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Berkeley Forum releases fall 2018 speaker lineup

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AUGUST 30, 2018

What happens when the director of “Saturday Night Live,” an editor for the Washington Examiner and the chief financial officer of the Warriors walk into a panel? The Berkeley Forum’s fall 2018 speaker lineup is formed.

The Berkeley Forum, a student-run organization that hosts prominent speaking events on campus, announced its lineup of 17 speakers Wednesday afternoon — a stark increase from the nine speakers slated in spring 2018 and the 12 speakers in fall 2017.

According to Berkeley Forum President Michael Chien, the organization worked all of the spring semester to cultivate the diverse group of speakers it will host in the fall.

Established in 2012, the forum hosts debates, panels and talks by leading experts from a variety of fields in order to provide the Berkeley community with a space for free expression and debate on a wide range of viewpoints. Since its founding, the forum has hosted a variety of speakers, including co-prosecutor of the O.J. Simpson trials Christopher Darden, Vice President of Google Vint Cerf and UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ in 2017.

“The Berkeley Forum strives to cater to the wide range of interests present in the Berkeley community,” Chien said in an email.  “We are excited to present a lineup this semester that reflects our commitment to presenting a breadth of ideas, in fields ranging from entertainment to public policy.”

Several past Berkeley Forum events have raised controversy within the UC Berkeley community. Talks featuring former U.S. secretary of homeland security Jeh Johnson and former UC Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks attracted student protesters in 2015.

All events are open to the public and free for UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff, but they require registration.

Don Roy King, director of “Saturday Night Live” (Sept. 6)

King has served as the director for “Saturday Night Live” since 2006 and has garnered seven Emmy Awards and 12 nominations.

Before “SNL,” King was the senior producer for “The Early Show” and creative director of CBS News. King also directed “Good Morning America” for the ABC network for six years. King’s filmography includes episodes from “The Howard Stern Show,” “Criss Angel Mindfreak” and “Kids Are People, Too” television series.

Bart Myers, founder and CEO of Countable (Sept. 10)

Myers previously served as the adviser and founder of All Media Network, a company that manages leading entertainment brands, and SideReel, a video portal website. In addition, Myers was the vice president of TiVo.

In 2013, Myers founded Countable, a platform and newsroom that aims to empower audiences to take political action. According to its website, Countable summarizes legislation for the public and allows users to follow up on bills voted on by their elected officials, “so you can hold them accountable.”

Jasmine Lawrence, founder of EDEN BodyWorks and technical program manager at Facebook (Sept. 17)

Before working at Facebook, Lawrence was a technical program manager at SoftBank Robotics America, where her team developed software for “social, humanoid robots,” according to Lawrence’s website. Lawrence was also program manager at Microsoft and, prior to that, worked at Xbox.

Lawrence received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree from the University of Washington.

In addition to being an accomplished computer engineer, Lawrence founded EDEN BodyWorks, a body and hair care line that offers affordable products for natural hair.

Julie Yoo, co-founder and chief product officer of Kyruus (Sept. 18)

Yoo co-founded Kyruus in 2010 and currently serves as the company’s chief product officer. Kyruus aims to use data to match patients with providers and “reduce barriers to access” to adequate health care. Before Kyruus, Yoo served as the vice president of clinical product strategy at Generation Health, where she managed the company’s clinical programs and data analytics platform.

Yoo graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Yoo also has an MBA from MIT and a master’s degree from Harvard-MIT.

Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College (Sept. 20)

Klawe became the fifth president and first female president of Harvey Mudd College, or HMC, in 2006. A renowned lecturer, Klawe has given talks in international conferences and colleges across the U.S. and Canada concerning race and gender diversity in research and STEM-related fields.

Before HMC, Klawe served as Princeton University’s dean of engineering and was also the dean of science from 1998 to 2002 at the University of British Columbia. Klawe’s own research has contributed significantly to theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction and gender issues in information technology.

Sami Inkinen, founder and CEO of Virta Health (Sept. 26)

In 2014, Inkinen founded Virta Health, an “online specialty medical clinic” that reverses Type 2 diabetes “safely and sustainably,” and now serves as its CEO. Virta Health aims to reverse Type 2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.

Inkinen was previously a venture partner at Obvious Ventures, which worked with companies that focused on healthy living and sustainable systems.

Inkinen has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a master’s in engineering, applied math and business strategy from the University of Helsinki.

Lauren Cooley, politics editor at the Washington Examiner and co-founder of Campus Red PAC (Oct. 1)

As the Red Alert Politics editor for the Washington Examiner, Cooley identifies as a “free speech enthusiast” and tours colleges to give talks on campus activism.

In her “Make Campus Great Again” talks, Cooley aims to galvanize right-leaning student activists to “play offense instead of defense in the era of Trump,” Cooley said in an article for the Washington Examiner.

Ankit Mahadevia, co-founder and CEO of Spero Therapeutics (Oct. 3)

According to its website, Spero Therapeutics is a public, clinical-stage company tasked with developing therapeutics for unmet needs in infectious disease, led by a world-class team of biotechnology and biopharmaceutical experts. The company was founded in 2013.

Before founding his company, Mahadevia spent 10 years as a venture partner at Atlas Venture, a firm focused on early-stage life sciences and technology.

Mahadevia holds three degrees: a bachelor of arts from Northwestern University, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Jennifer Cabalquinto, CFO of the Warriors (Oct. 4)

As the chief financial officer for the Golden State Warriors, Cabalquinto manages long-term financial planning and accounting for the organization. Cabalquinto has more than 20 years of experience in finance leadership in a variety of business environments.

Cabalquinto served as the vice president and CFO for the Telemundo Station Group in Florida and joined NBCUniversal after Telemundo’s acquisition.

Cabalquinto received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the School of Management at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Karen Korematsu, founder and executive director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute (Oct. 8)

Korematsu established the Fred T. Korematsu Institute in the name of her late father and continues his legacy as a civil rights advocate, public speaker and public educator.

Korematsu’s father spoke out against the internment of Japanese Americans and was the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States, which upheld the legality of internment and was overruled 74 years later.

She was appointed as an advisory member to the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning in 2013 and is a current board member for Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Washington, D.C.

Martha Mendoza, reporter (Oct. 10)

Mendoza led an investigation into slavery in the Thai seafood sector, for which she was awarded a 2016 Pulitzer prize as a reporter for The Associated Press. Her work led to the freedom of more than 2,000 men, and her articles have prompted Congressional hearings and an official response from the White House.

Mendoza also won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for an investigation that revealed American soldiers killed hundreds of civilians at the No Gun Ri bridge at the outset of the Korean War.

She received bachelor’s degrees in journalism and education from UC Santa Cruz.

Mona Khan, founder and artistic director of Mona Khan Company (Oct. 11)

Khan is a renowned choreographer and the founder and artistic director of Mona Khan Company.

Khan’s dance company was founded in her friends’ apartments and aims to combine Bollywood culture and fitness through Bombay Jam, a group exercise class that sets cardio and toning routines to Bollywood music.

David Boaz, author and executive vice president of the Cato Institute (Oct. 17)

Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank. He advocates for drug legalization and noninterventionist foreign policy and speaks against the growth of government.

His book “Libertarianism: A Primer,” was described as “a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas” by the Los Angeles Times. He has been a frequent guest on ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNN’s Crossfire, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, and Fox News Channel.

Before joining the Cato Institute, he was editor of the New Guard literary review and executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy. He received his bachelor’s degree in American history from Vanderbilt University.

Larry Levitt, senior vice president for health reform at Kaiser Family Foundation (Oct. 24)

Levitt, who is a board member for the Daily Californian, has spearheaded the research for health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation and is co-executive director of the Kaiser Initiative on Health Reform and Private Insurance. Previously, he was the foundation’s vice president for communications and online information and editor in chief of KaiserNetwork.org.

Before joining Kaiser, Levitt worked on the development of former president Bill Clinton’s Health Security Act as a senior health policy adviser to the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Levitt received his bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Berkeley and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Sean Miyashiro, founder of 88Rising (Nov. 2)

Miyashiro is the founder of 88Rising, a management company, recording label and video and digital media brand focused primarily on Asian talent. The company has signed Rich Brian — formerly known as Rich Chigga — and Keith Ape, among other artists.

Miyashiro is a Bay Area native and has said he hopes 88Rising will be “the Disney for Asian culture.”

Betty Yee, California state controller (Nov. 7)

Yee has served as California state controller since 2015, acting as the state’s accountant and bookkeeper of all public funds. Previously, she served on the state Board of Equalization from 2004 to 2015.

Yee served on the Cal Alumni Association’s board of directors and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UC Berkeley. She went on to receive her master’s in public administration from Golden Gate University.

Vien Truong, CEO of Green for All (Nov. 13)

Truong is the CEO of Dream Corps, a social justice accelerator, and leads Green For All, a national initiative aiming to put people of color at the forefront of the environmental movement.

She is also a board member of U.S. Climate Action Network, Clean Energy Works and Megaphone Strategies. She previously chaired the city of Oakland’s Planning Commission and taught New Business Practicum, a clinic allowing law and business students to assist startup entrepreneurs, at the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Truong is a first-generation Oakland resident and received her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric from UC Berkeley and her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law.

Corrections: A previous version of this article failed to disclose that Larry Levitt is a board member for The Daily Californian.
Contact Anjali Shrivastava and Francesca Munsayac at [email protected].

AUGUST 30, 2018

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