Senior Vice President, Sony Entertainment Television
Sunder Aaron has lived in India for the past seven years, and is currently responsible for PIX, the premium Hollywood movies channel from Multi-Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. Aaron was charged with the creation, launch and channel operations for PIX.
During his tenure in India, Mr. Aaron also managed local operations for the two English language channels for the Sony Pictures Television networks group (based in Singapore), AXN and Animax. Prior to this role, he was Vice President International Networks for Sony Pictures Television International and worked on the ground with local business heads at Sony Entertainment Television while reporting to the top television executives at Sony Pictures Entertainment in Los Angeles. His primary duties included advising and assisting senior executive management on all corporate development projects and ventures at SET India, a $1.5+ billion television network group.
Mr. Aaron is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Cinema Entertainment Group (CEG), an entertainment media company. CEG’s first venture is the launch of a new interactive digital television channel. As COO, Aaron was responsible for consumer and trade marketing, and programming and production aspects for the network.
Throughout his professional career, he has garnered substantial experience structuring partnership deals, conceiving and authoring plans for new businesses, and launching their operations.
Mr. Aaron holds an M.B.A. in strategy and marketing from the University of Michigan Business School. He graduated from Washington University.
James D. Awad
Managing Director/Zephyr Management – New York
James D. Awad currently serves as Managing Director at Zephyr Management L.P., a global private equity and marketable securities firm specializing in the creation and management of highly focused and value added investment funds. Since its founding, Zephyr has sponsored 21 investment funds across the developed and developing world, representing over US$1.5 billion in assets under management.
He was previously Chairman of Awad Asset Management, a US $1.6 billion money management firm that he founded in 1992. Awad Asset Management is now a subsidiary of Raymond James Financial Inc. From 1980 to 1992, Mr. Awad served as Chairman of BMI Capital, an investment advisory firm which he founded.
Mr. Awad is a notable figure in business media with frequent appearances on CNBC, Fox Business News, CNN, BBC, Bloomberg Financial News, Business News Network, RTT News, PBS, Market Watch New Delhi TV and Reuters.
He received an MBA from Harvard in 1969 and graduated Cum Laude from Washington and Lee University where he majored in Commerce.
President/Eurasia Group – New York
Eurasia Group. Eurasia Group, the world’s leading global political risk research and consulting firm, employs 100 full-time employees in its New York City, Washington, and London offices and calls on the services of several hundred experts in 65 countries. The firm’s client base includes more than 200 multinational companies, leading financial institutions, government departments, and political leaders.
Mr. Bremmer has recently written articles for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, and Harvard Business Review. His six books include The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall, and The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing with Preston Keat, a director of research at Eurasia Group.
Mr. Bremmer has a PhD in political science from Stanford University (1994) and became the youngest-ever national fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has taught at Columbia University, the East West Institute, and the World Policy Institute, and in 2007 was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
Divia Thani Daswani
Editor in Chief, Conde Nast Traveller, Mumbai
Divia Thani is a writer and editor based in Mumbai, India.
In February 2010, Divia was named Editor of the Indian edition of Conde Nast Traveller and given the task of launching the magazine.
She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, where she received the Robert C Laing Award for Creative Writing, as well as a prestigious Brackenridge Fellowship from the University Honors College.
On returning to India, Divia immediately became involved in magazine publishing. Since 2002, she has been part of the core teams to launch the Indian editions of Vogue, Time Out, L’Officiel and Seventeen.
Divia has written extensively on the arts, culture, lifestyle and travel.
She has interviewed several luminous personalities, including film stars, celebrities, artists and authors.
Divia is passionate about reading, especially short stories and science writing.
Journalist/Lawyer/Lecturer – Cape Town
Maya Kulycky lectures in Political Journalism at the University of Cape Town. Her recent publications include articles in The Economist’s More Intelligent Life and Oprah Magazine SA. Previously, she was a correspondent with ABC News, based in the Washington, DC bureau, where she covered the US government. She also hosted shows on ABC News Now, and reported from the field on stories including the shooting at Virginia Tech and the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Prior to joining ABC News, Ms. Kulycky was a general assignment reporter at CNBC. As the lead correspondent covering the VIOXX litigation, she reported on the ongoing legal battle surrounding the drug VIOXX and the impact on pharmaceutical companies, investors, and patients who had taken VIOXX. Ms. Kulycky was also the lead reporter covering the Adelphia Communications and Rosie O’Donnell trials, covered breaking news on executive compensation packages, and reported on the impact of the Iraq war on American businesses.
Ms. Kulycky is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, where she studied political science. She received a master’s degree from the University of London, Goldsmith’s College, and a JD from Yale Law School. She is a Truman Scholar, a Rotary Scholar, and a member of the New York State Bar.
Director of Global Corporate Relationships HAVAS MEDIA – London
After a decade as producer, reporter and anchor for NBC/CNBC, Bloomberg, ITV and Sky News, Kavita Maharaj now serves in a senior executive position at HAVAS MEDIA in London.
She was anchor/editor of CNBC’s European prime time, interview programs, providing in-depth analysis and interviewed some of the world’s most powerful decision makers, including the CEOs of Proctor & Gamble, British Telecom, former US Treasury Secretary John Snow and European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet.
In 2005, Ms. Maharaj became the first woman to be nominated for the Business Broadcast Journalist of the Year Award by the World Leadership Forum. In 2001, she was finalist at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards.
She hold an MBA from Imperial College, BS in Economics from the London School of Economics and MA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Miami (FL).
Dr. Robert Shapiro
Professor and Former Chair/Dep of Political Science/Columbia University – New York
A professor at Columbia University, Dr. Shapiro specializes in American politics with research and teaching interests in public opinion, policymaking, political leadership, mass media and the application of statistical methods. Most recently, he served as acting director of Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy in 2008 – 2009. He was a 2006 – 2007 Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.
Dr. Shapiro is the co-author or coeditor of many books and has published numerous articles in major academic journals. He served many years as editor of Public Opinion Quarterly’s The Polls-Trends section and is currently chair of the journal’s Advisory Board. His current research examines partisan polarization and ideological politics in the US and other topics concerned with public opinion and policymaking.
He received his PhD from the University of Chicago.
Entrepreneur – Melbourne
Kapil Talwar’s background combines business, managerial and technical experience. He has performed diverse, multi-functional roles with primary responsibilities in capital raising, financial modeling and budgeting, corporate strategy, business development, product planning, operations and program management.
Since 2001 he has identified and monetized business opportunities, developed and executed strategies for high growth markets in many industry sectors, including semiconductors, data services, engineering software and specialty chemicals. He co-founded Vihana, a semiconductor company, which was sold to Cisco Systems.
As an active angel investor, he advises small technology companies (environmental chemistry, software services and bioinformatics) in formulating corporate and business strategies. Mr. Talwar holds a BS from Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Melbourne (AU) Business School.
Paul Appel is advisor and general counsel to numerous public, private and non-for-profit corporations, other businesses and real estate organizations. He has developed and established effective procedures for litigation anticipation and avoidance and is a recognized advocate in federal and state tribunals. Among his major clients have been Snell Memorial Foundation, dedicated to research, education, testing and development of helmet standards for auto racing and other sports, Kaufman and Broad, a NYSE listed construction company and Kearny Post Office Associates, builders of major mail handling facilities.
Other client sectors include real estate, computer software, credit and mortgage resolution, architecture, accounting, food sciences and international trade.
Mr. Appel holds a BA from Lafayette College, a JD from Columbia School of Law and is a member of the NY and NJ State Bars.
Lila Gault has built her career in marketing communications and public relations over more than 30 years. As CEO of Gault Communications Inc., she helped establish and promote many top tier food, fine beverage and luxury lifestyle brands worldwide to the trade, as well as consumers. She has created major media campaigns in print, broadcast and online, as well as produced a comprehensive array of collateral materials, including websites, press kits and brochures.
Ms. Gault is a graduate of Connecticut College and holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Management and Fundraising from NYU.
“Oceans connect continents; we connect worlds.”