Geoffrey West, The Santa Fe Institute
Geoffrey West is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions in physics, especially those concerning the elementary particles, their interactions and cosmological implications. He served as SFI President from July 2005 through July 2009.
Prior to joining the Santa Fe Institute as a distinguished professor in 2003, he was the leader and founder of the high-energy physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he is one of only approximately 10 Senior Fellows.
His long-term fascination in general scaling phenomena evolved into a highly productive collaboration on the origin of universal scaling laws that pervade biology from the molecular genomic scale up through mitochondria and cells to whole organisms and ecosystems. This led to the development of realistic quantitative models for the structural and functional design of organisms based on underlying universal principles.
Cesar A. Hidalgo, MIT Media Lab
Cesar A. Hidalgo is an assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab, and faculty associate at Harvard University's Center for International Development. Before joining MIT, Hidalgo was an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a research fellow at Harvard's Center for International Development.
Hidalgo's work focuses on improving the understanding of systems by using and developing concepts of complexity, evolution, and network science. His goal is to improve the understanding of the evolution of prosperity in order to develop industrial policies that can help countries raise the living standards of their citizens. His areas of application include economic development, systems biology, and social systems.
Hidalgo is also a graphic-art enthusiast and has published and exhibited artwork that uses data collected originally for scientific purposes. A native of Santiago de Chile, Hidalgo holds a PhD in physics from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor's degree in physics from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.
Ren Y. Cheng, Fidelity Investments
Ren Cheng is senior research advisor for Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMRCo). He assumed his current position in the Asset Allocation Division of FMRCo in October 2009 and is responsible for working with investment teams across the company on asset allocation and research. He reports directly to president of the Asset Allocation Division, Boyce Greer.
Cheng joined Fidelity in 1994. He invented and developed the concept of Target Date Funds from 1994 to 1996. He served as the first manager of the Fidelity Freedom funds from October 1996 until September 2007. He also started and managed the first national level 529 College Investment Funds, The Fidelity UNIQUE 529 portfolios in 1998. Cheng acted as managing director of the Global Asset Allocation group from September 2005 until assuming the role of chief investment officer of the Global Asset Allocation Group in September 2007. He took a leave of absence from Fidelity in 2008 and returned in October 2009 under his current title.
Prior to joining Fidelity, Mr. Cheng spent nine years at Putnam Investments, leaving the company as a senior vice president and senior portfolio manager. He was responsible for managing risk-controlled asset allocation portfolios for U.S. and international institutional clients.
Cheng earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from National Taiwan University in 1979 and a master's degree in economics from Brown University in 1983.
Hamid Benbrahim, Fidelity Investments
Hamid Benbrahim is vice president and head of the Center for Applied Complexity at Fidelity Investments, where he addresses systemic risk in financial markets, self-organization in large corporations, and robustness and security in large technology infrastructures.
Prior to joining Fidelity Dr. Benbrahim advised venture capital firms on investments and going to market strategies in mobile and social media.
During his 13-year tenure at Verizon Communications (previously GTE), Benbrahim assumed a number of business operations and technology roles. He led the deployment and design of Fault, Configuration, and Performance Management systems and processes for voice, data, and mobile Network Operations Centers in the US, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Argentina. As chief technology architect, he led a number of large software integration and deployment projects, including the integration of large backend systems for the domestic yellow pages business unit and modernization of billing and customer service systems and processes for Verizon's mobile business unit in the Dominican Republic. As head of the Verizon's mobile yellow pages business unit in 2003, Benbrahim launched new mobile phone products, including local advertising, weather, movies, maps, and driving directions.
Benbrahim holds a PhD in Engineering (robotics and machine learning) from the University of New Hampshire; a DEA in Control Systems from Universite de Caen, France; and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School.
William O'Neill, Jr., Suffolk University
William J. O'Neill, Jr. has been dean of the Sawyer Business School since August of 2001.
Dean O'Neill brings extensive corporate experience to this role. His goal is to develop influential leaders of global business and public service. Since his tenure as dean, the Business School has established a Global MBA degree and an undergraduate degree in global business. To intensify the students' exposure to global issues, the Business School has increased the number of faculty with global work and education experiences and has increased the number of countries students may visit as part of their business travel course program.
He began his business career in the Finance Training Program at the Ford Motor Company. After Ford, he moved to the Polaroid Corporation where he spent much of his career in the executive offices directing global strategy, worldwide marketing, sales, and business development, financial management, and investor relations.
He is a member of numerous boards including the Board of Directors for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. He has been associated with many other for profit and not for profit organizations and has served as Trustee for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable Education Reform Committee. He is also a Life Trustee for The New England Aquarium and Lesley University.
Dean O'Neill earned his JD from Suffolk University Law School, his MBA from Wayne State University, Michigan, and his BA in Mathematics from Boston College.
Greta Meszoely, Suffolk University
Greta Meszoely is the executive director of the Center for Business Complexity & Global Leadership, associate professor at the Sawyer Business School, a fellow in the Center for Innovation and Change Leadership, and a Faculty Fellow of Service and Outreach and member of the Environmental Studies Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences at Suffolk.
She has pursued her interest and research of complex problems and sustainable governance globally in business and society. She has been actively engaged in community and economic development in the US, women's rights and economic development in Zimbabwe, human rights in Egypt, democratic elections to support peace and development in Palestine, and water resources management in the Sahara. Through her study of complex problems and the characteristics of complex adaptive systems her research has led to her interest in developing fundamental management competencies necessary to support effective governance of sustainable systems.
Meszoely holds a PhD in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University.