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Conference Speakers

  • Lynden Archer 

    Lynden Archer is the Joseph Silbert Dean of the College of Engineering, and the James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the College of Engineering. His research focuses on transport properties of polymers and polymer-nanoparticle hybrid materials, and their applications for electrochemical energy storage.

    Archer received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford University in 1993 and was a Postdoctoral Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1994. He previously served as Director of the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell from 2010 to 2016, and as the David Croll Director of the Cornell Energy Systems Institute from 2017 to 2020. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). His research contributions have been recognized with various awards, including the AICHE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum award, the National Science Foundation award for Special Creativity, a NSF Distinguished Lectureship in Mathematical & Physical Sciences, the American Institute of Chemical Engineer’s MAC Centennial Engineer award, and the Thompson-Reuters World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds in Materials Science for 2014 & 2015.

    At Cornell, he has been recognized with the James & Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award and thrice with the Merrill Presidential award as the most influential member of the Cornell faculty selected by a Merrill Presidential Scholar awardee.

  • Jon Burdick
    Jon Burdick

    Jon Burdick is Cornell’s Vice Provost for Enrollment. Burdick oversees admissions, financial aid and the university registrar. He is charged with strategically positioning Cornell to better achieve its institutional goals and priorities, while also supporting and strengthening the specific enrollment-related needs and goals of the university’s colleges and schools. His main objectives will be spearheading the university’s self-study in admissions, financial aid and registrar with the intent to enhance and evolve Cornell’s current practices.

    Burdick is an avid reader, writer and photographer. He has traveled to six continents and 71 countries, including volunteer service in Kenya, research in Japan, and helping to lead college student excursions in Brazil and Malawi. 

  • Derek Chang
    Derek Chang

    Derek Chang is Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies in the Department of History in the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S). He is also affiliated with the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. His research focuses on Asian American history, African American history, the histories of race and racism in the U.S., American social history, and American religious history. He is author of Citizens of a Christian Nation: Evangelical Nationalism and the Problem of Race in the Nineteenth Century (Penn Press, 2010). He is part of a team, led Cornell’s Public History Initiative, that has been awarded an Engaged Cornell Curriculum grant to develop a public history minor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and he is part of the Center for Teaching Innovation’s “Telling Our Stories: A Public History of Belonging at Cornell” project, which has recently been awarded an innovation grant from the University’s Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity. He has served as director of Cornell’s Asian American Studies Program. His current research focuses on the place and experiences of Asians in the Jim Crow South.

  • Kyle Downey

    Kyle Downey is a Senior Associate Director in Cornell University’s Undergraduate Admissions Office. He serves in a variety of admissions and alumni engagement capacities at Cornell, including CAAAN, External Relations, Veteran Recruitment, and international recruitment coordination. In his international role, Kyle specializes in Europe, East Asia and SE Asia/Oceania. This is Kyle’s 17th year at Cornell and prior to this assignment, he worked in admissions and academic advising roles at Miami University and the University at Albany.

  • Corey Earle
    Corey Earle '07

    Corey Earle '07 is University Historian and Visiting Lecturer in American Studies and has taught AMST 2001: The First American University, a 400-person course on the history of Cornell since 2011. He serves as an unofficial university historian and frequently gives presentations on Cornell-related topics to students, staff, and alumni. Corey also works in Alumni Affairs & Development, where he helps cultivate and steward alumni giving and relationships with Cornell. He previously served as Associate Director of Student Programs and is passionate about building community and sense of belonging for students and alumni.

    Corey is an Ithaca native and serves as an advisor for a variety of student organizations, including the Cornell Glee Club and Cornell Media Guild (WVBR-FM). He's a local heritage ambassador and the former board president of The History Center in Tompkins County. A graduate of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences in 2007 with a major in Communication and minors in Information Science and Applied Economics & Management, Corey also has an M.A. in higher education administration and policy from Teachers College, Columbia University.

  • Gustavo Flores Macias
    Gustavo A. Flores-Macías

    Gustavo A. Flores-Macías is the Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs and Associate Professor of Government in A&S. His research and teaching interests include a variety of topics related to political and economic development in Latin America. His current research focuses on three main areas: 1) the politics of economic reforms, 2) taxation and state capacity, and 3) the consequences of the militarization of law enforcement. Work related to these interests has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Democracy, Journal of Politics, Peace Review, Perspectives on Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Politics &  Society, Studies in Comparative International Development, World Development, and as chapters in edited volumes. 

    Gustavo’s first book, After Neoliberalism? The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America (Oxford University Press 2012), studies the economic policies of left-of-center governments in Latin America, focusing on the role that party systems play in facilitating or hindering economic transformations. The book won the Latin American Studies Association Tomassini Award in 2014.

    He is also the editor of the volume, The Political Economy of Taxation in Latin America (Cambridge University Press 2019), which studies the political obstacles to taxation and progressivity in the region. 

  • Ray Jayawardhana headshot
    Ray Jayawardhana

    Ray Jayawardhana is the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences and a professor of astronomy. He holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University and a B.S. in astronomy and physics from Yale University.

    As the leader of the largest and most academically diverse college at Cornell, he is focused on strategic priorities in the areas of faculty renewal and support, research excellence, academic innovation and student experience, and public engagement and impact.

    As a prolific researcher, he uses the most advanced telescopes on the ground and in space to do ‘remote sensing’ of planets around other stars (“exoplanets”), and is co-author of over 140 papers in scientific journals.

    He is also a writer whose articles have appeared in publications including The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and Scientific American. His book “Strange New Worlds” was the basis for “The Planet Hunters” television documentary on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.; his book “Neutrino Hunters” won the CSWA Book Award. His latest, a picture book for children titled “Child of the Universe,” was published by Penguin Random House in 2020.

    Jayawardhana’s research, writing and outreach have led to numerous accolades, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Steacie Prize, McLean Award, Radcliffe Fellowship, and Rutherford, Nicholson and Carl Sagan Medals.

    An avid traveler, he has visited more than 55 countries and all seven continents. His travels, for research and writing, have included numerous visits to mountaintop observatories in Chile and Hawaii, a meteorite collecting expedition in Antarctica, a parabolic flight with the European Space Agency, a solar eclipse chase in western Mongolia and a descent into a South African mine with geobiologists.

  • Rachel Riedl
    Rachel Riedl

    Rachel Riedl is the Einaudi Center's director and John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and professor in the Department of Government.

    Her research interests include institutional development in new democracies, local governance and decentralization policy, authoritarian regime legacies, and religion and politics, with a regional focus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research, and Director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. She has also been a visiting fellow at the Yale Program on Democracy, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Chair of the Comparative Democratization section of the American Political Science Association. Riedl is co-host of the podcast Ufahamu Africa, featuring weekly episodes of news highlights and interviews about life and politics on the African continent.

  • Fred Van Sickle headshot
    Fred Van Sickle 

    Fred Van Sickle is the Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell University. Fred is the university's chief fundraiser, overseeing a team of some 360 members responsible for building alumni engagement worldwide and securing private support from individuals and institutions for Cornell. 

    Before joining Cornell in January of 2016, Fred Van Sickle served for two years as chief development officer at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Van Sickle served Columbia University for 12 years, occupying three leadership roles including executive vice president for University Development and Alumni Relations. He oversaw outreach to Columbia's alumni worldwide and played a pivotal role in planning, executing, and completing the $6.1 billion Columbia Campaign.   He has also served as associate vice president for Development and assistant dean for Development for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, vice president for Alumni and Development and secretary of the College at Lake Forest College (his undergraduate alma mater), and director of Principal Gifts at Princeton University. 

    Van Sickle holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Doctor of Education degree, with distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania. A former trustee of International House (New York) and board chair of the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County, he currently serves as a trustee of the Finger Lakes Land Trust and the Holland Society of New York. 

  • Wendy Wolford headshot
    Wendy Wolford

    Wendy Wolford is the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor of Global Development in the Department of Development Sociology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her research includes work on international development, land use and distribution, social mobilization, agrarian societies and critical ethnography. 

    As vice provost for international affairs, she focuses on strengthening the university’s many global connections and interdisciplinary initiatives.

    At Cornell since 2010, Wolford has served as the faculty director for economic development at the David R. Atkinson Center, where she co-led CARE-Cornell and Oxfam-Cornell collaborations. She was co-leader of a three-year theme project on contested global landscapes at Cornell’s Institute for the Social Sciences. 

    Wolford received her Bachelor of Arts in economics and international development from McGill University (1994) and her PhD (2001) in geography from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining Cornell, she was a faculty member in geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2001-2010) and a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University (2004-2005). She spent 2016-2017 as a Fulbright scholar in Mozambique and Portugal, and she is currently working on a book on the politics of inequality and rural development in Brazil and Mozambique. 

  • Steve Yale Loehr
    Steve Yale-Loehr

    Steve Yale-Loehr is Professor of Immigration with the Cornell Law School and  has practiced immigration law for over 35 years. He is co-author of Immigration Law and Procedure, the leading 21-volume treatise on U.S. immigration law. He is also of counsel at Miller Mayer in Ithaca, New York. He also founded and was the original executive director of Invest In the USA, a trade association of EB-5 immigrant investor regional centers. 

    Mr. Yale-Loehr received his B.A. degree from Cornell University in 1977 and his J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School in 1981. He was editor-in-chief of the Cornell International Law Journal. After graduation, Mr. Yale-Loehr clerked for the chief judge of the Northern District of New York. 

  • J. Meejin Yoon
    J. Meejin Yoon '95

    J. Meejin Yoon '95, AIA FAAR, is the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean at the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and cofounder of Höweler + Yoon, an award-winning design studio engaged in projects across the U.S. and around the world. A visionary architect, designer, and educator, Yoon is committed to advancing pedagogy, research, and practice to expand new knowledge and imaginaries across the college's fields, and to bringing deep expertise to the urgent environmental and social challenges facing our cities and communities.

    Yoon's own design research examines intersections between architecture, urbanism, technology, and the public realm. Yoon's professional projects and creative work include cultural buildings, public spaces, and memorials — recently built projects include the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia, Sky Courts Exhibition Hall in Chengdu China, and the Collier Memorial and MIT Museum at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In March 2021, Yoon was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the highest form of recognition of artistic merit in the United States.

    Yoon's work has been exhibited at venues such as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, and the Venice Biennale, among others.