Speakers Bios

We invite you to hear perspectives on innovation and technology from business leaders, innovators and some of the leading thinkers of our time. Please check back here for updates to our agenda.

Steven Johnson
Best-selling author

Steven Johnson is the best-selling author of seven books on the intersection of science, technology and personal experience. His writings have influenced everything from the way political campaigns use the Internet, to cutting-edge ideas in urban planning, to the battle against 21st-century terrorism. His new book, Where Good Ideas Come From: the Natural History of Innovation, answers the question: What kind of environment fosters the development of good ideas? Steven won the Newhouse School fourth annual Mirror Awards for his TIME magazine cover article “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live”. He has also co-created three influential web sites: the pioneering online magazine FEED, the Webby-Award-winning community site,, and the hyperlocal media site, which was recently acquired by AOL. He is named the 2009 Hearst New Media Professional-in-Residence at The Journalism School Columbia University. Steven has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and many other periodicals. He’s appeared on The Charlie Rose Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Astro Teller
Engineering Director, Google

Dr. Astro Teller is currently an Engineering Director at Google, working to help the company explore new potential business areas. Astro was the co-founding CEO and a current Director of Cerebellum Capital, Inc, a hedge fund management firm whose investments are continuously designed, executed, and improved by a software system based on techniques from statistical machine learning. Astro was also the co-founding CEO and a current Director of BodyMedia, Inc, a leading wearable body monitoring company. Prior to starting BodyMedia, Dr. Teller was co-founder and CEO of SANDbOX AD, an advanced development technology company. Before his tenure as a business executive, Dr. Teller taught at Stanford University and was an engineer and researcher for Phoenix Laser Technologies, Stanford's Center for Integrated Systems, and The Carnegie Group Incorporated. Dr. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Masters of Science in symbolic and heuristic computation, also from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a recipient of the Hertz fellowship. As a respected scientist and seasoned entrepreneur, Teller has successfully created and grown five companies and holds numerous U.S. patents related to his work in hardware and software technology. Astro is also a novelist and a screenwriter. And he makes a mean margarita.

Vinton G. Cerf
Vice President & Chief Internet Evangelist

Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for the company. Previously he served at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, at DARPA and as a member of the Stanford University faculty. Vint co-invented the architecture and basic protocols of the Internet. He has received the U.S. National Medal of Technology, ACM Turing award, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Japan Prize. He served as chairman of the board of ICANN and as founding president of the Internet Society. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum, the National Academy of Engineering and a member of the American Philosophical Society. Vint holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA. He has received eighteen honorary degrees.

Amit Singh
Vice President, Enterprise, Google

Amit Singh leads Google’s Enterprise business. He joined Google in 2010 after nearly 20 years at Oracle in different areas of the business, including product development, channel management, sales, strategy and acquisitions. In his most recent role, as group vice president, he led the Application Strategy Group, responsible for applications acquisitions, shared services and product strategy for North American Sales. He also ran sales and operations for some of the fastest growing acquisitions at Oracle including Demantra, G-Log, Agile, Logical Apps and Peoplesoft HR. Amit spent a decade in various sales positions managing Applications sales organizations in the Northeast and Midwest. He began his Oracle career in product development, designing and building some of the first Oracle Applications, before moving into channel management. Amit is a graduate of Rensselaer with a master’s degree in industrial and management engineering and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Delhi College of Engineering.

Dave Girouard
Vice President, Product Management, Google

Dave manages Google's cloud applications for consumers, schools and businesses, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and more. He built Google's cloud apps business worldwide, including product development, sales, marketing, and customer support. Dave was previously SVP of products & marketing at Virage, a pioneer in video search technology. He got started in Silicon Valley as a Product Manager at Apple. Prior to that, Dave was an associate in Booz Allen's Information Technology practice in San Francisco. He began his career in software development with the Boston office of Accenture.

Dave graduated from Dartmouth College with an AB in Engineering Sciences and a BE in Computer Engineering. He also received an MBA from the University of Michigan with High Distinction.

Jonathan Zittrain
Professor, Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education.

He performed the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia, and now as part of the OpenNet Initiative he has co-edited a series of studies of Internet filtering by national governments, including "Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering," and "Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace."

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society, the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Board of Advisors for Scientific American. His book "The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It" is available from Yale University Press and Penguin UK - and under a Creative Commons license. Papers may be found at

Jonathan Rochelle
Director, Product Management, Google

Jonathan Rochelle is director of product management for Google Docs and Sites. He was co-founder and co-owner of 2Web Technologies (internet software products) and ITK Solutions (technology consulting services) prior to joining Google. Jonathan joined Google in 2005 as part of the acquisition of 2Web Technologies, a company he co-founded and grew to profitability as the CEO. As a Group Product Manager at Google, he successfully launched the Google Spreadsheets product in June 2006, which we expanded to become Google Docs & Spreadsheets in October, 2006. He is currently Google Product Manager of the Collaborative segment of Google Apps, including Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Apps Script, working out of our NYC office. Prior to joining Google, he co-founded and managed two, companies which employed approximately 35 people and delivered technology solutions to top tier investment banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions. Both companies were successfully sold to larger technology companies in 2005. Jonathan has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from State University of New York at Albany.

Ben Fried
CIO, Google

Ben is Chief Information Officer, overseeing the company's global technology systems. His extensive hands-on experience in technology includes stints as a dBASE II programmer, front-line support manager, Macintosh developer, Windows 1.0 programmer, and Unix systems programmer. Prior to joining Google, he spent more than 13 years in Morgan Stanley's technology department, where he rose to the level of Managing Director. During his time there, he led teams responsible for software development technology, web and electronic commerce technologies and operations, and technologies for knowledge workers. Ben earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from Columbia University.

Kate Swanborg
Head of Enterprise Marketing, DreamWorks Animation

Kate Swanborg is the Head of Enterprise Marketing for DreamWorks Animation where she is responsible for developing and managing the strategic direction of business-to-business marketing efforts on behalf of DreamWorks Animation and the studio’s strategic technology partners. In her role, Kate promotes and supports DreamWorks Animation’s dedication to leveraging innovative technologies that enable the studio’s filmmakers and artists. Previously, over the past 14 years with DreamWorks Animation, Kate served as a Senior Technology Executive where she collaborated with executive leadership, senior technology managers and film producers to develop strategies and action plans for producing animated feature films including Kung Fu Panda 2, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and the Academy Award Winning Shrek. Kate also managed the integration of technology solutions for production, including major initiatives such as stereoscopic 3D and a full re-architecture of the studio’s proprietary tool sets.

Bryson Koehler
SVP, Global Revenue & Guest Technology, IHG

Bryson leads a global team of 425 business strategists and technologists who are responsible for IHG’s technology architecture, strategy, test engineering, and IHG’s revenue & distribution systems. His group is accountable for the design, development and business success of the company’s Central Reservations System, Yield/Revenue Management platform, all web sites, contact centers, 3rd party distribution partnerships, property management systems and guest facing in hotel technology platforms. The revenue & distribution systems allow IHG to manage all inventory, pricing, yielding, and selling of hotel rooms around the world through the Internet, hundreds of 3rd party distribution technology partners, and the company’s 12 global contact centers. The guest technology systems enable IHG’s brands to provide leading differentiations that create great hotels that guests love and brands that guests prefer.

Michael O'Brien
CIO, Journal Communications

Michael O'Brien was named Vice President Information Technology for Journal Communications, Inc. in April 2010. Journal is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was founded in 1882. Journal is a diversified media company with operations in publishing (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), radio (33 stations), television broadcasting (13 TV stations) and interactive media (over 100 www sites). Michael has over 28 years of progressive business systems and operational process experience. Prior to Journal, he served as CIO and VP Information Technologies for a number of public and private companies, in the healthcare and professional services sectors. Michael received a Bachelor of Science degree, Computer Science from Marquette University and a Master of Science degree, Computer Science from Brigham Young University.

Bradley Horowitz
Vice President, Product Management, Google

Bradley Horowitz is vice president of product for Google's social products including Gmail, Blogger, Picasa and the recently launched Google+ project. He has also led product for Google's consumer application division which includes Gmail, Gtalk, Google Voice, Google Reader and Calendar. Before joining Google in February 2008, Horowitz was Yahoo's vice president of Advanced Development where he drove the acquisitions of Flickr and MyBlogLog, launched the Brickhouse incubator and developed new products like Yahoo! Pipes. Previously, he was co-founder and CTO of Virage, where he oversaw the technical direction of the company from its founding through its IPO and eventual acquisition by Autonomy. Bradley has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree in media science from the MIT Media Lab.

Christine Atkins
Senior Vice President, Group IT, Ahold

Christine Atkins is Senior Vice President, Information Technology, for Royal Ahold, an international retailing group based in the Netherlands with major brands in Europe and the United States, and revenues of €30B. Christine coordinates the global IT agenda for Ahold with a budget of €400M supporting worldwide operations. Prior to joining Ahold in 2009, Christine served as CIO Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for Aon Corporation and CIO for Aon Underwriting Managers in Chicago. During her 30-year career she has held CIO roles and IT leadership positions in multiple industries. She holds seven technology patents in rights management. Christine and her husband live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Benjamin Treynor
Vice President, Engineering, Google

Ben joined Google as Site Reliability Tsar in 2003. In that role he has led the development and operations of Google's production software infrastructure, network, and major user-facing services. Earlier, Ben held engineering management roles at Seven Networks as Vice President of Engineering, at E.piphany as an engineering director, and at Versant Object Technology, in roles ranging from individual contributor to Vice President of R&D. Ben started his career at Oracle at age 17 as a software engineer. Ben holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University, and an MBA from the University of California- Berkeley Haas School of Business.