Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winner, contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review and contributing editor at Time magazine, recently published “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” which examines the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. Meacham was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2009 for his New York Times bestseller “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.” His other New York Times bestsellers include “Destiny and Power,” Meacham’s biography of George H. W. Bush, “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship,” and “American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation.”
Meyer, author of “The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business,” is a professor at INSEAD, an international business school with campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Based in Paris, she analyzes how national cultural differences impact business and speaks about cross cultural management and global teamwork. She was selected by Thinkers50 as one of the 50 most influential business thinkers of 2017. In addition HR Magazine named her as one of the 30 most important HR thinkers of the same year. At INSEAD, she is senior affiliate professor of the organizational behavior department and program director for Leading Across Borders and Cultures, which teaches students how to lead in a complex, cross-border, multicultural environment.
Brooks, New York Times columnist and author of the best-selling book “The Road to Character,” is one of America’s most prominent political and social commentators. He writes a bi-weekly op-ed column for the New York Times and regularly appears on PBS News Hour and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He has also written “The Social Animal,” “On Paradise Drive,” and “Bobos in Paradise.” He worked at the Wall Street Journal for nine years and has written for the New Yorker, Forbes, the Washington Post, and many other periodicals. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he has taught at Duke University and teaches a global affairs course on humility at Yale University. This is the third year Brooks has been a keynote speaker at the conference.
Gayle Beebe, president at Westmont since 2007, has spent 26 years in higher education. He has authored or edited 10 books and more than 40 articles, including "The Shaping of An Effective Leader: Eight Formative Principles of Leadership" and "Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion." Leading unprecedented growth at Westmont while facing significant challenges, he has loved attracting new resources to build out the campus, developing new academic and co-curricular programs, and pursuing the next horizon. He received master's degrees in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminar, in philosophy of religion and theology from Claremont Graduate University, and in business administration in strategic management from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont, and a doctorate in philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont.
Sharon Allen, executive director for World Telehealth Initiative, is passionate about bringing medical expertise to underserved communities throughout the world. She developed a philanthropic, global telehealth model that benefits several clinics and hospitals in resource- poor settings. She managed a successful distribution corporation for 25 years, starting out as human resources and accounting manager then becoming CEO. A frequent speaker at global health conferences and events, she earned a teaching credential and bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Cal Poly.
Jeff Dykstra, co-founder and chief executive officer of Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), is passionate about bringing together unusual partners such as leading international food companies and promising food companies in Africa. He works with a strong international team to bring the U.S. government, committed donors, NGOs, impact investors and talented employees together to accomplish something significant. He has spent half his career in business and the other half in relief and development, including two years living and working in Zambia. He has worked for global organizations like Cargill and World Vision and several start-up ventures. He has been named an Ashoka Fellow for leading social entrepreneurs around the world, and a 2018 Bush Fellow given to determined, adaptable leaders who are driven to improve their communities. He graduated from Westmont.
Enrico Manlapig, associate professor of economics and business, graduated from the University of Queensland with degrees in both economics (economic statistics) and commerce (corporate finance). He earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate in economics at Columbia University. His graduate school research focused on the economics of speed dating, and he’s interested in matching markets and the behavioral side of economics. Professor Manlapig and his students offer their expertise in analytic decision-making to the local community through the Westmont Decision Lab.He taught economics at Hope College for two years before taking a consulting position at Deloitte Financial Advisory Service, where he specialized in decision analysis, Dodd-Frank Stress Testing, and complex derivative valuation. He joined the Westmont faculty in 2014.
Don Patterson, associate professor of computer science, studies the interface of ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. He researches applications, algorithms and systems that use intelligent context to support situated sustainable computing and has published numerous papers. He earned a doctorate in computer sciences at the University of Washington. Previously, he served in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer in Italy and Japan. He has co-founded more than four start-up companies based on his research. Before coming to Westmont in 2015, he worked at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine, where he received tenure and served as director of the Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction.
Carmel Saad, assistant professor of psychology, joined the Westmont faculty in 2012. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara and earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in social and personality psychology at UC Davis. She has taught at Napa Valley College, UC Davis and the University of the Pacific. She is an Egyptian- American whose research focuses on bicultural identities and is interested in studying dual non-cultural identities and creativity. Her specialty is the experience of biculturalism, and she examines the relationship between bicultural identity integration and cultural frame switching. She explores cultural influences on emotion, creativity, self- concept, and mental health. She has also studied and published work on implicit bias.
Mark Sargent became provost at Westmont in spring 2012 following 15 years as provost of Gordon College. In his nearly 40 years in Christian higher education, he has also served as vice president and chief academic officer at Spring Arbor University and associate dean at Biola University. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and was selected as the national Chief Academic Officer of the Year by the Council of Independent Colleges. He earned a bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Barbara and a master’s and doctorate at Claremont Graduate University.
Reed Sheard, who joined Westmont College in 2008, serves as CIO and vice president for college advancement. He has led the three largest fundraising campaigns at Westmont that have secured resources for new buildings, programs, scholarships and institutes. Sheard has authored articles in the area of innovation and technology while also serving on numerous boards, most recently providing leadership of the Higher Education practice group of the CIO Executive Council and Higher Education Advisory Council at Salesforce.org. He and Westmont received the InfoWorld 100 Top IT Projects in the Cloud Computing Initiative category for both 2009 and 2011. In 2015, he was named one of the top 100 CIOs in North America by ITG/Computerworld. Sheard earned a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a doctorate in higher education leadership at Seattle University.
Cynthia Toms is associate professor of kinesiology at Westmont. She teaches courses in the area of food systems, global health, sociology of movement, global studies and special populations. Toms also directs Westmont’s Global Health in Uganda Semester and co-advises Westmont’s global studies fellows program and minor. Before coming to Westmont, she held posts as assistant director of the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, associate director and faculty at the Uganda Studies Program in Mukono, Uganda, and teaching positions at Peking University and Huija Private College in Beijing, China. She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at Messiah College, a Master of Science in applied anatomy and allied health at Boston University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in higher education at Azusa Pacific University focusing on community development in Central America.
Yulun Wang, chairman of the World Telehealth Initiative Board of Directors, founded and is chairman and CIO of Intouch Health Inc., a pioneering telehealth company that enables patients to receive clinical care from specialists at a distance. He served as chairman and CEO for 14 years before assuming his current role in 2016. InTouch has received numerous awards, including Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 Award and Inc Magazine’s Inc 500 Award as one of the fastest growing companies in America. In 1990, Wang founded Computer Motion, which pioneered surgical robotics. He was the principal architect and inventor of the voice-controlled robotic arm, AESOP, the first FDA- cleared surgical robot, as well as the ZEUS robotic surgical system, which performed the world’s first transatlantic surgery.
Helen Young Hayes
Helen Young Hayes, a 20-year veteran of the financial industry, is the portfolio manager of the Janus Worldwide and Overseas funds, investing more than $40 billion in global and international equities. Young Hayes, regarded as a pioneer in bottom-up international investing, conducts detailed country, industry and company analyses. While at Janus, she was the chief investment officer, heading up the 100-person asset-management team. She has extensive nonprofit experience working with low-income individuals and serves on the boards of Mile High Ministries in Denver, Harlem Educational Activities Fund in New York, and Children of Hope in Kenya. She founded Activate Workforce Solutions to alleviate poverty by creating pathways to employment. She earned a degree in economics from Yale University.