Sara Bolder spent twenty years as a film and sound editor, working on Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan,The English Patient and many other films. Feeling the pull of her activist youth, she changed careers and spent the next fifteen years as a fundraiser at various non-profit social justice organizations. For the past two years, Sara has been working as a Development Consultant, specializing in fundraising and organizational development with start-up and young organizations. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
Dr. Kaye Lesley Cleave began her career as a teacher in Australia before heading off to travel the world. For fifteen years she ran her own company, offering strategic planning and leadership seminars to corporate and government organizations. Her first book, Once More With Feelings: How to Manage Your Emotions in the Workplace has sold world-wide. She has an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco, a PhD in creative writing from the University of Adelaide, Australia and from 2008-2010 she was a research scholar at UC Berkeley. She currently teaches poetry at Salinas Valley State Prison and is committed to helping expand educational opportunities in Nepal.
Mary Patrick Kavanaugh produces innovative educational programs and events for higher education, business and community organizations, with a focus on conscious leadership, social enterprise, entrepreneurship, and societal transformation. She founded and directs Soka University’s Bridges to Business (B2B), a purpose-driven career mentoring program, and Critical Conversations @ Soka, a community speaking series featuring artists, activists, and thought-leaders. Prior to working at Soka, Mary founded and directed UC Irvine’s Prosperitas, an idea incubator and networking community for successful entrepreneurs at the Merage School of Business. Before transitioning into higher education, she ran her own research firm that focused on market research and competitive analysis, and served as marketing director and general manager at Bay Area consulting firms. She is a published author and licensed private investigator (California License #19957). Mary has a BA from San Francisco State University, and MFA from the University of San Francisco.
Prakash Bista completed his early education and high school in Nepal. He received a scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s of Arts in Liberal Arts degree at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California in 2013, and another scholarship to pursue a Masters degree in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2017. In December 2009, he led residents of his village, Lalu, to build the village's first private but socially motivated non-profit school. The United Nations considers the area, Kalikot District of Nepal, one of the world’s poorest and most impoverished regions. Prakash won the first prize with $10,000 cash in the Orange County Social Entrepreneurship Competition 2014 at UC Irvine. He was then named one of Orange County's 100 Most Influential People in 2014 by Orange County Register. Prakash’s dream is to expand educational opportunities to the world's poorest and most remote communities.
Kalyan Katuri earned his MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and taught Controls Theory and Engineering Design at Clemson University. After moving to Berkeley as an engineering consultant at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he worked on data driven software solutions for several applications in instrumentation, bioprocessing, and environmental sciences. As a data scientist, he also supports Ice911, a Menlo Park based non-profit working on preserving Arctic ice. Kalyan is passionate about making quality education and health services accessible to children in developing countries.
Ellen Boccuzzi is Senior Program Advisor with The Asia Foundation. She has fifteen years of professional experience in international development, with a focus on good governance, urban development, migration, civil society, and education in Asia. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Boccuzzi served as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and as a consultant to the United Nations. She holds a Ph.D. in South and Southeast Asian Studies from UC Berkeley, a Master’s from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s from Princeton University.
Justin Barr has spent the last 10 years creating and building businesses in the online advertising industry. Based in Orange County, CA he is currently the Founder of online-ad agency Commerce Machine. Prior to this he co-founded Tapit!, a mobile advertising network that was acquired just 18 months after its creation. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and is an active board member for the Orange County chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization. He enjoys using his skills in digital advertising and user-acquisition for for-purpose marketing to help drive donor leads and engagement.
Harrison Preusse grew up in Orange County, California, where he attends Soka University of America. He is currently pursuing his Liberal Arts degree with a concentration in the social and behavioral sciences. During high school he served as President of his school’s Special Olympics Games Leadership Team. He is passionate about education, reducing global inequity, and environmental sustainability.