Speakers


    James G. PtaszynskiOlman Segura Bonilla has been the executive president of the National Institute of Learning of Costa Rica since 2010. Prior to his nomination to that position, he served as president of the Universidad Nacional (UNA). During his tenure at UNA, he was elected general secretary of the web of Macro-Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean. Among his other notable leadership positions, he served as president of the University Executive Council of America and as director of the International Center of Economic Politics for the Sustainable Development of Universidad Nacional. Dr. Segura was also a professor for UNA's graduate programs in Economic Politics for Central America and the Caribbean and in International Commerce. Dr. Segura earned his Ph.D. in economics, with an emphasis on innovation and technological change, from the University of Aalborg, Denmark. He holds a master's degree in economics from the University of London and baccalaureate degrees from UNA and the University of Wisconsin, United States.

    Muriel Howard Muriel Howard became president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in 2009 following a 13-year tenure as president of Buffalo State College. Earlier she was vice president for public service and urban affairs at the University of Buffalo, where she had served in a number of leadership capacities for more than 23 years. During her time in western New York, Dr. Howard served on a number of civic, educational, and cultural organizations, including the New York State Department of Education Commissioner’s Council on Higher Education, the New York State Blue Ribbon Commission on Youth Leadership, and the State University of New York (SUNY) Advisory Council on Teacher Education. She also served on the SUNY board of directors for the Center for Russia and co-chaired the SUNY Provost’s Advisory Task Force on General Education, establishing guidelines for instituting general-education curricula throughout the SUNY system.

    James G. PtaszynskiJames Ptaszynski is the senior director of Microsoft Corporation’s World Wide Higher Education Strategy. He joined Microsoft in 1995 after spending 16 years in higher education. For six years prior to joining the company, he was the associate dean at the Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University, where he was responsible for a number of administrative and academic areas, including the school’s strategic planning and its adoption and integration of technology. He also taught graduate-level marketing and conducted research into trends and driving forces for change in education. In addition to consulting for a number of businesses and not-for-profit organizations, Dr. Ptaszynski has served on the U.S. Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education (the Spellings Commission), on the Middle East Institute for Higher Education, and as an advisor on the Council of Senior Advisors for the International Association of University Presidents. Dr. Ptaszynski received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

    James G. PtaszynskiIn 1989, Steinar Opstad founded the American College of Norway, in Moss, Norway. He is the retired vice president of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry. He is also among Norway's leading communication experts, scientists, and humanitarians. In 2010, the king of Norway awarded Dr. Opstad the Gold Medal of Merit. In addition to authoring several journal articles, he has written ten textbooks on leadership and related topics, six books on management, three books on communication, two works of fiction, and one volume on education. Dr. Opstad has helped developing countries strengthen their economies and their social-welfare and educational systems. Much of his work has been in Asia, where he partnered with the United Nations and other international organizations on a variety of projects. Worldview International Foundation, which he cofounded in 1979 and chaired, has brought communication technologies to 31 developing countries and millions of people. Dr. Opstad earned his BA and M.Ed. from University of Bergen, Norway and has a doctorate in communication technology from Columbia Pacific University of San Rafael and is honored with a Hon. Litt. D. from University of North Dakota.

    James G. PtaszynskiJohn Cavanaugh became chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in 2008. Previously he served as president of the University of West Florida, where he created the Academic Technology Center and was one of the original proponents of the Vince Whibbs Community Maritime Park, the largest public-private partnership in Pensacola history. From 1999 to 2002, he served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He also held various positions at the University of Delaware, including vice provost for academic programs and planning and associate provost for graduate studies. Dr. Cavanaugh earned a bachelor's degree in psychology with high honors from the University of Delaware and his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota's Center for Research in Human Learning and the Institute of Child Development and served as a Fellow with the American Council on Education, American Psychological Association, and Gerontological Society of America. In addition, he was a Charter Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.