President, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Timothy D. Sands is the 16th president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, joining the university in June of 2014. A scientist, educator, and inventor, he has dedicated much of his career to advancing the impact of research and innovation in public education. As president, he has engaged the university community in a visionary plan to advance Virginia Tech’s role as a global land-grant institution, confronting the commonwealth’s, the country’s, and the world’s most challenging problems. The initiative, called “Beyond Boundaries,” seeks to define Virginia Tech’s role a generation into the future and align the educational experience with the needs and opportunities that will be created by changing world economies and the evolving landscape of higher education. In collaboration with the provost and academic leadership, President Sands has initiated foundational projects across the university to align Virginia Tech’s trajectory with the Beyond Boundaries vision. For example, Destination Areas are thematic focus areas that leverage the university’s signature strengths, attract talent and generate creative energy that extends across the disciplines.
The university’s residential campus in Blacksburg is being reimagined to support a modern land-grant mission and provide robust and adaptable infrastructure for continued growth in transformational research and community engagement. Virginia Tech Carilion’s rapidly developing Health Science and Technology campus in Roanoke is catalyzing economic opportunity in the Blacksburg-Roanoke region and enhancing NIH-funded research. In 2018, President Sands announced the creation of a 1-million-square-foot Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia to support the commonwealth’s economy with leading programs in computer science, software engineering, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The Innovation Campus was the centerpiece of the education proposal that was a critical factor in Amazon’s decision to locate a new east coast headquarters in Arlington, VA. In 2019, Virginia Tech announced a partnership with Children’s National Hospital to develop a biomedical research
facility at the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus in Washington, D.C.
The Beyond Boundaries vision has evolved into a new strategic plan for the university, The Virginia Tech Difference, Advancing Beyond Boundaries. Developed in partnership with the campus community, the plan establishes four strategic priorities: Advancing Regional, National, and Global Impact, Elevating the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) Difference, Being a Destination for Talent, and Ensuring Institutional Excellence. The plan supports Virginia Tech’s ability to anticipate and adaptively respond to changing landscapes in education, industry, and outreach.
Throughout his tenure at Virginia Tech, President Sands has championed InclusiveVT, a program he launched to provide leadership, collaboration, guidance, and resources to support and accelerate the implementation of inclusion and diversity goals throughout the university community. InclusiveVT supports the imperative of inclusion and diversity as key components of a university ecosystem rich in opportunities for experiential learning, cross disciplinary engagement, and the development of cultural awareness and empathy. President Sands’ vision for Virginia Tech embraces the university’s heritage of service and community and its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). Virginia Tech students will graduate with disciplinary mastery, technology literacy, cultural competency, resilience, empathy for others, and the passions and strengths needed for a life and career of impactful service to humanity. Before coming to Virginia Tech, President Sands served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He was acting president during the summer and fall of 2012, before Mitchell E. Daniels became the 12th president of Purdue.
He earned a bachelor's degree with highest honors in engineering physics and a master's degree and doctorate in materials science from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Purdue faculty in 2002 as the Basil S. Turner Professor of Engineering in the schools of Materials Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prior to becoming provost, he served as the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue's Discovery
From 1993 to 2002, President Sands was a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and before that, he performed research and directed research groups at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) in Red Bank, New Jersey. Throughout his career, he has participated in and led research teams and academic programs that have been
characterized by open collaboration across a wide array of disciplines. He has published more than 250 refereed papers and conference proceedings and has been granted 21 patents in electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices. His recent research efforts have been directed toward the design and development of novel nanocomposite materials for environmentally friendly and cost-effective solid-state lighting, direct conversion of heat to electrical power and thermoelectric refrigeration. He holds faculty appointments in the Bradley
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering, with research interests in microelectronics, optoelectronics, and nanotechnology. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Materials Research Society, and the National Academy of Inventors, and a member of the National Council for Expanding American Innovation and the Economic Club of
Washington, D.C. President Sands serves on the Board of Directors for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, the Center for Innovative Technology, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Business Higher Education Forum, and is Chair of the Board for the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the National Intelligence University. Recent awards and honors include The Edward Bouchet Legacy Award, the National GEM Consortium’s Academic Leadership Award, the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network’s Leadership Impact Award, and the RoanokeBlacksburg Technology Council’s Regional Leadership Award.
President Sands is joined at Virginia Tech by his wife, Dr. Laura Sands, a professor of gerontology in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech. All four of their children graduated from Purdue and are proud members of the Virginia Tech community. Follow President Sands on Twitter and Instagram at @VTSandsman.
President, George Mason University
Gregory Washington became the eighth president of George Mason University on July 1, 2020. He is the former dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and former interim dean of the College of Engineering at Ohio State University.
In his seven years at UCI, Washington expanded undergraduate and graduate enrollment in the engineering school and recruited and hired one of the most diverse engineering faculty cohorts in the country. In addition, he established the University of California’s first student makerspace and launched the OC STEM Initiative, one of the nation’s first STEM ecosystems, in Orange County, California.
Washington created new graduate and undergraduate programs with the UCI business and humanities schools and led the development of the Horiba Institute for Mobility and Connectivity to advance next-generation advanced mobility systems.
The first African American dean of engineering at any University of California campus, and the first African American president at Mason, Washington established an Office of Access and Inclusion at UCI to enhance campus life for all students and chaired the Task Force on Ensuring a Positive Climate for the Campus’ Black Community.
Washington began his academic career in 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State University and served as interim dean of the engineering school from 2008 to 2011. Washington received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Harrison Faculty Award for Excellence in Engineering Education, and the Lumley Research Award. He also received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.
A first-generation college graduate, Washington is a New York City native. He earned three degrees in mechanical engineering, including his PhD, at North Carolina State University.
CEO, Harmonia Holdings Group
Pallabi Saboo is the CEO for Harmonia Holdings Group, LLC. She has an extensive track record of building and operating successful technology and technology related services companies. She acquired Harmonia in 2006 and since then has grown it aggressively as it seeks to develop specialized technologies and technology-enabled services geared toward the federal and commercial sectors. She is an entrepreneur with a unique understanding of technology as well as business and strategic issues. Among her many honors, Pallabi serves on the boards of Asian American Chamber of Commerce, TiE DC, Army Science Board (that advises the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Army, and Chief of Staff of Army on scientific and technological matters) and she serves on NVTCs executive circle. Pallabi also has served for 8 years on the Virginia Governor’s Board for Small Business Financing Authority, an honor she has uniquely held under both Democratic and Republican governors. Some recognitions Pallabi has been fortunate enough to enjoy include: being named one of the top twenty-five female CEOs in DELMARVA (2008), Smart 100 CEOs (2009, 2010), Technical Trailblazer FederalContractor (2011), Featured in Forbes (2013), Federal 100 (2014), Entrepreneur of the Year finalist (2015), Asian Business Leader of the year (2020), and Women Who Mean Business (Washington Business Journal 2020) Under her leadership, Harmonia has enjoyed many honors as well: Top 12 Companies to Watch in VA (2011), Fast 50 Asian American Companies (2013), Inc 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies (2009-2019), Virginia’s Fantastic 50 Companies (2019, 2020), Northern Virginia Technology Council Tech 100 company (2019), and awarded the prestigious Tibbett’s award for innovative technologies commercialization in the White House (2013). Pallabi is an electronics engineer and has an MBA, with a specialization in marketing, from Virginia Tech, where she was awarded a Cunningham Fellowship. The University has also honored her as a Lifetime Golden Hokie, a distinguished alumnus, and a member of the Ut Prosim Society. A philanthropist, Pallabi is a Paul Harris Fellow as well as a member of Arch Klumph Society of highest donors of the Rotary Foundation supporting social causes worldwide. Pallabi also supports the U.S. Veterans employment and training services via NVTC and Children’s’ Education via Pratham.
Dean of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
VIJAY KUMAR is the Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering with appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor’s of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1987. He has been on the Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987.
In addition to holding many administrative positions at Penn, Kumar has served as the assistant director of robotics and cyber physical systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (2012 – 2013). His lab has founded many startups in robotics, and he is the founder of Exyn Technologies. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2013 and the American Philosophical Society in 2018.
Director, Center for Financial Markets and Policy, Georgetown University
Dr. Aggarwal specializes in domestic and global financial markets; market regulation, short term funding markets; equity and corporate bond markets; small business financing; capital raising; ETFs; corporate governance including proxy voting, executive compensation, and director elections; role of institutional investors; FinTech and financial inclusion; and ESG attributes of firms.
She combines rigorous data-driven scholarship with deep knowledge of the institutional workings and regulation of financial markets. She is a renowned scholar, her work is very well-cited, and has served on the editorial boards of several finance journals. Her research has received numerous awards.
Selected Appointments/Roles: Until recently, Dr. Aggarwal was the Vice Provost for Faculty at Georgetown University, responsible for building a diverse and world-class faculty. She managed all aspects of faculty affairs for 2000+ faculty. This included hiring, merit and compensation, promotion and tenure, faculty development, and fiscal planning. She deeply cares about diversity and inequity, and played a leading role on the Presidential Task Force on Gender Equity.
As the Interim Dean of the business school, she was responsible for the school’s strategy, fund raising, programs, budget, operations, and stakeholder engagement including faculty, staff, students, leadership of the university, board, alumni, and donors.
She has served on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Financing and Capital; Fulbright Scholar to Brazil; Distinguished Scholar at the Reserve Bank of India’s CAFRAL; Senior Research Scholar at the SEC; Visiting Scholar at the IMF; and Visiting Professor of Finance at MIT's Sloan School of Management.
Corporate Boards: Cohen & Steers (NYSE:CNS); New York Life Investment Management IndexIQ; Nuveen Churchill Direct Lending. These board positions at asset management firms give her real-time insights into the functioning of the markets in the areas of real assets, infrastructure, fixed income, equity, and ETFs.
Awards: Named among "Outstanding Faculty" in the Business Week Guide to the Best Business Schools, and voted an outstanding professor by students. Honored with the Allan N. Nash Distinguished Doctoral Graduate Award by University of Maryland, and the Distinguished Alumni Award, BITS Pilani, India.
Founder and CEO of edX and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT
Anant Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of edX and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Prof. Anant won the Maurice Wilkes prize for computer architecture, and MIT's Smullin and Jamieson prizes for teaching. He is also the 2016 recipient of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize for Higher Education, which recognized his work in advancing the MOOC movement. As a CEO of a global nonprofit, Anant is helping to transform traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access. edX is reimagining the possibilities of education, providing the highest-quality, stackable learning experiences including the groundbreaking MicroMasters® programs. Additionally, he is a recipient of the Padma Shri award from the President of India and was named the Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate in 2018.
Managing Partner of Bonsal Capital
Frank Bonsal III is a pioneer in the fields of education innovation, technology, and investment and has demonstrated sustained empathy for the education end user. As Managing Partner of Bonsal Capital, former General Partner of New Markets Venture Partners, and angel investor, his direct investment experience includes 30 education companies, more than half of which have been realized with tens of millions positively impacted; he is or was a board director or observer in ten of these companies. From a startup ecosystem perspective, Bonsal's efforts to catalyze Towson University’s incubator created the Capital Region’s largest and most dedicated support networks for education entrepreneurs and companies and availed over $150 million in economic impact.
Bonsal mentors or advises several education and entrepreneurship organizations and is a frequent panelist and speaker. He is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Digital Harbor Foundation and previously served as trustee, director, or member of the Center for Education Reform, Garrison Forest School, Gilman School, Holderness School, the Irvine Nature Center, Stevenson University's President's Advisory Council and Vanderbilt University's Peabody College Alumni Board, which he chaired. He began his career as teacher and coach in U.S. middle and high school settings and with indelible summer experiences in Japan and the United Kingdom.
Bonsal received his M.Ed. and M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. with honors from the University of New Hampshire. He is married with three children and resides in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
CEO and President at Array Information Technology, Inc.
Sumeet Shrivastava is an accomplished executive and proven business leader with more than two decades of experience in the government IT industry. As President and CEO of ARRAY, he provides overall corporate leadership for the company’s growth strategy, which has included a successful graduation from the 8(a) program and recently lead a management buyout of ARRAY.
Prior to ARRAY, Sumeet was SVP for Public Sector at Keane (now NTT Data) and also spent time as the SVP for North American Commercial Sales and Marketing. As EVP and COO of ANSTEC, a Government IT contractor, he architected the company’s sale to Keane. Sumeet’s experience has traversed the full range of early-stage small business to a competitive, mid-tier contractor, including on both sides of M&A transactions. Sumeet has been committed to his alma mater, George Mason University (MBA ’94), and the regional community throughout his career. He serves on the GMU Foundation Board of Trustees, is the President of Mason’s Alumni Association, and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Business School. Sumeet also sits on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Science Center.