2021 Conference Speakers 

IRINA BOKOVA
former Director-General of UNESCO
Plenary Speaker 

GARY BOLLES
Chair for the Future of Work, Singularity University
Plenary Speaker

KARIN FISCHER
Higher Education Journalist
Moderator

FRANCISCO MARMOLEJO
Qatar Foundation and former World Bank Expert
Opening Plenary Panelist 

TRAPETA MAYSON 
Poet, Educator, Social Worker 
Plenary Speaker 

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM
Member of Biden's Covid-19 Advisory Board
Closing Plenary Speaker 

PRAMATH SINHA
Harappa Education/ Educational Entrepreneur
Opening Plenary Panelist 

DAVID WILSON
President, Morgan State University
Opening Plenary Panelist 


IRINA BOKOVA
former Director-General of UNESCO
Plenary Speaker

Irina Bokova, born in Sofia, Bulgaria, has been two terms the Director-General of UNESCO from 2009 to 2017.

Bokova was actively engaged in the adoption of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, particularly Goal 4 on “Inclusive and equitable quality education and life-long learning for all », as well the protection of the world’s cultural heritage against the destruction by extremists in Mali, Syria and Iraq. As a result, the UN Security Council adopted in 2017 the landmark Resolution 2347 declaring for the first time the link between peace and security and the protection of cultural heritage.

Bokova was on the Forbes List of the world's most influential women for 2016.

In 2020, she was elected International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the category of Scientific, Cultural and Non-profit Leadership.


 

KARIN FISCHER
Higher Education Journalist 
Moderator

Karin Fischer is a higher-education journalist with a focus on international education, including colleges’ activities overseas, the globalization of the college experience, and study abroad. Her extensive reporting on international-student recruitment and the experience of foreign students in the U.S. has been collected in Chinese Journey: Student Migrations, Family Dreams and What Happens Next.

Fischer work has appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times, Monthly, and University World News. Fischer publishes a weekly newsletter on global education, latitude(s). She is a research associate at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California at Berkeley and an international education leadership fellow at the University at Albany. Fischer received the East-West Center’s Jefferson Fellowship for reporting in Asia and the International Reporting Project fellowship. Her work has been honored by the Education Writers Association, the National Press Foundation, and the Poynter Institute.


 

GARY BOLLES 
Chair of the Future Work, Singularity University
Plenary Speaker

Gary A. Bolles writes and lectures around the world on the future of work, learning, and the organization. As Chair for the Future of Work for Singularity University, he helps people understand the impact of exponential change on the worlds of work and education. As a partner in the consulting agency Charrette LLC, he helps organizations, educators and governments understand the needs of tomorrow’s workers and learners. And as co-founder of eParachute.com, he helps job-hunters & career changers with programs inspired by “What Color Is Your Parachute?” Bolles is dedicated to helping individuals, organizations, communities and countries to collaborate on effective strategies, and to ensure that all people can have access to meaningful work and lifelong learning opportunities. He writes regularly on LinkedIn, and has nine courses on LinkedIn Learning with a total of over 600,000 students. 


 

  FRANCISCO MARMOLEJO
Qatar Foundation and former World Bank Expert
Opening Plenary Panelist 

Francisco Marmolejo is since February 2020 the Education Advisor of Qatar Foundation in Doha, providing support and advice at QF’s unique educational disruptive innovation eco-system. During 2012-20, he worked at the World Bank, where he served as the Global Higher Education Coordinator, based in Washington, DC., and as Lead Higher Education Specialist for India and South Asia, based in New Delhi. From 1995 to 2012, he served as founding Executive Director of the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration at the University of Arizona, where he also worked as Assistant Vice President and Affiliated Researcher at the Center for the Study of Higher Education. Previously, he has been American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Academic Vice President of the University of the Americas in Mexico, and International Consultant at OECD in Paris. He has honorary doctorate degrees from his Alma Mater, the University of San Luis Potosi, and the University of Guadalajara in Mexico.


 

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM 
Member of Biden's Covid-19 Advisory Board
Closing Plenary Speaker

Michael Osterholm is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, all at the University of Minnesota.  Osterholm has been an international leader on the critical concern regarding our preparedness for an influenza pandemic. He has led numerous investigations of outbreaks of international importance.
Osterholm is the author of more than 315 papers and abstracts, including 21 book chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of nine journals, including Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and Microbial Drug Resistance: Mechanisms, Epidemiology and Disease, and he is a reviewer for 24 additional journals. He is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense, and the CDC.
Osterholm has been the recipient of six major research awards from the NIH and the CDC. In November 2020, Dr. Osterholm was appointed to President-elect Joe Biden's 13-member Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.


 

PRAMATH SINHA 

Harappa Education/ Educational Entrepreneur
Opening Plenary Panelist 

Pramath Raj Sinha is a pioneering force in Indian higher education. He is the Founder & Chairman of Harappa Education, which strives to become India’s largest online institution focused on teaching habits and skills critical to workplace success in the 21st century. Sinha is the Founding Dean and a member of the Executive Board of ISB which rapidly became one of the top-20 business schools in the world. He is also the Founder & Trustee of the acclaimed Ashoka University, a liberal arts university which launched the popular Young India Fellowship.

Sinha has been instrumental in setting up a wide spectrum of change-based higher education initiatives, including a management program for career-oriented women, an entrepreneurship fellowship for the Himalayan region. He is the founder of the 9.9 Group, the CEO of the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group, and a Partner at McKinsey & Company. He received a PhD and an MSE from the University of Pennsylvania and a BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, where he was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2018.


 

DAVID WILSON
President, Morgan State University
Opening Plenary Panelist 

David Wilson, is the 10th president of Morgan State University, Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University. Under his leadership, Morgan State has experienced tremendous gains and progress. Wilson has more than 30 years of experience in higher education administration and holds four academic degrees: a B.S. in political science and an M.S. in education from Tuskegee University; an Ed.M. in educational planning and administration and an Ed.D. in administration, planning and social policy, both from Harvard University.




 


Trapeta MaysonTRAPETA MAYSON
Poet, Educator, Social Worker
Plenary Speaker 

Trapeta Mayson, is the 2020-2021 Philadelphia Poet Laureate. She is a recipient of a Pew Fellowship in Literature, Leeway Transformation Award, Leeway Art and Change Grant and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grants. Her work was also nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Mayson is a Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow and a 2019 Aspen Words Emerging Writers Fellow with the Aspen Institute. She is the author of She Was Once Herself and Mocha Melodies. Mayson also released two music and poetry projects, SCAT and This Is How We Get Through, in collaboration with internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist, Monnette Sudler. Her other publications include submissions in The American Poetry Review, Epiphany Literary Journal, Aesthetica Magazine, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry among others. Mayson is a native of Liberia. She is a graduate of Temple University, Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and Villanova University School of Business. Currently working in the social services field, Mayson is a member of several local organizations where she uses the arts to mobilize, build community and create change.