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Shaifali Puri  

Executive Director, Scientists Without Borders

Ms. Shaifali Puri is the Executive Director of Scientists Without Borders, a global partnership that aims to improve the quality of life in the developing world by linking, mobilizing, and coordinating science-based activities, initiatives, and resources.

Prior to being named Executive Director of Scientists Without Borders, Ms. Puri was the Senior Advisor to the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Empire State Development Corporation, the economic and development arm of the State of New York. In that capacity, she helped to supervise the operations of the 550-employee agency with a $50 million annual operating budget and $500 million program and capital budget, to devise and direct strategy for major development projects in the state, and to negotiate significant deals and investments with major corporations across New York. Ms. Puri also worked closely with the Governor of New York, other elected officials, and multiple non-governmental stakeholders to design and execute strategic economic development projects, policies, and public/private partnerships. Prior to joining the Empire State Development Corporation, she was an Assistant Solicitor General for the State of New York. Earlier in her career, she was a journalist at Fortune magazine

She received her AB with honors from Princeton University and her law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School. She is a former law clerk to the Hon. Amalya L. Kearse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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Speech Topics


Challenges & Open Innovation: Creative Solutions for Complex Problems

Even Fortune 100 companies grapple with some of the biggest challenges we face as a global community—especially when it comes to keeping up with our rapidly growing, tech-based society. After several years at Scientists Without Borders, where she honed her unique talent for cutting-edge innovation, Shaifali Puri is now leading NIKE in their efforts to address some of our most universal challenges. In this continually evolving talk, Shaifali explains how micro-actions can yield macro-solutions, regardless of what stands before us, and how we can all play a part in the process both as leaders and as problem solvers in a connected world.

Leadership in Uncertain Times

Solving the major challenges can't happen overnight. Although Shaifali is leading NIKE into the future, success can’t be achieved if innovation is stagnant. In this talk, Shaifali shares how she is using counterintuitive thinking and long-term planning to create an actionable model to identify, isolate and solve of the most complicated challenges around the globe—and how these principles can be applied within any company or organization.

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