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 Keynote Speakers 


Nicole Smith is a Research Professor and Senior Economist at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce where she leads the Center's econometric and methodological work. Dr. Smith has developed a framework for restructuring long-term occupational and educational projections. This framework forms the underlying methodology for Help Wanted, a report that projects education demand for occupations in the U.S. economy through 2020. She is part of a team of economists working on a project to map, forecast and monitor human capital development and career pathways. Dr. Smith was born in Trinidad and Tobago and graduated with honors in Economics and Mathematics from the University of the West Indies (U.W.I.), St. Augustine campus. She was the recipient of the Sir Arthur Lewis Memorial Prize for outstanding research at the Master's level at the U.W.I. and is co-recipient of the 2007 Arrow Prize for Junior Economists for educational mobility research. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from American University in Washington, D.C. 
Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Smith was a faculty member in Economics at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, and the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. Dr. Smith taught Classical and Modern Econometrics, introductory and advanced level courses in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Statistics, Mathematics for Economists, and Latin American Economic Development. Her previous macroeconomic research focused on the political economy of exchange rates and exchange rate volatility in the Commonwealth Caribbean, the motivation for her M.S. thesis and a joint-publication at the Inter-American Development Bank. Her current research investigates the role of education and socioeconomic factors in intergenerational mobility. She is a co-author of "The Inheritance of Educational Inequality: International Comparisons and Fifty-Year Trends," published in 2007 by the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Hilary Mason is the Chief Scientist at bitly. bitly is the company whose link-shortening service facilitates sharing across Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media platforms. bitly links are shared tens of millions of times a day, with hundreds of millions of clicks per day; and they’ve shortened tens of billions of URLs in the compa­ny’s lifetime. As Chief Scientist, Mason sifts through the records of these clicks to find patterns and is currently developing models of attention on the social web. In addition, she is the co-founder of HackNY, a non-profit that helps talented engineering students find their way into the startup community of creative technologists in New York City. Mason is a member of NYC Resistor and a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s Technology and Innovation Advisory Council. Her work spans research, product, and storytelling, and has been found in numerous publications including Scientific American, Forbes, Fast Company, and Bloomberg Businessweek. She was recently honored with the TechFellows Engineering Leadership award, and featured on Forbes’ “40 Under 40 Ones to Watch” list.

Jane Oates was nominated by President Barack Obama to join Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis' leadership team at the Department of Labor in April, 2009. Confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training on June 19, 2009, she now leads the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in its mission to design and deliver high-quality training and employment programs for our nation's workers. Working with States and territories, municipalities, labor management organizations, employers, educational institutions, fellow Federal agencies, and other partners, ETA strives to assist workers in gaining the skills and credentials needed to enter careers that pay family supporting wages and offer opportunities for advancement. With a nationwide reach and focus on good jobs in promising industries, ETA programs are designed to serve every American who aspires to career success. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Oates served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Senior Advisor to Governor Jon S. Corzine. In that position Oates worked to strengthen the connections among high school, post-secondary education and the workforce. Ms. Oates served for nearly a decade as Senior Policy Advisor for Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She worked closely with the Senator on a variety of education, workforce and national service legislative initiatives, including the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Ms. Oates began her career as a teacher in the Boston and Philadelphia public schools and later as a field researcher at Temple University's Center for Research in Human Development and Education. She received her BA in Education from Boston College, and an M.Ed in Reading from Arcadia University.


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