Alumni Summit in London
London, England | March 28, 2020
Join fellow BU alumni from around the world for a day of stimulating conversation and insight about three of the most important topics of our time: global business, sustainability, and data sciences.
At the first-ever Boston University Alumni Summit in London, leading members of BU’s expansive alumni network will join faculty experts for social and professional connection in the refined, luxurious setting of the Corinthia Hotel London.
Expert-guided conversations will include:
- The World at Work: What do today’s business leaders need to know about growing and managing their companies in a volatile geopolitical landscape?
- Building Sustainable Cities: How can business and government work together to create resilient urban environments?
- Leadership in a World of Data: How can public and private sector leaders best leverage increasing volumes of data—and thrive in a metrics-driven marketplace?
8:15 am – 9:00 am
Welcome from BU President Robert A. Brown
9:00 am – 9:30 am
Panel Discussion: The World at Work
9:30 am – 10:45 am
What do today’s business leaders need to know about growing and managing their companies in a volatile geopolitical landscape?
Moderated by Susan Fournier, Allen Questrom Professor & Dean, Questrom School of Business
- Robert A. Knox (CAS’74, Questrom’75, Hon.’17), Chairman, Cornerstone Equity Investors, LLC
- Pranav Adani (Questrom’99), Director, Adani Enterprises Ltd.
- Yousif Al Nowais (Parent Pardee’14), Chairman and Managing Director, Arab Development Company
- Mayank Singhal, Managing Director and CEO, PI Industries Limited
Coffee break and networking
10:45 am – 11:15 am
Panel Discussion: Building Sustainable Cities
11:15 am – 12:30 pm
Building Sustainable Cities: How can business and government work together to create resilient urban environments?
Moderated by Graham Wilson, Co-Founder & Director, BU Initiative on Cities
- Sheldon Simon, Partner & Equity Analyst, Adage Capital Management, member of the advisory board of the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Dean’s Advisory Board at Boston University’s School of Public Health (SPH)
- Lucy Hutyra, Associate Professor of Earth & Environment, College of Arts & Sciences
- Malcolm Smith, founding Design Director, Arup
- Malek Sukkar (ENG’92), Chief Executive Officer, Averda
Lunch and Keynote Address
12:30 pm – 2:15 pm
Panel Discussion: Leadership in a World of Data
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm
How can public and private sector leaders best leverage increasing volumes of data—and thrive in a metrics-driven marketplace?
Moderated by Azer Bestavros, Associate Provost for Computing & Data Sciences and William Fairfield Warren Professor
- Jane Moran (Questrom’91), Global CIO, Unilever
- S.D. Shibulal (MET’88), BU Trustee; Co-Founder & Former CEO and Managing Director, Infosys Technologies Ltd.
- Vasan Ramachandran, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at BUSM/BUSPH and Investigator & Director, Framingham Heart Study
Celebrate Boston University with fellow alumni and friends at a dinner at One Great George Street.
The evening will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and remarks by University and alumni leaders. Dessert will follow.
Summit: Business attire
Dinner: Business attire or cocktail attire
Corinthia Hotel London (Summit Venue)
Address: Whitehall Pl, Westminster, London SW1A 2BD
Tube Station: Embankment Station
One Great George Street (Dinner Venue)
Address: 1 Great George St, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA
Tube Station: Westminster Station
Citadines Trafalgar Square London (Room Block)
For the nights of March 27 and 28, a room block has been reserved for Summit attendees at Citadines Trafalgar Square London at a special BU rate.
Located right across the street from the Corinthia Hotel, Citadines Trafalgar Square London offers modern, self-catering accommodations. For reservations, click here to be directed to the booking website. Rate – Studio Room: £197
Azer Bestavros is the Inaugural Associate Provost for Computing & Data Sciences (CDS), appointed in 2019 to lead the newly-formed Faculty of CDS at Boston University. Prior to that, he was the Founding Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing, set up in 2010 to nucleate BU’s presence in CDS. Under his leadership, the Institute has become a landmark at the crossroads of computational research at BU, engaging over 250 researchers from 38 departments, and securing over $100M in external research funding of incubated projects. From 2000 to 2007, he chaired the Computer Science Department in the College of Arts & Sciences, having joined it in 1991 after obtaining his PhD from Harvard University. Praised by students for his engaging teaching style and his use of memorable analogies, Azer pursues research at the nexus of cloud computing and cyber security, most recently focusing on privacy-preserving big-data analytics. In 2017, he was named a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor, the highest distinction bestowed upon senior faculty members at BU.
Professor Graham Wilson is the co-founder and Director of the Boston University Initiative on Cities. He joined the Faculty of Boston University in 2007 where he served as Chair of the Department of Political Science from 2010 until 2015. His areas of specialization include American Politics, Comparative Politics, Business and Government, and Interest Groups. Professor Wilson has served on the Warwick Commission on Directly Elected Mayors exploring how to restructure the leadership of cities in the United Kingdom in order to achieve policy change and dynamism. In 2014, he joined former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino as Co-director and Co-founder of the new Initiative on Cities at Boston University and has served as Director since November 2015.
He has published ten books and has authored numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes. His work has focused primarily on interest groups (particularly business) and their relationship with government and policymaking. He has published in the British Journal of Politics, Governance, Political Studies, the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and the International Political Science Association book series. Professor Wilson served as an editor and author of the Oxford Handbook of Business and Government published by OUP and The Consequences of the Global Financial Crisis: The Rhetoric of Reform and Regulation (with Wyn Grant) with Oxford University Press.
Jane Moran (Questrom’91)
Recognized as the first woman to top Computer Weekly’s ranking of the 100 most influential people in technology, Jane Moran was recently named Chief Technology Advisor for Unilever. Prior to this, Jane served as Unilever’s Chief Information Officer for five years. In her new role, Jane is focused on driving innovation through partnerships and collaborations, evaluating emerging technology to inform and drive the Unilever Digital Strategy, supporting the process and technology design of end-to-end business operations, managing the cyber security strategy and operations function, and evolving the technology and digital strategy through enhancement and simplification of Unilever’s technology platforms.
Jane’s passion for technology comes from her roots as a developer. At the beginning of her career, Jane built financial portfolio management and trading software applications. She was an IT consultant to Fortune 500 companies for many years which included implementing large scale ERP and CRM platforms. She has held CIO posts for the past 18 years, and prior to her experience with Unilever, she was Group CIO at Thomson Reuters.
Outside of Unilever Jane is a very active member of the global technology community. She also holds two non-executive director positions with JP Morgan, JP Morgan Securities PLC and JP Morgan Europe Limited.
Jane works and lives in London with her husband and two sons.
Lucy Hutyra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth & Environment at Boston University. She received her PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences in 2007 from Harvard University for her thesis “Carbon and Water Exchange in Amazonian Rain Forests.” In 1998 she received a BS in Forest Ecology and Management from the University of Washington.
Professor Hutyra’s current research interests center on urban sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions. Her work specifically focuses on quantifying the effects of urbanization on vegetation structure and productivity, developing urban greenhouse gas monitoring systems, and refining fossil fuel emissions estimates. Hutyra is an Investigator on several large NASA research projects linking remote sensing, atmospheric observations, field measurements, and models to study the urban carbon cycle. She was the recipient of an NSF CAREER award in 2012, serves on the NASA Earth Sciences Advisory Committee, and has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles on various aspects of the carbon cycle.
Malcolm Smith is the founding Director of the Integrated Urbanism Unit at Arup in London, leader of the Integrated City Planning team, and the Arup Fellow in Masterplanning and Urban Design. Malcolm sets the design strategy for a wide range of urban design projects both in the United Kingdom and internationally that have integrated design at their core. Besides the physical issues of places, his work encompasses issues such as integrated systems, resource efficiency, cultural strategy, meaningful infrastructures, risk and resilience. This approach comes together in the process of Integrated Urbanism. From 2009-2014 he was appointed by the City of Amsterdam as lead designer for Zuidas, the new commercial centre for Amsterdam. In 1998 he led the masterplan for Stratford City, the metropolitan centre at the heart of the London Olympic park. Recent projects have included the urban strategy for Central to Eveleigh, Sydney; The Human Genome Campus for Wellcome Trust in Cambridgeshire, the transformation of Dalian Harbour, China; and the Singapore Sports Hub.
Malek Sukkar (ENG’92)
Mayank Singhal, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of PI Industries Ltd, hails from a reputed business family of Udaipur, Rajasthan.
He has had a great role in taking PI Industries Ltd. to newer heights, with his entrepreneurial and business management skills. Founded by Mayank’s grandfather Late Rajpriye PP Singhal and later established by his father Mr. Salil Singhal a well-known industrialist. The company has made immense growth and progress under Mayank’s leadership and the Group has businesses encompassing manufacturing & distribution of Agro-Chemicals, Custom Synthesis & Manufacturing of niche Fine Chemicals (agro-chemicals, electronic chemicals, imaging chemicals, etc.) Electronic Metering Systems, Mining & Minerals Processing.
After his initial education in Udaipur, Mayank went to UWCSEA Singapore to finish his schooling. Mayank completed his course on Business Management and Engineering in London, UK. He then returned to India, to join his family business.
He started his career working in the Energy metering company of the family. His career at PI Industries started at an operational level and he worked in all aspects of the business and went on to lead the Strategic functions of the company. He was instrumental in setting up world class manufacturing facilities at Gujarat and R&D centre in Udaipur. He took the global leadership position in the business, spearheading the development strategy of the company’s new business model. With more than 20 years of experience in the Agro-chemical industry, he has been instrumental in the rapid growth and advancement of the customer base of PI Industries. He has taken the challenge to invest in R&D for developing new products useful for the Agri Chem. He has built a world class R & D center; which is Asia’s number one facility with more than 150 people.
He has an incredible interest in R&D and constantly strives to revitalize this aspect at PI. Apart from creating and sustaining some of India’s leading Agri Input brands, he has also pioneered the concept of Custom Synthesis & Manufacturing and put PI as pioneers in this space at the global level. Not surprisingly, today, PI is among the top 5 agrochemical companies in India and is among the top 5 CSM companies globally in the patented agrochemical space.
He is on the boards of the following companies:
- TP Buildtech Pvt. Ltd.
- PI Life Science Research
- PILL Finance and Investments
- Crop Life India Pvt. Ltd
He is interested in meeting new people and gathering information’s in the area of business. As part of his learning strategy Mr. Singhal has joined YPO Forum in 2013.
He enjoys travelling for business and recreational purpose. Has very keen interest in Art, Photography and designing.
Pranav Adani (Questrom’99)
Mr. Pranav Adani is Director on the Board of Adani Enterprises Limited, heading the Agri, City Gas Distribution, Real Estate and Integrated Coal Management businesses for the Adani Group, one of India’s business conglomerates with presence in key industry verticals – resources, logistics, energy and agro.
Mr. Adani began his entrepreneurial journey in 1999 with Adani Wilmar Limited, JV between Adani Group and Wilmar International, Singapore. Adani Wilmar is one of the top agribusiness companies in India.
Working towards food security in India, Mr. Adani set up Adani Group’s other two forays in agri vertical – Adani Agri Logistics, pioneer in bulk handling, storage and transportation of food grains in India, and Adani Agri Fresh, India’s largest integrated horticulture supply chain initiative with ultra-modern storage infrastructure.
Mr. Adani steered the Group’s City Gas Distribution (CGD) business, a listed entity and part of which is in a JV with Indian Oil Corporation Limited, to become the largest private sector CGD player in the country.
Mr. Adani leads the Real Estate business having developments spread across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune and Gujarat. He also heads the Group’s Integrated Coal Management business spread across 10 ports across India. Mr. Adani is responsible for the Corporate Brand Custodian function of the Adani Group.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University. Mr. Adani is an alumnus of the Owners/President Management Program of Harvard Business School. His wife Mrs. Namrata Adani is a Masters in Economics and they are blessed with a son Param Adani (15 years) and a daughter Vani Adani (8 years).
A known face of key industry forums, Mr. Adani has served as the Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Gujarat and as the President of the Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) (2013 to 2015). Mr. Adani has been conferred with several awards, including the ‘Globoil Man of the Year’ accolade in 2009.
Robert A. Knox (CAS’74, Questrom’75, Hon’17)
Robert Knox is Senior Managing Director of Cornerstone Equity Investors, L.L.C., a private equity firm which he founded. Prior to the formation of Cornerstone Equity Investors, Mr. Knox was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Equity Investors, Inc., the private equity subsidiary of Prudential Financial. Mr. Knox has a long history and expertise in the healthcare sector as well as broad experience in technology and consumer product companies. During his investment career, Mr. Knox has served on the Boards of more than 25 private and public companies. He was the lead independent director of Health Management Associates (NYSE) prior to its acquisition by Community Health Systems.
Mr. Knox graduated from Boston University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and earned an MBA from Boston University in 1975. He received an Honorary Degree from Boston University in 2017. He has been a trustee of Boston University for 20 years and served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2008 -2016. He also chairs Boston University’s International Advisory Board.
S.D. Shibulal (MET’88)
Mr. S.D. Shibulal is one of the luminaries of the IT revolution in India, having co-founded India’s top-rung Infosys Limited. He has led the company in different capacities since its inception. He was a member of the Board of Infosys and was its CEO & Managing Director between 2011 and 2014. He is also the co-founder of Axilor Ventures, a venture capital firm that helps early stage startups. Shibulal serves on the board of several organizations, prominent being Boston University; Haverford College, Philadelphia and Infosys Science Foundation. He does extensive work in the field of Education and Healthcare under the aegis of Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiatives.He also serves on Boston University’s International Advisory Board.
Sheldon Simon is a Partner at Adage Capital Management L.P., a Boston-based money management firm. Prior to joining Adage in 2002, he spent 18 years at Putnam Investments as an analyst and portfolio manager. He received his BS in Economics in 1979 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA in 1984 from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
At BU, Sheldon chairs the Institute for Sustainable Energy advisory board and serves on the dean’s advisory board for the School of Public Health, as well as on the International Advisory Board. Sheldon also is Co-Chair and founder of the Men’s Collaborative to Cure Women’s Cancers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Sheldon lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife Ruth A. Moorman (CAS’88, Wheelock’89,’09).
Susan Fournier is Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of the Questrom School of Business. Priorities under her leadership are to attract and retain world-class faculty; drive “research that matters”; build distinction in the areas of health, digital business, and social impact; enhance Questrom’ s portfolio of program offerings to align with the evolving market; and elevate the Questrom student experience and community overall. Dean Fournier has served 26 years as a marketing academic, 15 of these at Questrom, with previous roles as the School’s Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Research and Director of the MBA and PhD Programs. She held prior academic appointments at Harvard Business School and Dartmouth Tuck School. She is the President and Founder of the Institute for Brands & Brand Relationships, which seeks to build bridges between academics and business practitioners on strategic brand matters. She claims five major research awards to her credit, including the Long Term Contribution to Consumer Behavior and the Most Significant Contribution to Marketing Theory & Practice. With over 23,000 Google Scholar citations, Dean Fournier ranks among the top 10% of business academics in terms of impact. Current research projects explore shareholder value creation through branding, the riskiness of person-brands, and board-level enterprise risk management practices necessitated by the contemporary socio-political environment; her projects are dedicated to building interdisciplinary bridges that can increase the substantive contributions of academic research. Dean Fournier has published over 30 Harvard teaching cases in the brand strategy domain, many with best-seller status. Prior to her career in academia, she was VP at Young & Rubicam Advertising and served in market research roles at Polaroid Corporation and Yankelovich Clancy Shulman. Dean Fournier consults with a range of companies on brand issues to inform her leadership, teaching, and research.
Dr. Vasan Ramachandran is a cardiologist with subspecialty training in echocardiography and cardiovascular epidemiology. He has a long-standing commitment to clinical epidemiological research, having worked at the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) as a senior investigator for over 25 years. Currently, Dr. Ramachandran is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the entire FHS (its core contract) and Director of the FHS Center, a Department at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). More recently, he is the PI of another new NHLBI cohort study- Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal Study (RURAL). He is the Chief in the Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology in the Department of Medicine and a Professor of Medicine at BUSM. Dr. Ramachandran also directs the new Center for Integrative Transdisciplinary Epidemiology at BUSM, a center focused on developing novel methods in data sciences, including life course epidemiology, transomic multilevel multidimensional data and geospatial epidemiological methods. Dr. Ramachandran’s research has focused on a) The epidemiology and novel risk markers of heart failure (HF; especially HF with preserved ejection fraction), including evaluating the role of heart remodeling, and vascular function (arterial stiffness); b) Population-based echocardiography and stress testing, including identifying biological, environmental, and genomic determinants of these traits; normative standards; c) Detailed assessment of novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, risk prediction, subclinical atherosclerosis and genomics of CVD traits; d) using data sciences and technological advances for improving public health, especially of underserved populations.
Yousif Al Nowais (Parent Pardee’14)
Chairman and Managing Director, Arab Development Company