Distinguished Keynote Presentation by
Vani Kola, Founder, Certus Software and Rightworks
is a serial entrepreneur and visionary known for identifying
emerging markets and building successful market-driven software
companies. For the last 10 years she has been focused on
founding and building her various companies.
was founder and CEO of Certus Software, a leader in the
Financial Compliance Market with over 70 customers worldwide.
Vani’s personal commitment to excellence and integrity influences
her approach to building companies, developing products
and empowering people.
Prior to establishing Certus, Vani was the founder and chief
executive officer of RightWorks, a successful e-procurement
company that was acquired by ICG and subsequently by i2.
founding RightWorks, Vani held management and engineering
positions at Consilium and Control Data Corporation. She
holds M.S. and B.S degrees in electrical engineering.
is profiled in numerous books and has been identified as
one of the top 10 entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Outside
of enjoying building high growth companies her interests
focus on raising her two daughters and musing about finding
the perfect balance between work and family. She is involved
in various organizations focused on fostering entrepreneurship
and women leadership.
Congress 2006 Distinguished Luncheon Presentation
Indra Nooyi, President and Chief Financial
Officer, PepsiCo., Inc.
Ms. Meena R. Mansharamani, Vice President,
Pepsi-Cola North America
Indra Nooyi, President and Chief Financial Officer,
Nooyi is President, Chief Financial Officer and a
member of the Board of Directors of PepsiCo, a position
she assumed in May 2001.
Ms. Nooyi is responsible for all of PepsiCo’s corporate
functions, including finance, strategy, supply chain,
business process optimization, corporate platforms
and innovation, procurement, investor relations and
information technology. She was appointed to her position
and elected to the Board of Directors in May 2001.
of about $27 billion, PepsiCo ranks as the world’s fourth
largest food and beverage company. It includes: Frito-Lay,
the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of snacks;
Pepsi-Cola, the second largest soft drink business; Tropicana,
the largest marketer and producer of branded juices; Gatorade,
the world’s leading sports drink, and Quaker Foods, which
merged with PepsiCo in August 2001.
Between February 2000 and April 2001, Ms. Nooyi was Senior
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PepsiCo, where
she played an instrumental role in PepsiCo’s merger with
The Quaker Oats Company.
Between 1996 and 1999, Ms. Nooyi was Senior Vice President
of Corporate Strategy and Development. She had an integral
role in PepsiCo’s strategic restructuring, which included
the spin-off of Tricon Global Restaurants, the purchase
of Tropicana and the public offering of The Pepsi Bottling
Before joining PepsiCo in 1994, Ms. Nooyi spent four years
as Senior Vice President of Strategy, and Strategic Marketing
for Asea Brown Boveri. She was part of the top management
team responsible for the company's U.S. business as well
as its worldwide industrial businesses, generating about
one-third of ABB's $30 billion in global sales.
Between 1986 and 1990, Ms. Nooyi was at Motorola where she
was Vice President and Director of Corporate Strategy and
Planning, having joined the company in 1986 as the business
development executive for its automotive and industrial
Prior to Motorola, she spent six years directing international
corporate strategy projects at the Boston Consulting Group.
Her clients ranged from textiles and consumer goods companies
to retailers and specialty chemicals producers.
Ms. Nooyi began her career in India, where she held product
manager positions at Johnson & Johnson and at Mettur Beardsell,
Ltd., a textile firm.
In addition to being a member of the Board of Directors
of PepsiCo, Inc., Ms. Nooyi serves as Successor Fellow at
Yale Corporation. She is a member of the Boards of Motorola,
the International Rescue Committee and Lincoln Center for
the Performing Arts in New York City. Ms. Nooyi also serves
on the Advisory Boards of Yale School of Management, PlaNet
Finance and Greenwich Breast Cancer Alliance, as well as,
on the Board of Trustees of Eisenhower Fellowships and Asia
Society. She is a member of The Trilateral Commission.
She holds a BS from Madras Christian College in Madras,
an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta
and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale
University. Ms. Nooyi is married and has two daughters.
Ms. Meena R. Mansharamani,
Senior Vice President, Innovation and Insights, Pepsi-Cola
Mansharamani is Senior Vice President, Innovation
and Insights for Pepsi-Cola North America (PCNA),
a position she assumed in November 2005. Ms. Mansharamani
is responsible for both short and long-term product
and package innovation to drive the Division’s growth
agenda. She also oversees foundational consumer insights
that drive portfolio management, innovation, brand
marketing and channel and customer strategies.
is a member of the Senior Executive Team at PCNA, and works
closely with PCNA’s Chairman and CEO, functional leaders
and bottling partners to ensure that the team achieves its
growth goals in the LRB (liquid refreshment beverage) space.
Ms. Mansharamani joined PCNA in January 2005 Vice President,
Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she was responsible
for developing new business strategies and operating models
to capitalize on PCNA’s marketplace opportunities. Pepsi-Cola
North America's robust portfolio of brands includes Pepsi,
Aquafina, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, SoBe, Tropicana, Dole,
Lipton Iced Tea and Starbucks Frappucino.
to her new role at PCNA, Ms. Mansharamani was Vice President
of Corporate Strategy for PepsiCo from 2000-2004. In this
capacity, she worked with PepsiCo’s CEO and President on
top-line growth initiatives across PepsiCo’s portfolio of
businesses. Two key areas of focus included developing a
new approach and focus to PepsiCo’s approach to innovation
and strengthening the company’s emphasis on health and wellness.
revenues of about $27 billion, PepsiCo, Inc. is a global
snack and beverage company. It manufactures and sells a
variety of salty, convenient, sweet and grain-based snacks,
carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, and foods. The
Company is organized in four divisions: Frito-Lay North
America (FLNA), PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA),
PepsiCo International (PI) and Quaker Foods North America
to joining the PepsiCo team, Meena was Vice President in
the Consumer Goods and Retail Practice of A.T. Kearney,
a management consulting firm. During her 10-year tenure
at A.T. Kearney, she served a variety of industries, including
apparel, automotive, transportation and financial services.
She received her MBA from Wharton and her MA/BA from Harvard
Musings by UK Comedic Sensation by Ms. Shazia Mirza
at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and
Drama in London, Shazia
works full time as a writer, actor and stand
began stand up comedy in September 2000 and since
then shot up the ladder, picking up along the way
the 2001 Hackney Empire Best New Act competition
at the London Comedy Festival and winning Metro Magazine’s
People’s Choice Best Comic Award at
the London Comedy Festival 2002.
is in huge international demand with coverage from
press, TV and radio across the world. She has performed
stand up shows in Germany, Denmark, Italy,
Sweden, USA, France, Ireland, Belgium and Holland.
In the UK Shazia is picking up TV credits and is constantly
working the UK comedy circuit. Highlights have included
a rave performance as part of Eve Enslers V Day event
at the Royal Albert Hall where shazia wrote and performed
a monologue which received a standing ovation from
the cast which included Isabella Rossellini, Maureen
Lipman, Rita Tushingham, Meera Syal, Dannii Minogue
and Anita Dobson. Other events have included the Arosa
Comedy Festival, Switzerland, a solo show
in San Francisco, a sell out run
in Paris and for the British
Council she has performed in Pristina,
Kosovo. Shazia has also recently performed
5 sold out shows in the Sodra Theatre, Stockholm
followed by a sell out tour of Sweden.
has appeared on Have I got News For You, Joan
Bakewell’s Taboo, Richard & Judy, was the
subject of a BBC 2 First Sight documentary.
She wrote and presented for the BBC 10 Things
You Always Wanted To Know About Islam But Were Afraid
To Ask. More recently she has been seen on
Richard & Judy again on their successful
Book Review slot and CBS in the USA
have screened a profile on her for 60 Minutes
which is an enormous accolade. Shazia has recently
finished filming stand up for The World Stands
Up, for Comedy Central USA
and 60 Acts in 60mins for the BBC.
in 2005 again sold out at the Edinburgh Festival
with her full length show at The Pleasance.
She is now on a national theatre tour with 1001
Nights Now which is a story telling theatre
piece produced by Northern Stage
in conjunction with Nottingham Playhouse
and Deptford Albany. Directed by
Alan Lyddiard. In the play Shazia
also performs one of her own monologues commissioned
for the piece (runs to Feb 2006). Shazia is currently
working on a new show for Edinburgh 2006 and is soon
to tour Sweden with her solo show.
“Her laconic one-liners represent something quite
unique in modern comedy. In these fraught times, she
actually manages to make being a Muslim woman seem
wonderfully life-enhancingly funny. Anglo-Islamic
understanding is now even more elusive than before,
but if anything, that makes Shazia’s comedy even more
valid, and even more vital”
THE GUARDIAN GUIDE, William Cook
name is Shazia Mirza....’ she says. ‘At least that’s
what it says on my pilot’s licence’. No one can resist
- the room erupts”
ELLE MAGAZINE, Natalie Meddings
Mirza has won rave reviews for her frank and honest
stand up comedy routines about being a young Muslim
woman in Britain”
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, Richard Warburton
Alles, Founder & Chairman, Maia Management
Alles is the Founder and Chairman of Maia Management,
a San Francisco based equity management company investing
in domestic and emerging markets.
is a veteran Silicon Valley venture capitalist with
extensive experience in investing in hi-tech and commodity
firms around the world. Even before “globalization”
became a buzzword, Alles was looking beyond the borders
of the United States, into Asia and South America.
largest returns were in the oil and gas sector.
Alles’ meteoric rise in the business world is truly inspirational.
Seventeen years ago, she moved to the United States with
just two hundred dollars to her name. While pursuing her
master and later her PhD in Psychology, she worked odd jobs
around the college campus to supplement her income. It was
during this time Alles’ passion for finance and investment
took over. She began attending lectures in business management
and began to meet people from the venture capital community.
With some of their suggestions, Alles began investing her
meager savings in stocks and commodities. One speculation
led to another and soon the young girl who had come to America
with hardly any money in her pocket was a billionaire by
the time she turned thirty-four.
is active in American politics. She is a close personal
friend of the Clintons and is on the board of the William
Jefferson Clinton Foundation.
is an impassioned philanthropist. In 2001, Alles started
“Stree: Global Investments in Women”, a California based
non-profit organization aimed at changing the way low-income
and at-risk women and children worldwide see themselves
and their roles in society. “Stree” provides the means for
women to access healthcare and preventive medicine and a
forum for grassroots movements to connect with public policy.
2004 she toured the Tsunami ravaged areas in India and Sri
Lanka and pledged 50 million dollars of her personal funds
to the victims of the tragedy in the island nation.
June 2005, Alles donated one million dollars to kick start
the world’s first Heart Research Center for South Asians
at El Camino Hospital, Mountain View, CA.
serves on the board of Bahrain Technology Park,
Malaysia-based @Ventures, Los Angeles based emergency
relief agency, Relief Foundation and Silicon
Valley Women’s Fund. She is also on the board of the
Special Olympics Committee, Stanford Cancer
Center and is the Chairperson for the Heart Research
Center for South Asians at El Camino hospital.
was awarded “Entrepreneur of the year – 2001” by
the Business Women Network, “Outstanding Women of the
Year - 2005” by the Friends of Indian Community, “Philanthropist
of the Year” by Pratham USA and the “Mother Theresa
Award, 2005” by the Los Angels County.
Ms. Prabha Sipi Bhandari, Esq., VP Senior Counsel,
Mergers & Acquisitions, Viacom Inc.
Sipi Bhandari is VP Senior Counsel at Viacom Inc. in New
York and has been responsible for Mergers & Acquisitions
at the Company since the separation of Viacom Inc. into
two separately traded public companies, Viacom Inc. and
CBS Corporation. Prior to joining Viacom in 2000, Ms. Bhandari
was a corporate associate at the law firm of Davis Polk
& Wardwell in New York. Before that, she clerked for the
Honorable John M. Duhč, Jr. of the Fifth Circuit Court of
Bhandari received her J.D. from New York University School of
Law, where she served as Notes and Comments Editor of the New
York University Law Review and published her note in the Law Review,
The Failure of Equal Regard to Explain the Sherbert
Quartet. Ms. Bhandari co-founded the South Asian Law Students’
Association at NYU and served as its co-chair. She received her
B.S. from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations.
Ms. Bhandari is a member of the Committee on Women in the Profession
at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Bhatia, Vice President, Media & Communications
is a Vice President in BMO Financial Group’s Media, Communications
& Technology Investment Banking Group. She has over seven
years of experience originating and executing several strategic
advisory and financing transactions in these sectors. Neetu's
transaction experience includes over $40 billion of executed
deals for Time Warner, Google, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon,
BellSouth, SBC, Cingular, AT&T, Sprint, Nextel and others.
to joining BMO Financial Group, Neetu was a Vice President
at Blaylock & Partners where she helped build the Media
& Telecom advisory franchise along with senior members of
the former AT&T Broadband management team. Prior to working
at Blaylock & Partners, Neetu worked at Lehman Brothers,
originating and executing several lead-managed media and
telecom advisory, capital raising and restructuring transactions.
Before joining Lehman Brothers, Neetu also worked as a consultant
with McKinsey & Company, advising senior management of Fortune
500 companies on strategic and operational issues.
has an M.S. in Management and Engineering from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Engineering in
Electrical Engineering from the College of Engineering,
Pune, India, where she graduated as the Best Outgoing Student.
A former national cricket player, Neetu serves on the Boards
of several not-for-profit organizations in New York City
and India. She is also a regular columnist for several leading
financial publications in India. Her story was recently
featured in a book to motivate young students released in
New Delhi by India’s President, Dr. Abdul Kalam.
Bhouraskar, Esq., Founding Partner, Poppe and Bhouraskar
Bhouraskar is a founding partner of the firm of Poppe and
Bhouraskar LLP in New York. She specializes in intellectual
property (copyright and trademark), real estate and commercial
law. Megha has extensive knowledge of the Indian music and
film industry and a large number of her clients consist
of South Asian businesses and individuals representing diverse
industries in the US and India.
was one of the original members and a Board Member of SAKHI
for South Asian Women and has served on the Board of Asian
Women in Business. Megha was granted the Governor's Award
for her activities in the South Asian community in New York
and she has served as a New York Delegate to the Democatic
Ms. Neelam Deo, Consul General of India, New York
Deo joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1975. Over the course
of her international career, Ms. Deo has held posts in Rome, Bangkok
and Washington DC.
has also served as the Ambassador in Copenhagen and Abidjan with
concurrent accreditation in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Niger.
to her arrival in New York, Ms. Deo served as the Joint Secretary
for the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, India where
she oversaw relations with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and
Deo holds a master’s degree in economics from the Delhi School
Ms. Sabrina Dhawan, Screenwriter, Monsoon Wedding
Dhawan’s first produced screenplay Monsoon Wedding was awarded
the ‘Leon D’Oro’ (Golden Lion) at the Venice Film Festival
in August 2001. Monsoon Wedding was also nominated for a
Golden Globe and a BAFTA for ‘Best Film in a Foreign Language’.
Ms. Dhawan also won ‘Best Screenplay’ from Bollywood Awards
for Monsoon Wedding. She later adapted the award-winning
novel Death of Vishnu and a one hour film, Cosmopolitan,
for PBS starring Roshan Seth, Carol Kane and Madhur Jaffrey.
Ms. Dhawan also wrote a short film for Canal Plus on 9/11
that was directed by Mira Nair. She
has also written a thriller, The Promise set in Houston,
TX and Bombay, India, for Killer Films (of Boys Don’t Cry,
Far from Heaven, One Hour Photo etc). Ms. Dhawan is currently
working on a TV movie for Disney Channel and on an animation
film, also for Disney. For the animation film, she is working
with the composer, Alan Menken, who has won multiple Academy
Awards for films such Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahantas
Ms. Dhawan was born in England and was raised in New Delhi, India.
She graduated from Columbia University’s graduate film program
with Honors in 2001. Her thesis short Saanjh – As Night Falls
played at over two dozen festivals around the world. It was cited
as ‘Best of the Festival’ at the Palm Springs International Film
Festival 2000; as ‘Most Original Film’ by New Line Cinema at the
Polo Ralph Lauren New Works Festival 2000. It won the ‘Audience
Impact’ Award at Angelus Awards in LA and was also nominated for
the Student Academy Award.
Ms. Dhawan presently teaches screenwriting as an Assistant Professor
at Columbia University’s MFA program.
Mallika Dutt, Founder and Executive Director, Breakthrough
Dutt is the founder and executive director of Breakthrough.
She has been a human rights activist for over two decades,
working passionately on transforming attitudes and approaches
towards human rights.
December 2000, Mallika was the Program Officer for the Human
Rights & Social Justice Program at the Ford Foundation’s
New Delhi office. She focused on addressing the rights of
marginalized communities like dalits, adivasis, and women.
also served as the Associate Director of the Center for Women’s
Global Leadership, where she held the first US meeting to create
links between human rights domestically and abroad. Mallika
authored the widely-referenced With Liberty and Justice for
All: Women's Human Rights in the United States. She was also
the co-author of the globally utilized manual, Local Action
Global Change: Learning About the Human Rights of Women and Girls.
studying law at New York University, Dutt co-founded Sakhi for
South Asian Women, combating the violence against women in the
New York community. She was also an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil
Rights Fellow, and worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights
and the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.
has served on several boards and committees, including the Human
Rights Watch Women's Rights Project, Sister Fund, Asian American
Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Lt. Governor Committee on Public
Police Relations, Committee on Sex and Law, the Association of
the Bar of the City of New York, and the India Abroad Person of
the Year jury. Mallika is also an active member of the US NGO
Coordinating Committee for the UN World Conference Against Racism
and currently is on the Board of WITNESS.
is the recipient of many awards including the the Spirit of Asian
American Award (USA, 2003); Phoenix Award for Service (USA, 2002);
National Citizen's Award for Contribution to Women and Development
(India, 2001); South Asian Women's Creative Collective Award for
contribution to the South Asian community (USA, 2001); NYU Law
School BLAPA Alumni Award for Distinguished Service (USA, 2001);
the Public Interest Law Foundation Alumni Award (USA,1991). Mallika
graduated from New York University School of Law with a JD in
1989 and is a member of the New York State Bar.
Vanita Gupta, Esq., NAACP Legal Defense and Educational
joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
(LDF) as a Soros Justice Fellow in September 2001. She is
now an Assistant Counsel at LDF, where her work centers
on civil rights litigation that promotes systemic reform
of the criminal justice system. Ms. Gupta successfully led
the effort to overturn the convictions of 38 defendants
in Tulia, Texas, organizing over a dozen national law firms
in this fight and coordinating the legal and media strategy.
Working with co-counsel, she also settled the civil rights
cases filed on behalf of the wrongfully convicted Tulia
residents for $6 million. The settlement also disbanded
the narcotics task force responsible for the drug sting
and resulted in the early retirement of two key officers
involved in overseeing the sting operation. In furtherance
of her clients’ cases, she has appeared on the NBC
Today Show, CBS Evening News, CNN, PBS Lehrer News Hour,
Court TV, MSNBC, and National Public Radio, and has
been quoted extensively in international and national print
media. The New York Times profiled her in its “Public
Lives” section on April 16, 2003. For her work in
Tulia, Ms. Gupta has been given the Drug Policy Alliance
Justice Gerald Le Dain Award (2005), the Reebok Human Rights
Award (2004), the National South Asian Bar Association Attorney
of the Year Award (2005), the India Abroad Publisher’s
Special Award (2004), the Upakar Foundation Community Ambassador
award (2004), and the American Red Cross “Rising Star”
award (2003). She continues to represent individuals accused
of crimes who have been subjected to racial bias and other
serious problems in their encounters with the criminal justice
system. Most recently, she has represented individuals accused
of looting baby diapers and water in the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina. She has also been working with other lawyers and
activists on reforming New Orleans’s broken criminal
justice system since the hurricane.
Ms. Gupta received her law degree from New York University
School of Law, where she served as the Colloquium Editor
of the Review of Law and Social Change and was awarded a
Vanderbilt Medal for Public Service and the Anne Petluck
Poses Prize for her death penalty and juvenile rights-based
She attended Yale University, where she graduated magna
cum laude in History and Women's Studies. Prior to
attending law school, she served as the public policy coordinator
at the Harvard School of Public Health in its Violence Prevention
Sheila Hooda, Managing Director, Global Equities Division,
Hooda is a Managing Director in the Global Equities Division
at Credit Suisse – Investment Banking in New York. Sheila
is responsible for Client Relationship Management in the
US, focusing on building relationships, maximizing revenues
and profitability with the largest Equities clients of the
Bank. Prior to joining Credit Suisse in 1998, Sheila worked
at Bankers Trust and at McKinsey and Co. Her work experience
has been primarily with Financial institutions in the US,
Europe and Asia Pacific.
Sheila received an M.B.A in Finance from the University
of Chicago Graduate School of Business and has a Masters
in Management from the Indian Institute of Management –
Credit Suisse, Sheila is co chair of the Diversity - Multi
Cultural Resource Network and is on the Steering committee
of America’s Women’s Group. Sheila is also actively involved
with programs to empower women, particularly in developing
countries. She is an Executive Committee Member of The International
Alliance for Women and led the opening of two Micro Credit
Banks in Southern India, ensuring the disbursement of loans
to over 10,000 women. Most recently, Sheila has been involved
with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in
the area of Micro Credit.
the field of Education, Sheila is a Board Member of Pratham
USA and co chair of the Tri State Pratham chapter, which
focuses on grass roots education in the slums and remote
villages in India. Currently over 3 million children have
been assisted through this program with the goal of eradicating
illiteracy by 2010. Sheila is also the lead fundraiser for
Prerana, an education initiative that provides tuition to
deserving underprivileged children in India. Over 2000 children
have had their high school and college tuition paid, Sheila
leads efforts toward realization of a goal of 5000 in 2007.
is married, lives in Westchester County and has twin 8 year
Beena Kamlani, Senior Editor, Penguin Group
Kamlani has worked in book publishing for over twenty-five
years--at Oxford University Press, Harper & Row, Random
House and both the Viking and Penguin imprints of the Penguin
Group. In her eighteen years at Viking Penguin, she has
edited and developed a wide range of books. As Saul Bellow’s
editor, she worked closely with him and also with Robert
Fagles (on Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey,
and Virgil’s Aeneid), Blanche Wiesen Cook (Eleanor
Roosevelt), Diane Middlebrook, Bob Shacochis, Sir Peter
Terry McMillan, Peter Kramer, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Margaret
George, William Brodrick, David Leavitt, and Garrison Keillor,
among others. She is also assistant professor of publishing
at New York University, where she has taught a course on
book editing for the past twelve years. In March 2002, she
received an award for teaching excellence from the university.
Padma Lakshmi has been playing royalty: the Machiavellian
Indian Princess Madhuvanthi in ITV/BBC-America's soon-to-be-seen
Sharpe's Challenge, opposite Sean Bean; Princess
Bithia, the Egyptian princess who found the baby Moses in
the bulrushes and raised him as her own child, in ABC's
new mini-series The Ten Commandments; and the spoiled
Princess Kaitaama, ruler of a large part of the known universe,
on Star Trek: Enterprise.
It makes a change from playing a pirate in Lamberto Bava's
Caribbeans (in Italian); the tuneless singer Sylk,
Mariah Carey's rival in Glitter; a young Indian-American
woman resisting an arranged marriage in Mistress of
Spices; and an Indian fashion model turned bank robber
in the Bollywood epic Boom.
acting career isn't all that's booming. Her best-selling
first cookbook Easy Exotic (2003) was awarded the
prestigious Prix Versailles for the best first cookbook
in the world that year, and her eagerly-awaited second book
is to be published in the fall. Padma has also hosted her
own show, Padma's Passport, on the Food Network
as well as making documentaries about Spanish and Indian
cuisine and culture for the Planet Food series
- screened all over the world.
has written extensively on both food and fashion for American
Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Gourmet.
known as the first internationally successful Indian supermodel,
Padma walked the runway for Ralph Lauren, Emmanuel Ungaro,
Alberti Ferretti and many other leading designers. She hosted
Italy's highest rated TV show, Dominica In, on
RAI television. (She is fluent in Italian, just one of her
five languages.) Her career as a film actress was launched
in Italy, when she starred in Sergio Sollima's film Sandokan:
The Darkness and the Light.
holds a B.A. in theatre studies from Clark University. She
lives in New York and London.
Ms. Irshad Manji, Best-selling Author, The Trouble
with Islam Today: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change
is a Fellow with the International Security Studies programme
at Yale University. The New York Times has dubbed
her “Osama Bin Laden’s worst nightmare.” She takes that
as a compliment.
Irshad is the best-selling author of The Trouble with
Islam Today: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change.
Her book has been published in 25 countries, including Pakistan,
India, Turkey and Lebanon. In those countries that have
banned The Trouble with Islam Today, she is reaching
readers by posting free translations on her website.
Irshad’s columns are distributed internationally by The
New York Times Syndicate. She is also producing a feature
film about what there is to love within Islam, to be aired
on PBS later this year. As a volunteer, she sits on the
inter-faith editorial board of Seventeen magazine
in New York.
all, Irshad is founder of an initiative to help young Muslims
revive Islam’s tradition of independent thinking. In that
capacity, she has just been selected a Young Global Leader
by the World Economic Forum.
Winfrey has honored Irshad with the first annual Chutzpah
Award for “audacity, nerve, boldness and conviction.” Ms.
magazine has also named her a Feminist for the 21st Century.
on International Women’s Day 2005, the Jakarta Post
in Indonesia -- the world’s largest Muslim country -- identified
Irshad as one of three women creating positive change in
Fawzia Naqvi, Microfinance Specialist
is a microfinance specialist. Until recently Fawzia worked
for Women’s World Banking for five years as a Relationship
Manager for Asia. Prior to joining WWB, she spent ten years
with Citibank in New York, where she worked for the Financial
Institutions Group for Emerging Markets. Her responsibilities
at Citibank included building banking relationships with
the Not-for-Profit sector in Central Eastern Europe, Middle
East, Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
In 1997, she was asked to coordinate and manage Citibank’s
Task Force on Microfinance Initiatives and was given the
responsibility for managing all business related initiatives
with microfinance institutions in the emerging markets.
left Pakistan at the age of 15 for the Philippines where
her family lived for 12 years. In 1982 she came to the United
States for undergraduate and graduate studies. She has a
bachelor’s degree in international relations from
Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and a master’s
degree from The School of International and Public Affairs
at Columbia University.
Lakshmi Pratury, Career Catalyst
varied and rich career spans for-profit enterprises, venture
capital and non-profit organizations. Most recently, Lakshmi
was a leading force in fundraising at the America India
Foundation (AIF) where she also established a number of
initiatives “in the field” including leading the team that
brought digital education to over 80,000 children and 2,000
teachers throughout India.
Prior to joining AIF, Lakshmi was associated with the venture
capital firm Global Catalyst Partners (GCP). While at Global
Catalyst Partners, she identified and established relationships
between India’s development community, local executives
and GCP. Lakshmi began her career with the Intel Corporation
where, over a twelve year period, she held various key roles
in marketing, marketing communications, advertising, and
evangelizing the software development community. Lakshmi's
responsibilities at Intel included launching the $250 million
Intel 64 Fund, the first cross-industry fund launched with
the sole intent to support developers to port to Intel 64-bit
architecture. Lakshmi also drove and managed Intel’s relationship
with media companies, talent agencies and Hollywood talent.
As a technologist, Lakshmi designed applications for executive
speeches that took the PC beyond the office environment
into more creative settings like film, fashion and music.
holds a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from Nizam College,
India; an MBA from the Bajaj Institute, India; and attended
IIT Bombay. Lakshmi also holds an MBA from Portland State
University with a minor in Theater Arts. A published author
and experienced interviewer, Lakshmi has conducted several
memorable celebrity interviews and actively contributes
to local radio programs and theater.
Shoba Purushothaman, Chief Executive Officer &
The NewsMarket, Inc.
20 years of experience in the global news and marketing
industries. She was a business journalist for nine years
including at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires
and has been an entrepreneur for the last 12. The NewsMarket
(http://www.thenewsmarket.com) is her second company in
the news and marketing industries. The first business she
co-founded grew to be a leading international broadcast
public relations consultancy that was successfully acquired
in 2001 by a public marketing services group.
The NewsMarket is the only web-based platform that aggregates,
markets and distributes broadcast-standard video content
to news outlets around the globe. Customers using The NewsMarket
to distribute content to the media include Intel, Google,
General Motors, GE, Pfizer, adidas, UNICEF, the U.S. Department
of State and the American Red Cross. Over 7,500 media outlets
in 140 countries source content via The NewsMarket including
NBC, CNN, Deutsche Welle, BBC, CCTV, Doordashan, TV Globo,
Al Jazeera and local affiliates across the U.S. A seasoned
entrepreneur with global operating experience, Shoba has
also successfully raised capital for The NewsMarket from
angel investors and the venture capital community.
Sonal Shah, Vice President, Goldman Sachs and Founder,
is Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co. working with the
Executive Office on developing and implementing a corporate
citizenship and environmental policy for the firm. Prior
to joining Goldman Sachs, Sonal worked at two think tanks,
the Center for American Progress and the Center for Global
Development where she focused on policy issues such as the
impact of HIV/AIDs and malaria on development, new aid financing
mechanisms, trade, outsourcing, and post conflict reconstruction
issues. She continues to serve as an adviser to both institutions.
Sonal also has extensive expertise in policy-making working
in the U.S. government at the Department of Treasury on
the Asian financial crisis, World Bank/IMF lending policy,
the National Security Council, and as Treasury Attache to
Bosnia and Kosovo on their post-conflict development. Most
recently, Sonal served as an adviser to the new President
of Liberia on her economic strategy as she entered office.
is also the co-founder and director of Indicorps (www.Indicorps.org),
a non-profit organization offering one-year fellowships
for Indian-Americans to apply their particular skills and
expertise to work on targeted development projects in India.
For this work, she was awarded the India Abroad Person of
the Year award in 2003.
Madhulika Sikka, Former Senior Producer, Nightline/ABC
Sikka was a senior producer at ABC News Nightline and one
of the most senior South Asians in US television until November
of 2005. Madhulika started as a researcher at the broadcast
to coming to ABC she worked at World Monitor, a television
broadcast of the Christian Science Monitor. She has worked
for CBS News in Tokyo and NBC News in London. She is the
winner of five Emmy awards, a Barone award, an Edward R.
Murrow award, a Dupont
and Peabody and two awards from the South Asian Journalists
She has a BA from the School of Oriental and African Studies
at the University of London and an MPhil from Cambridge
University. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband
and 2 children.
|Ms. Shamina Singh, Director and Vice President, Community Relations, Citigroup Global Consumer Group
Singh is Director and Vice President of Community Relations
for Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group. In this position,
Shamina is responsible for leveraging financial and programmatic
resources to benefit communities in over 100 countries where
Citigroup does business.Prior to joining Citigroup, Shamina
spent fifteen years in the public service sector building
bridges between the public, private and citizen sectors.
2004 Presidential elections, Shamina worked with America
Votes, a coalition of the largest grassroots organizations
in the U.S., working together to increase participation
in electoral politics. Before the elections, Shamina worked
on Capitol Hill as Senior Advisor to U.S. House Democratic
Leader Nancy Pelosi, on Budget, Social Security, Health
and Employment issues.
President Bill Clinton appointed Shamina to lead the first
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
As Executive Director, Shamina led the efforts of this historic
office by providing recommendations, to Presidents Clinton
and Bush, which expanded access to federal programs and
business opportunities for 11 million Asian Pacific Americans.
She began her tenure with the Clinton Administration in
1998, with her service as Congressional Liaison for Secretary
of Labor, Alexis Herman. In this position, she worked with
Members of Congress and led a comprehensive team that developed
and implemented the President’s health care agenda,
impacting 140 million participants in private sector health
Shamina has worked with former Texas Governor Ann Richards,
former Dallas Mayor and Texas Secretary of State, Ron Kirk
and SEIU, the largest and fastest growing labor union in
North America. She is a Fellow with the Aspen Institute
and remains active in many community organizations.
Shamina received a Bachelor of Science from Old Dominion
University in 1991 and a Master of Public Affairs from the
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in 1997.
Puja Vohra, Director, Consumer Marketing, Bravo
is a seasoned media marketing professional, with a career that
spans media outlets in the US and India. She is currently the
Director for Consumer Marketing at Bravo, a cable network part
of the NBC Universal family. Her responsibilities include managing
marketing and promotions for Bravo’s original arts, entertainment
and pop culture programming. Prior to Bravo, she has held senior
marketing positions at Viacom Plus and Oxygen Media. She also
co-founded eKani, an Internet radio start-up company based in
New York, NY.
started her marketing career as a member of Seagram’s start-up
team in India where she was responsible for the launch of several
alcoholic beverages in the nascent Indian market. Following that
she moved to MTV India and worked with several of India’s leading
consumer product marketers to create one of India’s first media
sponsorship marketing groups.
holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hindu College, Delhi University
and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
Shanthi Weeransinghe, Agency Sales Director, North
Shore Financial Group, MetLife
business woman, Shanthi Weeransinghe, first ventured overseas
more than twenty-five years ago. After being raised and educated
in South Asia, Shanthi left her homeland to join a German company,
providing organizational guidance to garment producers around
the world. During her twelve years in Europe, Shanthi also pursued
additional training at technical schools in Austria and Germany.
Shanthi left Germany for the United States, where she entered
the financial services arena. Shanthi has achieved a great deal
of success in this industry, including recognition in the insurance
industry’s Million Dollar Round Table. As an Agency Sales
Director for North Shore Financial Group, an Office of MetLife,
she recruits and develops financial services representatives.
addition to her professional activities, Shanthi also participates
in charitable endeavors around the world, including acting as
a volunteer during the aftermath of the Tsunami.
avid runner, Shanthi was also the first Sri-Lankan woman to run
NYC marathon in 1995, and has completed seven full marathons to