May 7, 2015
Vancouver, Canada


Nouriel Roubini
Co-founder and Chairman, Roubini Global Economics and Professor of Economics & International Business, New York University’s Stern School of Business

Nouriel Roubini is the cofounder and chairman of Roubini Global Economics, an independent, global macroeconomic strategy research firm. The firm’s website,, has been named one of the best economics web resources by BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. He is also a professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Roubini has extensive policy experience as well as broad academic credentials.

From 1998 to 2000, he served as the senior economist for international affairs on the White House Council of Economic Advisors and then the senior advisor to the undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department, helping to resolve the Asian and global financial crises, among other issues. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and numerous other prominent public and private institutions have drawn upon his consulting expertise. He has published over 70 theoretical, empirical and policy papers on international macroeconomic issues and coauthored the books Political Cycles: Theory and Evidence (MIT Press, 1997), Bailouts or Bail-ins? Responding to Financial Crises in Emerging Markets (Institute for International Economics, 2004) and Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance (Penguin Press, 2010).

Roubini’s views on global economic issues are widely cited by the media, and he is a frequent commentator on various business news programs. He has been the subject of extended profiles in The New York Times Magazine and other leading current-affairs publications. The Financial Times has also provided extensive coverage of Roubini’s perspectives. Roubini received an undergraduate degree at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, and a doctorate in Economics at Harvard University. Prior to joining Stern, he was on the faculty of Yale University’s department of Economics.



Melanne Verveer
Former Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Department of State

In 2009, President Obama nominated Melanne Verveer to be the first ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State. Ambassador Verveer spent the past four years working with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to coordinate foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. In such capacity, she worked to mobilize concrete support for women’s political and economic empowerment through public-private partnerships as well by working to fully integrate women’s participation and rights into U.S. foreign policy. President Obama also appointed Verveer to serve as U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Today she is the Director of Georgetown University’s newly-established Institute for Women, Peace and Security. The Institute seeks to enhance national and global security by documenting the crucial role women play in peace-building and security through research and scholarship and by engaging global leaders from government, civil society and the private sector in conversations on the urgent issues of out times.

Ambassador Verveer is also the founding partner of Seneca Point Global, the global women strategy firm. SPG partners with leading companies and institutions to design, implement and measure integrated strategies that focus on women and girls and drive sustainable results – whether social, economic or both.

Prior to her role at the State Department, Ambassador Verveer served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. Prior to Vital Voices, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration. She was chief assistant to Hillary Clinton in her wide-ranging international activities to advance women’s rights and further social development, democracy and peace-building initiatives. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Prior to her time in the White House, Ambassador Verveer served in a number of leadership roles in public policy organizations and as congressional staff.

Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She has served as the 2013 Humanitas visiting professor at Cambridge University. In 2008, the President of Ukraine awarded her the Order of Princess Olga. She holds several honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service.


Alexandre Meira da Rosa
Vice President for Countries
Inter-American Development Bank

Alexandre Meira da Rosa, a Brazilian citizen, was appointed Vice President for Countries in July 2014. Before he served as Manager of the IDB’s Infrastructure and Environment Sector. During the last decade before joining the IDB, Mr. Rosa held different positions in Brazil’s Federal Government.

Until May 2010, Mr. Rosa was Vice-Minister in charge of International Affairs at the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, a position through which he represented his country on the IDB Board of Governors as well as in five other multilateral development institutions, serving as the main Brazilian officer responsible for the formulation of policies in said institutions. In that capacity, he also headed the Committee on External Financing (COFIEX), the Brazilian government body responsible for the approval and monitoring of execution of all development projects—at the three levels of government—financed with foreign resources, totaling an active portfolio of more than $15 billion.

As a member of the Financing and Guarantee Committee (COFIG) between 2004 and 2010, Mr. Rosa participated in the structuring of loans and guarantees provided by Brazil to overseas infrastructure projects through the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and participated in numerous bilateral negotiations on loans and investment projects in Latin America and Africa.

Mr. Rosa was also a member of the Board of Furnas Centrais Elétricas S.A and of the Board of Banco Popular do Brasil, a micro-finance subsidiary of Banco do Brasil.

Before becoming Vice-Minister, Mr. Rosa also served as Deputy Vice-Minister and Economic Advisor to the Minister of Planning. During this period, he participated in the development of the Brazilian legislation for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), which was sent to Congress in December 2003. He also contributed to the studies that gave the foundation of the PPP Unit at the Brazilian Federal Government, and participated in the formulation of the investment parameters for the 2004–2007 Multi-Year Investment Plan of the Brazilian Federal Government.

Mr. Rosa has a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, a Master’s degree in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York and a Graduate Certificate in Finance from the University of California, Berkeley.



Eduardo Ferreira
Superintendent of Microfinance Operations
Itaú Unibanco

Mr. Ferreira earned his Master’s and PhD in Business Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas. His academic vocation has also led him to earn degrees in civil engineering, accounting and philosophy. As a visiting professor, he was nominated twice “class champion”, a graduating class’ greatest supporter and role model.

With over 30 years of experience in financial markets, Mr. Ferreira made a career at Itaú Unibanco in consumer credit. He played an important role restructuring the bank’s consumer credit arm focused on personal lending.

Born from this restructuring in 2003, Itaú’s paperless and branchless microfinance operation was created with the help of research projects conducted at UCLA, MIT, Harvard, IFC, IDB FOMIN and CGAP. Mr. Ferreira runs the microfinance operation to this day. He is also Director of Itaú Viver Mais, an organization dedicated to the relationship with Brazil’s retired population.

Mr. Ferreira is an active member of the Diversity, and Gender Committee at Itaú Unibanco. Finally, he is the moving force behind Itaú’s Women Entrepreneurship Program, an initiative being carried out in partnership with the IDB and IFC. Since 2013 he is member of the board of Global Banking Alliance for Women.



Chuck Jeannes
President & Chief Executive Officer, Goldcorp Inc.


Chuck Jeannes is a mining industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. As President and CEO, he has helped Goldcorp Inc. grow into one of the world’s largest and most successful gold mining companies with mining operations and development projects located throughout the Americas. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO in December 2008, he held the role of Executive Vice President, Corporate Development where he led the company through a series of M&A transactions that have contributed to the company’s significant growth. Prior to joining Goldcorp, he held senior positions with Glamis Gold and Placer Dome. He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Nevada and graduated from the University of Arizona School of Law with honors in 1983. He practiced law for 12 years and has broad experience in capital markets, public and private transactions, financing and international regulation.



The Honourable Khristinn Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and the Minister of Status of Women

Minister Leitch was elected to the House of Commons in May 2011 and was appointed in July 2013 as Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women.

She previously served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour since May 2011.

Dr. Leitch earned her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1994 and her MBA from Dalhousie University in 1998.

She has also been recognized with the Order of Ontario for her advocacy work on behalf of Canadian children.

Throughout her career in the medical profession, as a volunteer, and now in public life, Dr. Leitch has made it a priority to help address the unique challenges that women and girls face.

She is particularly well-qualified to lead Status of Women Canada and its collaborative efforts to make progress for all women and girls in our country.



Gabi Zedlmayer
Vice President & Chief Progress Officer, HP
Gabi Zedlmayer drives HP’s Living Progress initiatives that help improve the communities we serve aligned with HP’s business strategy. She leads a global team of experts focused on solving social and environmental issues in collaboration with non-profit organizations, governments, customers and partners. Her goal is to create solutions that improve communities and advance human, economic and environmental progress.

Zedlmayer serves as a member of the board of directors of Hewlett-Packard GmbH Germany. She is President of the Women’s Council of HypoVereinsbank UNICREDIT and a member of the EU Commission e-skills leadership board, the Computer Science Advisory Board of the University of People, and Junior Achievement Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the World Economic Forum’s Council on Social Innovation and the Corporate Advisory Group of the We Mean Business Coalition.

In 2011 she was honoured by Newsweek and the Daily Beast as one of 150 “women who shake the world”. In 2012 she was named by FastCompany as a member of the League of Extraordinary Women and was awarded with the DLDWomen Impact Award.



Harsh Saini
Executive Vice President – Vendor Compliance & Sustainability
Li & Fung

As Executive Vice-President for Vendor Compliance & Sustainability, Harsh oversees Li & Fung’s global team focused on supplier performance in the areas of social, environment and sustainability. Li & Fung is the largest consumer products supply chain management company in the world, with revenues of over $19billion from trading, sourcing and logistics. Core business includes product design and development, production, logistics for multiple global brands and retailers, the majority of whom are based in the US and Europe. Harsh leads a team focused on compliance to rising social and environmental standards, and building competencies and sustainable business practices in emerging markets factories that support global supply chains and the global consumer products industry.

Previous to joining Li & Fung, Harsh lead Nike’s corporate responsibility and corporate communications initiatives in Asia. Other prior roles included heading up a marketing and communications consultancy in Japan, and marketing communications at The Body Shop International. Born in India, she was educated in the UK and has spent the majority of her working life in Asia. Harsh has spoken widely at industry and other events on sustainability, leadership and corporate responsibility and continues to play key roles in advising industry and governments on these topics.



Daisy M. Auger-Domínguez
Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Organization & Workforce Diversity
Human Resources


Daisy Auger-Domínguez is Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Diversity at the Disney ABC Television Group where she is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation, and alignment of talent acquisition and organizational diversity and inclusion. She leads teams who focus on making the Disney ABC Television Group the destination for talented people with a passion for creating compelling content that engages consumers around the world.

Ms. Auger-Domínguez was previously Managing Director of Executive Search Initiatives at Time Warner and Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Manager of Philanthropic Programs and Credit Risk Analyst at Moody’s Corporation. A passionate supporter for the empowerment of women and girls, and fostering innovation through diversity, she has received numerous recognitions for her civic and social work. Daisy serves on the board of directors of the Council of Urban Professionals and the Pasadena Playhouse, and as advisor to several professional organizations.

Daisy holds a B.A. from Bucknell University and an M.P.A. from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU.



Lisa Kimmel
President, Edelman Canada

Lisa Kimmel is president of Edelman Canada – the Canadian arm of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm.

Previously, Lisa was General Manager at Edelman’s Toronto office, where she led the office’s strategic evolution to a best-in-class communications marketing firm. Under her leadership, the firm has been recognized four times as one of the Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces in Canada and Best Workplaces for Women.

Lisa is an Honours graduate of the University of Toronto and has been named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network for three years running. She is a member of Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN) steering committee and Edelman’s global strategy committee, helping to drive talent development efforts for the firm.

Lisa is also a member of the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) Dean’s Council at Ryerson University, and sits on the Board of Directors for two organizations: The Harbourfront Centre, a non-profit cultural organization, and SKETCH, which enriches the lives of street youth through arts and skills programs.

Passionate about supporting the next generation of women leaders, she is also involved with mentorship programs through the American Marketing Association and Ten Thousand Coffees, a digital platform that connects students with industry leaders.



Kalpana Desai
Corporate Director and Advisor, Canaccord Genuity

Kalpana Desai is a corporate director and advisor. She has over 22 years of international investment banking experience. She was Head of Macquarie Capital Asia, the investment banking division of Macquarie Group, from 2010 to 2013, having joined that firm in 2009. From 2002 to 2009 she was Head of the Asia-Pacific Mergers & Acquisitions Group and a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of Merrill Lynch (now called Bank of America Merrill Lynch) based in Hong Kong, having joined that firm in 1998. Earlier, Ms. Desai had worked at Barclays de Zoete Wedd in London and Hong Kong and J. Henry Schroder Wagg and Coopers & Lybrand Consulting in London. Ms. Desai was a member of the Takeovers and Mergers Panel of the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong from 2007 to 2014.

Kalpana has been a strong promoter of improving female representation in corporates for nearly 20 years. She was a founding member of Merrill Lynch’s Global Women’s Leadership Forum and a key member of Macquarie Group’s Diversity Initiative. In addition, she has been actively involved in The Women’s Foundation and the 30% Club in Hong Kong, institutions that seek to promote greater senior female participation through a variety of grass roots initiatives.

Born in Kenya and educated in the United Kingdom, Ms. Desai has lived in Hong Kong since 1997. She has a B.Sc. with Honours from the University of London (London School of Economics and Political Science) and trained as a Chartered Accountant (ACA) with Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in London.



Sharon MacLeod
Vice President, Personal Care
Unilever North America

A seasoned business leader and marketer, over the last decade Sharon MacLeod led Dove’s award winning Campaign for Real Beauty and Self Esteem Project in Canada, two initiatives that promote positive self-esteem in girls and women. As the Vice President of Unilever’s Personal Care North America, she is a business leader responsible for some of Unilever’s leading brands such as Dove and TRESemmé.

As a Unilever Global Diversity Champion, Ms. MacLeod works on diversity programs with colleagues around the world and has taken a leadership role in shaping the agenda for diversity and inclusion at Unilever North America. She is the executive sponsor of the company’s Women’s Interactive Network. She is also a founder of Chocolate Villa, an intensive program for women seeking to gain the skills they need to reach the next level of leadership.

Sharon was recognized in 2014 with the Catalyst Canada Honours as a Business Leader, while the Women’s Executive Network (WXN, chose her as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2013 and 2014.



Halla Tomasdottir
Founder & CEO, Sisters Capital

Halla is an experienced entrepreneur, business leader, board director and investor who considers herself first and foremost to be a change catalyst interested in bringing about a more balanced approach to business and finance.

Halla started her career in corporate America working for M&M/Mars and Pepsi Cola before returning to her home country Iceland.
She joined the founding team of Reykjavik University where she founded the Executive Education department and led a successful women empowerment and entrepreneurship initiative. Halla was the first female to become CEO of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce where she served on the board and executive board for years. She co-founded Audur Capital, an investment firm founded to incorporating more feminine values into the world of finance. Halla has served on numerous corporate boards as well as the boards of educational institutions and non-profits. She is the founding chair of Women Corporate Directors in Iceland.

Halla has delivered keynote speeches and participated in panel dialogues at many high profile international events, including TED, the Clinton Global Initiative, Rockefeller University, IESE Business School and the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

She has been widely recognized for her work on empowering women and was chosen the Business Woman of the year in Iceland and received the gender equality award from her hometown. She and her partner in Audur Capital received the Cartier Initiative Award for outstanding women entrepreneurs in Europe, an award given in cooperation with McKinsey and Insead and Newsweek named them to their list of 150 women who rock the world.



Tanya van Biesen
Co-Leader, Financial Services Practice, Spencer Stuart

With 17 years of executive search experience, Tanya van Biesen co-leads Spencer Stuart’s Financial Services Practice in Canada and contributes actively to the firm’s global practice. She focuses on assignments at the board, CEO and general management levels for banks, asset managers, pension funds and family offices. Additionally, she leads the firm’s diversity initiatives in Canada, specializing not only in the placement of chief diversity officers, but also in the development and presentation of diverse slates of candidates across all search assignments.

A focus on leadership and diversity in financial services:

– Tanya joined Spencer Stuart in 2005, having led the financial services practice for a Canadian executive search firm for the prior nine years.
– Over the course of the last 17 years, Tanya has completed more than 300 search assignments for clients in Canada and abroad. She has been successful in bringing many Canadians back to Canada, as well as recruiting a great deal of new talent to the Canadian market.
–  Tanya began her career at Procter & Gamble, working in both Toronto and Calgary in regional and national sales leadership roles.

In addition to her search work, Tanya has contributed to several research studies and articles analyzing leadership trends and attributes, including co-authoring the study “Executive Inclusion: Bringing Diversity to Canada’s Senior Ranks.” She also acts in a diversity advisory capacity to the Board of Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

Tanya holds a M.B.A. from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University. She speaks English, French and Dutch.



Marianne Schoenig
Marianne Schoenig, Global (Non-US) Supplier Inclusion & Diversity Lead, Accenture

Marianne Schoenig leads Accenture’s global programs (outside US) to empower supply chains by making them more inclusive of small and medium-sized businesses – including those owned by women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and other under-served or vulnerable groups. Since 2007 Marianne has steered and built Accenture’s Supplier Inclusion & Diversity program to cover more than 20 countries outside US, incorporating structured governance processes across regions and procurement categories globally. Marianne has served as a Board director of WEConnect International since Accenture co-founded the non-profit in 2009. Accenture is active in WEConnect International in 12 countries: India, China, Australasia, Indonesia, Turkey, Netherlands, UK, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Canada. Additionally Marianne has represented Accenture in women’s entrepreneurial empowerment initiatives such as the World Bank Global Private Sector Leaders’ Forum; ‘La Pietra Coalition: A Breakthrough Initiative to Advance Women and The World’; Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meetings focused on developing and integrating women-owned businesses into global supply chains; ‘Women Led Businesses: Building a Strong and Sustainable Economy’ (Wilton Park); and Economic Blueprint for Europe. In 2012 Marianne was honoured as a TIAW (The International Alliance of Women) World of Difference Award Winner, which recognizes extraordinary individuals whose efforts have advanced the economic empowerment ofwomen locally, regionally or worldwide. Marianne is based in London, has a background in Procurement and joined Accenture in 2000.

Accenture is one of the world’s leading organizations providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services, with more than 323,000 employees; offices and operations in more than 200 cities in 56 countries; and net revenues of $30.0 billion for fiscal 2014.



Catherine Lord
Strategy Leader, IBM Analytics

Catherine Lord, Strategy Leader, IBM Analytics is a member of the team responsible for setting the direction in IBM’s growth portfolio, collaborating with executive leaders across business domains and industries to harness the power of big data and analytics — where IBM has invested $24 billion through R&D and more than 30 acquisitions. Catherine is a member of IBM Super Women’s Group for global networking and mentoring for IBM women in technology. Catherine has extensive experience across industries as Co-founder/CEO of a manufacturing startup, on the Board of Directors in education and public sectors, and a background in financial management and health informatics.



Laurel Douglas
CEO, Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC)

Laurel Douglas is the CEO of Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC). WEC is the leading business resource centre for women business owners throughout BC. Under Laurel’s leadership since 2004, WEC has become recognized as the go-to place for women entrepreneurs in BC and a best practice internationally. WEC provides business loans up to $150,000, advisory services, skills training, mentoring and resources to women who are starting or growing their own business from its three offices in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria.

Laurel spent the first 20 years of her career in the financial services and technology sectors in Canada, France, Germany and the UK. Over the years, Laurel developed a passion for empowering women to their business success. She settled in BC in the mid 90’s and chose economic development as her vocation. She has served on the board of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission since 2003. She is a founding member of the National Taskforce on Women’s Business Growth and Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada. Committed to the future of BC’s post-secondary education, she also sits on UBCO’s External Advisory Committee, and is a member of the provincial Degree Quality Assessment Board.

Laurel is often asked to present on the topics of women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, and was one of two Canadian presenters at the 2011 APEC Summit in San Francisco which she attended as part of the Canadian delegation. Laurel has received several awards recognizing her contributions to economic development and small business in BC, including the EDABC and Small Business BC. She was one of 100 people worldwide recognized in 2011 for their efforts in advancing the economic empowerment of women from the international organization, TIAW.

Why This Issue?

Societies and companies, in particular, can—and must—integrate women economically if they are to remain competitive in the longer term. Why? It pays dividends, and some of the most influential companies in the world are paying attention. Unilever has opened markets and increased sales in India through female sales forces. Walmart has understood the benefits of including women in their supply chains. Coca Cola will be engaging over 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020 to increase market share. Over the next decade, the economic impact of women will be at least as significant as that of China and India’s respective 1 billion plus populations. Simply put investing in women—in the work force, supply chains, and as consumers—is good business, and those firms that learn how to operationalize this understanding will be poised to thrive in the coming years. Learn more

Why should you attend?

This unique gathering will bring together senior-level corporate leaders from throughout Canada, United States, Europe and Asia to discuss practical ways in which women-- as consumers and employees, entrepreneurs and executives--are critical to the continuing success of companies in today’s competitive, international economy. Learn more

Why is this conference unique?

There is no shortage of evidence to suggest that focusing on innovative ways to address the challenges faced by women and girls will lead to better health and education systems, and safer, stronger communities for all people living in the developing and developed world. This conference will devote its primary focus to the economic potential of the next billion women on the planet.

While most discussions of women and girls understandably focus on the social and health benefits of greater inclusiveness, relatively less time has been dedicated to the important question of the critical role that women—as customers and employees, executives and entrepreneurs—are currently playing in transforming the global economy. A number of the world’s largest companies are moving beyond rhetoric and recognizing the link between the economic engagement of women and the bottom line. We believe that this issue will only be taken seriously by the private sector when it informs day-to-day business operations and is grounded in the unsentimental realities of the balance sheet. Learn more