arrangements, domestic outsourcing, offshoring, manufacturing, and measurement issues in economic statistics. 

She chairs the Consensus Study on Contingent and Alternative Work Arrangements for the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences, chairs the Technical Advisory Committee to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and co-directs the Labor Statistics Program at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. She received her PhD in economics from Harvard University.

Freeman Hrabowski

Freeman A. Hrabowski

President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Freeman Hrabowski

Freeman A. Hrabowski

President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, President of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992, is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. He was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (2011). His 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.”

Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), he also received TIAA-CREF’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence (2011), the Carnegie Corporation’s Academic Leadership Award (2011), and the Heinz Award (2012) for contributions to improving the “Human Condition.” UMBC has been recognized as a model for inclusive excellence by such publications as U.S. News, which the past eight years has recognized UMBC as a national leader in academic innovation and undergraduate teaching. Dr. Hrabowski’s most recent book, Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement, describes the events and experiences that played a central role in his development as an educator and leader.

Yasheng Huang

MIT Sloan Professor of Global Economics and Management

Yasheng Huang

MIT Sloan Professor of Global Economics and Management

Yasheng Huang is Epoch Foundation professor of international management and faculty director of action learning at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Between 2013 and 2017, he served as an associate dean in charge of MIT Sloan’s global partnership programs and its action learning initiatives. His previous appointments include faculty positions at the University of Michigan and at Harvard Business School.

He is currently involved in research projects in four broad areas: 1) a book project on “The Nature of the Chinese State,” 2) collaboration with researchers at Tsinghua University to create a complete database on historical technological inventions in China, 3) as a co-PI in “Food Safety in China: A Systematic Risk Management Approach” (supported by Walmart Foundation, 2016-), and 4) research on venture finance, production of scientific knowledge, work of the future in China. He has published numerous articles in academic journals and in media and 11 books in English and Chinese.

At MIT Sloan School, Professor Huang founded and runs China Lab and India Lab, which have provided low-cost consulting services to over 360 small and medium enterprises in China and India. Between 2015 and 2018, he ran a program in Yunnan province to train small and medium women entrepreneurs (funded by Goldman Sachs Foundation). He has held or received prestigious fellowships such as National Fellowship at Stanford University and Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Fellowship. He was named by National Asia Research Program as one of the most outstanding scholars in the United States conducting research on issues of policy importance to the United States. He is or has been a fellow at the Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University, a research fellow at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, a fellow at William Davidson Institute at Michigan Business School, and a World Economic Forum Fellow. He has served as a consultant at World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and OECD and is serving on a number of advisory and corporate boards of non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Jason Jackson, MIT

Jason Jackson

Ford Career Development Assistant Professor of Political Economy, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
Jason Jackson, MIT

Jason Jackson

Ford Career Development Assistant Professor of Political Economy, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT

Jason Jackson is Ford Career Development Assistant Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jason is also a member of the Task Force on Work of the Future at MIT.

Jason’s research is broadly concerned with the relationship between states and markets. It assesses the implications of political struggles between business, government and societal actors for the structure of market institutions and resulting competitive and distributional outcomes. His work is especially concerned with the role of technology in social transformation. Jason is currently working on two main projects: (1) a book manuscript on the role of economic ideas and moral beliefs in the politics of foreign investment in India from the late colonial period to the present, tentatively entitled Moralizing Capitalists: Economic Nationalism and Business Legitimacy in India; and (2) a project on the global rise of platform firms in urban mobility markets in select cities in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Jason completed his Ph.D. in Political Economy at MIT. He also holds an AB in Economics from Princeton University, an MSc in Development Economics from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Saru Jayaraman

Saru Jayaraman

President, One Fair Wage, and Director, Food Labor Research Center, University of California, Berkeley
Saru Jayaraman

Saru Jayaraman

President, One Fair Wage, and Director, Food Labor Research Center, University of California, Berkeley

Saru Jayaraman is the President of One Fair Wage and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), which grew into a national movement of restaurant workers, employers and consumers. She then launched One Fair Wage as a national campaign to end all subminimum wages in the United States. The story of Saru and her co-founder’s work founding ROC has been chronicled in the book The Accidental American, and the story of the One Fair Wage campaign has been profiled in the new film Waging Change. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” section in 2005, named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” in 2008, was 1010 Wins’ “Newsmaker of the Year” and New York Magazine’s “Influentials” of New York City. She was listed in CNN’s “Top10 Visionary Women” and recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014, a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2015, and the SF Chronicle ‘Visionary of the Year’ in 2019. Saru authored Behind the Kitchen Door (Cornell University Press, 2013), a national bestseller, and has appeared on CNN with Soledad O’Brien, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Melissa Harris Perry and UP with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the Today Show, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.  Saru authored Behind the Kitchen Door (Cornell University Press, 2013), a national bestseller, Forked: A New Standard for American Dining (Oxford University Press, 2016), and most recently edited Bite Back: People Taking on Corporate Food and Winning (UC Press, 2020). She attended the Golden Globes in January 2018 with Amy Poehler as part of the Times Up action to address sexual harassment.

Tom Kochan

Thomas Kochan

Professor of Management, MIT; Professor of Work and Employment Research, and Co-Director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research, MIT Sloan School of Management
Tom Kochan

Thomas Kochan

Professor of Management, MIT; Professor of Work and Employment Research, and Co-Director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research, MIT Sloan School of Management

Thomas Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, a Professor of Work and Employment Research, and the CoDirector of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Kochan focuses on the need to update America’s work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home, and in their communities. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor-management relations are needed to address America’s critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is Shaping the Future of Work  (Business Experts Press, 2016).

Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin. 

Jeanne Magoulick

Jeanne Magoulick

Engineering Manager, Ford Motor Company
Jeanne Magoulick

Jeanne Magoulick

Engineering Manager, Ford Motor Company

25 years of automotive experience at Ford Motor Company, MBA Michigan Ross School of Business, BS Mechanical Engineering University of Detroit Mercy. Positions have included Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor for new model vehicle launches, Global Business Strategy and Planning Supervisor. Presently Advance Manufacturing Manager, leading the Factory of Tomorrow initiative for Global Advanced Manufacturing.

James Manyika

James Manyika

Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company and Chairman McKinsey Global Institute
James Manyika

James Manyika

Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company and Chairman McKinsey Global Institute

James Manyika is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), and a member of McKinsey’s board of directors.

Based in Silicon Valley for over 20 years, James has worked with the chief executives and founders of many of the world’s leading technology companies on a variety of issues, including strategy and growth, business transformation, and innovation. At MGI, James has led research on technology and digitization, the future of work, productivity and competitiveness, and globalization. James has published books on AI and robotics and global economic trends and numerous articles and reports. He has served along with technologists, business leaders, economists, and policymakers around the world on several task forces and commissions related to technology and an inclusive economy.

James was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as vice chair of the Global Development Council at the White House, and by US Commerce Secretaries to the Commerce Department’s Digital Economy board of advisers and the National Innovation Advisory Board. He serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and is involved in science and technology research and advisory boards at Oxford, Stanford, MIT, as well as Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research. He is also involved in various philanthropic activities, including serving on the boards of the MacArthur Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and Markle Foundation.

A Rhodes Scholar, James received his DPhil, MSc, and MA from Oxford in AI and robotics, mathematics, and computer science, and his BSc in electrical engineering from the University of Zimbabwe as an Anglo-American Scholar. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a distinguished fellow of Stanford’s AI Institute, and a fellow of DeepMind.

James is trustee of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Trilateral Commission and has been a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution in Economic Studies. He was a visiting scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Labs, and a faculty exchange fellow at MIT. At Oxford, he was a member of the Programming Research Group, the Robotics Research Lab, and elected a research fellow of Balliol College.

Karen Mills

Karen Mills

Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School and Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration
Karen Mills

Karen Mills

Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School and Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration

Karen Gordon Mills is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School and a leading authority on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation. She was a member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, serving as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2009 to 2013, and is an expert on the economic health and well-being of the nation’s small businesses.

Mills is President of MMP Group, which invests in businesses in financial services, consumer products and technology-enabled solutions. She currently serves as a director of several entrepreneurial companies, including First Aid Beauty, and is Vice Chair of Envoy, an immigration services provider. She is Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Private Capital Research Institute, co-Chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center‘s Main Street Finance Task Force, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Harvard Corporation, the university’s highest governing board.

Mills earned an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She is a recipient of the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, and is a frequent guest on news outlets, including Bloomberg radio and TV, and opinion writer, with recent placements in Fortune, Forbes, The Hill, Harvard Business Review and American .

David Mindell, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics

David Mindell

Co-Chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future; MIT Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and CEO and Founder, Humatics Corporation
David Mindell, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics

David Mindell

Co-Chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future; MIT Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and CEO and Founder, Humatics Corporation

David Mindell, an engineer and historian, is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing at MIT. An expert in human relationships with robotics and autonomous systems, he has led or participated in more than 25 oceanographic expeditions. From 2005 to 2011, he was director of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He is co-founder of Humatics Corporation, which develops technologies to transform how robots and autonomous systems work in human environments. Mindell has a BS in electrical engineering and BA in literature, both from Yale University, and a PhD in the history of technology from MIT.

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

CEO, Microsoft
Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

CEO, Microsoft

Satya Nadella is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. Before being named CEO in February 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company.

Joining Microsoft in 1992, he quickly became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings.

Most recently, Nadella was executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. In this role he led the transformation to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took share from competition. Previously, Nadella led R&D for the Online Services Division and was vice president of the Microsoft Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.

Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella lives in Bellevue, Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella serves on the board of trustees to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and his alma mater the University of Chicago, as well as the Starbucks board of directors. He is married and has three children.

Indra Nooyi

Indra K. Nooyi

Former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
Indra Nooyi

Indra K. Nooyi

Former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi is the former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo (2006-2019); a
Fortune 50 company with operations in over 180 countries. In this role, she was the chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s pledge to do what’s right for the business by being responsive to the needs of the world around us.

Currently, Mrs. Nooyi is a member of the board of Amazon and sits on the
Audit Committee. She serves on the Global Leadership Board at edX, the world’s leading nonprofit online education platform. She is a member of the International Advisory Council of Temasek, an independent director of the International Cricket Council and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She is also a Dean’s Advisory Council member at MIT’s School of Engineering and a member of the MIT Corporation.

Additionally, she is the Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at West Point where she helps enhance the ability of both the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership and the U.S. Military Academy to fulfill the mission of developing leaders of character. Lastly, she co-chaired the Reopen Connecticut Task Force in 2020.

Paul Osterman

Paul Osterman

Professor of Human Resources and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
Paul Osterman

Paul Osterman

Professor of Human Resources and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

Paul Osterman is the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor of Human Resources and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as a member of the Department of Urban Planning at MIT.  From July 2003 to June 2007 he also served as Deputy Dean at the MIT Sloan School.

His research concerns changes in work organization within companies, career patterns and processes within firms, economic development, urban poverty, and public policy surrounding skills training and employment programs.

Osterman has been a senior administrator of job training programs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has consulted widely for government agencies, foundations, community groups, firms, and public interest organizations.

His most recent book is Who Will Care For Us: Long Term Care and the Long Term Workforce (Russell Sage,2017).Other recent books include  Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone (Russell Sage, 2011); The Truth About Middle Managers: Who They Are, How They Work, How They Matter (Harvard Business School Press, 2009); Gathering Power: The Future of Progressive Politics in America (Beacon Press, 2003),; Securing Prosperity: The American Labor Market: How It Has Changed and What to Do About It (Princeton University Press, 1999), and Working In America: A Blueprint for the New Labor Market (MIT Press, 2001).

Osterman is also the author of Employment Futures: Reorganization, Dislocation, and Public Policy; Getting Started: The Youth Labor MarketThe Mutual Gains Enterprise: Forging a Winning Partnership Among Labor, Management, and Government; and Change At Work. He is the editor of two books, Internal Labor Markets and Broken Ladders: Managerial Careers in the New Economy. In addition, he has written numerous academic journal articles and policy issue papers on topics such as labor market policy, the organization of work within firms, careers, job training programs, economic development, and anti-poverty programs.

Frida Polli

Frida Polli

CEO and Founder, Pymetrics
Frida Polli

Frida Polli

CEO and Founder, Pymetrics

Frida Polli, PhD is an award-winning Harvard and MIT trained neuroscientist turned AI-startup CEO. She is the founder and CEO of pymetrics, a talent matching platform that uses behavioral science and AI to help companies match external and internal talent with their ideal jobs predictively and fairly. While an academic, Frida was an NIH fellow, a NARSAD Young Investigator, an MIT 100K winner, and Life Science Fellow at Harvard Business School (where she earned an MBA). She has been featured on CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fast Company, and Inc.

Juan Salgado

Juan Salgado

Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago
Juan Salgado

Juan Salgado

Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago

Chancellor Juan Salgado has focused his more than 20-year career on improving education and economic opportunities for residents in low-income communities. 

As Chancellor, he oversees Chicago’s community college system, serving more than 77,000 students across seven colleges. 

From 2001 to 2017, he served as CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino, where he worked to empower residents of Chicago’s Southwest Side through education, citizenship, and skill-building programs that led to sustainable employment and economic stability.

Chancellor Salgado is a community college graduate himself, earning an associate degree from Moraine Valley Community College, prior to earning a Bachelors degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a Masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Chancellor Salgado has been nationally recognized for his work, including as a 2015 MacArthur Fellow.  Among his civic commitments, he serves as a board member of the Obama Foundation.

Julie Shah

Julie Shah

Associate Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, and Lead, Interactive Robotics Group, MIT CSAIL
Julie Shah

Julie Shah

Associate Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, and Lead, Interactive Robotics Group, MIT CSAIL

Julie Shah is an Associate Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and leads the Interactive Robotics Group of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Shah received her SB (2004) and SM (2006) from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and her PhD (2010) in Autonomous Systems from MIT. Before joining the faculty, she worked at Boeing Research and Technology on robotics applications for aerospace manufacturing. She has developed innovative methods for enabling fluid human-robot teamwork in time-critical, safety-critical domains, ranging from manufacturing to surgery to space exploration. Her group draws on expertise in artificial intelligence, human factors, and systems engineering to develop interactive robots that emulate the qualities of effective human team members to improve the efficiency of human-robot teamwork. In 2014, Shah was recognized with an NSF CAREER award for her work on “Human-aware Autonomy for Team-oriented Environments,” and by the MIT Technology Review TR35 list as one of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35. Her work on industrial human-robot collaboration was also recognized by the Technology Review as one of the 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2013, and she has received international recognition in the form of best paper awards and nominations from the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, the International Symposium on Robotics, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Robert Solow

Robert Solow

MIT Professor of Economics and Nobel Laureate, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE)
Robert Solow

Robert Solow

MIT Professor of Economics and Nobel Laureate, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE)

Robert M. Solow, is an American economist who was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his important contributions to theories of economic growth.

Solow received a B.A. (1947), an M.A. (1949), and a Ph.D. (1951) from Harvard University. He began teaching economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1949, becoming professor of economics there in 1958 and professor emeritus in 1995. He also served on the Council of Economic Advisers in 1961–62 and was a consultant to that body from 1962 to 1968.

In the 1950s Solow developed a mathematical model illustrating how various factors can contribute to sustained national economic growth. Contrary to traditional economic thinking, he showed that advances in the rate of technological progress do more to boost economic growth than do capital accumulation and labour increases.

In his 1957 article “Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function,” Solow observed that about half of economic growth cannot be accounted for by increases in capital and labour. He attributed this unaccounted-for portion—now called the “Solow residual”—to technological innovation. From the 1960s on, Solow’s studies helped persuade governments to channel their funds into technological research and development to spur economic growth. A Keynesian, Solow was a witty critic of economists ranging from interventionists such as John Kenneth Galbraith to free marketers such as Milton Friedman. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1999.

John Van Reenan

John Van Reenen

MIT Sloan Professor of Applied Economics and Department of Economics
John Van Reenan

John Van Reenen

MIT Sloan Professor of Applied Economics and Department of Economics

John Van Reenen is the Gordon Y Billard Professor in Management and Economics and is a jointly appointed Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management and in the Department of Economics.

Jeff Wilke

Jeff Wilke

CEO, Amazon Worldwide Consumer
Jeff Wilke

Jeff Wilke

CEO, Amazon Worldwide Consumer

Jeff Wilke has served as Amazon’s CEO Worldwide Consumer since April 2016. He leads Amazon Stores,Prime, operations, technology, and marketing. Jeff joined Amazon in 1999 to lead global operations. Prior to Amazon, he was vice president and general manager of pharmaceutical fine chemicals at Allied Signal (now Honeywell). He spent the preceding six years in a variety of operations and general management assignments in the chemical, polymer, and electronics industries. He began his working career writing code and managing software development projects at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

Jeff is a 1993 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Leaders for Global Operations program, where he earned an MBA and an S.M. in chemical engineering. He also holds a BSE degree in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, from Princeton University. He serves as the chairman of the governing board for MIT’s Leaders for Global Operations program.Jeff was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He spent many evenings as a teenager writing code.

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria

Host, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS
Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria

Host, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS

Fareed Zakaria hosts Fareed Zakaria GPS for CNN Worldwide and is a columnist for The Washington Post, a contributing editor for The Atlantic, and abestselling author.

Fareed Zakaria GPS is a weekly international and domestic affairs program thatairs on CNN/U.S. and around the world on CNN International. Since its debut in 2008, it has become a prominent television forum for global newsmakers and thought leaders.

Interviews on Fareed Zakaria GPS have included U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Other past guests include military officials such as Gen. David Petraeus and Adm. Michael Mullen; corporate leaders such as Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi; and other public figures like Bill Maher and Bono. The program earned the prestigious Peabody Award in 2011 and has received multiple Emmy nominations.

Zakaria has regularly hosted primetime specials for CNN Worldwide, such as “Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World,” “Why Trump Won,” and “Putin: The Most Powerful Man in the World.” He frequently contributes his thoughtful analysis of world events and public affairs to CNN.com; Fareed’s Global Briefing, a daily digital newsletter; and other programming across CNN’s multiple platforms.

Zakaria is the author of three highly-regarded and New York Times bestselling books: In Defense of a Liberal Education (2015), a commentary on the importance of a well-rounded education; the international bestselling The Post-American World (1st ed. 2008, 2nd ed. 2011), a discussion of the rise of non-Western powers; and The Future of Freedom (2003), a study of “illiberal democracy” in various countries, also an international bestseller. His latest book is Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World.

Prior to his tenure at CNN Worldwide, Zakaria was editor of Newsweek International, managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a columnist for Time, an analyst for ABC News, and the host of Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria on PBS.

In 2017, Zakaria was awarded the Arthur Ross Media Award by the American Academy of Diplomacy, and in 2010, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan, one of its highest civilian honors. He was named a “Top 10 Global Thinker of the Last 10 Years” by Foreign Policy magazine in 2019, and Esquire once called him “the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation.”

Zakaria serves on the boards of the Council of Foreign Relations and New America. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a doctorate in political science from Harvard University, and has received numerous honorary degrees.

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