past speakers - 2014  -  2013  -  2012   -  2011   -   2010    

Dec 18, 2014
Elizabeth Pisani


topic: Islam and Democracy: Recipe for Success? Lessons from Indonesia

Elizabeth Pisani says she is a recovering epidemiologist specialising in HIV and public health in developing countries. She's taken a little while off her "day job" to indulge her passion for Indonesia, a country that has captivated and infuriated Her for over two decades. She just spent a year on cargo ships etc exploring its outer reaches, and an equal time trying to make sense of it.

Before that she made a few people cross by publishing a book called The Wisdom of Wh*res: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS. It concluded that in the multi-billion dollar HIV industry, we all sell ourselves to the highest bidder.

Elizabeth has an MA in classical Chinese from Oxford, an MSc in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a PhD in Infectious Diease Epidemiology, also from LSHTM. When she's not on a cargo ship she's now an independent consultant on public health issues; is doing quite a bit of work around increasing the sharing of data collected with public and foundation money, so that we can squeeze more good policy out of the same amount of data.

Before She became a scientist, she was a journalist for Reuters and The Economist. She reported on stock markets and revolutions, and had the dubious privilege of witnessing Chinese troops roll in to Tiananmen Square in 1989. She's lived in Western Europe (Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Belgium and Ireland), Asia (Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, China) and East Africa (Kenya). Elizabeth boasts that she can flirt in a bar and bribe a policeman in five languages.

Areas of Self-Procalimed Expertise:
Public Health, Global Health, Addiction, sea kayaking, Sex, HIV, Nation Building, Indonesia, Corruption

She is passionate about:
Common sense, serendipity, Cote Rotie, languages, discovery, learning, jamon jabugo, Indonesia.


Jan 8, 2015
Kenneth S. Abramowitz


topic: TBA

Kenneth S. Abramowitz is a co-founder and Managing General Partner of NGN Capital. He joined NGN Capital from The Carlyle Group in New York where he was Managing Director from 2001 to 2003, focused on U.S. buyout opportunities in the healthcare industry. Beginning July 2003, he transitioned to Senior Advisor at Carlyle in order to devote the time necessary to create a dedicated healthcare fund on behalf of Carlyle. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Abramowitz worked as an Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. where he covered the medical-supply, hospital-management and HMO industries for 23 years, after which he was an EGS Securities Healthcare Fund Manager. He was voted top hospital supply and/or service analyst on the Institutional Investor Magazine "All-America Research Team" during 14 out of 20 years between 1980-2000 and made “The Team” for both healthcare services and medical supplies for 9 years since 1987.

Mr. Abramowitz has published several notable studies on healthcare service companies, major medical mergers, and cardiovascular device innovation, among others. He has also published numerous articles in leading journals. Mr. Abramowitz earned a B.A. from Columbia University in 1972 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1976. Mr. Abramowitz currently sits on the Board of Directors of Valtech Cardio Ltd., Small Bone Innovations, Inc. and Akorn, Inc., and serves as a board observer at OptiScan Biomedical Corp., BeneChill, Inc., Cerapedics, Inc., and Spine View, Inc. He previously served as a Director at Sightline Technologies Ltd, acquired by Stryker, Power Medical Interventions, acquired by Covidien, EKOS Corp., acquired by BTG and MultiPlan, acquired by BC Partners and Silver Lake, as well as on the boards of MedPointe and ConnectiCare Holdings, Inc .


Jan 29, 2015
Theresa M. Grant


topic: Common Mistakes Donors Make & How to Avoid Them

Theresa Grant, Chairwoman and Founder of Make A Difference has dedicated her life to helping disadvantaged children get access to quality education. In 2005 she quit her job as a marketing executive in the Silicon Valley and sold all of her possessions to fulfill a calling she had to make a difference in Africa. She moved to an orphanage on a farm outside of Lusaka, Zambia. Finding so much joy and satisfaction from making a difference in the lives of others, Grant helped start the international side of C2BU, an organization focused on helping people find their purpose in life. After working for two years with C2BU, Grant decided to start her own organization solely dedicated to empowering children in need called, Make A Difference (MAD).

Grant has a BS in International Relations and a BA in Spanish. She has supervised hundreds of volunteers from countries around the world including Australia, Belgium, China, India, Israel, Sweden, Tanzania, UK, USA and Zambia helping empower disadvantaged children.

MAD's mission is to support quality educational opportunities for vulnerable children and youth in developing countries. and it's dream is to help children rise out of poverty and become leaders within their countries.


Feb 12, 2015
Chris Powell


topic: TBA

Chris Powell is a co-founder of The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, organized in the fall of 1998 to expose, oppose, and litigate against collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial instruments. The committee arose from essays by Bill Murphy, a financial commentator on the Internet, and by Chris Powell, a newspaper editor in Connecticut.





Feb 26, 2015
Phyllis Chesler


topic: TBA

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology at City University of New York. She is a best-selling author, a legendary feminist leader, a retired psychotherapist and expert courtroom witness. She has lectured and organized political, legal, religious, and human rights campaigns in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and the Far East. Her work has been translated into many European languages and into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Hebrew.

Dr. Chesler is a co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), The National Women’s Health Network(1974), and The International Committee for Women of the Wall (1989). She is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at The Middle East Forum, and a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP).

She is the author of fifteen books, including the landmark feminist classic Women and Madness as well as many other notable books including With Child: A Diary of Motherhood; Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody; Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman; and Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site. After publishing The New Anti-Semitism (2003), she published two more books: The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle For Women’s Freedom (2005) and An American Bride in Kabul (2013), which won a National Jewish Book Award.

Since 9/11, Dr. Chesler has focused on anti-Semitism and the demonization of Israel; the psychology of terrorism; the nature of propaganda; honor-based violence and the rights of women, dissidents, and gays in the Islamic world. Dr. Chesler has published three studies about honor-related violence, including honor killings, and a position paper on why the West should ban the burqa; these studies have all appeared in Middle East Quarterly.She has testified for Muslim and ex-Muslim women who are seeking asylum or citizenship based on their credible belief that their families will honor kill them.

Dr. Chesler was born in Borough Park, Brooklyn, where she went to Hebrew Schools and joined Hashomer Ha’tzair. She lives in Manhattan and is a very proud mother and grandmother.

Dr. Chesler has been profiled in many encyclopedias, including Feminists Who Have Changed America, Jewish Women in America, and in the latest Encyclopedia Judaica.




view past speakers                                                                                     




tumblr visitor stats