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Global Conference Speaker Biographies

Speaker Biographies

Kristin Bertelli
Kristin Bertelli currently serves as the Deputy Chief, Workforce Strategy and Planning, of the Central Intelligence Agency and formerly managed Intelligence Community (IC) strategic workforce planning efforts while serving within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). While at ODNI, she served as the human capital co-lead on an IC-wide workforce study of the 17 Departments and independent agencies that make up the IC.
Prior to joining federal service, Kristin spent 18 years working for ANSER Inc., a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to supplying federal, state and local government officials with objective, timely and forward-thinking analysis. As a senior analyst, she supported decision-makers in the U.S. Air Force, Strategic Defense Initiative Office, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Defense Intelligence Agency. For several years, she served as the Special Assistant to ANSER’s CEO.

Susan Dunn
Susan Dunn is a Senior Partner at Mercer Leadership Development and is located at the Portland, Oregon office. She works with large global organizations to prepare their leaders to meet the strategic challenges they face. Susan has a particular interest in understanding what drives successful cross-boundary collaboration between leaders and has conducted extensive research on best practices in managing virtual and lateral teams. She is also conducting research to understand how analysts assess and assign a value to leadership as they develop their stock price recommendations. At Mercer Leadership Development, Susan has worked with various organizations across a variety of industries, including Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Citi, Dell, Disney, Freightliner, Fujitsu, KPMG, McDermott, Mercer, Merck, Nike, Novartis, Safeco, Sun Microsystems,Thomson, and XL Capital Insurance. Prior to working at Mercer LD, Susan worked as a Director at Mazda Motor Corporation and as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

David Finegold
Professor David Finegold is the founding Chief Academic Officer for American Honors. Before joining American Honors, David was Senior Vice President for Lifelong Learning and Strategic Growth at Rutgers University, where he oversaw all international, online, continuing and executive education, summer/winter session and community college partnerships. Prior to this, he completed a successful five-year term as Dean of Rutger’s School of Management and Labor Relations where he led the creation of several successful new degree programs at the School, along with the new Master of Business and Science, the first cross-Rutgers, interdisciplinary degree program to connect schools on all three campuses. He also was the architect of the $5+ million Bio-1 partnership that helped strengthen ties between New Jersey education and training institutions and life science employers; this served as the model for the sectoral talent networks that are now the focal point for the state’s workforce development strategy. Before arriving at Rutgers in 2006, David was a founding professor at the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences in Claremont, California, where he helped to build the first college devoted specifically to creating a best-in-class professional science masters program. He is a leading expert on skill development systems and their relationship to economic performance. His current work is focused on the evolving skill development systems in India and China. He is the author of more than 80 journal articles and book chapters and has written or edited seven books. He graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Social Studies from Harvard University in 1985, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he completed his DPhil in Politics in 1992.

Mark Gasta
Mark Gasta is the Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for Vail Resorts Management Company. Vail Resorts is the premier mountain resort company in the world and a leader in luxury, destination-based travel at iconic locations. In this position, he is responsible for planning and executing on organization-wide people strategies designed to increase organization effectiveness and enhance organizational performance and health through the development and empowerment of Vail’s 18,000 employees. Previously, Mark served as the corporate vice president of Organizational Development for Comcast Communications 90,000 employees. Gasta also served as the vice president of human resources for Comcast’s West Division, which consisted of 14,000 employees in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington State. Additionally Gasta has held various human resources management positions with AT&T Broadband, Lexis-Nexis and Target Corporation. Gasta also served in the United States Army as a commissioned officer and aviator.

Darren Grady
Darren Grady is an accomplished human resources leader with a diverse background in generalist, organization development and learning management roles. He has broad experience working with the top leadership teams of sales, marketing, product development and support functions in Fortune 500 companies to drive large-scale change initiatives. With expertise in designing high-performing organizations, developing management capability, and building top executive teams he is passionate about growing the business acumen and overall impact of human resources professionals while providing simple HR solutions that deliver real business results. Since 2010, Darren has served as Senior Director, Global Organization Capability for Nike, Inc. Darren’s experience also includes senior HR leadership positions at Intel, Gateway Computers, Clearwater, Washington Mutual and The Clarion Group.

Debi Hirshlag
Debi Hirshlag joined Workday in 2012 as vice president at Workday and oversees global human resources. She is responsible for talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, employee engagement programs, and facilities and real estate. Prior to Workday, Debi was vice president of global human resources at Flextronics, where she led that company’s Workday deployment, the world’s largest rollout of a core HR system in the cloud. Debi also implemented and ran global HR shared services, and managed the learning systems and site-based human resources organizations. Before Flextronics, Debi held human resources leadership roles at Trimble Navigation, Ariba and Latitude Communications. Her early career included positions at Seagate, Pepsi-Cola, and Amoco. Debi has extensive international experience, including assignments in China and Malaysia.

Jeremy Hunter
Since 1999 Jeremy Hunter has been affiliated with the Peter F. Drucker School of Management, where he teaches in the Executive Management and MBA programs and has been voted Professor of the Year three times. He created and still teaches The Practice of Self-Management and The Executive Mind, a series of challenging and transformative executive education programs dedicated to managing oneself. These courses were among the first to introduce mindfulness practice (a rigorous form of mental discipline) as well as attention training and emotional management in a management context. Jeremy is also actively involved in the civic leadership programs of the Southern California Leadership Network as a Senior Curriculum Fellow, teaching The Internal Dynamics of Leadership to give leaders the inner skills needed to deal with life’s challenges. Jeremy also serves as part of the executive coaching team with Corporate Coaching International, co-founded by Lois Frankel, author of the bestselling books Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. From 1994-2004, Jeremy Hunter served as Research Director of the Quality of Life Research Center, which he co-founded with Jeanne Nakamura and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi at the Drucker School of Management. He also consults internationally.

Kate Hyatt
In her role of Senior Director, Global Talent Management and Organizational Development for Staples, Kate leads the implementation of talent management solutions, ensuring process integration and end to end alignment including performance management, succession planning, top talent development, competency model development, leadership assessment and change management. Her team members also serve as OD consultants and resources to HR Business Partners and business leaders. Prior to her current role, Kate was the West Region HR Director for Staples, and responsible for all human resources support for the West Region for Staples Contract. The 52 HR professionals on her team provided all generalist, recruiting and OD support for over 10,000 employees. Prior to the acquisition of Corporate Express by Staples, Kate led all employee relations and recruiting activities for 1600 Corporate Express HQ employees. She oversaw several US HR programs including relocation, outplacement, Affirmative Action, drug testing, unemployment and onboarding. Kate also held the position of Director of Organizational Development for Corporate Express. In that role, she provided thought leadership and consulting expertise on business culture, employer branding, optimal organizational design/structure and process optimization. She oversaw the employee engagement survey program and the development/implementation of an enterprise-wide recognition program.

Jason Jeffay
Jason Jeffay is a Mercer Senior Partner and Global Segment Leader for Leadership & Organization Performance. In this capacity he advises on and manages consulting, technology and information strategies to drive business performance through effective leadership, the right organization, aligned people strategies and practical talent management solutions. Jason has over 20 years of consulting experience working with senior leadership and HR executives. He is a frequent contributor to global publications and national speaking venues.

Matthew Kamensky
Matthew has more than 15 years of human resource consulting experience and helps organizations improve business success by designing people programs to get the most of their employees. He specializes in talent management, employee engagement, total rewards, workforce analytics, training, and HR excellence. In addition to consulting, he has worked extensively on intellectual capital development through Towers Watson’s Talent Management & Rewards research and Change and Communication ROI research. Matthew speaks regularly at national conferences and has been quoted in business and human resources publications. He is also an adjunct faculty member teaching ethics, organizational measurement and survey research. Matthew earned an M.A. in industrial-organizational psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver, and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Eric Lesser
Eric Lesser is the Research Director and North American leader for the IBM Institute for Business Value. He oversees a global team responsible for driving IBM’s research and thought leadership on strategic business issues. Previously, he led IBM’s Global Business Services research and thought leadership in the area of human capital management. His research and consulting have focused on a variety of issues, including workforce and talent management, collaboration and social networking, workforce analytics and the changing role of the HR organization. As a consultant, he has worked with clients across a range of industries, including the financial services, legal, technology, and government sectors. Mr. Lesser has recently co-authored Calculating Success: How the New Workplace Analytics Will Revitalize Your Organization. He has written numerous articles for publications such as the Sloan Management Review, The Academy of Management Executive, the International Human Resources Information Management Journal, and the Journal of Business Strategy. He has been quoted in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, the Financial Times, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, and has appeared on Fox Business News, BBC News, and CBC Newsworld.

MaryAnn Miller
MaryAnn Miller is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for $26 billion Phoenix-based Avnet, Inc. – one of the world’s largest value-added distributors of electronic components and enterprise-class computer products and services. MaryAnn’s responsibilities include global human resources and organizational development, reporting directly to Rick Hamada, chief executive officer. She serves on both the Avnet Executive Board and Avnet Global Executive Council. She previously served as senior vice president, global human resources, a post she held since July 2008, after two years with Avnet as vice president of talent and organizational effectiveness, with responsibility for global talent management, performance management and employee development. MaryAnn continues to make significant contributions to Avnet’s brand, culture and employee programs, most notably in developing a comprehensive, integrated organizational development initiative that enables Avnet to attract, develop and engage the best employees. She was awarded the Avnet Chairman’s Award in 2009 for leading her team to remarkable strides in people practices across Avnet and was elected a Corporate Officer in November 2009 and promoted to Senior Vice President in May 2011. She received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2010.
MaryAnn has more than 25 years of experience in human resources and operations management in insurance, banking, wireless communications, aerospace and technology distribution and services.

Gyan Nagpal
Gyan is an award winning talent strategist and commentator, who is deeply invested in researching ongoing changes to the global talent pool. Over the last decade he has helped some of the worlds largest and most ambitious organisations build significant business franchises across the Asia Pacific Region. As CEO and Principal at PeopleLENS Global Associates, Gyan trains and coaches business leaders on talent management; and travels the world speaking on leadership and 21st century talent trends. In addition, Gyan is also a senior fellow- human capital at the Conference Board and a member of the NTL Institute. His upcoming book "Talent Economics – The Fine Line between Winning and Losing the Global War for Talent” is slated for global release on 3rd December 2012.

Kelly O'Dea
Harvard Business School called Kelly O’Dea "a global marketing pioneer, business leader and change leader.” He is highly regarded for his remarkable success in business building, leading and co-leading teams that won nearly $2 billion in business from clients such as IBM, Ford, Jaguar, AT&T, Samsung, Compaq, Boeing, and Fujitsu. In the course of his marketing career, Mr. O’Dea has inspired clients and marketing teams, resulting in his becoming one of the top executives of several of the most influential and respected global advertising and branding companies. He served as the President of Foote, Cone and Belding Worldwide, Vice Chairman of Bozell Worldwide,and President of Worldwide Client Services for Ogilvy & Mather. At each of these companies, he drove success through implementing transnational network models and earned a reputation as a highly valued senior advisor to the executives of clients they served. Based on the experiences and lessons learned from advising so many clients with complex transformational needs, Mr. O’Dea co-founded the Alliance for High Performance Leadership, a privately held next-generation strateic services company focused on applied innovation in business strategy, brand development, marketing, new media, and prodcut design for large companies such as Ford and Lenovo as well as many early stage firms focused on new technology innovations and applications across a range of markets

Donna Pearce
Donna has practiced Organization Development for over 15 years, and has extensive experience in leading large-scale planning, strategic change execution, culture change and capability building. Her current role is Executive Director, Strategy Execution within the Corporate Strategy Office at Merck & Co. where she leads the Transformation change team, strategy communications, and supports building leader and change agent capabilities. She is also a certified Sigma Executive Belt, and change agent in the Conner Change Execution Methodology. Recently, in Q4 2012, Donna led a team that executed a global on-line Transformation Jam, which engaged 33K employees around the world over 3 days to discuss critical issues related to Merck’s transformation. Prior to her current role, Donna led the Global Change, Communications and Training team supporting the global rollout of Merck’s SAP implementation and has supported strategic change in Merck Research Laboratories. Before joining Merck, she led OD for Wyeth’s (now Pfizer) Manufacturing Division and was a partner in Pearce-McCormick Consulting Group. Donna brings a unique combination of line business experience in sales and marketing and deep organization development expertise crosses multiple business/ functional areas, including Sales & Marketing, Pharma R&D and manufacturing, Human Resources and the Corporate Strategy function.

Marta Perez
Marta Brito Pérez, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Adventist HealthCare. She specializes in complex reorganizations. Marta designed and executed significant consolidations and restructuring for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), achieving performance improvements and costs savings in these two distinct environments. She was a presidential appointee while at DHS. Marta also served with the Office of Personnel Management, where she led human capital management reform initiatives impacting more than 2 million federal employees. She has been honored with the Distinguished Public Service Award from the U.S. Coast Guard and the International Personnel Management Association Award for Excellence. Hispanic Business Magazine selected her to its Top 20 Elite Women.

Christine Porath
Christine Porath is an Associate Professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on leadership, organizational culture, and change. She focuses not only on the effects of bad behavior, but also how organizations can create a more positive environment where people can thrive; and how individuals and organizations benefit. Christine is co-author of the book, The Cost of Bad Behavior. Her research has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Consumer Research, Academy of Management Executive, and several other journals and books. Her work has been featured worldwide in over 650 television, radio and print outlets. It has appeared on 20/20, Today, FoxNews, CNN, BBC, NBC, msnbc, CBS, ABC, and NPR. It’s also been included in Time, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Fortune, Forbes, NY Times, The Washington Post, and L.A. Times.

Greg Pryor
Greg Pryor serves as the Vice President of Leadership and Talent Matters for Juniper Networks, one of the world’s leading providers of high-performance networking systems and innovation. At Juniper, Greg and his team have responsibility for: Leadership & Manager Effectiveness, Executive Recruiting, Talent Management, Global Talent Acquisition, HR Systems & Support and Juniper’s Annual People Review. Greg and his team also steward Juniper’s corporate culture known as the Juniper Way, through the creation of an aligned Brand System that connects the Business Strategy to each person’s individual aspirations, interest and abilities. Before joining Juniper, Greg served as the head of Talent Management for Merrill Lynch’s Global Technology and Operations function. Before Merrill Lynch, Greg was a Partner in Accenture’s Human Performance Practice. Greg has served as a catalyst for business change through presentations that have been featured at events sponsored by Financial Executives Institute, Canadian Human Resource Planners Society and the Positive Employee Practices Institute. Since 1998, he has provided active leadership for the oldest leadership development institute in North America – the Leadership Forum at Silver Bay.

Rachel Weston Rowell
Rachel is passionate about teaching and technology and found the perfect mix of those as an Agile Coach at Rally. Her background in software development teams and as a manager of those teams and supporting organizations has helped foment a drive to connect smart people with great ideas so that they can to continuously improve. When she is not coaching, facilitating and learning, you can find her running around with her husband and daughter or in the kitchen masquerading as a novice chef.

Eric Severson
As Senior Vice President of Global Talent Solutions for Gap Inc., Eric is responsible for developing Gap’s Talent Strategy and for leading its Talent team. After spending 8 years at Macy’s in various leadership roles, Eric began his career at Gap Inc. in 2000. In his 13 years at Gap Inc., Eric has led the start up of the Gap Inc. Diversity Council, launched the Gap Inc. Diversity department, and led the re-development of the company’s Flexible Work Arrangement policy. During his 7 years as head of HR for the Outlet Division, Eric and his team focused on differentiating Outlet’s position in the talent marketplace through cutting edge employment practices that set the business apart from its competition. Gap Inc. Outlet’s success in engaging and retaining its workforce through its people strategies has been documented in HR Magazine, Business Week, and the Corporate Leadership Council Best Practices¬ as well as in the books Why Work Sucks and What to Do About It and Future Work. A cover story on Outlet’s ROWE experiment was published in HR Executive Magazine in August 2010. In February 2011, Eric began his current position as Senior Vice President of Talent for Gap North America. In this role, Eric has continued to foster talent innovation, most notably via Gap’s Performance for Life program, which drives employee performance by promoting individual and organizational wellbeing. Profiles of Gap’s talent management story have been featured in the books Pull: The Power of Magnetic Leadership, and The True Happiness Recipe: How to Stop Your Job From Killing You and Create Work-Life Harmony Everyday.

Maria Smith
Maria C. Smith is a Senior Consultant at Right Management, a global leader in talent and career management workforce solutions within Manpower Group. Smith is the lead consultant for Bayer engagements in the Americas, which includes the Development Centers, Bayer Global Leadership Excellence Programs and Executive Coaching. Over the course of her career, she has worked across a variety of industries including finance, pharmaceutical, healthcare and the services industry. Smith has a master's degree in organization development from American University.

Luca Solari
Luca Solari is full Professor of Organization Theory & Human Resource Management at the University of Milan and visiting professor at the Orfalea College of Business at CalPoly, San Luis Obispo. He is Professor of Human resources in the Faculty of MIP School of management in Milan for the MBA program. Luca has an extensive experience in design and delivery of Corporate Executive training programs, and after a long career as Strategic Consultant in Organization and HRM, he presently acts as Corporate Sense maker, Blogger, and Social Media Experimenter, investigating the Future of Work and the Future of Productivity.Luca’s academic work comprises strategy, organizational design issues, and human resource management strategies and practices, with a vast array of previous research and strategic consulting experiences in different industries ranging from service to manufacturing.

Suzanne Stoller
Suzanne leads People Operations for the Americas West region out of Google’s Boulder, Colo. office. For the previous three years, she was the lead HR partner for Google’s head of advertising in the Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. In that role, Suzanne managed the HR generalist team that oversees the Ads product area--supporting thousands of Googlers globally. Prior to Google, Suzanne spent several years as a consultant for Towers Perrin. Suzanne is a former improv comedian (but please don’t expect her to make you laugh during her session). She’s married to a man named Breeze and has a daughter named Zephyr--so she surrounds herself with a windy crowd.

Carsten Sudhoff
Carsten Sudhoff is the Chief Human Resources Officer at the World Economic Forum. Carsten holds a Banking degree from the Dresdner Bank, a BA in Business Administration and Economics from the American University of Paris and an MBA from HEC Paris in Entrepreneurship. He has lived, studied or worked in eight countries on three continents. Carsten worked for DaimlerChrysler AG for 12 years in various functional and geographical areas such as Logistics, Product Management, Controlling and HR. He joined the World Economic Forum in August 2008. Currently also serving as the World Economic Forum Lead of the Global Agenda Council on "New Models of Leadership". Carsten is co-founder and chairman of the International HR Community of Switzerland (, and serves on the Advisory Board of "ESHRM at SDA Bocconi" and of "People to Perform" in China. He twitters under CSUD and blogs under

Janet Victorson
Janet Victorson is a Director in the Center of Expertise for Talent Management for Bayer AG, a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health­ care, nutrition and high-tech materials. With regional responsibility for North America, Victorson is actively engaged in development and implementation of talent management tools and processes. Victorson, who is SPHR certified, has an MBA from the University of Florida and significant experience in the HR functional areas of training, compensation, labor relations, HR management and assessment.

Ben Waber
Ben Waber is a Senior Researcher at Harvard Business School and a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab. He is also the president and CEO of Sociometric Solutions, a management consulting firm that uses social-sensing technology to understand and improve organizations. He received his Ph.D. from MIT for his work with Alex "Sandy” Pentland in the Human Dynamics group at the Media Lab. Waber’s work has been featured in major media outlets such as Wired, The Economist, and NPR. He has consulted for industry leaders such as LG, McKinsey & Company, and Gartner on technology trends, social networks, and organizational design.
Ben Waber

Dan L. Ward
Dan L. Ward is a Human Capital strategist within the MITRE Corporation’s Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) for National Security Engineering. In this role, he leads advisory support for strategic workforce planning, organization design, people strategy, and change management activities. Dan provides advice and counsel to a variety of U.S. government agencies. Prior to joining MITRE in 2006, he held senior level roles in HR, knowledge management, and strategic planning at GTE, Texaco, and EDS. One-third of the Fortune 100 companies have sought his counsel on advanced people strategies. He started his career as a management scientist developing workforce simulation studies for AT&T/Western Electric/Bell Labs. Dan has been active in HRPS since 1978.Ward’s cost-benefit studies on alternate staffing strategies have been cited in Fortune, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, the Work in America Institute, etc. He is the senior editor of AMACOM’s 2013 book: Positioned: Strategic Workforce Planning that Gets the Right Person in the Right Job.

Justin Wasserman
For Justin Wasserman, a partner with the Schaffer Consulting, an important piece of his work with clients is helping them translate their long-term strategy into manageable projects that will deliver immediate improvements in their organization's performance. He enjoys working with organizations to understand their unique business issues and partnering with them to design approaches that will deliver breakthrough and sustainable results. Since Justin joined the firm, the projects in which he has been involved have delivered in excess of $1.75B in revenue and cost enhancements. Over the past decade, Justin has worked around the world across a spectrum of industries. His engagements have dealt with a broad range of business challenges including large-scale organizational transformation, performance improvement, change management, leadership development, post-merger integration, organic growth, talent strategies, and customer/patient satisfaction. Some of Justin's past and present clients include Merck, ConAgra Foods, Zurich Financial Services, Citigroup, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Cliffs Natural Resources, Iberdrola USA, SEIU Local 1199, McKesson, Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers, and Say Yes to Education.




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