World Class Speakers
|Attendee Job Title|
Mayor of Chicago
Rick enters his 5th season as General Manager of the club, the 11th overall with the Vikings and the 26th season in the NFL. The 2016 season will be a monumental one in Vikings history as the club enters the new state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium and is coming off a successful 2015 campaign boasting a roster of young, talented core players. Rick joined the Vikings as Vice President of Player Personnel on May 30, 2006 and directed scouting, free agency and draft preparations for the club before taking on General Manager duties for 2012. Earlier in his career he climbed the ranks of NFL personnel departments with Detroit, Chicago and Miami and his tenure with all 3 franchises were highlighted by drafting impact players throughout the seven rounds and making key trades and free agency acquisitions – his teams have won 6 divisional titles and advanced to the playoffs 10 times. The Vikings have drafted players who have made immediate impacts on the club under Rick’s direction, such as superstar Adrian Peterson and this season just gone with Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter and Stefon Diggs, that led them to the NFC North title, taking it away from previous winners Green Bay Packers on the regular season finale.
Thomas is one of the most respected executives in football due to his passion and vision for the Falcons, his dynamic drafting and philosophical approach to building a team – and since he joined in 2008, the team has experienced a level of consistency that is unmatched in the team’s 46-year history. After his first season with the Falcons, he was named ‘Executive of the Year’ and again went on to be honoured in 2010. He then helped guide the Falcons to their third consecutive playoff appearance for the first time in franchise history in 2012. Prior to his tenure at the Falcons he was with the New England Patriots between 2002-2007.
General Robinson is the highest ranking female General in US history, and was named in Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people for 2016. In May 2016, she took over as leader of U.S. Northern Command, becoming the first female service member to lead a unified combatant command after being inducted by President Obama. NORAD conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defence of North America, while USNORTHCOM partners to conduct homeland defence, civil support, and security cooperation to defend and secure the United States and its interests.
Former Chief Knowledge Officer
Dr. Ed Hoffman is NASA’s Chief Knowledge Officer. He works within NASA as well as with leaders of industry, academia, professional associations, and other government agencies to develop the agency’s capabilities in program and project management and engineering.
Dr. Hoffman has written numerous journal articles, co-authored Shared Voyage: Learning and Unlearning from Remarkable Projects (NASA, 2005) and Project Management Success Stories: Lessons of Project Leaders (Wiley, 2000), and speaks frequently at conferences and associations. He serves as adjunct faculty at The George Washington University.
He holds a Doctorate, as well as Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Columbia University in the area of social and organizational psychology. He received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brooklyn College in 1981.
Faculty and Associate Director of Dance
Risa Steinberg, both faculty and Associate Director of Dance at The Juilliard School, has been an active member of the dance community for more than 35 years as a performer, teacher, re-constructor of the works of José Limón, and mentor to young choreographers. She has had the good fortune to travel the world performing and teaching extensively. Former principal dancer with the José Limón Dance Company, Bill Cratty Dance Theater, Annabel Gamson, Anna Sokolow’s Player’s Project, Colin Connor, and American Repertory Dance Company of Los Angeles, Ms. Steinberg has also been a guest artist with choreographers including Wally Cardona, Sean Curran, and DanzaHoy of Caracas, Venezuela. Her solo concert, A Celebration of Dance, featured repertory from Isadora Duncan and Doris Humphrey as well as contemporary choreographers. As a re-constructor of the works of Mr. Limón, Ms. Steinberg has worked with companies and dancers around the world including Nureyev and Friends, Frank Augustyn, Karen Kain, and the Pennsylvania Ballet. She was a dance panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts; presently sits on the Artists Advisory board for Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church and is on the selection committee of The Bessies. Ms. Steinberg is currently the Choreographic Advisor and Rehearsal Coach for Brian Brooks Moving Company.
Alex is a four time Pro-Bowl center currently playing for the 2016 NFC Champions Atlanta Falcons. He played college football for California Golden Bears before being drafted as the 21st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. On March 9, 2016, he signed a five-year, $45 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons and subsequently played in the epic Super Bowl earlier this year. He’s currently one of the best players in his position in the sport, and his grit and determination was proven as he played through the games against the Patriots with a broken leg.
Stuart Lancaster is currently part of the senior coaching team at Leinster Rugby Club. Prior to this, he served as the Head Coach for the England Rugby Football Union from 2011 to 2015. Before he was appointed Head Coach, Stuart was the Elite Rugby Director to the RFU and Director of Rugby for Leeds Carnegie. During his tenure, he lead England to achieve runners-up for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Six Nations Championship including a Triple Crown in 2014, and was the only team to beat New Zealand (Ranked no.1 in the world) in 2012.
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