Guest Speakers

Our Guest Speakers

Nadir Ahmad
Founder & CEO of Dowling Street

Nadir Ahmad is the Founder and CEO of Dowling Street. He is a trusted advisor to leaders of companies, governments and other institutions who are building resilient and innovative organizations.

Leveraging his background experiences in engineering, sales & marketing, and public policy analysis, Nadir is excited by the challenge of integrating best practices from disparate fields to unlock new ideas with disproportionate power.

Nadir studied at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Maya Bernstein
Professor, Georgetown University

Maya Bernstein has facilitated inspiring and impactful leadership initiatives in nonprofit and educational settings for over 15 years.

She believes in the power of individuals and groups adapt, and to creatively respond to challenges and opportunities they face in their work. She draws on her expertise in Adaptive Leadership, Design Thinking, improv tools, and story-telling to create unique environments in which participants become willing to take risks, and experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving. She is the founding co-director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership’s Certificate in Facilitation, where she co-designed the curriculum and is on faculty. Maya’s area of passion and expertise is the intersection of tradition and innovation; she strives to facilitate systemic adaptation and individual transformation. Her current clients include the Wexner Foundation, for whom she facilitates intensive leadership seminars for graduate students, nonprofit professionals, and lay leaders; the Global Leadership Institute of the Jewish Agency, a six-month global leadership training program for nonprofit professionals; UJA-NY, where she is assisting in the creation of an Innovation Lab; and Yeshivat Maharat, the only orthodox Jewish rabbinical school for women in the world. Maya is the founding co-director of UpStart, an incubator that supports innovation in nonprofit settings. In her decade of work at UpStart, she helped build the organization from inception to a now-thriving national nonprofit organization; she offered content design for nascent nonprofits, and built the organization’s consulting branch, working with established institutions to train them to use best practices from the innovation sector and adapt accordingly. Maya publishes widely, online and in print, on the topic of innovation and change. She has lived and worked in Israel, Belarus, China, and Germany. She graduated Phi Betta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude from Columbia College and has a Master’s Degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Maya is a 2012 recipient of the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize. After a decade in Silicon Valley, Maya and her family have recently relocated to the Big Apple.

Sue Boardman
Gettysburg - Licensed Battlefield Guide

Sue Boardman, a Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide, is Leadership Coordinator for the Gettysburg Foundation. A two-time winner of the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Guiding, Sue is a recognized expert of not only the Battle of Gettysburg but also the National Park’s history and the history of the National Cemetery. Sue served as Museum Coordinator and historical consultant for the Gettysburg National Parks $14 million restoration of the epic Cyclorama painting that serves as the center piece of the Parks new visitor center.

Dr. Paul Facteau
Innovation Instigator, Apple Inc
Paul is an Innovation Instigator on the National Apple Education Development Team. In his current capacity, he serves schools and districts that are considering educational transformation through the process of developing modern curricula, implementing effective learning methodologies, identifying and creating authentic assessments, and identifying the technology tools that can support and augment those efforts. Paul's work includes direct project consulting in the development of project visioning, goal development, implementation strategies, tool identification, and program assessment. He also works as an innovation architect and experienced engineer to craft experiential opportunities to support and accelerate the change process for these transformational environments.
Paul has his B.A. degree from Westfield State University in Social Studies, an M.A. degree from Lesley University in Educational Technology, his administration and superintendent's certifications from Fitchburg State College, and his Ed.D. from Lynn University in Educational Leadership. Paul also has served as a visiting professor at Westfield State University teaching courses in educational leadership and technology. Paul was a social studies teacher in the Easthampton Public Schools and a technology teacher in the Virginia Beach City Public School system prior to his position as an Assistant Superintendent with the Gateway Regional School District. He is a former member of the US Kayak Team and is currently a ski coach/instructor at the Alpine Training Center at Mt. Snow, VT.
Anthony Hacking
Organizational Consultant

Antony Hacking is an organizational consultant and founding partner of C Global Consulting, LLC, specializing in conflict resolution, organizational diversity, team collaboration and change management. Tony is a trained instructor of negotiation, conflict resolution, and diversity and has taught several graduate courses at the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation (CEO&I) and the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has designed and conducted workshops and consulting interventions for thousands of business managers, diplomats, clerical staff, technicians, doctors, allied healthcare workers, police officers, and teachers in areas of conflict resolution, diversity and teamwork. Tony is a licensed practitioner and trainer for the WholeBrain Creativity Suite of Assessments (NBITM); additional certifications include DiSC and Global Diversity Survey. Tony is a member of the American Psychological Association, Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychologists, and the Academy of Management. Tony holds a Master of Arts in organizational psychology with specializations in conflict resolution and change management from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in social-organizational psychology at Columbia University with research interests relating to diversity, team dynamics, organizational innovation, and leadership. He resides in New York City with his family.

Meridith Maskara
CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York

Meridith Maskara is a life-long Girl Scout, and her daughters represent the fourth generation of Girl Scouting in her family. In her brief time as a GSGNY staff member -- first as VP of Product and Retail Sales, then as COO -- Meridith has made a huge impact in leading the council to record-breaking cookie sales, establishing additional revenue streams including our first-ever official council store, and making Girl Scouting accessible to more of NYC's young women through programs like Troop 6000, our new initiative that brings scouting to girls in the NYC shelter system. Meridith came to us after a highly successful career in branding and merchandising. She decided to pursue her passion of helping build a more just and equitable world where girls could grow up to be the great leaders they want -- and can -- be.

Carol Miller Lieber
Senior Consultant at Educators for Social Responsibility

Carol Miller Lieber is a national leader in integrating principles of personalization and youth development into everyday practices and structures for middle and high schools. As a senior district and school coach for Engaging Schools, facilitating academic success, healthy development, and postsecondary aspirations for every student has been at the heart of her work for over 40 years. Carol has taught, co-founded a small urban secondary school, and served as a faculty member at Washington University, University of Missouri, and Lesley University. Carol earned a B.A. in Social Sciences and Education from American University and an M.A.T. in English from Webster University.

Matthew Pinsker
Brian Pohanka Chair of War History at Dickson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and serves as Director of the House Divided Project

Matthew Pinsker holds the Brian Pohanka Chair of Civil War History at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and serves as Director of the House Divided Project, an innovative effort to build digital resources on the Civil War era. Matt is also a fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington DC. He has previously held visiting fellowships at Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Matt graduated from Harvard College and received a D.Phil. degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford.

Jim Sterling
Exec-Comm Partner

Jim Sterling, an Exec-Comm partner with over 25 years of experience in the field of communication skills, coaches executives to increase their impact in front of important audiences. He specializes in presentation, writing, sales, negotiation and influencing skills. As a partner, Jim also oversees program design and quality for the firm. Jim holds a bachelor's degree in Drama from Dartmouth College, receiving a distinguished award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.

Ron Woo
New York University - Deputy Director, Language RBERN and City University of New York Senior Policy Associate

Ron Woo is an educator with more than 45 years of experience in public school and higher education with expertise in educational policy and law, second language acquisition, and educational leadership and teacher preparation. In public school education, he served in multiple senior policy and administrative leadership positions, including superintendent. In higher education, Ron oversaw alternative teacher certification programs and serves as a senior policy associate. He teaches graduate educational leadership courses in education policy and law. Ron holds a BA in Education, MA in TESOL/Applied Linguistics, and JD. He holds permanent NYS SDA and SAS certificates and permanent teaching certificates in Childhood Education and TESOL.

John Zervas
Gettysburg - Licensed Battlefield Guide

John Zervas has been a Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide since 2008. He is an Honor’s Graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, the Wharton School of Business as well as a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law. A writer and a lecturer, he has served as an instructor at Harrisburg Area Community College and as a lecturer for the prestigious John Scott Adams lecture series. He currently serves as chairman of the Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award committee, which annually selects the best book about the Gettysburg campaign. John comes to guiding after a 25-year career in the financial services industry primarily with the prestigious Wall Street firm of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. where, as a senior partner.

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