Innovators Forum
March 14, 2014
Shubert Theater
New Haven, CT

Innovators Forum Speakers

8:30-9:25am: Keynote Address

"Managing Uncertainty," Ken Himmelman

Ken Himmelman is the Chief Program Officer for Partners in Health, a pioneering global health organization that provides high quality health care to the world’s poorest people. Prior to joining Partners in Health in 2012, Ken served as the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Bennington College, a leading progressive liberal arts college located in southern Vermont. In addition to his responsibilities in Admissions, Ken was integrally involved in launching Bennington’s Center for the Advancement of Public Action, where he taught and ran a project group focused on education reform in the U.S. Prior to his arrival at Bennington in 2004, Ken co-founded and led a national network of non-profit organizations called Community IMPACT! USA, which trains young people to address educational and economic issues affecting their neighborhood. Ken has also worked as the Curriculum Director for the non-profit organization Do Something; served as Chairman of the Board for the French American School of Rhode Island; served as a member of the Board of Directors for Grassroot Soccer, an organization that works on AIDS education and prevention in southern Africa; and advises several other non-profit organizations including Global Citizen Year, the BOMA Project, and the I Have a Dream Foundation. Ken holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College, as well as a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and an M.A. in French Literature from Vanderbilt University.

10:15-11:35am: Perspectives on Innovating

"Building a Health Delivery Model for 1 Billion Rural People, Starting with One Remote Village in Liberia," Jason Bae

Jason Bae is Director of Last Mile Health, which is creating a new health workforce to bring care to remote villages by transforming community health workers into real professionals. Last Mile Health's work has been recognized by Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, Mulago Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, and Echoing Green. Jason received his MBA from Harvard Business School, which was supported by Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, and will complete an MD from Yale Medical School in 2014. He previously worked with Professor Michael Porter on scale-up strategies for rural health delivery and advised Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation while at the Boston Consulting Group. He received a Weissman Fellowship from Harvard University to support his volunteer service in a clinic in East Timor. Impressed by the gross inequities in access to health care he observed, he then dedicated a year to studying mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Botswana. During that period, he also founded and directed Hope for Survival, a Zimbabwean-based organization that provided educational support for children affected by HIV. Since then, Jason has undertaken research studies in the fields of HIV, TB, psychiatric illness, and substance use in Brazil, Peru, Malaysia, and New Haven, resulting in six academic papers.

"A New Face of American Diplomacy: Global Health Service Abroad," Vanessa Kerry

Vanessa Kerry is a physician and the founder and CEO of Seed Global Health (formerly Global Health Service Corps). Having worked in resource-limited settings for over a decade, she has witnessed health inequities in many places in the world and how shortages of indigenous providers in their home countries contribute to those inequities. She envisions a solution where the growing number of US health professionals interested in global health serve as educators and faculty in these countries to build a pipeline of in-country providers. The innovative program gains efficiencies through a public private partnership between Seed Global Health, the Peace Corps and the countries where the volunteers serve. Concurrent with her role as CEO of Seed Global Health, Vanessa Kerry is a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and helps lead educational activities at the hospital’s Center for Global Health. Academically, she spearheads the program in Global Public Policy and Social Change in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Vanessa Kerry's work has included the grassroots effort which led to the creation of Seed Global Health, policy initiatives in Rwanda, as well as looking at novel ways for U.S. foreign assistance to fund health efforts which improve efficiency of aid delivery, develop capacity, and enhance national sovereignty. In 2013, Vanessa Kerry was named a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Social Entrepreneur. Her prominent publications include “An International Service Corps for Health: A New Prescription for Diplomacy” in the New England Journal of Medicine and “…One for Doctors Too,” a New York Times opinion piece published in 2010. She graduated from Yale University summa cum laude and Harvard Medical School cum laude, and she completed her Internal Medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. She earned her Master’s in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing from the London Schools of Economics and of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

"The Developing World’s Healthcare Problems are Complicated.  The Solutions Don’t Need to Be," David Barash

David M. Barash, M.D. is the Executive Director of the Global Health Portfolio and Chief Medical Officer for the GE Foundation. At the GE Foundation, Developing Health initiatives are approached with the belief that simple interventions are often the answer to some of healthcare’s most complex problems.

Dr. Barash is a practicing emergency medicine physician with more than 30 years’ experience. He has focused a great deal on understanding how new technologies can be commercialized and delivered to effectively close the gap between brainstorm and bedside.

Prior to joining the GE Foundation, Dr. Barash was Chief Medical Officer of Life Care Solutions and Executive Medical Director of Health Care Services for GE Healthcare. He was also Founder and President of Concord Healthcare Strategies, where he provided strategic and operational expertise to medical technology investors and development stage medical technology companies.

He received his Bachelor of Arts and his Medical Degree with Honors from Cornell University, and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, an inventor of pending patents and an author of several clinical publications.

12:45-1:40pm: Keynote Address

"Is the World Ready for Nonprofit Pharmaceutical Companies?" Victoria Hale

Victoria Hale is the Founder of Medicines360, a pharmaceutical scientist and global health social entrepreneur. She is the Founder and Chair Emeritus of One World Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the US. She founded the company in 2000 and served as its first Chairman and CEO. One World Health developed a new cure for visceral leishmaniasis, launched a novel approach to treat dehydrating diarrhea, and developed a platform technology to reduce the cost of malaria drugs by more than 10-fold.

Victoria Hale's recent honors include being elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies, and being granted the MacArthur “Genius” Award. She is internationally recognized as a senior social entrepreneur by the Skoll Foundation, Schwab Foundation, and Ashoka. The Economist named her the recipient of its Social and Economic Innovation Award. She also received the President’s Award of Distinction from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Victoria Hale established her expertise in all stages of biopharmaceutical drug development at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and at Genentech. She earned her PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from University of California San Francisco, where she presently maintains an Adjunct Associate Professorship in Biopharmaceutical Sciences.

2:45-4:05pm: Key Lessons from Building Innovative, Successful Programs

"Social and Mobile Innovations for Global Health Programs," Bobby Jefferson

As Director of Futures Group’s Center for Development Informatics, Bobby Jefferson is responsible for technical leadership for a global portfolio of technology innovations projects. He has led design of innovative mobile health, mHealth, eHealth and DHIS2 solutions. Bobby has created secure health cloud solutions, a national data warehouse, and business intelligence running big data analytics for four countries in sub-Saharan Africa. He has established national Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy regulations for emerging countries and is the technical architect of open source electronic health records (EHRs) in Africa.

Bobby has designed mobile-based community information systems (CBIS); conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs and mobile money solutions for Kenya and Haiti. Bobby catalyzed frictionless e-learning, mobile education, and mEducation, and leveraged massive open online courses (MOOCs) to community workers in Tanzania and Nigeria. He created open source geographic information systems (GIS) and location-based solutions for social innovations grants programs in health and education.

"Contagious Health & Happiness," Leila Makarechi

Leila Makarechi oversees Microclinic International's operations and supervises its projects around the world, managing headquarters staff, working with teams on the ground, and serving as a liaison between local partners, donors, and researchers. Prior to Microclinic International, she worked for the United Nations Development Program in the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. Working directly with the Senior Advisor for Social Policy, she helped manage a $46 million fund covering more than 92 projects throughout 21 countries. Leila co-founded and serves as Vice-President of the Board for 180 Degrees, an NGO working with marginalized communities in the Dominican Republic. She has also worked in the Middle East, focusing on public administration and conflict resolution. She has a B.A. in political science and in social welfare (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and a Master of Public Affairs from the Institut d'Études Politiques (Sciences Po) Paris. She has received many honors including a John Gardner Public Service Fellowship and a Cordes Fellowship and speaks English, Persian, Spanish, and French fluently.

"Social Change is a Process, Not a Formula: Practical Lessons from Twenty Years of Success and Failure," Dean Cycon

Dean Cycon is considered one of the first social justice entrepreneurs. He has been using business as a vehicle for progressive social, environmental and economic change since 1993, when he founded Dean's Beans Organic Coffee. The company utilizes Fair Trade coffee as a vehicle to promote social, ecologic and economic well being (including improved health and nutrition) in coffee-producing villages. Company profits are shared with the farmers and company employees, and also are invested in people-centered development projects in each source community co-designed and managed by the farmers themselves. The company's innovative approach to commerce and community development has won many awards, including the 2013 UNWomen Community Engagement Award, Best Practices Recognition from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Oslo Business for Peace Award (the "Nobel Prize for Business").

4:10-5:05pm: Keynote Address

"QuestBridge: One Organization's Journey to Scale," Ana Rowena McCullough, Co-Founder and CEO, QuestBridge

Ana Rowena McCullough is Co-Founder and CEO of QuestBridge, a revenue-generating non-profit organization which connects America’s brightest low-income students to the nation’s best universities and opportunities. While an undergraduate at Stanford, Ana co-founded QuestBridge with Michael McCullough in 1994. QuestBridge is working to revolutionize the way leading colleges and universities recruit talented low-income students, and the way that these students approach their education and future. For her work with QuestBridge, Ana received the prestigious Dinkelspiel Award for outstanding contributions to education at Stanford.

Ana is Co-Founder and former VP Content at, and is a former management consultant at McKinsey & Company. In addition, she worked for five years as a consulting scientist to the Environmental Defense Fund, a national non-profit environmental organization, and served as a research associate for Stanford President Emeritus Donald Kennedy. Ana holds a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School where she focused on environmental and youth law. Together with her husband Michael McCullough, Ana serves as Co-Founder of the Quest Scholars Program and QuestBridge.