2023 Development Conference Speakers announced soon!

Check out the list of 2022 speakers below...

  Isobel Coleman
Deputy Administrator For Policy And Programming (USAID) 
Deputy Administrator Coleman is responsible for USAID’s policy and programming, overseeing the Agency’s Regional and Pillar Bureaus. As Deputy Administrator, she guides USAID’s crisis response, including on the National Security Council, and supports efforts to address the root causes of conflict. She also is responsible for overseeing Agency efforts to promote food security and strengthen education, health, democracy, and economic growth. Ambassador Isobel Coleman is a foreign policy and global development expert with more than 25 years of experience working in government, the private sector, and non-profits. Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer of GiveDirectly and from 2014-2017, she was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Management, Reform and Special Political Affairs. Dr. Coleman spent more than a decade as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she directed CFR’s Women and Foreign Policy program. She started her career with McKinsey & Co. A graduate of Princeton University, she earned MPhil and DPhil degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, which she attended on a Marshall Scholarship.
  Mahmoud Bah
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Mahmoud Bah is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) advising and supporting the CEO on the agency’s operations and strategic orientation. In more than 12 years at MCC, Mr. Bah has occupied various positions, including his most recent one as the Acting Chief Executive Officer overseeing the agency’s operations and administration during the transition period leading to current Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alice Albright’s confirmation by the US Senate.
  Brian McKeon
Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, U.S. Department of State
Brian P. McKeon was sworn in as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources on March 19, 2021. Prior to assuming his position as Deputy Secretary, McKeon was a senior director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, DC. McKeon served in several national security positions in the Obama-Biden Administration. At the Department of Defense, he served as Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy and concurrently as acting Under Secretary for the final seven months of the administration. In the White House, he served as Deputy Assistant to the President, Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, as well as Deputy National Security Adviser to then-Vice President Biden. McKeon also served for more than 20 years in the U.S. Senate, including 12 years as chief counsel to the Democratic members of the Committee on Foreign Relations and concurrently as deputy staff director for two years.
  Kristen Cordell
Senior Advisor, Office of Foreign Assistance, Department of State
Kristen A. Cordell is a Senior Advisor to the Director for Foreign Assistance (F) at the State Department, where her portfolio is focused on infrastructure and investment. She came to the Department following a decade at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), where she established the agency's architecture on global competition, including authoring the inaugural strategy to address the development impact of autocracy and corrosive capital worldwide.   Ms. Cordell has been detailed to high level G-7 and Presidential initiatives and served on delegations to the UN General Assembly, the Organization for Economic Cooperation on Development (OECD) and the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). She has also spent significant time supporting missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia, Lebanon and the DRC.  In 2020 Kristen received the prestigious Council on Foreign Relation International Affairs Fellowship in International Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where her widely-published research focused on the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) role in international development institutions. Ms. Cordell is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and an active mentor.
  Neneh Diallo
Chief Diversity Officer, USAID
Neneh Diallo is USAID’s Chief Diversity Officer, and leads the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Office of the Administrator. Neneh has a proven track record of championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in both the public and private sectors. She most recently served as the Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications at pocstock, a global Black-owned media platform focused on increasing representation and diversity in stock media. She developed the annual framework for the company’s U.S. campaign, which celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion through thought leadership and social media campaigns.
As Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Millenium Challenge Corporation, Neneh developed the agency’s five-year diversity and inclusion plan, linking it to the Agency’s corporate strategic framework and human capital strategy. She also served as Chair of the agency’s Inclusion & Diversity Council, charged with reviewing and enhancing its diversity, equity, and inclusion training and policies, including a review of hiring practices and pay equity. No stranger to USAID, Neneh helped build awareness about the U.S. government’s Ebola Recovery programs in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, by convening high-level symposia to explore lessons learned, and producing a series of short documentaries on the outbreak and the USAID-led response and recovery.
  Nikolas Foster
Senior Policy Advisor, USAID 
Nik Foster is USAID's Deputy People's Republic of China (PRC) Advisor, coordinating PRC related policy and engagements across USAID's Bureaus and Missions. Previously, Nik supported the Agency's Pakistan Desk with analysis on economic growth and PRC relations. Before joining USAID, Nik was an Energy Analyst at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he led two USAID funded projects on energy policy reform and energy efficiency in Pakistan, co-authored the annual U.S. Department of Energy’s Distributed Wind Market Report, and worked on the largest smart grid project in the United States, the Pacific Northwest Smartgrid Demonstration Project. Nik has an M.A. in International Relations & Economics from the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and lives in Silver Spring with his wife and two children. 
  Tracey France
Chief Diversity Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation
Tracey L. France serves as Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity Division within the Office of the Chief Executive Officer. In that capacity, Ms. France works to build and sustain a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace culture by operationalizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into all lines of business across the agency. Ms. France brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role, including a foundational knowledge of how to cultivate and sustain a workplace culture that is conducive for people to thrive. Prior to joining MCC, Ms. France worked for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, where she improved the agency’s organizational culture through educational and strategic initiatives designed to promote inclusive behaviors, workplace civility, and respect. She developed frameworks and strategies for implementing DEI across the agency. Ms. France also worked for the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies. Her federal career spans over 25 years.
  Mileydi Guilarte
Deputy Assistant Administrator within USAID's Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), USAID 
Before joining the LAC Bureau, Guilarte was the Country Representative for a U.S.-based non-profit in El Salvador, where she executed a human rights project and led strategic planning to strengthen the role of civil society and regional human rights systems. Before that, Guilarte held several positions in the Obama-Biden Administration, including Director at the National Security Council in the White House and as a senior policy advisor and International Cooperation Specialist at USAID. Guilarte also worked as Special Assistant for the Assistant to the Administrator in USAID's Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. In 2014, Guilarte was nominated by President Obama as the United States Alternative Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank
  Conny Mayer
Deputy Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, U.S. Department of State  
Constance (Conny) Mayer is the Department’s new Office of Diversity and Inclusion (S/ODI) ranking civil service officer, serving as the Deputy Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (D/CDIO). Prior to joining S/ODI, Conny worked in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) where she drafted the Bureau’s first-ever five-year strategic plan, while serving as the Deputy Director of INR’s Office of Near East Analysis. In 2020, Conny was a Brookings LEGIS Congressional Fellow in the Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar. Conny has served as the Acting Director of INR/NEA as well as INR’s Office of Intelligence Operation and Oversight, as Director of Israeli-Palestinian Affairs at the National Security Council, at the U.S Consulate in Jerusalem as Political Counselor, and at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo as a Political-Military Affairs Officer. From 2010 to 2013, Conny was the Deputy Director of the President’s Daily Brief, responsible for strategically re-orienting the enterprise to ensure that all relevant Intelligence Community agencies were contributing their expertise to the President’s book, per the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission. Conny started her overseas service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. She has a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University in New York and a BA from the University of Delaware in Political Science and Communications.
  Adam Phillips
Senior Policy Advisor, USAID 
Adam Nicholas Phillips is the Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator and Executive Director of the Local, Faith, and Transformative Partnerships Hub within the Development, Democracy, and Innovation Bureau, overseeing the one-stop shop to non-traditional and local partnerships. This includes Locally Led Development Initiatives, the New Partnerships Initiative, Faith-based partnerships, Diaspora engagement, and American Schools and Hospitals Abroad. In this role, he serves as a co-senior leader for the Agency's Localization Agenda, along with leaders from the Policy, Planning, and Learning Bureau, the Management Bureau, and the Agency's Front Office.
  Indira Ahluwalia
Senior Advisor, Palladium, Founder/Chair CREED
Indira Ahluwalia has founded, led, and advised organizations and coached leaders to strengthen equity, effectiveness, and achievement. Indira founded Development & Training Services, Inc. (dTS) and inculcated equality, accountability, and sustainability in 90 countries. She then facilitated dTS’ acquisition by Palladium where she remains a Senior Advisor providing strategic and advisory services. Indira also leads KAUR Strategies to enable authentic and transformative growth through advisory and coaching services. Recently, Indira founded and chairs the Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED) which launched a racial and ethnic (REE) pledge to advance racial and ethnic diversity, equity, and belonging in US based organizations with accountability. Also, Indira published her memoir Fast Forward to Hope: Choosing to Build the Power of Self  to share her journey from fear to hope as she lives with stage IV advanced breast cancer. Indira earned her Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Chicago.
  Sue Chodakewitz
President & CEO, Nathan Associates
Susan Chodakewitz, a highly recognized and accomplished senior executive with a proven track record of turning around, building, and growing businesses, joined Nathan as president and chief operating officer in May 2015. In her capacity as president and CEO, Ms. Chodakewitz is restructuring, rebranding, and repositioning the firm to promote growth and diversification of offerings and clients, and refresh the corporate culture. Ms. Chodakewitz also serves on the Nathan Board of Directors and is Chair of the Board of Nathan London. Her success lies in her ability to operate at strategic and tactical levels, work across numerous stakeholder communities, and communicate and motivate through both written and oral communication.
  Samantha Custer
Director of Policy Analysis, AidData
Samantha Custer leads an interdisciplinary research team at AidData, a research lab based at William & Mary, which produces insightful international affairs analysis that is academically rigorous and policy relevant. A driving motivation for her work is to find new ways to quantify concepts, activities, and trends that are historically opaque or difficult-to-measure. Her research focuses on topics such as: measuring perceptions of development partners and assessing external influence in domestic policy.
  Shiro Gnanaselvam
CEO, Social Impact
Shiro has spent her 30+ year career working to make international development programs and the entities that fund them more effective and impactful.  As the CEO of Social Impact (SI), Shiro develops and executes SI’s corporate strategy and leads its global staff to advance the effectiveness of programs funded by clients such as USAID, MCC and the Department of State. She has been at the forefront of charting SI’s growth as a global management consulting firm that advances development effectiveness through monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building services. Prior to Social Impact, she worked in a variety of international development organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. At the Millennium Challenge Corporation she oversaw results planning, measurement and reporting for a $7 billion portfolio of investments and was at the forefront of shaping MCC’s approach to data transparency. At PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM, she led projects for USAID where she was instrumental in supporting efforts to that built a strong foundation for planning, measurement and reporting. Early in her career, during her tenure at the World Bank, she supported the design and implementation of public sector reform projects in a number of African countries. Shiro is passionate about building high performing, diverse and inclusive teams, using data to drive decision making, and mentoring and coaching the next generation of leaders in international development. She was born and raised in Sri Lanka and moved to the US to get her BA from Bryn Mawr College. She also has an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and an MBA from the Smith School at the University of Maryland. She resides in the DC metro area with her husband and two teenage children.
  Bobby Jefferson
Vice President and Global Head of Diversity, Equity, Engagement, and Inclusion, DAI
Bobby Jefferson is DAI’s first-ever Global Head of Diversity, Equity, Engagement, and Inclusion. He was previously Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for DAI Global Health, helping establish DAI’s successful digital and global health teams. Bobby is steeped in the issues of racial and social justice. He has reflected on those issues for decades as a professional in the global development industry and beyond, and over the past 18 months in particular he has lent his insights to DAI’s Racial and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), serving on the RSJI Steering Committee since its inception. In 2020, he joined the Board of Directors of the Society for International Development-Washington, D.C. Chapter, a position to which he was re-elected in 2021. As a member of SID-Washington’s Executive Committee, Bobby has been instrumental in shaping the organization’s strategic thinking on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): chairing the DEI Committee, establishing the Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Workgroup, and setting in motion the DEI Strategic Plan. Bobby is also co-chair of the Council of International Development Companies’ new DEI Committee and participates in British Expertise International’s Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Working Group.
  David Snelbecker
CEO, International Development Group
David has over 30 years of experience as a senior economic policy advisor, project manager and executive, for international development projects and companies working in developing, post-conflict and transition countries. He has worked in the areas of macroeconomic policy; fiscal policy and administration (taxation and budgeting); competitiveness; inclusive market systems; workforce development; post-conflict economic governance; trade and investment climate; and pension reform. David joined IDG as the CEO in 2009, growing the organization from a small company to an organization now among the top 25 USAID implementing partners, with annual revenues over $20 million. David previously held positions as Senior Vice President with AECOM International Development; as a Principal with The Services Group; as a Macro-Economic Policy Advisor for the Harvard Institute for International Development in Ukraine; and as a Legislative Correspondent for then-Senator Joe Biden. He served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
  Nell Todd
Senior Manager, Deloitte
Nell Todd is a managing director at Deloitte Consulting LLP and a leader of Deloitte’s support to the State Department. She is currently the diversity, equity, and inclusion leader for Deloitte’s international affairs sub-sector and the pro bono lead for Deloitte’s government and public services. At Deloitte, she has led large-scale, mission-focused transformation and strategic planning efforts with government agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Earlier in her career, Nell worked at DAI, where she managed USAID-funded projects, focused primarily on strengthening local government in eastern Europe. Nell was an interim head of school, taught for ten years as an adjunct professor at Georgetown’s school of foreign service, and served in the US Peace Corps. Nell holds a BA in political science from Carleton College and an MS in public policy and management from the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.
  Camilo Pinzón Orbe 
Ecuadorian Economist
Camilo Pinzón Orbe is an Ecuadorian economist with a specialization in sustainable development and a master's degree in business administration.  Camilo is the co-founder and president for 9 years of the CEIE (Corporation for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Ecuador), the organization which leads the development of the innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ecuador through the Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (AEI) network. Camilo is also the Dean of EDES Business School from UTPL University (Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja). He is chairman of the Leadership Governance Corporation (CLPG), an institution that promotes good governance through training, recognition of good practices and promotion of democratic dialogue.  He is the co-founder and director of the first angel investment network in Ecuador (Startups & Ventures) which has more than 10 years of experience in capital investment in early stages.  He is also an independent consultant advising clients in matters of higher education, public-private governance, innovation, strategic planning and entrepreneurship.  He is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. 
  Katy Vickland
Director, Youth and Workforce Development, Palladium
Kathleen “Katy” Vickland co-leads Palladium’s Localization Team and leads Palladium’s Youth and Workforce Development Portfolio.  Katy is an innovator and program manager in inclusive growth and youth and workforce development, with more than three decades of experience.  She is a collaborative leader who is widely acknowledged for empowering global teams to achieve operational and technical excellence through systems approaches to strengthening local capacity that incorporate authentic youth engagement and private sector engagement. She has in-country experience across Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the United States, and has published extensively. Katy is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School (Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in International Development, John F. Kennedy Fellow) and Carleton College.