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Sheldon Himelfarb

President and CEO, PeaceTech Lab

Dr. Sheldon Himelfarb is the president and CEO of the PeaceTech Lab. He joined USIP from The Corporate Executive Board, where he was on the Technology Practice Leadership Team. Prior to this, he served as foreign policy adviser to a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the head of North American Documentary Development for Yorkshire TV, and the CEO/executive producer for Common Ground Productions.


He is an award-winning filmmaker, former commentator for National Public Radio (Sunday Morning Edition), and author of numerous articles on politics, popular culture and conflict. He has managed peacebuilding programs in numerous conflicts, including Bosnia, Iraq, Angola, Liberia, Macedonia, and Burundi and received the Capitol Area Peace Maker award from American University. He holds a doctorate from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University.

Katrin Hirseland

Chief of Staff, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

Katrin Hirseland studied political science and Japanese studies in Tübingen, Kyoto, and Seattle. She is an intercultural trainer. Between 2000 and 2003, she worked as a project manager for the Bertelsmann Foundation, running several national and international projects in the field of intercultural education and integration.


She joined the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in 2003 as a staff member for the Expert Committee on Migration and Integration. Between 2007 and the fall of 2012, she served as head of several units in the integration department, including the unit “central issues of integration support.” In the fall of 2012, she was assigned the position of head of the office of the president of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and also served as head of the press unit.

Aubrey Hruby

Co-Founder, Africa Expert Network

Aubrey Hruby is co-founder of the Africa Expert Network (AXN) and an advisor to investors and Fortune 500 companies doing business in Africa. She designs market entry strategies, sources opportunities, and facilitates transactions.


Hruby leads CEO-level delegations to Africa and has worked in more than 20 African markets. As a senior visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council, she speaks regularly on African business issues. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the co-author of The Next Africa (July 2015, Macmillan). She earned a MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s from Georgetown University.

Gregory Scott Horowitt

Founding Partner and Managing Director, T2 Venture Capital

Gregory Scott Horowitt is the co-founder and managing director of T2 Venture Creation, a multi-disciplinary venture capital fund and ecosystem advisory firm focused on building high impact technology and healthcare enterprises. He is an advisor and consultant to many of the world’s top development organizations, including the Aspen Institute, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. Department of State, and National Academies of Science, as well as CORFO (Chile), iNNpulsa (Colombia), Skoltech (Russia), and Ruta N (Medellin).


Horowitt is also the co-founder of Global CONNECT, an innovation and ecosystem think tank based at the University of California, San Diego, that helped create the early frameworks around innovation ecosystems. Prior to CONNECT, Horowitt’s life was as an entrepreneur and investor, having been involved with a number of Silicon Valley startups and venture capital, including serving as an entrepreneur-in-residence for SK Global, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

Cheikh Tidiane Gadio

President, Institute for PanAfrican Strategies

Before assuming the post of minister of state for foreign affairs of Senegal from 2000 to 2009, Dr. Cheikh Tidiane Gadio was the director for Africa at SIT in Vermont (International Training School) and coordinator for West Africa of the World Links for Development program (WordLD) at the World Bank in Washington. In 2012, he was among the candidates for the Senegalese presidential election.


After he received his master’s degree in sociology and communication at the University Paris VII, Gadio received his DEA in sociology of mass communications at the University René Descartes Sorbonne. He taught for four years at the University of Dakar, during which he obtained his certificate of practical training in communication and program development technologies for audiovisual education in Montreal. He received his Ph.D. in communication and international development at The Ohio State University.