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Board of Advisors, Digital Cities and Global Projects Center

Kathleen Cahill, Vice President, Cushman & Wakefield

Kathleen Cahill is a Vice President at Cushman & Wakefield managing strategic partnerships and emerging technology initiatives. In her role, Kathleen advises C&W service lines on leading technology solutions and trends that can help drive organic growth, operational efficiencies and strategic transformation. Prior to C&W, she spent four years working for JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a strategy and business consultant analyst for their multifamily, commercial and construction lending businesses. She was recently named to CSQ’s NextGen 10 in 2018 for Real Estate and Finance and is the co-founder of the women’s focused real estate technology industry group, Women in PropTech.  

Ronald S Diamond, Chairman and CEO, Diamond Wealth Strategies

Mr. Diamond graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University with a degree in Economics.  Following graduation, Mr. Diamond worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert working in high yield, investment banking, and money management.  Following Drexel Burnham, Diamond became a Managing Director at Bear Stearns managing over $ 1 billion for high net worth individuals. After Bear Stearns, Diamond launched a $250 million hedge fund  utilizing his proprietary trading strategy.   He successfully ran the hedge fund for 10 years, beating the S & P index each year, and ultimately sold it to an institutional investment firm.

Jim Disanto, Managing Partner, Motus Ventures

Jim DiSanto is a 20 year silicon valley technology executive and veteran entrepreneur. Jim has extensive experience in enterprise software, mobile applications, navigation and location based services, and automotive applications. During the past decade, Jim co- founded and lead KonaWare, a pioneer in mobile applications for transportation and logistics operators, which he sold to Yamei Electronics of Beijing, China in 2008. Jim joined Yamei as a board director and General Manager and formed strategic partnerships with automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers in China. Yamei was purchased by Trimble Navigation in 2011 yielding a 4X return on invested capital over two years. Prior to this, Jim co-founded Simplexity Wireless, the leading web MNVO now over $400M in annual revenue, and Vicinity (VCNT), one of the first web location based services, which went public in 2000, and was purchased by Microsoft (for MapPoint) in 2002.

Lara Druyan, Managing Director, Head of Innovation (West Coast), RBC

Lara Druyan is a Managing Director at RBC where she is the Head of Innovation on the West Coast. She is responsible for identifying and working with start-ups on the Bank's behalf, creating partnerships, establishing relationships with the Silicon Valley ecosystem, and new product creation as well as investing in start-ups that are strategic to the Bank. Previously, she was the Founding Partner of G&B Partners, an investment and advisory firm focused on technology companies. She also served as a Venture Partner for Almaz Capital, an Adviser to Pilot Growth Equity and as a Venture Adviser to SRI where she helped SRI conceive of, launch and incubate new ventures. Ms. Druyan served as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Investment Committee for the City of San Jose’s Federated Employee Retirement System (a $2B pension plan) for six years. Previously, she was an Investor in Residence at US Venture Partners and a General Partner for over a decade with early-stage venture capital firm, Allegis Capital. Lara also worked at Silicon Graphics as a product manager in its heyday and released a dozen software products while at SGI. Ms. Druyan has led many investments and served on numerous boards of directors and advisory boards. Some of the companies in which she has invested or served as an adviser include: Xactly (XTLY), Powerset (MSFT), Skout (MEET), Xlink, Ironqloud, Galvanize Labs and Krome Photos. In 2016, she was named as one of the “Silicon Valley Investors You Need to Know” by Inc.

Brendan Fitzgibbon, Senior Director for Global Policy, VISA

Brendan oversees Visa’s response to global regulatory and government activity as it pertains to the payments industry, with expertise in a variety of areas, including fintech, financial inclusion, economics of payments, innovative payment products, and the benefits they bring. In addition to advising the business on policy development, Brendan has led notable engagements alongside renowned research firms, including ESI Thoughtlab’s Cashless Cities study and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Government e-Payments Adoption Ranking. Prior to joining Visa, Brendan spent several years in corporate strategy, leading a number of engagements as a project leader for Audi’s strategy group, including driving the brand’s first connected vehicle launch in the U.S. Additionally, he spent several years in global strategy consulting supporting multi-national clients across a variety of industries, including pharma, med device, energy and technology. Brendan began his career with the National Endowment for Democracy, based in Washington, DC, leading government-based nation building efforts in multiple countries. Brendan has a BA in Political Science from Duke University and a MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. He currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and three daughters.

Helene Kim, Managing Director, Lexbridge LLC

Helene is an incoming Director for the Advisory Board of Stanford University's Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities Program. She is Managing Director of Lexbridge LLC (San Francisco), and has extensive experience advising top executives of leading U.S. and Asian multi-national enterprises on Global Innovation Strategy and Business Model Innovation. Ms. Kim is an Advisor to the SK Group, one of South Korea's leading conglomerates, and also serves on the Advisory Board of one of South Korea's most prominent private equity firms (over $20 Billion AUM). Ms. Kim previously served as founding Executive Director of International and Executive Legal Education, and Lecturer in Global Innovation at UC Berkeley. Ms. Kim has also worked as a management consultant and international lawyer with McKinsey & Co. and prominent Bay Area law firms. Ms. Kim holds degrees from Harvard Law School (J.D.), Harvard College (A.B. summa cum laude).


Michael Loeb, Diamond Wealth Strategies

Michael Loeb is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor. After an 8-year corporate tour at Time Inc., Michael’s first entrepreneurial endeavor was Synapse Group which revolutionized the marketing and sustaining of magazine and newspaper subscriptions worldwide by leveraging its patented continuous service business model. Synapse was sold to TWX in 2006. Incubated inside of Synapse was Priceline, which was founded by Synapse’s co-founder, Jay Walker, and co-funded by Michael. In 2007 Michael founded Loeb Enterprises (LE) with partner Rich Vogel. LE, and its lab, has been described as a ‘company factory’ – our ideas, our capital, our talent - developing both home-grown and early-stage external businesses. Today is building 20 companies.

Rob Ruyak, Global Lead, VC & Startups Business Development, Amazon Web Services

Rob Ruyak leads business and partnership development efforts with venture capital, commercialization firms and startups for Amazon Web Services in the global public sector group. He specializes in topics related to aerospace, smart/digital cities, cybersecurity, blockchain, and AI/ML. Rob has an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and a B.A. in economics from Georgetown University.

Tara Prakriya, Genernal Manager, Business AI, Microsoft

Tara is a General Manager in Microsoft’s Business AI division focused on ambient computing. She rejoins Microsoft after a fun ride as CPO of a startup in enterprise AI, Maana, from seed to just before the close of series C. Prior to that she worked at Microsoft cumulatively for 15 years in Windows, and Bing. She also had roles at Merck and Scantron. In these roles she has tackled machine learning, enterprise AI, big data analytics, content management, handwriting recognition, ink / touch and new hardware, educational LMS systems, and online advertising. She’s an AI pragmatist and believes the most important part of any solution is identifying and decomposing the right question.

Grant Stevens, Managing Director, Global Construction & Development, Prologis

Grant Stevens leads Prologis’ worldwide construction and development activities as well as the company’s Sustainability initiatives that include environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs. Grant is also responsible for the Global Energy and Development initiatives that include installation of over 180 MW of solar energy installments, 233 sustainability building certificates and the retrofit of LED light fixtures in operating buildings around the world. Prior to joining Prologis, Grant worked at Hines Development for over 30 years as a development executive in numerous cities around the world. During his tenure at Hines Grant managed the development of over 22 million square feet of diverse real estate investments including commercial, retail, mixed use and residential. His professional experience includes cities across America, Canada, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia and India. He has an exceptional record of recruiting, training and managing multi-national teams that cultivated collaboration and respect for the best of all cultures. Grant’s contributions to industry innovation started over 20 years ago when he participation with Ray Levitt at Stanford’s Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects. Grant earned his BA in Organizational Communications from the University of Utah and his Master of Science in Construction Engineering and Management from Stanford University.

Don Strickland, Founder, Strickland & Associates

Don’s career has been both successful and rewarding. He was the visionary behind the world’s first consumer digital camera, which he developed at Kodak and launched at Apple. This camera disrupted the traditional imaging markets and led the way to a new industry in digital imaging. As Apple’s Vice President of Imaging and Publishing, Don led the re-architecture of the Apple platform from traditional print publishing to “new media” including music, video and the Internet. Don left Apple to head a Silicon Valley startup company, PictureWorks Technology, which was one of the first companies to implement its technology as a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) deployment. His company invented and patented the familiar “drag and drop” interface for uploading images, music and video to websites. He sold his startup company to a public company, IPIX Corporation, and became its CEO. Over the course of five years He led the company to become an early pioneer of the “Web 2.0” business model with its interactive imaging technologies. He now heads Strickland & Associates, which consults with some of the world’s most successful companies on business model innovation and corporate entrepreneurship. He also serves as Adjunct Professor, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Imperial College London. Education has played an important role in Don’s career. He holds a Master of Science degree in Physics (University of Notre Dame), a Master of Science degree in Optics (University of Rochester), a Juris Doctor degree in Law with a specialty in Intellectual Property (George Washington University), and attended Stanford University as a Sloan Fellow.