Poppy Crum
Dolby Laboratories

Seval Oz


Alicia Abella 

Jaafar Elmirghani
University of Leeds

Joshua Fairfield
Washington and Lee

Derek Footer
HardTech Labs

Christoph Guger

John C. Havens
IEEE Global AI Ethics Initiative

Jim Jefferies

Miku Jha

Christine Miyachi
Nicholas Napp 
Xmark Labs, LLC

Conor Russomanno

John Verboncoeur
Michigan State University
Stephen Welby



Poppy Crum, Dolby Laboratories

Dr. Poppy Crum, is Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and the Program in Symbolic Systems. At Dolby, Poppy directs the growth of internal science. She is responsible for integrating neuroscience and sensory data science into algorithm design, technological development, and technology strategy. At Stanford, her work focuses on the impact and feedback potential of new technologies including gaming and immersive environments such as Augmented and Virtual Reality on neuroplasticity and learning. Poppy is a U.S. representative and vice-chair to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and a member of the Stanford Research Institute Technical Council. Prior to joining Dolby Laboratories Poppy was Research Faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where her neurophysiological research focused on understanding the neural correlates of how we hear in a complex acoustic environment and the functional circuitry of the auditory cortex. Poppy is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society.  She is a: 2018 recipient of the Advanced Imaging Society’s Distinguished Leadership Award, a 2017 recipient of the Consumer Technology Association’s Technology and Standards Achievement Award for work towards the introduction of over-the-counter hearing-aid devices, and has been named to Billboard Magazine’s 100 most influential female executives in the music industry. She is a frequent speaker on topics related to the intersection of: human experience, artificial intelligence, sensory data-science, and immersive technologies.

Dr. Alicia Abella is Vice President – Advanced Technology Realization, AT&T Services, Inc. where she drives the overall execution of the end-to-end planning, architecture, design, development and deployment of advanced network technologies across AT&T, including Domain 2.0 AT&T Integrated Cloud, ECOMP, Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Software Define Networking (SDN), Radio Access Network (RAN) evolution and optical, copper and wireless access and Edge Computing.

In 2015, Dr. Abella was named to the list of Top 20 Latinos in Tech by CNET. In 2013, Dr. Abella received Columbia University’s Medal of Excellence, an award given each year to an alumnus or alumna, under 45 years of age, whose record in scholarship, public service, or professional life is outstanding.  This is the first time since 1929 –when the award was first given– that Columbia has awarded the medal to an engineer. In 2011, she was selected by President Obama to be on his Presidential Advisory Commission for Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Also in 2011, she was inducted into the prestigious WITI (Women in Technology International) Hall of Fame.

Besides her technical contributions, Dr. Abella has been a strong advocate in fostering the development of minorities and women in science and engineering. As Executive Vice President for the Young Science Achievers program, a program she has been involved with for ten years, she has worked tirelessly to bring an interest and excitement in science and engineering to high school aged women and minority students through a program of mentoring and scientific achievement. This is a substantive volunteer activity for her that truly touches the lives of the students involved.

Following completion of her Ph.D. in computer science from Columbia University, Dr. Abella joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ where she began her work in the problem of natural language understanding and dialog management.  In addition to her doctoral work, Dr. Abella received a MS from Columbia and a BS from NYU, both in computer science.

Prof. Jaafar Elmirghani is FIET, FIoP, and Director of the Institute of Integrated Information Systems, Leeds. He has provided outstanding leadership in a number of large research projects, and was PI of the £6m EPSRC Intelligent Energy Aware Networks (INTERNET) Programme Grant. He is Co-Chair of the IEEE Green ICT initiative, a pan IEEE Societies initiative responsible for Green ICT activities across IEEE. He was awarded the IEEE Comsoc 2005 Hal Sobol award, 2 IEEE Comsoc outstanding service awards (2009, 2015), the 2015 GreenTouch 1000x award, IET Optoelectronics 2016 Premium Award and shared the 2016 Edison Award in the collective disruption category with a team of 6 from GreenTouch for joint work on the GreenMeter. His work led to 5 IEEE standards with a focus on energy efficiency, where he currently heads the work group responsible for IEEE P1925.1, IEEE P1926.1, IEEE P1927.1, IEEE P1928.1 and IEEE P1929.1, this resulting in significant impact through industrial and academic uptake. He was an IEEE Comsoc Distinguished Lecturer 2013-2016. He has published over 450 technical papers, and has research interests in green communication networks.


Joshua A.T. Fairfield, Washington and Lee School of Law

Joshua A.T. Fairfield is the William Donald Bain Family Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law. He is an internationally recognized law and technology scholar of digital property, electronic contract, big data privacy, and virtual communities. He has published articles in top law journals, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, and the Financial Times. He is a Fulbright research grant scholar and a member of the American Law Institute.



Derek Footer, HardTech Labs

Derek Footer is Managing Partner of HardTech Labs, an investment fund with an accompanying health accelerator based in San Diego. Prior to founding HTL, he was Managing Partner of Origo Ventures, a seed stage venture capital fund investing in Latin American technology companies, founded both BlueLake Media Corp., a broadcaster of European premier league soccer in North America and JardineFooter, Inc., an Internet consultancy founded in Chile. He served as Vice President for Content at OpenTV and the head of DirecTV Latin America’s interactive television group. He is a Board Member and General Counsel for Hands United for Children. He has a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Christoph Guger, g.tec

Christoph Guger is the founder and CEO of g.tec medical engineering GmbH. He studied Biomedical Engineering at the Technical University of Graz, Austria and at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. During his studies, he concentrated on BCI systems and developed many of the early foundations for bio-signal acquisition and processing in real-time. g.tec produces and develops BCIs that help disabled people communicate or control their environments by their thoughts, regain motor functions after a stroke, and achieve other goals. The products and research activities have been widely presented in peer-reviewed research publications, demonstrating the high quality of g.tec’s tools and methods. He is running several international BCI research projects.

John C Havens, IEEE Global AI Ethics Initiative

John C. Havens is Executive Director of The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. The IEEE Global AI Ethics Initiative has two primary outputs – the creation and iteration of a body of work known as Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems and the identification and recommendation of ideas for Standards Projects focused on prioritizing ethical considerations in A/IS.  Currently there are thirteen approved Standards Working Groups in the IEEE P7000™ series.

Guided by over two hundred fifty thought leaders, The IEEE Global AI Ethics Initiative’s mission is to ensure every stakeholder involved in the design and development of autonomous and intelligent systems is educated, trained, and empowered to prioritize ethical, values-driven considerations so that these technologies are advanced for the benefit of humanity.

John was an EVP of Social Media at Porter Novelli where he worked with clients including P&G, Gillette, HP, and Merck among others.  He was also a professional actor for over 15 years and appeared in principal roles on Broadway, TV and film.

John is also a contributor on issues of technology and well-being to Mashable and The Guardian and is author of the books, Heartificial Intelligence: Embracing Our Humanity To Maximize Machines and Hacking Happiness: Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it Can Change the World (both published by TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House).

For more information, visit John’s site or follow him @johnchavens.

James A. Jefferies, IEEE President & CEO

Jim Jefferies retired from AT&T and Lucent Technologies following 33 years in engineering and executive positions including fiber optic cable development and manufacturing, quality assurance, and supply chain management.  He managed the engineering teams that delivered the first commercial fiber optic cables for AT&T.  He served as logistics vice president, responsible for worldwide supply chain and export planning.  He has led teams in major technology transfers, transitions of information technology, and organizational change.  He has also worked in the entrepreneurial sector as Chief Operating Officer for USBuild.com in San Francisco, CA, USA.

Jim served two separate terms on the IEEE Board of Directors, as well as the 2015 IEEE-USA President.  As President of IEEE-USA, Jim supported the expanded focus on public visibility, young professionals, and humanitarian outreach.

He received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nebraska and an MS in Engineering Science from Clarkson University.  He attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business as a Sloan Fellow and earned an MS in Management.

Jim is a member of the IEEE Eta Kappa Nu honorary society and a licensed professional engineer (Emeritus).


Miku Jha, Founder and CEO, AgShift

Miku Jha is the founder and CEO of AgShift. She grew up planting mango trees on a 4th generation family farm – in a Smallholder farming community – in Northern India. Miku is a passionate entrepreneur and product executive with a proven track record. She has led multiple startups from founding stage to successful acquisitions & mergers with companies such as IBM and Xyratex. As a product executive she has launched large scale enterprise products in mobile and internet of things for companies such as VMware and IBM.

Miku helped build and scale multiple storage, mobile software startups into well-known global companies. She was instrumental in growing the storage business as a Founding engineer at Ariodata, which was acquired by Xyratex Inc. She helped grow and scale mobile business and product at Worklight, which was acquired by IBM. She has lead several mobile and IoT initiatives at IBM – under Mobile First portfolio. She was responsible for successful execution of Mobile virtualization initiative at VMware under the office of the CTO. At AgShift, Miku manages a nimble team of data scientists, researchers and technologists driven by a single passion – to digitize food supply chain with cutting edge innovations in deep learning and data science – which results in better transparency, better food quality and reduced food wastage.

Miku serves on the advisory board of BetterMDM, PlainMark and MergeLane. Miku has a MBA from Cornell University and a BS (Hons.) in Computer Science from University of Mumbai. With AgShift, she is inspired to apply technology to solve real challenges in Agriculture, globally. She is also passionate about women in technology. She has lead multiple corporate initiatives to help young women entrepreneurs succeed. She continues to be a mentor to many young women entrepreneurs in technology – inspiring and guiding them to success!

Christine Miyachi, Xerox

Christine Miyachi has almost 30 years of experience working for startups and large corporations. She writes a blog about software architecture: http://abstractsoftware.blogspot.com/. She is currently a systems engineer  at Xerox Corporation and holds several patents.  She works on Xerox’s Extensible Interface Platform which is a software platform upon which developers can use standard web-based tools to create  applications that can be configured to use on Xerox devices. Miyachi graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in electrical engineering. She holds two MIT degrees: an MS in technology and policy/electrical engineering and computer science and an MS in System Design and Management. See more about Chris at www.christinemiyachi.com


 Nicholas Napp, Co-Founder, Xmark Labs LCC

Nicholas Napp has been working with VR and AR systems since the early 1990s. His team at Rainbow Studios pioneered the use of VR in 3D animation production.

Nicholas has brought over 40 products to market across a wide range of consumer and enterprise markets. He is a systems thinker with broad skills in business development; product development; innovation & technology; and strategic marketing and partnerships. He is particularly focused on the integration of strategy, technology and corporate narrative to accelerate business growth.

His prior roles include leading multiple startups; Lead External Technology Scout, North America for Sony Ericsson; and Vice-President, Animation, Rainbow Studios (sold to THQ, inc.). He is also Chairman of the Board at FabNewport, a non-profit makerspace for middle school and older students.

Conor Russomanno, Director of Advanced Interfaces, Meta, OpenBCI Co-Founder and CEO

Conor Russomanno is the Director of Advanced Interfaces at Meta, one of the pioneering companies in Augmented Reality (AR). Conor is also the co-founder and CEO of OpenBCI, a company dedicated to open-source innovation of brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies. Conor studied Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University and then went on to study Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design. After completing grad school, Conor taught graduate level courses in Creative Coding, Physical Computing, Philosophy of the Mind, and Human-Computer Interaction at Parsons School of Design’s MFA Design & Technology (MFADT) program, as well as New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Conor’s current career interests lie at the intersection of Augmented Reality, Brain-Computer Interfacing, and Artificial Intelligence.

John Verboncoeur (M’94,SM’08,F’13) received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley (UCB) in 1992. Faculty appointments include Associate Research Engineer (UCB-EECS 1996), Professor (UCB-Nuclear Engineering Associate-2001, full-2008, Chair Computational Engineering Science 2001-2010), Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) 2011+, Professor of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering 2015+, Associate Dean for Research 2014+. His research interests are in theoretical and computational plasma physics. He has authored/coauthored over 350 journal articles and conference papers, with over 3,500 citations. He is an Associate Editor for Physics of Plasmas, and Past President of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society. Technology startup activities include development of one of the big three consumer credit reports, work on the hardware/software of the US Postal Service Mail Forwarding System, command and control software in the defense sector, computerized exercise equipment, and a pioneering cloud-based healthcare management system.

Stephen Welby, IEEE

Stephen Welby is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community to innovate for a better tomorrow with more than 423,000 members in over 160 countries, and through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities. IEEE is the trusted “voice” for engineering, computing, and technology information around the globe.

Prior to joining IEEE, in 2015 Stephen was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the US Senate as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.  In this role, he served as the chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Defense, leading one of the largest and most complex research, development, and engineering organizations in the world.  He oversaw a $12.5B annual investment portfolio, managed internal and collaborative research and engineering efforts, drove a culture that valued innovation, and supported the department’s global technical engagement.

Stephen has more than three decades of government and industrial experience in technology and product development, including senior leadership positions at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  His technical experience includes development of leading edge aeronautical and space systems, robotics, machine learning, high-performance software, and sensor systems.

Stephen holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a master’s degree in business administration from the Texas A&M University, and master’s degrees in computer science and applied mathematics from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a fellow of the IEEE.