Keynote Speakers

Morning Keynote Speaker
Ambassador Melanne Verveer

In 2009, President Obama nominated Melanne Verveer to be the first ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the  Department of State. Ambassador Verveer spent the past four years working with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to coordinate foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. In such capacity, she worked to mobilize concrete support for women’s political and economic empowerment through public-private partnerships as well by working to fully integrate women’s participation and rights into U.S. foreign policy.

Today she is the Director of Georgetown University’s newly-established Institute for Women, Peace and Security. The Institute seeks to enhance national and global security by documenting the crucial role women play in peace-building and security through research and scholarship and by engaging global leaders from government, civil society and the  private sector in conversations on the urgent issues of out times.

Ambassador Verveer is also the founding partner of Seneca Point Global, the global women strategy firm. SPG partners with leading companies and institutions to design, implement and measure integrated strategies that focus on women and girls and drive sustainable results – whether social, economic or both.

Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as the 2013 Humanitas visiting professor at Cambridge University. She holds several honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Evening Keynote Speaker
Cathy Benko

Cathy Benko is vice chairman and managing principal, Deloitte LLP. Recently appointed Deloitte Consulting LLP’s talent game-changer, Cathy is a leader in creating innovative solutions that address the radical shifts in today’s workplace. Her signature corporate lattice™ framework is internationally recognized as a leading-edge model for how careers are built, work gets done and organizational collaboration is fostered in the 21st century.

Recognizing the importance of societal impact in corporate and NGO value creation, Cathy was also appointed leader of Deloitte’s corporate citizenship efforts. These combined roles bring together skills honed through prior experiences, including chief talent officer; managing principal of brand, communications and community; high technology sector leader; global e-business leader, lead client service partner; and director of Deloitte’s award-winning Women’s Initiative.

Cathy is a U.S. patent holder and bestselling co-author of a series of books published by Harvard Press: The Corporate Lattice (2010), Mass Career Customization (2007) and Connecting the Dots (2003). These works have been translated into multiple languages, and her byline appears in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Time, among others. She is a frequent speaker for corporate, nonprofit and public sector audiences on talent, workplace transformation and the role of business in accelerating societal innovation.

Cathy has received numerous distinctions for her professional achievements, including Consulting magazine’s “25 Most Influential Consultants” and “Frontline Leader” recognitions as well as the publication’s inaugural Leadership Award for Women Leaders in Consulting. She has also been honored by the YWCA, Women in Technology International (WITI) and the San Francisco Business Times, which inducted her into its Forever Influential Honor Roll for exceptional women leaders.
Cathy earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from Ramapo College of New Jersey, which recently recognized her with its Distinguished Citizenship Award. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two children, although she remains a “Jersey Girl” at heart. A native of Nutley, NJ, she was recently inducted into the township’s Hall of Fame.

Lunchtime Keynote Speaker
Suzanne Clark, Chief Executive Officer

Suzanne Clark is the Chief Executive Officer of Potomac Research Group. Clark established PRG in 2008 as part of David Bradley’s Atlantic Media Company, served as its only President while heading the National Journal, and acquired the company in early 2010. Previously, Clark served as President of the National Journal Group, Washington’s premier provider of information, news and analysis for the political and policy communities, publishing National Journal, CongressDaily, The Hotline, Global Security Newswire and The Almanac of American Politics.

Before joining NJG, Clark was Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce, overseeing its day-to-day operations, and directing its Management Committee and its Communications and Federation Relations departments. Clark spent nine years at the Chamber, during which she also served as Managing Director of its public policy think tank, the National Chamber Foundation, and as President of the Business Civic Leadership Center, a governance and educational resource to the business community.

Recently described by Washingtonian magazine as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington,” Clark brings her energies to a number of civic activities, sitting on the board of So Others Might Eat (SOME) and on the public relations and marketing committee of Wolf Trap, the only national park dedicated to the performing arts. Clark also serves as the President of the Washington, DC Women’s Forum. Clark earned her BA, magna cum laude, in liberal studies, and her MBA from Georgetown University. She lives in Virginia, with her husband and their daughter.