Please click on the speaker’s name or photo for their biography.
Alessandra Morelli, from Rome Italy, is a long term UNHCR Senior Officer.
Her professional experience has been principally in high-risk environments, hit by conflict and violence. Operating in these emergency response environments she has worked closely with a wide range of UN, NATO and in particular IGO and NGO partners. She has been involved over many years in negotiating, planning and coordinating protection/assistance to IDPs, refugees and returnees with senior government authorities, local military forces, UN agencies and NGOs. Deployments include: the war in former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Georgia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Rwanda, and Indonesia during the tsunami in 2014.
Alessandra describes herself as a woman of dialogue and mediation. She is currently in Italy, and while awaiting her next assignment is collaborating with the UNHCR representation for southern Europe, in awareness campaigns and speeches on the complex theme of refugees and forgotten wars, in an effort to break the barriers and walls of fear, prejudice and fear over refugees.
These challenging times in Europe demand such an effort.
Emilio Galli-Zugaro is Chairman of Methodos S.p.A Milan, The Change Management Company. He is member of the board of the Allianz Cultural Foundation in Munich and the Giovanni Bassetti Foundation in Milan. As a Certified Business Coach he coaches C-suite people, teaches and publishes on leadership issues. His book on Communicative Leadership (“The Listening Leader”, Pearson, UK) is due in January 2017. From 1992 to 2015 he was Head of Group Communications of Allianz. He studied political science in Wuerzburg and Rome and worked at different PR levels in Rome, inter alia as head of PR of the Organization of Italian Chambers of Commerce. From 1985 until 1992 Emilio worked as a journalist and correspondent for various international media like Fortune, Wirtschaftswoche, L‘ Indipendente, Finanz und Wirtschaft, The European. Since 1996 he has been an Associate Lecturer of Corporate Communication and Crisis Communication at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.
Erwin Raphael McManus is an iconoclast known as a cultural pioneer for his integration of creativity and spirituality. Erwin is a storyteller and observer of life. His writings are an exploration of the human spirit and search for what makes us uniquely human.
His newest book, The Artisan Soul, explores life as a work of art and is a Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller, and a Gold Medal winner for the Living Now Mind book awards, the Christian Living Illumination Book Awards, and the International Latino Book Awards. He is also the author of Soul Cravings, Chasing Daylight, and other leading books on spirituality and creativity.
Erwin, a native of El Salvador, now lives in Los Angeles, California. He holds a BA in psychology from UNC Chapel Hill, a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Southeastern University.
Erwin is an artist, entrepreneur, cultural thought leader and the founder of MOSAIC, a community of faith in Los Angeles, California and has inspired the church across the world to new expressions of faith and spirituality. MOSAIC is known for its innovation, creativity, diversity, and social entrepreneurism and has been named one of the most influential and innovative churches in America.
Engaging such issues as culture, creativity, change, and leadership, Erwin is widely known as a thought-provoking communicator. His travels have taken him to over 50 countries and he has spoken to over a million people from a wide variety of audiences, including professional athletes, Wall Street investors, Universities, film studios, and conferences focused on leadership, creativity, culture, and living a wholistic life.
Erwin sees the imagination as the principle vehicle through which we create a better self, a better world, and a better future. He argues that creativity is both uniquely human and the essence of human uniqueness. Creativity, McManus contends, is a natural expression of our spirituality. When we are most fully alive we create out of love all that is good and beautiful and true. In The Artisan Soul we are called to embrace our inherent creative genius and to embrace our role in the creation of a beautiful future. Visit him online at www.erwinmcmanus.com.
Fr. Patrick Kelly, SJ, PhD is associate professor of theology and religious studies at Seattle University (US) where he teaches courses such as “The Soul of Sport: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry” and “Religion and Sport in a Global Context.”He grew up in the state of Michigan playing sports sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization and at Bishop Borgess High School, and was captain of his college football team at Grand Valley State University. He is the author of Catholic Perspectives on Sports: From Medieval to Modern Times (Paulist Press, 2012) and the editor of Youth Sport and Spirituality: Catholic Perspectives (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015). Fr. Kelly holds a B.A. in religious studies from the University of Detroit (1983), a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School (1989), a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology (1999) and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University’s School of Religion (2005) in the area of theology, ethics, and culture.
Johann Koss is an internationally recognized social entrepreneur who has been widely acknowledged for his work in promoting the use of sport and play as a tool for positive childhood development. He founded Right To Play in 2000, dedicating himself to growing it into an influential international non-government organization and a leader in the Sport for Development and Peace movement. Currently, the organization operates in more than 20 countries reaching over one million children each week, and has of 2014 had an annual budget of $48 million. The organization is supported by 650 staff worldwide and 16,000 volunteer Coaches. Johann has received a number of awards for his philanthropic service and leadership. Most recently, he received the Order of Canada from the Governor General, the order is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Before founding Right To Play, Johann was an Olympic speed skater and is considered to be one of the greatest winter Olympians of all time. In 1994 he made world headlines when he won three gold medals in the Lillehammer Olympic Games, in his home country of Norway. Johann has an undergraduate medical degree from the University of Queensland, and an Executive MBA from the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto. He has received honorary degrees from Brock University, the University of Calgary, the Vrij Universiteit Brussels, the University of Aust Agder in Norway and most recently the University of Guelph-Humber.
From an early age Jan’s passion was football. He turned professional at the age of 18, starting off in Norway followed by Austria, England and Germany, enjoying successful spells in the Premier League and the Bundesliga. He also had the honor of representing his country, racking up 20 goals in 71 caps, and notably starring in the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Following his retirement, Jan has been engaged in multiple projects. He has been involved with various projects for the Norwegian Football association, worked with the Youth Olympics at Lillehammer through the Norwegian Olympic Committee, and an integral part of the success of MTG’s charity organization known as MTG United For Peace. He firmly and passionately believes that sports can change the world, or rather more modestly at least create arenas for people to peacefully interact. The last 1,5 years he has been head of a Government Committee, engaged in consulting the Norwegian Government in regards to using sport as an integral tool in promoting integration, physical activity, and gender equality amongst youths. Additionally, Jan works as a pundit and sideline reporter for the Champions League on Norwegian television, as well as appearing on a variety of television programs around the world.
Ms. Helleland was appointed Minister of Culture on 16 December 2015. The Minister of Culture is responsible for cultural policy, church, religious and belief-related matters, media policy, sports policy, gaming and lottery regulation, and the coordination of government policy relating to the voluntary sector.
Ms Helleland joined the cabinet from the Storting (the Norwegian parliament), where she chaired the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications. From 2001 – 2005 and 2005 –2009 she served as a deputy representative. She served as elected member of the Storting from 2009.
Sir Philip Craven, MBE is a British sports leader and former athlete. He is the second and current President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC since December 2001). Craven obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography at University of Manchester in 1972.
His major posts in Paralympics/Olympics include Chairman, IOC Olympic Education Commission (since 2015); Member, IOC Olympic Channel Commission (since 2015); Board member, London 2012 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (2005-2013); Foundation board member, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) (2002 – 2011); Member, IOC Beijing 2008 Co-ordination Commission (2002-2009); Member, IOC Congress Commission (2006-2009); President and founder, International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (1989-2002); Chairman, Player Classification Committee, Basketball Section ISMWSF (1984–1988)
Nick Keller is the CEO and Founder of Beyond Sport, a global organisation that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.
With a network of more than 2,500 organisations in over 144 countries, Beyond Sport is one of the largest collisions of expertise and influence in the sporting world today. It is partnered with some of the world’s most powerful brands and is the only organisation in the world to work with each of the American sporting major leagues – MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL and WNBA – as well as the Premier League globally. During his career Nick has worked with, and consulted for, an array of blue-chip brands including Bloomberg, Barclays, P&G, ESPN, BT, IOC, Rugby Football Union, SAP and Deloitte.
Nick founded Beyond Sport in 2008 having spent his working life as an entrepreneur and ideas man within the sport industry. He is also the CEO and Founder of Sport Industry Group, which sits at the heart of the business of sport.
He is a former Advisory Board Member for Sport and Society at the World Economic Forum and has been a Consultant to the International Olympic Committee.
Special Olympics (SO) athlete Loretta Claiborne, a member of Special Olympics International (SOI) Board of Directors, is a world-class competitor and one of the most inspirational and remarkable women of our time. Claiborne has competed in 26 marathons, twice finishing in the top-100 women of the Boston Marathon with personal best time of 3:03. She won gold medals in the 1991 and 1999 Special Olympics World Games half-marathon. She holds an honorary doctorate degree from Quinnipiac University and Villanova University. She is the 1996 recipient of the ESPNESPY, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Additionally, Claiborne’s life was the basis for a Disney film titled “The Loretta Claiborne Story”. Claiborne is a passionate advocate for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. She has travelled throughout the world, including Africa where she joined former President Nelson Mandela to bring awareness of the benefits of Special Olympics and recruit new athletes as a part of Special Olympics’ global growth campaign. Loretta represented SOI at the 2012 & 2013 Clinton Global Initiative conference. Further she represented SOI at the 2013 United Nations Summit and was a panellist who spoke at the 2016 UN Summit. Loretta was honoured as a recipient of the 2012 Champions of Inclusion Award given by the National Inclusion Project.
In the Taliban controlled area of Waziristan sports for women are decried un-Islamic and girls rarely leave their homes. But she did, by pretending to be a boy. She’s now a world-renowned athlete and a flashpoint in her country’s battle over feminine identity. Her name is Maria Toorpakai Wazir, the young woman known as Genghis Khan. Maria Toorpakai is a professional squash player, currently ranked as Pakistan’s number one female player and among the top fifty players in the world. She resides and trains in Toronto, Canada, under former professional squash player Jonathon Power. Toorpakai recently released an autobiography titled A Different Kind of Daughter, and is the sister of Ayesha Gulalai, who is the first tribal and youngest woman to sit in the Pakistani Parliament.
Mel Young is recognised as one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. He is a Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum and he was named a Senior Fellow by Ashoka in 2014.
He is the President of the Homeless World Cup, which he co-founded in 2003. Under his leadership, the organisation and its partners expanded globally, working in 74 countries and touching the lives of over 100,000 homeless people per year.
Previously, Mel worked as a journalist and editor with a social conscience. He co-founded multiple publications, including The Big Issue in Scotland which is sold by homeless people and Senscot (Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland). He is the former President and Honorary President of the International Network of Street Papers, an international trade body for street papers.
He is the Chairman of Sportscotland, the Scottish national sports agency and a non-executive director on the board of Glasgow Life. He has been awarded five honorary degrees from Scottish universities.
He is a lifelong supporter of Hibernian FC and the author of GOAL! The story of the Homeless World Cup.
Timothy Shriver is Chairman of Special Olympics and in that capacity, he happily serves together with over 5.3 million Special Olympics athletes in 169 countries, all working to promote health, education, and a more unified world through the joy of sports. Before joining Special Olympics in 1996, Shriver was and remains a leading educator focusing on the social and emotional factors in learning. He co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading school reform organization in the field of social and emotional learning. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, President of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, Member of the Board of Directors for the WPP Group, LLC, and is a co-founder of Lovin’ Scoopful Ice Cream Company. Shriver earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a Master’s degree from Catholic University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Connecticut. He has produced 4 films, written for dozens of newspapers and magazines, founded an ice cream company, and been rewarded with degrees and honors which he happily accepted on behalf of others. Shriver and his wife, Linda Potter, reside in the Washington, D.C. area and have five adult children.
Scott McCune is an experienced business leader and marketing executive with a unique global perspective, a deep appreciation for diversity and an outstanding record of creating value, developing people and building enduring relationships.
Scott is the Founder of McCune Sports & Entertainment Ventures (MS&EV), LLC working with brands, intellectual property owners, media, countries and startups on leveraging the passions of sports and entertainment to create new value for their respective businesses.
Prior to founding MS&EV, Scott had a successful 30 year career with The Coca-Cola Company and Anheuser-Busch Inc. where he gained significant skills and experience building global brands, leading and inspiring diverse organizations, planning and executing complex operations, innovating new approaches to the business, negotiating and maximizing partnerships, driving productivity and managing P&Ls.
Recognized as an industry leader, Scott and his teams negotiated more than $3B in deals and transformed how Coca-Cola leverages Strategic Partnerships, like the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup into global platforms that drove the Company’s business around the world. Scott led Coca-Cola’s global strategies for Integrated Marketing, Media, Interactive, Experiential, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Licensing, Global Events and Partnerships. These strategies added significant value to the business while generating more than $2B of productivity.
Scott gained an exceptional understanding of cultures and businesses around the world by working directly in more than 50 countries and indirectly in more than 180.
Scott serves on the board of directors of TENGA Media and several non-profit organizations.
Alberto Piatti works in Eni as Executive Vice President in Responsible and Sustainable Enterprise Unit (under the Chief Services & Stakeholder Relations Officer). Under his responsibilities, he has Eni strategy and implementation for Company worldwide Community Investments Projects, Sustainability Strategic Relations, Sustainability Communication and Reporting. Alberto has extensive experience in the non profit and international cooperation sectors. From July 2013 to January 2015, he was President of AVSI Foundation NGO, starting as General Secretary (2004-2013) and Managing Director (1996). Since his appointment, he transformed the size and presence of the NGO: from 15 original projects to 100, from 12 countries to 38 (in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Asia). Foundation’s budget increased from 4.5 million to 30 million €, collaborating with Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry, UN agencies, European Commission, World Bank, IDB, USAID, Italian and multinational companies in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility. He developed the fund raising in the private sector bringing the contribution at around 50% of the budget with a network of over 30,000 small donors, and introduced a budget management and control systems certification process. Activities have been focused on urban development, vocational training, micro-entrepreneurship, health, education and family, food security, agriculture, environment. He elaborated projects and built alliances in the field of rural and agribusiness development in Lebanon, Argentina, Congo Brazzaville, Haiti, involving public institutions and international research institutes.
Andrew Parsons is a young, innovative leader in the field of sport. Although only 39 years old, he has a vast experience in sport, having led the successful delivery of the recent Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. With a degree in Communication, he has established the Brazilian Paralympic Committee as one of the leading sport organisations in the country.
His major roles in sport include vice-president of the International Paralympic Committee – IPC (since 2013); member of the Executive Committee of the IPC (2009-2013); president of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (since 2009); president of the Americas Paralympic Committee (2005-2009); member of the Executive Council and President of Paralympic Integration Committee of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (since 2014); member of the IOC Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020 (since 2013); and member of the IOC Olympic TV Channel Commission (since 2015).
Charmaine Crooks C.M, is a Member of the Order of Canada, Five-Time Olympian, Olympic silver medalist and keynote speaker/presenter.
She is President of a global strategic advisory company NGU Consultants Inc, and serves on several corporate/non-profit boards in a variety of sectors including technology, sports and health.
A current executive board member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Soccer Association, she is a former elected Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). There she was on the IOC Athlete’s Commission, founding IOC Ethics Commission, IOC New Media working group, IOC Press Commission and the IOC Culture/Education Commission. She also served on the founding boards of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and Right to Play International.
She is immediate past President of Olympians Canada, Honorary President PASO Athletes Commission and former vice president of the World Olympians Association.
She has played leading roles in many mega sport events hosted in Canada, including founding member of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games from initial bid phase through to the successful Games.
Awarded the 2006 IOC “Women and Sport Trophy” in recognition of her efforts towards supporting gender equity in sport, she is inducted into the Athletics Canada Hall of Fame, BC Sports Hall of Fame and is the first female inductee into the University of Texas at El Paso Sports Hall of Fame.
Charmaine is a global “Champion for Peace” with Peace and Sport, advocate and board member with Canucks Autism Network and most recently the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation.
In 2009, she was recognized with the Jack Diamond Award as BC’s Sports Personality of the Year and has been named one of the “Top 50 Women of Power” in Canada.
In 2016, she was awarded the UN International Decade for People of African Descent Award for volunteerism in global charities focusing on youth, women and health related matters.
Clyde Tuggle is the Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs and Communications for The Coca-Cola Company. Clyde joined The Company in 1989 and has served in many capacities, including the office of the Chairman, the Central European Division office and as the president of the Russia, Ukraine & Belarus Business Unit. In 2008, he was elected a Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, and named to the Company’s Operating Committee.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in German Studies and Economics from Hamilton College and a Master of Divinity from Yale University. He studied at the Ludwig-Maximillian Universität in Munich, Germany, and completed The Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden Business School.
Mr. Tuggle is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Agnes Scott College and a trustee of the Georgia Research Alliance. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse, the US Russia Business Council and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Goizueta Business School Advisory Board and the Yale University International Advisory Board. In 2013, Mr. Tuggle was elected a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. He is a director of the Georgia Power Company and Oxford Industries, Inc.
David Eades is a News Presenter for BBC World TV and for BBC Radio 4 and for more than two decades has covered major news and sports stories for the corporation.
David has worked as a Europe Correspondent, Ireland Correspondent and ultimately Sports News Correspondent, reporting on some of the most momentous events of our times; from the death of Princess Diana to the Good Friday Agreement.
He has covered the last three World Cups (Japan/Korea, Germany and South Africa) as well as the Olympic Games in Athens, Ryder Cups, and key Congresses at the IOC, FIFA and UEFA.
He has also worked closely with organizations such as UK Sport, the FA, LTA and several Olympic sports in their communications programmes.
David is a seasoned moderator of conferences, working in the sports, energy and communications sector. He reported and presented every day throughout the London Olympics from the Olympic Park for the BBC.
George Pyne is the founder and CEO of Bruin Sports Capital; a sports, media, marketing and branded lifestyle company. Bruin raised $250 million in 2015 and acquired 4 companies in its first 13 months of operation. Pyne also serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Courtside Ventures, a fund investing in early-stage technology and media companies that focus on sports.
Previously, Pyne was the President of IMG Sports and Entertainment and a member of its board of directors, where he drove earnings growth that resulted in the $2.4 billion sale of IMG to William Morris. Prior to IMG, Pyne served as COO of NASCAR. Under his leadership, NASCAR experienced prolific growth in attendance, television viewership, licensing and consumer products and investments.
Pyne is recognized as one of the most influential people in professional sports by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Sporting News and Sports Business Journal. He is a member of Sports Business Journal’s Hall of Fame and the NFL’s Leadership Hall of Fame and is an Advertising Age “Top 100 Marketer”. Pyne received the NCAA’s Silver Anniversary Award for lifetime achievement and is recognized by the Ivy League Football Association for lifetime achievement. Pyne currently serves on the board of the NFL.
Ivan Gazidis joined Arsenal Football Club as its Chief Executive Officer in January 2009. He serves on the Board of Arsenal Holdings PLC and is on the Board of Trustees for The Arsenal Foundation. As well as running the Club, Ivan also sits on a number of domestic and international committees including the European Club Association Executive Board, UEFA’s Professional Football Strategy Council, FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber and Player Status Committee, the Professional Game Board and the FA Council and serves as Chairman of the FA’s International Committee and the European Club Association Legal Advisory Panel.
Ivan was one of the founders of Major League Soccer in America and was employed by the League in Los Angeles and New York from 1994 – 2008. He was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the League in 2001 and also served as the President of Soccer United Marketing International from 2002 – 2006. He holds a master’s degree in Law from Oxford University and represented Oxford at football, twice playing against Cambridge University at the old Wembley Stadium in 1984 and 1985.
John K. Mara is in his 26th season with the Giants. The franchise’s President and Chief Executive Officer, he assumed the team presidency upon the passing of his father, Wellington Mara, in 2005. John Mara is the oldest of Wellington Mara’s 11 children. He joined the Giants in 1991 as General Counsel and later added the title of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
With team Chairman Steve Tisch, Mara was at the forefront of the planning and negotiations for MetLife Stadium, where the Giants began playing their home games in 2010 after 34 seasons in Giants Stadium. In addition, Mara, Steve Tisch and Jonathan Tisch, as well as Jets owner Woody Johnson, headlined the bid committee that helped convince the NFL owners to award Super Bowl XLVIII to the new stadium. Seattle and Denver played in the game on Feb. 2, 2014. The first Super Bowl to be held in a cold-weather outdoor venue was an overwhelming success, both in the week prior to the game and on game day.
Mara is the chairman of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee and he played an important role in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA. He has also served for 16 years on the influential NFL Competition Committee, which studies all aspects of the game and recommends rules and policy changes to NFL clubs, as well as the league’s Health and Safety Committee and the Committee on Workplace Diversity.
Mara has been affiliated with the Giants his entire life. The franchise was founded in 1925 by his grandfather, Tim Mara. Wellington Mara was one of the most influential, respected and beloved executives in NFL history. Since John Mara joined the organization in an official capacity, the Giants have reached the playoffs nine times, won five NFC East titles and played in three Super Bowls, winning two.
Born in New York City on Dec. 1, 1954, Mara grew up in Westchester County in White Plains and graduated from Iona Prep High School in New Rochelle. He attended Boston College where he received a B.S. degree in marketing, graduating with Cum Laude honors in 1976. Mara earned his law degree from Fordham University in 1979 and then began his career as an attorney with the New York law firm of Vedder, Price, Kaufman, Kammholz and Day, specializing in labor and employment law and litigation. Two years later he moved to the Manhattan firm of Shea & Gould, where he practiced until joining the Giants.
Mara serves on the Board of Directors of Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Harrison, N.Y. and Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York.
John and his wife, the former Denise Walter, have five children and ten grandchildren. The Mara family resides in Harrison, N.Y.
Kip Keino is a legendary figure in the history of athletics. Winner of two Olympic gold medals and two silvers, he was the first of the great international long-distance runners from Kenya, and among the first inductees to the IAAF Hall of Fame.
He was an uncoached Nandi tribesman, already 28 years old, when he scored his most famous victory in the 1500 metres at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. After competing in the 10,000 metres despite severe stomach pains caused by an infection, he won a silver medal in the 5,000 metres, trailing winner Mohamed Gammoudi of Tunisia by barely a metre. Starting in the 1500 as an underdog against American favourite Jim Ryun, he neutralized the latter’s finishing kick by building up a huge lead. The tactic worked and he won by 20 metres – still the largest margin of victory in the history of the event.
He serves as Chairman of Kenya’s National Olympic Committee. Well known for his charitable activities, he runs an organisation for helping orphans.
In August 2016, at the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Games, he was awarded the first Olympic Laurel, for outstanding service to the Olympic movement.
Kirsty Coventry is from Zimbabwe, a small landlocked country in Africa. She is Africa’s top Olympian and the top individual female Olympic swimmer in history. Recently retired from competitive swimming, Kirsty will continue her impressive success in African sport development focusing on Youth and sustainability. Her memberships on the International Olympic Committee, World Anti-Doping Agency, Zimbabwe Olympic Committee as well as various commissions and advisory boards provides the Sports Industry with decades of experience, unique ideas, and innovative solutions. A role model for Women and Children around the world Kirsty Coventry is an Olympian, a Humanitarian, an African.
Luc Robitaille – a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the highest scoring left wing in NHL history and the all-time Kings leader in goals scored – is in his 10th season as Kings President, Business Operations. He played 19 seasons in the NHL – including 14 with the Kings – and won a Stanley Cup in 2002.
In addition to being the highest scoring left wing in NHL history, a mark he set in a Kings uniform with his 1,370th point in 2004, Robitaille holds the NHL record for left wingers for most goals (668). He is also 12th in overall NHL goal scoring with 668 goals, 21st in overall NHL scoring with 1,394 points and he is the only left wing in NHL history to record eight consecutive 40-goal seasons (all with the Kings).
Robitaille has also immersed himself into the Southern California community. He is on the Board of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Ronald McDonald House, and he and his wife Stacia are the co-founders of a non-profit organization, Echoes of Hope.
Luc and Stacia have two sons, Steven and Jesse. They reside in Santa Monica, California.
Sir Martin Sorrell is the entrepreneurial founder/CEO of WPP. Under his leadership, the company has become the world’s largest communications services group, with over 200,000 people (including associates and investments) working across some 150 companies in 113 countries. He is one of the most respected global industry leaders whose views on business and the world economy are widely sought.
Sir Martin actively supports the advancement of international business schools, advising Harvard, IESE, the Indian School of Business, the China Europe International Business School and Fundação Dom Cabral Business School in Brazil, among others. Sir Martin is Chairman of IBAC London, IBAC Rome and IBAC Jerusalem.
Recent recognitions for Group: In 2016 Holding Company of the Year at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (sixth year running) and in 2016 Most Effective Holding Company in Effie Global Effectiveness Index (fifth year running). In 2016, WPP was recognised by Warc 100 as the World’s Top Holding Company (second year running).
Naseema Sparks is one of Australia’s most senior businesswomen and she has lived and worked in Australia, UK and Europe during her professional career. She has a background in management, corporate strategy, marketing and branding, digital technology and transformation. Naseema worked for over 20 years in the advertising and marketing industry, most recently as Managing Director and Global Partner of M&C Saatchi. She is currently a professional board director and serves on the boards of several public companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange as well as several emerging tech companies such as the video production platform Genero.tv During her time in advertising, and decade with M&C Saatchi, Naseema worked with many of Australia’s largest companies as well as large global businesses. Naseema, like many Australians is passionate about sport in particular the involvement of women in sport, and the contribution of sport to society and culture. She has been integrally involved in sport organisations in Australia, most recently as the Deputy Chairman of the New South Wales Thoroughbred Racing regulator. Naseema has a personal passion for organisational culture and firmly believes in the benefits of a diverse workplace, which includes gender diversity, diversity of thought, educational background, ethnicity and life experience. Naseema attended the University of Melbourne and has an MBA in business. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Advisory Board of Sport at the Service of Humanity.
Nita Ambani is an Indian educationist, philanthropist, businesswoman, and a noted proponent of sports in the country. She is the Founder Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, which has impacted the lives of over seven million people across India. Forbes lists her amongst the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia.
Nita is committed to building India as a multi-sports nation. She leads the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports & Young Champs programmes, which are aimed at revolutionizing grassroots sports in India, and are currently reaching out to over 3 million children.
Nita is the architect of the Mumbai Indians franchise of the Indian Premier League, the most-attended cricket league in the world. She is also the Founder Chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited that launched the Indian Super League, the third largest football league in the world in terms of stadium attendance.
In August 2016, she was elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee, becoming the first Indian woman to join the prestigious body. Nita provides leadership to 15 schools across the country, including the Dhirubhai Ambani International School, India’s no. 1 international school. She also heads the Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, a state-of-the-art multi-specialty tertiary care hospital in Mumbai.
Njeri Rionge is one of East Africa’s most successful serial entrepreneurs, as described by Forbes. Njeri is one of the very few women pioneers in the ICT sector on the African continent. She co-founded internet service provider Wananchi Online that has since been transformed into Wananchi Group Holdings -one of east Africa’s leading providers of pay-tv, broadband internet and VoIP services. In 2011 alone the company raised US$57.5 million in growth capital from a group of international investors. Following the success of Wananchi Online, Njeri founded Ignite Consulting & Investment Limited in 2006, an executive coaching and skills training business specializing in improving organizational effectiveness. Ignite also has a subsidiary focused on hyper spectral imaging natural resources in Kenya. In 2008 she was asked to oversee the restructuring of Telkom Kenya, a previously state owned corporation soon after the merger with France Telecom, and was instrumental in the retail brand launch of the Orange brand into the country and the iPhone 3G was her super product launch. She is a frequent speaker at MIT, UBC, and Strathmore on Entrepreneurship, Governance and Leadership.
Njeri has also held board positions with Unilever Tea (Brook Bond Kenya), Institute of Directors (IOD) Kenya, Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), Ambulance Air Rescue (AAR) Holdings, Wananchi Nominees Limited and Wananchi Online Ltd now Wananchi Group. She is a current Advisory Committee member of Sports as a Service to Humanity at the Vatican.
A cornerstone to Njeri’s success is good corporate governance and creating value and not only profits.
A. Patricia Janiot is the President of Colombianitos non-profit organization. She is one of the founders of the organization, which is dedicated to helping Colombian kids who are living in extreme poverty. With 15 years in operation, Patricia has led the growth of Colombianitos from 42 children in 2001 to more than 5000 in over 20 Colombian communities. Colombianitos has received several awards given by The Mentor Foundation, Peace and Sport and Unicef, among others.
Patricia is the senior news anchor at CNN en Español, where she has covered major news events in Latin America and the rest of the world and had interviewed several major news makers, including dozens of Latin-American and US presidents for almost 25 years. She has received several recognitions for her social and journalistic work including “Champions for Change” given by the White House and an Emmy award for Panorama Mundial, the newscast she anchors on weekdays at CNN en Español.
She is also the Director of Innovadores de América.
Sam Ramsamy was born in Durban 76 years ago in Magazine Barracks a compound for Indian Municipal workers. He was deeply involved in the campaign against the regime’s racist policies from an early age. He spent 22 years in exile and was responsible for the campaign against apartheid sport. In 1976, working closely with African sports leaders, he played a leading role which resulted in the expulsion of apartheid athletics, football and swimming from the respective International Federations.
He has been conferred with many honours including honorary doctorates from the universities of Toronto, Surrey and Leeds Metropolitan. He is the recipient of the National Order of Ikamanga. He worked for several years as a consultant to the United Nations.
Ramsamy is presently a member of the International Olympic Committee and Vice President of the International Swimming Federation.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi is the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture and President of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology. He is also a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.
As one of the most influential leaders of the Roman Curia, Cardinal Ravasi was responsible for opening the Vatican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He also initiated the Courtyard of the Gentiles project, a series of meetings that provides a structure for ongoing dialogue between believers and non-believers.
Cardinal Ravasi studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. A biblical scholar, he has written more than 50 books, articles for L’Osservatore Romano and L’Avvenire and hosts the television show Frontiers of the Spirit (Le frontier dello Spirito) on the Italian mainstream Canale 5.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 20 November 2010, of the Deaconry of San Giorgio in Velabro (Saint George in Velabro).
On behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis, Cardinal Ravasi welcomes the presence of the distinguished guests who have accepted his invitation to join as Advisory Committee Members, and is humbled and honoured by their generous contribution of ideas, time and resources to making the Vatican’s vision for Sport at the Service of Humanity: The First Global Conference on Faith & Sport, a reality in 2016.
HRH Prince Feisal is an avid sportsman and sport administrator. Under his leadership as President of the Jordanian Olympic Committee, he transformed the structure of sports in Jordan. He founded Generations for Peace, a leading global not-for-profit peace building organization that empowers volunteer youth leaders to promote tolerance in communities through sport, art, advocacy and dialogue. He is also currently Chairman of Motor Sport Executive Council and President of the Jordanian Gliding Club. HRH Prince Feisal is a Lieutenant General with the Royal Jordanian Air Force and Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Air Force Affairs and Information Technology. He has received multiple awards and distinctions, and holds various key positions in Jordan and internationally. Prince Feisal has an electronic engineering degree from Brown University and a Masters in Management from the London Business School.
On Monday August 3, 2015, Canadian Keith Pelley became the new Chief Executive of The European Tour, succeeding George O’Grady. Pelley became only the fourth CEO in the Tour’s history following John Jacobs, Ken Schofield and O’Grady.
Prior to joining The European Tour, Pelley was President of Rogers Media, who he joined in 2010 and where he was responsible for leading the overall operations of the company’s diverse portfolio, including Television, Radio, Publishing, Digital Media, The Shopping Channel, subscription-based content services, Toronto Blue Jays, and Rogers Centre. Under Pelley’s leadership, Rogers Media operates as a fully integrated media company, delivering world-class content and leveraging synergies and opportunities across all lines of business.
A passionate sports advocate, Pelley has 30 years of experience in the sports and media industries. Prior to joining Rogers Media, Pelley was Executive Vice-President of Strategic Planning at CTVglobemedia and President of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, where he led Rogers’s and CTV’s unprecedented coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Under Pelley’s vision and guidance, the Consortium delivered the Top 5 most-watched events in Canadian television history, with 99 per cent of the Canadian population experiencing the Games through one of the Consortium’s media platforms. The Consortium won a record seven Gemini Awards for its cross-platform coverage of Vancouver 2010, including Best Live Sporting Event.
Pelley was President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club (2003 to 2007), where under his leadership, the club rose in popularity with average home-game attendance more than tripling in just four years. In his first full year with the club, Pelley helped guide the Argos to the 2004 Grey Cup title.
Pelley began his career in 1984 as an on-air personality at OMNI Television, which is now part of the Rogers Media suite of assets. He joined TSN in 1986, where he worked for 16 years in various roles of increasing responsibility. Pelley began as an Editorial Assistant in the newsroom and worked his way up to Senior News Producer and Event Producer for CFL, curling, tennis and baseball. In 1994, Pelley left TSN for FOX, where he worked as a game producer for NFL, NFL Europe, NHL, and MLB. He returned to TSN in 1997 as Senior Vice-President of Programming & Production and was appointed President in 2001, where he remained until 2003 before joining the Argonauts.
Pelley is a graduate of Ryerson University with a B.A. in Radio and Television Arts, and also received an ATCL diploma from Trinity College in London, England.
Valerie B. “Val” Ackerman is the commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference, a premier intercollegiate athletics conference in the U.S. She was the founding President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), where she helped establish the league as one of the premier women’s sports organizations in the world. She was the President of USA Basketball from 2005-2008 and served two terms (2006-14) as the U.S. representative for men’s and women’s basketball to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). In 2008, she received a Women of Distinction diploma from the IOC and the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. She has worked as a consultant, columnist and adjunct university professor and is known as a passionate advocate for increased leadership representation for women in the sports world.
Former New Zealand All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick is one of the giants of international rugby. His extraordinary international career began with his debut for the All Blacks in 1986 against France. He was appointed captain of the All Blacks in 1992 and played in 121 international matches, including 92 Test matches.
One of the most durable Rugby Union players of all time, Sean Fitzpatrick was also one of the very best. The abrasive hooker always led by example and commanded utmost respect on the field of play. He was well built for a hooker, standing 1.82 metres tall and weighing 233 pounds, but he was remarkably mobile and extremely skillful in both tight and loose play. Possessing excellent handling skills, he made a habit of popping up in the right place at the right time.
He led New Zealand to a series win over the touring British Lions in 1993 and also led the All Blacks to a clean sweep in the first Tri-Nations tournament in 1996. He became the first New Zealander to captain a Test series win in South Africa. A founding member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, Fitzpatrick was elected as Chairman of the Academy by his fellow Members in 2016.
Stephane Jaquemet was appointed Regional Representative for Southern Europe of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as of April 2016.
Mr. Jaquemet has been working with UNHCR for 24 years, starting in 1992 in Croatia as Head of Operations.
He continued his career in Togo serving as Head of Emergency Operations and then as Senior Protection Officer. From 1997 to 2002, he held a number of senior positions in the Division of International Protection at UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva.
In 2002, Mr Jaquemet moved to Indonesia and took the position of Deputy Regional Representative. In 2005, he was appointed as Representative and successfully served as such in Lebanon, Nepal, Burkina Faso and Colombia.
Mr Jaquemet is a Swiss national and studied law at Lausanne University and was called to the Swiss Bar in 1981. He then successfully completed his master’s degree in criminology at the University of Paris.
He is married and has one daughter.
From a humble background to an international sports icon, Tegla singles out humility, patience, hard work, team spirit and mercies from the Almighty as the principle ingredients of such a success story. She is perhaps unrivaled international sports figure of all time with a number of international athletics medals, records and honours in her belt.
Tegla Loroupe, born in 1973 in West Pokot County, is a Three-time World Half-marathon Champion, Winner and Two-Time world record holder in the New York Marathon. In 2006, she was named the UN Athlete for Sports & Peace Ambassador, by the Secretary General Kofi Annan and many other Ambassadorial roles followed. 2016, she was named by the IOC Executive Board the Chief De Mission for the 1st ever Refugee Olympic Team to participate in the Olympic Games.
Her own experiences make her a heroine and role model for girls and women. She is vociferous about the issues they face and is a strong advocate for change. She has set up the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation.
Argentinian rugby legend Hugo Porta is one of the greatest Argentinean rugby players in history and he was arguably the best fly-half in the world during the peak years of his career. He, more than anyone else, attracted the attention of the world to rugby on the South American continent. His superlative kicking skills were credited as being the single major factor in the emergence of Argentina as a power in world rugby. During his career Porta was Argentina’s leader and their inspiration.
Porta played his club rugby for Banco Nación in Buenos Aires. His natural game was that of an artistic, running fly-half but he was equally adept at playing the kicking game when required. He made his international debut in 1971 and amassed 530 points for the Pumas during 57 matches spanning almost 20 years. Among his glittering array of achievements on the field, he kicked all 21 points in the Pumas’ famous draw with the All Blacks in 1985. He became a founder member of the Laureus World Sports Academy in 2000 and is currently President of the Laureus Foundation in Argentina.
Salvatori has been Chairman of Allianz S.p.A since May 2012, and Chairman of Lazard Italy since June 2010. He is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù, the Riso Gallo S.p.A. and the Christian Union of Business Executives – Milan. Salvatori has many years of experience in the banking industry where he has held senior executive roles in major Italian and foreign institutions such as Central Director of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, CEO of Banco Ambrosiano Veneto, Cariplo and Banca Intesa. He was also Chairman of Unicredit, Vice Chairman of Mediobanca, Comit, Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza, Board Member of Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank AG in Monaco, as well as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bank Austria-Creditanstalt in Vienna. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Bologna, graduating in Banking at the University of Siena, with Doctor Honoris Causa in Political Science from the University of Macerata.