Raj Kumar is the founding President & Editor-in-Chief of Devex, the media platform for the global development community. A social entrepreneur and digital media executive, he's been a part of nine presidential campaigns and was a co-founder of a successful financial information company. Raj saw the world-shaping potential of Devex while a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School and promptly dropped out to build it. He has been profiled in Forbes, the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and the Washington Post, where Devex was called the Bloomberg of foreign aid. Raj is also an active investor in ground-breaking startups, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Clinton Global Initiative, and is the former chair of the World Economic Forum's humanitarian council.
Ann Mei Chang is the Executive Director of Lean Impact at Lean Startup Co., a company that encourages all organizations, especially ones seeking solutions to social problems, to think like startups. She is also the author of the new book LEAN IMPACT: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good, which takes a closer look at the idea of applying entrepreneurial thinking to social problem solving and explores examples of how these theories have played out in advocacy organizations around the world. Ann Mei came to this work through a winding path of both social and technological innovation. After graduating from Stanford with a degree in computer science, she went to work in Silicon Valley as a software engineer, and quickly climbed her way up the management ladder as she moved between tech startups. But after 20+ years in fast-paced Palo Alto, Ann Mei decided it was time to use her skills as an engineer and innovator to truly make the world a better place. More specifically, she set out to end global poverty. She began a career in government work and again climbed the management ladder quickly, becoming the Chief Innovation Officer at USAID and later the first Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab. She also served the US Department of State as Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and, after moving from government to NGO work, Chief Innovation Officer at Mercy Corps. Today, Ann Mei combines the skills she’s developed over her two illustrious careers to bring a new approach to solving global social issues by thinking like the innovator and engineer she always will be.
Dennis Whittle has worked for the past 30 years in philanthropy and aid. He is currently the co-founder and CEO at Feedback Labs a consortium which aims to change the norms in development, aid, and philanthropic policy to be more responsive to the people that those policies aim to help. Dennis also co-founded and was the CEO of GlobalGiving, a global crowdfunding platform for grassroots charitable projects. Forbes magazine called GlobalGiving “one of the 10 startups changing the world.” Before those ventures, Dennis worked for 14 years at the World Bank where he worked in Indonesia, Russia, Papua New Guinea, and Niger on projects and issues including: agriculture housing reform, structural adjustments, innovation, and energy efficiency. Dennis Whittle has an incredible breadth of experience within the world of nonprofits, philanthropies, as well as the startup world. He hopes to encourage Java Junkies to push themselves outside their comfort zones and learn how to embrace failures as the key to unlocking their true potentials.
Provash Budden is Regional Director for the Americas at Mercy Corps, with 20 years of experience in international development, leading programs on land rights, access to education, economic development, violence prevention, natural resource management and support to displaced communities affected by conflict. Provash has designed and implemented programs for Mercy Corps in Colombia and Sudan read more>>>
Dr. Deepmala Mahla is Country Director in Iraq for the global humanitarian and development NGO, Mercy Corps. Prior to working in Iraq, Deepmala was Mercy Corps’ Country Director in South Sudan. During her 20 years in international development, Deepmala has worked for a constellation of top NGOs including Marie Stopes International, Oxfam, CARE and the Louis Berger Group. And while she can’t imagine doing anything else, that wasn’t the case when she was an undergraduate in her native India and a triple major. Yes, that’s right -- a triple major! Back then, Deepmala thought she was going to become a bureaucrat. In fact, it was while she was studying to complete her PhD in Anthropology, specializing in Reproductive Health, that she realized she wanted to dedicate her career to helping improve the lives of the world’s most underserved communities.
Joe Bubman is the Technical Lead for Integrating Approaches in Complex Crises at one of the world’s largest humanitarian and development NGOs, Mercy Corps. Previously, Joe served as Acting Director of Peace and Conflict and as a Senior Peace and Conflict Advisor where he supported the development and implementation of conflict management programs in Africa, read more>>>