Our distinguished speakers

Karim Bennis

CEO & Cofounder, TYC

After graduating in Corporate Finance from Paris II Panthéon Assas University, Karim completed several entrepreneurial training courses. Interested in politics and social debate, he co-founded TYC with Mohamed Lahkim in June 2018.

TYC is a French CivicTech Startup that introduces Chatbot’s technologies into the public and political field. TYC solutions allow interaction with a large public in a personalized way and taking the pulse of public opinion. TYC is based at Station F.



Lisa Cirenza, '85, MA '87


Lisa Cirenza is a US born, London based artist combining traditional and disruptive creative technologies to explore today’s socio-political assumptions, connections and disconnections. Her training includes coursework at The Royal Drawing School, Central St. Martins, and tutelage from a Master of Sumi-e in Tokyo. She spent two summers doing glaciological field research on the Juneau Icefields, and is the author and photographer of “The Power of Ice”, part of the Chicago Children’s press science series. She is on advisory councils/boards for Human Rights Watch, Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute, and the Stanford School of Earth Energy and the Environment. She has also worked as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs, and as a management consultant for Booz Allen, and Hamilton.

Her art has been favourably reviewed in the Financial Times, and has been exhibited widely in the USA, UK, Canada, France, Japan, and China; and is held in many corporate and private collections.





Etienne Denoël, MS '87

Director Emeritus, McKinsey

Etienne joined McKinsey in 1987 and was one of the leaders of its Public and Social Practice with a deep interest and expertise in the field of Education. He was one of the leaders of the McKinsey Knowledge Network and he founded the global McKinsey Solutions venture. He has been a member of the Education and Training Expert Panel set up by the European Commission since 2018 and the chairman of the NGO Teach for Belgium since 2013. Since he left McKinsey in September 2018, he has been leading a not-for-profit venture funded by private foundations and philanthropists to support the government and the key protagonist of the K12 school system in Belgium in implementing a much-needed whole-system transformation, called the Pacte pour un Enseignement d’Excellence.

Prior to joining McKinsey, he worked as a research engineer in Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems for Philips (1984-1986) in the context of the ESPRIT project of the European Commission.



Larry Diamond, '73, MA '78, PhD '80

Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science and Sociology, Stanford University

Larry's research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world, and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. He has edited or co-edited more than 40 books on democratic development around the world, and has served as Fulbright Visiting Lecturer at Bayero University Kano, Nigeria (1982-83) and as a Visiting Scholar at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan (1997-98).  He directed the Stanford Program on Democracy in Taiwan for more than ten years. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy.

At Stanford University, Larry is professor by courtesy of political science and sociology, and is a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He also served from 2010-2016 as Faculty Co-Director of the Haas Center for Public Service, where he helped launch the University’s signature public service initiative, Cardinal Service. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development, democracy promotion, and US foreign policy, and advises many Stanford students. In 2013, Larry received the Richard W. Lyman Award for exceptional service to Stanford alumni.

Larry has also advised and lectured to universities and think tanks around the world, and to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. He writes a monthly column for The American Interest and frequently consults on policies and programs to promote democracy.




Marwan Elfitesse

Head of Startup Programs, Station F

Marwan is Head of Startup Programs at STATION F, overseeing all 30 programs for the campus including the Founders & Fighters Programs. Prior to STATION F, he was active in the tech industry, with experience at Nimbula in California and Microsoft in France.



Marjolaine Grondin

CEO & Cofounder, Jam

Marjolaine is the cofounder and CEO of Jam, the French most popular chatbot. She studied at Sciences Po and spent a year at UC Berkeley, where she discovered entrepreneurship. Back in France, she joined HEC and decided to launch her startup along with Loïc, an engineering student. After they graduated, they raised 1M€ to accelerate their growth and build their team.

With more than 3 million visitors each month, Jam is the leading 100% Messenger-based conversational media in France. Marjolaine has been nominated Top Innovators Under 35 by the MIT and is part of the 30 Under 30 Forbes ranking; she is also the first French entrepreneur invited to speak at the F8, Facebook’s annual conference.



Serge Grudzinski, MS '80

CEO & Cofounder, Humour Consulting Group

Serge Grudzinski graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique in France and from Stanford University. After a few years working in Industry, he became Strategy Consultant with Mars&Co and Booz Allen Hamilton. He then became a stand-up comedian in France. Twenty-five years ago, he created Humour Consulting Group in order to use the power of (positive) humor to help Team-Building and Change Management. Along with his 1,300 assignments and presentations-shows with 500 corporations in France and throughout the world, he progressively discovered an extreme sort of laughter which he calls “Irresistible Unanimous Laughter”. It provokes impressive impacts on human beings. Within companies, “Irresistible Unanimous Laughter” mitigates the resistance to change and thus motivates the teams in an incredibly powerful and quick way. Serge explains this actual breakthrough in Psychology in his book “Laugh to Lead: when Laughter unblocks, heals, gathers and motivates the teams”.




Jean Guo, '13

CEO & Cofounder, Konexio

Jean Guo is the CEO and Cofounder of Konexio, a French-based social startup focused on digital skills training and work placement for the most vulnerable, including refugee and migrant populations. A joint MPP/MBA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School, she founded Konexio based on her research as a Fulbright fellow investigating migrant policy at the Paris School of Economics, graduated from Stanford with dual degrees in economics and human biology, and worked as a strategy consultant at Analysis Group.

She is an occasional contributor to the Huffington Post Public Health column.



Olivier Jeannel

CEO & Founder, RogerVoice

Olivier Jeannel was born in Los Angeles and became deaf at the age of two. After graduating from UC Berkeley and from SciencesPo, he started working in the telecom industry while being confronted with the general lack of accessibility for the hearing impaired in France.

When Apple launched its voice assistant Siri in 2011, Olivier had an idea: what if phone calls could also be subtitled in real-time using voice recognition? He founded RogerVoice in 2013 and launched the first version of the app in 2015. Using subtitles and sign language interpreters, RogerVoice now allows deaf and hearing-impaired people to place phone calls like everyone else.





Reed Kennedy, '96

Chair, Democrats Abroad Paris & Co-Chair, Democrats Abroad France Diversity Caucus

Reed Kennedy is an entrepreneur and investor with experience in technology and finance. He is an active leader in Democrats Abroad (DA) working to mobilize progressive voters living overseas. He serves as the chair of the organization’s Paris chapter, representing over 5,000 American Democratic voters. In addition he is the co-chair of DA France’s Diversity Caucus, which works to highlight issues relevant to people of color and celebrate all the different cultures which contribute to the “melting pot” that truly makes America great.

After graduating from Stanford with a degree in Political Science, Reed worked in financial technology at FactSet Research Systems and investment management at Goldman Sachs before moving on to launch his own investment and entrepreneurial ventures. At present he is responsible for corporate and product strategy at Coffreo, a French software company based in Orsay. Mr. Kennedy received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2005.




Jean-Michel Lécuyer

Managing Director, INCO Ventures

Jean-Michel Lécuyer is the Managing Director of INCO Ventures (formerly le Comptoir de l'Innovation), which aims at developing social entrepreneurship worldwide through impact investing.

Jean-Michel graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique and from the Ecole des Mines de Paris. After working for several years at Caisse des Dépôts as a consultant specializing in eco-industry, he became in 2003 COO of France Active, a French network dedicated to solidarity-based financing, as well as Managing Director of SIFA, its investment branch. He also serves as treasurer of the Mouves (Social Entrepreneurs Movement) and President of the supervisory board of SOLIFAP (Fondation Abbé Pierre's social investement company).





Jean-Yves Le Gall

President, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales

Jean-Yves Le Gall is President of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES). He is also Chair of the Council of the European Space Agency, Chair of the Administrative Board of GSA, the European GNSS Agency, and President of the International Astronautical Federation. Jean-Yves is a qualified engineer and scientist who has devoted his entire career to the European space programme, holding positions within the French national scientific research agency CNRS, several French ministries, at Novespace and a first stint with CNES before joining Starsem and Arianespace for 12 years, where he was CEO then Chairman &

Jean-Yves holds the rank of Commander of the National Order of Merit and Officer in the Legion of Honour in France. He has also been awarded the Order of Friendship by the Russian Federation and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the government of Japan. He is Doctor Honoris Causa of Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.





Frédéric Mazzella, MS '01

Founder & Chairman, BlaBlaCar

Frédéric Mazzella is the Founder and Chairman of BlaBlaCar since 2006 and was Chief Executive Officer from 2006 to 2016. In 2018, Frédéric has also been elected Co-President of France Digitale, the largest startup association in Europe representing 1300 startups.

Prior to founding BlaBlaCar, Frédéric held the role of scientific researcher at NASA (USA) and NTT (Japan). He holds an M.B.A. from INSEAD, a Master's degree in computer science from Stanford University and a Master's degree in physics from École Normale Supérieure. Frédéric is also an accomplished classical pianist.




Morin Oluwole, '06, MA '07

Global Head of Luxury, Facebook & Instagram

Morin Oluwole is a luxury industry thought leader in digital transformation, media and innovation at Facebook in France, where she leads Facebook and Instagram's global luxury division. She was formerly Chief of Staff to the VP, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook where she developed business strategies for global brand partners. She has been at Facebook for 12 years during which she led Product Marketing (Facebook Pages) and Public Content Partnerships (fashion/luxury). Prior, she was a Management Consultant at Sachs Consulting in New York.

Morin holds a BA and MA from Stanford University in Human Biology and Sociology and an MA in Management from Columbia University. She was a Bill Gates Millennium Scholar and received the Dean's Award for Academic Excellence - both for 5 consecutive years. Morin has been featured in the New York Times, WWD, Vogue, Fashion Network, Journal du Luxe, CB News, L'Opinion, Stratégies, Luxury Daily, Luxury Society, and Black Enterprise. Morin currently resides in Paris.


Jérémie Rosselli

General Manager for France, N26

Jérémie has an MS in telecommunications engineering and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He started his career in 2005 in M&A between Paris and London, completing numerous deals within the Banking, Industry and Energy sectors.

In 2013, he joined Burger King Corporation in the US within the Marketing then Development teams before leading the brand's launch on several markets including France. In 2016, he became N26's General Manager for France with the responsibility to launch and expand the Mobile Bank on the French market.

Gregory L. Rosston, MA '86, PhD '94

Director, Public policy program, Stanford University

Gregory L. Rosston is Director of the Public Policy program at Stanford University, the Gordon Cain Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and Professor of Economics (by courtesy).  He teaches Economics and Public Policy courses on competition policy and strategy, intellectual property, and writing and rhetoric.

He served as Deputy Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission working on the implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and helped to design and implement the first ever spectrum auctions in the United States.  He co-chaired the Economy, Globalization and Trade committee for the 2008 Obama campaign and was a member of the Obama transition team on economic agency review and energy policy. He has written extensively on the application of economics to telecommunications issues.  He has advised companies and governments and served as a consultant to various organizations including the World Bank and the Federal Communications Commission, and as a board member and advisor to high technology, financial, and startup companies in the areas of auctions, business strategy, antitrust and regulation.  He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Stanford Federal Credit Union, as a Board member of the Nepal Youth Foundation and as an Advisory Board member of Sustainable Conservation and the Technology Policy Institute.


Jamie Russell, MBA '02

Chairman & Cofounder, 8Greens

Jamie Russell is the cofounder of 8Greens, the leading health and wellness company that introduced the first effervescent tablet containing eight power-packed greens in late 2015. As co-founder and chairman of the brand’s board of directors, Jamie is responsible for the company’s growth strategy, retail expansion and operations. Since its late 2015 launch, the brand has achieved triple digit year-over-year growth.

Prior to launching 8Greens, Jamie spent nearly 20 years building and investing in high-growth companies. A sought-after investor, Jamie built, repositioned and led the strategic growth of multiple energy and environmental businesses. He most recently served in senior executive roles at Braemar Energy Ventures, Tamar Energy and Jacob Rothschild’s Family Office. In the mid-to-late 2002, Jamie worked for the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) where he focused on transactions in energy efficiency in commercial real estate, waste management and forestry. Before joining CCI, Jamie was one of the early employees at Climate Change Capital (“CCC”), the first boutique investment bank focused on the European commercial opportunities around Climate Change. He began his career at McKinsey & Co., working in London, New York and Palo Alto.
Jamie is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a MBA degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He lives in London and New York with his wife, Dawn Russell, and their two sons.

Andreas Schleicher

Director for Education and Skills, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Andreas Schleicher initiated and oversees the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and other international instruments which create a global platform for policy-makers, researchers and educators to innovate and transform educational policies and practices. Before joining the OECD, he was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He has worked for over 20 years with Ministers and educational leaders around the world to improve quality and equity in education.

Andreas is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded for “exemplary democratic engagement” in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany. He holds an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

Jamie Soon-Kesteloot

Managing Director, Girls in Tech - Paris Chapter

Dr. Jamie Soon-Kesteloot is a technical innovation manager in the R&D department of Essilor International, where she helps the company to protect and valorize their innovation. She is also the managing director of the Girls in Tech Paris chapter, with the ambition to inspire and empower women (and men) via their activities. Occasionally, she participates as an invited speaker in international conferences to discuss topics
which passionate her, such as the management of innovation and women in STEM. She is also an ambassador of MIT Tech Review Innovators Under 35.

As a double scholarship holder with the Singapore Millennium Foundation (Temasek Holdings) and Chartered Semiconductors (now Global Foundry), Jamie completed her Ph.D in Chemistry at the National
University of Singapore, where she trained to acquire expert knowledge in nanotechnology and microelectronics. Prior to joining Essilor International, Jamie had a technical career at Saint-Gobain,
University Paul Sabatier, and the Japanese synchrotron SPring-8.



Cédric Villani

Deputy for "La République en Marche", Essonne's 5th constituency, French National Assembly

Cédric Villani is a French mathematician and was awarded the Fields Medal in 2010 and the Joseph L. Doob Prize in 2014. He teaches at the University of Lyon and was visiting professor at UC Berkeley, at Princeton and at Georgia Tech. He also managed the Institut Henri Poincaré from 2009 to 2017, from which he resigned when he was elected deputy of Essonne's 5th constituency at the French National Assembly. Cédric has always had a keen interest for interconnections between science and society. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences and of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He has given talks in more than 70 countries and has published several books, among which "Théorème vivant" which was translated in 12 languages.

Cédric graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and holds a PhD in mathematics as well as honorary doctorates from several universities including HEC Paris. He is Knight of the Legion of Honor and vice-president of the EuropaNova think tank.



Howard E. Wolf, '80

Vice President for Alumni Affairs, Stanford University

President, Stanford Alumni Association

Howard Wolf, who has led the Stanford Alumni Association and its staff since 2001, earned his bachelor's degree in psychology, with distinction, from Stanford in 1980 and his MBA from Harvard in 1985. Before his appointment as Vice President for Alumni Affairs and President of SAA, he worked as both an entrepreneur and business manager in the publishing and commercial real estate development and management industries.

An active alum and volunteer, as well as an avid Stanford athletics fan, he received the Stanford Associates Outstanding Achievement Award in 2000. In addition to his Alumni Association role, Howard is one of eight officers of the University and part of its senior management team, with particular responsibility for advising the University's President and the Provost on alumni affairs.


Peter Zemsky, PhD '95

Deputy Dean & Dean of Innovation, INSEAD

Peter Zemsky has been a faculty member at INSEAD since 1994 and a member of the school’s leadership team since 2010. As Deputy Dean, he is responsible for external relations including fundraising, alumni relations and communications. As Dean of Innovation he is responsible for the school’s digital strategy including the development of its award winning online courses.

He is a leading scholar in the economics of strategy, where he develops rigorous analysis of topics such as disruptive technologies, the trade-offs between value creation and value capture, and the choice of generalist versus specialist strategies. His doctoral students have been recognized three times for having the best dissertation in strategy by the Academy of Management. He currently offers the popular online executive education course Strategy in an Age of Digital Disruption. He also led the development of large scale customized online courses for leading companies including Accenture, Microsoft and Schneider Electric.