Gideon Rachman

Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times. He is a winner of the Orwell prize for political journalism (2016) and of the European Press Prize for political commentary. His book “Easternisation – War and Peace in the Asian Century” was published in 2016. A previous book, “Zero-Sum World” was published in 2010. Before joining the FT in 2006, he worked for The Economist for 15 years in a range of jobs, including as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Bangkok and Washington. Mr Rachman read history at Cambridge University and has been a visiting fellow at Princeton University and the LSE.

Prof. Niall Ferguson

Prof. Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of fourteen books, most recently Kissinger, 1968-1923: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013). In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a Cambridge-based advisory firm.

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi was appointed Minister of State for Tolerance to promote and instill tolerance as a core principle and fundamental value in the UAE. Previously, Sheikha Lubna was Minister of International Cooperation and Development, Minister of Foreign Trade, and Minister of Economy, and the first woman in the UAE to hold a ministerial position in 2004. Sheikha Lubna is President of Zayed University, Chair of the International Institute for Tolerance, and sits on the board of numerous UAE and international organisations. Her Excellency was ranked 42nd in Forbes’ “World’s Most Powerful 100 Women” in 2015, named among “The Most Important 50 International Women to Watch” by the Wall Street Journal, and the first Emirati to receive the Clinton Global Citizen Award. She holds a BSc from California State University, Chico, an Executive MBA from the American University of Sharjah, and has been awarded numerous Honorary Doctorates.

Rt. Hon. Tony Blair

Tony Blair served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. Since leaving office he has spent most of his time on work in the Middle East, in Africa and on the fight against religiously based extremism. Through the Tony Blair Institute, he is bringing together all his philanthropic activities to focus on making globalisation work for all by helping governments and their people, whether in Africa or emerging countries, alleviate poverty, raise living standards, foster religious and cultural tolerance and advance peace and reconciliation. Underpinning these aims will be a policy solutions unit which will draw on the best ideas in both public and private policy spheres to drive forward practical solutions to some of today’s major global challenges.


Steve Clemons

Steve Clemons is Editor at Large of The Atlantic and Editor-in-Chief of AtlanticLIVE, the premium division of Atlantic 3D journalism. Clemons is also foreign policy and politics contributor to MSNBC. Clemons also founded and serves as Senior Fellow of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist policy think tank in Washington, DC where he previously served as Executive Vice President. Prior to this, Clemons served as Executive Vice President of the Economic Strategy Institute, was Senior Economic & International Affairs Advisor to Senator Jeff Bingaman, and was the founding Executive Director of the Nixon Center, now re-named the Center for National Interest. Clemons writes and speaks frequently on consequential national security, politics, and economic policy issues.

Stephen Dubner

Stephen Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He is best-known as coauthor of the books in the Freakonomics series, including Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, Think Like a Freak and When to Rob a Bank, which have sold more than 7 million copies in over 40 countries. Dubner is the host of the Freakonomics Radio podcast, which gets 8 million downloads a month, and maintains the popular Freakonomics blog, which has been called “the most readable economics blog in the universe.” He has appeared widely on television, including ABC News and as host of the Emmy-nominated NFL Network program, Football Freakonomics. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time, and elsewhere. He earned his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University, and an M.F.A. in writing at Columbia University. He was an editor and writer at New York magazine and The New York Times.

Prof. Robert Frank

Prof. Robert H. Frank is the H.J. Louis Professor of Economics at Cornell›s Johnson School of Management and an economics columnist for The New York Times. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Georgia Tech, then taught math and science as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Nepal. He holds an M.A. in statistics and a Ph.D. in economics, both from UC Berkeley. His books, which include Passions Within Reason, Principles of Economics (with Ben Bernanke), Luxury Fever, The Economic Naturalist, The Darwin Economy, and Success and Luck, have been translated into 24 languages. The WinnerTake-All Society (with Philip Cook) received a Critic›s Choice Award, was a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, and was included among Business Week›s ten best books of 1995. He was awarded the Johnson School’s Stephen Russell Distinguished Teaching Award in ,2004 2010, and 2012, and its Apple Teaching Award in 2005.

Dr. Nouriel Roubini

Dr. Nouriel Roubini is Chairman and CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, a global macroeconomic consultancy firm, and professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and prior to this at Yale University. From 1998 to 2000, he served as the senior economist for international affairs on the White House Council of Economic Advisors and then the senior advisor to the undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department. He has also advised the IMF, the World Bank and other public and private institutions. Roubini has published numerous papers on international macroeconomic issues and coauthored the books “Political Cycles: Theory and Evidence”, “Bailouts or Bail-ins? Responding to Financial Crises in Emerging Markets” and “Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance”. He received an undergraduate degree from Bocconi University, Italy, and a doctorate in economics at HarvardUniversity.

Rt. Hon. George Osborne

George Osborne is the Conservative MP for Tatton, Cheshire, UK. He was first elected to the House of Commons in June 2001, served as Shadow Chancellor from 2005, and following the successful election of a Conservative Government in 2010 was made Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position he held until 2016 – one of the longest periods anyone has held this office. As a prominent campaigner for Britain to remain in the EU, George left the government in July 2016 following the outcome of the referendum. When George left office, the British economy had the strongest growth record in the G7, a greatly reduced deficit, and an all-time high employment rate. He also oversaw major reforms including: regeneration of the north of England; forging a new relationship with China; and an overhaul of the UK pension and welfare systems. In August 2016, George was made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty the Queen.


Prof. Fabio Piano

Prof. Fabio Piano serves as NYU Abu Dhabi’s chief academic officer, setting the University›s academic strategy and priorities, and overseeing academic appointments and faculty affairs. Long before his appointment as provost, Piano was instrumental in developing and advancing NYUAD, helping to craft its innovative undergraduate science curriculum, as well as its distinctive research program. Piano is the founding director of NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology in New York. Piano leads an active research program in genomics and systems biology and has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prior to serving as a faculty member in Biology at NYU, Piano was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow at Cornell University, where he studied early embryo development and evolutionary biology. Piano holds a Laurea from the University of Florence and a Ph.D. in Biology from NYU, where he also received his B.A., M.S., and M.Phil.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) biomedical research charity that performs and funds laboratory research dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA in computer science and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Cambridge. His research interests encompass the characterisation of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations.

Dr. Brad Perkins

Dr. Perkins is a visionary physician, scientist, and executive who is responsible for leading all clinical and therapeutic operations at the HLI. This includes collecting and utilizing phenotype data, development of the consumer clinics business, and guiding stem cell therapeutics. Dr. Perkins began his career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1989 after completing his residency training and chief residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. At the CDC he led some of the most important and high profile programs and published more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. Dr. Perkins is a member of the RAND Health Board, and he is the chairman of the advisory board for Esther Dyson’s nonprofit, HICCup, sponsor of the “Way to Wellville” community health competition. He received his BA in Microbiology and his MD from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an MBA from Emory University. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Anthony Atala

Dr. Atala is the Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University. He is Editor in Chief of Stem Cells Translational Medicine and BioPrinting. Dr. Atala is a recipient of the US Congress funded Christopher Columbus Award, the World Technology Award in Medicine, and the Edison Science/Medical Award. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and to the National Academy of Inventors. His work was listed twice in Time Magazine’s top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year. He was named by Scientific American as one of the world’s most influential people in biotechnology in 2015. He received the Innovator of the Year Award from R & D Magazine in 2016. Fourteen applications of technologies developed in his laboratory have been used clinically. He is editor of 16 books, has published over 500 articles and has applied for or received over 250 national and international patents.

Laura Deming

Currently a partner at The Longevity Fund, Laura has wanted to cure aging since the age of 8. After years working on nematode longevity at the UCSF graduate school, Laura matriculated to MIT at 14 to work on artificial organogenesis and bone aging, and is now based in San Francisco, working to find and fund therapies to extend the human health span. She is a former Thiel Fellow and Forbes 30 under 30 alumnus.

HE Dr. Maha Barakat

Maha Barakat has held the post of Director General of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi since 2013. Previously, she was Co-Founder, Medical & Research Director and Consultant Endocrinologist at the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) in Abu Dhabi, and Reader at Imperial College London. In 2013, she became a visiting Professor at Imperial College London. She is a member of the Social Development Committee of the Executive Council of the Government of Abu Dhabi, and Board member of several Government of Abu Dhabi-related entities including the Board of Trustees of the Family Development Foundation, the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, and the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi. For her work to the community in the UAE, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2010, was awarded the Abu Dhabi Prize in 2011, and given the Imperial College Medal in 2013.

Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic

Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, is CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), a world-class multispecialty hospital designed to address Abu Dhabi’s most complex medical requirements. As CEO, Dr. Mihaljevic is responsible for leading +3,000 caregivers and overseeing CCAD’s strategy and operations as the first US multispecialty hospital outside of North America. He received his medical degree from the University of Zagreb and started his education in cardiac surgery at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. In 1995, he joined the Brigham and Women›s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, where he completed his residency in general and cardiac surgery, and served as Chief Resident in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at Children›s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Mihaljevic is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He specializes in minimally invasive and robotically assisted cardiac surgeries, valve repair and replacement, image-guided surgery, heart failure and cardiac transplantation.


Dr. Robert Zubrin

Dr. Robert Zubrin is President of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace R&D company, and Pioneer Energy, an energy technology company, both located in Lakewood, Colorado. He is also the founder and President of the Mars Society, an international organization dedicated to furthering the exploration and settlement of Mars by both public and private means. Formerly a Staff Engineer at Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, he holds a Masters degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Washington. Zubrin is is known internationally as one of the most creative engineers working in the aerospace industry today. He is the inventor of several unique concepts for space propulsion and exploration, including fifteen US patents, and the author of over 200 published technical and non-technical papers and eight books, including “The Case for Mars: How We Shall Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must.”

Dr. Buzz Aldrin

Dr. Buzz Aldrin received his Doctorate in Astronautics from MIT in 1963. That year he was selected by NASA in the third group of astronauts and was the first astronaut with a doctorate. The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs and he pioneered underwater training techniques to simulate spacewalking. On July 1969 ,20, Buzz and Neil Armstrong secured their place in history with their Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. His ShareSpace Foundation is focused on STEAM Education and in 2015 he launched the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech to develop his vision of a permanent human settlement on Mars. Since retiring from NASA, Dr. Aldrin calls himself a Global Statesman for Space and has remained a tireless advocate for space exploration.

Dr. Andrew Aldrin

Dr. Andrew Aldrin is currently an Associate Professor at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) and Director of the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute (BASI). BASI is a multidisciplinary institute created to advance space exploration and development toward the goal of establishing and maintaining a permanent human presence on Mars. Prior to FIT, Dr. Aldrin was President of Moon Express. Dr. Aldrin was Director of Business Development and Advanced Programs at United Launch Alliance and served in a similar position at Boeing’s NASA Systems, and Launch Services business units. He has also served as a Resident Consultant at the RAND Corporation and Professional Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. Dr. Aldrin holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA, an MBA from TRIUM, an MA in Science Technology and Public Policy from The George Washington University, and a BA in International Relations from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

HE Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi

HE Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi is known for his leadership, management and strategic planning skills within the UAE national space industry. He is an expert within communications, information systems and modern defence concepts. Dr Ahbabi was a telecommunications officer for the UAE Armed Forces until he reached the rank of Major. During that period he also worked as a coordinator for Dubai Internet City until 2000 then as a telecommunications officer for Sharyan Al Doea Network and a project manager for Yahsat military division from 2005 to 2012. He has led YAHSAT MilSatCom and other space projects. He has an active role in ITU-R, United Nations space working groups and various ICT professional associations. He obtained an MA and PhD in communications from the University of Southampton UK in 2001 and 2005. He completed a degree in electronic engineering from the University of California in 1998.

Dr. Dava Newman

Dr. Dava Newman served as NASA Deputy Administrator from May, 2015 through January, 2016. Newman is the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA. Her expertise is in multidisciplinary research that encompasses aerospace biomedical engineering. As a PI, Newman has designed and flown 4 spaceflight experiments to assess and enhance astronaut performance. Her research includes advanced space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, and socio-technical systems analysis and space policy. Newman is the author of Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design, an introductory engineering textbook published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. in 2002. She has published more than 250 papers in journals and refereed conferences. She earned her Ph.D. in aerospace biomedical engineering, Master of Science degrees in aerospace engineering and technology and policy all from MIT, and her Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

HE Sarah Al Amiri

Sarah has been appointed in 2016 as the Chairwoman of the newly established Emirates Scientists Council, with the objective to further develop and strengthen the Science and Technology sectors in the UAE. Sarah Amiri is currently the Deputy Project Manager and Science Lead of the Emirates Mars Mission (Hope) at the Mohamed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). Her current ask is to enable the research environment for the first generation of UAE Planetary Scientists. In 2015 Sarah was selected as one of 50 young scientists by the World Economic Forum for her contribution to the development efforts in the fields of Science, Technology and Engineering. Sarah has worked in MBRSC since 2009 on various roles including a software engineer and Head of Research and Development.

Naveen Jain

Naveen Jain is an entrepreneur and philanthropist driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges through innovation. He is the founder of several successful companies including Moon Express, BlueDot, Viome, Intelius, Talent Wise and InfoSpace. Moon Express is the only company to have permission from the US government to leave earth orbit and land on the moon. It›s developing technologies to harvest planetary resources on the moon for the benefit of humanity. Naveen Jain has been awarded many honors for his entrepreneurial successes and leadership skills including “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year”, “Albert Einstein Technology Medal” for pioneers in technology, “Humanitarian Innovation Award” at the United Nations, “Distinguished Global Thinker Award” by IILM, “Most inspiring Entrepreneur” by Andaaz TV, “Most admired Serial Entrepreneur” by Silicon India, “Top 20 Entrepreneurs” and “Lifetime Achievement Award” for the leadership in the technology industry and support of other entrepreneurs by Red Herring.

Anthony Previte

Anthony “Tony” Previte is the co-founder and CEO of Terran Orbital. Terran Orbital is a leading worldwide provider of nanosatellite and microsatellite vehicles, services, and solutions. Tony has over 30 years of executive leadership in high-technology and space-based services ranging from startups to Fortune 500. Terran Orbital is Tony’s third successful from the ground up venture. In addition to his successful business ventures, Tony is an active spacebased radio astronomy, and astrophysics researcher focused on very low-frequency radio observation. Tony’s successful career and studies in aerospace engineering, astronomy, economics, astrobiology, and philosophy provide a unique perspective on humanities roadmap to the stars.

Rick Tumlinson

Rick Tumlinson has been called one of the world’s top space “Visionaries” and is credited with helping create the NewSpace commercial space industry, whose players include Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Paul Allen and Jeff Bezos. A leading writer, speaker and Congressional witness, he led the takeover of the Russian Mir space station, signed the first space tourist, co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation and was a founding board member of the X-Prize. Rick also founded Orbital Outfitters and Deep Space Industries – an asteroid mining company. In 2015 he won the World Technology Award along with Craig Venter of the Human Genome project. Currently, his New Worlds organization is developing the people and technology to settle the frontier. It recently held a major US space policy summit in Washington DC, and will be putting on the New Worlds 2017 Fair and Conference Nov 11-10 in Austin.

Dr. Anousheh Ansari

Dr. Anousheh Ansari is a Co-Founder, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Prodea Systems, where she is responsible for setting the corporate strategy, creating a culture of innovation and driving the core vision of the simplified use of and global access to technology for all. Under her leadership, Prodea has built a powerful IoT services platform that makes it technically possible and economically feasible for enterprise and consumer service providers to deliver services using smart devices and sensors in a user friendly and fully integrated, seamless way. A successful serial entrepreneur and an active proponent of exponential technologies and social entrepreneurship, Anousheh previously founded Telecom Technologies, Inc. and served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman until Sonus Network acquired the company in 2001. Anousheh was the first female private space explorer and is on the Board of Trustees for the Ansari X Prize.

Dr. Ellen Stofan

Dr. Ellen Stofan is the former Chief Scientist of NASA (2016-2013), serving as principal advisor to the NASA Administrator on the agency›s science-related strategic planning and programs. She is an Honorary Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London and co-chair of the World Economic Forum Space Council. Her research focuses on the geology of Venus, Mars, Saturn›s moon Titan, and Earth. Stofan has a PhD from Brown University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of William and Mary. She has published extensively, and received many awards and honors including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She is an associate member of the Cassini Mission to Saturn Radar Team, and proposed a mission to NASA to land a boat on a sea on Titan. She is the former Chair of the College of William and Mary Foundation Board.