Conference Speakers

Speaker Biographies

Ceremony and Keynote Speakers

Opening Ceremony

Rohan Mahadevan

Senior Vice President of Paypal Asia 

As PayPal’s Senior Vice President of Asia, Rohan Mahadevan provides strategic direction for one of the company’s fastest-growing regions covering many of the largest commerce markets in the world, including Greater China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. Based in Singapore, he is responsible for increasing the company’s presence and local payment capabilities to capitalize on the explosive growth of e-commerce and m-commerce across all Asian markets. His deep knowledge of PayPal’s products and capabilities drives the company vision of enabling secure payments anytime, anywhere and any way for millions of Asian consumers.

Rohan has been with PayPal since 2004 in various leadership roles. Prior to his current position, he held the dual roles of Vice President of Global Cross Border Trade and Vice President of Latin America. As VP of Global Cross Border Trade, he was responsible for defining and executing PayPal’s cross-border strategy to enable 123 million PayPal users to conveniently and safely purchase from international merchants in 190 markets. As VP of Latin America, he led the strategy and localization of PayPal’s services for domestic consumers and merchants and partners in Brazil and Mexico, opened up PayPal’s first offices in these markets with Spanish and Portuguese language support, and accelerated cross-border trade across this region.

His passion to work and understand the challenges of growing businesses is not new; his career started with his own start-up where he was founder and CEO of Aftermind Inc., a software company in the aftermarket protection industry.

Before he started his own company, Rohan was a post-doctoral scientist at Cambridge University, England. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the California Institute of Technology and a PhD from Harvard University in the field of astrophysics.


Brad Bass

Dermot O’Gormon

Australia, China, and the Pacific CEO for World Wide Fund for Nature 

Dermot has been a leader in sustainable development for over two decades across Australia, the Pacific, Asia, and Europe, including 15 years as CEO in the WWF offices of Australia, China and the Pacific.

As a WWF CEO, Dermot has been responsible for delivering major conservation and sustainable development initiatives, from those with significant global impact to those with tangible on-ground results.

Under Dermot’s leadership, since 2010, WWF-Australia has undertaken a unique combination of field projects, strategic partnerships with business, and powerful advocacy campaigns.

Dermot also has a keen interest in the development of digital technologies and has overseen substantial growth in WWF Australia’s supporter base to nearly one million supporters, as well as the organisation’s digital influence and impact.

Dermot is chairman of the WWF Asia-Pacific CEOs Growth Group; is on the Board of the Australian Council for International Development; has led WWF’s Global Conservation Committee (2007-2010); was a member of the China Green entrepreneurs club (2008-2010); was on the 2014 Australian C20 Committee, and is a founder of the Australian (Business) Climate Roundtable.

Ultimately, Dermot’s passion lies in the big picture of conservation, actively working with businesses, international development agencies, NGOs and community groups towards a planet where humans live in harmony with nature.

Dermot has an MBA from IMD, Switzerland, a Master of Science from London School of Economics and degrees from University of London and Southern Cross University.

Damian Kassabgi 

Director of Public Policy, Asia Pacific, Uber 

Damian Kassabgi is the Head of Public Policy for Uber Asia Pacific. He leads Uber’s team responsible for working with policy makers and third parties to make a positive case for change to help create a favourable environment for ridesharing and other innovations in transport.

Before Uber, Damian worked as a public policy executive at Google Australia, which involved partnering with government on transport matters through the Google Maps application.

Prior to that Damian was Senior Adviser for the Digital Economy & Transport to Prime Minister of Australia.

During his tenure in Australia Government he served two Prime Ministers. Viz., Hon. Kevin Rudd and Hon. Julia Gillard.

Damian has also worked in political offices for State Government in Australia, including as an advisor to the former Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. Bob Carr.

Courtney Miller

Former General Manager of Australian Fashion Chamber; McKell Institute Fellow 

Courtney Miller was formally the General Manager of the peak industry body for fashion, the Australian Fashion Chamber (AFC). The AFC is Australia’s industry body united by the vision to strengthen, promote and develop Australian fashion design by nurturing talent and originality, domestically and globally.

Courtney was born and bred in the seaside town of Byron Bay before living, traveling and working across in the globe in places as wide ranging as Sardinia, Paris and Kenya. She has an undergraduate degree in International Relations, a Masters in Communications and is a French speaker who attended France’s premier political university, Sciences Po, Paris for which she has a diploma.

Courtney was formerly the Head of Communications at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (the MCA). She worked as a Ministerial advisor for the Hon Bill Shorten (now Opposition Leader of the Labor Party).

She has worked on a variety of Federal Government policy and legislation ranging from Free Trade Agreements at the Department of Finance (including the recently concluded FTA’s Japan, Korea and China) through to consumer credit, tourism and the future of Australia’s workplaces as a Ministerial advisor. She has an in-depth understanding on the nature of government and its operations as well as a passion for the creative.

Courtney currently lives and works in Singapore as a policy consultant for AlphaBeta across the APAC region and is a McKell Institute Fellow.

Michael Spence

25th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney

Dr Spence is the 25th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney. An alumnus of the University, Dr Spence graduated with first-class honours in English, Italian and law.

His other languages include Chinese and Korean. Dr Spence lectured in law at the University and worked for the Australian Copyright Council prior to departing from Australia and establishing himself at the University of Oxford in order to undertake doctoral studies.

At Oxford, Dr Spence obtained a Doctor of Philosophy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology. He became a Fellow of St Catherine’s College at Oxford, and during his 20 years at the college, he headed Oxford’s law faculty and social sciences division, one of the four divisions that make up the University of Oxford.

Dr Spence is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of intellectual property theory. His work includes articles and books on both intellectual property law and the law of obligations, with a critical focus on suggested ethical and economic justifications of the existing regimes.

John Shields

Deputy Dean (Education) of the University of Sydney Business School 

John Shields is Deputy Dean (Education) of the University of Sydney Business School and Professor of Human Resource Management and Organisational Studies in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies. John holds a PhD in Economic History from the University of Sydney (1990). His principal areas of research and teaching include performance management, reward management, executive remuneration and corporate governance, and business and labour history. He is currently engaged in national and international collaborative research projects in the fields of strategic reward configuration, predictors of employee pay preferences, the impact of the director human and social capital on firm financial performance, and the relationship between employee emotional intelligence, cultural value orientation and workplace wellbeing.

Simon Tormey

Head of the University of Sydney School of Social and Political Sciences 

Prior to his appointment at Sydney in 2009, he was Professor and Head of the School of Politics and International Relations and founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) at the University of Nottingham UK. He was educated at the University of Wales, Swansea receiving his doctorate in 1991.

Simon has wide interests across politics, critical theory, philosophy and history. He is the author of numerous books and articles which have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Turkish, Polish, Spanish, Italian, French, Hungarian and German. His current research concerns the causes and consequences of the contemporary crisis of representative politics.

Closing Ceremony

Dr Vivek Murphy

Former Surgeon General of the United States 

Dr. Vivek H. Murthy served as the 19 th Surgeon General of the United States from 2014 to 2017. As the Vice Admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, he commanded a uniformed service of 6,600 public health officers globally. During his tenure, Dr. Murthy launched the TurnTheTide campaign, catalyzing a movement among health professionals to address the nation’s opioid crisis. He also issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, calling for expanded access to prevention and treatment and for recognizing addiction as a chronic illness, not a character flaw. An internal medicine physician and entrepreneur, Dr. Murthy has co-founded a number of organizations: VISIONS, an HIV/AIDS education program in India; Swasthya, a community health partnership in rural India training women as health providers and educators; software company TrialNetworks; and Doctors for America. Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, his MD at Yale School of Medicine, and his MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Ong Keng Yong

Former Secretary-General of ASEAN; Executive Deputy Chairman of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University 

Ambassador ONG Keng Yong is Executive Deputy Chairman of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Concurrently, he is Ambassador-at- Large at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, non-resident High Commissioner to Pakistan and non-resident Ambassador to Iran. Mr Ong also serves as Chairman of the Singapore International Foundation (SIF).

Mr Ong was High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia from 2011 to 2014. He served as Secretary-General of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), based in Jakarta, Indonesia from January 2003 to January 2008.

Mr Ong started his diplomatic career in 1979 and was posted to the Singapore Embassies in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and the United States of America. He was Singapore’s High Commissioner to India and concurrently Ambassador to Nepal from 1996 to 1998. From September 1998 to December 2002, he was Press Secretary to the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Goh Chok Tong. At the same time, Mr Ong held senior appointments in the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, and the People’s Association in Singapore. From 2008 to 2011, he served as Director of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

Mr Ong graduated from the then University of Singapore with a LLB (Hons) and the Georgetown University (Washington DC, USA) with a MA in Arab Studies.

Conference Track Speakers

Business and the World Economy


Karthik Ramanna

Professor of Business and Public Policy and Director of the Master of Public Policy Programme at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government

Mr. Ramanna joined Oxford in September 2016 after nearly a decade on the faculty of Harvard Business School, where he also held the Henry B. Arthur Fellowship in ethics and the Marvin Bower Fellowship. Professor Ramanna received his Ph.D. from MIT. At Oxford, he is a fellow of St. John’s College. As Director of the Master of Public Policy Programme, which aspires to be the world’s preeminent programme for public-leadership development, Mr. Ramanna is responsible for its strategy and operation.

Professor Ramanna’s scholarship explores the role of business leaders in shaping the basic rules that govern market societies. His 2015 book Political Standards (University of Chicago Press) studies the political and economic forces that have shaped financial-reporting standards over the previous 30 years. He argues that accounting rulemaking is an allegory for the “thin political markets” where businesses shape – and sometimes subvert – the essential technical edifices of our economy.

Professor Ramanna has authored over a dozen original research articles in leading professional outlets such as the Journal of Accounting & Economics and the Harvard Business Review. His scholarship has won awards from numerous bodies such as the American Accounting Association. He is also a prolific author of case studies, having written more than thirty cases over the past decade. In 2017, he was awarded the international Case Centre’s Outstanding Case-Writer prize, dubbed by the Financial Times as “the business school Oscars.” He has helped establish and now leads a case-writing institute at Oxford’s Blavatnik School. The institute aims to bring this powerful participant-centred pedagogy to public-leadership education.

Jack Zhang

Co-founder and CEO of Airwallex

Jack Zhang is co-founder and CEO of Airwallex, a multinational cross-border payments platform. The company has raised US $16 million in funds from investors including Tencent, Sequoia Capital China and Mastercard.

Prior to founding Airwallex, Jack was a foreign exchange solution designer at NAB and ANZ, where he was responsible for their respective digital forex trading platforms. A Melbourne University graduate, he has over a decade of experience in foreign exchange trading and investment banking across London, Melbourne and Hong Kong.

Stay tuned for updates on the remaining speakers.


Vinnie Lauria

Founding Partner at Golden Gate Ventures

Vinnie is entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He is a founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early-stage VC firm in Southeast Asia with over 30 investments to date. He is a Kauffman Fellow, and a guest lecturer at the National University of Singapore. He was rated by the Founder Institute as highest startup mentor in Asia from a pool of 2,500 mentors.

Prior to setting up Golden Gate Ventures, Vinnie built two startups in Silicon Valley: Meetro, a location-based chat service which was dissolved with many lessons learned in 2007; and Lefora, a forum hosting platform which grew to over 100,000 communities and was acquired by CrowdGather in 2010. He founded the Silicon Valley NewTech meetup, featuring hundreds of startups to a monthly audience with more than 10,000 members.

Earlier in his career, Vinnie spent four years within IBM, helping to shape how IBM was approaching social software for the enterprise. Vinnie is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Engineering.

Vinnie is passionate about building startup ecosystems. He joined his first startup while still in high school. His latest activities can be followed here: @vlauria

Nick Molnar

Co-founder and CEO of Afterpay Holdings Ltd

Nick Molnar is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in online retail. Nick is co-founder and CEO of Afterpay Holdings Ltd, a leading Australian retail payments innovator and one of Australia’s fastest growing fintech companies. Afterpay facilitates commerce between retail merchants and their end-customers – offering a ‘buy now, take now, pay later’ service that does not require end-customers to enter into a traditional loan or pay any upfront fees or interest to Afterpay. Afterpay currently has over 700,000 customers and over 5,000 retail merchants. Afterpay listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in May 2016.

Prior to establishing Afterpay, Nick launched the leading American online jeweller,, into Australia under the local brand Given Nick’s family has been in the Australian jewellery industry for the past 30 years, he was able to combine specialised local product knowledge with technical online marketing expertise to exploit on the gap in the market. Nick successfully grew Ice in Australia to become the largest online-only jewellery and watch retailer.

Nick has worked as an Investment Analyst at venture capital fund M. H. Carnegie & Co., where he was primarily responsible for growth stage investments.

Jamie Twiss

Managing Director, Americas for First State Investments

James Twiss is the Managing Director, Americas for First State Investments (‘FSI’). In his role, James is responsible for the establishment of a US presence and is currently focused on building the business. This includes developing infrastructure, including regulatory approvals, and building relationships with current / potential clients and asset consultants.

He is a member of the Colonial First State Global Asset Management Executive Committee.

Prior to joining FSI in July 2011, James was the General Manager, Cross-Business Unit projects, Group Strategic Development at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. In this role, James was responsible for leading a team that manages high-profile strategic projects for the Group from inception to the implementation stage.

Prior to this, James worked at McKinsey & Company, where he spent several years developing and implementing market entry strategies.

James holds an AB from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford and is proficient in Russian.

Ian Pollari

Global co-leader, KPMG Fintech practice

Ian Pollari is a partner at KPMG and is currently the Global Co-Lead for KPMG’s Fintech practice.  He is also the Head of KPMG’s Banking Sector in Australia and on the Board of Stone & Chalk.

Ian has over 16 years’ experience servicing clients in the financial services industry and brings knowledge and insights into the experiences of local and international banks, payment providers and fintech start-ups in areas such as strategy development, market entry and digital innovation.  He is currently working with a number of financial institutions, in Australia and globally, to enhance their understanding of the fintech landscape and helping them develop their fintech and innovation strategies and operating models. He has also advised Government and regulatory agencies in relation to fintech and digital developments.

Prior to joining KPMG, Ian worked at Telstra Corporation in Strategy for Business & Government.

Sam Nickless

Partner and COO at Gilbert + Tobin

Sam is a Partner and the Chief Operating Officer at Gilbert + Tobin. He is responsible for the firm’s operational functions and plays a leadership role in the development and implementation of the firm’s overall strategy. With a focus on technology and innovation, Sam drives the firm to challenge the status quo, particularly in relation to the delivery of legal services.

Sam represents the firm on the board of LegalVision, a technology-based legal start-up which is partly owned by Gilbert + Tobin.

Prior to joining Gilbert + Tobin in 2015, Sam worked in innovation and strategy roles for corporates in mature industries facing disruption. He was Head of Property Innovations at GPT Group, steering its response to the disruptive threats to its retail and office portfolios. Sam led GPT’s investment in on-demand workspace platform LiquidSpace and represented GPT on its Board.

Sam has also worked as an executive at Aristocrat Leisure, National Australia Bank and as a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he served a range of clients in financial services, retail, agribusiness and telecommunications, with a focus on strategy and organisation. Sam has Economics and Law degrees from the University of Adelaide, and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

Entrepreneurship and Technology

Bootstrapping the 3rd Wave: Emerging Technologies and The Evolution of Industry

Tianyi (Joe) Zhu (朱天怡)

Tianyi Joe is an international entrepreneur and angel investor, 2017 AABDC 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business award recipient, and co-founder/partner for the SmartHealth Activator, a biotech accelerator and venture firm in North Chicago. Recently, SmartHealth announced a partnership with Rosalind Franklin University to build a $50 million biotech research and innovation park. Lake County Partners estimates the first phase of the project will create 498 jobs and have an annual economic impact of $117 million.

Tianyi Joe is also a co-founder of West Suburban Angels, and is the founder and chairman of the Zhu Holdings Group Company which just recently opened Cooper China, the China operations of the famous Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas. Cooper China just had its grand opening of a 250,000 square foot health clinic in Nanjing, China.

Tianyi is a proverbial serial entrepreneur getting his start at the age of 19, when he founded Life&Qi, an eastern medicine supplier that operated through partnerships with companies in China. He’s since then founded many others, and has recorded exits in both his personal ventures as well as investments.

Tianyi was recognized by Hennessy’s with their “Never Stop, Never Settle” entrepreneurship award, and received the honor of Mandarin Leader for Entrepreneurship in 2015. In his personal life, Tianyi is a professional boxer, having competed in the 2008 Chinese Olympic Trials and trained with the Chinese National Team, and was a IKF Amateur Thai Boxing World Champion.

Nima Baiati

Investment Banker turned Technology Product Leader, Mr. Baiati serves as the Senior Director of Product Management and Corporate Development at Absolute Software. In this regard, he works as the GM of Absolute’s Persistence security portfolio which encompasses firmware persistence (embedded in over 1BN devices through HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.), application persistence and IoT security.  Mr. Baiati is also responsible for developing and driving the technology ecosystem, corporate development (e.g. M&A) and global partnerships at Absolute Software.

Prior to Absolute, he was the head of global go-to-market strategy at Symantec, where he also worked with the team responsible for turning Symantec into a pure-play cybersecurity company by spinning-off the information management business to The Carlyle Group.

A passionate entrepreneur, Mr. Baiati  has worked in several start-ups in technology in business development and marketing roles, ultimately mastering expansion and the vision of scalability across companies.  Mr. Baiati began his career in banking at Morgan Stanley.

Mr. Baiati earned his undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco and received his M.B.A. from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.  He was also a Fellow of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at Cornell University and a recipient of the 2017 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business Award.  

He resides in San Francisco with his wife and three young children.

Creel Price

From scaling some of the highest mountains in the world, to working with Richard Branson on the future of philanthropy, exiting his business for over $100m and captaining Australia in the World Elephant Polo Championships, Creel Price is the high-octane adventurer at the forefront of what he now calls The Entreprenaissance.

Creel had launched eight businesses before he left school and a further two at university. At age 25 he then co-founded Blueprint Management Group with just $5000 in capital which he grew to 1,000 staff and sold a decade later for $109 million.

Since then, Creel has dedicated his time to fostering entrepreneurship on a global scale through his startup generator Investible and founding the Club Kidpreneur Foundation, a not-for-profit social enterprise developing entrepreneurial skills in primary-aged children. Since 2011 Creel has trained South African entrepreneurs at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship using his Decisionship methodology and was Founding Director of Global Ethics Australia which has funded $5 million+ worth of Play Pumps in Africa from sales of One Water worldwide. He is also the author of best selling business book The One Thing to Win at the Game of Business.

Creel’s work has stretched from the Papua New Guinea highlands to the Melbourne prison system to tomato farming cooperatives in Zimbabwe and the UN’s Global Accelerator in New York. It is his dedication to using the power of business for good that lead Sir Richard Branson to describe Creel as “the living, breathing definition of an entrepreneur” in his book Screw Business as Usual.

(Potential) Annie Luu

(To be updated – Annie and Creel both work at Investible, so one of them will come – awaiting final confirmation as to who)

Start-Ups in an age of saturation – Ideation to Tteration, Founding to Funding

Tianyi (Joe) Zhu (朱天怡)

Tianyi Joe is an international entrepreneur and angel investor, 2017 AABDC 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business award recipient, and co-founder/partner for the SmartHealth Activator, a biotech accelerator and venture firm in North Chicago. Recently, SmartHealth announced a partnership with Rosalind Franklin University to build a $50 million biotech research and innovation park. Lake County Partners estimates the first phase of the project will create 498 jobs and have an annual economic impact of $117 million.

Tianyi Joe is also a co-founder of West Suburban Angels, and is the founder and chairman of the Zhu Holdings Group Company which just recently opened Cooper China, the China operations of the famous Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas. Cooper China just had its grand opening of a 250,000 square foot health clinic in Nanjing, China.

Tianyi is a proverbial serial entrepreneur getting his start at the age of 19, when he founded Life&Qi, an eastern medicine supplier that operated through partnerships with companies in China. He’s since then founded many others, and has recorded exits in both his personal ventures as well as investments.

Tianyi was recognized by Hennessy’s with their “Never Stop, Never Settle” entrepreneurship award, and received the honor of Mandarin Leader for Entrepreneurship in 2015. In his personal life, Tianyi is a professional boxer, having competed in the 2008 Chinese Olympic Trials and trained with the Chinese National Team, and was a IKF Amateur Thai Boxing World Champion.

Lu Zhang

Lu Zhang is the Founding and Managing Partner of Fusion Fund(A.K.A. NewGen Capital).  Prior to starting Fusion Fund, she was a Venture Partner at Fenox Venture Capital. She participated in over 20 investments and worked in portfolio M&A.

Lu was also the Founder and CEO of Acetone Inc. (acquired 2012), a start-up focused on non-invasive technology for the early diagnosis of Type II diabetes. She has also worked as a consultant at the United Nations Industrial Development Agency.

Lu received her M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University and holds several patents. She is an advisor and mentor to several innovation programs and incubators in Silicon Valley.

Lu has won numerous awards and is frequently invited to speak at events. She was recently awarded the Forbes 30 under 30 & Featured as the Honoree of VC category.

(Either Milan Gandhi or Josephine Macmillan)The Legal Forecast Speaker

To be updated upon confirmation of which speaker

James Alexander

Founder of INCUBATE

James Alexander is the Founder and Program Manager at INCUBATE, Australia’s multi-award winning and largest student startup startup accelerator program. Based on-campus and supported by the University of Sydney and the University of Sydney Union INCUBATE has funded and graduated 70 startups launched by students, researchers and alumni who have gone on to raise over $10 million in seed funding, create over 120 jobs and have a combined valuation of over $50 million and growing fast.

Environment and Sustainability

Nicholas Puczkowskyj

Economic Growth and Environmental Management

Albert Lai

Hong Kong People’s Council for Sustainable Development, Founding Chairman; CEO, Carbon Care Asia

Ir. Lai is the Chief Executive Officer of Carbon Care Asia. He was the Chairman of the Conservancy Association and the founding chairman of the Professional Commons, and a member of the Commission on Strategic Development of the HKSAR Government. He has served for many years as a member of the Judging Panel for ACCA Sustainability Report Award, and led numerous local initiatives in the field of CSR and sustainability, including the leadership of the Hong Kong NGO delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002, and the United Nations Climate Change Conferences in Bali (2007), Copenhagen (2009) and Paris most recently (2015).

Siddharth Pathak

Head of Political Advocacy, Climate Action Network

Siddharth Pathak has been working with CAN since July 2013. He has followed the climate negotiations since 2009 and worked within the policy units of organizations like Greenpeace and British High Commission. This has enabled him to understand how government and civil society can help each other in responding to climate change.

He has worked and campaigned on various critical issues, national as well as internationally around climate policy and renewable energy. He has been strongly involved with strategy development and policy advocacy. He has worked with grassroots organizations and understands different perspectives of people especially the synergy between macro and micro level of governance. He regularly contributes to major dailies and publications on climate negotiations and low carbon development pathways.

Siddharth enjoys travelling to quiet and peaceful nature reserves as well as traverse through the mighty Himalayas. He is an amateur birder and photographer when not embroiled in the climate negotiations. Siddharth has a master’s degree in political science focusing on the political economy of decision-making.

Craig Hart

Associate Professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources at People’s University of China

Craig Hart is the ENN Associate Professor at the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Peoples University of China, and an adjunct professor at the Temple-Tsinghua Master of Laws Program in Beijing, and at the Johns Hopkins University’s Energy Policy and Climate program. Mr. Hart’s research concentrates on the intersection of technology policy and competitiveness, focusing on carbon management in Asia.

He teaches courses on greenhouse gas management, energy policy, and legal compliance. Mr. Hart’s research also includes corporate strategy in the context of legal compliance issues and reputational risk management, especially in the environmental context. Mr. Hart recently co-authored Corporate Strategy and Competitive Advantage in China’s War on Pollution: Pursuing the New Chinese Consumer, China Carbon Forum, 2015.

In addition to his academic research, Dr. Hart is an attorney practicing in the fields of project finance, carbon management and capital markets. He has representing project developers, companies, lenders, and investors focusing on energy infrastructure, clean energy and high-technology companies. His practice includes having practiced with the international law firms White & Case and O’Melveny & Myers. He served as a law clerk to Judge Lisa Hill Fenning in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California and to Judge Richard W. Goldberg in the U.S. Court of International Trade. He holds a J.D. and B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. from New York University, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Constant van Aerschot

Executive Director, Business Council for Sustainable Development Singapore

Constant van Aerschot set up and leads the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Singapore. This business association of forward-thinking companies, focuses on advocacy and shared actions to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment in Southeast Asia.

Constant brings a wealth of business consulting, strategy and sustainability experience. He is also a construction-sector expert having spent more than 10 years designing buildings with the renowned UK-based consultancy Arup. He has co-authored many publications on energy efficiency in buildings. Currently, he provides strategic and operational advice to companies on how to implement sustainability methodologies, tools and business processes for creating competitive advantage and mitigating risks.

Constant is also a guest faculty at INSEAD and Senior Counsellor at Vriens & Partners. Former VP Sustainable Development & Public Affairs at LafargeHolcim, he co-defined the company’s sustainability programme “Ambition 2020”, monitored regulations and shaped the Group’s R&D direction. While at Alcatel-Lucent, Constant held corporate strategy and business development responsibilities.

He is an avid badminton player, and former car racing driver. Constant holds a Masters in Civil Engineering from the ETHZ (Switzerland), an MBA from Cranfield University (UK) and a Diploma in Directorship from SMU (Singapore).

Renewable and Alternative Energy

Dawn Chui

Chief Officer – Walk21 Hong Kong

Tetsunari Iida

Chairperson & Founder, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies

As one of the top opinion leaders in the field of sustainable energy policy, he is well-known in Japan and internationally through many academic publications and through mass media as an independent and non-profit intellectual.

Especially, after 3.11 in 2011 Fukushima disaster, he played a key role of “energy shift” in Japan from nuclear & fossil to renewable based sustainable energy society. Having long been working as a “social innovator”, he has achieved many movements and results such as (1) Originally proposing the idea of “introducing green power scheme in Japan”, and helping develop Japan’s first green power certificate, (2) Developing the financing scheme of Japan’s first “community wind ownership,” and now underway developing it into a nationwide project, (3) Organizing “the Supra-coalition of Member of Parliaments (MPs) for renewable promotion”, consisting of 1/3 of total MPs, resulting in new legislation of the “Renewable Promotion Law.”
He is very much familiar with Nordic energy & environmental policy, and well-known through the book of “Energy Democracy in Nordic Countries” and creative networking activities.

Shirish Garud

Director, Energy-Environment-Technology Dept, The Energy & Resources Institute

Mr Shirish Garud, Director, EETD (Energy-Environment Technology Development) Division TERI, has more than two decades of experience in the renewable energy sector, and is a well-known specialist in renewable energy technologies, energy planning and renewable energy policy studies.

He has rich experience in solar and wind resource assessment, technology development, and deployment. Some of his major assignments include: development of vacuum tube collectors, development of solar parabolic trough collectors, design of solar power plants, design and implementation of one of the world’s largest solar water heating system of 120m3 day capacity for the fertilizer industry. He has also worked on solar PV technologies and island electrification projects using solar PV technology. He was part of the UNEP funded multi country project SWERA (Solar and Wind Resource Assessment), which mapped solar and wind resources for countries in Asia and Africa.

He led a multi-activity flagship project on ‘Integrated Energy Management Master Plan for Bhutan,’ which was a cornerstone project for the Government of Bhutan. The project covered energy data collection, assessment, and development of web based system for energy data collection, analysis, and publishing. He was also co-editor of The Royal Government of Bhutan’s first official Energy Data Directory 2005 and Integrated Energy Management Master Plan for Bhutan. He is an acknowledged and certified trainer and expert on RETScreen software, developed for renewable energy project feasibility studies. He has also contributed towards major policy initiatives in India including the development of REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) mechanism.

He headed the South East Asia Secretariat of REEEP (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, UK.) for two years during which REEEP funded various projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency. He has published research papers, and articles in leading publications. He was part of the team which developed curriculum for a long distance course on Renewable Energy Technologies for TERI University jointly with Open University of UK. He is a mechanical engineer with (Energy Systems Engineering) from IIT Bombay.

Charlie Hargroves

Sustainable Development Fellow, University of Adelaide

Dr Charlie Hargroves is a world renowned sustainable development author, researcher and consultant – working in Colorado with Hunter Lovins in 2004/05. After graduating from the University of Adelaide in 2000, and working as a practicing civil/structural design engineer, Charlie worked with his team on 5 books (selling over 85,000 copies in 6 languages) and has developed 2 comprehensive online education programs, 16 book chapters, 11 peer reviewed journal papers, 27 conference papers, and delivered over 50 keynote presentations and guest lectures around the world. The first book won the Australian Banksia Award for Environmental Leadership, Education and Training in 2005, and the two released in 2010 were ranked among the ‘Top 40 Sustainability Books’ in the world that year by the Cambridge Sustainability Leaders Program. 

Charlie works on a number of national and international projects focused on understanding how to achieve greater sustainability outcomes, in particular those related to the low carbon transition. Charlie is a full member of the Club of Rome, an expert advisor to the United Nations Centre for Regional Development, and a member of the Decoupling Working Group of the UN International Resource Panel. Charlie has a PhD in Carbon Structural Adjustment, is a sustainable development fellow at the University of Adelaide, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, working with Professor Peter Newman. 

Resource Allocation: Access and Protection

Prof. Lam Chiu Ying

Former Director, Hong Kong Observatory

Suzanty Sitorus

Director, Climate Policy Initiative, Indonesia

Dr. Suzanty Sitorus directs CPI’s Indonesia program, leading analysis and advising government, business, and civil society leaders on land use, energy and climate finance. Suzanty joined CPI in 2016 with nearly two decades of experience in climate finance, land use, and natural resources management. She is the Chair of the Executive Board of the Indonesia Biodiversity Foundation (KEHATI), and the founder and Secretary of the Executive Board of the Association of Philanthropy Indonesia (PFI).

From 2009 to 2015, Suzanty worked in the National Council on Climate Change, a government body coordinating climate change policy and strategy, and served as Indonesia’s lead negotiator on climate finance in the UNFCCC processes. From 2014-2016 she served as a member of the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance, and from 2012-2014 she was an adviser to the Green Climate Fund Board member from Indonesia. 

As an expert on climate finance and land use, and in her capacity as a negotiator, Suzanty regularly moderates and speaks at high-profile events. She co-facilitated UNFCCC negotiation sessions on issues related to finance, including the Adaptation Fund. She was Co-Chair of the group discussions on issues related to climate finance at meetings of the Climate Change Expert Group (CCXG) Global Forum from 2012-2014.

Ayan Banerjee

CEO, Fair Trade International Asia & Pacific

Ayan serves as the Chief Executive of the Network of Asia and Pacific Producers, the official member, stakeholder and representative of producers from the Asian & Pacific region at Fairtrade International.
According to Ayan, working with 200+ Small Producer Organizations (SPOs), Hired-Labor and Contract Production set-ups across the agro-climatic diversity of Asia and Pacific region has been a source of incredible energy. As a consultant, a board member or researcher, Ayan has enjoyed working in the overlap of policy, business and development through all-encompassing strategic advisory roles. Fairtrade NAPP squarely falls in this area of interest.

Though Ayan enjoys a diverse portfolio of endeavors, his core areas of interest are leadership and organization development. In an earlier avatar, as an angel investor and serial social entrepreneur with a particular interest in high (social) impact investments he founded seven social enterprise initiatives to address some of the ingrained socio-economic problems and leadership and change management concerns to drive inclusive growth in India, with 2 successful sell-outs. His mainstream experience is across ICT, management consulting and investment banking. Transitioning from working on multi-million dollar investments in the private equity space, in recent times the conscious choice has been to work in the “development sector” with increasingly areas of specialization in agribusiness and microfinance.

He immensely appreciates and inspires breakthrough ideation and the power of innovative incubations to social change. In his rare spare time, he is constantly striving to build radical growth enterprises with a potential for disruptive innovation. Ayan also brings in rich scholastic and analytic experience. Inter Alia, has a doctorate (Thesis: “Impact Investments”), is an alumnus of Columbia Business School and The London School of Economics.

Helena Molin Valdes

Head of the Secretariat, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, United Nations Environment Program

An experienced leader within the UN system, Helena is since 2013 heading up the Secretariat for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), hosted by the United Nations Environment Program in Paris. She is a former senior executive with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and a long-time proponent of sustainable development, climate change mitigation and adaption, and disaster risk reduction.

She was instrumental in making the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) an important force in global disaster risk management and launched the global Resilient Cities campaign in 2012. She headed up a regional Office in Costa Rica for Latin America and the Caribbean for almost a decade, and worked with the Pan-American Health Organization to build safer hospitals. As Deputy Director of UNISDR, based in Geneva, she worked in both Africa and Asia.

Helena has co-authored many papers, handbooks, global reviews and reports on local development, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and resilience. She worked early in her professional life on community led local development projects and housing, improved bricks production from traditional kilns in Central America, and improved cook-stoves to reduce indoor air pollution and increase energy efficiency through a Swedish NGO in collaboration with research centres. She holds a Master degree in architecture with thesis on development planning and implementation from Lund University, Sweden.

Security and Diplomacy

Hard Power

Dr. Carl Ungerer

Head of the Leadership, Crisis and Conflict Management Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy 

Dr Carl Ungerer is the Head of the Leadership, Crisis and Conflict Management Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. He has over 20 years of experience as both a practitioner and academic in international security affairs.

He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Queensland, an MA in Asian Studies from Griffith University and post-graduate diplomas in both education and foreign affairs and trade.

Between 2012-13, he was the Senior Adviser to the Australian Foreign Minister. His previous appointments include: Director of the National Security Program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute; senior Strategic Analyst at Australia’s peak intelligence assessment agency, the Office of National Assessments; and a career diplomat with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Carl has published widely on foreign policy and national security issues, including edited books on The Politics of Nuclear Non-Proliferation (2001) and Australian Foreign Policy in the Age of Terror (2008). His academic research focuses on the intersection of foreign policy, national security and transnational threats. He has particular expertise on Asian security developments and has worked extensively across the region.

Bob Carr

Robert John Carr is a former politician from Australia. A member of the Labor Party, he served in the government of Australia as Minister for Foreign Affairs from March 2012 to September 2013, while also serving in the Australian Senate as a Senator for New South Wales.

Luke Nottage

Dr Luke Nottage is Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law at the University of Sydney Law School, specialising in arbitration, contract law, consumer product safety law and corporate governance, with a particular interest in Japan and the Asia-Pacific. He is founding Co-Director of the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL) and Associate Director of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney. He is also Managing Director of Japanese Law Links Pty Ltd.

Frances Kitt

Frances Kitt is a Research Associate in the International Security and East Asia Programs at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

Frances received her Master of Philosophy in 2016 from the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, where her research focused on China and the Koreas. She has full professional working competency in Mandarin, having studied Chinese language and politics as an undergraduate as well as at Beijing Normal University and National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. She learnt Korean soon after at Seoul National University and Cambridge. Previous to the Lowy Institute, Frances worked in North Korea on cultural affairs and in London at Asia House. Her core research interests include domestic politics, public opinion and social media in Northeast and Southeast Asia. She has recently started learning Japanese.

Vivienne Bath

Vivienne’s teaching and research interests are in International Business Law and Chinese law (particularly Chinese investment and commercial law). She has first class honours in Chinese and in Law from the Australian National University, and a Master of Laws from Harvard University. She is admitted to practice in Australia, New York, England and Wales and Hong Kong and, prior to joining the University of Sydney Law School, was a partner of international law firm Coudert Brothers.

Soft Power

James Palmer

James Palmer is the Asia editor at Foreign Policy, which he joined in the winter of 2016. He was born in Manchester, U.K., and educated at Cambridge, before moving to Korea in 2002 and then China in 2003. He won the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing in 2003, for his work on South Korea. He has written two books — The Bloody White Baron and Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes — and is working on a third.

Victor Mallet

Victor Mallet is a journalist, commentator and author with three decades of experience in Europe, Asia,the Middle East and Africa. He is currently Asia news editor for the Financial Times. Previously he was bureau chief in Madrid and Asia editor in Hong Kong. From there, he managed the FT’s coverage of the Asia-Pacific and wrote editorials, columns and features on security, politics,economics and business.

He twice won the Society of Publishers in Asia award for opinion writing. InIndia, he was awarded the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism as a foreign correspondent for a 2012 feature about the rise of Narendra Modi.

His highly praised book on the south-east Asian industrial revolution and the 1997-98 Asian financialcrisis, The Trouble with Tigers (HarperCollins), was first published in 1999. He is now writing a book on the Ganges.

James Cotton

James Cotton (PhD, London School of Economics) is Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. Having studied in London, Beijing and Princeton, he has held many academic positions. These include visiting professor in international relations at the London School of Economics (2001), Australian Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC (2009), and Harold White Fellow at the National Library of Australia (2013).

Between 1997 and 2003 James Cotton was a foundation member of the Foreign Minister’s Advisory Council convened by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (London) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

James Cotton has published extensively on Australian foreign policy, regional international relations and Asian politics.His most recent books are (edited with John Ravenhill), Middle Power Dreaming: Australia in World Affairs 2006-2010 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press/AIIA, 2012); (edited with David Lee), Australia and the United Nations (Canberra: Dept. Foreign Affairs and Trade/Longueville Media, 2012); The Australian School of International Relations (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). A regular visitor to the Koreas for 30 years, James Cotton has published many items on Korean politics and inter-Korean relations.

Humanitarian Affairs

Balancing Governance and Human Rights: Social Welfare, Progress and Development (8/19, 1-3PM)

Jenik Radon

Adjunct Professor at the School of Public and International Affairs, Columbia University

Jenik Radon is Adjunct Professor at the School of Public and International Affairs, Columbia University, where he teaches in the area of sustainable natural resource development with a focus on risk and strategic management, sovereignty and human rights, especially environment, minority rights (including social license) and anti-corruption. He is the founder and director of the Eesti and Eurasian Public Service Fellowship, which has provided students from Columbia, Stanford Law School and other institutions the opportunity to intern with government officials and civil society in emerging nations across the global, including Bhutan, Cambodia, Estonia, Georgia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania and Uganda. Radon also participated in the constitutional peace process of Nepal and served as a drafter of the interim (2006) peace constitution, which, among other things, granted citizenship to millions of stateless people in the Terai region. In the early 1980s, Radon founded Radon Law Offices, a boutique international law firm representing international companies in corporate matters and, with respect of the extractive industry (energy and mining), exclusively representing foreign governments and public sector entities. In 1980, Radon co-founded the Afghanistan Relief Committee that sought freedom for Afghanistan and supported refugees displaced during the Afghan-Soviet war. Furthermore, Radon served as Georgia’s key foreign advisor and negotiator of the multi-billion dollar and multi-nation oil and gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Georgia to Turkey (the BTC), featured in the James Bond movie, The World is Not Enough. Radon obtained his B.A. from Columbia University, M.C.P. from the University of California, Berkeley, and J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Steve Killelea

Founder & Executive Chairman of Integrated Research Ltd; The Charitable Foundation; Institute for Economics and Peace

Steve Killelea is an accomplished entrepreneur in high technology business development and at the forefront of philanthropic activities focused on sustainable development and peace. After successfully building two international software companies, Steve decided to dedicate most of his time and fortune to sustainable development and peace. Steve founded Integrated Research Ltd (IR), an Australian publicly-listed company with a 25-year heritage of providing performance management and payments software for business-critical computing and Unified Communications environments. Through Steve’s direction as CEO and now as Chairman, IR has built an impressive, world-class customer base to make it one of Australia’s leading software companies. Steve was recognized as AIIA Australian Exporter of the Year in 1998 and 2003, amongst numerous other business awards. Steve has always had a strong passion for sustainable development, and in 2000 established The Charitable Foundation (TCF), which specialises in working with the poorest communities of the world. TCF is one of the largest private overseas aid organizations in Australia. It aims to provide life-changing interventions reaching as many people as possible with special emphasis on targeting the poorest of the poor. TCF is active in East and Central Africa and parts of Asia and has substantially impacted the lives of over 2.3 million people. In 2007 Steve founded the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think tank dedicated to building a greater understanding of the interconnection between business, peace and economics with particular emphasis on the economic benefits of peace. IEP’s ground-breaking research includes the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading measure of peacefulness. Steve’s founding of IEP was recognized as one of the 50 most impactful philanthropic gifts in Australia’s history. Steve currently serves on a number of influential Company Boards, Advisory Boards and President Councils. In 2010 he was honoured as Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the global peace movement and the provision of humanitarian aid to the developing world. In 2013 Steve was nominated one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Armed Violence Reduction” by the UK group Action on Armed Violence.

Ramit Singh

Founder of The RASICH Group

Ramit Singh began his career spending 7 years as an independent pro bono activist working towards social causes, especially the upliftment of farmers. In the process, he has dealt with the legislature, executive and the judiciary at the grass-root as well as the national level, helping bring about tangible change in the lives of farmers in one of the country’s agrarian belts. He then returned to The RASICH Group, which he founded in 2007, and for the last 5 years has worked closely with law firms in India in areas including strategic planning, practice management, productivity enhancement, financial reviews and organization structuring. Ramit is also an advisor to Football Solutions, India’s premier football management company, which he helped co-found. FS aims to increase football penetration in the country, promote the sport from the ground-up, and help players from of every stratum get increased exposure and opportunity. He has published two books till date, the most recent one on management principles for the legal industry, which features contributions from some of the top legal management gurus from across the world. India’s North-East is a hub of football, and his work in the region helped fuel his interest in working for the development of its extremely community-driven people. He thus cofounded the 8one Foundation, which refers to the 8 states in the North-East, which are diverse in culture but similar in character. The Foundation aims to affect pragmatic sustainable development, with social development taking priority over other interpretations of the term development.

Annie Herro

Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at the University of NSW (UNSW) Australia

Annie Herro is a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at the University of NSW (UNSW) Australia. Her current research looks at the role of transnational activist networks in advancing the campaign to establish a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. Annie has previously published on issues relating to the United Nations, peacekeeping, the responsibility to protect and the protection of civilians in conflict. Her first book UN Emergency Peace Service and the Responsibility to Protect (2015) is published by Routledge and her work has appeared in journals such as International Peacekeeping and the International Journal of Human Rights. She received her PhD from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney. She has been a visiting scholar at the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Cornell University and, most recently, at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University.

Thy Try

Executive Director/Editor-in-Chief of Open Development Cambodia (ODC)

Mr. Thy Try is Executive Director/Editor-in-Chief of Open Development Cambodia (ODC). He joined ODC as an advisory board member in 2011 and has progressed to become chairman of the board. As executive director/editor-in-chief, he plays important roles in ODC as it increases public access to current and historical information about Cambodia’s development trends in an online ‘open data’ platform, compiling freely-available data from a wide range of public sources. The site strengthens public knowledge and analysis of development issues to enable constructive dialogue between public, private, civil society, and international sectors in support of good governance. Before working with ODC, he worked for the National Network on Extractive Industry Social and Environmental Impact (EISEI) as coordinator at Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) for four years. In his role, Try worked with indigenous communities, community base organizations and national NGOs to build their capacity to monitor issues regarding natural resource management, especially around databases for the mining, oil and gas sectors in Cambodia. He has experience working with companies and government ministries in the extractive industries sector, as well as leadership and management at board of director level. He had two years’ experience working for the human right organization Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) as human rights investigator and another two years’ experience working with a private company in social and commercial research, Indochina Research Limited (IRL). He holds multiple education and training-related certificates.

Nationality, Statelessness, Asylum and Refugees (8/21, 4-6PM)

Liana Downey

Executive Director of Liana Downey & Associates

Liana Downey is an internationally strategic advisor, author and speaker dedicated to creating social change. Liana is the author of “Mission Control: How Nonprofits and Governments Can Focus, Achieve More and Change the World” (Bibliomotion, 2016). As Executive Director of Liana Downey & Associates, Liana leads a high performing global team that helps leaders increase focus and change lives. Clients include social enterprises, non profits and federal, state and city governments, such as Speak up Africa, Community Solutions, the Nature Conservancy and the NYC Education Department. Liana and her work has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Huffington Post and Crain’s Business Magazine. Liana is the host of the Mission Control podcast, and founder of the Social Sector Leadership Forum, based in NYC. Previously, Liana led the social sector practices for McKinsey & Company Australia and was an special advisor to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Liana holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business (Arjay Miller Scholar), taught leadership at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and served on the National Board of Room to Grow, an innovative nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of families living with poverty.

Lilianne Fan

International Director and Co-Founder of Geutanyoë Foundation

Lilianne Fan is International Director and Co-Founder of Geutanyoë Foundation, a regional humanitarian organisation based in Aceh, Indonesia and Deputy Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN). She is a cultural anthropologist and humanitarian professional with more than 16 years of experience working with refugees, internally displaced persons, and communities affected by conflict and disaster, including in Aceh, Myanmar, Haiti and with Syrian refugees in Jordan, and currently specialises on the situation of the stateless Rohingya in Rakhine State and in ASEAN. She provides regular expertise to a range of institutions and governments including the UN, the World Bank, ASEAN, the Government of Malaysia and the Government of Indonesia. Between 2005 and 2012 Lilianne served in several large-scale post-crisis recovery missions, including with the UN-led humanitarian response in post-earthquake Haiti; as Advisor to the ASEAN Special Envoy on Post-Nargis Recovery in Myanmar; as member of the advisory team of the Governor of Aceh on sustainable development following the Aceh peace agreement of 2005; and as Senior Policy Coordinator for Oxfam International in Aceh and Nias from 2005-2008. She holds an MA in Anthropology from Columbia University, New York.

Leif-Eric Easley

Assistant Professor in the Division of International Studies at Ewha University

Leif-Eric Easley is Assistant Professor in the Division of International Studies at Ewha University and an International Research Fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, Korea. At Ewha, Professor Easley teaches international security and political economics. His research interests include contested national identities and changing levels of trust in the bilateral security relationships of Northeast Asia. He specializes in U.S. security alliances, U.S.- ROK-Japan trilateral coordination on China and North Korea, and the geopolitical implications of domestic political reform (especially in the case of Myanmar). Dr. Easley was the Northeast Asian History Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia- Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University. He was also a visiting scholar at Yonsei University, the University of Southern California’s Korean Studies Institute (KSI), the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA) in Tokyo, and the East West Center in Honolulu. Professor Easley is an alumnus of the Pacific Forum-Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Young Leaders Program and is a Korea Foundation CSIS-KSI NextGen Scholar. He completed his B.A. in political science with a minor in mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Government.

Helen Luu

Legal Counsel for Legal Services Commission of South Australia

Helen Luu is an Australian lawyer who speaks Vietnamese, Cantonese and French. Her parents were boat refugees. For the past nine years, Helen has advocated in the criminal justice system for people from many walks of life. After working as an Associate to the Honourable Justice Vanstone for a year, Helen joined the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in South Australia in 2009. Helen worked for that organisation for six years as a trial prosecutor. Helen was then seconded to South Australia’s Independent Commissioner Against Corruption. Moved by a desire to represent the underprivileged and work in the field of international human rights, Helen left Australia in 2014 and completed a Masters of Laws at Columbia University. During her time in New York, Helen interned at two United Nations bodies: the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Committee Against Torture. Helen was also an intern at the Immigration Unit of the Legal Aid Society of New York and travelled to Tanzania to advise its anti-corruption bureau. After returning to Australia, Helen took up her current position as in-house counsel in the Legal Services Commission of South Australia. In this role, Helen represents clients from low socio-economic backgrounds who are charged with serious criminal offences. Helen strives to ensure her clients’ legal and human rights are protected and advanced in the courtroom. She believes the protection of human rights starts with a legal system that upholds the rule of law, irrespective of one’s nationality or race.

Alison Gibbins

Deputy National Director of Amnesty International Australia (AIA)

Alison Gibbins has been in the newly created role of Deputy National Director at Amnesty International Australia since March 2017. Alison has over 20 years’ experience as a non-profit and public sector executive, including in social change campaigning, organisational strategy, communications and program management, with a focus on environmental issues. She has a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Science, a Diploma of Project Management and a Masters in Management. Alison comes to AIA from the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, where her roles included Director Conservation, National Parks and Wildfire Service; Director Strategy, Program Management and Reporting and Manager, OEH Strategic Realignment/EPA Transition. Before that she worked with Greenpeace, first as Political & Corporate Team Leader and then as Head of Media & Mobilisation. Early in Alison’s career she was a Researcher for Federacion de Rondas Campesinas in Peru, where she lived and worked with Indigenous Peoples to establish a social and environmental case against a major gold mine. Alison was also briefly the Executive Director of Project Underground, a small international NGO supporting the human rights of communities resisting mining and oil exploration. Alison Gibbins said, “I’ve always been interested in the overlap between human rights and the environment: they are interrelated.” On her appointment at Amnesty International , Alison said, “With the rise of intolerance across the world, we need to recommit to basic principles of human rights. For me, it’s the right time to work for an organisation that stands up for those values.”

Health and Social Policy

Labor and Migration Policy 

Vivi Alatas

Vivi Alatas is a Lead Economist for the World Bank’s Poverty program in Indonesia. She leads a team of seasoned economists who prepare evidence-based analysis and policy reports on issues related to poverty reduction, such as income inequality and labor market informality. Her team has produced several flagship reports for national and global audiences, including ‘Targeting Poor and Vulnerable Households in Indonesia’, ‘Making Poverty Work in Indonesia’ and most recently ‘Indonesia’s Rising Divide’. These reports are important sources of reference for government, civil society, private sector, and development agency counterparts. After its launch, a presentation of ‘Indonesia’s Rising Divide’ was held at the Presidential Palace, in front of the full cabinet and the country’s provincial governors. Alatas says that everyone has a role to play in the fight against poverty.

Professor Xiaoping Luo

Professor Xiaoping Luo is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a post-doctoral fellow at Peking University. She has published numerous articles on China’s internal migration patterns in both Chinese and English journals and books.


John Mendoza

John is a Director of ConNetica, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health andSport Science, University of the Sunshine Coast, Adjunct Professor, Brain and Mind Institute, The University of Sydney, and Foundation member of the Queensland Mind and Neuroscience Institute at the University of the Sunshine Coast. His previous appointments include Inaugural Chair National Advisory Council on Mental Health to the Federal Health Minister, CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia, CEO of the Australian Sports Drug Agency, Foundation Board member of the Young and Well CRC, Honorary Chairperson headspace Maroochydore, and Deputy President of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia.

T.V. Asokan

Dr. T.V. Asokan is the Zone 16 representative of the World Psychiatric Association. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital.

Kate Liebelt

Kate Liebelt serves as Chief of Staff for Deloitte’s U.S. Health Care Provider Consulting practice. In this role she supports practice operations, investments, and strategic initiatives around innovation and global healthcare

Karn Ghosh

Karn Ghosh is the Founder and CEO of Hit 100, a social enterprise committed to improving the health of vulnerable and under-served communities. Hit 100 empowers Australians living with disability to improve their health behaviours (and outcomes) through affordable, accessible, science-based health coaching and home-delivered meals. Hit 100 is a certified B Corp and has further pledged 1 percent of all company product, employee time and equity to charity.