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November 5 Blockchain in Action

American University Blockchain Hub's second annual forum
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About The Forum

American University's Kogod School of Business launched the Blockchain Hub to provide a world-class learning and research platform focused on the impact of this emerging technology on business processes. A core aspect of this initiative involves experiential learning and continuous engagement with all stakeholders.

The second Blockchain Forum will be held on November 5. This one-day conference will engage leading blockchain experts from the private sector, various government agencies (e.g. HHS, GSA, DoD), various regulatory bodies, The World Bank Group, NGOs, and academic institutions in a setting designed to foster learning and the exchange of ideas. Novices and experts alike will benefit from participation in this open forum for discussion of best practices and challenges in the field.

Why Attend?

Whether you are a blockchain novice or an expert, work in the private sector or the government, if you want to learn about the best practices regarding blockchain applications and explore new opportunities in the field, the Kogod Blockchain Forum is designed specifically to serve your needs. 

Where

The Washington College of Law
Claudio Grossman Hall
4300 Nebraska Ave NW

When

Tuesday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Networking Reception to follow

  • 9:00 to 9:30 a.m.
    Breakfast and registration
  • 9:30 to 9:40 a.m.
    Opening Remarks: Professor Ayman Omar 
    Co-Director, AU Blockchain Hub & Interim Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, Kogod School of Business, American University
  • 9:40 to 9:45 a.m.
    Dean's Remarks: Professor John Delaney
    Dean, Kogod School of Business, AU
  • 9:45 to 10:15 a.m.
    Opening Keynote: Libra and the Digital Commons 
    Dante Disparte
     
    Head of Policy and Communications, Libra Association
  • 10:15 to 10:30 a.m.
    Fireside Chat with Dante Disparte 
    Moderated by Mercina Tillemann
    Chief Operating Officer, Global Blockchain Business Council 
  • 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
    Regulating Blockchain: Current Challenges and Roadmap for the Future
    Moderated by Dan Gorfine 
    Former Chief Innovation Officer and Director, LabCFTC, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission
    Panel
    Dante Disparte, Head of Policy and Communication, Libra Association
    Mike Gill, Former Chief of Staff, CFTC
    Amy Davine Kim, Global Policy Director and General Counsel, Chamber of Digital Commerce
    Harish Natarajan, Lead, Payments and Market Infrastructures Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, The World Bank
    Jessica Renier, Senior Counselor, Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, US Department of the Treasury
  • 11:15 to 11:30 a.m.
    Coffee Break
  • 11:30 a.m. to noon
    Keynote: Blockchain for Social Impact
    Vanessa Grellet
    Executive Director, Consensy
  • Noon to 12:45 p.m.
    Panel Discussion: Blockchain for Social Impact 
    Moderated by Mercina Tillemann
    Chief Operating Officer, Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC)
    Panel:
    Alan Cohn, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Co-Chair GBBC’s Legal and Regulatory Group
    James Loperfido, Vice President, Business Development, Soramitsu
  • 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. 
    Lunch
  • 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: Can Blockchain Combat Fraud? 
    Moderated by Professor Casey Evans 
    Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs & Research Fellow, AU Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, AU
    Panel:
    Andres Franzetti, CEO and Co-Founder, Risk Cooperative
    Yogesh Mudgal, Director and Head of the Emerging Technology Risk and Risk Analytics, CitiGroup
    Alpen Sheth, Senior Technologist, Mercy Corps
    Chen Zur, Partner/Principal, US Connected Growth Platform Blockchain Practice Leader, EY
  • 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.
    Keynote: Blockchain & Government: 
    Mark Fisk
    Partner Global Services Public Sector, IBM

  • 3:00 to 3:15 p.m.
    Coffee Break

  • 3:15 to 4:00 p.m.
    Panel Discussion: Blockchain in the Public Sector 
    Moderated by Combiz Abdolrahimi 
    Government and Public Services, Deloitte
    Panel:
    Sean Manion, CEO and Co-Founder, Science Distributed
    Sherri Sokol, Head of Emerging Technology, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), DoD

    Fred de Vaulx, Vice President, Prometheus Computing, LLC
    Aleks Zelenovic, Senior Director, Strategy and Consulting Practice Lead, Sapient

  • 4:00 to 4:30 p.m.
    Closing Keynote: Artificial Intelligence, Unleashing the Power of Blockchain
    Jose Arrieta
    Chief Information Officer, Department of Health and Human Services

  • 4:30 to 4:45 p.m.
    Fireside Chat with Jose Arrieta 
    Moderated by Professor Catalin Stefanescu 
    Professor of Finance and Real Estate & Research Fellow, AU Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, AU

  • 4:45 to 5:00 p.m.
    Closing Remarks: Professor Bob Sicina 
    Co-Director, AU Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, AU

  • 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
    Networking Reception

Combiz

Combiz Abdolrahimi

Global Emerging Technology and Innovation Strategy Leader, Deloitte

Combiz Richard Abdolrahimi is a national security lawyer, emerging technology and innovation leader at Deloitte Consulting in the Government and Public Services practice, a former regulator and policymaker, and has served across government at the US Departments of State and Treasury, the White House, and Senate. Combiz has 13 years of public and private sector experience working with industry executives and government leaders on shaping the business, policy, legal, regulatory, and technology dimensions of artificial intelligence and machine learning; blockchain; cloud computing and IoT; and banking and payments. Combiz has advised, operationalized, and scaled blockchain and AI-powered systems for energy, banking and payments, healthcare, supply chain, and cybersecurity in the US and internationally. Combiz is a recipient of the FCW Rising Stars Award, which recognizes the top 20 government IT innovators and emerging leaders; a member of the iLEAD Council, made up of distinguished professionals in the data science field; and he serves on numerous boards, including the Federal Identity Forum and Expo, AFCEA, Kiwanis International, and American Council for Technology (ACT) and Industry Advisory Council (IAC) for AI, Blockchain, ICAM, and Emerging Technology.

Jose

Jose Arrieta

CIO, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

In May 2018, José Arrieta was appointed as the chief information officer (CIO) for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). José provides leadership and oversight of the department’s information technology (IT) systems and security activities. As the head of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), he leads the department’s efforts in developing and implementing IT policies, managing high priority projects, and planning strategic IT investments. As the CIO, José also provides leadership and oversight of the department’s $6.3 billion IT portfolio in support of its expansive mission to enhance the health and well-being of Americans. 

José brings over 15 years of experience in policy, procurement, and technology solutions to HHS. He is a respected leader in applying emerging technologies, especially blockchain, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation, to the federal acquisition process. 

He is actively engaged in the academic community and currently serves at the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University as an adjunct professor focused on blockchain, business management, and public procurement. 

Alan Cohn

Alan Cohn

Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Co-Chair Global Blockchain Business Council Legal and Regulatory Group (GBBC)

Alan Cohn is a partner in the Washington, DC, office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP and the co-chair of Steptoe’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Practice. Alan advises clients on a range of regulatory issues associated with blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and crypto-assets. Alan serves as counsel to the Blockchain Alliance, a public-private forum established by a broad coalition of companies and organizations to help combat criminal activity on the blockchain. Alan is ranked among the top US attorneys in blockchain and cryptocurrencies by Chambers USA (2019), where he is noted for his “tremendous depth of expertise in regulatory issues facing blockchain platforms and cryptocurrencies.”

Before joining Steptoe, Alan served in senior policy positions at the US Department of Homeland Security for almost a decade, most recently as the assistant secretary for strategy, planning, analysis, and risk and second-in-charge overall of what is now the DHS Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans. Among a variety of responsibilities, Alan established the cyber policy office within the DHS Office of Policy, represented DHS on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), and architected and helped implement DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Unity of Effort Initiative, a major corporate-level DHS management reform effort. Alan is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. Alan earned his AB from Columbia University and his JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Dean Delaney

John Delaney

Dean, Kogod School of Business, American University

John T. Delaney is professor of management and dean of the Kogod School of Business at American University. He is a passionate advocate for experiential learning, which reflects the notion that students learn more from doing and practicing than from listening. He believes that hybrid educational models combining web-based approaches and experiential learning options will come to dominate higher education. He emphasizes international educational opportunities and encourages all Kogod constituencies to develop global business competencies.

Prior to his appointment at AU in 2016, he served as the Henry E. Haller, Jr. Dean of Business at the University of Pittsburgh from 2006 until 2015. During his deanship, the school experienced increased enrollments, better student quality, improved student satisfaction scores, greater diversity, and enhancements on virtually all key metrics. These outcomes stimulated a dramatic improvement in rankings and the generation of significant financial resources, which allowed an expansion of the faculty, renovation of facilities, and provision of new faculty and student support. He also expanded the school’s interactions with alumni, hosting events across the US and in Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UK.

Dante

Dante Disparte

Head of Policy and Communication, Libra Association

Dante Disparte is the first head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, a newly-formed organization that has brought together social impact organizations and a diverse group of leading businesses from around the world to create a simple global currency and financial infrastructure to empower billions of people.

Dante comes to the Libra Association with two decades of experience as an entrepreneur, business leader, and global risk expert, most recently as founder and head of Risk Cooperative, a strategic risk advisory and insurance brokerage based in Washington, DC. He has lived and worked in Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean and has conducted business all over the world. In addition to leading Risk Cooperative since its inception five years ago, Dante also serves as an appointee on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Advisory Council, the United States’ federal emergency response agency. He is a founding advisor of the Global Blockchain Business Council and a senior fellow with the Blockchain Trust Accelerator, where he supports technology and digital transformation initiatives.

Dante is a frequent speaker and commentator on business and political issues shaping the world. His views on risk, economic competitiveness, and security issues are regularly featured in leading media and publications, such as Harvard Business Review, BBC, Forbes, and International Policy Digest.

Casey Evans

Casey Evans

Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Research Fellow, Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, American University

Professor Evans is a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner and has extensive industry experience handling a range of forensic accounting issues, including fraud investigations, Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice enforcement actions, financial reporting and disclosure issues, technical accounting issues, and internal control reviews.

Before joining the faculty, Evans was senior director of forensic and litigation consulting at FTI Consulting, where she specialized in conducting complex forensic accounting and financial fraud investigations in conjunction with SEC, DOJ, and corporate audit committee inquiries. Beginning in early 2009, she was part of the team of FTI investigators responsible for investigating Bernard Madoff and Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, one of the largest investor frauds in American history.

Professor Evans regularly speaks to professional organizations and government entities on various forensic accounting topics. She also serves on the board of the Greater Washington Society of CPAs.

Mark D Fisk

Mark D Fisk

Partner, Global Service Public Sector, IBM

Mr. Fisk is a partner in IBM Digital for Global Business Services focused on blockchain in the public service industry. 

As leader of IBM’s public service blockchain initiatives, Mr. Fisk is leveraging his 25 years of experience in the public sector working with federal and state governments to help determine where and how blockchain can uniquely increase value while improving trust, transparency, and accountability in today’s government business networks. 

His work in blockchain education, analysis of blockchain’s applicability to address public sector dilemmas, and in the leadership in execution of several high-visibility blockchain proofs-of-concept and production pilots within the public sector have helped pave the way to realizing the true value of blockchain for his clients and move beyond the peak of the hype curve with this transformative capability. 

Andres Franzetti

Andres Franzetti

CEO and Co-Founder, Risk Cooperative

Andres Franzetti is the chief executive officer of Risk Cooperative, a coverholder at Lloyd’s and a specialized strategy, risk, and insurance advisory firm. In this role, he leads the firm’s overall operations and strategy execution.

As a dual-licensed insurance broker and certified risk manager (CRM), Mr. Franzetti specializes in helping multi-national organizations address complex risks to increase their overall resiliency and mitigate downside exposures. Considered an industry leader in global risk management, he has worked closely with such organizations like the United Nations, Volvo, and other Fortune 500 firms, as well as leading academic institutions in managing and mitigating enterprise risks. 

Mr. Franzetti has experience across the full risk spectrum and works actively with organizations to address risks, ranging from supply chain management, cross border capital deployment, infrastructure projects, and enterprise risk management and mitigation framework development. Additionally, he has extensive expertise in innovative program development, including the design and launch of a first-of-its-kind cyber warranty program for leading cybersecurity firms and Microsoft partners. He is a recognized thought leader in the risk domain and published author on all matters of risk management. He also serves as an adjunct fellow for the American Security Project, a think tank started by former secretaries John Kerry and Chuck Hagel.

Mike Gill

Mike Gill

Former Chief Innovation Officer and Director, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 

Mike Gill is chief of staff to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, and is the chief operating officer of the agency. He represents the agency at deputy meetings of the US Treasury Department’s Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) as the senior staff member responsible for the FSOC’s cryptocurrency works streams and at IOSCO board meetings. Through a commission order, Mike has also been designated as the chief regulatory reform officer for the CFTC, where he is leading an agency-wide review of its regulations. Under Chairman Giancarlo’s leadership, the CFTC has created a number of new initiatives. The CFTC has created the Market Intelligence Branch, a data-focused unit which provides a weekly snapshot of the derivatives sector to US financial regulators. The agency has also created LabCFTC, an office that interfaces with the fintech community and has become the model for US regulators. Previously, Mike was an attorney with Crowell & Moring, LLP, where the majority of his work was concentrated in the energy and financial service sectors. Mike also served on the staff of Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) and Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-OH). Mike’s pro bono experience includes representing undocumented juveniles through the Kids in Need Defense (KIND) program before state and federal courts. He also volunteered for the Archdiocesan Legal Network. In 2016, Mike was nominated by Mayor Muriel Bowser and confirmed by the DC City Council to a board position at the DC Board of Elections. He is a licensed practitioner of the Washington, DC, and Maryland Bars. Mike received his BA in economics from the University of Dayton, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, and his JD from The Catholic University of America. Mike, his wife Kristina, and their three children, Sean, Brian, and Annika, live in Washington, DC. 

Daniel Gorfine

Daniel Gorfine

Former Chief Innovation Officer and Director, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 

Daniel Gorfine is an experienced regulatory, public policy, strategic communications, and business executive. Gorfine has substantial in-house, government, and think tank experience across the technology and financial markets and services sectors and was previously appointed by the chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to serve as the federal agency’s first chief innovation officer and director of LabCFTC. In that capacity, Gorfine developed and led the commission’s new technology innovation and regulatory modernization effort focused on informing policy and helping the agency keep pace with modern, digital markets. Gorfine served as a senior agency representative on fintech and cryptoasset issues, worked with staff and members of Congress, coordinated with domestic and international regulators, and provided expert testimony before Congress. He is the founder of Gattaca Horizons LLC, a boutique advisory firm, and also currently serves as an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center teaching FinTech Law and Policy.

Prior to the CFTC, Gorfine was vice president of external affairs and associate general counsel at OnDeck, where he spearheaded efforts to create a new industry trade association and business standards. Gorfine also previously served as director of financial markets policy and legal counsel at the Milken Institute think tank, and earlier in his career worked at the international law firm Covington & Burling LLP. He also served a clerkship with US District Court judge Catherine C. Blake in the District of Maryland. 

Vanessa Grellet

Vanessa Grellet

Executive Director and Social Impact Lead, ConsenSys

Vanessa Grellet is a global executive with over 18 years of expertise in the financial services and tech industry. At ConsenSys, she focuses on enterprise and strategic initiatives, as well as the social impact activities. She is the co-chair of NEXUS Blockchain Labs. She was involved in setting up the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), sits on the board of the Accounting Blockchain Coalition (ABC), and is the president of the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC). Prior to joining ConsenSys, she was the CEO of a wealth management startup, a strategy executive at NYSE, and a key member of PwC’s global wealth management team. Mrs. Grellet graduated cum laude from law school (Paris II Assas) and business school (HEC).

Amy Davine Kim

Amy Davine Kim

Global Policy Director and General Counsel, Chamber of Digital Commerce

Amy Davine Kim is the chief policy officer for the Chamber of Digital Commerce. Prior to joining the chamber, she advised financial institutions, blockchain-based companies, marketplace lenders, investors, and innovators regarding compliance obligations under financial services laws. In particular, she has advised on the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering requirements, the regulations and sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. She has also advised on state money transmitter laws implemented by state banking departments and related consumer financial protection laws. She is a regular speaker on these issues, particularly as they relate to blockchain-based businesses and technologies. 

During her career, Amy has also advised companies on cross-border anti-bribery and trade-related compliance matters and advised investors in their investments in hedge, private equity, and real estate funds. She has also assisted companies in advocating before the US Congress and other US government agencies.

James Loperfido

James Loperfido

Vice President of Business Development, Soramitsu 

James Loperfido currently serves as vice president of business development in North America for Soramitsu. He has a background primarily in capital markets and economics through early experience on trading desks. James has since founded several businesses and worked in seed stage tech start-ups as an early employee or consultant. He advises and consults for start-ups with a particular interest in health, decentralization, macroeconomics, and technology. 

Soramitsu is a Japanese engineering company focused on applications of blockchain technology, most notably the implementation of a retail payments solution implemented with the National Bank of Cambodia, which is now live in production.

Sean Manion

Sean Manion

CEO and Co-Founder, Science Distributed

Dr. Manion is a neuroscientist with two decades of federal research experience. He is co-founder and CEO of Science Distributed, focused on emerging technology applications in health research and bringing researchers together with blockchain as a layer of trust for better science and faster miracles. He cofounded and serves as a specialty chief editor for the new peer-reviewed journal Blockchain for Science published by Frontiers, where he has recently co-authored the article “Blockchain Compliance by Design: Regulatory Considerations for Blockchain in Clinical Research.” 

Sean is the author of the chapter “Advancing Health Research with Blockchain” in the HIMSS series textbook Blockchain in Healthcare: Innovations that Empower Patients, Connect Professionals and Improve Care (2019, CRC Press), and he has an upcoming book, Blockchain in Health Research: Curing Science and Transforming Medicine, with co-author Yael Bizouati-Kennedy and publisher Taylor & Francis coming out in early 2020. He is a cofounder of Blockchain in Healthcare Global, a 501(c)(6) under the IEEE International Standards and Technology Organization, and he is a member of the HIMSS Blockchain Task Force and the IEEE Standards Association working group for Blockchain in Healthcare and Life Sciences (p2418.6). He consults and speaks to government, academic, and industry audiences on the topics of scientific research, evidence-based health, regulatory navigation, organizational change, and emerging technology.

Yogesh Mudgal

Yogesh Mudgal

Director and Head of the Emerging Technology Risk and Risk Analytics, CitiGroup

Yogesh Mudgal is Director and Head of the Emerging Technology Risk & Risk Analytics at Citi; the goal of the program is to enable responsible innovation. He is responsible for leading the program globally, which includes identification of risks, evangelizing risks with emerging technologies, influence building of guardrails and frameworks, and risk assessments of emerging technologies. The program designs and manage risks analytics platform used by various teams to conduct risk assessments. Recently, he has been actively evangelizing, and collaborating with various institutions on AI risks. Yogesh has experience working at various financial institutions, where he built and influenced various information security initiatives.

Harish Natarajan

Harish Natarajan

Lead, Payments and Market Infrastructures Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, The World Bank Group

Harish is a lead financial sector specialist in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice and leads a global team working on payments and market infrastructures. He is a core member of the cross-sectoral teams in the World Bank working on Universal Financial Access 2020, ID for development, government payments, digital economy and fintech. Harish represents the World Bank in the working groups of the Committee on Payment Market Infrastructures (CPMI) at the Bank for International Settlements and fintech-related working groups at the Financial Stability Board (FSB). Prior to joining the World Bank, Harish worked with Visa Inc. in the South Asia region in various senior level positions in business development, operations and risk management. Prior to Visa, Harish worked in in Citigroup, Infosys, and other technology companies, primarily in the areas of payment systems and retail banking.

Harish holds an undergraduate degree in electrical and electronics engineering from IIT-Madras and a post graduate diploma in management from IIM-Calcutta, specializing in IT systems and finance.

Ayman Omar

Ayman Omar

Co-Director, AU Blockchain Hub and Interim Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, Kogod School of Business, American University

Professor Omar is the Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Technology & Analytics at the Kogod School of Business. He is also a Research Fellow at the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center (KCGC). His research interests focus on global supply chain management, specifically targeting areas such as supply chain integration and responsiveness, cyber risks in global supply chains, and sustainability in global supply chains. Prior to receiving his Ph.D., Prof Omar worked in the oil industry and conducted several consulting projects for a wide range of corporations including many Fortune 100 companies as well as small privately owned firms.

Jessica Renier

Jessica Renier

Senior Counselor, Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, US Department of the Treasury

Jessica Renier is senior counselor for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the US Department of the Treasury where she is a subject matter expert on digital assets. Prior to this, she was senior advisor for domestic finance where she led the department’s domestic financial technology and innovation policy and, most notably, US Treasury’s 2018 report titled “A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities: Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation.” Prior to joining Treasury, she was a manager in Deloitte’s strategy and operations practice for the banking and securities industry, specializing in blockchain technology and digital identity. Jessica previously worked at the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Dallas, JP Morgan Securities, and the Hoover Institution. Jessica holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is an officer in the US Navy Reserve. 

Alpen Sheth

Alpen Sheth  

Senior Technologist, Mercy Corps 

Alpen Sheth, PhD, is senior technologist for blockchain at Mercy Corps. He holds a visiting faculty position at the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University and is a blockchain advisor for companies in the insurance, identity, and energy sectors. Prior to this, he was head of product at Etherisc.com, an insurtech company, creating smart contract-based applications in several different countries, including hurricaneguard.io and cofounded a blockchain R&D start-up called the Economic Space Agency prior to that. He obtained his PhD at MIT in international development with a focus on risk analysis and planning and has published academic and policy articles on blockchain and smart contracts. He previously consulted on disaster risk financing in the US, Caribbean, and South Asia at the World Bank Group, Harvard School of Public Health, Risk Management Solutions, and cofounded INURED.org, a research institute based in Haiti. 

Robert Sicina

Bob Sicina

Co-Director, AU Blockchain Hub & Research Fellow, AU Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, American University 

Professor Sicina has 30 years of experience in senior executive positions at Citibank, American Express, and various entrepreneurial endeavors. He worked for 14 years in Latin America for Citibank, where he served as country manager of Colombia and division chief financial officer (CFO). He became CFO of Citibank’s entire international consumer group and, later, of Citibank’s US credit card business. Professor Sicina subsequently joined American Express and went on to become president of American Express Bank Ltd. and a member of its board of directors. Subsequently, he was named president of the Latin American division for the corporation. Professor Sicina has since worked in executive positions of several entrepreneurial endeavors. As part of his course work, he leads student teams that help entrepreneurs in post-conflict regions create business plans. He also is a member of the International Advisory board of Partners of the Americas. He is the author of the book Learn from Failure: The Key to Successful Decision Making.

Sherri Sokol

Sherri Sokola

Head of Emerging Technology, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Department of Defense (DoD) 

Sherri Sokol is the Defense Information Systems Agency blockchain lead and part of the agency’s Emerging Technology Directorate exploring cutting-edge technologies and methods to advance DISA in meeting its strategic goals. She is co-author of both the ACT-IAC Blockchain Primer and Blockchain Playbook to support Federal U.S. Government in its understanding and application of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for its mission. 

Catalin Stefanescu

Professor of Finance and Real Estate and Research Fellow, AU Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, American University 

Catalin Stefanescu is a professorial lecturer in the Finance and Real Estate Department at the Kogod School of Business. He earned a MS in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD in business economics and finance from Indiana University. His primary research interests are in the areas of international corporate finance and capital markets, and, more recently, in the economics of blockchain and digital tokens. During his career, Catalin taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses such as Business Finance, International Financial Management, Fixed Income Securities, Derivatives, and Survey of Blockchain. He is an advisor to the American Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Association and a review editor of Frontiers in Blockchain.

Mercina Tilleman

Mercina Tillemann-Dick

COO, Global Blockchain Business Council 

Mercina Tillemann-Dick currently serves as chief operating officer of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC). Experienced in strategic planning and communications, she has spent her career translating complex ideas for broad audiences in the public and private sectors. 

Mercina has advised state and national governments and Fortune 100 companies on issues surrounding technology and public health. She currently works with corporations and governments to identify relevant applications for blockchain technology and speaks regularly about the technology around the world—from the G20 Summit to the European Parliament to the UN’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Mercina has worked in the offices of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and for the Human Rights Commission of the US Congress. While working with Janssen’s Global Public Health Group, she authored publications on emerging economic models aimed at achieving equitable distribution and pricing of pharmaceuticals worldwide and spearheaded multiple public information initiatives. She holds a degree in bioethics, political science, and law from Yale University.

Frederick de Vaulx

Frederick de Vaulx

Vice President, Prometheus Computing, LLC

Frederic de Vaulx is vice president of Prometheus Computing where he helps develop the vision, innovation, and strategy of the company. He is also a senior software engineer and program manager overseeing the design, architecture, and development of custom software applications for Prometheus’s federal and commercial clients.

Frederic is industry vice chair of the ACT-IAC Emerging Technology Community of Interest and co-chair of the Blockchain Working Group that published a blockchain primer and playbook for enterprise blockchain in the federal government. He is a member of the IEEE Blockchain Initiative, the Government Blockchain Association, the HIMSS Blockchain Task Force, and the CSA Blockchain Working Group.

Aleksander Zelenovic

Aleksander Zelenovic

Senior Director, Strategy and Consulting Practice Lead, Sapient 

Aleksandar focuses on creating long-lasting value at the intersection of technology, innovation, and business. He holds an MBA from MIT Sloan and has over 20 years of experience in the global commercial and government sectors. He is an industry expert in business and digital strategy, emerging technologies, DevOps/Agile, modernization, voice of the customer, and organizational design. He is the founder of Sapient’s Strategy University, a powerful and interactive learning program, that educated over 1,000 professionals across the globe in maximizing business value. Aleksandar pioneered the blockchain ecosystem concept for the federal space that focused on “connected intelligence” and the ways that emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, work in concert to increase benefit to organizations. Realizing blockchain’s potential to increase efficiencies while also ensuring security and transparency, he makes emerging tech within reach—not only understood but doable. His work won him a FCW Federal 100 Award, a prestigious recognition for industry and government leaders who had significant impact in advancing federal IT. Ensuring the value of blockchain is thoroughly understood, Aleksandar’s approach, ideas, and work are highlighted in print and on stage, including the MIT Enterprise Forum, World Bank, 4A’s Vision 2020, GCN, AGA, FCW, AU Blockchain Hub, Developer Week, Chamber of Commerce, Energy Innovation Day, Cryptolina, State Investment Finance Authorities, IQPC, Inter-American Development Bank, ACT-IAC, and others, including co-authoring the first-ever blockchain federal primer paper 

and blockchain playbook for the federal government, published by ACT-IAC. He has also authored and published pieces on strategies for how government can maximize blockchain. Aleksandar is a prominent industry leader who is often invited to speak and consult to a large number of government and commercial organizations, entities, and associations. 

Chen Zur

Chen Zur

Partner/Principal, US Connected Growth Platform, Blockchain Practice Leader, EY 

Chen is a CPA, MBA, and a principal in EY’s Advisory, Connected Growth Platform. He leads EY’s US blockchain practice, working with clients and industry leaders on the development and adoption of practical blockchain-based innovative business solutions. He is a strong believer in blockchain’s potential to revolutionize the way we do business, interact safely with each other, and create a better working world for all of us. 

In the past, he has held a number of leadership positions in the areas of management consulting, IT strategy, robotics process automation (RPA), ERP system integration and development, multinational corporate business process integration, intercompany and back-office digital transformation and worked with multiple industries, including consumer products, pharmaceutical, chemicals, insurance, defense, technology, and more.

It is his goal to work together with his clients through exciting times; understand, develop and adopt blockchain-based solutions; and better deal with this era of rapid technological change and disruption. 

List of Confirmed Speakers
 

  1. Combiz Abdolrahimi, Global Emerging Technology and Innovation Strategy Leader, Deloitte
  2. Jose Arrieta, CIO, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  3. Alan Cohn, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Co-Chair Global Blockchain Business Council Legal and Regulatory Group (GBBC)
  4. John Delaney, Dean, Kogod School of Business, American University
  5. Dante Disparte, Head of Policy and Communication, Libra Association
  6. Casey Evans, Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Research Fellow, Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, American University
  7. Mark Fisk, Partner, Global Service Public Sector, IBM
  8. Andres Franzetti, CEO and Co-Founder, Risk Cooperative
  9. Mike Gill, Former Chief Innovation Officer and Director, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 
  10. Dan Gorfine, Former Chief Innovation Officer and Director, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 
  11. Vanessa Grellet, Executive Director and Social Impact Lead, ConsenSys
  12. Amy Davine Kim, Global Policy Director and General Counsel, Chamber of Digital Commerce
  13. James Loperfido, Vice President of Business Development, Soramitsu 
  14. Sean Manion, CEO and Co-Founder, Science Distributed
  15. Yogesh Mudgal, Director and Head of the Emerging Technology Risk and Risk Analytics, CitiGroup
  16. Harish Natarajan, Lead, Payments and Market Infrastructures Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, The World Bank Group
  17. Ayman Omar, Co-Director, AU Blockchain Hub and Interim Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, Kogod School of Business, American University
  18. Jessica Renier, Senior Counselor, Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, US Department of the Treasury
  19. Alpen Sheth, Senior Technologist, Mercy Corps 
  20. Bob Sicina, Co-Director, AU Blockchain Hub & Research Fellow, AU Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, American University 
  21. Sherri Sokol, Head of Emerging Technology, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Department of Defense (DoD) 
  22. Catalin Stefanescu, Professor of Finance and Real Estate and Research Fellow, AU Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business, American University 
  23. Mercina Tillemann, COO, Global Blockchain Business Council 
  24. Fred de Vaulx, Vice President, Prometheus Computing, LLC 
  25. Aleks Zelenovic, Senior Director, Strategy and Consulting Practice Lead, Sapient 
  26. Chen Zur, Partner/Principal, US Connected Growth Platform, Blockchain Practice Leader, EY 


Parking

4300 Nebraska Ave NW
Washington DC 20016

Map of The Washington College of Law

Click here for a map of The Washington College of Law and additional parking details.

Enter the parking garage off of Nebraska Ave and continue straight to the second set of elevators for the Yuma Building. Once parked, pay for your parking at the kiosk by the elevators. Take the elevator to the Terrace level, exit left, and Claudio Grossman Hall will be in front of you.

Uber/Metro

4100 Yuma St NW
Washington DC 20016

*Whether taking Uber or walking from the metro, enter through the Yuma Building on Yuma St. Upon entering the building, continue straight down the hall. Claudio Grossman Hall is located just past the stairs and elevators on the right hand side.

*When entering from the Warren entrance in the Warren Building, turn right at the information desk and proceed through The Commons to the second set of stairs. Claudio Grossman Hall is located just past the stairs and elevators on the right hand side.

Attend this event

Please let us know if you plan to attend by clicking the button below to register, as seating may be limited. Join us on November 5. 

Register Here