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Our Distinguished Speakers

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Dr. Emery Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

Top American statistician, neuroscientist and anesthesiologist. He is Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a practicing anesthesiologist at MGH. He won prestigious Carnegie Mellon's Dickinson Prize in Science in 2018. Dr. Brown's outstanding achievements have earned him the distinction of being one of only 19 people elected to all three branches of the National Academies of Science.


Attorney  J. W. Carney, Jr.

A criminal defense attorney in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts. He began as a public defender in Boston for 5 years, was a prosecutor in Middlesex County for the next 5 years, and has been in private practice for the past 32 years. Jay has been recognized since 1998 in The Best Lawyers in America. He has served on the Judicial Nominating Commission under five governors, and received an award as a Hero Standing Strong for representing people with disabilities. Jay has enthusiastically coached children in three sports, exhibited minimal talent acting in four Shakespeare plays, and tried more high-profile cases, including James “Whitey” Bulger, than any other lawyer in Massachusetts. He is married to his bride of 40 years, Joy Rosen, who is a Vice-President at Mass. General Hospital, and they have two children, Julia and Nat, who always take the roads less travelled.

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Dr. John Cohn

 IBM Fellow in the MIT-IBM Watson AI Research Group based in Cambridge, MA. John earned a BSEE from MIT (’81) and a Ph.D in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (‘91)  where he was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2014. John has authored more than 30 technical papers, contributed to four books and has ~120 worldwide patents. In 2005 John was elected a Fellow of the IEEE. John  is active in education issues at a local, state and national level.  In 2019 John was awarded the  IEEE CAS John Choma Education award for his efforts at STEM promotion. He is so passionate about promoting STEM careers  that he spent 59 days living and inventing in an abandoned steel mill as part of Discovery Channel's technical survival show "The Colony".  John lives with his family  in a restored 19th century schoolhouse in Jonesville Vermont and is eager to share his love of science and technology with anyone who will listen.  


Mr. Paul Dacier

General Counsel at Indigo. Former executive Vice President and General Counsel at EMC Corporation. In 2013 and 2014, Paul was President of the Boston Bar Association, which has more than 10,000 members. In 2015, Paul was appointed chairman of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission by Governor Charles D. Baker, Jr.  This twenty-one person commission advises the Governor on candidates for judicial office in Massachusetts. In 2016, he was named co-chairman of the Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Commission by Governor Baker. Paul is vice chairman of the board of directors of AERCAP Holdings N.V., the world’s leading commercial aircraft leasing company, located in Dublin, Ireland.


Ms. Doreen Rachal

Counsel at Sidley. Named to the prestigious 2018 top women of law list. Doreen currently serves on the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission by appointment of the Governor, and is a past president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association. She served as an Assistant United States Attorney at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts in the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit.


Mr. Tony Wagner

A globally recognized expert in education, TONY WAGNER is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, founded by Linda Darling-Hammond in 2015. Prior to this appointment, Tony held a variety of positions at Harvard University for more than twenty years, including four years as an Expert in Residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab and the founder and co-director, for more than a decade, of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility.


Dr. Rainer Weiss

A​n American physicist, known for his contributions in gravitational physics and astrophysics. He is a professor of physics emeritus at MIT and an adjunct professor at LSU. He is best known for inventing the laser interferometric technique which is the basic operation of LIGO. He was Chair of the COBE Science Working Group. In 2017, Weiss was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves"

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Dr. Andy Wu

An Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School, where he teaches in the MBA and Executive Education programs. He conducts research on strategies for how technology entrepreneurs internally organize and externally mobilize resources to achieve scale for competitive advantage. He received the HBS Wyss Award, HBS Williams Award, Poets & Quants 40 Under 40, and Penn Prize in recognition of commitment and excellence in teaching and mentoring.

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Dr. Bolun Chen

Currently the title instructor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (the largest private biomedical research institution in the United States), guiding QBReC's outstanding undergraduates' interdisciplinary research projects in the field of  applied mathematics. At the same time, he is the MIT PRIMES project mentor, guiding high school students to win the first place in the Qiu Chengtong Middle School Physics Award in the US, the global silver award, and the Regeneron 300 genius award.


Dr. Mary Jane Hanlon, RDH, DMD, MBA

Dr. Hanlon has been active in the dental industry and owned and operated her own practice for 15 years. Combining with her MBA experience, she created a list of all the things she wished she knew prior to beginning her dental practice. This list was translated into the creation of a course given at Yankee Dental every year in conjunction with Bentley University called the “Mini MBA for Dentists”. In 2014, she became Assistant Dean of Predoctoral Clinical Education at Tufts where she works to revamp the overall clinical environment. In 2016, she became Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs overseeing all of the undergraduate and postgraduate clinical operations for the school.
Dr. Hanlon is highly involved with the Massachusetts Dental Society and has become its fourth female president in 2020.

Speakers: Staff
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Ms. Ru Zheng

Chair of YES (Youth Entrepreneurship Service)Mentor Network. A certified Dale Carnegie Trainer with over 10 years of training experience, she is passionate about communication and leadership training, team building and executive coaching. She has over twenty years of business leadership experience in various functions. She was Sr. Business Intelligence Manager in Thermo Fisher Scientific, Corporation.

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Ms. Judith Bowman

Judith Bowman is the president & founder of Protocol Consultants International whose mission is to help present and Next Generation leaders know How to Stand Apart to better compete, lead, advance. Bowman’s first book, “Don’t Take the Last Donut, New Rules of Business Etiquette” was first published in 2007 and is sold in 16 countries, translated into 14 languages and on the “Recommended Reading” list of many Fortunate 500 firms and Universities around the globe. Corporations, associations, political leaders and Royalty around the globe have benefited from these rich, multi-dimensional competencies to help inspire leaders to make a difference and drive business results.


Dr. Henrik Totterman

Professor of Practice at Hult International Business School and teaching faculty at Harvard Extension School with relevant business and academic experience, and a doctorate in entrepreneurship and management. Dr. Totterman's experience includes around 20 years as an international entrepreneurial leader and global business school executive, developing his own ventures and advising others.

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Mr. Benjamin Zander

An English conductor, who is currently the musical director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. His TED talk "The transformative power of classical music" attracted 5+ million views. 

Mr. William DiAdamo

Admitted to practice in the courts of Massachusetts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Expertise in industrial accidents, and arbitrations, mediations, and conciliations.

Dr. TJ (Thomas James) Cradick

Head of Genome Editing at CRISPR Therapeutics. TJ has developed nucleases, genome editing and gene therapy reagents and methods for more than a decade. TJ was faculty and Director of the Protein Engineering Facility at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His undergraduate degree is from MIT, Masters from UCSF, and PhD from the University of Iowa.

Ms. Emily Flaherty

Emily Flaherty is the director of education programming at Salem Sound Coastwatch working to foster the next generation of ocean enthusiasts. Emily earned her B.A. in Ocean Studies at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently working on her Masters Degree in Science in a Changing World at UMass Boston. She now works for Salem Sound Coastwatch through federal, state and local grants to deliver experiential learning, collect data, and help shape public understanding of the watershed. She constructs meaning in a way that enables people to see how local living and non-living things are part of larger systems.

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