Past Speakers

2015 Expert Speaker: Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), one of the nation's leading immigrant and human rights advocacy organizations. Under her leadership, NIJC has grown to a staff of 50 who serve 10,000 immigrants and their families each year through an unparalleled network of more than 1,500 pro bono attorneys. With its unique combination of direct service, impact litigation, and advocacy, NIJC promotes due process protections before the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress, and the executive branch. NIJC is a founding member of the Illinois Task Force on Unaccompanied Immigrant Children, the Freedom Network, and the Department of Homeland Security-Nongovernmental Organization Enforcement Working Group, which NIJC co-chairs. Recently, NIJC spearheaded an innovative immigration court help desk for immigrants in deportation proceedings.


Ms. McCarthy has testified before congressional committees on human rights and immigration detention reform, speaks frequently at national and international conferences on human rights and immigration law, and is regularly quoted in leading news outlets such as The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Ms. McCarthy has met with members of the Mexican Congress, academics, and civil society to address migration issues facing the region. She has toured detention centers throughout the U.S. and gathered evidence of chilling civil rights abuses which permeate the U.S. government's immigration detention system. She is a commissioner for the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration and a member of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights steering committee.


Prior to joining NIJC in 1998, Ms. McCarthy practiced civil litigation and served as a pro bono attorney for NIJC's asylum project. Earlier in her career, she worked in Chile helping local communities safeguard the rights of individuals living under a dictatorship. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Pax Christi 2013 Teacher of Peace Award, the Robert Bellarmine Award for distinguished alumni from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, the American Immigration Lawyers Association Chicago Chapter's Joseph Minsky Mentor Award, Lawyers Trust Fund's Esther Rothstein Award, and the Federal Bar Association's Sarah T. Hughes Civil Rights Award. She recently delivered the keynote address at the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies Trans-Border Institute's 18th Annual Sister Sally Furay Lecture on the politics of immigration reform and refugee protection.

2015 Expert Speaker: Maria Socorro Pesqueira, President and CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Acción, one of the longest standing Latina human service organizations in the nation. Under her leadership Mujeres received the prestigious ORBA Award for Nonprofit Financial Management Excellence; moved Mujeres' main office to a newly renovated 14,000 square foot facility and opened two additional satellite offices. Before coming to Mujeres, Maria was the Director of Development for the National Museum of Mexican Art where she started and grew the Museum's resource development office, and completed its $7.5 million capital and endowment campaign.


Pesqueira's awards include being named by Chicago Magazine as one of six Chicagoans of the Year 2006; the 2005 National Organization for Women's (NOW) Women Who Dared Award; The 2003 Thomas Jefferson Award; Accento Magazine's "Woman of the Year" for 2002; and the Crain's Chicago Business "40 under 40" for the year 2000. She was selected as a member to The Chicago Network, a premier organization of diverse, professional women in the Chicago area who have reached the highest echelons of business, the arts, government, and academia.


Her record of civic and community involvement spans two decades. She serves as Board member of the Community Memorial Foundation, a private independent health conversion foundation; has served as Executive Committee Board member for the National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Latino civil rights organization based in Washington DC and is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. In addition, she has been appointed to City and State level Commissions. Pesqueira was appointed to the Illinois Human Services Commission, the Governor's Advisory Council on Domestic Violence and appointed to the Mayor of Chicago's Advisory Council on Domestic Violence. She is the Chair of the Illinois Partners for Human Services, a network of organizations that advocate for high quality, responsible, and sustainable approaches to providing human service in Illinois. She is the Vice-Chair of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a state-wide coalition of member organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.


Ms. Pesqueira has a BA from DePaul University. She is also a graduate of the Harvard University JFK School of Government Executive Program, the Center for Creative Leadership and St. Thomas University MiniMBA program in Nonprofit Management.


Maria and her husband David are the proud parents of son David Ollin.


2015 Expert Speaker: Carole Segal, Co-Founder of Crate and Barrel, Founder and former CEO of Foodstuffs, and President of the Segal Family Foundation. She is co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, a growing and diverse set of businesses and business associations promoting sensible, comprehensive federal immigration reform to benefit the people and economy of Illinois. She also is co-chair of the Immigration Task Force, a bipartisan group comprised of thought leaders drawn from the business, civic, religious, advocacy, and educational sectors across the Midwest, working to forge consensus around sensible immigration policy at the state and national levels.


Ms. Segal is a trustee of Rush University Medical Center and chairman of the board of overseers at Rush University. She is a trustee emeritus of Bates College and is a life trustee of Illinois Institute of Technology.


Ms. Segal, a graduate of Northwestern University, is a member of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors, co-chairperson of the Wilson Society for WCAS, and a previous chairperson of the Northwestern University Leadership Council. Ms. Segal is a trustee of Chicago Theological Seminary and chairperson of the Visiting Committee.


She is a member of the Board of Directors of WBEZ-Chicago Public Media, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.


Carole Segal, Co-founder of Crate & Barrel, on injustice of our immigration policy (YouTube video)


2015 Expert Speaker: Michele Wucker, Vice President of Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Previously she was president of the World Policy Institute, a New York based center for global policy thought leadership, where she led strategic planning, programming, and execution; raised millions in funds for operations; and collaborated with diverse organizations around the world. In 2007, she oversaw the re-incorporation of the World Policy Institute as a free-standing organization after its separation from the New School University.


Her new book, The Gray Rhino: Why We Keep Missing the Most Obvious Threats -and How We Can Get Out of their Way, will be published in Fall 2015 by St Martin's Press. She also is the author of LOCKOUT: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right (Public Affairs 2006/paperback 2007; a Washington Post Book World "Best Nonfiction of 2006″ Selection) and Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians and the Struggle For Hispaniola (FSG/Hill & Wang, 1999).


Wucker received a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship for her work on changing views of citizenship. She is a 2009 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a 2008 Young Leader of the American Council on Germany, and a 2008 Womens Media Center Progressive Womens Voices alumna.


A sought-after public speaker, Wucker speaks frequently about immigration, the global economy, and leadership. She has been a source for major US and international media including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Reuters, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.


Formerly Latin America bureau chief for International Financing Review and a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wucker has written for many US and Latin American publications including AmericaEconomia, CNN, The Guardian, Internationale Politik, Newsday, The New York Times, Texas Observer, Valor Economico, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and World Policy Journal.
She is a graduate of Rice University and of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where she has been an Adjunct Associate Professor. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, PEN, and the Authors Guild, and a member of the advisory board of the Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring (DREAM) Project.


2015 Master of Ceremonies and Panel Moderator: Ms. Alison Cuddy, Associate Artistic Director (Program Director at the time) with the Chicago Humanities Festival. Alison Cuddy joined the CHF staff in May 2014. Before coming to the Festival, she spent more than 10 years at WBEZ 91.5 FM, the NPR affiliate in Chicago, covering arts and culture for WBEZ.


Alison joined the staff of WBEZ in August 2001 as associate producer for the nationally-syndicated program Odyssey. In addition to the daily program, Alison produced Odyssey's live national specials, including the two-hour "Dissent and Democracy" and "Wealth and Politics" which broadcast from Memphis, Tennessee. She also programmed the show's Film Forum Friday segment.including co-hosting/producing Changing Channels and Strange Brews, and was the host of WBEZ's award-winning weekday newsmagazine Eight Forty-Eight and the creator of Weekender, the weekly guide to events happening in and around Chicago. Alison also served as the senior producer of Chicago Matters, the year-long series examining various topics of broad interest to the region.



Prior to joining WBEZ, Alison worked in the Immigration Department of ThoughtWorks, Inc. in Chicago, and was an adjunct professor at DePaul University as well as a teaching fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.F.A. in Cinema Studies from Concordia University in Montréal.


Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Alison currently resides in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.


2014 Keynote: Michèle Ledgerwood, Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and senior speaker in the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy's Seven Revolutions lecture series. Michèle also consults regularly with both the Transnational Threats program and the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS.


Michèle has more than 25 years of experience in the U.S. and European defense, healthcare, and scientific research environments. She has directed multidisciplinary research programs and working groups for both government and private sector clients, in areas as diverse as emerging science and technology; global infectious disease research and surveillance; terrorist financing; biological, cyber, and hybrid threats; and trusted international collaborative networks. For more than 12 years, she was the Senior Analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) influential Highlands Forum. She also has served as a Senior Analyst and Program Manager at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), as a pro bono advisor to the not-for-profit InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases, and Disasters), as a freelance writer for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and as a nonresident research associate at Carnegie Corporation of New York.


Michèle has authored publications on topics including global cyber threats; U.S. biological laboratory capacity; complex humanitarian emergency response models; French nuclear deterrence; and the U.S. military's overseas medical research
laboratories. She is a regular speaker on the uses of social media in scientific research and humanitarian operations. She also advises early-stage mobile technology startups on public sector partnerships and networking strategies.


Earlier in her career, Michèle worked for two European defense and financial consultancies, and supported groundbreaking research at the Stanford University
School of Medicine's Section on Medical Informatics. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the Harvard Kennedy School. She has spent more than 20 years of her life overseas, has traveled to 40 U.S. States and more than 50 countries, and speaks six languages with varying degrees of proficiency. In her spare time, Michèle runs a small, boutique fashion business, and directs the French Language Education Program at her children's elementary school in Arlington, Virginia.


2014 Master of Ceremonies: Ms. Alison Cuddy, WBEZ

Alison Cuddy covers arts and culture for WBEZ, including co-hosting/producing Changing Channels and Strange Brews.


Previously Alison was the host of WBEZ's award-winning weekday newsmagazine Eight Forty-Eight and the creator of Weekender, the weekly guide to events happening in and around Chicago. Alison also served as the senior producer of Chicago Matters, the year-long series examining various topics of broad interest to the region.


Alison joined the staff of WBEZ in August 2001 as associate producer for the nationally-syndicated program Odyssey. In addition to the daily program, Alison produced Odyssey's live national specials, including the two-hour "Dissent and Democracy" and "Wealth and Politics" which broadcast from Memphis, Tennessee. She also programmed the show's Film Forum Friday segment.


Prior to joining WBEZ, Alison worked in the Immigration Department of ThoughtWorks, Inc. in Chicago, and was an adjunct professor at DePaul University as well as a teaching fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.F.A. in Cinema Studies from Concordia University in Montréal.


Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Alison currently resides in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.


2014 Cultural Speaker: Carmen Vidal-Hallett is Principal of Chicago-based Eco Vidal Design Inc. Carmen is an acclaimed architect and urban planner who specializes in innovative sustainable design. Carmen founded EcoVidalDesign, Inc, in 2008 and has taken her company to work recently on Chicago parks and affordable housing renovations. She has also worked closely with Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) in projects such as the Chicago UNO Natchez School and Rio de Janeiro's LEED Neighborhood Development Green Technology District. Carmen has been honored the Chicago Mayor's Landscaping Award for Specialist Gardens in 2011 and the Living Building Challenge Design Competition Honorable mention #1 in 2013 to only name a few of her many awards. Specializing in Architecture and Urban Planning, Carmen went to Mackenzie University in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and to graduate school at Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain where she worked for four years. However, Carmen is not all architecture and urban design; she has an eight year Ballet professional degree from "Escola Municipal de Bailado" Sao Paulo, Brazil and is currently a Flamenco professional dancer with Soul & Duende Spanish American Theater, artists in residence with the Chicago Park District.


2014 Cultural Speaker: Dr. Rasha Mahmoud Hussien Mohammed is currently completing her MBA in Healthcare at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago. Originally from Giza, Egypt, Dr. Eldeeb served as Head of the Donor Care Department at Elabbasia Regional Blood Transfusion Centre in Cairo. Additionally, she was an Assistant Lecturer at the Hematology Laboratories of the National Cancer Institute. In June 2010, Dr. Eldeeb was part of a delegation invited to United States through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of the US Department of State, locally administered by WorldChicago. During her visits in Maryland, New York, Texas and Washington, she met professionals in the field of oncology, including research, prevention and treatment. Today, she serves as a volunteer helping support other IVLP programs coordinated by WorldChicago. Among her many academic and professional achievements, Dr. Eldeeb has served as a trainer for the World Health Organization, and is regularly published in the International Journal of Transfusion Medicine. Dr. Eldeeb received her master's degree in clinical pathology and her Ph.D. in clinical pathology and chemistry at Ain Shams University.


2013 Keynote: Ellen Costello, Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Corp. and U.S. Country Head of Toronto-based BMO Financial Group, one of North America's leading financial services providers. Ms. Costello is responsible for providing governance and regulatory oversight for all of BMO's U.S. businesses. This includes ensuring all U.S. activities of the bank are consistent with the values, principles and the strategic initiatives set by BMO and approved by the BMO board. She is a member of the BMO management and performance committees.


After joining BMO Financial Group in 1983, Ms. Costello held progressively senior positions in Corporate Banking and Treasury, serving in leadership positions in Derivatives, as Regional Treasurer in Asia in 1993 and in 1995 as Senior Vice-President and Deputy Treasurer. In 1997, she was appointed Executive Vice-President, Global Treasury Group, responsible for the foreign exchange, financial products, money markets, loan syndication/trading and managed futures businesses. In 2000, she was named Head of Securitization and Credit Investment Management; in 2003, head of BMO Capital Markets, New York; and in 2006 she assumed responsibility for Merchant Banking. Later in 2006 she was named Group Head for Personal and Commercial Banking U.S. and President and CEO, Harris Financial Corp. She was appointed to her current role in July 2011.


Ms. Costello holds a BBA from St. Francis Xavier University and earned her MBA from Dalhousie University. She serves on a number of boards, including the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, After School Matters, the Executives' Club of Chicago and the Financial Services Roundtable. She is a member of the Commercial Club, its Civic Committee, the Chicago Network, and the Economic Club of Chicago.

2013 Master of Ceremonies/Moderator: Ms. Robyne Robinson, former FOX News anchor and Owner, ROX

A Chicago native, Robyne Robinson is an award-winning American television journalist and entrepreneur. Robyne began her professional career tracking news for WNDU-TV in South Bend, Indiana. Later, at WFAA-TV in Dallas she covered local politics, education and public affairs. While serving as the weekend anchor at WMAR-TV in Baltimore, she was awarded the Gannett-Paul Miller Fellowship for reporting Washington politics.


For 20 years she was a reporter and then news anchor/co-anchor for Fox affiliate KMSP in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. She was the first African-American anchor in the state of Minnesota and has worked with KMSP-TV since 1995, when KMSP was independent Minnesota 9. In May 2010 Robinson left KMSP and broadcasting and announced her candidacy as the running mate of Matt Entenza, a DFL candidate in the August 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial primary. She had not previously been a candidate for elective office.


In addition to her work in front of the camera, Robinson is closely involved in several non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities area. She is on the board of the Outsider Art Center, a non-profit organization for disabled, folk and self-taught artists. Robinson is an honorary board member for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota and sits on the Advisory Board for The Soap Factory/No Name Gallery, a non-profit contemporary arts center affiliated with the Walker Art Center, one of the world's most prestigious contemporary art museums. Robinson founded Exhibit, a non-profit arts collective that helped fund the creation of the Independent Feature Project/Minneapolis Producers' Fellowship, and has raised thousands of dollars for the Lupus Foundation by creating Voce, multimedia art and music events for and by women that raised Lupus education and awareness.


Robinson is also a jewelry designer and owner of ROX Minneapolis. Her company sells jewelry in stores throughout the Minneapolis area, as well as Chicago and New York. Her jewelry has been worn by artists such as Madonna, Nicollette Sheridan, and Paula Abdul. Her creations are also displayed at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and have been featured on the Tyra Banks Show as well as several national publications.


2013 Cultutral Speaker: In November 2002, Attorney General Lisa Madigan became the first woman elected to serve as the Illinois Attorney General, and one of only a handful of female Attorneys General in the country. In 2010, she was elected to her third term as Attorney General and now is the senior-most female Attorney General in the country. Before her election as Attorney General, Madigan served in the Illinois Senate and worked as a litigator for a Chicago law firm. Prior to becoming an attorney, she was a teacher and community advocate, developing after-school programs to help keep kids away from drugs and gangs. Madigan also volunteered as a high school teacher in South Africa during apartheid. Madigan earned her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She and her husband, Pat Byrnes, have two daughters. Often recognized for her leadership and integrity, Madigan has brought a high level of activism to the Office of Illinois Attorney General. Under her leadership, the Consumer Protection Division has established a national reputation for aggressively safeguarding consumers from financial fraud and unsafe products. Madigan has dedicated the energy and resources of her office to protecting children and women from the dangers of sexual predators and established herself as a leader in the public's fight for open and accessible government. Madigan is the Co-Chair of the 2013 Celebration of 100 Years of Women Voting in Illinois. Visit the Illinois Attorney General website for a more extensive biographical profile.


2013 Cultural Speaker: Dr. Aparajita Sengupta is currently a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Saint Mary's College (Notre Dame, IN) in the Department of History and the Gender and Women's Studies Program and a participant in the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program, sponsored by the  United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and locally administered by WorldChicago. Dr. Sengupta is currently Associate Professor of History in Sanskrit College in the University of Calcutta. Before joining this position in 2009, she taught in the Universities of Jadavpur, Kalyani and Rabindra Bharati in Bengal, India, and was a Visiting Scholar in South Asian Studies in the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and publications have been mainly in the field of modern Indian women's history, especially in the context of British colonialism and Indian nationalism, and her first book – Domesticating Nationalism: Women and the Politics of Gender in Bengal, 1870-1930 – is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. She is also a creative author in Bengali and has two published works of fiction to her credit. She received her Bachelor's degree with Honors in History from Presidency College, Calcutta, and her M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in History from the University of Calcutta.


2012 Keynote: Sarah Robb O'Hagan, Gatorade president North America and global chief marketing officer, Sports Nutrition of PepsiCo

PepsiCo owns the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines, each of which generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. PepsiCo's main businesses - Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola - also make hundreds of other enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo employs nearly 300,000 people worldwide.


Robb O'Hagan assumed this role in January 2011, and is responsible for the North American Gatorade business and the global brand management of Sport Nutrition. In this new role, O'Hagan will assume responsibility for the marketing and operations of the entire Gatorade business in North America and will lead the development of sports nutrition on a global scale, including the launch of Gatorade's G Series in several markets in 2011.


Robb O'Hagan joined PepsiCo in June 2008 as chief marketing officer, Gatorade, where she oversaw the business' strategic direction, product innovation, and consumer, shopper and sports marketing communications. In this role, Robb O'Hagan led Gatorade's transformation from sports drink company to sports performance innovator, which included the launch of the brand's G Series - a line of products that delivers fuel, fluid and nutrients to athletes before, during and after physical activity.


Before joining PepsiCo, Robb O'Hagan worked for Nike, Atari Interactive, Virgin Atlantic and Air New Zealand. Robb O'Hagan is based in Chicago.


Click here to view and listen to Forbes magazine recent interview (13-Jan-12) of Sarah Robb O'Hagan by Forbes staff reporter Jennifer Rooney.


2012 Master of Ceremonies: Ms. Alison Cuddy, WBEZ

Alison Cuddy covers arts and culture for WBEZ, including hosting/producing Weekender, the weekly guide to events happening in and around Chicago.


Previously Alison was the host  of WBEZ’s award-winning weekday newsmagazine Eight Forty-Eight. Alison also served as the senior producer of Chicago Matters, the year-long series examining various topics of broad interest to the region. Alison joined the staff of WBEZ in August 2001 as associate producer for the nationally-syndicated program Odyssey. In addition to the daily program, Alison produced Odyssey’s live national specials, including the two-hour "Dissent and Democracy" and "Wealth and Politics" which broadcast from Memphis, Tennessee. She also programmed the show’s Film Forum Friday segment.


Prior to joining WBEZ, Alison worked in the Immigration Department of ThoughtWorks, Inc. in Chicago, and was an adjunct professor at DePaul University as well as a teaching fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.F.A. in Cinema Studies from Concordia University in Montréal.


2012 Cultural Speaker: Roxane Assaf is a native of New Orleans living in Chicago for 24 years minus a year in Bethlehem and Jerusalem writing for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine. She co-authored an edition of the Lonely Planet travel guidebook Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Roxane is a professional singer, actor, talkshow producer and video documentarian. Her works include a documentary about Christians in Palestine and also a history of the Wilson Corridor of Uptown Chicago. Roxane teaches media and Middle East-related subjects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Elmhurst College and produces the summer festival Chicago Arabesque on Daley Plaza. The creation of her own company Roxane Assaf Consulting follows her work with the City Colleges of Chicago in faculty professional development and the design and construction of revolutionary classrooms and science labs of the 21st century.

2012 Cultural Speaker: Avirama Golan is a senior correspondent for Haaretz Newspaper, columnist, member of the newspaper's editorial board, and blogger for the Haaretz website in Hebrew. She writes mainly on welfare and society issues, the Jewish Orthodox Sector, issues of church and state in Israel, and feminist issues. Since 1999 she has her own weekly TV show "Bikria Rishona" ("First Reading"), where she interviews writers and readers of new books. Golan moved to Haaretz in 1991, as a social affairs correspondent. In 1996, she joined the editorial board of the newspaper, becoming the first woman ever to do so. Golan spent three years in Paris in the 1980s, completing her studies and working as a correspondent for a weekly magazine. Upon her return to Israel in 1987, Golan joined "Davar" newspaper as a reporter, and editor of its weekend edition. Since 1974, she has been involved in the translation of children's books into Hebrew, primarily from English, and is behind the translations of such classics as Winnie-the-Pooh, the House at Pooh Corner, and Peter Pan. Golan has written two widely acclaimed and bestselling novels, which have been translated into several languages, as well as two children's books. Golan was born in Israel in 1950, and grew up in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. She now lives in Sderot, and is married with two children and one grandchild.

2011 Keynote: Deborah L. DeHaas, Vice Chairman and Regional Managing Partner at Deloitte

Deb is the Vice Chairman and Midwest Regional Managing Partner for Deloitte LLP, which includes offices in Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines. With 5,000 professionals, Deloitte is the largest Big Four firm in the region. In this role, Deb leads the quality, client satisfaction, growth, marketplace, and human resource initiatives in the region. Deb also serves as lead client service partner or advisory partner on a number of the firm's most significant clients in the Midwest Region. During her career, Deb has served a variety of clients, with an emphasis on those in the manufacturing, consumer products, and communications industries. Deb is also a member of the Deloitte LLP U.S. Board of Directors.


Prior to assuming her current role, Deb was the Regional Managing Partner of Strategic Clients for the Midwest Region. In this role, Deb led the management and development of the firm's national global strategic clients program for the seven offices throughout the region.


Deb's community involvement and philanthropic efforts have led to her recognition by numerous local and national organizations. Most recently, she received the 2010 City Year Chicago Ripples of Hope Award, Gerald J. Roper Business Professional of the Year Award, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago 2008 Heritage Award, the YWCA's 2006 Outstanding Women's Leaders Award for Community Leadership and Boardroom Bound 2005 Business-to-Business Ambassador Award. She was the first Chicago recipient of the 2005 Athena Award. She was the recipient of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce 2004 Daniel H. Burnham Award, the Anti-Defamation League 2004 Women of Achievement Award, the 2003 United Way Campaign Chair Award and the 2001 Girl Scouts Luminary Award. Deb was named "2001 Person of the Year" by the Corporate Responsibility Group of Chicago, and also received the 2001 Executive Leader Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In addition, she was recognized for outstanding board leadership with the Northlight Theatre in 2000.


Deb was recognized by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of seven influentials in Chicago and one of the ten most powerful women in business. She was included in Crain's Chicago Business "Who's Who in Chicago," "100 Most Influential Women" and "25 Women to Watch" lists.


Deb graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Management Science and Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of several state and national professional societies, including the AICPA and the Illinois CPA Society.

2011 Master of Ceremonies: Ms. Diann Burns, NEXT TV

Diann is the host of NextTV, an Emmy-Award Winning business and lifestyle program focusing on the urban community. She partners with the Chicago Urban League to showcase transformation of entrepreneurs, as they grow their businesses, makeover their careers, in a hip, sophisticated and fast-paced half-hour weekly program, broadcast on FOX 32 on Sundays.

2010: Maryn McKenna, Independent Journalist

Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist and author who specializes in public health, medicine and health policy. She writes features for national magazines and news stories for an infectious-disease website. In addition to her new book, Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA, about the rise of drug-resistant staph around the world, she is working on projects on polio eradication and on emergency room overcrowding.


From 1995-2006, she was a national desk writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she was the only U.S. journalist assigned to full-time coverage of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and embedded with a CDC investigative team during the 2001 anthrax-letter attacks. She has reported from the Indian Ocean tsunami and from Hurricane Katrina, as well as from Southeast Asia, India, Africa and the Arctic. She has covered pandemic influenza since 1997, when she wrote the first story in the American media on the potential threat posed by avian flu H5N1.


Previously, she worked for the Boston Herald, where stories she co-wrote on illnesses among veterans of the first Persian Gulf War led to the first Congressional hearings on Gulf War Syndrome, and at the Cincinnati Enquirer, where her stories on the association between local cancer clusters and contamination escaping a federal nuclear weapons plant contributed to a successful nuclear-harm lawsuit by residents.


Ms. McKenna is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University and has a master’s degree with highest honors from Northwestern University. She has held fellowships with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Knight-Wallace Fellows program of the University of Michigan, as well as serving short fellowships at Harvard Medical School and the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland. In 2006, she was an inaugural Health Journalism Fellow of the East-West Center in Honolulu and is now an Associate of the Center and teaches other journalists in its programs.


Ms. McKenna has won numerous journalism awards and is the author of Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, which was named one of the Top Science Books of 2004 by and an "Outstanding Academic Title" by the American Library Association.


She lives in Minneapolis with her husband.

2009: Carol Coletta, President and CEO of CEOs for Cities; Host and Producer Public Radio Show Smart City

Ms. Coletta is the President and CEO of CEOs for Cities in Chicago and host and producer of the nationally syndicated public radio show "Smart City." She has served as President of Coletta & Company in Memphis and as Executive Director of the Mayors' Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation.


Ms. Coletta was a 2003 Knight Fellow in Community Building at the University of Miami School of Architecture and is currently a candidate for a Master of Design Methods at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

She is interviewed often as an expert on urban issues by national media and is a frequent speaker on the success formula for cities and creative communities. This year, a leading European think tank named Ms. Coletta one of the world's 50 most important urban issues experts.


CEOs for Cities works with a cross-sector network of urban leaders to create next generation cities that excel in talent, connections, innovation and distinctiveness and are therefore better able to address the challenges of the day.

2008: Dr. Martha Nussbaum, Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago

Dr. Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School and Divinity School at the University of Chicago.


Martha Nussbaum received her B.A. from NYU and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. She has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford Universities. She has received honorary degrees from thirty-two colleges and universities in the U. S., Canada, Asia, and Europe. And, she is the recipient of many, many awards throughout her career.


She has written 14 publications including Sex and Social Justice, which won the book award of the North American Society for Social Philosophy in 2000, and The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future. Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality will be published in February 2008 and available for sale at the event! She has also edited thirteen books. Her current work in progress includes The Cosmopolitan Tradition (the Castle Lectures delivered at Yale University in 2000 and under contract to Yale University Press) and Compassion and Capabilities (under contract to Cambridge University Press). She is writing the Supreme Court Foreword for the Harvard Law Review in 2007.

2007: Dr. Mardge Cohen, Director of Women's HIV Research, CORE

Dr. Mardge Cohen has worked at Stroger (formerly Cook County) Hospital since 1976 when she began her internal medical residency. In 1987 she founded the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project, a community based initiative to provide support, prevention services and advocacy for Chicago women with HIV. In 1988 she started the Women and Children HIV Program at Cook County Hospital to


provide comprehensive medical and psychosocial services to women, their partners, and children. She is the Chicago Principal Investigator for the National Institute of Health supported Women’s Interassociation HIV Study (WIHS) which began in 1994 to better understand HIV disease progression in women, and has worked on HIV research projects funded by the CDC and NICHD. Currently, she is the Director of Women's HIV Research at the CORE Center. She is leading a public health initiative to implement rapid HIV testing in labor and delivery areas of all birthing hospitals in the state of Illinois.


Since 2004 she has traveled to and worked in Rwanda with Women's Equity in Access to Care and Treatment (WE-ACTx) to facilitate HIV primary care for women who were infected after being raped during the 1994 genocide period. Working with many grass roots women's associations and the Rwandan public health HIV infrastructure, WE-ACTx has set up health clinics as well as a food program and income generation program for women and children with HIV. The project also includes a research cohort similar to the WIHS to determine the response of Rwandan women to antiretroviral therapy, and the effects of post-traumatic stress on HIV disease progression. WE-ACTx’s work in Rwanda includes HIV care, family planning, and prevention of cervical cancer.

2006: Connie K. Duckworth, President and Chairman of the Board of Arzu, Inc.

Ms. Duckworth serves as President and Chairman of the Board of Arzu, Inc., a nonprofit organization she founded in response to a site visit to Afghanistan in early 2003. Arzu, which means hope, aims to provide sustainable income to underprivileged Afghan women and their families by sourcing and selling handmade rugs in the United States. Arzu is weaving hope for Afghan women and changing the world one rug at a time by providing education and basic healthcare.


Duckworth is a retired partner and managing director of Goldman, Sachs, & Co., where she was named the first woman sales and trading partner in the firm's history during her 20 year career. She co-authored a primer on entrepreneurship, The Old Girls' Network: Insider Advice for Women Building Businesses in a Man's World, and has been an angel investor, mentoring and selectively investing in women-led businesses. She is the recipient of numerous awards.


Duckworth sits on the Board of Trustees of Northwestern Mutual, the Board of Directors of Smurfit Stone Container Corporation and DNP Select Income Fund, the Board of Overseers of the Wharton School and is Vice Chairman of the Board of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. She is a past Chair of the Committee of 200, the organization of leading women entrepreneurs and corporate business executives in the United States. She holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from the University of Texas.

2005: Faye T. Pantazelos, President and CEO of New Century Bank

Founder and principal organizer of New Century Bank and its parent company, NCB Holdings, Inc. Ms. Pantazelos serves as President, Director and CEO of both entities. Prior to founding NCB Holdings, Inc. in 1997, Ms. Pantazelos served as Senior Vice President Commercial Lending at Corus Bank, N.A., a $2 billion regional bank.

2004: Captain Jaden J. Kim, Marine Corps Jet Pilot

Jaden J. Kim, Captain U.S. Marine Corps, was born in Seoul, South Korea. She and her family immigrated to the United States and moved to Chicago, while she was in grade school. At that time, they applied for and received naturalized citizenship within a year.


After graduating from Princeton in 1996 and participating in the ROTC there, Captain Kim reported for flight training. She soon received her wings of gold and was assigned to the Green Knights. Captain Kim has been part of three deployments post 09/11. In October 2001, the squadron of which she was a member, was deployed to Beni Suef Air Base, Egypt, and participated in Operation Bright Star. Soon after, in April 2002, the squadron was moved to Peter J Ganci Air Base in Manas, Kyrgyzstan for a six-month deployment supporting Operation EnduringFreedom. During this support operation, she flew over 40 combats or ties and 200 combat flight hours. Next, the squadron was deployed to AI-Jaber Air Base, Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


After flying three years with the Green Knights, Captain Kim was assigned to and currently serves with I Marine Expeditionary Force at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Captain Kim will share with us what it is like to be one of two female Hornet Systems Officers in the Marines and how her Korean-American background has shaped her career as a woman and fighter pilot.

2003: Judy Baar Topinka, Treasurer, State of Illinois (currently Comptroller, State of Illinois)

Judy Baar Topinka was elected Illinois State Treasurer on November 8, 1994 – becoming the first woman in Illinois history to hold this post. She also became the first Republican to be elected State Treasurer in 32 years. Topinka made history again in November 1998, as she won a second term as State Treasurer – becoming the first woman to be re-elected to a statewide office. Winning re-election to a third term as Illinois State Treasurer in 2002, Topinka became the first State Treasurer to win three consecutive terms.


As State Treasurer from 1995-2007, Judy maintained a strong record of fiscal responsibility. During her tenure, the state earned record amounts of income on investments, money that helped to alleviate the tax burden on working families and made state government run more efficiently. Under her leadership, the Treasurer's Office helped create and retain more than 13,000 new jobs through an innovative linked deposits program; developed the nation's largest agriculture loan program for farmers, and helped more than 120,000 families save for college by creating one of the most affordable college savings programs in the nation.

A recognized and respected fiscal conservative and taxpayer watchdog, Judy consistently spoke up when she believed public officials were acting irresponsibly. When Rod Blagojevich wanted to raid state funds, Judy stood up to him and refused to make the transfers.


As the granddaughter of immigrants, Judy learned from a very young age to respect the hard work and sacrifice that families all across Illinois make each and every day in order to make life better for their children. Judy's parents were small business owners who taught her the importance of living within your means and managing money responsibly; a lesson our broken state government would be apt to learn today.

2002: Anne Roosevelt, Director of Community and Education Relations at The Boeing Company

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (known as Anne) leads Boeing's Global Corporate Citizenship function, providing philosophical and strategic direction to the company's integration of citizenship goals. She also leads a network of U.S. and international community investors, who employ and leverage Boeing's multiple resources to address needs of communities where the company has a business presence.


Roosevelt began her professional career when she moved to Kentucky, following graduate school, to join the faculty of Western Kentucky University. There she taught museum studies and worked on the The Kentucky Museum staff for nearly eight years. In 1983, she moved to Chicago as a freelance collection consultant, and was later named the first director of the Center for Scandinavian Studies at North Park College in Chicago.


In 1987, Roosevelt pursued her lifelong interest in politics, working for the Democratic National Committee. In 1989 she managed late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon's Chicago office and then his successful campaign for re-election in 1990. The following year, Roosevelt served as a consultant on the successful "Daley for Mayor" campaign. In 1991, she became the first executive director of the Museums in the Park, an organization representing the political interests of nine museums located on Chicago Park District land.


From 1996 through 1998, she was director of the Mayor's Office of Program Development for the City of Chicago. From January 1998 to 2001, Roosevelt served as executive director of the Brain Research Foundation, an affiliate of The University of Chicago. When The Boeing Company relocated to Chicago, Roosevelt became director of Community and Education Relations for Boeing's Corporate Offices, and now serves as vice president of Global Corporate Citizenship.


Roosevelt is a trustee of Roosevelt University where she also chairs their advisory committee for the Center for New Deal Studies. She is also a trustee of Spelman College; is a member of the advisory boards of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation, and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; is a member of the Chicago Sister Cities Casablanca Committee and the Foundation for the National Archives board, and co-chairs the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in New York.


Born in Pasadena, Calif., Roosevelt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in art and art history, from Stanford University, and a Master of Science degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.