Husky Leadership Initiative

September 15, 2015

U Lead We Lead 2015 Speakers Announced

The Husky Leadership Initiative is proud to present its annual kick-off event U Lead We Lead: Leadership for Social Change. On October 15, students and other members of the University community will dig into stories from local luminaries who will each share their story and perspective and call you to action.

Thursday, October 15 | 6-8:00 p.m. HUB Ballroom

Register now!

2015 U Lead We Lead Speaker Line-up:

Cyrus Habib,
Washington Senator, Resilient Change-maker

Cyrus Habib represents Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Medina, Clyde Hill, and the Points Communities in the Washington State Senate. In 2012, Habib was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives, making him the first and only Iranian American Elected Official to hold a state office in the United States. Habib was recently named one of the “40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars of 2014” by the Washington Post and was named one of “12 State Legislators to Watch in 2014” by Governing Magazine. Habib was elected by his Senate colleagues to serve as whip in the Democratic Caucus leadership team.

Senator Habib is the Community Relations Liaison at Perkins Coie, the region’s largest private law firm, where he previously practiced as a Corporate Associate for four years. He is the key contact for civic, diverse, cultural and philanthropic interests and leadership for the firm’s Seattle and Bellevue offices.

Habib is also Professor and Distinguished Lawmaker in Residence at the Seattle University Law School, where he teaches courses in intellectual property rights and legislation. His research focuses on issues at the intersection of technology and public policy.

In the Senate, Habib serves on the Energy, Environment, and Telecommunications Committee, the Government Operations Committee, and the Transportation Committee. He is the author and prime sponsor of the Washington Jobs Act of 2014, which opens up investor crowdfunding in Washington State, as well as a number of laws relating to healthcare, transportation, and energy.

A three-time cancer survivor, Habib has been fully blind since age eight. He is a product of the Bellevue Public Schools, and a graduate of Columbia, Oxford and the Yale Law School, where he served as an Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He is a Rhodes Scholar, a Truman Scholar, and a Soros Fellow. He sits on the Boards of the 5th Avenue Theater, the Bellevue College Foundation, and the Bellevue Downtown Association. He is also appointed to serve on a number of taskforces and commissions.

Mona Locke,
Global Connector, Champion for Change

Mona Locke is senior vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Intellectual Ventures. She is responsible for overseeing the company’s global communications efforts, including executive and internal communications, marketing, and public relations.

As a member of IV’s leadership team, Ms. Locke also works directly with the president and other company leaders to set strategic direction and business priorities for the company.

With more than 20 years of global experience working in both the public and private sectors, Ms. Locke has held a variety of positions in journalism, communications, corporate and community partnerships, and government relations. She began her career as a reporter for news stations including Seattle’s KIRO-TV and KING-TV. Most recently, Ms. Locke worked at Susan G. Komen leading operations, community engagement, and major fundraising efforts – first as executive director of the Puget Sound affiliate, and later as the national operations director in Washington D.C.

Ms. Locke also has significant public affairs experience having served for eight years as Washington State’s first lady and more recently, the U.S. Department of State where she worked on issues pertaining to U.S.-China relations.

Based on her vast experience and passion for community involvement, Ms. Locke has shared her perspectives with audiences around the world on topics including: education, U.S.-China dynamics; women in leadership; volunteerism and philanthropy; and business and cultural issues.

Ms. Locke holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree from Northwestern University, and completed Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, Governing for Non Profit Excellence. She serves on the Board of Trustees for both Seattle Children’s Hospital and Lakeside School and is an advisory council member for the 100K Strong Foundation.

Neal Dempsey,
Innovative Entrepreneur, Philanthropist for Change

Neal is Senior Partner at Bay Partners, responsible for 9 board seats and driving the company’s investment towards liquidity, together with his partners.  Through cycles of change, Neal’s investment approach has remained constant – the best investment is the entrepreneur with passion and perseverance and who understands the art of listening.  His eye for passion, perseverance and listening has served him well, as evidenced by his investment in industry-changing companies like Guidewire, Eloqua and DropCam.

With 24 IPOs in 20 years and 16 significant M&A deals, Neal and his team have generated substantial results by working with companies that altered the way the technology industry works, such as Red Brick Software, a first in data warehousing, Exodus, which delivered the first web hosting services, Brocade, which defined the storage market, and Informatica on of the first data mart technologies.  Neal is comfortable not only advising a company at the initial stage, but also getting involved during trying times to help re-direct and find a profitable path to liquidity.  This ability to drive successful portfolios has made Bay’s 2006 vintage fund currently one of the Industry’s best performing funds and its 2006 vintage fund ranked the #2 top performing fund in 2014 by Pitch Book.

Neal finds great passion and joy in being a VC because it allows him to mentor entrepreneurs.  Mentoring people is so important to Neal that he volunteers his time as an advisor to non-profit organizations. His commitment to higher education led him to establish the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program at the University of Washington Business School. The foundation also funds scholarships for students, athletes, and junior faculty.

Neal received his B.A. in business from the University of Washington.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Starbucks is committed to providing students with pathways to opportunity through employment, training and education and is honored to support student leadership development through U Lead We Lead. Through this support, Starbucks helps activate the Husky Leadership Initiative’s mission to cultivate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to be effective change agents who apply their knowledge and service to the world.