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Inaugural session

Session I - The evolving woman in the 21st century

Session II - STEM - Education, science, technology and empowerment of women

Session III - Leadership and women’s foray into the business domain

Session IV - Government and institutional support for women

Session V - Women empowerment through capacity building and social entrepreneurship

Session VI - Women’s Empowerment through Diversity, Arts and Culture


Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares
- Representative, Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka

United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women(UN Women)

Rebecca Reichmann Tavares is the Representative of UN Women’s Multicountry Office for India, Bhutan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Previously Dr. Reichmann Tavares was Representative for Brazil and Regional Programme Director of UN Women’s Brazil & Southern Cone Office (2009-2013).

A native of Southern California, Dr. Reichmann Tavares graduated from Yale University and holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has published several books, monographs and articles on race relations in Brazil, women’s empowerment, and microfinance in Latin America and South Asia.


Ms. Damchae Dem
- CEO/Founder

Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs

Damchae Dem is the founder and chairperson of Pelden Group of Companies ( which pioneered Steel manufacturing in Bhutan, selling under its brand “Perfect Thermex TMT”. The company manufactures 2,37,000 MT of constructions rebars supplied to Mega Hydro Projects in Bhutan. The Group recently received the most valuable customer award from TATA Sponge Iron Ltd.

The Group owns a Ferro Alloys manufacturing unit exporting Ferro Silicon to India and Europe. The Group is also a partner in GIC- Bhutan Re Limited which is an FDI with GIC- India.

She pioneered Business Process Outsourcing in Bhutan with Bhutan Business Solutions (BBS), a CSR project of Pelden Group, training and employing more than 100 youth in Bhutan.

Her passion however is Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE) (, which she founded in the year 2010 with the aim of helping marginalized members of society mostly single mothers and unemployed youth. She takes pride in acknowledging her young team – Ms.Tshering Pelden, Ms.Namgay Wangmo, Ms.Yangchen Lhamo & Ms. Tshering Wangmo.

BAOWE represents SAARC Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) (

South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF) (

LDC-watch (

As Vice President Bhutan of the above agencies she works towards networking and building strong ties with likeminded women in the region.


Mrs. Denise Thomas
- Director of Africa Trade Public Relations and Marketing

World Trade Center Arkansas

Denise Henderson Thomas, a global strategist and business development expert, has been connecting people and products through strategic partnerships for more than a decade. As Director of the World Trade Center Arkansas, Africa, and Middle Eastern trade desk, she draws upon her diverse experience in international marketing, and business development to create platform opportunities for Arkansas companies to promote their work, share expertise, and seize business opportunities and partners within the state, in Africa, and the Middle East. Her innovative and unparalleled ability to harness the power of relationships to increase partners' bottom lines has made her a sought-after expert. Equipped with 15-years of experience building relationships and managing accounts, Denise uses her expansive network to empower professionals with the tools they need to increase clientele and connect with the right partners.

Her career in to the world of economic development started in 1998 at the Jacksonville, Florida Chamber of Commerce, where she created a Small Business Center with the Small Business Administration BIC, which housed several chambers and small business development centers under one roof, forming a one- stop shop for entrepreneurs. She then moved to Northwest Arkansas where she was employed by the Fortune One company Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as a Senior Recruiter. For 5 years she worked with hiring managers to build strategic teams in diverse markets, both domestically and internationally. Denise has been employed at the World Trade Center Arkansas for more than 8 years. She actively promotes trade for Arkansas through public speaking engagements in the U. S. and abroad and facilitates discussions on global opportunities at colleges, universities, and companies. She is an expert on global team building, strategic partnerships, negotiations and leadership. A natural connector of people, she facilitates business-to-business partnerships to promote bilateral trade and exchange for Arkansas companies. She has orchestrated the development and implementation of global initiatives to further growth and development of businesses in African and Middle Eastern territories.

Eager to share her talents and resources with others, Denise collaborates with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Open Learning Initiative (OLI), nonprofit and for profit organizations to strengthen and develop skills necessary to build effective teams and develop strategic leadership skills. Her real passion, however, lies in working with teenagers and young adults to empower the next generation of leaders. Through her teaching she encourages them to live “completely, rich, harmonious and LOVE filled peaceful lives.”


Ms. Nora K. Terrado
- Under Secretary

Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines

The Undersecretary took on the Industry Promotion Group Portfolio of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in January 2016. As IPG Undersecretary, she oversees the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotions (BDTP), Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM),Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC),Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), and Design Center of the Philippines. As Governor of the Board of Investments (BOI), she provides strategic direction on investment promotions and assistance.

Prior to her appointment as the IPG Undersecretary, she was the executive leader for DTI’s Management Services Group (MSG). Among her key initiatives are the Ease of Doing Business (EODB), the APEC Women and the Economy (APEC WE) and the DTIwide roll out of the Performance Governance System resulting in DTI attaining Level 4 (highest) with the Gold Trailblazer Award and as among the 12 Islands of Good Governance (IGG) conferred by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA).

Before heeding the call of public service, the Undersecretary was an accomplished business executive in the Information Technology and Business Process Management (ITBPM) Industry, with proven track record of running successful business transformations and change programs enabled by process and technology for global corporations. She was the Country Manager of Headstrong Philippines (a GENPACT Company) for over 10 years and the Site Leader for IT Services for global customers engaged in Capital Markets, Financial Services, Healthcare and Technology.

As a finance executive, she was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the APAC Region of Headstrong, Inc. (the erstwhile James Martin & Co). She also served as the Financial Controller for the Southeast Asia operations of Circle Freight International/Harper Group, a US publicly-party company engaged in third-party logistics for the global movement of goods and information. She trained and practiced in public accountancy at SGV & Co/ Arthur Andersen.

The Undersecretary was the President of the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) from 2011 to 2013. She served for many years as Director/Trustee of PSIA and the IT-Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and was an active member of the American Chamber of Commerce.

She completed the Executive Graduates Program in Strategic Economics at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) in Pasig City, Philippines. As a State Scholar, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and Associate Studies in Liberal Arts at the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City, Philippines. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Philippine Institute of CPAs (PICPA).

A high-energy person, with a bias for action to deliver value and results for her stakeholders, the Undersecretary is a staunch advocate and believer of the philosophy that healthy companies make a strong industry and contribute to better societies.

She continues to mentor start-up companies in technology and coaches fresh graduates as they start their careers in IT and Business Process. As pay-forward initiative, she selectively provides executive coaching for future business leaders.


Ms. Andrea M. Ewart
- President

Organization of Women in International Trade

Andrea Ewart is a customs and International trade attorney with her own firm, DevelopTradeLaw, LLC, which works with businesses, governments, and individuals to facilitate the successful movement of goods and services across national borders. Ms. Ewart also consults for businesses and governments on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and negotiations, development of WTO-consistent trade and customs laws, trade relations with the United States, regional integration initiatives, and other trade issues. As a customs attorney, Ms. Ewart assists and counsels businesses and entrepreneurs on accessing the U.S. market with minimum cost and hassles. She passed the customs broker’s license exam in April, 2010. Prior to opening her own firm, Andrea Ewart worked in international trade regulation and legislation with the law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP.

Education Andrea Ewart earned a B.A. from the Patrice Lumumba People's Friendship University in Moscow, Russia, where she completed all her course work in Russian. She received an M.A. in International Studies from the University of Miami, Florida. She graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law, which she attended as a Harvey Reid scholar.

Professional Activities Andrea Ewart is admitted to the Washington D.C., Florida, and Maryland Bar Associations, and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. She is the current President of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT).

Speaking Engagements

  • Breakfast Keynote Speaker, “Three T’s of Doing Business Internationally,” Utah Women in Global Business & Trade Conference,Salt Lake City, UT, March 6, 2015
  • Panel Moderator/Presenter, “Managing Trade Risk,” Go Caribbean – Accelerating Business Through Global Connections Conference, New York, NY, October, 2014.
  • US State Department Speaker, CBI: Access to the US Market for Caribbean Goods, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, May-June, 2014
  • Plenary Speaker, “Advancing the Global Development of SMEs,” TIAW Global Forum, Washington, DC, March, 2014
  • Speaker, “Access & Opportunities to the US Market for African Goods: Legal Do’s & Don’ts” Accelerating Trade & Investment Between the USA and Africa Conference,” October 2, 2013
  • Speaker, “Legal Do’s & Don’ts of Doing Business Internationally,” Access & Opportunities in International Markets Seminar, 41st Annual New York State Association of Black & Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. Legislative Conference, Albany, NY, February 18, 2012
  • National Export Week Featured Speaker, “U.S. Customs and Market Access,” Jamaica Exporters’ Association, June 2004
  • Presenter, “Developing an Effective Compliance Program: Introduction to Export Compliance,” Import/Export Compliance Summit, June 2002
  • Provider of ComplianceOnline and Compliance Global webinars on trade issues
  • Television and radio appearances


  • Co-author, International Business: Doing Business Without Borders, Kendall Hunt Publishers, January, 2014.
  • Author of DevelopTradeLaw Blog on trade policy and issues of particular relevance to developing countries and to small businesses (
  • Articles for trade journals/newsletters and newspaper articles.


Ms. Michaela Marksová
- Hon'ble Minister

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic

Michaela Marksová was born in 1969 in Prague. After graduation from the Faculty of Science of Charles University in Prague, she served as an expert for equal opportunities programmes in the non-profit organisation Forum for Families and as a tutor at the Jedlička Institute and Schools for physically disabled young people in Prague. In 1997-2004, she worked in the public benefit corporation Gender Studies as Director for Public Relations and was an external teacher at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University in Prague. From 2004 to 2006, she served as Director of Department for Family Policy in the Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and between 2009 and 2010 she was Director of Department for Equal Opportunities in the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

In 1997, she joined the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) where she also had the role of shadow minister of human rights, family and equal opportunities (2010-2014). On an assembly in 2015, she was elected as a vice-chairperson of the ČSSD. She is active also in local politics – since 2006 she has been a representative of the Prague 2 municipal district and served as Deputy Mayor (2010-2012).

On January, 29, 2014, she was appointed as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic. In this position, she is responsible for social policy (e.g. people with disabilities, social services, social benefits, and family policy), social security (e.g. pensions, sickness insurance), employment (e.g. labour market, employment support, employment of foreigners), labour legislation, occupational safety and health, European Social Fund and other social or labour related issues. From June 5 to June 17, 2015, she served as Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, too.

She is also interested in international relations where she is deeply involved in promoting the dialogue between the Czech Republic and Germany and between the Czech Republic and the State of Israel.

Michaela Marksová has for a long time been dealing with the position of women and men in the society, issues on women’s rights and family policy. These issues have been subjects of her lectures and articles, and media performances. Furthermore, she is a co-author of a publication “On the way to the European Union (a guide not only for women)” and the author of a publication “Family and Work – how to reconcile without going crazy”. She is married and has two children.


Dr. Nurhayati Ali Assegaf
- Member of Parliament, Chairperson of the Committee for Interparliamentary Cooperation

Indonesian House of Representatives

Dr. Nurhayati Ali Assegaf M.Si., MP is the current Chairperson of the Committee for Inter Parliamentary Cooperation, The House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia. She is also Member of the House Commission on Foreign Affairs, Intelligent, Defense, and Communication. In her political party, Dr. Nurhayati Ali Assegaf is the Vice President of The Democrat Party since 2012.

She holds a Master Degree in American Studies from a prominent university in Indonesia, the University of Indonesia. In addition to that, she is also a graduate from Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education USA on Leaders in Development: Managing Change in a Dynamic World. Then, she pursued her Phd in Social and Political Studies from University of Gajah Mada in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Her dedication to politics and academia has brought her to many global forums such as IPU, OECD, World Bank and the IMF, UN, World Ecological Saftey Assembly (WESA), Globe-Asia Leadership Forum, UNISDR, UNDP, etc.

Her distinctive leadership capacity on multilateral parliamentary diplomacy forum has been proven through Presidency for the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Coordinating Committee for Women Parliamentarians for two consecutive terms. Based upon her concern on the lack of women’s representation on global political arena, she was also initiated and presided committee on women of many inter-parliamentary forums including Women of Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States (PUIC), Women of Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) and Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), and now she is the IPU President of the Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law.

She is fluent in English and Japanese. The language skill is certainly an advantage for her when she has the opportunity to share her extensive knowledge and advocate on gender, social, and political issues on those global forums.

She was the brains behind many local and national initiatives on women empowerment. She initiated the Nurhayati Ali Assegaf Center for Democracy in 2009. The Center is build with the vision to enggage and inspire women on social and political issues, as well as a medium for capacity building. She is also the Founder and Director of the Indonesian Women’s Education Institute and has published several books on parliament and gender issues. Her notable publications included Mandat untuk Demokrasi: 99 langkah menuju masyarakat demokratis and Diplomasi Multitrack.

Dr. Nurhayati Ali Assegaf was born in Solo, Indonesia and currently dividing her time between Jakarta and her constituency in Malang, East Java. She is living everyday with passion and purpose based on the principle that ”opportunity does not only comes once because opportunity is something that we create through hard work, and by being smart and sincere.” When she is not busy managing local and global politics, Dr. Nurhayati Ali Assegaf is spending her time with her family.


Mr. Joseph D. Burke
- Deputy Secretary, Department of Community & Economic Development

Office of International Business Development, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) fosters opportunities for businesses to grow and for communities to succeed and thrive in a global economy. DCED focuses on tourism, community financing, business financing, international business development, and technology and innovation for the commonwealth.

Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development (OIBD) led by Joseph Burke, housed under DCED, boasts the largest network of international offices of any state in the United States.

In his role as Deputy Secretary, Joseph Burke leads a professional team of international economic development specialists that contribute to the growth and strength of the Commonwealth’s economy by providing value-added international trade services to Pennsylvania’s businesses and universities, and by attracting foreign business investment to the State.

OIBD supports Pennsylvania companies by working with them to increase their export sales through a network of 15 trade offices that cover more than 50 markets, supported by ten Regional Export Network (REN) partners located across Pennsylvania. OIBD also encourages foreign companies to invest and set up their U.S. operations in Pennsylvania, utilizing a network of 9 investment offices and dozens of local partners to assist these companies in their efforts to locate in Pennsylvania.

Over the last five fiscal years, OIBD’s assistance to PA export clients and international companies locating in Pennsylvania, has helped to support more than 43,000 jobs and develop $4.45 billion in investment across Pennsylvania.

Joseph Burke joined DCED in 1990 as the Deputy Director in the Office of International Business Development. Since joining the department, he has held various management positions in trade promotion and foreign direct investment. Prior to joining DCED, Joseph brought twelve years’ experience in sales, market research and analysis, and business planning with major law firms in Washington, DC, and consumer packaged goods companies and marketing research firms in Philadelphia and New York City.


Ms. Pamela J. Shupp
- President and CEO

Greater Reading Economic Partnership (GREP)

Ms. Shupp is the President and CEO of Greater Reading Economic Partnership (GREP), a 501c(3) corporation promoting Berks County for business attraction, expansion and economic growth. She is widely recognized as a regional champion for economic development in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Shupp has 30 years of experience in housing, economic and community development with various private development companies and public organizations, including several years with the City of Reading, Pennsylvania working in planning and community and economic development, and redevelopment. During this time, she championed several collaborative initiatives between neighborhoods, non-profits, and businesses and administered several federal and state loan programs for economic development. During this time, she was also the Executive Director of the Reading Redevelopment Authority for the City of Reading, Pennsylvania.

A native of Pennsylvania, Ms. Shupp is a graduate of Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. She is certified from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Planning Association (APA) and is also a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She is currently the President of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association (PEDA) and was recently elected to the Northeast Economic Developers Association, United States.

Community and Board Involvement:

  • President, Pennsylvania Economic Development Association
  • Board member, World Trade Center of Harrisburg
  • President, Foreign Trade Zone Corp of Southern PA (FTZ 147)
  • Board member, Team PA Foundation
  • Board member, Northeast Economic Developers Association
  • Community Advisory Board member and Executive Committee, Center for Excellence in Local Government, Reading Pennsylvania


Ms. Hanne Melin
- Director & Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa

eBay, Switzerland

Hanne Melin is a former competition lawyer who has acquired expertise in the application of traditional rules in the area of trade and regulatory to the global digital economy. She develops strategy and vision for public policy adapted to a technology-enabled and globally connected marketplace as well as provides legal and strategic support to eBay's EMEA Government Relations team.

Hanne has lectured at the College of Europe, in Bruges (Belgium), on competition law, and she is a guest lecturer at the law faculty of Lund University (Sweden). She has written for many legal journals on the topic of online commerce and she is a frequent speaker on the topic of trade policy in the digital economy.

Prior to joining eBay, Hanne was an associate at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where she practiced competition law for five years in Brussels. She has a Master in International Business Law from King's College London.


Ms. Viktoria Lopatina
- Founder & Managing Director

Kat.El International Trade Consulting Srls, Florence, Italy

Viktoria Lopatina was born In Vilnius, Lithuania. She’s got two University degrees in Law: In Moscow, Russia and in Florence, Italy. She is specialized in International Commercial Law.

In different years of International Trade Viktoria promoted commercial relations between Italian Companies and the companies of such Countries as Russia, Baltic States, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and others. Offered services are: Customers research in Italy and abroad; Analysis and market research; Assistance in partnership selection; Negotiations; Contracts monitoring; Logistics management; Translation.

Viktoria cure also Institutional relations with different Government structures. Organization of presentations "Doing Business in …" at Italian Chambers of Commerce and participation to the same.

In the last two years Viktoria has been focused on Indian Market, specially in following sectors: Furniture & Design; Smart Solutions for smart Cities; Fashion and Travelling.


Mr. Yonov Frederick Agah
- Deputy Director-General

World Trade Organization

Yonov Frederick Agah was appointed as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the WTO in 2005. In that capacity, he served as the Alternate Chief Negotiator for the Doha Round and Head of Nigeria's Trade Office to the WTO in the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Office in Geneva. The Trade Office is responsible for Nigeria’s participation in Geneva-based trade-related international organizations, particularly the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the International Trade Centre and the WTO.

Mr Agah served as Chair of the WTO's General Council in 2011. He was responsible for organizing the Eighth WTO Ministerial Conference, which was acknowledged to be successful despite the prevailing stalemate in the Doha Round. He has also served as Chair of the following WTO bodies: Dispute Settlement Body in 2010, the Council for Trade in Services in 2009, the Trade Policy Review Body in 2008, the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in 2007, and the Council for Trade in Goods in 2006. He was also the Chair of the Council for TRIPS, Special Session, in 2013.

Mr Agah has previously worked as a lecturer at Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna (1979-81), senior features writer/circulation manager, Benue Printing and Publishing Corporation (1982-84), Sales Manager, Benue Bottling Company Limited (1984-87), Field Manager, UTC Nigeria PLC (1990-91), Deputy Director (multilateral) (1991-2001) and Director (external trade) (2002-05).

Mr Agah holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. He obtained a Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (International Trade) from the University of Jos, Nigeria, in 1989 and 2007 respectively. His doctoral dissertation was on “Trade Policy Reform and Economic Growth in Nigeria Since 1986”. Mr Agah also obtained a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Abuja, Nigeria, in 2009. He has contributed to various books and journals.


Prof. Usha Haley, Ph.D.
- Professor of Management/co-Chair, All Academy

West Virginia University

Usha Haley (PhD, New York University) is Professor of Management at West Virginia University. Previously, she was full Professor of International Business at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand. Other full-time faculty positions in International and Strategic Management include at the University of New Haven, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, New Jersey Institute of Technology/Rutgers, Australian National University, National University of Singapore and ITESM-Monterrey, Mexico. She has taught graduate courses at Harvard University, and Purdue University among others, and in executive-development programs in the USA, Australia, Russia, Hungary, Mexico, Vietnam, Italy, Finland, India and Singapore.

Her research focuses on multinational corporations and international strategic management, especially in Asian and emerging markets, including business-government relations, governance, business and society, strategic decision-making, innovation, sanctions and subsidies. She has 266 publications and presentations including 31 journal articles (in Journal of International Business Studies, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, California Management Review, and Harvard Business Review, among others), 7 books, 2 on international best-seller lists, and 38 book chapters. Her books include Subsidies to Chinese Industry (headlined twice in the Economist, reviewed in Strategy+Business as “important” and “influential”, and China findings described by JP Morgan as “with no equal in terms of scope, breadth and impact”); Multinational Corporations in Political Environments (reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and Academy of Management Review); Chinese Tao of Business (reviewed in the Wall Street Journal as the only business book on Asia to buy); and, New Asian Emperors (reviewed in the Economist as an “important study”).

Usha testified before the US Senate on Shuanghui’s takeover of Smithfield Foods, considered the most important case on FDI in a decade. She also testified on her research on China/Asia to the USCC and twice before the Committee on Ways and Means, including on federal legislation, the Non-market Economy Trade Remedy Act (2008) whose findings were incorporated into US regulation (HR 1229). She presented her research before the US International Trade Commission, US Department of Commerce and US Trade Representative. Her research on Chinese subsidies has served as the basis of 3 pieces of anti-dumping regulation in the European Union.

She serves/served on 8 corporate, non-profit and governmental planning and advisory boards, including USGlass Inc., Elea-Olivetti (Italy), Emerald Publishing (UK), World Affairs Council and Hainan Province (China). She sits on 5 academic journals’ editorial boards, serves as founding co-Editor in Chief for the new Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation (Sage), served as Regional Editor for 3 journals, and edited 4 journal special issues on strategic management. She is co-Editor-in-Chief of the new book series Multinational Investment and Business for Imperial College Press. Her service on national and international review boards includes the Networks of Centers of Excellence, Canada and Marsden Fund, New Zealand. Competitive research grants she received include from the National Science Foundation on foreign investments in technology, Academy of Management (AOM) for a strategic initiative on scholarly impact (2015); USCC (2014); and, the National Research Center for Coal & Energy (2014). She co-Chairs the All Academy AOM Practice Theme Committee on external engagement through research.

Her expertise has been profiled more than 490 times in the international media (almost weekly over the last decade) including multiple times in the New York Times,Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, Fortune, Investor’s Business Daily, San Francisco Chronicle, Guardian, CNN, BusinessWeek, Economist, Barron’s, Newsweek, Entrepreneur, National Business Review, Australian, PBS, CNBC, and NPR.

In 2012, she received the Academy of Management’s Practice Impact Award for scholarly impact. In 2011, she was featured as “thought leader” on emerging markets at the Economist’s flagship High-Growth Markets Summit, London. In 2003, she received Emerald Publishing’s Lifetime Achievement Award from a panel of academics, businesspersons and policy makers for contributions to understanding Asia Pacific business. In 2010, she was named an American Made Hero for her work on behalf of US manufacturing. Her numerous teaching awards include University Lecturer of the Year in 2011.


Prof. George T. Haley
- Professor of Marketing and International Business

University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut

George T. Haley (PhD., University of Texas at Austin) is Professor and Executive MBA Module Director of Marketing and International Business at the University of New Haven (UNH) where he teaches in graduate and executive programs. In summer, he serves as Distinguished Guest Professor of Marketing at the School of Business, ITESM in Mexico. He is founding Director of the Center for International Industry Competitiveness (CIIC), a Center of Excellence at UNH. The CIIC focuses on small and medium-size manufacturing companies’ concerns in global environments.

Dr. Haley’s expertise is in strategic marketing and emerging markets, including the historical, cultural and legal environments in which to formulate strategies. He focuses on strategic decision-making, product and technology management, distribution and supply-chain management, B2B marketing, Chinese, Latin American and Asian business, and managing intellectual property in emerging markets.

Before joining UNH, Dr. Haley served as full-time faculty member at several major universities, including DePaul University, Fordham University, Baruch College, the InstitutoTecnologico y de EstudiosSuperiores de Monterrey (Mexico), National University of Singapore, and, Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia). In addition, he has taught classes at Harvard University, Purdue University (Executive MBA), Massey University (Auckland, New Zealand), Emory University (Executive MBA) and Thammasat University (Bangkok, Thailand). He has also presented seminars to academics, managers and government policy makers in the United States, Vietnam, Finland, Thailand, India, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden.

An award-winning author, Dr. Haley has over 135 articles (in journals such as Harvard Business Review and Industrial Marketing Management), books, book chapters, research reports and presentations. The Wall Street Journal recommended his book, The Chinese Tao of Business, as the only book on Asian business to buy. He also wrote New Asian Emperors, a top-selling book on Asian business strategy worldwide, excerpted in BusinessWeek, and which the Economist named “an important study”. His latest books include Marketing: Planning & Strategy, 8th ed. (Cengage) and Subsidies to Chinese Industry (Oxford University Press), the latter headlined in the Economist as “a provocative new book” and one year later as groundbreaking methodologically, and also covered internationally in venues such as Forbes, Foreign Policy and the South China Morning Post. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief for the new Imperial College Press Series on Multinational Investment and Business.

His research has been profiled over 250 times in the major media including the Economist, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fortune, Entrepreneur, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Voice of America, IndustryWeek, Investor’s Business Daily, Marketing News and Advertising Age. He serves or has served on the Review and Advisory Boards of nine academic journals including International Marketing Review, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, International Journal of Emerging Markets, Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, and Journal of Management Development, and has guest edited three journal special issues on Business in Emerging Economies and B2B Marketing.

Dr. Haley has conducted policy-analysis seminars for the National Intelligence Council/CIA on multinational businesses in emerging economies, for the United States International Trade Commission on analysis of Chinese data, and testified twice before the congressionally-mandated US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) on his research on China. He also consults with several multinational companies and governments in Asia, Australia, Latin America and the USA including for the USCC on Chinese investments.

He serves or has served as Advisor to the Strategic Planning Board of Rio Tinto, Ltd. (Australia), to the Export Promotion Board (State of Connecticut), to the Metal Manufacturers’ Education and Training Alliance, to corporations such as Stanley Black & Decker, Amalie Oil and EXL, and as Mentor in the Distribution Business Management Association’s Corporate Global Supply Chain Mentoring Program for senior executives (including executives from Abbott Laboratories, Polo-Ralph Lauren, CVS Caremark, JCPenney and Staples). He is a member of the boards of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut and the Connecticut-China Business Council. In November 2009, the American Marketing Association’s flagship Marketing News named Dr. Haley as one of six “Marketing Academics to Watch” based on his research, teaching and impact. In 2010, named him a Hero Advocate for his work on behalf of American manufacturers and IndustryWeek identified him as a Thought Leader in Business-to-Business and Industrial Marketing and Manufacturing.


Ms. Karen Horting, MBA, CAE
- Executive Director and CEO

Society of Women Engineers

Karen Horting, CAE, is Executive Director & CEO for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a 40,000 member organization founded in 1950. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women.

With more than 25 years experience in sales, marketing, and fund development, Ms. Horting came to SWE in March 2004 from the New York Academy of Sciences where she served as Director of Strategic Planning, overseeing the Academy’s development activities and long-range organizational planning. Prior to NYAS, Ms. Horting worked at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) managing both marketing and fund development on a global level for Science’s Next Wave, a ground-breaking career development website for graduate students and postdocs in STEM. Her previous experience also includes more than ten years in the paint industry.

Prior to her appointment as Executive Director & CEO, she served as SWE’s Director of Fund Development from March 2004 through July 2006 and Deputy Executive Director from August 2006 through December 2013.

Ms. Horting has a BS in Biology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. And she earned her MBA from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. In May 2008, Ms. Horting earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the CAE Commission of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Less than 5% of association professionals have this certification.

She currently serves on the Automation Federation Board of Directors and the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau Customer Advisory Board. Previously she served on the Board of the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology (CPST).


Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi
- Secretary-General

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Mukhisa Kituyi, of Kenya, who became UNCTAD’s seventh Secretary- General on 1 September 2013,has an extensive background as an elected official, an academic, and a holder of high government office. He also has wide-ranging experience in trade negotiations, and in African and broader international economics and diplomacy. He was born in Bungoma District, western Kenya, in 1956. He studied political science and international relations at the University of Nairobi and at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, receiving a BA in 1982. He went on to earn an MPhil in 1986 and a doctorate in 1989 from the University of Bergen, Norway.

Dr. Kituyi served as a researcher at Norway’s Christian Michelsen Institute from 1989 to 1991, and as Programme Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi from 1991 to 1992. He was elected to the Kenyan Parliament in 1992, and was twice re-elected. He was Kenya’s Minister of Trade and Industry from 2002 to 2007. During this period, Dr. Kituyi chaired for two years the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Trade Ministers’ Council. He also served as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and was lead negotiator for Eastern and Southern African ministers during the European Union– ACP Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. He was convenor of the agriculture negotiations carried out at the World Trade Organization’s Sixth Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong, China, in 2005. From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Kituyi was a member of a team of experts advising the presidents of the nations of the East African Community on how to establish more effective regional economic links. From 2011 to 2012, he was a consultant for the African Union Com mission, where he helped to develop the structure for a pan-African free trade area. Immediately prior to becoming Secretary- General, Dr. Kituyi was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance, based in Nairobi. The Institute is a think tank and advocacy organization that focuses on linking academic research and the development of public policy. During 2012, Dr. Kituyi also served as a non-resident fellow of the Africa Growth Initiative of the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. He was a resident scholar there in 2011. Dr. Kituyi is married and has four children.


Dr. Vandana Nadig Nair
- Founder

Phicus Social Solutions

Vandana holds a Ph.D. in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from Central Michigan University. She has 26 years of work experience across the corporate and social sectors. Her areas of expertise include: Support to top teams / Senior leaders to grow and scale organizations and projects; Enabling creation of vision and strategic plans; Design of institution building, culture programs; Design of capacity building programs / initiatives / products; Leadership capability assessment and development and enabling collaborations, networks.

Post a couple of years in teaching and consulting, Vandana returned to India to join Hindustan Unilever Limited in the Human Resources function. She was responsible for introducing some innovative leadership development practices to help leaders understand their strengths and gaps. She then moved on to head HR for a boutique IT company, Torry Harris Business Solutions, where she was part of the core team that helped grow the nascent organization and put in place critical systems and processes in HR.

In 2000, the entrepreneurial bug bit and Vandana moved on to set up CoCoon ,a niche firm that designs and delivers strategic talent-related solutions. At CoCoon, Vandana has played a significant role in growing the leadership development practice. She has been instrumental in designing a couple of leadership development productized solutions that are aimed at Senior Leaders including leadership assessments and coaching. She has worked closely with Senior Leaders within organizations in the capacity of a ‘thinktank’ and has co-created custom solutions with them to help them address their most pressing strategic talent issues.

In 2012, Vandana set up Phicus Social Solutions ,a Section 8 company that focuses on capacity building of key change agents in the social sector eco-system in order to amplify social impact. At Phicus, Vandana works closely with Heads of social impact organizations in charting their growth roadmap, across sectors including Education, HIV Aids, Anti Trafficking, as well as Heads of Foundations and CSR arms of corporates. She anchors the growth and expansion of the Phicus network of associations and collaborations that serve to bridge the corporate and social worlds and drives the Social Innovation Labs practice in Phicus.

In 2015, she co-founded ElderAid Wellness Pvt. Ltd., a social enterprise that provides at-home services to senior citizens in Bangalore and works to spread awareness about senior wellness.

She divides her time equally between Phicus and ElderAid.

She is also full-time mom to two lovely girls, an avid baker, trekker and Mohiniattam dancer!


Ms. Selima Ahmad
- President and Founder

Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI)

Selima Ahmad, President and Founder of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vice Chairperson of Nitol-Niloy Group is the developing world’s personification working for the private sector development for last 28 years. With her deep understanding of business, she focused on developing entrepreneurial talent, organizing financial and marketing resources to enable women get over hurdles. She founded BWCCI in 2001 to empower women into businesses and developed more than 8,000 women entrepreneurs.

Selima Ahmad was in the Board of Sonali Bank and Bangladesh Development Bank Limited (BDBL). Now, she is the Board Director of Janata Bank Limited. She is also the Board Member of SME Foundation and holds important posts in various national and international organizations. She is the Governing Body Member of Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA), Government of Bangladesh for two years in 2016 and also the Governing Body Member of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Government of Bangladesh in 2016. She is also the Trusty Board Member of Honourable Prime Minister’s Education Welfare Trust, Ministry of Education, Government of Bangladesh in 2016. She is a Global Ambassador of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW). She was also a Faculty Member of University of Dhaka and at present she is a Faculty Member of American International University – Bangladesh. She acts as a mentor for women around the globe.

She has been awarded with the prestigious Oslo Business for Peace Award 2014. She received Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award 2013, Islamic Development Bank Prize 2012, Priyadarshini Award 2012, TIAW World of Difference Award 2010 for her accomplishments. Among many others, she has also been awarded with the title of best female entrepreneur in Bangladesh by different organizations and best women achiever, 2005, 06 by Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs of India. Recently she has been awarded with “2014-2015 TIAW World of Difference Lifetime Achievement Award”.

She obtained graduation and Masters in Business Management from Dhaka University and did short courses from USA, Japan, Denmark and Canada. She is a fellow of Stanford University, USA.


Mr. Bipul Chatterjee
- Executive Director

CUTS International

Bipul Chatterjee (49) is Executive Director, CUTS International, a leading non-governmental group on economic policy research, advocacy and networking with its headquarters in Jaipur, India and centres in Geneva, Hanoi, Nairobi, Lusaka and Accra. He has done M.A. (Economics) from Delhi School of Economics, and B.Sc. (Economics) from University of Calcutta.

He has published/edited several books and papers on political economy of trade and development. He has co-edited with Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International an anthology titled “Growth and Poverty: The Great Debate”; with Joseph George, Research Associate, CUTS International a book titled “The Doha Round and South Asia: Need for Better Coordination”; and with Kishan S. Rana, a former Indian diplomat, another book titled “Economic Diplomacy: India’s Experience”.

Bipul is representing the organisation at various fora, including presenting papers, conducting training workshops, particularly of civil society organisations on policy as well as practice aspects of economic reforms. Other than managing trade-related projects, his responsibilities include fundraising, human resource development and knowledge management. He was a Member of the Planning Commission of India’s Working Group on Boosting Manufacturing Exports during the 12th Plan, 2012-17. His current area of interest is boosting sub-regional trade and economic integration among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Myanmar.


Ms. Karon Shaiva
- Chief Impact Officer & MD


Karon Shaiva is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and trainer. As Chief Impact Officer & Managing Director of Idobro, Karon has designed the Idobro I5 model that multiplies the impact of Women, Social and Green initiatives. She has been deeply involved in the women empowerment and social entrepreneurship space.

Karon is a member on the international jury for the SEED Gender and SEED Global Awards and was invited to speak at the worldwide launch of the Mentoring Women in Business programme by the Cherie Blair Foundation in New York City. Karon passionately advocates on women issues of violence and discrimination and mentors women and youth through a number of platforms.

Karon has over 20 years of experience in Asia and the USA in Technology, education, finance, gemology and development sectors. Karon has lived in India, USA , Africa and Japan and her personal story has been covered by the iconic series – Chicken Soup for the Indian Women Soul. She has authored the "Impact Shopping" page for the Afternoon Despatch & Courier that included her column "An Empowered World” and regularly contributes articles on Diversity, Inclusion and Sustainability.

In addition to holding a Masters in Marketing Management, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science, she is an alumni of the Swedish Institute Management Program in CSR & Sustainability. She is also a certified Faculty Mentor by NEN – London Business School and Visiting Faculty at NMIMS, Mumbai. Karon truly believes that learning should never stop and is currently a student of Human Rights.


Sairee Chahal
- Founder, CEO


Sairee Chahal is the Founder, CEO - an online career destination for women. The SHEROES Community has access to high growth career resources, mentorship and support. SHEROES engages with businesses to help them connect with female talent in form of employees, partners, customers and business owners.

Sairee is India’s foremost women at work evangelist and earlier co-founded Fleximoms. She is also the Convener, The SHEROES Summit and has been instrumental in bringing businesses and women professionals on a common platform.

Nominated for the Editor’s choice for L’oreal Femina Women’s Award, she is also a Cartier Women’s Award Initiative for 2012 alumni, a TED speaker, Business Today, Most Powerful Women in Indian Business 2012 and has been featured on shows like Young Turks, Pioneering Spirit and What Women Want. A believer in work-life redesign, serial entrepreneur, mentor, an occasional writer and mother of an 9-year-old.

Sairee started her career as a journalist with Advertising & Marketing magazine and quickly moved on to set-up world's first daily for mariners --

Sairee has worked in start-up mode as well as in large set-ups in research and consulting capacities. This includes setting up Russia and CIS practice for Heidrick & Struggles HSII and Confederation of Indian Industry

Sairee went to Jawaharlal Nehru University for an M.Phil in International Relations and to IMT, Ghaziabad for a PG in business management.

@Sairee on Twitter

Contact details: 91-9810105861


Ms. Mitu Samar
- Founder


A first generation entrepreneur, Mitu Samar has a proven track record in strategic communication and thought leadership positioning. She is the founder of ‘Eminence’, a boutique firm with the value proposition - building brands and positioning personalities.

She serves as an Independent Director on the boards of Times group Companies namely, Brand Equity Treaties Ltd, Junglee Pictures, Zoom Entertainment Network and Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd. The Group owns and manages powerful brands across media such as The Times of India, Times Now, The Economic Times etc.

Mitu is a member of CII Indian Women Network’s steering council and CII WR Task Force for Swachh Bharat campaign. She is also an active mentor under CII Western Region Women Network’s initiative- ‘100 hours of change’. Additionally, she is on the advisory board of Biz Divas – a platform that offers diversity and inclusion expertise to organisations and a mentor at SHEROES.

So far she has mentored over 150 women and young professionals on how to succeed in professional life while maintaining a healthy balance in personal life. She has also coached over 30 senior professionals in the corporate world on growth and leadership.

For her contributions in the communications space, Mitu featured in the list of ’50 Most Talented Corporate Communication Leaders 2015’ by World CSR congress and received the ‘Promising Business Communicator 2010’ award from the Association of Business Communicators of India (ABCI).

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Before walking down the road to entrepreneurship, Mitu served as Director, Communication and Brand Management at CRISIL – a global analytical company and a subsidiary of Standard & Poor’s (S&P). In addition, she also headed the marketing and communication role of S&P in South Asia. Mitu’s professional experience includes stints with leading companies like Aditya Birla Financial Services Group, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company & Great Eastern Shipping Company.

Mitu has pursued Masters in Economics from Mumbai University, and holds a Management degree in Business Administration from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research. She has authored several articles and research papers. She also regularly speaks at various industry forums and top-tier B-Schools.


Ms. Sangeeta Wij
- President

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) India.

Mrs Sangeeta Wij is a renowned Civil Engineer from Delhi College of Engineering with a M.Tech from IIT Delhi and has spent 34 years in the building design industry in Senior Management Roles. She is Managing Partner, SD Engineering Consultants , a 20 year old Detailed Engineering Consultancy firm in India. She has worked as Deputy General manager in Rail India technical and Economic Services (RITES) before starting her Engineering Consultancy firm SDEC . She has also worked as Director(Technical) at AECOM for a couple of years handling prestigious high rise assignments. Focus of her work has largely been on Earthquake resistant designs and rehabilitation of old structures to bring them at par with current Earthquake Codes. Her firm strives to improve long term performance of the structures by adopting appropriate design and detailing techniques. The Theme of her talk today will be centred around Entrepreneurship for Women Engineers—her experiences as an Engineering Consultant.

Besides carrying out Engineering designs , Architecture and Project Management for a large no of Industrial, Residential, Commercial and Infrastructure Projects in India, her firm is behind more than 100 Metro station structural /MEP designs across Indian cities. She is a member of Women in Engineering (WIE) Committee of WFEO and on Board of Directors of INWES. She is President, Women in Science and Engineering(WISE India) and also on Governing Council of Indian Association of Structural Engineers(IAStructE).She is a Fellow and Chartered Engineer, Indian Institution of Engineers, member Indian Buildings Congress and member, Consulting Engineers Association of India.


Ms. Anupama Kapoor
- Founder


Anupama Kapoor is a gender advocate and a women coach, with over 20+ years of experience in diverse functions across the Services, Banking & ITeS industries, in Hong Kong, the US & India.

Her decade long entrepreneurial venture BEANStalk, helps organizations’ in retaining & strengthening the women leadership pipeline via diagnostics, strategy and implementation of gender appropriate HR policies & practices. These include, gender sensitization workshops, implementation of POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act 2013), mentoring programmes for women employees through their life stages, etc.

Anupama is a passionate exponent of women's economic empowerment. She is the Founder of Reboot, A Women Empowerment Initiative by BEANStalk. Reboot is a Mentoring and Coaching Career Community of returning women professionals, with a vision to mentor them through their journey back to the workforce. Interventions that the Community receive are focused on:

  • Up-skilling the women
  • Boosting their self-belief and confidence
  • Contemporize their functional knowledge with guidance from Industry mentoring relationships
  • Explore different formats of work with a vision to attain achieve economic independence

Anupama is also a Consultant with the Women Leadership Programme at S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research at Mumbai and has co created the India's first full-time Post Graduate Management Programme for Returning Women, aspiring to be Women Leaders of Tomorrow.

She is a pro-bono Mentor with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, a member of KPMG’s Governance Institute’s Independent Women Directors Program and also of multiple Industry women networks like IWN, FICCI FLO, etc.


Ms. Deepika Rohit Rajnoor
- Founder and Lead Image Consultant

Image Mantra

Work on Image Elements like Clothes, Grooming, Body Language & Etiquette and Vocal communication for individuals, groups and corporate Individual Coaching on Image enhancement for Senior Managers, CA, Engineering Student, Homemaker, Industrialist, Construction Manager, A School Student, Orator, Recruiter and Technical Director, ADANI Manage, Trainers, Doctor and many more


  • Trainer with more than 1500 hours training experience
  • Training done for Mona Spa & Salon Staff- 15 participants attended to understand the importance of first impression and how to achieve lasting one. The topic was Image Elements and formation of first impression.
  • Conducted a workshop for the Rajasthan Jain Ladies Association (Vadodara and Nadiad) and Rajasthan Jain Youth Camp
  • Conducted workshop for Fresher to crack their Dream Job
  • Conducted a workshop “Stylized yourself-Women “in Vadodara
  • Conducted workshop on Business & Corporate Etiquette for professionals in Vadodara and Surat.
  • Launched an unique workshop “Pechana” for Surat and Mumbai
  • Conducted a day workshop for Federation of Indian Export Organization(FIEO)members,Mumbai
  • Faculty member of Ideal Hostel and School
  • Trained candidates of Miss Wow contest on grooming and body language
  • Trained Station Masters of Zonal Railways Training Institute and Branch officers of Western Railways


  • Delivered a speech on “Attitude” for Lion Club, Dahod
  • Trained 80 teachers of Navrachana Vidayani Vidalaya School
  • 5 days training and coaching was conducted for 15 staff members of Ramp Consulting, Nadiad
  • Personality Development Course conducted for SBI, Lucknow
  • A session on importance of Image and Image Management Tips for National Academy of Indian Railways was conducted
  • A workshop Ï AM SMART “for Sangini an Jain Organization of 70 ladies was conducted
  • Conducted speech on “Personal Packaging “in Indian Institute of Material Management
  • Conducted lecture for youngster for Yuvalaya on Body Language and etiquette


  • Trained the new employees of Kotak Bank
  • Engineers of Railways on Quality Communication underwent 5 hours of workshop
  • Conducted one on one session with Parents of Vadodara Kids Fashion Show
  • Conducted workshop for children of 6-10 years on Image Building
  • Conducted Lingerie Workshop in Vadodara and Goa


  • Consultation done for HR Head of Adani
  • Conducted 12 days of communication skills training for Atmiya University, Rajkot
  • Designed uniform for all the management level for Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Ankleshwar
  • Faculty with Image Consulting Business Institute and Vibrant Institute of Event Management


Ms. Radhika Shapoorjee
- President

India & South Asia, Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Radhika Shapoorjee is the President of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, India & South Asia. Her responsibilities are to market and build thought leadership in the marketplace, develop strategic businesses and acquisitions, and drive expansion into new territories within India, and in the region which includes Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

She is a trusted advisor on crisis, messaging, positioning and managing issues. She has created innovative campaigns linked with business outcomes for various sectors including Technology, Telecom, Media & Entertainment, Finance, Government, as well as Political Parties and Industry Associations.

She joined Hill+Knowlton Strategies in March 2007 as Vice President, and was elevated to lead the firm as President in March 2008.

Prior to Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Radhika was Chief Innovation & Quality Officer at Burson-Marsteller where she provided strategic counsel to clients across sectors. Radhika has over two decades of experience including direct marketing, sales, film-making, advertising and public relations. Her early career included nine years in advertising at Draft+FCB as Client Servicng Director.

Radhika was a distinguished Jury member at the Prestigious 2014 Cannes International Festival of Creativity. She is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and her project on the Human Corporate is gathering momentum. Radhika is also on the advisory committee of India@75, a key initiative of CII (Confederation of Indian Industry). She has been the jury member for the prestigious Spikes Asia Award held in Singapore in 2011 and Sabre Awards, India. She has written for the Marketing Whitebook brought out by Businessworld.

She is a graduate in History (Honours) from St. Stephen's College. She has played national level basketball, and is an avid swimmer. Radhika is married to Mehernosh with two lovely children Taera and Zahaan.


Dr. (Mrs.) Rajni Aggarwal
- President

Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE)

Under the dynamic leadership of Rajni Aggarwal, the Federation has been able to create a bridge to connect urban and rural women. She has initiated several training programs for rural women and marketing of their products. She has also conducted several workshops in various States in India. The main objective is to create marketing network for rural women. Her objective is to provide equal opportunity to less privileged women of the society and help them to mark their own niche in the society and thereby bring them to the mainstream. She is taking up few more projects in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Gujrat.

Rajni Aggarwal is representing businesswomen on several governmental and non-governmental organizations and has successfully created a launching pad to empower women in the regional and global economic framework, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises, Small scale industries & Rural Sector.

Mrs. Aggarwal is a recipient of several merit awards for outstanding performance and productivity e.g., National Award from the President of India as the outstanding entrepreneur. She also received the prestigious “ Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World Award” from the National Association of Business Women Owners and the Star Group of the United States.

Mrs. Aggarwal is the member of Small Scale Industry Board.,min. of small scale ,Govt. Of India, And Taking up policy issues related to women enterprises run by women in the country. She is also an elected Secretary-General of the International Federation of Women Entrepreneurs.

She is being recognized as one of the leading women entrepreneurs by organizations like Small Industries Services Institute, New Delhi, Development Commissioner, Small Scale Industries, directorate of Industries and various business organizations like the National Productivity Council, All-India Management Association etc.

She has been invited by several organizations in India and abroad to present technical papers at several meetings organized by the Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo, OECD, World Assembly of Small and Medium Enterprises, UNIDO, UN Global Summit of women entrepreneurs at London, Government of India and by the affiliates of the FIWE. Mrs. Aggarwal had led a number of women delegations to several conferences e.g., International conferences of the IFWE held in Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Ghana and India.

She is a member of several institutions and societies e.g., German Chamber of commerce, Custom Advisory Committee, Handicrafts Exports Promotion Council, Jewelry Export Promotion Council, Small, Vocational College of Studies of the University of Delhi, and others.

Owing to the obstacles and challenges that Rajni faced as a Women, aspiring to create a place for herself in this commercial world, she got inspired to enable & facilitate other fellow women members of the society & the rural women to face life challenges.

Rajni Aggarwal is today leading a national-level, non-governmental organization, representing the businesswomen across India. Founder President of the Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE), Rajni Aggarwal has endeavored to create a common platform for Women from all strata of society to grow & exploit their talents by providing them business opportunities and creating avenues for networking & business growth at regional, national & international level. The Federation is an apex body of women entrepreneur’s spread across the nation having 24 member associations representing over 12000 enterprising women of India.

In spite of many accomplishments in enabling aspiring women from all sections of the society, Rajni Aggarwal continually endeavors to enable not-so- privileged women to face challenges created by life. There are no words to describe her contribution to the society in general & women in particular.


Ms. Tejal Gandhi
- CEO and Founder

Money Matters,India

Tejal has 26 years of experience in the Banking and Financial Services industry. She has worked with Standard Chartered Bank over 13 years and has extensive experience in Retail Banking and Communications all over India and overseas. She was part of the 6 member team representing India which was sent to Hongkong for the Y2K project. In 2002, she founded her own firm called ‘Money Matters’ which focuses on Wealth Management and Consulting. She works with various focused groups and manages portfolios and does Financial Planning for HNIs and is a Certified Financial Planner. She also is invited by various Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, Associations and Colleges to deliver talks / lectures on Personal Finance in today’s times.

She is also a mentor and guide to various youth entrepreneurship programs and helps guide and advise them.

Educational Background and Interfaces:
She is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) affiliated to the Financial Planning Standards Board, India which is part of the CFP program based in Denver, USA. M.Com. – Sydenham College, Mumbai Diploma in Systems Management – Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies Certification in Mass Communications & PR – Xaviers Institute of Communication.

Professional Interfaces :
She has been the only Woman in India in the Financial Planning fraternity to qualify for a Scholarship program with Money Quotient USA. She is currently the only Woman Licensee in India to practice Financial Life Planning. She was empanelled as a Finance Expert on, a women’s portal which is part of the Network 18 (CNBC) Group and has been empanelled with Outlook Money for their Personal Finance column. She has won awards such as : TATA AIG Life Honors Achievers Club and ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund – Chairman’s Award in the Bronze category. Most noteworthy award was as the Most Consistent Individual Financial Advisor – 09 by Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd. She has delivered guest lectures as a faculty for Indian Institute of Bankers for their Associate Programs (JAIIB) and is a Visiting Faculty at Welingkar Institute of Management Studies on various topics such as : Insurance, Marketing, Mutual Funds and Financial Planning.

Social Interfaces :
She has been an active Rotarian and a Past President of the Rotary Club of Mumbai Queen’s Necklace. She was the youngest and the only Lady President for the year 1998-99. Currently she is involved with various initiatives of Rotary. She has served on the District as Chairperson Career Guidance from 1999-2001 and has organised large Career Guidance camps with various schools and colleges. She was a Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team Leader to take a team to Basel, Switzerland in 2010, a Cultural and Vocational Exchange program as part of Rotary Foundation. She was the youngest Team Leader in the last 20 years in Basel.

She was on the Women in Management Committee for Bombay Management Association (BMA) for the year - 2005-06, 2008-09. She is regularly featured in Business India and Business World. She has lectured on the Times Foundation platform for increasing awareness in Financial Literacy amongst young girls at schools. She is involved with several social causes and organizations.

She actively works with Senior Citizens causes and helps them with Financial and Holistic Living Programs. Life’s Philosophy : Do the best and leave the rest. But keep evolving. Tejal firmly believes that knowledge can never be complete but is an ongoing process, and hence makes it a point to attend and participate in workshops and conferences in India and overseas, keeping herself abreast with all the latest developments in this industry. Such as – workshops on digital marketing for financial advisors, global updates, leadership etc. and other Life’s Well being programs.


Ms. Sangeeta Prasad

Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd

Ms. Sangeeta Prasad - CEO, Integrated Cities and Industrial Clusters – Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd., holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Jadavpur University and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Apart from being a Chevening Scholar, UK, she also has to her credit a General Management Programme at INSEAD, Fountainbleu.

Before joining the Mahindra Group, Sangeeta has had extensive exposure in Tata Steel in various functions and businesses.

Sangeeta has the distinction of being a Speaker at some of the most prestigious international events like the World Economic Forum, Davos, 2012 on “URBANISATION - Trends, Challenges and Opportunities”. She was also part of the FICCI delegation to Hannover Messe 2015 and a panellist in the FICCI Seminar on “Smart Cities – the Urban Challenge at the same forum.

Apart from being a Member of the Board of Governors, IIM Lucknow, Sangeeta is an invitee on the FICCI Task Force on Smart Cities and is also on the Steering Committee of CII National Mission on Smart Cities

Some of Sangeeta’s other interests are Quizzing, Reading, Travelling, Music


Pallavi Jha
- Chairperson & Managing Director

Walchand PeopleFirst Ltd

Pallavi Jha is the Chairperson & Managing Director of Walchand PeopleFirst Ltd. Walchand PeopleFirst has international partnerships with some of the world's leading firms and brands such as Dale Carnegie, USA (training), and PerformanSe, France (Assessments).

Pallavi has diversified exposure to various management practices in areas such as training and development, HR, consulting and business restructuring, covering a wide range of industries from media, entertainment, technology to the financial services sector and the engineering industry.

She has singularly led the India operations into the fastest growing region for Dale Carnegie Training, winning several global awards for service and sales excellence.

She has been a vocal spokesperson for industry associations, and has chaired and moderated panel discussions involving India's leading business leaders. She has played a pioneering role in setting up India's first Finishing School focused on soft -skills training, the missing ingredient in the talent development and employability challenge confronting Indian industry.

She has been a keynote speaker and a panel member in various forums on business, HR, training and leadership. She is an active member of the Confederation of Indian Industry and has held offices of the Chairperson for Maharashtra Council, CII and the Skills Development Committee for CII, Western Region, the National Council on Skills Development, CII and its National Sub-committee on School Education. Currently she is Chairperson, Indian Women’s Network, Maharashtra, a CII initiative aimed at engaging, enabling and empowering women. Additionally, she has been part of women's groups, which has encouraged first generation women entrepreneurs into taking business initiatives.

As a member of Rotary Club of India, Pallavi pursues her efforts in social projects. She has also received recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Earlier, was Executive Director of India's leading construction company, HCC, an erstwhile Walchand Group company before starting off her own ventures. She also worked briefly in market research at Feedback Ventures and Procter & Gamble.

Pallavi is an MBA from Syracuse University, New York and a graduate in humanities from St Xavier's College, Mumbai.


Chhaya Sehgal
- Owner and C.E.O.

The Winning Edge

First generation entrepreneur Chhaya Sehgal is an alumnus of Mumbai University Institute of Chemical Technology and Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. She began her professional journey over three decades ago with Navaratna Oil Giant HPCL until it was disrupted by her entrepreneurial calling to set up ‘The Winning Edge’ – a venture committed to mentor the entrepreneurs and build business acumen of practicing managers across small, medium and multinational businesses as well as government bodies through learning and developmental interventions. Her passion for nurturing talent and the need for higher learning drew her back to academics and teaching to be closely associated as a visiting faculty with her alma mater Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Prahlad Kakkar School of Branding and Entrepreneurship and many other management institutions and entrepreneurship development schools for over two decades now.

Member of Executive Committee of BMA and many other professional bodies such as Institute of Management Consultants of India and ‘Chief Mentor – International Business Development’ in her family business Chempro Exports – a government recognized export house with the business interest in almost 50 odd countries; her core areas of expertise are talent development, team building and designing and implementing advanced performance planning systems for strategic cost leadership.

Widely travelled around the globe with a keen interest in nature, history, art, culture, music and literature; the challenge to create a work life balance due to these diverse professional and personal indulgences resulted in her publishing a book on parenting titled ‘Can Moms Take a Chill Pill’; launched all over India in 2008, having sold over 5000 copies.


Ms. Dorothy Ng'ambi Tembo
- Deputy Executive Director

International Trade Centre

Dorothy Tembo, a Zambian national, took office on 3 June 2014. She has 30 years’ experience in trade and development. Ms. Tembo served previously as the Executive Director of the multi-donor funded Enhanced Integrated Framework Programme (EIF) based at the World Trade Organization (WTO) from October 2008 to 2013. During her tenure, Ms. Tembo spearheaded the re-launch of the programme supporting at the time 48 least developed countries (LDCs) in addressing their trade-related technical assistance and supply side constraints. From 2004 to 2008, she served as Chief Trade Negotiator and Director of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Zambia. One of the key responsibilities during her tenure was to lead the Zambian technical team in their capacity as LDC Co-ordinator during the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial meeting which, among other issues, took decisions on extending duty and quota-free market access to LDCs thereby setting in motion the Aid for Trade agenda and endorsing commencement of the Enhanced Integrated Framework Programme. From 2003 to June 2004, Ms. Tembo served as a Trade and Investment Advisor on the USAID Zambia Trade and Investment Enhancement Project (ZAMTIE) project in Lusaka, providing support to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the private sector. Between 2000 and 2003, Ms. Tembo served as Deputy Team Leader on the USAID RAPID project in Botswana, which was assisting 14 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries in the implementation of the SADC Trade Protocol, after having served in various positions in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, and Zambia's National Commission for Development Planning. Ms. Tembo holds a degree in Economics from the University of Zambia.


Dr. Asmita Chitnis
- Director

Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB)

Dr. Asmita Chitnis is a post graduate in Statistics and holds Ph.D degree in the field of Operations Management. She started her career with National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) as a researcher and has worked on different projects of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during this tenure. Later, she moved into teaching and has more than 24 years of academic and corporate training experience to her credit.

Currently, she is holding the post of Director of Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB) which offers 2 years full time MBA programs in International Business (IB), Agri Business (AB) and Energy and Environment (EnE).


Dr. Monisha Behal
- Executive Director

North East Network

Monisha Behal belongs to a generation of activists whose efforts brought change in the mind sets of many rural women who had always accepted the traditional pattern of patriarchy, in parts of the north east region of India. Questioning their low status in society Monisha went on with the life mission to work with rural women's collectives, a common feature of the region. Her work is important because it touched those critical local and policy issues that women’s groups are concerned about, such as good governance, land based resources, and growing violence against women. Monisha’s struggle since the 80s and 90s gradually developed into a well recognized organization, North East Network ( Through her work the organization has influenced several State agencies of Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland in giving recognition to women's work and contribution to society..


Mr. Manish Kumar
- Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

National Skill Development Corporation

Mr. Manish Kumar is the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of National Skill Development Corporation. He is responsible for providing a strategic vision to NSDC in ensuring that the team moves cohesively towards achievement of the Prime Minister’s Skill India Mission.

Prior to joining the NSDC, he was working as Country Coordinator and Senior Institutional Development Economist, Water & Sanitation Program (WSP), Water Global Practice in The World Bank. Between 1991 and 2011, Manish worked in the Indian Administrative Service, occupying many responsible positions, his last being Secretary to Government of Tripura, Power & Home Departments.

Manish holds a degree in Bachelor of Technology, Mining Machinery, from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, USA, and PhD in Public Policy from The George Washington University, Washington DC, USA.


T Kalyan Chakravarthy
- Founding Sevak & Executive Director

PanIIT Foundation

Educational Background: B Tech(IIT Madras), MBA (India School of Business – Dean’s merit List holder)

Professional Experience: 15 years of Experience in FMCG, Strategy Consulting, Non-profit Social Enterprise management, with focus on skill development and Livelihoods

Other/Achievements: Kalyan a strong believer of applying market-based solutions for societal problems and development interventions. He leads PanIIT foundation that has been set up by PanIITian alumni with a mission to enhance incomes of the underprivileged through self-sustainable models like the gurukul model. The gurukul model is first-of-its-kind skill loan based vocational education program aimed at school dropouts. A non-profit special purpose vehicle has been launched by PanIIT Foundation with agencies of government of Jharkhand called Prejha Foundation to replicate the gurukul and other skill development initiatives in every district of the state.8


Engr. Valerie Agberagba
- Vice President

World Federation of Engineering Organisations and Chair, Committee for Women in Engineering, France

Valerie Agberagba is a Vice President, of the World Federation of Engineering Organization and Chair of the Women in Engineering Committee. She also serves in the same capacity in the Federation of African Engineering Organization FAEO.

A graduate of Engineering for almost three decades (28yrs), she has served as quality control engineer in many projects within the Federal Capital of Nigeria and is very involved in the Power Sector. She presently leads the Presidential project of proving solar home systems to the rural communities in Nigeria.

Engr Valerie Agberagba, a professional Engineer is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, a past President of the Association for Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria is passionate about the building of the Next Generation of Engineers and Scientist. She is an Executive Director of a Mentoring NGO Science, Engineering & Technology Development Network, SciETech, and the organization is involved in mentoring and career development in SET. She is able through the NGO able to mentor many young engineers and also build capacity through training and development programme.

Engr Valerie Agberagba, though with a busy schedule however makes time for home affairs.


Ms. Roslina Chai
- Co-Founder | Chief Learning Curator

Gnowbe . Grow Your Knowledge Into Being

"Roslina chai is a serial entrepreneur, lawyer, organizational change strategist, professional speaker and executive coach who is passionate about elevating human consciousness. Having been involved in human development for over 2 decades, Roslina is widely recognized for her ability to create environments that catalyzes quantum changes.

Roslina’s professional life traversed industries such as 1 technology, private equity, strategy consulting, shipping, urban development, F&B and education. Having been at the forefront of innovation for the past 2 decades, across multiple functions, sectors and countries, at both the regional and global level, Roslina has honed the unique ability to recognize systemic patterns, intuite trends, and build international stellar teams.

As a professional speaker, Roslina is reputed for weaving intricate stories from a wide variety of disciplines that invite the audience on an emotional journey of highs and lows. Regardless of whether she is speaking on innovation, decision-making, leadership, intimacy, ethics, human governance, parenting or human rights, Roslina possesses the elegant ability to distil the essence of a message, and to simplify the complex.

A seeker of beauty and a modern-day polymath, Roslina embraces the eternal quest for knowing and peace. Committed to giving voice to the voiceless, Roslina works with organisations that exist to provide marginalized children with a fighting chance to realise their dreams.

From University of Canterbury, Roslina holds a LLB with a focus on human rights; a dual BA in Cultural Studies and Modern Asian History; and a post-graduate Management diploma with a focus on change-management leadership."


Ms. Kaylene Alvarez
- Global Advisory Principal, Banking on Women

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Kaylene Alvarez is a gender specialist in financial inclusion and impact investing with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). She has over twenty years of banking and investment experience in almost thirty emerging markets. She focuses on access to finance for women-owned MSMEs, risk management, investment structuring and innovations to reach underserved sectors. Prior to joining IFC, Kaylene founded two businesses supporting equitable access to finance for women in emerging markets


Ms. Ajaita Shah
- Founder and CEO

Frontier Markets

Ajaita is the Founder/CEO of Frontier Markets and the President of Frontier Innovations Foundation. She has been working in India for 10 years in microfinance and clean energy distribution. She is a 2006 Clinton Service Corp Fellow, 2012 Echoing Green Fellow, 2013 Cordes Fellow, has been awarded the most influential award in Microfinance for people under 30, and Business Week's 30 under 30 award, and most recently, Forbes Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year. She has been recognized as the #3 of top 40 women entrepreneurs of India in 2014, Nasscom Foundation identified her as Women 2.0 of 2015, and National India Conclave’s Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2015. She has received Loreal’s Women of Worth 2016, CNBC Young Business Women of the Year 2016. She actively speaks at conferences for the US Green Business Council, Universities, global forums. She has been an active educator, collaborator, and catalyst in helping scale clean energy access globally. Ajaita serves on the board of Frontier Innovations Foundation, a non-profit focused on last-mile distribution support for clean energy companies. She is also an advisor to various social enterprises in India focusing on product development for the poor. She is an active member of the UN Practitioner’s Network, Asian Development Bank’s Energy For All Partnership. Ajaita Shah holds her B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.


Dr. Sonia Sethi
- IAS, Additional Director

Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Mumbai

Dr. Sonia Sethi belongs to the IAS 1994 batch. Dr. Sethi has many firsts to her credit. She is the 1st lady officer of Maharashtra cadre to hold prestigious portfolios like Joint MD, CIDCO (City & Industrial Development Coporation of Maharashtra Ltd.), Joint MD & MD MSRDC (Mahrashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd.) & Transport Commissioner of Maharashtra. The iconic Bandra-Worli Sea Link was commissioned when Dr. Sethi was MD, MSRDC. As Transport Commissioner she framed the city taxi policy that has been recently announced by the Government of Maharashtra and also the policy for promoting women drivers for auto rickshaws, taxis & heavy vehicles.

She enjoys the distinction of being selected on merit by IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company), India’s leading private financer of infrastructure to lead their Public Private Partnerships vertical where she spearheaded the India Infrastructure initiative.

Dr. Sethi has an impressive academic record and has acquired a Masters Degree in Management from the Said Business School, University of Oxford and a Ph.D in Infrastructure Financing. As Joint Secretary, Government of India, she is currently working as Additional Director General of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. She is doing laudable work in facilitating export promotion. An officer of impeccable integrity, drive and efficiency, she maintains an ideal work -life balance.


Dr. Saundarya Rajesh
- Founder - President


Dr. Saundarya Rajesh is one of India’s earliest voices to speak on Gender Diversity & Inclusion of Women. She has won a slew of awards – a few of which are listed here – The Standard Chartered SCOPE Woman Exemplar Award 2006, The Yuvashakthi woman entrepreneur award 2007, the CavinKare Chinnikrishnan Innovation Award 2011 and the TiE Stree Shakti Entrepreneur of the year award 2011. For her work in building and creating India’s first women’s careers service she was awarded the Swadeshi Jagran Manch Woman Entrepreneur Award, the FICCI FLO Woman Entrepreneur of the year award, the Naturals Extraordinary Woman 2014 and the Jeppiaar Icon Award 2016. In Jan 2016, she won the highly prestigious #100Women Achievers of India award in a public voting selection process and had lunch with the President of India! Recently, she was named to the United Nation’s List of “25 Women Transforming India” developed by the NITI Aayog. Founder-President of AVTAR Group, Dr. Saundarya leads tripartite (community-organization-individual) engagements in Women’s workforce participation. She has pioneered the concept of Career Intentionality and has trained several thousand women professionals on this. Her latest initiative is to skill 10,000 Corporation school girls to become career intentional via Project PUTHRI


Pankaja Munde-Palwe

Minister of Rural Development, Women and Child Welfare as well as Maharashtra State Guardian Minister for Latur district and Beed district in Government of Maharashtra.


Smt. Chand Kureel
- Deputy General Manager,

Small Industries Development Bank of India, Mumbai Regional Office, BKC, Mumbai.

Education :
Rajasthan University, Maharani’s College (Economics (Honours), Maharani Gayatri Devi School, Jaipur

Experience :
More than 20 years experience in SME Banking, involved in promotion and development of SMEs and framing policy framework for credit delivery to MSME Sector. Having worked in theNnorthern and Western Region handling a large business portfolio, thereby, developing healthy customer relationships and having in depth knowledge of the issues faced by the MSMEs.


Mrs. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh
- Chairwoman – Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC), Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Director of WECREATE VIETNAM

- The 1st Chairwoman of ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) (2014 – 2016)
- Executive member of The Executive Board of Vietnam Women’s Union Course XI (2012-2017)
- Member of Executive Board of VCCI Course V (2008-2015) and Course VI (2015-2020).
- Executive member of Community Heath Support and Education Association
- Executive member of Vietnam association for intellectual women
- Member of Advocacy Board for establishing Vietnam National Entrepreneur Network
- One of the founders of AWEN, Gender Economic Development Working Group (GED), and Network for Empowerment of Women (NEW).

She has nearly 35 years working experience, nearly 100 times abroad, attended conferences, workshops in nearly 50 countries and territories. She has edited and co-edited 8 books, 18 subjects and researches; being speakers at hundreds domestic and international Forums, Conferences. She has extensive experience in many fields such as: policy recommendation and consultation; trade and investment promotion; start-up & entrepreneurship supporting, SMEs promotion; supporting to promote harmonious labor relationship, gender equality and women empowerment in enterprises. She was honoured to receive the Third-Class Labor Medal from the President of the S.R of Vietnam in 2016 for the extraordinary achievements in establishing and operating the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN); Certificate of Merit awarded by the Prime Minister for achievements in working and contribute to the cause of socialism building and national defense in 2011; Various Certificates of Merit given by VCCI Chairman, Campaign Medal on “For the development of business community”; Campaign Medal on “For the Young Generation” in 2012 awarded by the Executive Board of Ho Chi Minh Youth Union, Medal on “For the Development of Vietnamese Women” awarded by the Chairwoman of Vietnam Women’s Union in 2012; Certificate of Ministry of Labour, Invalids & Social Affairs for achievements in working in 2015; Certificate of Vietnam Women’s Union for the development of Vietnamese women in 2016. In 2015, she was also honored to be awarded the title of “Global Trade Ambassador” by Women in International Trade-Los Angeles (WIT-LA) for having the achievement of trade promotion and supporting for a lot of women in business and global trade.


Ms. NilaKanthi Ford
- Director

KFV Consulting UK

An international professional advising on business development especially in new markets, organisational transformation and effective leadership including Cultural sensitisation, Diversity and Talent Management. Used to working across cultures and international borders NilaKanthi has been Chairperson or a Guest Speaker at several conferences including

Conference Topic Delegates Location Date
IIBA – women in business Working across cultures 100 Dublin 2015
GAIL – C Suite workshop Diversity and leadership in a changing culture 60 Delhi 2015
KFVC Conference Leadership through change 200 Delhi 2015
Petrotech –KFVC workshop Leadership and Culture – 2 days 80 Delhi 2014
Asia Economic forum Impact of policy on business investment 2000 Mumbai 2014
Asia Global Summit Women leading business culture 1000 Mumbai 2012, 2013, 2014
KFVC-Energy Quest Safety, performance and Leadership 300 Delhi 2013
Petrotech conference Behavioural based leadership 4,500 Delhi 2012
Petroworld conference Business transformation 500 2013
Renewables summit Innovation and global collaboration 3,000 Delhi 2013
Food and dairy symposium Innovation as a game changer 1,500 Chennai 2014
Energy conference Leadership and safety 300 Noida 2013
Business clusters Innovative business opportunities 500 Bangladesh 2013
Employment Law symposium Leadership development 200 UK and Ireland 2013, 2014
Asia Economic Forum Business clustering as an effective internalisation strategy 3,000 India 2013
Green energy conference Global market trends in alternative energy 2,500 India 2011
FICCI Disaster management - Chemical and Petrochemical industry Safety and leadership 1,500 India – 5 locations 2010,2011,2012,2013
Energy Europe Unconventional Gas in the European Energy mix 500 France 2009, 2010
Environmental Summit Energy industry leadership, safety and communications 50 England 2008,2009,2010
Mergers and Acquisitions Leveraging people potential 300 USA 2007
Emerging energy markets Industry leadership and Communications 2,000 Holland 2011
Risk management in energy sector Chairperson 50 Poland 2011,2012
Energy Global best practise mergers and acquisitions 1,000 China, South America 2011
Energy Communication and leadership 300 South America 2005
Private seminar Women in business 50 Iran 2004
30 workshops Managing crisis and leadership 50 South America 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
NDMA Talent Management 300 India 2009,2010
IADC People, people, people- leadership 2,500 India 2012
Leadership Conference Gender intelligence 500 India 2009
Business symposium Networking for business 750 UAE 2011
Various seminars – 100+ Business opportunities in new and emerging markets 30 people at a time Ireland, India, UK 2000 onwards
200 + conferences, seminars and workshops Cultural sensitisation working across borders Global locations 2004 onwards

NilaKanthi Ford has worked in organisational restructuring and transformation, leadership and culture development for 30 years. She has been involved closely with international stakeholders at all levels, facilitating substantial and sustained improvements in organisational performance by working through the strategy and developing the people.
She has been instrumental in facilitating effective working relationships between Multinationals, statutory and Government authorities as well as investment houses and other financial institutions worldwide. In addition, she has been effective in coaching and mentoring leaders and their teams all over the world.
In the 1990’s, NilaKanthi was responsible for opening up new infrastructure business opportunities in many of the BRIC countries and afield. She also became involved with many international business networks including Women in Business for which she was subsequently to become Chair for London.
As International Director for a Swedish company, she led the drive to open up new market opportunities in Eastern Europe, UK, Africa and South America. Since 2002, NilaKanthi has led business development, coaching and leadership programmes for start-ups, multinationals and SMEs.

* Global business development * Cross cultural assimilation * Negotiation * Business operations * Business concept development * Strategy design and review * Stakeholder & workforce engagement * Asset and Risk Management * M&A and Disposals * Gender, Diversity and Talent Management * Negotiation * Marketing, Communications & PR * Innovation & Technology * Coaching and mentoring


Aviation & Aerospace, Agri-business, Energy (renewables, oil, gas and shale), Telecoms, multi-utilities IT, Retail, Pharma and Healthcare, Global public sector


Charu Pragya
- Opinion maker, Social reformer, Budding Author

Charu, a change agent, passionate social reformer, budding author, lawyer, international shooter, is a vivacious multifaceted personality.
A lawyer by profession and a social engineer at heart, Charu is set on transforming the nation, one step at a time, by empowering women.
She has an enviable track record as a lawyer and has leveraged her skills in being a social agent of change over the past many years.
Her mantra for women equality in all spheres of life is simple yet effective- awareness, education, opportunity and nurture. Charu has been an active proponent of creating awareness amongst women for being self-reliant by exercise the power of choice to be equal to men in all spheres of life.
Charu’s social engineering efforts are most evident through her involvement with the Satya Foundation, an NGO that does work for the underprivileged section of society, with the objective of providing them with opportunities, sustenance and equality in all walks of life.
Born in a very organised bureaucrat family, Charu's family, educational and cultural backdrop has been the key drivers of her success.
In her free time, Charu is passionate about travelling and exploring new places and cultures, reading, writing and philanthropy.


Dr. Mrs. Madhuri Bhushan Khambete

  • Educational qualification- ME (E&TC), PhD
  • Total 25 years teaching experience
  • Principal of Cummins College of engineering for Women, since 2008
  • Recognized PhD guide under Savitribai Phule Pune University and guiding six students.
  • Have worked on various committees of Pune University

Professional Body Activities
1.Life member of Institution of Engineers of Telecommunication Engineers. Elected member of IETE executive council, Pune local center, worked as a convener of various IETE activities.
2.Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) from last 15 years. IEEE student branch counselor of Cummins College.
3.Executive council member of IEEE Pune subsection 2007-2009.
4.Past Chair of WIE affinity group IEEE Bombay section
As a WIE chairperson organized various community development programs. 5.Life member of ISTE

Awards /recognition
1.Appreciation certificate from Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers(IEEE) for the contribution in IEEE activities
2.Special recognition award by by IETE Pune section
3.Received ‘Maharshi Karve Award of Excellence’ by Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha
4.Woman achiever award by ‘Accenture’


Carolina Quintana
- Creative Economy Programme, Coordinator, Networking and Partnerships


The Creative Economy Programme assists government initiatives to implement integrated public policies that support the cultural sectors which are important contributors of social and economic development.

From the arts, music, films to books, paintings, media and creative content, the cultural and creative industries are a growing sector in the global economy with exports worth $503 billion dollars in 2015, according to UNCTAD. With the right incentives, technology access and investment, the sector has the potential to generate new jobs, especially for the youth and women, through new value-added creations, with creative content, economic value and market objectives.

Women have been creators and craft makers for centuries and have contributed to preserving traditional knowledge, customs and cultural identities. Although their contribution was seldom acknowledged, nowadays women's key role in the culture and arts sector is gaining more attention and recognition. UNCTAD's objective is to make trade instrumental to the achievement of gender equality and women's economic empowerment, as a means to ensure inclusive development. 

The Programme provides a conceptual and policy framework as an effective way to advance policy coherence and international actions in the area of culture and creative industries and highlights the importance of culture, creativity, knowledge, and technology as key drivers for jobs creation, innovation and social inclusion.

Prior to the work on creative economy, Ms Quintana was involved in various technical assistance programmes related to trade facilitation and trade promotion (Trade Point Programme), new financial services (microcredit) and customs modernization (ASYCUDA programme). Ms. Quintana holds an MBA on Finance from the Business School Lausanne and has 25 years of experience of work in UNCTAD.


Dr. Ruby Dhalla
- Trailblazer, Champion of Change and Progressive Voice

Vibrant & versatile with a passion for helping people Dr. Ruby Dhalla's life befittingly essays these qualities. A dynamic & charismatic personality Ruby is a symbol of hope,inspiration and achievement.

From a fascinating journey that began by writing a letter advocating for peace to the Prime Minister of India at the age of 10 to being raised as the daughter of a single mother Ruby's own journey & experiences continue to serve as her inspiration in championing change, campaigning for human rights & advocating for the voiceless.

As a trail blazer Ruby created history in 2004 when she was elected as a Member of Parliament to Canada’s parliament & earned the honor of being one of the first Indian and first Sikh woman elected to federal parliament in the western world outside of India. In her tenure as a Parliamentarian Ruby has always been a respected & progressive voice, a fearless advocate, for women, & youth and those less fortunate.

From championing the passing of legislation in parliament to supporting human rights, to raising money for natural disasters, launching initiatives for young people in her riding, advocating for equality for women and seniors, promoting economic and cultural relations with emerging economies and volunteering for charities internationally has resulted in people saying Ruby is among the promising league of young women politicians in the world who displays an exceptional depth of purpose in every sphere of her life.

As a young politician - Dr. Dhalla has always been a strong champion for women. Ruby is dedicated to listening, & inspiring the women of today by working with political parties, corporates & organizations to create opportunities for women to be empowered & to succeed. She recognizes the responsibility of encouraging women to participate in their communities and the building of their nations and has worked to develop numerous strategies and projects around the world to encourage women to vote and participate in the political process.

Dr. Dhalla has also been a strong champion for enhancing & promoting economic & cultural relations between Canada & emerging markets such as India & the Middle East. She has served as the founding member of the Canada - UAE Parliamentary Liasion Group and served on the executive body of the Canda-India Parliamentary Association. As the founder of multidiscplinary healthcare clinics prior to entering the political realm Dr. Dhalla has a unique perspective and understanding of the challenges encountered by entrepreneurs hence she has pushed to create policy reforms for small & medium sized businesses to ensure a business friendly environment betweed the developed and developing world and has also advocated for initiatives to encourage, support & sustain entrepreneurs in emerging economies.

Combining her business acumen with her motivation for public service Dr. Dhalla founded a fashion label called Ruby Red. Consisting of evening gowns, kaftans, resort wear and kurtas Dr. Dhalla has created a label for savy, successful women with a portion of the proceeds going towards empowering girls who are less fortunate.

Within India, Dr. Dhalla has raised issues important to the global diaspora of Indians & has advocated on their behalf with both PM Modi, & various politcal & business leaders. She has worked extensively between the Chambers of Commerces of both nations to reduce barriers for individuals and businesses wanting to expand their market shares and has been invited numerous times to give the keynote address for the Pravasi Bharitya Divas conference organized by the Government of India and hosted by the Prime Minister.

For her efforts, results, & vision Dr. Dhalla has been honoured with numerous awards and recognitions. Including Politician of the Year, the Pride of India Award, and the Award for Political Leadership. Dr. Dhalla is the proud founder of the first of its type charity in the world called Dreams For You to help victims of Fraud marriages and has also recently joined as Ambassador for Gurughar Seva Society Charity created as a result of the desceration of the Guru Granth Sahib- the Sikh Holy Scriptures in which she is installing CCTV Cameras in a 100 Gurdwaras in a 100 Villages in Rural Punjab. She has just finished writing a book that is to be released in 2017 about her political journey as a young woman in politics.

Her insight, ability to speak, capacity to connect, aptitude to listen & her powerful presence make Dr. Dhalla a sought after global speaker. Dr. Dhalla brings a vision of hope and optimism into her role as a leading progressive voice in politics. Her passionate vision for the world combined with her goal to empower women, youth and families has given people hope, strength and inspiration making her a role model of the young generation and women across the globe..
“Politics is not about power. Politics is about the hopes, dreams, and desires of people in which they believe if they can Dream it they can do it” Dr. Ruby Dhalla, Canadian Politician, MP 2004-2011


Birgit M. Liodden
- Director

Norwegian Sea Rescue Academy, Ocean Industry Forum Oslo region and WISTA Norway

Birgit M. Liodden is the Director of Nor-Shipping and a Board Member of the Norwegian Sea Rescue Academy, Ocean Industry Forum Oslo region and WISTA Norway. She also chairs two commercial real estate companies. 

Liodden is the founder and former Secretary General of YoungShip International. Prior to this, she held various corporate roles in the Wilh. Wilhelmsen Group, eventually as Project Manager of Global Systems & Processes (HR&IT), and is former President of YoungShip Oslo and YoungShip Norway. She holds 5 years entrepreneurial experience as owner of Liodden Projects, delivering project management and consultancy services to a.o. OECD, SeaTrucks Nigeria, Wilhelmsen Maritime Services and Nor-Shipping.

She has made her mark as a passionate shipping environmentalist and business activist, actively challenging the maritime industry on key challenges related to leadership, diversity, sustainable development, entrepreneurship and innovation. Liodden received the WISTA Leadership Award 2012 for her work to promote shipping and female role models to th​e next generation. She frequently contributes as speaker and panelist both within and outside of the maritime industry, and has served as jury member for several international maritime awards.


Lakmini Wijesundera
- Co-founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer,

Ironone Technologies (Private) Limited.

Lakmini Wijesundera has over 20 years of experience ranging from guiding the company’s strategic direction, global growth and its innovations. As the Chief Executive Officer of Ironone Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. she oversees all aspects of Ironone business and is the driving force behind Ironone’s global success.

The key motivator for Lakmini is to create a change for the better and to constantly push the limits to achieve greater heights. To bring the association of premium quality recognition and branding to Sri Lanka in the eyes of the most powerful businesses around the globe.

Ironone Technologies has emerged to become a foremost IT establishment in Sri Lanka with over 120 full time professionals and with 4 global offices in Singapore, Malaysia, USA and Sri Lanka while having 15 partner offices and a global clientele that includes many of the fortune 500 companies and top 100 corporates in each of those countries. Lakmini’s strategic innovations of technology which has risen in Ironone have touched the lives of the top level decision makers such as Chairmen, Directors and C-suite members of these corporates across many verticals including Financial, Manufacturing, Conglomerates and others. Lakmini has been the recipient of several prestigious industry recognition awards for her contribution to the Information Technology sector of Sri Lanka including the female ICT Leader of the year, by Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) and being selected as one of the 50 most powerful women in business awarded by the Echelon Magazine and Ironone Technologies being selected as one of the ‘most respected companies’ in the 2016 LMD business review and awards. She has also won the following awards, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, Woman Exporter of the Year and the Gold Award in the large category at the awards ceremony held by Women’s Chamber of Industry & Commerce in 2016. She recently won a special award by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) of Sri Lanka in recognition of the Unique Entrepreneurship and Achievement in the Field of Exports.

Prior to co-founding Ironone, Ms. Wijesundera has been engaged in several progressive business initiations. She has managed IT programs funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the field of poverty alleviation and the micro-finance banking sector. She formerly was the Manager of the Information Technology and Software Development division at Lanka Bell and was a key member of the start up Ceycom Global Communications. Lakmini has a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Electronics Engineering from the University College London, University of London and has a M.Sc. from Imperial College, University of London and her primary and secondary education was carried out at C.M.S. Ladies College in Colombo Sri Lanka.


Nishtha Satyam

Nishtha Satyam heads Strategic Partnerships, Policy Impact and Public Relations for UN Women, the entity of the United Nations that is dedicated to working towards Gender Equality and Woman's Empowerment. Her role at UN Women focuses on developing strategies aimed at securing a diversified partnership portfolio with the Governments of India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka and the Private sector to build a community of commitment leading to sustained support for the organization. She also manages the development of programmes intended to generate demonstrable evidence that informs, influences key policy discourses and designs.

Her expertise covers the business’s role in development through the Sustainable Development Goals, business ethics and governance, democratization of the ICT arena, impact of ICT on development and of the regulatory and policy environment on businesses.

Nishtha has had a long standing career with the United Nations in India, prior to which she spent around a decade working in the private sector with leading firms such as KPMG and American Express as an Economist.

As a futurist and feminist, she is an active advocate of the urgency to mainstream women across the marketplace, workplace and community. Nishtha has authored a number of studies on the business value of inclusion and continues to be excited about exploring the interplay of policy, politics and people to foster growth for the most marginalized.


Saroja Sirisena
- Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai

Saroja Sirisena is the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai with jurisdiction in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa since July 2014. 

She served as the Director General for External Relations in the Ministry of Economic Development handling foreign affairs related matters from 2012-2014.

She also served as Director/South Asia and Director/Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka in 2011 - 2012.

Ms Saroja Sirisena is a career diplomat of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service who has served as Minister of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva from April 2010-November 2011 and the Minister Counsellor of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brussels accredited to the European Union from 2007-2010. She has also served in the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris and in Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to UNESCO as the First Secretary from 2001-2005.

She has represented Sri Lanka at many international conferences and summits including Ministerial Conferences of the World Trade Organization, summits of G15, UNESCO General Conferences, UN Human Rights Council and Conference on Disarmament.

Ms Saroja Sirisena was born in Colombo and studied at Devi Balika Vidyalaya, and represented the school in track and field events. She completed a Bachelor of Arts specialising in International Relations at the University of Melbourne, Australia and Post Graduate Studies at the Ecole National d’Administration in France. Prior to joining the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1998, Ms Sirisena worked as an Executive Assistant to the Minister of Commerce in 1997.

Ms Sirisena speaks French and enjoys reading, cooking and working out.

To participate in the 6th Global Economic Summit