Global LA Summit

Friday, April 13 | The California Club
Formerly known as Spring Conference, the Global LA Summit will be a day dedicated to exploring how Los Angeles is leading on international issues. Please note that the conference timing and agenda is subject to change.
Register Here


  • 13 April


08:00 AM 09:00 AM

The Future of Drones: Promise and Uncertainty

09:00 AM 10:00 AM

Wahid Nawabi

Stephanie Young

International Trade Post-Brexit

10:15 AM 11:15 AM

Liam Fox

Nina Hachigian

Clean & Green: The Path to a Renewable LA

11:30 AM 12:30 PM

Alice Hill

Ronald Nichols

President's Welcome and Lunch

12:30 PM 01:00 PM

Global Community Expo

01:00 PM 02:00 PM

Making the Global Local: Megacities and the Sustainable Development Goals

02:15 PM 03:15 PM

Penny Abeywardena

Erin Bromaghim

Anthony Pipa

Colleen Thouez

A New NAFTA? Implications for Southern California

02:15 PM 03:15 PM

Anne Hilsabeck

Farhanaz Kermalli

Carlos Valderrama

James Villeneuve

Cyber-Collaboration: New Frontiers in Public-Private Security Partnerships

02:15 PM 03:15 PM

Terry Benzel

John Furay

Güez Salinas

Branding an Olympic City: Lessons from Barcelona

02:15 PM 03:15 PM

Anita DeFrantz

John Gleaves

Coffee Break

03:15 PM 03:45 PM

Water Conflict: What Can Southern California Learn from Cape Town?

03:45 PM 04:45 PM

James Famiglietti

Kelly Sanders

The Making of the Mosaic: Immigration Lessons from Canada

03:45 PM 04:45 PM

Linda Lopez

Colleen Thouez

Bollywood, Nollywood, and Beyond: The Shifting Global Entertainment Market

03:45 PM 04:45 PM

Colleen Bell

Xian Li

Erich Schwartzel

Seagull Song

Advancing U.S. Interests at Home and Abroad

05:00 PM 06:00 PM

Kathryn Barger

Christopher Coons

Closing Reception

06:00 PM 07:30 PM



Expo Exhibitors



Penny Abeywardena

Commissioner for International Affairs
New York City
Penny Abeywardena is New York City's Commissioner for International Affairs. As head of the Mayor's Office for International Affairs, she leads the City's global platform for promoting its goals for a more just and accessible society, showcasing the diversity of New Yorkers and sharing policies and best practices with the world.

Since her appointment in September 2014, the International Affairs team has launched a series of initiatives focused on connecting New Yorkers and City agencies to the diplomatic community, as well as more effectively serving NYC's diplomatic corps, which is the largest in the world. Prior to joining Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, Penny was the Director of Girls and Women Integration at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a non-partisan organization that convened global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing problems.

Penny joined CGI in 2009 and led the program's evolution into one of CGI's most successful efforts. While at CGI, Penny was responsible for the portfolio of CGI commitments focused on empowering girls and women worldwide, developing year-round programming and integrating the gender lens throughout the CGI platform. During her tenure, she advised multinational corporations, philanthropists, NGOs and multilateral institutions to increase investments in gender-focused development initiatives while expanding the community of CGI members who incorporated the gender lens in their work. Before joining CGI, Penny worked in both development and programmatic areas for Human Rights Watch, the Funding Exchange and the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.

In 2017, Penny was named by the French American Foundation as a Young Leader. She is a World Economic Forum 2016 Young Global Leader, and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Corporation. In her personal time, Penny serves on the Innovation Advisory Committee for 92Y and on the Founding Member Committee of Lincoln Center’s Global Exchange. She previously served on the Hillary for America Policy Working Group on Global Women's Issues, the World Bank's Advisory Council on Gender and Development, and the Boards of Directors of Sakhi for South Asian Women, Global Partners, Inc., the Eastside Greenway and Park, and Resource Generation. Penny was a contributing author to Women in the Global Economy: Leading Social Change, and in 2012 was recognized by the United Nation’s Decide Now Act (DNA) Summit as one of 101 Global Innovators for her work to put women's rights on the global political agenda. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and completed her Master of International Affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Penny lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and son. She loves to explore the five boroughs for regional cuisines and jog in Central Park.

13 April

Kathryn Barger

Supervisor, Fifth District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Kathryn Barger proudly serves the residents of Los Angeles County’s 5th Supervisorial District — the county’s largest — spanning 2800 square miles, which includes 22 cities and 70 unincorporated communities in the San Gabriel, San Fernando, Cresenta, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys. Dedicated to providing effective, responsive representation to the residents of Los Angeles County, Kathryn began her career in public service as a college student intern in the office of Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and rose to become his Chief Deputy Supervisor in 2001, where she served until her election to the Board this past November. During the course of her County career as chief policy advisor on Health, Mental Health, Social Service and Children’s issues, Kathryn provided leadership to deliver efficient and effective services and programs that have significantly improved the quality of life for foster children, seniors, veterans, the disabled and the mentally ill. Committed to keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, she has worked with state and federal leaders along with our County District Attorney’s office, Sheriff, and other law enforcement agencies to implement tough laws and vital public safety initiatives. She is an advocate for the environment and efforts to preserve open space, enhance parks, trails, recreational programs and facilities; and strongly supports libraries and after-school programs to serve local communities. With a strong sense of fiscal responsibility and prudence, Kathryn is dedicated to providing vital county services while protecting financial resources as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. Kathryn was born and raised in the 5th District and comes from a family with deep roots in public service in Los Angeles County. She is married to a retired Sheriff’s deputy and lives in the San Gabriel Valley.

13 April

Colleen Bell

Media Executive and United States Ambassador to Hungary (2014-2017)
Colleen Bell served as the United States’ Ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. Prior to her diplomatic service, Ambassador Bell was a leading business executive at an award-winning production company responsible for some of the most-watched television programming in the world, reaching more than 40 million people in more than 100 countries across five continents. While a producer at Bell-Phillip Television Productions in Los Angeles, Ambassador Bell’s work frequently earned the field’s most prestigious recognition for creative content, social awareness, and public-health education. Ambassador Bell’s artistic vision has been recognized for its pioneering impact on the lives of a wide array of marginalized populations in the United States and abroad.

In addition to her long career in international business and the arts, Ambassador Bell is a dedicated philanthropist and an industry-leading advocate committed to tackling some of the United States’ most vexing domestic and global public policy challenges.

13 April

Terry Benzel

Networking and Cybersecurity Division, USC
Terry Benzel is the Director of the Internet and Networked Systems Division at USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI). Ms. Benzel has served as the PI and Director of Outreach for the DETER Cyber Security Experimentation Project for over 10 years. She is responsible for overall project management, R&D and advanced testbed development and operations.Recently she has overseen DETER extensions for CPS and led several teams including the Smart Energy CPS team for the White House Smart America Challenge. Her research interests are in the science of cyber security experimentation and next generation distributed experimentation methodologies.She participates in business development, technology transfer and special projects with industrial and academic partners. Ms. Benzel has served as an advisor to government and industry on R&D strategy and roadmap development, providing guidance to the National Science Foundation, White House Office of Science Technology and Policy, Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, Department of Defense, and industry alliances. Terry has testified twice before the U.S. House Committee on Science. She is actively engaged in outreach to the research community and is a key contributor to the design of Cyber Experimentation of the Future Frameworks and the establishment of working groups around new architectures.

13 April

Erin Bromaghim

Director of Olympic and Paralympic Development & Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Fellow on the Sustainable Development Goals
Mayor's Office of International Affairs
Erin Bromaghim serves as the Director of Olympic and Paralympic Development in the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. In this role, Erin is focused on realizing the City's plans to make Los Angeles more sustainable, inclusive, resilient and innovative as we prepare to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028 and on the enduring legacy the Games will leave for all Angelenos. This legacy includes her work as the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Fellow, through which Erin uses the framework of the United Nation's Agenda 2030 to align, measure, and track the City’s progress toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Most recently she was a senior civilian with the U.S. Air Force, where she managed multiple complex defense, intelligence, and security reform efforts. Ms. Bromaghim entered federal civil service as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Navy, later working for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and NATO. She and her husband live with their two children in Long Beach.

13 April

Christopher Coons

U.S. Senator
Chris Coons has worked hard to earn a reputation as a principled, pragmatic legislator eager to find bipartisan solutions to the issues confronting Delaware and the nation. He has emerged as a strong voice for job creation and the innovation economy, responsible deficit reduction, progressive social justice, and forward-looking foreign policy. Unwilling to be sidelined by partisan gridlock, Senator Coons has worked creatively to make a difference. Though legislation to support job creation continues to be obstructed in Congress, Senator Coons organized job fairs around the state to help Delawareans find work. Though funding for new police officers has been stalled by the economic downturn, Senator Coons founded the first-ever Senate Law Enforcement Caucus to help strengthen local, state, and federal public safety efforts. Though legislation in support of equality indifferent to sexual orientation or gender identity is moving slowly, Senator Coons recruited 12 of his colleagues for a stirring video that urged LGBT youth to remember ‘it gets better.’ Serving on the Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Ethics committees, Senator Coons is uniquely positioned to nurture American innovation and make the United States more competitive in the global market. He is the ranking member — the top Democrat — of two subcommittees: the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. Committed to fulfilling the economic potential of American innovation, Senator Coons has introduced legislation and worked aggressively for a series of measures designed to help create jobs and grow our economy, including a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s patent system, new protections for American intellectual property, and critical investments in research and development. His first bill in the Senate, the Job Creation Through Innovation Act, would help revitalize domestic manufacturing and create conditions to help businesses grow and create middle-class jobs. Chris later teamed up with Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida to introduce the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act, a bill containing an array of job-creating measures supported by both parties. Chris’ election to the Senate in 2010 capped a decade of successful service in New Castle County government. In four years as New Castle County Council President and six years as New Castle County Executive, Chris earned a reputation for delivering real results on behalf of Delawareans and protecting the county during the least stable national economic climate in decades. Chris balanced six budgets by eliminating wasteful spending and created jobs through innovative public/private partnerships. His Safe Streets partnership removed dangerous parole violators from our neighborhoods and cleaned up dozens of the worst county properties. He also preserved hundreds of acres of open space and fought for an independent ethics commission to make county government more transparent in its business dealings. Prior to serving as County Executive, Chris worked as an attorney for Delaware-based W.L. Gore & Associates, one of the 200 largest privately held companies in the United States, where he helped the company expand and create hundreds of jobs. Chris is a graduate of Amherst College with a B.A. in Chemistry and Political Science, and earned his law degree from Yale Law School and a Master's in Ethics from Yale Divinity School. Chris also studied at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. A longtime New Castle County resident, Chris grew up in the Pike Creek and Hockessin areas and lives in Wilmington with his wife, Annie, and their three children, Michael, Jack, and Maggie.

13 April

Anita DeFrantz

Tubman Truth Corporation
Anita L. DeFrantz is a member of the International Olympic Committee and is the Vice President of the IOC Executive Board. She serves on the Legal Affairs Commission of the IOC, which is made up of lawyers, and on the Finance Commission, which reviews the investments and spending plans. She has served on the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors since 1976, after her election to the Athletes Advisory Committee.

Before she joined the ranks of the IOC, DeFrantz captained the U.S. women’s rowing team and rowed in the eight that won a bronze medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. DeFrantz served as Vice President of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and was elected to IOC membership in 1986, making her not only the first African-American but also the first American woman to serve on the committee.

In 1987, DeFrantz began her 28-year role stewarding the legacy of 1984 LA Games as president of the LA84 Foundation, which received 40% of the 1984 surplus. Over the past 32 years, the LA84 Foundation has invested more than $225 million to support more than 2,000 youth sports organizations, and it continues to provide Los Angeles youth with recreation and sports opportunities. The LA84 Foundation has also commissioned research and conferences on issues important to sport, as well as housing the largest digital sports library in the nation.
In 1992, she was elected to the IOC Executive Board. In 1997, she was elected the organization’s first female vice president, a position she held until 2001. From 1989-1994 she served on the IOC’s Program Commission, which proposes sports to be included in Olympic competition. In 1995, she became chair of the IOC’s Women and Sports Commission. She is credited with getting women’s softball and soccer accepted on the program. In addition, she was instrumental in the vast increase in the number of opportunities for women’s competition, on the Olympic program.

Currently, she is president of the Tubman Truth Corp., an organization working to provide liberty and justice for all people. She also serves on LA 2028, the Los Angeles bid committee for the 2028 summer Olympic Games, as the LA 2028 Senior Adviser for Legacy.
In 1977 she started her legal career as the Staff Attorney at the Juvenile Law Center of Philidelphia. DeFrantz has B.A. from Connecticut College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She holds more than a dozen honorary doctorate degrees from college and universities, including Pepperdine University, Mount Holyoke College and Pomona College.

She has received numerous awards, honors and recognitions. In 2017, she was inducted to the LA Coliseum Court of Honor and she also received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research (CSSOR) at California State University, Fullerton. In 2016, she was given the Olympic Truce Award at the Rio Olympic Games. In 2011, Newsweek named her one of “150 Women Who Shake the World,” and Los Angeles magazine named her one of “10 Women Making a Difference in Los Angeles.” In 2010, the French magazine L’Equipe named her one of the “10 Women Who Changed Sport” in the world. In 2006, the NCAA named her one of “NCAA’s Most 100 Influential Student Athletes.” In May 2003, Sports Illustrated named her one of the 101 most influential minorities in all of sports, and from 1991-1999, The Sporting News named her one of the 100 most powerful people in sports.

13 April

James Famiglietti

Senior Water Scientist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
Jay Famiglietti is JPL's Senior Water Scientist, Chief Scientist of the Western Water Applications Office and Project Scientist for the Western States Water Mission. His team uses NASA satellite observations and develops advanced hydrological models to explore global water cycle change and changing freshwater availability. His group's work using the GRACE mission to characterize groundwater depletion was the primary justification in the 2010 NASA Climate Architecture report for the selection of the GRACE-FO as a climate continuation mission.

13 April

Liam Fox

Secretary of State for International Trade
United Kingdom
Liam Fox was appointed Secretary of State for International Trade on 13 July 2016. He was elected as the Conservative MP for North Somerset in 1992.

Liam attended school at St Bride’s High School before studying medicine at the University of Glasgow Medical School, graduating with MB ChB degrees in 1983.

Liam held several ministerial roles in John Major’s Conservative government. He served as Constitutional Affairs Spokesman (1998-1999), Shadow Health Secretary (1999-2003), Conservative Party chairman (2003-05), Shadow Foreign Secretary (2005) and Shadow Defence Secretary (2005-10). In 2010, he was appointed Secretary of State for Defence, a position from which he resigned on 14 October 2011.

13 April

John Furay

Senior Special Agent, Critical Infrastructure Systems Protection Program
United States Secret Service

13 April

John Gleaves

Associate Professor
California State University, Fullerton
Dr. John Gleaves, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at California State University, Fullerton. Dr Gleaves received his doctoral degree in kinesiology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011 where he focused on the historical and philosophical aspects of sport. His dissertation focused on the socio-cultural issues related to doping and performance enhancing drugs in sports. He has successfully published papers in refereed journals including the Journal of Philosophy of Sport, Sports, Ethics and Philosophy, the International Journal of the History of Sport and the Journal of Sport History. Dr Gleaves’ future research aims to explore the ongoing philosophical issues related to sport, science and culture including issue related to doping, gender testing and the medicalization of sport.

13 April

Nina Hachigian

Deputy Mayor of International Affairs
City of Los Angeles
Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Ambassador Nina Hachigian to be the first Deputy Mayor of International Affairs. Her office seeks to use and expand Los Angeles’ global ties to help bring jobs, economic opportunity, culture, visitors and a great Olympics to the city.

From 2014 to 2017, Ambassador Hachigian served as the second U.S. Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). During her tenure, the United States established a strategic partnership with ASEAN, held the first Leaders’ Summit in the United States, launched a Presidential initiative on economic cooperation, established the U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy and grew the youth program to over 100,000 members. She was awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for her service. She is also a founder of WASA, Women Ambassadors Serving America, a group of some 200 current and former Ambassadors.

Earlier, Ambassador Hachigian was a Senior Fellow and a Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress focused on Asia policy and U.S.-China relations. In 2012, she was the co-director of Asia policy for the Obama campaign. Prior to that, Ambassador Hachigian was the director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy for four years. Ambassador Hachigian served on the staff of the National Security Council in the Clinton White House from 1998-1999. She is the editor of Debating China: The U.S. – China Relationship in Ten Conversations (Oxford University Press, 2014) and co-author of The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise (Simon & Schuster, 2008).

Ambassador Hachigian was a founding Board member of the State Department’s International Security Advisory Board. She is a Board Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Hachigian received her B.S. from Yale University, magna cum laude, and her J.D. from Stanford Law School, with distinction. She lives in the great City of Los Angeles with her husband and children.

13 April

Alice Hill

Research Fellow
Hoover Institution
Alice C. Hill is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution where her work focuses on building resilience to destabilizing catastrophic events, including the impacts of climate change. Prior to joining Hoover, she served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Senior Director for Resilience for the National Security Council. While at the White House, Hill led the development of national policy regarding national security and climate change, incorporation of climate resilience considerations into international development, Federal efforts in the Arctic, building national capabilities for long-term drought resilience, and establishment of national risk management standards for three of the most damaging natural hazards. She served as a member of several U.S. delegations, including to the GLACIER Conference regarding climate change in the Arctic. Hill previously served as Senior Counselor to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and as an ex officio member of the Federal Advisory Committee for the Third National Climate Assessment. In addition, she led the DHS Task Force responsible for creating the first ever climate adaptation plans for the Department. She is also the founder and first Chairperson of the internationally recognized Blue Campaign, an initiative to combat human trafficking.
Prior to her work in Washington, Hill served as Supervising Judge on both the Superior and Municipal Courts in Los Angeles and as Chief of the white-collar crime prosecution unit in the Los Angeles United States Attorney’s Office.

Hill is a frequent speaker and has been quoted in the NY Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She has appeared on CBS, NPR, and MSNBC and her written commentary has been published in Newsweek, LawFare, The Hill, and other media.

She received her BA from Stanford University and JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

13 April

Anne Hilsabeck

Principal and Founder
AMH Customs Consultants
Anne Hilsabeck is the Principal and Founder of AMH Customs Consultants, a California-based international trade consultancy firm which assists private industry with managing U.S. and foreign trade regulations, import and export planning and customs and export trade compliance since 1983. She is a licensed customs broker and a qualified legal expert on customs-related matters.

Ms. Hilsabeck regularly advises clients on matters of tariff classification and valuation of imported/exported merchandise, duty drawback, import/export compliance audits and reviews, customs broker and freight forwarder management reviews, export controls and licensing, EPA and DOT import applications for vehicles, preferential duty programs, including Foreign Trade Zones, bonded warehouses, NAFTA, GSP and FTA’s, and other government-related administrative programs such as C-TPAT, Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA), Importer Security Filing Program (ISF), Automated Export System Programs and Filings (AES), and ACE. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration – Accounting and Economics, from California State University, San Diego, California.

13 April

Farhanaz Kermalli

Senior Analyst, International Affairs and Trade
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Farhanaz Kermalli has more than ten years of experience in policy analysis, program assessments, communications, and research methodology and design, with the majority of her work focused on international issues. As a senior analyst and project manager in international affairs and trade at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal agency, she delivers targeted analysis with recommendations that inform Congress and the broader public about U.S.-funded efforts in the areas of international development, security, and trade, including program achievements and implementation challenges. She has conducted fieldwork on international security, humanitarian assistance, and trade in Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. She also served as a primary GAO representative to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she lived and worked for seven months, liaising with senior U.S. government officials from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State; and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Previously, she worked in strategic communications and public relations in both the nonprofit and private sectors. She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in journalism and international studies, and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Southern California. In her free time, she maintains her longstanding passion for international travel, acquiring knowledge, and volunteer service as a tutor in adult literacy and English as a Second Language.

13 April

Xian Li

Producer & Studio Executive
Xian Li is a producer and studio executive. In the past three years, she has been head of Asia productions at Fox International, where she overseas creative development and production in Greater China, Japan, Korea, etc. She specializes in international co-productions, as well as global English-language projects based on international materials.

During her time at Fox, Xian shepherded upcoming local and co-production films including Fox Hunt, Night at the Museum China, Kpop, Yakuza of Broadway, Biblia Bookstore and I want to Know Your Parents, etc. Xian began working for Twentieth Century Fox in 2012 and has worked on titles including Birdman, Wild, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Martian, Maze Runners, The Wailing and the Chinese remake of Bride Wars.

As one of the very few people who can truly bridge Hollywood and China, she has also been a key person on the front line of all Fox businesses with China. She is also one of the few exceptions who have gained valuable experience across different functions within a major film studio.

Xian worked in TV Media, Corporate Business Development and Private Equity before starting her career in film with Sony Pictures in Los Angeles. Born and raised in China, Xian was educated at Peking University, Stanford and USC.

13 April

Linda Lopez

Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs
Dr. Lopez has more than 15 years of experience in federal and local government, academia, non-profit and media relations.She is currently the Chief of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and also senior advisor on policy for his administration.Dr. Lopez was formerly an Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Diversity for the University of Southern California and also a professor of political science at Chapman University and formerly a senior level executive the National Science Foundation where she served as a Program Officer investing multi-million federal dollars in research and development for the US government and university systems.

Her government experience spans working with the federal government agencies, state legislatures, and local government.Under the Obama Administration, she worked closely with White House Office of Domestic Policy and Public Engagement on their blueprint for New Americans and Building Welcoming Communities and also with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on citizenship initiatives.Dr. Lopez also has worked with the Department of Homeland Security on issues ranging from refugees, immigration, and law enforcement and security.She is also responsible for coordinating local efforts on policy implementation and development of public-private partnerships. In 2017, she led and coordinated the establishment of the LA Justice Fund, a $10 million dollar legal defense fund for immigrants established by Mayor Garcetti, the county board of supervisors, and philanthropy.

She regularly serves as the primary spokesperson for Mayor Garcetti on issues impacting immigrants and other vulnerable communities and has also worked on international migration issues. She regularly speaks at international venues on refugee integration issues and migration flows. In addition, Dr. Lopez has regularly contributed to the following media and print networks: Los Angeles Times, NPR, KPCC, including Spanish language media, Telemundo, Univision, NBC Latino. She is a German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Fellow, a Center for Strategic and International Studies Abshire-Inamori Fellow, and member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.She received her PhD and Master degrees at USC in Political Science and Public Policy.In her spare time, she advocates for special needs children and serves on the board of Villa Esperanza, a non-profit focused on education for children and adults with disabilities.

13 April

Wahid Nawabi

President & CEO
Wahid Nawabi is President and Chief Executive Officer at AeroVironment, Inc., a leading supplier of integrated unmanned aircraft systems (drones) to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and more than 40 allied governments, and the preferred supplier of electric vehicle charging solutions to nine of the world’s leading automakers. With more than 20 years of experience in diverse industries such as industrials, electronics, and clean technology, Mr. Nawabi is responsible for AeroVironment’s overall business, global growth strategy, operations and P&L.Prior to his current role, Mr. Nawabi served as President and Chief Operating Officer, where he managed all aspects of the Company’s two business segments.Mr. Nawabi also managed multiple business process improvement projects, which led to significant improvements in operational efficiency. He then led the integration of the Company’s engineering, operations, supply chain and quality functional organizations into a single corporate shared services model across both Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Efficient Energy Systems (EES) business segments and all product lines.Mr. Nawabi joined AeroVironment in 2011 as Senior Vice President and General Manager of its EES segment, where he reshaped the segment’s business strategy, launched a number of award-winning, innovative new products and significantly improved its position in the market.As a former Vice President of the enterprise business segment at American Power Conversion (acquired by Schneider Electric), Mr. Nawabi played a key role in growing the business from $50 million to more than $2.4 billion in revenue, and establishing it as the world leader in critical power and precision cooling systems for data centers.Mr. Nawabi earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Maryland at College Park.

13 April

Ronald Nichols

Southern California Edison
Ronald O. Nichols is president of Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for external affairs, compliance, power production and procurement, and other operations.Nichols has more than 35 years of experience in the electric and water utility industry. He has been a strategic and operational advisor to utilities, state and local government, power suppliers and the financial community on complex energy and utility matters throughout the United States, particularly in the West. Previously, Nichols was senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs and Nuclear for SCE, overseeing regulatory policy and affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs.Prior to joining SCE in 2014, Nichols served for three years as General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), where he provided leadership for the utility in supplying reliable and competitively priced water and electricity while continuing to maintain and implement environmentally conscious policies and priorities. Previously, Nichols was a managing director at the energy practice of Navigant Consulting, an international consulting organization with over 2,000 employees. From 1980 to 1997, before his position at Navigant, he was a co-founder and Senior Vice President of the energy and water utility consulting firm, Resource Management International, which was headquartered in Sacramento with offices throughout North America and in Europe and Asia. Prior to starting his energy and water utility consulting career in 1980, he held positions with the California Department of Water Resources and the California Energy Commission. Nichols is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a degree in agricultural economics and business management.

13 April

Anthony Pipa

Senior Fellow, Global Economy & Development
Tony Pipa is a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program. In that capacity, he studies efforts to realize the universality of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), exploring how economic mobility and security, and democratic cohesion and governance, can be advanced simultaneously in developed and developing countries. He also studies ways of maximizing the impact of U.S. development assistance and advancing policy strategies to systematize innovative financing models for development, including blended finance and public-private partnership models.

He has more than 25 years of experience in the philanthropic and public sectors addressing poverty in the U.S. and globally. His unique experience ranges from the local to the global and from startups to complex global enterprises, applying lessons across state, federal, and global levels.

He served as chief strategy officer for USAID and as U.S. special coordinator for the Post-2015 Agenda at the Department of State, leading the U.S. delegation at the U.N. to negotiate and adopt the SDGs. As deputy assistant to the administrator in Policy, Planning, and Learning at USAID, he oversaw the Agency’s global policy engagement and launched major partnerships with bilateral donors.

An independent consultant prior to his appointment, he ran the NGO Leaders Forum at Harvard University, an informal think tank for the CEOs of the largest U.S. NGOs, providing a platform to elevate international development in U.S. foreign policy and increase the effectiveness of their global operations. He also helped launch Foundation for Louisiana out of the governor’s office and worked with Oxfam America, the Family Independence Initiative, and multiple philanthropic collaboratives in the wake of hurricane Katrina. He served as founding executive director of the Warner Foundation, addressing issues of race and poverty in North Carolina and was founding director of philanthropic services at the Triangle Community Foundation.

He has published articles, book chapters and opinion pieces on financial innovation to end poverty, the role of NGOs in a new aid architecture, nonprofit policy proposals to strengthen U.S. communities, and the importance of local charities to disaster resilience. He attended Stanford University, was graduated from Duke University, and earned a Master of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School.

13 April

Güez Salinas

Chief Information Officer
Brisik eSports

13 April

Kelly Sanders

Assistant Professor
Dr. Kelly Twomey Sanders is an Assistant Professor in the University of Southern California’s Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research aims to ease tensions between human and natural systems through technical, regulatory and market intervention, with particular emphasis on reducing the environmental impacts of providing energy and water services. She has authored more than two dozen publications and has given dozens of invited talks on topics at the intersection of engineering, science, and policy. Sanders has been recognized in Forbes’ 30 under 30: Today’s disrupters and tomorrow’s brightest stars and MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35 for her contributions to the energy field. Her research and commentary have been featured in media outlets such as Forbes, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and Scientific American.

Sanders received her B.S. in Bioengineering from the Pennsylvania State University, as well M.S.E and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, respectively. She teaches classes related to energy and the environment.

13 April

Erich Schwartzel

Film Industry Reporter
Wall Street Journal
Erich Schwartzel covers the film industry for The Wall Street Journal. For the past several years, his work has focused on Hollywood's relationship with foreign markets. Last year, he led a series on China's entangled relationship with Hollywood, reporting from Los Angeles and Beijing. He recently began covering Saudi Arabia's new interest in the entertainment industry. Prior to joining the Journal, Schwartzel covered energy for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where his work won the Scripps Howard Award for Environmental Reporting. He is based in Los Angeles.

13 April

Seagull Song

Director, Asia-America Law Institute
Loyola Marymount University
Dr. Seagull Haiyan Song is a law professor, practicing attorney and published author. She is the leading authority in the field of US-China entertainment law and intellectual property law. Dr. Song currently serves as founding Director at Asia-America Law Institute of Loyola Law School Los Angeles, and Senior Advisor at Hogan Lovells. She is also a visiting professor at Peking University School of Law and Beijing Film Academy.

Dr. Song has practiced law in mainland China, Hong Kong and the United States for over twenty years. Before joining the academic world in 2012, Dr. Song was Senior Counsel with Disney, overseeing the company’s intellectual property division in the Asia Pacific region, a consultant with Arnold & Porter LLP, and a partner with King and Wood Mallesons, heading the intellectual property practice of the firm’s Shanghai Office. Dr. Song has been acclaimed as an “Asia Law Leading Lawyer” in the field of intellectual property law for five years since 2006. Dr. Song was honored by the Asia Society as a rising Asian leader through its Asia21 Fellows program and later was invited to be a Board Director and Executive Committee member of the Asia Society Southern California Center and also Co-Chair of the US-China Film Summit Committee.

Dr. Song has published numerous books and articles in the field of US-China intellectual property law and entertainment law. Her recent books include: Entertainment Law, the first leading treatise on the subject of entertainment law in China;Transnational Intellectual Property Law (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2018) co-authoring with Prof. Robert Merges; Selected Chinese Patent Cases, co-authoring with Chinese Supreme People’s Court (Wolters Kluwer, 2014); New Challenges of Chinese Copyright Law (Kluwer Law International, 2011) etc. Dr. Song is also one of the five participating U.S. experts in the 2013 US-China IP Dialogue White Paper, co-released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and China Renmin University.Dr. Song is a frequent speaker around the world on U.S.-China intellectual property and entertainment law issues and recent developments.

Dr. Song received her first LL.M degree from Hong Kong University and her second LL.M and J.S.D (Doctorate of the Science of Law) from University of California, Berkeley School of Law.She is admitted to the Bar of People’s Republic of China and the California Bar of the United States.

13 April

Colleen Thouez

Senior Advisor
United Nations Institute for Training and Research
Colleen Thouez is senior advisor at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, where she leads the migration work. She is also senior fellow at Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative. Until 2017, Dr. Thouez served as advisor to Peter D. Sutherland, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration. Since 2013, she chairs the World Bank capacity building cluster for its migration knowledge management project (KNOMAD). She is the co-founder of the “Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development”, an annual global gathering of mayors that will take place in Marrakesh in December 2018. In January, she spearheaded the creation of the University Alliance for Refugees and At-Risk Migrants (UARRM), whose executive committee she co-chairs with the Dean of the Graduate School at Rutgers University. In April, she will assume the directorship of the welcoming and integration division at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) Headquarters in New York.

13 April

13 April

Carlos Valderrama

President, Center for Global Trade and Foreign Investment
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Carlos J. Valderrama is responsible for developing and implementing programs to create employment and economic growth by fostering global trade and investment for the Los Angeles Region. Prior to joining to the Chamber, Carlos has served as the Director of Latin American Operations for two prominent law firms in L.A. He was responsible for structuring joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, exporting, importing and investment business relationships between U.S., European, Pacific Rim and Latin American firms. Mr. Valderrama was appointed by and represented Governors George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson as the California Trade Representative in Mexico and Latin America. He was assigned with the opening and organization of the California Trade and Investment Office in Mexico City where he promoted state exports and joint ventures between California and Mexico. He also served as the Director of the Office of Export Development, managing programs promoting California products and services worldwide, in addition to overseeing the operational activities of the state’s overseas trade and investment offices. He has held executive positions with General Telephone Electronics, GTE Overseas Groups in Brazil and Panama, as the Marketing Manager and General Manager respectively. He is one of the founders of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (LARExC), an outcome of the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. Mr. Valderrama was appointed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown to the International Trade and Investment Advisory Council. The council will advise the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) on strategies to expand international trade and investment for California businesses. He has been recently appointed to serve on the U.S. Chamber's International Policy Committee (IPC). The IPC is the U.S. Chamber's top policy setting body on international trade and investment issues, and is comprised of senior members of the U.S. business community.

13 April

James Villeneuve

Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles
James Villeneuve was appointed Consul General of Canada, Los Angeles in February 2014. He is Canada's senior representative in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Villeneuve worked for Anheuser Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewing company and the parent company of Labatt Breweries, for more than 27 years. He started with Labatt in Toronto in sales and marketing and was later transferred to Vancouver, where he was regional director of government affairs for Western Canada

In 1995, Mr. Villeneuve returned to Toronto to manage Labatt’s rebranding initiative and to run the company’s corporate and sports properties. He later became director of corporate affairs and then vice-president of corporate affairs for Canada. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Villeneuve worked in Brussels to lead InBev’s global corporate affairs practice. After InBev purchased Anheuser Busch in 2009, Mr. Villeneuve moved to St. Louis to lead the company’s North American corporate affairs department.

Mr. Villeneuve has served on many boards during his career, including the Toronto Economic Development Commission, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid, the Granville Island Trust, the Association of Canadian Advertisers, Carleton University, the Canadian Club, Teach for America, the United Way and the Regional Chamber and Growth Association in St. Louis. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Carleton University in 1985.

Mr. Villeneuve is married to Kim Walker-Villeneuve and they have two children, Grace and Andrew.

13 April

Stephanie Young

Political Scientist
Stephanie Young is a Senior Researcher and Associate Director of the Defense and Political Sciences Department at the non-partisan, not-for-profit RAND Corporation, where she works on a broad range of national security policy issues. She completed a B.A. in physics and astrophysics, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in history, all at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a Board Member of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of Women in Defense, and a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council.

13 April


Los Angeles International Airport is the primary international airport serving Los Angeles, California. It is the largest and busiest airport in both the Los Angeles metropolitan area and in the state of California, second busiest airport in the United States, and one of the largest international airports in the United States and the world.

Southern California Grantmakers

Southern California Grantmakers (SCG) is a regional association for philanthropists and grantmakers working to make a difference in our communities and around the world. Our members include family, private, public, independent, community and corporate foundations and corporate giving programs, individuals, and government agencies.

We believe that a strong and informed giving community is essential to improving the quality of life for all Southern Californians. At SCG, we understand the region’s philanthropic community, we know our local nonprofits and civic partners, and we recognize the key issues you face. SCG connects grantmakers across Southern California through sector-wide conferences, trainings, networking opportunities and funder convenings—providing space for collaboration and coordinated action on critical issues. We support and advance effective grantmaking in eight Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.

SCG is a 501c3 nonprofit nonpartisan organization.

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a family foundation established in 1944 by the man who started Hilton Hotels. We provide funds to nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world.

Instructed by Conrad N. Hilton to alleviate human suffering, the Foundation’s grantmaking programs and Humanitarian Prize work to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world.

Bollywood, Nollywood, and Beyond: The Shifting Global Entertainment Market

Panel Discussion
A panel discussion on the shifting entertainment markets abroad.

Hollywood today finds itself at a crossroads—foreign influence in the industry has never been larger, with overseas financing and box office numbers near the heart of every studios’ decision-making process. As foreign sales continue to grow, particularly in the developing world, Hollywood finds itself balancing the legal and cultural demands of a new audience with the values of home. What’s more, Hollywood finds itself facing down growing competition from Bollywood, Nollywood, and Beijing as their industry leaders have begun shifting from made for home entertainment, to made for the world.

How is growing attention to overseas box office access and financing shaping Hollywood productions today?

A New NAFTA? Implications for Southern California

Panel Discussion
A panel discussion on the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

As a major trade hub for the United States, NAFTA renegotiations could have significant consequences for Southern California – with Mexico and Canada as the state's first and second largest export market, respectively. While complete withdrawal seems unlikely after the most recent round of negotiations, there remains significant uncertainty for the future of the trade agreement.

What recourse will our region and our city have if renegotiations change the dynamic of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship for the better or for the worse?

Cyber-Collaboration: New Frontiers in Public-Private Security Partnerships

Panel Discussion
A panel discussion on cybersecurity challenges. Please note: this session is off the record.

Cities face critical and ongoing cybersecurity challenges: over the course of a day, LA city networks contend with over four million attempted intrusions. With this in mind, Los Angeles founded the Los Angeles Cyber Lab—America’s first city-led, public-private partnership dedicated to protecting businesses and residents from cyber-attacks. Moreover, by openly sharing data on over a billion security related events each day with Angelenos, the city is shifting norms of transparency, governance and public safety.

What is the city getting right, and where is there room to improve? How can LA can continue to take the lead on cybersecurity? Is LA’s model unique to the city, or is it exportable and scalable?

Making the Global Local: Megacities and the Sustainable Development Goals

Panel Discussion
A panel discussion on how cities are implementing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, there is a rising impetus and opportunity for major cosmopolitan cities to lead on a national and international stage. There is perhaps no better space in which this is exemplified as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—the UN global framework for ending poverty, combating inequality, and building a just and sustainable world by 2030.

How can cities with vastly different political contexts exchange best practices and share resources on the SDGs? What limitations are there to orienting around the 2030 framework? What lessons can practitioners adopt from other subnational diplomacy efforts?

Branding an Olympic City: Lessons from Barcelona

Case Study
A case study on lessons Los Angeles can learn from Barcelona's Olympic Games.

In 1992, Barcelona successfully channeled the economic and cultural clout of the Olympic Games to develop the city in a lasting, and sustainable way, an accomplishment that few cities have since been able to replicate. Well-spent billions revived Barcelona, raising the quality of living to levels only then seen in Paris, London, and Rome and making the city an attractive hub for tourism and investment. The facilities developed as a result of the Games remain in use today, and the city proudly remains one of the most popular destinations in Europe.

As Los Angeles looks to dramatically expand its own profile in anticipation of the 2028 Olympics, what lessons are there to be learned from the public policy decisions of Barcelona? How well has LA positioned itself to benefit from the Games?

Water Conflict: What Can Southern California Learn from Cape Town?

Case Study
A case study on what Southern California can learn from Cape Town's water crisis.

In recent months, Cape Town has received heavy media coverage due to its ongoing water supply crisis. For the first time in modern history, a major global city is on the verge of completely shutting down its municipal water system due to lack of supply. Yet, in the past few years, many lauded the government of Cape Town for implementing public policies that sought to counteract the city’s chronically low water supply. Such public policies included the wildly successful Water Conservation and Demand Management Strategy and Programme, which significantly reduced water demand among residents. However, as “Day Zero” approaches for the city, many experts point to the lack of solutions on the supply side of the water issue as the primary reason for Cape Town’s current crisis. Los Angeles, having recently survived an historic statewide drought, is no stranger to instituting sustainable water systems in a topographically unfavorable context.

What can LA learn from the mistakes of Cape Town? Are there any parallels between the faults in Cape Town’s water policies and those of Los Angeles?

The Making of the Mosaic: Immigration Lessons from Canada

Case Study
Like the United States, Canada is one of few countries in the world in which immigration has long been a major building block of its society and culture. Among the community of developed nations, Canada maintains one of the most generous per capita admission rates for immigrants. Over the next three years, Canada has committed to accepting nearly one million immigrants, of which the majority will wind up in Canada's cities -- which have proven apt at integrating migrant communities into their economy and civic life. Yet, like Los Angeles, immigrants in Canada face many socioeconomic barriers, including higher rates of unemployment and less access to affordable housing than the general population. What lessons can our city learn from the success of Canada? How have their cities directed resources to immigrant communities in ways that we have not? Have there been pitfalls in Canada's path that Los Angeles can learn from as well?

International Visitors Council of Los Angeles

Working since 1980 to increase international understanding and cooperation, the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA) arranges people-to-people exchanges between emerging international leaders and the citizens of the Los Angeles region. IVCLA's citizen diplomacy exchanges bring first-hand information about the rest of the world to Angelenos and provide international policy and opinion leaders with the opportunity to see with their own eyes the challenges and opportunities that define the Los Angeles region. These exchanges begin dialogues that would not otherwise be possible.

Each year IVCLA arranges professional meetings, cultural visits and home hospitality for nearly one thousand policy and opinion leaders from more than 100 countries. IVCLA International Visitors have one goal in common: to seek a greater understanding of the United States, its people, ideas, attitudes, and lifestyles. IVCLA Citizen Diplomats welcome people who are working to solve global issues that impact us all. IVCLA is dedicated to our vision of creating peace and prosperity for our community, our country and our world.

Asia Society of Southern California

Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with major centers and public buildings in New York, Hong Kong, and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., and Zurich.

Occidental College's McKinnon Center for Global Affairs

The McKinnon Center for Global Affairs promotes the study and practice of global, transnational and international issues at Occidental College. Housed in the newly renovated Johnson Hall, the Center sponsors and coordinates teaching, curriculum design, research, and public outreach on a range of global and regional topics. The McKinnon Center links the entire campus community and supports a wide range of conferences and workshops, lectures and invited speakers, student fellowships and research, and a variety of cross-disciplinary and academic-practitioner collaborations.

LA CleanTech Incubator's Network for Global Innovation

Los Angeles has launched its cleantech business incubator to accelerate development of cleantech start-ups by offering flexible office space, CEO coaching and mentoring, and access to a growing network of experts and capital. LACI is the business equivalent of baseball’s farm system: it identifies local talent, nurtures it, and helps it get to market, resulting in more jobs and a bigger green economy in Los Angeles.

The city’s primary economic growth strategy is to drive innovation in clean technologies. The Los Angeles region is already the largest green economy in the nation. There is an unprecedented economic opportunity as the country rebuilds its energy and transportation infrastructure, shifting energy dependence away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable energy sources.

LACI is a non-profit organization funded by the CRA/LA and the LADWP for the City of Los Angeles. In partnership with the city’s exceptional educational and research organizations – UCLA, USC, Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory – LACI helps accelerate the commercialization of their clean technologies in addition to accelerating new products developed by independent entrepreneurs. LACI is a result of the Clean Tech Los Angeles (CTLA) alliance among the Mayor’s office, the City’s universities, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the Los Angeles Business Council, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, LADWP and the CRA/LA.

LACI is located in the city’s Cleantech Corridor in downtown Los Angeles. Located in a four mile long strip between the Los Angeles River and Alameda in the eastern part of downtown, the Clean Tech Corridor is the cornerstone of the city’s green economy strategy. The Corridor will be home to the cleantech ecosystem that Los Angeles is building to support the green economy.

At the center of the Cleantech Corridor is the Arts and Innovation District, a vibrant neighborhood undergoing a dramatic change from abandoned warehouses to a mix of creative entrepreneurs and out-of-the-ordinary living spaces. LACI is located in the center of the Arts and Innovation District, within easy walking distance of SCI-Arc, restaurants, bars, galleries, Little Tokyo, and luxury lofts.

The Network for Global Innovation is LACI's International Programming branch.

UCLA Burkle Center

The Burkle Center fosters research on and promotes discussion of international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and complex issues of global cooperation and conflict. We bring the brightest minds in these fields to UCLA and encourage faculty and students to explore and shape debate.

The Burkle Center fosters research on and promotes discussion of international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and complex issues of global cooperation and conflict. We bring the brightest minds in these fields to UCLA and encourage faculty and students to explore and shape debate.

Created in 1979, the Center sponsors conferences, lectures, and other events that bring world leaders and internationally renowned scholars to UCLA and to the Los Angeles community; runs the Burkle Global Impact Initiative, a program designed to activate the entertainment industry to engage more deeply and effectively with global policy, humanitarian, and advocacy issues; funds research and courses on international affairs; hosts Senior Fellows, including former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe General Wesley K. Clark (ret.); sponsors a renowned and highly competitive internship program; administers fellowships and scholarships; and provides podcasts and videos of Burkle Center events that raise awareness and shape debate about important issues in international relations.

USC Master in Public Diplomacy Program

The Master's in Public Diplomacy, offered in partnership by the USC Dornsife School of International Relations and USC Annenberg School of Communication, emphasizes the role of non-state actors, global public opinion, international news and international communication in the public diplomacy process. We are developing the next generation of leadership for international public service, business and nongovernmental organizations.

The Master of Public Diplomacy combines the resources of the Annenberg School for Communication and USC College's School of International Relations. This program is designed for students who already have a substantial undergraduate background in social sciences or relevant professional experience in subjects such as communications, film and media studies, journalism, political science, public relations, and international relations. Students in the program may decided to emphasize public diplomacy training most appropriately for a career in public service, the corporate world or in a non-governmental organization (NGO) working the ever-expanding global civil society.

Muslim Public Affairs Council

Founded in 1988, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is a national public affairs nonprofit organization working to promote and strengthen American pluralism by increasing understanding and improving policies that impact American Muslims. Over the past 30 years, MPAC has built a reputation of being a dynamic and trusted American Muslim voice for policymakers, opinion shapers, and community organizers across the country.

Our staff, based in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, are experts in designing and executing innovative and effective legislative, strategic messaging, and issue advocacy campaigns. We leverage our relationships with legislators, government agencies, executive departments, and thought leaders to improve policies on national security, civil liberties, immigration, public safety and religious freedom for all Americans. We also provide media analysis and messaging strategies to reporters and media professionals to inform public opinion and advise the entertainment industry on creating more humanizing and nuanced portrayals of Muslims and Islam. Equally important, we build alliances and coalitions with diverse communities to encourage active citizenship.

We thrive in the rapidly changing world of high-stakes policy and high-profile advocacy where strategic planning is critical, speed and messaging are essential, and thorough analysis is imperative. We do all these things to enrich American society and to exemplify core Islamic values of mercy, justice, peace, human dignity, freedom, and equality for all.

International Medical Corps

A preeminent First Responder, International Medical Corps provides emergency relief to those struck by disaster, no matter where they are, no matter what the conditions, working with them to recover, rebuild and gain the skills and tools required for self-reliance.

Bangladesh Consulate in Los Angeles

The Consulate General of Bangladesh in Los Angeles provides consular services to expatriate Bangladesh community and foreign nationals residing in its area of jurisdiction in the west coast of the United States. In addition, the Consulate General complements the efforts of the Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington, D.C., to advance the economic, cultural, immigration, and other interests of Bangladesh in the United States. The Consulate General is committed to providing efficient, prompt, and courteous services.

Refugee Cities

Refugee Cities exists to expand the options of displaced people by promoting special-status settlements in which they can engage in meaningful, dignifying, and rewarding work, thereby providing for their families and contributing to the economic and social development of their hosts and homelands.

Southern California Leadership Network

Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN) is helping build the next generation of leaders through experiential learning paired with rich classroom discussions with cross-sector leaders and some of the state’s most influential experts. SCLN offers four signature leadership fellowships, continued leadership development opportunities and special events to celebrate our state’s leadership.

Southern California Leadership Network envisions a more dynamic and prosperous region and state led by informed, collaborative, inspired, diverse and capable leaders. SCLN advances the region and the state by inspiring, preparing and connecting leaders to drive change.

Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA) promotes international awareness and mutual understanding between Japan and the U.S. through cultural exchange. We administer a wide range of programs and grants aimed at introducing Japanese arts and culture, supporting Japanese Studies and language education, and promoting publications, translations related to Japan.

We are a non-profit organization, funded by an endowment from the Japanese government, annual government subsidies, as well as private sector donations. In addition to our Tokyo headquarters, the Japan Foundation has 22 offices in 21 countries, including our Los Angeles and New York office, as well as two Japanese-language institutes in Japan, and a Kyoto Office.

JFLA (formerly known as The Japan Foundation Los Angeles Office, 1983-1994, and The Japan Foundation Los Angeles Office & Language Center, 1994-2004) first opened its doors in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, in February 1983. Now located in the Wilshire Courtyard of the Miracle Mile District, JFLA conducts arts and cultural programs for the Western United States. We are also proud to provide comprehensive assistance for Japanese-language education nationwide.


An XPRIZE is a highly leveraged, incentivized prize competition that pushes the limits of what’s possible — to change the world for the better.

It captures the world’s imagination and inspires others to reach for similar goals, spurring innovation and accelerating the rate of positive change.

Truman National Security Project

Truman is a nationwide membership of diverse leaders inspired to serve in the aftermath of 9/11 and committed to shaping and advocating for tough, smart national security solutions. We are united in the belief that America is strongest when we stand with our allies to lead, support, and defend a growing global community of free people and just societies.

Our community includes more than 1,700 post-9/11 veterans, frontline civilians, policy experts, and political professionals who share a common vision of U.S. leadership abroad and hail from 16 Chapters and 47 different states across the nation. We believe that America is at its best when we use all the tools in our toolbox: diplomacy, defense, development, and democracy promotion.

Truman National Security Project, along with our sister organization Truman Center, identifies, trains, and positions leaders across America who share this worldview. We bring our members together with our partners and advisors to deliver concrete solutions to pressing global challenges for leaders at the local, state, and national levels, and we coordinate their action nationwide to shape the debate, fight for policy change, and support rising leaders who share our values.

Mayor Garcetti: The State of Global LA is Growing Stronger

Los Angeles’ leadership in global affairs is growing stronger at a time when the federal government’s role is diminishing, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told Pacific Council members in his 2nd annual State of the Global City address in downtown LA. The discussion was made possible by the generous support of the RM Liu Foundation and was moderated by Ms. Karen Richardson, former deputy assistant secretary of public affairs at the U.S. State Department.

Watch the full address and read a summary of Mayor Garcetti's remarks here.

Leading the Foreign Affairs Conversation in NYC & LA

Global cities like New York and Los Angeles are increasingly shaping the international policy conversation, New York City’s Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena told Pacific Council members during a special roundtable discussion.

Read about the full conversation here.

Gene Sykes on PyeongChang and Lessons for LA2028

Pacific Council member and LA 2028 CEO Gene Sykes supervises all aspects of the Los Angeles' Olympic committee's business, operations, and activities. He successfully led LA's recent bid to host the Olympic Games for the first time since 1984. He also recently attended the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, and shared some insights about his experience with the Pacific Council as Los Angeles looks to its own role as Olympic host city in 2028.

Read the full interview here.

Populism versus Globalism: A False Choice in LA

As too many politicians and many of their constituents across America decry international trade and blame immigrants for a lack of economic and personal success, they might consider casting an eye to Los Angeles as a compelling counter-argument, write Jerry Green and Dan Schnur.

Read the full op-ed here.


08:00 AM 09:00 AM Main Dining Room (1st Floor)

The Future of Drones: Promise and Uncertainty

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Main Dining Room (1st Floor)


International Trade Post-Brexit

10:15 AM 11:15 AM Main Lounge (1st Floor)


Clean & Green: The Path to a Renewable LA

11:30 AM 12:30 PM Main Dining Room (1st Floor)


President's Welcome and Lunch

12:30 PM 01:00 PM Main Dining Room (1st Floor)

Global Community Expo

01:00 PM 02:00 PM Main Lounge (1st Floor)

Making the Global Local: Megacities and the Sustainable Development Goals

02:15 PM 03:15 PM 2nd Floor Dining Room

Los Angeles already punches far above its weight as an international player. Consistently ranked among the world’s top ten most economically powerful cities, Los Angeles generates more than $1 billion in economic activity every day. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, there is a rising impetus on major cosmopolitan cities to share best practices and lessons with each other. In that spirit, earlier this year, Mayor Garcetti committed to assembling a network of global cities that accelerates Los Angeles’ pursuit of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Moving forward, the City of Los Angeles will serve as one of eight local data hubs for sharing information related to SDG indicators, with the goal of holistically navigating the complex policy challenges that large cities face around the world. In doing so, Los Angeles has positioned itself at the forefront of building intersectoral partnerships to address issues ranging from hunger and inequality, to building resilient infrastructure and combating climate change.


A New NAFTA? Implications for Southern California

02:15 PM 03:15 PM Sunset Room (2nd Floor)

As a major trade hub for the United States, NAFTA renegotiations could have significant consequences for Southern California – with Mexico and Canada as the state's first and second largest export market, respectively. While complete withdrawal seems unlikely after the most recent round of negotiations, there remains significant uncertainty for the future of the trade agreement


Cyber-Collaboration: New Frontiers in Public-Private Security Partnerships

02:15 PM 03:15 PM Fireside Room (1st Floor)

Over the course of a day, L.A. city networks contend with over four million attempted intrusions. As home to much of our city’s personal, financial, and business data the security of these networks is of the utmost importance to our community. With this in mind, Los Angeles founded the Los Angeles Cyber Lab – a public-private partnership, dedicated to protecting the city’s information from malicious cyber threats. The lab is America’s first city-led partnership dedicated to protecting businesses and residents from cyber-attacks, and has helped to propel the city to the forefront of both network transparency and security. Moreover, by openly sharing data on over a billion security related events each day with Angelenos LA has reshaped the conversation around governance and public safety. What is the city getting right, and where is there room to improve? How can LA can continue to take the lead on cybersecurity? Is LA’s model unique to the city, or is it exportable and scalable?


Branding an Olympic City: Lessons from Barcelona

02:15 PM 03:15 PM French Room (2nd Floor)


Coffee Break

03:15 PM 03:45 PM Gold Room (2nd Floor)

Water Conflict: What Can Southern California Learn from Cape Town?

03:45 PM 04:45 PM Sunset Room (2nd Floor)


The Making of the Mosaic: Immigration Lessons from Canada

03:45 PM 04:45 PM Fireside Room (1st Floor)


Bollywood, Nollywood, and Beyond: The Shifting Global Entertainment Market

03:45 PM 04:45 PM 2nd Floor Dining Room

Hollywood today finds itself at a crossroads – foreign influence in the industry has never been larger, with overseas financing and box office numbers near the heart of every studios’ decision-making process. As foreign sales continue to grow, particularly in the developing world, Hollywood finds itself balancing the legal and cultural demands of a new audience with the values of home. What’s more, Hollywood finds itself facing down growing competition from Bollywood, Nollywood, and Beijing as their industry leaders have begun shifting from made for home entertainment, to made for the world.


Advancing U.S. Interests at Home and Abroad

05:00 PM 06:00 PM Main Dining Room (1st Floor)


Closing Reception

06:00 PM 07:30 PM 3rd Floor Patio