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Global Empowerment Summit

Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Chair | Co-Founder

Naila Chowdhury is a leading management professional from Bangladesh. She has served in a UN agency as well as several multinationals, locally and globally (Norway, Thailand, Ukraine, Malaysia, and Pakistan). She has worked closely with Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus for more than 15 years. Her core focus now is women’s health and economic empowerment through modern information and communications technologies. She is also an advisor for the Ashoka Support Network Members, and a technical advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is an active mentor for Youth and Women in constructive entrepreneurship, information communication technology (ICT), global networking and the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She is presently one of the Founding Women Members of F4D in New York, USA and Board Director of Athgo International, USA. She holds a Master Degree in Marketing from Dhaka University, and a Senior Executive Business Management Diploma from Singapore National University, as well as an Executive MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. Presently, she is the Chair of TeleConsult Group, US and Bangladesh. TeleConsult Group where Women come first, is an organization focused to ensure, competence and skill development, job opportunity for the under-privileged populations, and domestic violence and acid survivors.

View More: http://kellierenephotography.pass.us/bellavista

Amanda Caniglia is the owner of the Bella Vista Social Club & Caffé, located at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Bella Vista serves as the social hub for the Innovation and Biotech community on the Mesa, and Ms. Caniglia is honored to be viewed as a true connector of people, ideas, and companies. When not serving up celebrated food and conversation, (“Great minds deserve great food,”) she spearheads Miracle Coast No Boundaries, a grass roots movement to collectively engage San Diego stakeholders in positioning our Smart City—and especially the Mesa cluster of high-tech, biotech and science–on a global scale, driving awareness and business to the region. Ms. Caniglia is President of the board of Alliance4Empowerment. She is Small Business spokeswoman for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; and not least a writer/columnist for San Diego Magazine (“Life on the Mesa.”) A graduate of UCSD in political science, dance, and Spanish literature, Caniglia spent several productive years in Spain and Brazil. She also has a teacher credential from SDSU and instructed courses in Business English for foreign businessmen and women before establishing the Bella V. Her strengths in strategic planning, effective marketing, and the delicate art of social networking all serve to expand opportunities for business growth and profitability in San Diego and the burgeoning mega-region.


Dr. Jay Silverman is a leading global researcher on understanding and preventing gender-based violence against adolescent and adult women (e.g., intimate partner violence, sexual violence and sex trafficking). Dr. Silverman has led multiple major federally, foundation and UN-funded studies of gender-based violence and its effects on the health of women and their children, with a focus on gendered effects on the girl child. Dr. Silverman has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers in top-tier scientific journals (e.g., JAMA, Lancet) and has also co-authored an award-winning practitioner guidebook book on these issues. Dr. Silverman is, perhaps, best known for being the world’s leading public health authority on trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation. He has led groundbreaking studies of sex trafficking in South and Southeast Asia, and has recently expanded this line of research to Latin America. He is the principal investigator of a federally-funded study exploring the nature of sex trafficking in two major US-Mexico border cities (Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez) and identifying potential structural interventions to prevent sex trafficking and reduce coincident HIV risk along the border. Dr. Silverman is also currently collaborating with the CDC in Central America to provide the first reliable, population-based data on the prevalence of sex trafficking in the region and its inter-relation with drug trafficking in three countries. He has served as an advisor to WHO, UNDP, UNAIDS and PEPFAR on this gender-based human rights violation.

rob sol

Robin Sol Lieberman is Founder and Creative Director of TrueCharisma, a company supplying communication tools to those ready to make an impact. As a social-change agent and leadership-development trainer, Robin works beside representatives to the United Nations, and is on the Global Advisory Council for Impact Leadership 21 and Alliance4Empowerment.  A speaker, author, and consultant with a background in cultural anthropology, social innovation, and performing arts, Robin works with a diverse audience –from top executives, to women in poverty.  Robin’s consultant work is a blend of corporate culture strategies sourced from her time studying with Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, as well as from biologically-inspired social structure, organization, collaboration, and connection principles.   Dedicated to inclusivity and our emerging connection-based economy, her book, The Charisma Code, seeks to empower its readers to boldly contribute their Brilliance to the world. Robin brings a talented media background to social change. She has produced, directed, and starred in many TV and radio shows, and is an interviewer for charitable organizations like GATE (Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment), founded by Jim Carrey, Eckhart Tolle, and John Raatz. With a passion for communication – including body language — you might catch Robin performing her “soul dance” at a Marianne Williamson, Tony Robbins, or other transformational speaker’s event.

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Cassandra is a

graduate of Columbia University 2013, a Professional Actor, Humanitarian and an athlete.

She is also active philanthropically. Cassandra received the 2016 Women4Empowerment

Gold Medal of Honor for her philanthropic work closely associated with empowering

women and young girls. She has also been nominated to be on the Advisory Board of LDEO

(Lamont – Doherty Observation Earth Conservatory) as a direct affiliation with her

interests at Columbia University.

Cassandra has appeared on TV Shows, in Indie Films, Feature Films and on “Person Of

Interest”. She secured a role in the Guild Hall’s Labor Day Production in East Hampton, New

York where she performed in “The Night of 75 Stars”, alongside Alec Baldwin and Bob

Balaban, and she is slated for the Lead role in Kevin Sheaff’s upcoming Indie Feature Film

entitled “In The Eyes Of Love & Vengeance” as ‘Apostle Saundra’, Iris Braun in Tyriq

Mustaqyuim’s “From Sin To Salvation”, Mary Clarke in Steven Harris Anzelowitz’s “Hope

Saves Manhattan”, and Constance in Gregory Brown’s “Eastern Citrus”.

Cassandra is a graduate of the 2 – Year William Esper Conservatory. Current roles include

Tammy in Jon Dabach and Rob Margolies’ “I’d Like To Be Alone Now”, and the completion

as Johanna Monevata in The Arkansas Repertory Theatre / Robert Hupp’s “August: Osage

County” in July 2015.

Cassandra has helped to organize numerous charitable events in the New York area. She

feels deeply that it is her privilege to give back for the many gifts she has received in life,

and is active with many organizations that she supports. Among them are: Global Advisory

Board Member & Global Ambassador of Women 4 Empowerment, New York Advocacy

Board Member of the Sphinx Organization, Co- Chair of The Women’s Project, Global

Ambassador of Sunshine Family Global, Chair of The Astaire Awards, Co- Chair of the New

York Dance Alliance Foundation, Chairwoman of Fashion 4 Development’s Modavie Club,

Global Curator of Fashion 4 Development’s Online Shoppe, Producer of the First Women’s

Fashion & Film Festival, Producer of the Oberon Theater Ensemble, and Board Member of

The Tank Organization. In addition, Cassandra supports the African Rainforest

Conservancy, the Southampton Hospital, the American Cancer Society, the Hunger Project,

Refugees International, NMA: the National Meningitis Association, and the Rescue For


Prof. Rao R. Bhavani is the Director of AMMACHI Labs at Amrita University which focuses on innovating and deploying new applications in learning technologies to benefit the poor with a focus on women from socio-economically under-served communities. AMMACHI Labs does pioneering work on technology-enhanced learning and computerized vocational-education training delivered through multimedia-enriched applications and cost-effective haptic-enhanced simulators for perfecting manual skills. A central focus of Prof. Bhavani’s work has been to explore the use of skill-development as the baseline strategy, and women empowerment as the underlying vision. Her current project is a massive sanitation-awareness campaign that empowers women in rural communities to become ambassadors of change, by educating them about sanitation practices and training them to build their own toilets.


Dr. Ramesh R. Rao has been a faculty member at UC San Diego since 1984, and Director of the Qualcomm Institute, UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), since 2001. He holds the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Telecommunications and Information Technologies in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD, and is a member of the school’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

Prior to QI (Calit2), Professor Rao served as the Director of UCSD’s Center for Wireless Communications (CWC). Dr. Rao is involved on a day-to-day basis with a wide variety of research initiatives at QI. He leads several major interdisciplinary and collaborative projects and has been a PI on dozens of federal-, state-, foundation- and industry-funded grants. Dr. Rao is an IEEE Fellow and Senior Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology. He was named a Member of the UC San Diego Health System Advisory Board, a Member of the Board of the Academy of Neurosciences for Architecture, a Member of the Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center Board IT Task Force and serves as the Vice President of the San Diego Indian American Society.

Dr. Rao earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1984, after receiving his M.S. from the same institution in 1982. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1980 from the University of Madras (the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli). Dr. Rao received the distinguished alumnus award from the National Institute of Technology in 2010, the ECE Distinguished alumni award from the University of Maryland in 2012, the Professional Gordon Engineering Leadership Award from UCSD’s Gordon Engineering Leadership Center in 2010. He also received the 2011 Casa Familiar Abrazo Award for engagement with underprivileged area of San Diego.


Summer Stephan is a career prosecutor who has served as a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego County for more than 26 years, rising through the ranks to serve as Chief of the DA’s North County Branch and Chief of the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division.  In 2012, she was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney.

As a trial prosecutor, Summer tried more than 100 jury trials, including special circumstance   homicides, sexually-violent predators, child molestation, sexual assault, child abuse, school shooting, and human trafficking-related cases.

Summer holds leadership positions in public safety on the national state and local level. She serves as Chair of the County of San Diego Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Advisory Council, and section Chair for the Human Trafficking Subcommittee of the National District Attorney’s Association Women Prosecutors Committee. She also serves as Co-Chair of the California District Attorneys Association Human Trafficking Committee.

Summer spearheaded the innovative “Know the Price” campaign which focused on reducing sexual assaults of college students. She also lead the award winning The Ugly Truth Human Trafficking Campaign- The She also chairs the Task Force on Threats of Targeted Violence to our schools and community. Summer was selected as one of only two prosecutors in California to serve on Governor Schwarzenegger’s Task Force for High-Risk Sex Offenders and Sexually-Violent Predators.  

Summer is the recipient of numerous local, state and federal awards, including an FBI commendation for organized crime prosecution. She received The Outstanding Achievement award for special circumstance homicide prosecution involving the murder of an elderly woman, and Chuck Nickel Awards for professional excellence and statewide impact in public safety by the San Diego County Deputy District Attorneys Association. She is the recipient of the Prosecutor’s Award from San Diego Police Department’s homicide team. Summer was recently named Angel of Anti-Human Trafficking by the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition. She was also named “Modern Day Abolitionist” by 3Strands Global. Summer is the recipient of a 2014 commendation by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer as Commission Partner for creating positive change in the community.

Chief Deputy DA Summer Stephan is an instructor and trainer locally and across the state and nation on trial practice, mental issues in criminal justice, sex crimes and human trafficking. She is an instructor on leadership, including the National District Attorneys Association Executive Management Course: “How to go from Boss to Leader”.  She has testified as an expert witness on public safety issues in the California State Legislature.
Summer received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Davis and her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She completed the “Driving Government Performance” Executive Education Course at the Harvard, Kennedy School of Government.


Starla Lewis, CEO of C.E.L.L. consultancy firm, is a transformational speaker and life coach who has developed lectures and facilitated seminars in Cultural Diversity, Life Mastery and Women Empowerment, nationally and internationally.

Starla Lewis has 40 years of research and experience in Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, African Studies, and Oral Communication have enhanced her ability to connect diverse communities.

Starla works with corporations, organizations, and schools. She is a performer poet, author and illustrator of Sunkisses, a multicultural/ multilingual coloring book for children and adults. Starla creates an “edu-taining” environment through her experiential lectures, workshops and seminars.

In 2016 Starla will serve as curator for, “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb” exhibition at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Starla’s most recent women’s empowerment workshop series focuses on cultivating self-love, building positive relationships amongst women, overcoming racism and sexism and healing mother and daughter relationships.

Starla is a two-time recipient of the “Bob Marley Peace” award, an inductee into the Women’s Hall of Fame, and is one of KPBS’ Local Heroes. Starla is a seven-time recipient of the Mesa College “Teacher of the Year” award. Starla Lewis’ work affirms that all people are brilliant, powerful, limitless, love.


Saturday, October 22, 2016
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine
2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037 United States
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