DRIVE/ Conference 2019

DRIVE/ 19 Program

  • 7:00 am to 8:30 am
    Conference Registration and Breakfast
  • 8:30 am to 9:30 am
    Welcoming and Opening Keynote Session

    Key Session

    Piyanka Jain, Bestselling Author, President & CEO
  • 9:30 am to 10:00 am
    Exhibit Hall Opens

    Networking Break with Exhibitors

  • 10:00 am to 10:50 am
    Track Sessions (choose one)
    Creating and Executing a Data-Driven Prospect Management Policy

    This session looks at the University of Chicago's recent efforts to more formally develop its prospect management policy and its goal to ensure that policy is directly contributing to results. Determine key questions to ask about your own policies, gain tips and tools for analyzing your data, review sample policy structures and focus on concrete ways you can accomplish something similar in your own policy work.

    Kristine Marie Plocher Lo, Associate Director, Prospect Management; and Rose Haley, Analyst, University of Chicago

    Pew Research Center: Generational Trends in Technology Use

    Pew Research Center regularly conducts survey research to uncover trends in technology adoption. Recent data has indicated that millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life. A senior researcher at Pew Research Center shares these generational differences and discusses the types of data resources available to you, so that you might think about how to leverage them in your own work.

    Monica Anderson, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center

    In-House Data Scientists: To Have or Have Not

    Is it necessary for your fundraising department to have an in-house data scientist? This session aims to answer this question by using examples to show the importance a data scientist can bring to an organization.

    Jing Zhou, Data Scientist, University of Southern California

    Getting Up and Running with Interactive Data Visualization in R

    Learn how to get up and running with your own interactive data analytics tools. You'll leave this session with a tangible product and information on how to continue the journey to learn R.

    Rich Majerus, Assistant Vice President of Donor Relations and Advancement Strategy, Colby College

    Engagement Analytics

    The best analysts in every sector are defined by their unrivaled command of the domain. The fundraising domain includes building an engaged base of support, leading constituents on a philanthropic journey, and feeding and maintaining a dynamic prospect pipeline. However, much of the emergence of analytics has been localized to prospect identification and reporting. In this dynamic session, Cheryl Cerny and Josh Birkholz will open your eyes to broader applications of analytics to your base building and constituency warming activities. Learn about new techniques for evaluating alumni relations activities, building smarter engagement measures, and contemplating more innovative multichannel strategies.

    Joshua Birkholz, Principal, Bentz Whaley Flessner; and Cheryl Cerny, Assistant Vice President, Advancement Operations, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • 10:50 am to 11:10 am
    Networking Break with Exhibitors
  • 11:10 am to 12:00 pm
    Track Sessions (choose one)
    Building Flexibility and Scale into Your Prospect Pipeline

    Whether you are gearing up for a capital campaign or not, having a deep understanding of your prospect pipeline is critical. A single campaign pyramid is no longer the standard approach. Campaigns are often run as several mini-campaigns with focused initiatives. We'll share how we architect, build and visualize the feasibility, goal setting and pipelines for such initiatives. Collaboration between the business analyst and data engineer is an important component; developing a vision with the business is another. Key takeaways will include applications and methods used to architect and visualize flexible decisions points on which the business can iterate and build strategy.

    Lauren Foss, Associate Director of Business Intelligence, Analytics and Data Management; and Jim Gibbon, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, Analytics & Data Management, Princeton University Advancement

    Management Presentations: Presenting Comparative Metrics to Management, Staff and Senior Volunteers

    You've got comparative metrics at your disposal that show your own institution is performing relative to its peers and aspirational peers. But how do you present this information to senior institutional management, your staff and senior-level volunteers? Using PPT samples that demonstrate the types of presentations CASE members have used for these stakeholders, you'll walk away with concrete suggestions for presenting comparative metrics to your own audience.

    Fred Weiss, Chief Research and Data Officer, CASE

    The Reality of Big Data for Small Teams
    Automating Repetitive Tasks and Creating Workflows: Google, Zapier and Trello

    Are you looking to automate tasks with less paper transfer and without the use of NXT or Salesforce? Learn how to use Google Apps, Zapier, Trello and a few Chrome Extensions to automate tasks and better track work. These tools have advanced significantly over the past year and can help create better workflow for your team.

    Jeffrey Wat, Director, Information Services and Technology in the Office of Advancement, Illinois Tech

    Going Beyond Alumni Engagement Metrics

    Discover how to use analytics and predictive modeling in the alumni engagement phase. Move beyond using alumni engagement metrics and learn how to apply analytics for better decision making. Find out how alumni relations staff have been empowered to use data to increase engagement in their programs and review real-world examples you can use at your own organization.

    Ryan Bersani, Director of Engagement Analytics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Sabah Currim, Manager, Alumni Data and Analytics, University of Arizona Alumni Association

  • 12:00 pm to 1:25 pm
    Networking Lunch/Roundtables
  • 1:25 pm to 2:15 pm
    Track Sessions (choose one)
    A Data-Driven Approach to Prospect Management: UCSF

    In the spring of 2017, the prospect development team at the University of California San Fransisco began to reevaluate its prospect management efforts. First on the agenda was revamping the major gift officer prospect portfolio evaluation/review process. Second was the development of a predictive model that would identify prospects who had the grates probability to make a major gift, $100K or greater, to UCSF. A year later the process has been a resounding success. Portfolios are now evaluated on a regular basis, quarterly meetings last no longer than an hour, and portfolio bloat has been addressed. After the first two quarters of the process development officers have moved more than 30 percent of their least likely prospect in to the annual fund. Using the process at UCSF as a springboard, learn how to take models, or other key indicators, and make them your driving force for portfolio evaluations.

    Kalina Kwong, Assistant Director of Prospect Development, Data Management and Analytics; Anthony Villescas, Director of Prospect Development; and May Yee, Assistant Director of Prospect Development, Prospect Management and Research, University of California San Francisco

    Implementing a CRM or ERP: Successes and Challenges

    Dan Feely leads a panel of leaders in higher education who are leading the pack in the implementation of new CRM and ERP systems. Each institution has taken a different path (Blackbaud, Ellucian, or Salesforce); explore the success and challenges of these major implementations.

    Mark Koenig, Assistant Vice President, Advancement Services, Analytics and Digital Strategy, Oregon State University Foundation; Melissa Kwilosz, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, ASU Enterprise Partners; and Carrie White, Vice President of Advancement Services, University of Cincinnati
    Moderator: Dan Feely, Founder and Managing Partner, TSI-Transforming Solutions

    Introducing Constituent Intelligence: Transforming Data Into Action

    With the expanding strategic goals of many university development and/or alumni teams, new opportunities have flourished in the space of constituent data, extracting insights and process improvement. An environment for exploration and risk-taking has emerged and it is clear these components, mixed with the role of data, are essential to future fundraising goals. To that end, the University of St. Thomas created a Constituent Intelligence department that focuses on transforming data into actionable intelligence in an effort to "Unleash the limitless opportunities, insights, and innovation a 360-degree data view of every constituent has at the university". This session follows the journey of the CI department thus far, the methodology for discovering and integrating new data points, and offers examples of a few early victories.

    Patrick Sanchez, Director, Advancement Systems and Gift Accounting; and Jena Zangs, Associate Director, Constituent Intelligence, University of St. Thomas

    Prescriptive Modeling: Really?

    Prescriptive modeling (not to be confused with Predictive) has been on the to-do lists of many nonprofits. But what does it mean? Can we actually use prescriptive modeling to help fundraisers? What can we learn from our for-profit leaders? Gain a better understanding of prescriptive modeling and get next steps for how you can work in this space. Our presenters have found that not many nonprofits use prescriptive modeling. They explore why that is during this session. Walk through what they learned, what they tried, and how they succeeded (or failed) at creative prescriptive modeling for their own organizations.

    Rich Majerus, Assistant Vice President of Donor Relations and Advancement Strategy, Colby College; Alexander Oftelie, Managing Associate, Bentz Whaley Flessner; and Leigh Petersen, Senior Director, Advancement Services and Operations, Southwestern University

    A Brave New Digital World: Leveraging Data and Analytics to Conduct Retargeting Campaigns

    Learn how to identify individuals who have already demonstrated a strong inclination to make a gift, and then discover how to target these constituents via paid digital ads on social media platforms. You'll leave knowing how to create a retargeting pixel, allowing you to identify giving page visitors who abandon their carts, how to design a Facebook or Google ad campaign by using targeted, segmented lists exported from your fundraising CRM, and how to conduct randomized, controlled trials to evaluate "lift" and ROI of ads.

    AJ Nagaraj, Assistant Vice President for Advancement Strategy, Stony Brook University

  • 2:15 pm to 4:10 pm
    Exhibitor Demos in Exhibit Hall
  • 2:30 pm to 3:15 pm
    TestDRIVE/ Sessions
  • 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
    Track Sessions (choose one)
    The Road Less Traveled

    The combining of analytics, prospect management and prospect research work into a single fundraising data intelligence department is a budding trend in development. But, what happens when you find yourself part of a department that combines data experts who had previously only worked in the for-profit space with experienced prospect development professionals reluctant to completely change course? As it turns out, brilliant things can happen, if you let them. The University of Iowa Center for Advancement recently underwent a strategic reorganization that brought together new-to-fundraising experts in analytics and data science with experienced prospect management and research professionals under the umbrella of Data Analytics, a team focused on holistic fundraising intelligence. This session looks at the varying backgrounds of their data experts, the a-ha moment responsible for propelling this team on a dynamic path forward together, and a sampling of projects where combining this varied expertise resulted in a more brilliant work product.

    Brad Cunningham, Assistant Vice President of Analytics; Gokul Murugesan, Data Scientist; and Janet Weimar, Associate Director, Prospect Management, Health Sciences/Health Care Philanthropy, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

    CASE Alumni Engagement Metrics

    There has been a long-term industry need for a standardized way to measure alumni engagement. In 2016, CASE's Alumni Relations Commission formed a task force to create a framework that might be used to measure engagement. Their work was first published in early 2018, and after soliciting feedback from CASE's global membership, a second version was published in July 2018. This session outlines the framework of the Alumni Engagement Metrics Project, reviews the beta project for implementing the framework, and disseminates the next steps relative to this initiative.

    Fred Weiss, Chief Research and Data Officer, CASE

    Demystifying Data Science: How Children's National Uses Advanced Marketing Analytics and Multi-Source Attribution Modeling to Generate More Revenue with Less Investment

    Data scientists can mine massive amounts of information to better understand human behavior. So how can marketing teams use the principles of "big data" to drive greater ROI? Children's National has created an analytics program to understand how marketing and fundraising touch points work together so that they are worth more in coordination then the sum of their parts. This modeling lead to a decrease from 83 cents to 7 cents of the cost per dollar raised in a single fiscal year by focusing in on moments and touch points that matter.. This session will cover the theoretical concepts to the actual building of the product as well as the multi-year road map of where Children's National is taking this technology.
    This session is presented in partnership with the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (aasp)

    Shomari White, MBA - Associate Vice President, Business Operations, Children's National Health System; and Jon Thompson, Director, Philanthropic Marketing & Communications, Children's National Health System

    Cloud Hybrid Deployment

    This session offers an overview of technologies that combine legacy systems and modern cloud applications, thus extending the life of the legacy system but adding new functionality and ease of data collection. You'll look at the Gartner article "Choose the Right Approach to Modernize Your Legacy System" and talk about the risk that comes with each choice on the continuum.

    Regan Holt, Chief Executive Officer, Uprising Tech

    Discover the Causes Your Alumni Care About

    Social listening. What is it, how does it work and why is it important to alumni engagement and advancement? Listen as three panelists share their first-hand knowledge of social listening and cause-related messaging. Find out how to define social listening and how to build personalized experiences using keyword tracking and Google Analytics practices. Review challenges and opportunities that might arise while implementing a research-based cause campaign and leave with a practical knowledge of social listening.

    Ashley Budd, Director of Digital Marketing, Cornell University; Brent Grinna, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, EverTrue; Liz Gross, Founding Director, Campus Sonar; and Martin Sickafoos, Vice President, Digital Strategy, Purdue Alumni Association

  • 5:00 pm
    Conference Adjourns for the Day
  • 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
    DRIVE/afterdark party
  • 7:30 am to 8:30 am
  • 8:30 am to 9:30 am

    Key Session

    Alec Ross, Technology Policy Expert, Innovator and Author
  • 9:30 am to 9:55 am
    Networking Break with Exhibitors
  • 9:55 am to 10:45 am
    Track Sessions (choose one)
    Voluntary Support of Education Survey: 2018 Highlights

    In February 2019, CASE announces the results of the 2018 Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) Survey, the premier source of philanthropic support of education data in North America. This session highlights the results of the survey, focusing on trends in this year's data collection and provides a brief demonstration of Data Miner, the VSE's online reporting and benchmarking tool, available as a benefit to all CASE members.

    Fred Weiss, Chief Research and Data Officer, CASE

  • Fifty Years of Fundraising Technology: An Introspective Look at the Origins, Challenges and Future Potential of the Tools We Use Every Day

    This session takes you on an interesting traverse over the world of fundraising technology--past, present and future. We start with a brief history of early technology tools, then discuss several challenges we face in our present, including data privacy, GDPR and marketing automation. Finally we focus on the future and take a look at what the world might look like in 2035. Will pervasive computing mean that we spend our days in virtual reality work environments as opposed to sitting at desks? Will AI become so advanced that Bots are the primary communicators between donors and institutions? Will location-based marketing tools change the way we message and engage alumni? Join us on this journey and maybe we can find out what the future holds.

    Christian Varano, Strategic Account Executive, Blackbaud

    Creating a Data Collection and Analytics Program to Support Alumni Outcomes Reporting

    Alumni outcomes--or tracking what happens to alumni after graduation--has become a hot topic recently, but often represents a daunting effort that leaves many wondering where and how to begin. Pomona College has spent the last two years tackling a comprehensive alumni outcomes program. This session offers tips for doing the same at your institution. Learn how to put together an amazing data collection and how to use a variety of reporting tools to present compelling stories for a number of audiences. Find out how to highlight rich sources of data related to employment, post-graduate degrees, involvements, philanthropic giving, honors and awards. Discover how to clean and normalize this data, create meaningful taxonomies, and develop strategies for reporting and visualizations. You'll leave with practical solutions for budgeting time and resources and the know-how to avoid common pitfalls.

    Nadine Francis, Senior Director of Advancement Services and Information Services, Pomona College

    Building a Fundraising Recommender System

    Determining the philanthropic interests of prospects is one of the key tasks in fundraising. Matching prospect interests with organizational fundraising priorities, especially new initiatives, is another big challenge. In this study, we are proposing and developing a recommender system which not only predicts a donor's potential interests on giving areas and volunteering services, but also connects a prospect with new campaign initiatives. This session details the framework of the recommender system from conceptualization to operationalization and evaluation, explores the implementation parameters (collaborative filtering, association rule, text mining, and semantic measure in fundraising), and offers a demo on a web application of the recommender.

    Min Xu, Associate Director, Data Science, Princeton University

    The Value of Alumni Engagement Metrics

    This panel discussion looks at examples of deployed methods for engagement metrics tracking from panelists who are managing such programs. Discuss industry efforts to create a set of standards around information collection. Explore the merits and challenges of engagement scoring. Panelists are from schools that have deployed, and had success with, such systems.

    Jon Horowitz, Director of Market Research and Impact Insights for Advancement, Dartmouth College

  • 11:00 am to 11:45 am
    TestDRIVE Sessions
  • 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
    Enterprise Solutions in Exhibit Hall
  • 12:00 pm to 1:25 pm
    Networking Lunch
  • 1:25 pm to 2:15 pm
    Track Sessions (choose one)
    Enabling New Generation Analytics with Data Streams and Lakes

    This session offers an overview for building a data pipeline to handle data lakes and streams. Learn how to channel data streams into useful intelligence, how to determine the importance of a data lake and the value of having a distinct analytics data mart, and find out why neither of these are "shadow systems."

    Victor Ogundipe, Jr., Data Analytics Lead, University of Michigan

    The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey: Topics, Datasets, Resources and Access

    The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about our nation and its people. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year. Through the ACS, we know more about jobs and occupations, educational attainment, veterans, whether people own or rent their homes, and other topics. Public officials, planners and entrepreneurs use this information to assess the past and plan the future. Join this session to learn more about this critical survey, including how the data are collected, the ongoing research to improve quality, and the many tools available to access ACS data for your work.

    Jennifer Ortman, Assistant Division Chief, American Community Survey, Office of US Census Bureau

    Where Do I Start? Creating a Solid Foundation of Advancement Reports and Analysis

    Before you can use advanced analytics, strong basic reports and basic data understanding need to be established. This session serves as a primer for taking ownership/leadership of advancement reports and for establishing a strong data foundation and culture. Learn how to bridge the gap between fundraiser language and techie language, find out how to implement strong reporting standards, review samples of strong and weak reports, learn how to insert yourself in the strategic data conversations, and learn how to lead the data efforts vs responding to data requests.

    Nicole LaMar, Associate Director of Advancement Operations/Reporting and Data Analysis, Ohio Wesleyan University

    Building a Better Future: Creating AI and Machine Learning Systems to Accelerate Advancement

    Looking to learn more about AI and Machine Learning Systems? This session details a comprehensive six-month plan for learning how to develop AI/ML and reinforcement systems using a combination of free online courses, books, thought-leader content and more. You don't have to be an AI-engineer to build these systems; this session is designed to speak to both intermediate and novice professionals who want to dabble within AI systems.

    Rich Palmer, Chief Technology Officer, Gravyty

    Using Social Network Analysis to Analyze and Influence Alumni Giving

    In this session, you will learn to use social network analysis techniques to identify potential annual giving donors and those who would likely influence them. You will learn how to collect and analyze social network data using various techniques and tools, identify relevant social network analysis measures, and explore how these measures serve as a proxy for social capital and influence. Session participants will also explore how social network analysis can help identify statistically significant indicators of annual giving and how these results relate to donor behavior.

    Christian Shaffmaster, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs and Development, Cornell Law School

  • 2:15 pm to 2:30 pm
    Networking Break with Exhibitors
  • 2:30 pm to 3:20 pm
    Track Sessions (choose one)
    Building the Platform While Reporting: Strategy, Self-Service, and the Path Toward Optimization

    This presentation will document the process of stabilizing a new reporting platform while creating a basic self-service reporting suite, complete with training and documentation to empower end users. This will be examined through the lens of a successful case study of reporting in DAR at American University after transitioning to a new CRM. The presentation will maintain an agnostic view in terms of platforms or systems, but the transferable lessons learned in change management and strategic rollout of a reporting suite will be explored. These lessons include but are not limited to: assessment of pain points and action items in starting the process and move toward implementation; conducting inventory and creating reporting templates for self-service; holding focus group sessions and training for end users; establishing ownership and investment in the new system across your organization.
    This session is presented in partnership with the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (aasp)

    Samantha L. Howell, Director, Reporting and Analytics, Office of Development and Alumni Relations, American University

    The Consolidation Game: Why Pulling Data Assets Together is the Key to Prospect Research

    Considering consolidating your data assets? This session offers example application diagrams and points out where complexity leads to breakdowns in scale and insights. Learn how the University of Chicago is addressing its needs around rationalization including balancing feature strength vs. integratability. Find out ways in which tools disparity holds institutions back from reaching scalability in engagement and/or quality of engagement. Learn how to create your own app map and ID the pain points to develop a long-term tech stack strategy that scales and informs.

    Desmond Jones, Business Analyst, Information Architecture Strategic Information, Events, and Stewardship, University of Chicago; and Nick Zeckets, Chief Executive Officer, QuadWrangle

    Reproducible Data Science and Fundraising Analytics with GitHub and R Markdown

    Have you spent hours aggregating data, creating visualizations and writing up takeaways only to have to start over when changes are needed? Or wanted to update a project and been stymied by a lack of documentation? There is a better way! Learn how reproducible research methods and tools like Git and Markdown can help your team spend more time answering questions and less time on busywork. This session includes a demo in RStudio and reviews the tools for getting started.

    Paul Hively, Director, Analytics and Business Intelligence, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

  • What Do You Think Your Prospect is Interested In?

    The field of machine learning has seen an exponential growth in practical use cases over the last decade. This has led to increased availability of collected structured and unstructured data that can be converted into actionable insight through predictive and prescriptive modeling. The presenters will discuss a Framework for building decision support systems to guide strategic planning and tactical decision making in fundraising. They will also present a case study showing how to leverage some advanced text mining concepts like word embeddings to model donor interests that could assist with generating targeted communications for event planning and appeals for funds.

    Gurpreet Mohaar, Data Scientist, Development and Alumni Engagement; Wade Walker, Director, Development and Alumni Engagement; Scott Zimmer, Manager, Analytics and Reporting, Development and Alumni Engagement, University of Calgary

    Shifting from Mass Marketing to Automation and Personalization

    With limited resources and a flat budget, doing more with the dollars you have is crucial in order to meet increasing goals, address decreasing participation rates and accommodate elevated donor expectations. Learn how Cornell College made the decision to focus on automation and personalization, review their process for evaluating engagement platforms to find the one that would meet their definition of success, and discover how they then effectively implemented the new strategies for increased results.

    Katie Green, Senior Director of Advancement Operations, Cornell College

  • 3:20 pm to 3:45 pm
    Networking Break with Exhibitors
  • 3:45 pm to 4:30 pm

    Closing Key Session

    Mona Chalabi, Data Journalist
  • 4:30 pm
    Conference Adjourns
Track Sessions Key:
NEXT GEN PROSPECT DEVELOPMENT: Using the power of analytics to maximize the value of traditional prospect development.
INDUSTRY TRENDS AND SOURCES: Keeping up with benchmarking and what's trending in our industry.
FUNDAMENTALS AND FOUNDATIONS: Examining the everyday challenges and opportunities that ensure a solid foundation for strong analytics programs.
WHAT'S NEXT: DATA SCIENCE AND TOOLS: What's trending, what's cutting-edge and what have we not even thought of yet?
ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT AND THE DIGITAL LANDSCAPE: Harnessing the power of digital and measuring alumni engagement.

Key Session Speakers

Piyanka Jain

President & CEO

Piyanka Jain is the President and CEO of Aryng—an analytics consulting company focused on analytics training, consulting and recruiting. Her client list includes companies like Google, Box, Here, Applied Materials, Abbott Labs and GE. As a highly regarded industry thought leader in analytics, she writes for publications including Forbes, Harvard Business Review and InsideHR.

She has been a featured speaker at American Marketing Association conferences, Microsoft Modern Workplace, Predictive Analytics World, Growth Hacker TV, GigaOm and the Google Analytics User Conference. In the more than 15 years as an analytics leader, she has had more than $180M demonstrated impact on business. As a gifted problem solver, she seeks out patterns and insights to drive change in her client's organizations and impact top levers of business. She considers customer satisfaction, empowerment and positive engagement as the highest rewards, and dollar impact as a natural consequence of it. Her best seller book Behind Every Good Decision is an actionable guide for business managers on data driven decision making through business analytics.

She has two Masters degrees with thesis involving applied mathematics and statistics. A hiker, runner and yogi, she lives in Sunnyvale, California.

Alec Ross

Author, The Industries of the Future

Alec Ross is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Industries of the Future (Simon & Schuster), which explores the technological and economic trends and developments that will shape the next 10 years, from cybersecurity and big data to the commercialization of genomics to the codeification of money, markets and trust. Since its publication in February of 2016, it has gone into an 8th printing and the rights have been sold for translation into 18 languages.

Ross serves as an advisor to investors, corporations and government leaders to help them understand the implication of factors emerging at the intersection of geopolitics, markets and increasingly disruptive network technologies. He recently served for four year as senior advisor for innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a role created for him by Secretary Clinton to maximize the potential of technology and innovation in service of America's diplomatic goals. In this role, Alec acted as the diplomatic lead on a range of issues including cybersecurity, Internet Freedom, disaster response and the use of network technologies in conflict zones. Previously, he served as the Convener for the Technology, Media and
Telecommunications Policy Committee on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.

In 2000, Ross and three colleagues co-founded a technology-focused social enterprise and grew it from modest origins in a basement into a global organization serving millions of low-income people, with programs on four continents.

Mona Chalabi

Data Journalist

Mona Chalabi is a journalist who really loves numbers. She is the data editor of The Guardian where she writes articles, produces documentaries and illustrates, as well as animates, data. She is also a data journalist for NPR. After analyzing statistics for the United Nations, Chalabi saw how important data was, but also how easily it could be used by people with their own specific agendas. Since then, her work for organizations like Transparency International and The Guardian has had one goal: to make sure as many people as possible can find and question the data they need to make informed decisions about their lives.

She gives speeches and teaches courses on data journalism, and when she can, she illustrates data. She helped create the Emmy-nominated four-part video series "Vagina Dispatches" which explores the physical, social and sometimes political dynamics that surround women's bodies. She hosts Vice's TV program "The Business of Life," a new kind of talk show that breaks down the financial machinery behind some of the most important issues of our time.

Chalabi has a master's degree in international security from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and has worked for FiveThirtyEight, the Banks of England, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the International Organization for Migration.