Sameer Somal (Chief Financial Officer, Blue Ocean Global Technology and Blue Ocean Global Wealth) At Blue Ocean Global Technology, Somal helps clients build, monitor and repair their digital presence. Prior to co-founding Blue Ocean Global Technology, Mr. Somal was a senior investment analyst at The Bank of Nova Scotia and a financial advisor and intermediary at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch & Co. As part of the Investment Strategy Group at The Bank of Nova Scotia, he authored white papers and delivered keynote presentations on the Case for Canada and Active Share. Somal is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) Charterholder, a certified financial planning (CFP®) professional, and a Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM. He currently serves on CFP Board’s Council on Education and the CFA Institute (CFAI) Financial Analysts Seminar Board of Regents, as well as hosts the CFAI talk show, The Topic @ Hand. Mr. Somal is a frequent speaker on the reputation management, digital expungement, succession planning, technology, diversity, entrepreneurship and leadership and is also an internet defamation subject matter expert witness. In collaboration with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, he authors and delivers continuing legal education programs on reputation management, search engine optimization and ethics across legal communities nationally. He proudly serves on the board of the R.J. Leonard Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating, initiating careers and personally mentoring young adults who are aging out of the foster care system. In 2017, he was named an Iconic Leader Creating a Better World for All by the All Ladies League and the Women Economic Forum.
Bobby Henebry (Founder and CEO, Henebry Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Consulting, LLC) Henebry has run a cryptocurrency mining operation focusing on Ethereum since 2016 and has gone on to consult with groups interested in this space. Henebry Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Consulting, LLC (HBCC) consults for startup companies (mainly in blockchain technology) to help them craft their message, develop strategy and raise capital. Before founding HBCC, Henebry was a partner at SeaBridge Investment Advisors and has previously worked at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Office of Technology Licensing, where he performed prior art searches on emerging technologies that were licensed out or used to form startup companies. Bobby Henebry earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a MBA with specialization in entrepreneurship from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) Charterholder, a graduate of the Society of International Business Fellows Leadership Academy and has served as a facilitator for emerging leaders at several Middle East Leadership Academy.
Nurzhas Makishev (Founder and Partner, NKM Capital) Makishev is the Managing Partner of NKM Capital, an early stage venture capital firm with investments in over 30 leading technology companies including Lyft, Ripple, Cruise (acquired by GM), and Robinhood. Before founding NKM Capital, Nurzhas spent over 13 years in the technology industry, as an investor, entrepreneur, product manager, engineer, and researcher. He worked in product strategy and communication at Google and as a product strategy manager and software engineer at Oracle. Between 2011 and 2012, he co-founded Startups Inc. He has invested in companies such as Relativity, Boom Technology, Inc. and Lyft, among others. Makishev earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science and engineering and economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Until recently, Makishev served as a Board Member at Kazakhstan Central Bank’s Banking Service Bureau and advised Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Astana Mayor on innovation and new technologies.
Dr. Lora Saalman (Vice President, Asia-Pacific Program, EWI) Dr. Saalman’s work focuses on trends in nuclear, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, hypersonic glide, ballistic missile defense issues in the Asia-Pacific region. She has served as the director of the China and Global Security Program at SIPRI, an associate professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, an associate in the Nuclear Policy Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University, a research associate at the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a visiting fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, as well as a fellow at the IAEA. She remains an associate senior fellow at SIPRI. She earned her Ph.D. at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where she was the first American to earn a doctorate from its Department of International Relations, completing all her coursework in Chinese. She has published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Survival, The Wall Street Journal, Journal of International Affairs, The Chinese Journal of International Politics, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 世界知识出版社 [World Affairs Press], 国际政治科学 [The Chinese Journal of International Politics], 南亚研究 [South Asia Studies], 当代亚太 [Contemporary Asia Pacific], among others.