2018 Speakers

Keynote Presentation

The Honorable Kamala D. Harris

United States Senate

headshot Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator for California in 2017. She is the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. She serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Environment and Public Works, and the Committee on the Budget.

After earning an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings, she began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

In 2003, Ms. Harris became the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. As District Attorney, she started a program that gives first-time drug offenders the chance to earn a high school diploma and find employment.

Having completed two terms as the District Attorney of San Francisco, Ms. Harris was elected as the first African-American and first woman to serve as California's Attorney General. Over the course of her nearly two terms in office, she won a $25 billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, defended California’s landmark climate change law, protected the Affordable Care Act, helped win marriage equality for all Californians, and prosecuted transnational gangs that trafficked in guns, drugs, and human beings.

In the United States Senate she has introduced and cosponsored legislation to raise wages for working people, reform our criminal justice system, make healthcare a right for all Americans, address the epidemic of substance abuse, support veterans and military families, and expand access to childcare for working parents. Senator Harris lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Doug Emhoff, and is stepmother to Ella and Cole Emhoff.

Featured Speakers

Carol J. Galante

Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing & Urban Policy
Director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation
University of California at Berkeley

headshot Carol Galante is the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy and the Faculty Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, both at the University of California, Berkeley. She also co-chairs the Policy Advisory Board of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics.

Preceding her appointments at UC Berkeley, Professor Galante served as the Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Obama. She is a member of the National Housing Conference Board of Governors, California Housing Consortium Board of Directors, the Enterprise Community Partner’s Board of Trustees and Community Investment’s Board of Directors, Ocwen Board of Directors, and Morgan Stanley’s Community Development Advisory Board.

Ms. Galante holds a Master of City Planning from U.C. Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan.

Jure Leskovec, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist, Pinterest
Associate Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University

headshot Jure Leskovec is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he is a member of the InfoLab and the AI Lab. His research at Stanford focuses on mining and modeling large social and information networks, their evolution, and diffusion of information and influence over them. Problems he investigates are motivated by large scale data, the Web and on-line media.

Dr. Leskovec also serves as Chief Scientist at Pinterest, where he focuses on machine learning problems. Pinterest Labs brings together top researchers, scientists and engineers from around the world to tackle the most challenging problems in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Dr. Leskovec, a co-founder of machine learning startup Kosei, holds an undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and a Ph.D. in machine learning from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Steve Heminger

Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

headshot Steve Heminger is Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and responsible for the administration of more than $2 billion per year in funding for the operation, maintenance and expansion of the Bay Area’s surface transportation network. Under contract with the Association of Bay Area Governments, Mr. Heminger and his team also provide staffing and support services to that organization. As chairman of the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee, Steve oversaw construction of the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge — the largest transportation project in California history.

Mr. Heminger was appointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which helped chart the future course for the federal transportation program. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Mineta Transportation Institute and serves on the Executive Committee for the Transportation Research Board. He is also a senior fellow at the Institute for Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley. He received his Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University.

Paul Saffo

Consulting Professor, School of Engineering
Stanford University

headshot Paul Saffo is a forecaster with over two decades experience exploring the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. He teaches forecasting at Stanford University and chairs the Future Studies and Forecasting track at Singularity University. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Mr. Saffo serves on a variety of not-for-profit boards including the Long Now Foundation and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

Mr. Saffo has previous experience as Co-founder and Managing Director of Foresight, Discern Analytics, member of the Global Business Network, a columnist for, Founding Chairman of the Samsung SAIT Science Advisory Board and a member of the National Research Council Committee on forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies. He has been a member of numerous other boards, institutes and councils on global issues and future planning. His essays have appeared in a wide range of publications including The Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Foreign Policy, Wired, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The New York Times, and the Washington Post. Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University and Stanford University.

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