International Women's Forum 2019 Cornerstone Conference Barcelona


Susanne Afanah

Suzanne Afanah is the former Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan, communications professional and award-winning journalist. She is currently the managing partner at Advvise, a leader in strategic communications in Jordan, and serves on several boards, including the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, Jordan River Foundation, the Center for Defending the Freedom of Journalists and the Children’s Museum. During her years in television, Afanah assumed different posts, including producer, correspondent and anchor at major news networks, including Jordan Television, MBC and CNN. Afanah also led communications at Zain, one of the leading telecommunications providers in the Middle East and Africa. Appointed by Queen Rania of Jordan, Afanah also led efforts to create the Arab Media Network, launching an award-winning media campaign across the Arab world to empower women. As a contributor to CNN’s Emmy-winning show The World Report, Afanah won the “Best Political Story Award 2000'.


Laxmi Akkaraju

Laxmi Akkaraju is Chief Strategy Officer for GSMA and is responsible for working with the GSMA’s membership to define global strategies and initiatives that will offer collective benefit for mobile operators and the wider mobile industry. She has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry across India, Norway and the United States. Akkaraju joined GSMA from EVRY, a leading IT company providing business-critical solutions to enterprises and public sector organizations, where she served as Senior Vice President of Global Delivery and Country Manager in Bangalore. In 2017, Akkaraju was appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research to serve on the Competence Needs Committee, focused on identifying the education, skills and competencies needed to fuel the future labor market and economy. She was recognized as one of Norway’s “Top 10 Women Leaders” by Abelia and Oda-Networks in 2017. Akkaraju holds a master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of New Mexico.

Satya Anand

Satya Anand is Chief Operations Officer, Luxury and Southern Europe at Marriott International, a leader within the company for over 30 years. In this capacity, he is responsible for Marriott’s luxury portfolio across Europe and all brands in Southern Europe. Prior to this role, he was the Chief Financial Officer for Europe and Area Vice President for Western Europe and Central Europe. Prior to his operations roles, Anand held several finance functions at property, regional and headquarters levels.  

Gema Aznar 

Gema Aznar is General Manager for Mary Kay Spain, overseeing operations for the top beauty brand, which is celebrating more than 25 years in the Spanish market. During Aznar’s tenure, Mary Kay Spain was named the number one direct cosmetic sales company for four consecutive years, from 2014 to 2017. Aznar joined Mary Kay Spain in 2005, following a successful career in the banking sector. In 2018 and 2017, YO DONA magazine named Aznar one of the “500 Most Influential Women” in Spain in its special Female Power edition. She is an active member of the Spanish Direct Sales Association and also participates in the Women in Leadership program at the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain. Aznar studied Economic Science in the field of Business Administration and Leadership. In 2010, she completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.  

Beatriz Bayo

Beatriz Bayo is Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at MANGO, a global fashion brand founded in Barcelona by brothers Isak and Nahman Andic. In her role, Bayo leads all sustainability and CSR initiatives for the company, including the Committed Collections and DETOX campaign, launched by Greenpeace to work with suppliers to eliminate the release of hazardous chemicals into water during manufacturing. She monitors the company’s performance against key indicators and regulations, and manages projects, including the study of emissions and offset programs. Bayo also represents MANGO as an Executive Committee member in the Spanish network of the Global Compact of the United Nations. She teaches courses at ESDi School of Design and is a graduate of the Universidad de Valladolid.   

Maria Bezaitis

Maria Bezaitis, PhD is a Senior Principal Engineer at Intel Corporation. She is responsible for investigating human-machine interactions paradigms to shape Intel’s next-generation technology road maps and partnerships. Bezaitis joined Intel in 2006 to run its research and development investment in human-centered innovation. Her focus today is how artificial intelligence capabilities enter everyday life to deliver new experiences, transform communications and compute infrastructures that manage, move and control data. Bezaitis started her post-academic career at E-Lab, a consultancy that pioneered the use of ethnographic research for product development, brand strategy and work process. Bezaitis is President of the Board for the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Community (EPIC), a professional organization with over 2,000 members whose work advances the value of ethnography in industry. She earned her doctorate in French Literature from Duke University.  

Cristina Caballe Fuguet

Cristina Caballe Fuguet is Executive Director of Industry Solutions for IBM Europe, one of the key strategic units offering technology services tailored to different client industries. Fuguet has been with IBM since 2000. Before joining IBM, she was a Senior Consultant at Siemens AG at the Berlin headquarters and a consultant at several companies in Spain. She has been head of the 
Women’s Leadership Council at IBM Spain since 2015 and is a member of the Society of Women Engineers. Fuguet received a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona. She earned her MBA from Henley Management College in London. She speaks Spanish, English, Catalan, German and French, and she has basic knowledge of 
Italian and Hungarian. 

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, a German and American national, is the founding Executive Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). In January 2018, she was named Executive Director of the new Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship at HKS. She is an expert on transatlantic trade and security, German politics and European public policy, and she is a frequent commentator in European and American media. Clüver Ashbrook has held policy advisory roles at the European Parliament, the UK House of Commons and the Mayor’s Office of Operations under Michael Bloomberg in New York City. She began her career as a broadcast journalist covering EU politics before moving on to managerial roles at the European Policy Centre in Brussels and Roland Berger strategy consultants in Hamburg and Shanghai. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from HKS, is a graduate of the London School of Economics and of Brown University. She is a Truman National Security Fellow, a Munich Security Conference Young Leader and serves a number of universities in advisory and board capacities. 

Mercedes Coghen

Mercedes Coghen is Vice President of the Spanish Hockey Federation, Executive Director of Spain Sports Global, patron of the Laureus Spain Foundation and a member of the advisory board of CSBM Sports Consultancy. Coghen was an Olympic champion with the Spanish Hockey National Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. An accomplished sports management leader, she has served as Executive Director of the Men’s Hockey Olympic Qualifier and the Women's World Cup teams, Director of Institutional Relations at the Spanish Basketball Federation, Chief Executive Officer of the Madrid 2016 Olympic Bid and Director General of Sports for the Madrid City Council. She was a founding member of the Women and Sport Foundation, as well as a member of the International Hockey Federation Executive Board and Spanish Olympic Committee for over 10 years. Coghen was also a jury member for the National Sports Awards seven times. Before her sports management career, Coghen worked at a law firm and owned her own business. She holds degrees in Law and Tourism. 

Ada Colau

Ada Colau is the first woman to hold the office of Mayor for the City of Barcelona. Born and raised in Barcelona, her interest in social concerns and political activism date from a young age. In the 2000s, in an effort to confront social and economic challenges, Colau became an activist and spokesperson for many causes defending democracy. She was one of the founding members and spokespeople of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages), which was set up in 2009 in response to the rise in evictions caused by unpaid mortgage loans and the collapse of the Spanish property market. In 2014, she founded Guanyem Barcelona (later named Barcelona en Comú), a citizen-based political platform, and in 2015, she was sworn in as Barcelona’s mayor. She is the recipient of many human rights accolades, including the European Citizen’s Prize, and is widely published on issues pertaining to evictions and tenant rights.

Amanda Davies

Amanda Davies is a sports Anchor for CNN International, based at the London bureau. Alongside being an anchor for CNN World Sport, Davies also hosts a monthly Formula 1 show called The Circuit, following the F1 calendar around the globe. Davies has fronted the network's World Sport coverage for multiple major events, including the Summer and Winter Olympics, Football World Cups, Champions League Finals, the Tour de France and the World Athletics Championships. Additionally, she has covered Lance Armstrong's fall from grace, doping and corruption controversies, the death of Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Leicester City's fairy-tale Premier League campaign and the retirement of football legend Sir Alex Ferguson. Davies has also interviewed highprofile leaders across sport, including Serena Williams, David Beckham, Usain Bolt, Michael Schumacher, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Neymar, Roger 

Anne Duncan

Anne Duncan is Director of Lumiu, a strategy and marketing advisory services firm that helps business leaders and their businesses grow internationally. Her areas of expertise include international business development, strategy and new ventures, digital business and operations processes. She has led entrepreneurial projects across global shared services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, sports, travel and tourism, and economic development. Duncan is Governor and President of the International Development Committee for the American Hospital of Paris and serves as an advisor and director to many organizations, including the Institute of Directors Chair for Digital and Technology Leadership, as well as a member of IEEE’s Working Group on Blockchain for Healthcare and Life Sciences. She holds a master’s from London Business School and was a participant in Oxford’s Blockchain Strategy Program. Duncan is Vice President of the IWF Board of Directors, Chair of the Communications Committee and a 
member of IWF United Kingdom.  .

Marieta del Rivero

Marieta del Rivero is an independent non-executive director for Cellnex Telecom and partner at Seeliger and Conde, a leading executive search and board practice firm. She is an advisory board member for Mutualidad de la Abogacía, advisor to Made in Möbile and member of the Spanish Institute of Advisors. Rivero has over 25 years’ experience in the technology sector and served in many leadership roles, including Chief Executive Officer of Nokia Iberia, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Telefónica and Senior Advisor to Ericsson, among others. In 2018, she was recognized as one of the “500 Most Influential Women in Spain” by El Mundo newspaper and one of the “Top 100 Women Leaders” by Mujeres & Cía. Rivero has also been recognized as the “Best Woman Leader” by the Spanish Association of Business Women (ASEME) in 2017. She is the author of Smart Cities: A Vision for the Citizen. She is President of IWF Spain and 2019 Cornerstone Conference Co-chair. 

Melek El Nimer

Melek El Nimer is the Founder of the Unite Lebanon Youth Project. She started her work with vulnerable and marginalized people over 25 years ago, when she dedicated her efforts to improving the lives of refugees living in the camps in and around Beirut, Lebanon. Her observation that the sectarian conflict in Lebanon is exacerbated by poverty and the continued isolation of the host community and its refugee populations led her to establish the NGO Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP) in 2010. With ULYP and its team, El Nimer continues to work with children, youth and women from all marginalized and refugee communities, and provides them with educational opportunities designed to help them fulfill their inherent potential as human beings. ULYP works on the premise that education is the best investment. El Nimer is President of IWF Lebanon.

Enrique Fernandez

Enrique Fernández Puertas is Director of Digitalization and IT Architecture Strategy for Repsol, responsible for the coordination and execution of the Digital Transformation Program. Fernández has held various IT and digital leadership roles throughout his tenure at Repsol, such as IT Projects Director, overseeing the execution of the Global IT Portfolio, which includes Upstream, Downstream and Corporate. Prior to joining Repsol, he specialized in natural gas and energy at Arthur Andersen (BearingPoint). An industrial engineer by training, Fernández holds a degree in Organizational Engineering and a master’s in Economic Science. He is also an associate professor in Management Information Systems at Comillas Pontifical University. 

John Fernandez

John Fernandez is Global Chief Innovation Officer for Dentons. He develops and oversees the growth of innovative projects globally as the Global Chair of Nextlaw Labs, Dentons' legal technology business accelerator that identifies opportunities for new technologies to deliver greater client value. A graduate of Indiana University, Fernandez was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, where he led the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness. He also served as counsel for Krieg DeVault LLP, where he advised private and governmental organizations on economic development, public finance and policy issues. While Fernandez was Mayor of Bloomington, Indiana, from 1996 to 2003, the economy thrived despite significant changes in the global economy. He also worked with business and Indiana University leaders to launch Bloomington’s Life Sciences Partnership, securing over US$243 million in private investments, 3,700 new jobs and 

Jennifer Fleiss

Jenny Fleiss is the Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder of Jetblack, the first portfolio company within Walmart’s startup incubator. She is disrupting traditional ecommerce with a personal shopping service over text message and voice. Previously, Fleiss co-founded Rent the Runway, a business that has transformed the retail industry by making designer clothing rentals a convenient and accessible luxury experience for millions of women. Fleiss is also Co-founder of the RTR Foundation, a proud advisor to and investor in several female-founded startups and a guest lecturer at various prestigious universities. She has been honored with numerous recognitions, including Inc. magazine’s “30 Under 30,” Fortune magazine’s “40 Under 40” and “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” and Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology”. 

Grégoire Gathem

Grégoire Gathem is an Associate Professor at the Universitat de Barcelona and Senior Legal Counsel at Fusion for Energy (EU Joint Undertaking). He began his career as an attorney at the Brussels Bar before moving to positions within European Union institutions, notably at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) as a member of the President’s Cabinet and in the EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal. Gathem is a graduate of the Université Catholique de Louvain, the Katholiek Universiteit Leuven and holds a master of laws from Harvard Law School, where he was granted the Frank Boas Scholarship and the BAEF Honorary Fellowship. He has published various articles across EU topics, and is currently co-hosting the Barcelona City FM radio show Europeans In aimed at explaining the European Union and promoting its values. ;

Eva Franch i Gilabert

Eva Franch i Gilabert is a Catalan Architect, Curator, Educator, and Director of the 
Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom and one of the most influential architecture institutions in the world. Franch is the first woman and youngest person to hold the post. Her work focuses on experimental forms of art and architectural practice. In 2004, she founded her solo practice OOAA (Office of Architectural Affairs) and has been the Chief Curator and Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Franch specializes in the making of alternative architecture histories and futures. In 2014, with the project OfficeUS, Franch was selected by the US State Department to represent the United States Pavilion at the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale. Franch has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Istituto di Architettura di Venezia, SUNY Buffalo and Rice University School of Architecture. 

Maria Eugenia Girón

Maria Eugenia Girón is Executive Director of the IE Premium and Prestige Business Observatory and an expert in global premium brand strategy, growth and sustainable business development. She has 20 years’ experience in the premium and luxury industry. She led Loewe International as the Chief Executive Officer of jewelry company Carrera y Carrera,and served as Executive Chairman of Le Chameau. Girón is an active angel investor in tech startups and co-leads the Rising Tide movement to grow and strengthen the community of women investors. She serves on the Board of Directors of Corporación Financiera Alba, Real Fábrica de Tapices and Oceana, and she is Chairman of Fundación Diversidad. She attended the Technical School of Industrial Engineering (ICAI) and holds an MBA from Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration. Girón was named “Best Woman Executive” of Spain in 2004 and “Top 100” in 2017, and she has written three books on sustainability. She is a member of IWF Spain.

Pascale Harter

Pascale Harter is an award-winning presenter and reporter with a long career at BBC News. Harter currently hosts From Our Own Correspondent, a weekly BBC World Service radio program, curating the reflections of journalists and writers on their personal experiences of news and current events around the world. The program goes behind the headlines and into people’s lives to provide insightful analysis. Harter’s 18 years of reporting for the BBC have taken her across the globe as a foreign correspondent, from Algeria to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Libya, Tunisia, Washington, DC, and more. She is the recipient of the BBC’s Best Global News Story, Amnesty International’s Media Award and a MIND Media Award for her work in Kenya and the DRC. She is passionate about amplifying the voices of women and girls in poverty and war. Harter is a member of BBC Women, working for equal pay for women in all spheres of employment. 

Gale Anne Hurd

Gale Anne Hurd co-wrote and produced her first film, The Terminator, after working in various capacities for legendary producer Roger Corman. The Terminator was followed by Academy Award winners Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Ghost and the Darkness, as well as Sundance Audience Award-winner The Waterdance, among many others. In television, she is an Executive Producer of AMC's The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and Amazon's Lore, and she serves as a consulting producer on Talking Dead. Hurd has collaborated with IWF Southern California member Valerie Red-Horse Mohl on multiple documentaries, including MANKILLER, which chronicles the life of the late IWF Hall of Fame inductee Cherokee Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller. After winning awards at film festivals worldwide, the film aired on PBS for Women’s History Month in March 2018. A longtime former Board Member and Officer of the Producers Guild of America, Hurd received the organization's coveted David O. Selznick Award for Achievement in Feature Film. She has served as a Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and on the board of the American Film Institute. Hurd is a member of IWF Southern California, IWF Georgia and the IWF Hall of Fame. Her star can be found on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

Marcel Jansen, PhD

Marcel Jansen, PhD is Associate Professor in Economics at the Autonomous University of Madrid and a researcher at Fedea, an economic think tank based in Madrid. Jansen is a renowned labor economist and an active participant in policy debates in Spain and Europe. In recent years, he has acted as a consultant for the European Commission and the OECD on issues related to youth unemployment and dual labor markets. Furthermore, he has acted as the academic director of the New Skills at Work program in Spain, a joint initiative of Fedea and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Maastricht and doctorate in Economics from the European University Institute in Italy. 

Shamim Jawad

Shamim Jawad is the Founder of Ayenda Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the education, health and safety of Afghan children, especially girls. She also established the Ayenda Learning Center in Bamiyan as a safe haven and center of excellence for children, complete with a state-of-the-art computer laboratory, providing new opportunities for the children in a remote province of Afghanistan for more than a decade. Since 2003, she has been working on quality education for children and on gender equality. Jawad is a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, a non-partisan, publicprivate partnership that convenes governments, civil society and the private sector around the goal of supporting women’s rights, girls’ education and economic empowerment. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Afghanistan, dedicated to providing world-class education to prepare future leaders to meet the needs of a post-conflict country. Jawad is an alumna of the IWF Leadership Foundation Fellows Program and a member of IWF United Kingdom. 

Hildur Eir Jónsdóttir

Hildur Eir Jónsdóttir is Managing Partner of Assurance for EY Spain, overseeing audit, forensic, capital markets and advisory services related to finance. In this role, she leads 70 partners and over 1,000 professionals. A member of EY’s Executive Committee in Spain, she has been an Assurance Partner for 14 years, working mainly with clients in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industry. Prior to this position, she led the International Financial Reporting Standards Desk in Spain and Portugal, was the EY Risk and Independence Leader of the Mediterranean Area and a member of the regional Executive Committee. Jónsdóttir has served as an audit partner for national and international companies. She is a member of the Advisory Council of Deusto Business School and the Executive Committee for the Spanish-Icelandic Chamber of Commerce. She is currently the signing audit partner of IAG and Amadeus, both listed on the Ibex35 in Spain.   

Thomas Liebig

Thomas Liebig is Senior Migration Specialist and Economist for the International Migration Division in the Directorate for Employment, Labor and Social Affairs at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Since joining the division in 2004, Liebig has undertaken extensive work on the integration of immigrants and their children, labor migration and the economic impact of migration. He currently leads the OECD’s work on the integration of immigrants, including the joint European Union-OECD Indicators of Immigrant Integration. Liebig was also recently nominated to Germany’s National Integration Commission. Prior to joining the International Migration Division, Liebig worked as a consultant for the OECD’s Economics Department and as a research associate in the Institute for Labor Economics and Labor Law at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. A German national, Liebig holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in Economics from the University of St. Gallen. He also received a master’s degree in International Affairs and, following studies at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, a CEMS master’s in International Business Management. 


Anna Majó

Anna Majó is the Director of Digital Innovation at Barcelona City Council, with expertise in innovation in cities, Smart Cites, economic promotion and public-private partnership. Majó is an engineer with a background in strategic and change management consultancy at Accenture, and experience in entrepreneurship from UPC—one of the main technological Universities in Spain. She joined the Barcelona City Council with the 22@Barcelona urban transformation project, the biggest urban and economic transformation project in Europe, to create an innovation district in Barcelona city center. Currently, she the Digital Innovation Director at Barcelona City Council where she designs and implements the Barcelona Digital Innovation Strategy and policies. Majó advises on innovation and articulates the implementation of the Smart City and digital strategy across municipal areas and agencies, leads the i-lab: the Barcelona’s social and sustainable urban innovation lab, and collaborates with institutions like World Bank or the European Commission.

Maria José Martín

María José Martín is General Manager of Right Management and ManpowerGroup Solutions. She joined Manpower in 1994 as an employment consultant after participating in cultural exchange projects and carrying out selection, training and execution for sales campaigns. For nine years, she grew with the company and held positions including Office Manager, Area Manager, Regional Manager and Director, and Manager of Large Accounts. In 2003, she joined the line of business dedicated to outsourcing services covering recruitment processes and management service providers as Business Manager. She combined this work with the management of ManpowerGroup’s talent attraction and management portfolio. In 2014, Martín was named General Manager of ManpowerGroup Solutions, and in 2015, she was named General Manager of Right Management for Spain. Martín is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Human Age Institute, a nonprofit program developed by ManpowerGroup to promote the importance of talent as a driving force behind transformation.

Totsie Memela

Totsie Memela is a strategist, business leader, coach, community builder, education activist and developmental project director. Memela is a political veteran who played a pivotal role in the liberation movement in South Africa. At present, she is Chief Strategist, Africa for the Dallas-based Higher Ed Partners, an organization that partners with universities to support the extension of graduate programs online. For more than 25years, she has worked in operations and management in the banking, financial services, nonprofit and postal services sectors. Previously, Memela was the Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Development Business Trust (WDB), a leading organization in pro-poor microfinance for women. Before that, she was Chief Executive Officer of EduLoan, a leading education finance specialist operating in Southern Africa to make education affordable and accessible

Anand Menon

Anand Menon is a Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London. He also directs the Economic and Social Research Council initiative, The UK in a Changing Europe. Menon is a frequent commentator on national and international broadcast media and has made several radio documentaries on contemporary politics. He is also a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House. Anand has held positions at Sciences Po, Columbia University and New York University. He has written on many aspects of contemporary Europe and is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of the European Union. He is co-author of Brexit and British Politics and author of Europe: The State of the Union. He has also written for the Financial Times, Prospect, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, 
The Times
and Le Monde.

Jeanne Meserve

Jeanne Meserve is an award-winning journalist and former Correspondent and Anchor with CNN and ABC. Since 2011, Meserve has worked on the other side of the camera, coaching CEOs and other leaders on how to be successful on stage and in the media spotlight. Her work has helped top-level executives from the government, academia, corporate and nonprofit worlds. Meserve also serves as a moderator and speaker. Recent engagements include the prestigious Munich Security Conference, a Space Foundation panel discussion on the “State of Space” and a conference on ratification of the new USMCA trade pact. Meserve has earned the profession’s highest honors, including a Peabody, two Emmys and the Edward R. Murrow Award. 

Ana Muñoz

Ana Muñoz is a non-executive director on numerous publicly listed boards in Spain. She was an executive within the financial services sector for many years at Merrill Lynch in Switzerland, England, the United States and Spain. Muñoz speaks seven languages and dedicates time to mentoring and advising family-owned businesses. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Chicago Booth School of Business, where she earned her MBA. She attended the University of Zurich in Switzerland for undergraduate studies in Economics. Muñoz is a member of the IWF Board of Directors, former president and member of IWF Spain and 2019 Cornerstone Conference Co-chair.

Misha Nonoo

Misha Nonoo is a fashion designer who was born in Bahrain, raised in London and educated in Paris. Her multicultural upbringing exposed her to a diverse collection of references, showcasing a unique outlook for the modern, multifaceted woman through the development of a “capsule wardrobe” in her work. Nonoo won industry recognition when she became a finalist for the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30,” as well as Crain’s New York Business’ “40 under 40.” She was the first designer to use social media as a venue for fashion shows, exclusively debuting her Spring/Summer 2016 collection on Instagram and her Fall 2016 collection on Snapchat. She was also an early adopter of the direct-to-consumer model, which increases transparency, lowers pricing and promotes sustainability by reducing waste. Nonoo continues to push boundaries by marrying designs with innovative digital concepts that are celebrated by women who embrace their femininity while pursuing their goals. 

Oscar Pallarols

Oscar Pallarols is Global Commercial Director at Cellnex Telecom, the main independent wireless infrastructure operator in Europe. His function covers innovation, product strategy and the business lines (telecom infrastructures, small cells, smart and IoT, connectivity and mission-critical networks). Pallarols, a telecommunications engineer, joined Cellnex in 2016. Prior to his role at Cellnex, he worked at Mobile World Capital Barcelona as Smart Living Director. The Smart Living program’s objective was to establish Barcelona as a reference location for the development of value-added services for citizens in the city and its strategic sectors, using mobile technology. He began his career as an analyst for SEMA Group and spent 11 years working at Accenture, specializing in telecommunications. 

Ainhoa Paredes

Ainhoa Paredes is the UK News Correspondent for Telecinco (MEDIASET), the most-watched TV channel in Spain, a position she has held since 2006. In this role for Telecinco and other media outlets in Spain and Latin America, she has covered many significant news events over the last 15 years, including several general elections (Tony Blair, David Cameron, Theresa May), terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the Scottish referendum and, of course, Brexit. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Universidad de Navarra and a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where she studied after receiving a scholarship from La Caixa Foundation and the British Council.

Susannah Rodgers, MBE

Susannah Rodgers, MBE is a former professional athlete who competed at two Paralympic Games in London (2012) and Rio (2016), winning a total of 30 international medals, including 17 gold. Rodgers is a Patron of the London Disability Swimming Club and King Edward VI High School for Girls assisted places scheme and a disability sports coach. Rodgers is an advocate and speaker on inclusion and diversity and is a role model and mentor to other people with disabilities, showing what is possible through openly speaking about her own experiences as a disabled woman. She is an ambassador for Zoggs UK and Samsung, and an Ocean Ambassador for the Marine Conservation Society, advising globally on disability, empowerment and inclusion. Rodgers is a Non-executive Director on numerous boards, and chairs two sub-committees. She was a 2016 mentee in the EY Women Athletes Business Network program.  

Mariel Rodriquez

Maribel Rodriguez joined the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in 2014 and currently serves as Regional Director for Europe and Latin America. She built an extensive network within the travel and tourism industry, accumulating over 20 years of sales, marketing, communication and commercial experience in Europe and Latin America, specializing in airline and hospitality. Prior to her role at WTTC, Rodriguez was Executive Commercial Director and a board member for Travelodge Hotels Spain. Before that, she spent 11 years in the aviation industry, gaining extensive experience in all aspects of commercial aviation. She managed the introduction of low-cost airline operations into the Southern European market for Virgin Express, Go-Fly, EasyJet and Ryanair. She was also Director at British Airways for Spain, Portugal and France. She holds an Executive MBA from ICADE Business School, a degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Salamanca and has completed a senior executive program in Travel and Tourism at IESE Business School. 

Fatma Samoura

Fatma Samoura leads the administration of world football's governing body as the first-ever female Secretary General of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), appointed in 2016. Samoura strives to use the game's power to help change the world. Since starting her United Nations career in Rome as a Senior Logistics Officer with the World Food Programme in 1995, Samoura has served as Country Representative or Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in seven countries: Republic of Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Niger, Madagascar and Nigeria. In a career with the United Nations that spanned 21 years, Samoura managed to initiate and lead several development and humanitarian programs across the globe. She studied at the University of Lyon Institut d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées (IECS) and speaks four languages. 

Lisa Sepulveda

Lisa Sepulveda is Chief Client Officer at Edelman and co-leads the firm’s client experience program, working with teams across all practices and geographies to ensure delivery of creative, quality client work. Sepulveda is a board member for She’s the First, a nonprofit focused on girls’ education in the developing world, and Enactus, a global nonprofit and community of students and business leaders committed to making an impact through entrepreneurial action. With over 30 years of marketing experience, she has played an integral role in some of Edelman’s most significant work, including the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and the eBay/PayPal split. Her portfolio of clients includes Adobe, eBay, Mars, PayPal, Samsung and Unilever. Sepulveda has won many awards, including 2017 Mentor of the Year from She’s the First, and was listed in the “40 Women to Watch Over 40” ranking in 2016.  

Amanda Signorelli

Amanda Signorelli is Chief Executive Officer of Techweek, an international media and event platform. In 2017, Techweek events covered nine cities in North America, reaching 40,000 people. Techweek partners with tech leaders, corporations and investors to highlight entrepreneurship and technology beyond Silicon Valley. Today, it is primarily a media company that tells the stories of technology companies across the globe. Prior to her role at Techweek, Signorelli was a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Chicago, focusing on strategy and operations. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with dual majors in International Business and Marketing, a minor in French and a concentration in Arabic. Signorelli is a member of IWF Chicago.

Caral Simón

Carla Simón is a film writer and director who was raised in a small Catalan village. Her autobiographical debut, Summer 1993 (2017), won “Best First Feature Award” and the Generation Kplus Grand Prix at the Berlinale, along with three Goya awards, including “Best New Director.” The film was selected to represent Spain at the 2018 Academy Awards. Simón received the 2018 “Women in Motion Emerging Talent” award at Festival de Cannes. Alcarrás, her second feature in development, was developed with the Torino Script Lab, Nipkow Program and Cannes Residency program. In 2011, Simón was awarded a scholarship by La Caixa for a master’s program at the London Film School, where she directed the short films Born Positive, Lipstick, Las Pequeñas Cosas and Llacunes. She is a passionate supporter of youth film education and increasing the number of women in film. Simón studied Audio Visual Communication in Barcelona and California. 

Benedetta Tagliabue

Benedetta Tagliabue is Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, established in 1994 in collaboration with Enric Miralles, with offices in Barcelona, Shanghai and Paris. Among her most notable projects are the Scottish Parliament, Diagonal Mar Park, Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona, Campus Universitario de Vigo and Spanish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, for which she was awarded the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Award for the “Best International Building of 2011.” Tagliabue’s current studio projects include the Business School of Fudan University in Shanghai, office towers in Taichung, public spaces of HafenCity in Hamburg, the Clichy-Montfermeil metro station in Paris and the central metro station in Naples. Her work has received numerous international accolades, including the Catalan National Prize (2002), RIBA Stirling Prize (2005), City of Barcelona Prize (2005, 2009), National Spanish Prize (2006) and Festival of Arts and Design Award (2000, 2003, 2007). Tagliabue studied Architecture at Istituto di Architettura di Venezia. 

Martha Throne

Martha Thorne is Dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid, Spain, and Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a position she has held since 2005. From 1995 to 2005, she worked as a Curator in the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago. She has written numerous articles for books and journals on contemporary architecture and the city. She served on the Board of Directors of the International Archive of Women in Architecture. Thorne has served on juries for the National Museum of Chinese Art, the Zaryadye Park in Moscow and the international jury for arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture. Thorne received a master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs from the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as additional studies at the London School of Economics.

Joan Torrella

Joan Torrella is Managing Director of Turisme de Barcelona (Tourism Barcelona). Torella has worked in public administration for over 35 years, taking on various management posts in the fields of social services, territorial management, human resource management, culture and economic promotion of the city. In 2007, he was designated Director of Coordination and Strategic Programs for Economic Promotion, representing the City Council Board in several public-private sector entities — including the Consortium Turisme de Barcelona — as a member of the General Council and the Executive Committee until September 2018. In 2010, the City Council created the Tourism Directorate, and he was commissioned director until August 2018. During this period, he was a member of the team of the “Tourism Strategic Plan of Barcelona 2010-2015” and the following edition, 2017-2020. Torrella holds a degree in Philosophy from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a master’s in Managerial Function, Public Administrations from ESADE Business School. 

Deborah Shannon Trudeau

Deborah Shannon Trudeau is Senior Vice President of International Business and Licensing at Trudeau Corporation, a private company specializing in the design, development and distribution of its own kitchenware products around the world. Trudeau has over 30 years’ experience in project management, strategy, sales, marketing, brand positioning and international business relations. Trudeau helped transform the business from a general importer to a strong, vertically integrated industry leader. She established strategic partnerships and licensing collaborations, and implemented a business model that expanded the profile and market share growth of Trudeau in over 60 countries. She is Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Royal Canadian Mint, where she chairs the Governance Committee. She also serves as Vice President of the Board of the Community Foundation of Greater Montreal and is on the Board of Governors of the St. Mary’s Hospital. Trudeau is President of the International Women’s Forum.

Marisa Urquía

Marisa Urquía is B2B (Business-to-Business) Director for Telefónica Spain. She is a professional in telecommunications, with extensive managerial experience in technological alliances, customer engineering, marketing and sales. Prior to her current role, Urquía held numerous leadership roles at Telefónica and Telefónica Spain within the marketing and engineering sectors. She recently served as Marketing Director for Companies, Engineering and Outsourcing, and Director of Financial Institutions. She holds a Telecommunications Engineering degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and an Executive MBA from the IE Business School.

Zuzana Vaněčková

Zuzana Vaněčková is an advocate and expert on social and economic inclusion of European youth. She is an immediate past board member of the largest youth organization fighting for the rights of young people in Europe, the European Youth Forum, and a founding member of the European Apprenticeship Network. Vaněčková is currently on sabbatical in Mexico, doing volunteer work focused on women’s empowerment at the World Center of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. For her graduate thesis, Vaněčková researched the quality of services offered to unemployed youth throughout Spain. She has also conducted diversity management research, exploring the employability of individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, culminating in the development of an inclusion guide for employers. Vaněčková holds a postgraduate degree in Adult Education and Human Resources from Charles University in Prague. 

Theresa Zabell

Theresa Zabell is a double Olympic champion and five-time world champion in sailing. After retiring from a career in sport, Zabell founded ECOMAR, a youth educational organization that seeks to raise awareness about ocean health and marine environments. In existence for over 20 years, ECOMAR has reached over 2.3 million children. Zabell was Vice President of the Spanish Olympic Committee — the first woman to hold the role — from 2007 to 2014 and Director of International  Relations for the Madrid 2020 Olympic Bid. She was a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004 and Vice President of the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, Media and Sports, focusing on the fight against doping and the future of sport. She currently leads the ECOMAR Foundation and serves as a jury member for the Princess of Asturias Award.