SPEAKERS OF 2019
SOME OF THE AMAZING MINDS THAT JOINED US ON STAGE LAST YEAR
SPEAKERS OF 2019
Evarist Bartolo took office as the Minister for Education and Employment on 13 March 2013.
In 1975 Bartolo graduated from the University of Malta with a B.A. (Hons) degree in English Literature and continued his studies in journalism at Stanford University. He also read for a Master’s in Education at the University of Cardiff.
He spent three years teaching at De La Salle College as well as working with the national broadcasting station and editor of numerous media organisations.
A member of parliament since 1992, he worked mostly in Education, European affairs and Tourism as well as serving as Minister of Education and National Culture under a Labour government between 1996 and 1998.
Minister Bartolo is known for being a proponent of civil rights in Malta.
Vivek is currently the business lead for Bose AR, the world’s first audio augmented reality platform, where he is responsible for advanced planning, strategy, and key partnerships for the business.
He previous led the audio team at Jawbone, where he led the product development from concept to launch of DROP, a social music app that allowed your friends to tweet song requests to your JAMBOX, that launched on-stage at Twitter Flight’s Mobile Developer Conference in 2014. Before that he co-founded NoiseToys, a TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield company that created a social radio service that sold to Jawbone in 2013.
Outside of technology, Vivek is a passionate singer and composer. After graduating from Stanford, Vivek composed with Bollywood producer AR Rahman on a number of his movies in India, including the Oscar-winning score for Slumdog Millionaire.
Dr. Nick Fuller
Nick obtained his PhD in Applied Physics from Columbia University in 2002 and joined IBM as a Research Staff Member that same year. In his 17 years at IBM, Nick has held multiple technical and leadership roles driving innovation in the following areas: semiconductor and microprocessor technology for IBM Systems and OEM clients, cloud native technologies for IBM Cloud and, currently, technology services innovation for IBM Services and Cognitive Software.
Nick is a 1997 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Math and a 1992 graduate of Fatima College, Trinidad and Tobago holding A-level distinctions in Physics, Math, Further Math and Chemistry.
Nick is an IBM Master Inventor, is the holder of over 60 patents, has co-authored over 80 technical publications and has been referenced on over 1800 occasions. He lives in Long Island, New York with his wife and two sons and in his spare time loves playing football (soccer), listening to music and writing.
Kirk holds a Bachelor and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of the West Indies. He also earned a Master of Science degree in International Finance from the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business. Kirk has received recognition from leading information security association ISACA, where he was awarded their Worldwide Achievement Award for information security management certification (CISM) in 2016. He is an ISACA certified IT governance professional and has authored a publication on the modernisation of legacy systems in ISACA’s 2013 journal.
School of Computer Science Carnegie Mellon University.
Jeff Pulver can be described as: Internet Pioneer, VoIP; Entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor, Strategist, Astrophotographer, Futurist. He helped shape the worldwide market acceptance of VoIP; Founder / Co-founder of numerous startups including: Free World Dialup, pulver.com, VON, Vivox and Vonage. Veteran of the Tradeshow industry; producer, host, curator of events. Jeff is also involved in public policy advocacy and is the founder of both the VON Coalition and the Blockchain Token Association.
Known as a globally renowned Internet thought leader, in 1995 he defined “VON” to stand for Voice/Video on the Net. From 1997 to 2008 he hosted the VON Conferences and drove the growth of the global VoIP Industry.
His work in Washington is the reason services like: FaceTime, Telegram and WhatsApp are free. Jeff has influenced the creation of numerous other startups, investing in over 400 startups himself. He is currently exploring the intersection of Blockchain and Finance.
As Co-Founder of The Local Group, Jeff is a passionate advocate of Programmable Securities such as Security Tokens. Strategic adviser to Blockchain projects.
Mr. Pulver is committed to the future of the Internet and is featured in the media as an expert in his field.
— The Pulver Order —
On February 12, 2004, Mr. Pulver’s petition for clarification declaring Free World Dialup as an unregulated information service was granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This landmark decision was the first decision it made on IP communications. Now referred to as “the Pulver Order”, the ruling provides important clarification that computer-to-computer VoIP service is not a telecommunications service. By doing this, the FCC delivered a strong signal to consumers and capital markets that the FCC is not interested in subjecting end-to-end IP Communications services to traditional voice telecommunications regulation under the Communications Act.
Industry IoT & Big Data App, Oracle
Hardware and AlphaLab Gear
Before helping to found AlphaLab Gear, Ilana grew and led tech companies from startup to exit — building management teams, raising venture capital, and managing mergers and acquisitions from both sides of the table (buyer and seller). She has spent most of her career in physical product companies — everything from consumer electronics and commercial safety, to more fashion-oriented products, like handbags and sports accessories. Earlier in her career, as a management consultant for PwC, Ilana provided strategy advice, turnaround assistance, and merger and acquisition support to Fortune 500, middle-market, and growing companies.
Ilana has also served in leadership roles on boards of private companies and not-for-profit organizations, including the International Consumer Technology Association (the largest trade organization in the world, and organizer of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas), the Pittsburgh Technology Council, Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, and Propel Charter Schools. She holds a B.A. in Biological Sciences and Economics from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Massy Technology InfoCom
He believes Automation is a critical component to boosting local and regional economic productivity, shifting labor from routine tasks to higher-skilled and higher-paying jobs, and opening up the middle class to many more people around the Caribbean. This is where the man, the machine and data collide.
For those puzzled about how the Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning may impact their personal future or organizations in private and public industries, his conversation on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a must attend.
Dr. Kwame Johnson
After building a solid foundation at Presentation College, San Fernando, Dr. Johnson earned degrees from Morehouse College and Duke University School of Medicine in the United States. Motivated by a strong desire to build a unique career working on big problems, he opted not to pursue clinical training; instead, after a number of roles including neuroscience researcher, molecular biology instructor, and failed tech startup founder, Kwame decided to enter the technology industry. He completed a grueling software engineering bootcamp and landed at Microsoft.
Because of his unique background in medicine, software engineering, and product management, Dr. Johnson was then recruited to join a growing team at Google to develop the healthcare technology products of the future, today.
He is passionate about the role of technology in empowering both individuals and communities to develop novel solutions to all sorts of problems. As an advocate of technology education, Dr. Johnson believes that the best thing about working on technology is that it is a great way to play an active role in creating the future.
Kwame’s favorite things about coming home to T&T in addition to friends and family are seeing hummingbirds, eating Julie mangoes, and visiting Castara, Tobago.
Leslie Lee Fook
INCUS Services Limited
Leslie Lee Fook is the Director and co-founder of INCUS Services Limited, a leading analytics and information security Consulting Firm based in Trinidad and Tobago. His career spans over twenty years in the Information Technology field with experience in Analytics, Business Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence.
He has managed enterprise-sized projects in the United Kingdom and throughout the Caribbean. Leslie is passionate about data literacy and open data and believes that we will all someday become data citizens.
His vision is to tap into the deeply creative nature of our Caribbean people so that we can foster the development of a Caribbean Analytics community. A community that’s highly sought after for its talent and expertise, transforming us into the “India for Analytics” and exporters of data services.
Fabiana works in TTS Miami where she is responsible for the management and administration of Liquidity and Channels products for Caribbean and Centro America Countries. This includes managing the cash management product portfolio to widen product penetration, maximize revenue generation and increase Citi´s market share.
She is also responsible for ensuring the products are in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements in order to mitigate product risks.
Fabiana has been with Citi since 2006, working out of Brazil, Colombia and Miami with over 18 markets in Latin America. Over the course of these 10 years, she has developed specialized Cash Management knowledge in the Collections, Payments, Service Readiness and Electronic Channels space.
She also led the Service Hub and the migration initiative that was responsible for serving all of the clients in the Caribbean and Central America markets.
Prior to joining Citi, Fabiana worked at ABN AMRO Bank in Sao Paulo for 10 years, where she managed different banking products for consumer bank. During that time, she was responsible for designing and implementing a project called Intelligent IVR that won two awards: E-finance and ABT, both as the Best Solution for Call Center in 2004.
Professor Patrick Hosein
University of the West Indies
Patrick attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he obtained five degrees including a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has worked at Bose Corporation, Bell Laboratories, AT&T Laboratories, Ericsson and Huawei. He has published extensively with over 100 refereed journal and conference publications. He holds 41granted patents in the areas of telecommunications and wireless technologies. He was nominated for the Ericsson Inventor of the Year award in 2004, was the Huawei US Wireless Research Employee of the year for 2007 and is a 2015 Anthony Sabga Caribbean Laureate for Science and Technology. Patrick is presently the administrative and technical contact for the TT top level domain, CEO of the TTNIC and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of the West Indies. His present areas of research include radio resource management, QoS and pricing for 5G, Optimization and Machine Learning.
Vijay Pradeep is the Founder of Virtana, a Trinidad-based robotics software development & outsourcing company. Prior to moving to Trinidad, Vijay was a Co-Founder of hiDOF, Inc., a Silicon Valley firm that developed robotics technologies supporting a variety of areas, including VR/AR, vehicle autonomy, medical imaging, drones, personal aviation, and industrial automation. After the hiDOF team joined Google, Vijay served as a technical lead to help develop & release ARCore, Google’s augmented reality development kit. Vijay is also an active angel investor in the robotics sector.
Vijay received his B.S. in Computer Systems, focusing on Robotics and Mechatronics, and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering focusing on Control Systems, both from Stanford University. His academic contributions have been showcased in a variety of robotics conferences, journals, and books. Vijay’s contributions to ROS (Robot Operating System) are now used widely in the open source robotics community.
CrimsonLogic, Regional HQ, (Americas)
Bala oversees the full spectrum of CrimsonLogic’s business and operations in North and South America. Based in CrimsonLogic’s Latin America Regional HQ in Panama, he is responsible for managing customer & partner relations, drive new business opportunities, revenue goals and strengthen strategic accounts. He is also part of CrimsonLogic’s Senior Management Committee.
Prior to joining CrimsonLogic, Bala was Director for International Operations (Americas) of International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), Singapore’s national trade development agency. He was based in Washington DC from 2000-2006, managing IE Singapore’s regional operations and assisting Singapore companies in their business and market development in North and South America.
Concurrently, Bala was also Counsellor (Economics) supporting the Singapore Embassy in Washington DC and the Ministry of Trade and Industry in managing Singapore’s trade policy and economic relations with the United States. He was part of the Singapore team involved in negotiating the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Bala was also involved in the initiation of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations between Singapore and Panama.
Bala joined IE Singapore in 1984 and started his career in trade policy work. Subsequently, he moved to international operations work as Deputy Director, where he covered Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and South East Asia. He was later appointed the Vice-President of IE Singapore Holdings (formerly TDB Holdings) and was responsible for the operations as well as exploring new business opportunities for the company and its subsidiaries. Concurrently, he was also Director of Planning where he led the team that mapped out the Trade 2000 Master plan for Singapore’s international trade.
Bala contributed to the 1986 Singapore Economic Committee and the 1997 Committee on Singapore’s Competiveness (CSC) as Head of the multi-agency secretariat to the Hub Services Sub-Committee. He was also the Head of the Secretariat of ASEAN Committee on Trade and Tourism between 1986 and 1989. Bala was awarded the Public Adminstration Medal (Silver) in the National Day awards in 1999.
Bala graduated with an Honours degree in Economics from the National University of Singapore and also holds a Master Degree from the Imperial College of Science in London.
PwC, Trinidad & Tobago
Kofi is a Partner at PwC Trinidad. He has 19 years’ experience providing various Advisory service offerings to public and sector clients in Trinidad, the wider Caribbean region, and the United States. These service offerings include Risk Assurances services such as Internal Audit, Forensic audits, Business Continuity Management, and IT Security/Cyber Risk Assessments, as well as Transaction Advisory services such as M&A assistance including financial due diligence exercises.
Kofi leads PwC Trinidad’s Advisory Services department, which includes approx. 35 professionals. Before relocating to his native Trinidad Kofi also worked for PwC and other leading professional services firms in the United States for 10 years. Kofi also leads PwC Trinidad’s Markets activities including Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) initiatives.
Kofi is a qualified Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and also holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting, and an MBA with a specialization in Finance.
PwC, Trinidad & Tobago
Zia is a Partner who leads the local consulting practice in PwC Trinidad. She has over 22 years of experience serving clients on major advisory projects for clients in both the public and private sectors locally and regionally. Zia supports clients with all aspects of transformation involving people, process and technology. Zia is adept in leading techniques in project management and change management which are imperatives for driving innovation in organizations. Zia leads the local Digital transformation team in the PwC Trinidad practice and works closely with international experts across the Digital spectrum to offer tailored solutions to local and regional clients.
Zia serves as the Vice Chair for the Digital Transformation Committee of the American Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago and is familiar with both the local and international digital environment.
Zia is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and holds an MBA from the Heriot-Watt University in the UK.
Republic Bank, Trinidad
SIBER World Link Services Limited
Jason is the Founder and C.E.O. of SIBER World Link Services Limited, The Caribbean’s first O.T.T. white labelled solutions provider. After extensive years in the satellite and streaming business, Jason recognised the need for a service provider that understands the Caribbean market to customise solutions to serve from multichannel video distribution organizations to individual broadcasters and TV stations.
Jason then launched SIBER’s flagship product Tego for the world cup as the “Bmobile Tego World Cup App”. Built wholly upon SIBER’s proprietary OTT technology, Tego met the OTT standards of DirecTV and FIFA and developed before launching to a mobile audience in Trinidad and Tobago. His company is now working on the release of the new Tego which is due to be released this year with greater long-term ambitions.
After graduating from Presentation College, San Fernando, Jason attained his Bsc. at Barry University before pursuing his MPH and Medical degree. It’s during the latter stages of his medical studies Jason decided to change his ambitions to his true passion in technology.
Varun is the Global Emerging Markets FinTech Leader. He leads FinTech business as well as manages revenue in 130 countries in emerging markets globally by comprising over 100 professional spread all over the world focused on building FinTech, blockchain, payment, digital bank,regulatory policy, national infrastructure and financial inclusion projects. He is the youngest official media spokesperson of EY, frequently quoted by media houses like Financial Times, Thomson Reuters, Business Times, etc and is a regular feature to TV news channels like Channel New Asia. He manages revenue planning & business development for 10 ASEAN markets with over 2000 professionals working with global banks, insurance, private equity and government clients covering advisory, audit, tax, FinTech, merger & acquisition, regulatory compliance and innovation domains. He manages go to market plan & sales for FinTech, regtech, blockchain, payment, digital bank business for 10 ASEAN markets. Prior to EY, he was the Group Head of Operations and Merchant Product Management at HelloPay SEA, the first pan‐SEA wallet. He led partnerships with card schemes (UPI‐CUP, JCB and Amex) and acquirers (OCBC, UOB, Wirecard, Adyen) to enable acceptance for them on Lazada and HelloPay in Southeast Asia. He successfully scaled the HelloPay team to 154 in 12 months spread across 6 countries, and HelloPay was later acquired by Ant Financial (Alipay). He also held key roles in Samsung, SingTel, Microsoft and Gemalto.
Dr. Aleea Perry
Dr. Aleea Perry is a 2016 graduate of the University of Illinois in Chicago, and her dissertation research focused on the role of middle managers in large, public-sector organizations.
Her research interests include work motivation, organizational development, and the politics of public finance. She is currently writing a book on the origins of the United States Department of Homeland Security, with an expected publication date in early 2021. Prior to her PhD, she was a grant writer and administrator for cities, towns, counties, nonprofits, and community colleges.
She has also worked as a community development specialist for the State of Indiana, and as a senior project manager for the City of Indianapolis. She holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University, a Bachelor of Political Science degree from Butler University, and an Associate of Arts degree from Cottey College. She currently teaches courses in public administration, public finance, homeland security, state & local politics, and American government.
Dr. David D. Chambers
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Dr. David D. Chambers has a Ph.D. in Political Science with a specialization in American Public Policy from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (1990) and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from Idaho State University (1980). He currently chairs the Political Science department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he has been a faculty member since 1988. Dr. Chambers’ teaching and research interests include: the American Presidency, the behavioral foundations of public policy, public perceptions of bureaucracy, and, more recently, a collaboration with members of the IUP Theater faculty on the uses of Forum Theater as a means for teaching/modeling civil political dialog. Building on his interest in overcoming the scourge of hyper-partisanship in the United States by creating and enhancing meaningful, civil and productive civic engagement, Dr. Chambers chairs the IUP Free Speech Project and is one of the IUP representatives to the National Resource Center on Difficult Dialogues.
Dr. Chambers is married to Jeanmarie Becker Chambers and has two children, Dr. David L. Chambers, a biologist and Michelle K. Marvin, a graphic designer and digital imaging editor.