Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday, February 08, 2018 - Lunch Program
Women Driving Innovation: A Conversation with Three Tech Leaders
Candace Adelberg '10, Alicia Rockmore '87, and Faye Sahai '90, panelists

The panelists, CMC graduates at various career stages, are in diverse, high-profile jobs, ranging from working in established firms to leading start-ups. Panelists will discuss a broad array of topics including: preparation for careers in tech, how to leverage past accomplishments and personal and professional networks to develop careers in tech, workforce and occupational trends, obstacles and challenges faced in the competitive and male-dominated culture of Silicon Valley, and approaches for problem solving, including work/life balance issues.


Candace Adelberg ‘10 graduated from CMC in 2010 where she studied economics and did research at the Lowe Institute of Political Economy. After graduation, Adelberg moved to Washington D.C., where she worked as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, focusing on quantitative methods for macroeconomic forecasting. In 2013, she started working as a researcher at Google, applying statistical methods to keep “bad guys” off of Google products (think of spam bots, phishing attacks, etc.). In 2017, she moved to X, Alphabet’s “Moonshot Factory”, and joined Project Loon. Project Loon aims to provide high-speed internet to the roughly 50% of the world who still lack basic coverage. To do this, they deploy and steer a fleet of stratospheric balloons that provide LTE service to rural areas or areas where networks have been taken out by natural disasters.

Alicia Rockmore ’87 is the founder & CEO of Spark Actions which she launched after the November 2016 elections as a way to make a difference. Rockmore has over 20 years of experience in marketing and brand management both in traditional CPG companies and in startups. Before starting Spark Actions, she was the senior vice president of marketing at Divy, a startup in Fin Tech for millennials, the head of innovation for Jackson (a subsidiary of Prudential plc) and the senior vice president of marketing UberMedia (an idea lab company). She also has significant consumer packaged goods management experience at Unilever (in US and Europe) and at General Mills. She was responsible for launching the first packaged goods website ever and was named by Ad Age as a Top 100 Marketer. She also co-founded Buttoned Up Inc, an organizational products company, named as one of the best small companies to work for by Working Women’s Magazine. A graduate of CMC and received her MBA from the University of Michigan.

Faye Sahai ’90 is recognized as an innovation leader and catalyst for strategic initiatives across multiple companies such as AIG, Blue Shield, Deloitte, Charles Schwab, and Kaiser Permanente. She currently serves as the global head of advanced technology & innovation and employee experience at AIG, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. In addition, she serves as the AIG executive advisor of Global Women in Technology and UP Upward Professionals and Women Executive Leaders Initiative, and global inclusion and diversity task force. She serves on AIG’s global extended leadership team and is also part of the Conference Board’s applied innovation group. Sahai has been an innovation adviser to companies, start-ups and accelerators and serves on the many boards. She was named as Insurance Business Hot 100 in 2017, Elite Women in Insurance Business America in 2017, Ascend Leadership Award in 2017, and Computer World’s Top Premier IT Leaders in 2015 and she received Innovation Enterprise Best Ideation award in 2014. She received her BA in economics and psychology from Claremont McKenna College and her MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Thursday, February 08, 2018 - Evening Program
The Declaration of Independence: Lessons for Citizenship in Challenging Times
Danielle Allen

Thanks to the opportunity to teach the Declaration of Independence to low-income night school students in Chicago, Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University and director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, rediscovered the profundity and power of that founding text, both for her students and for herself. The Declaration of Independence makes a powerful case for the ideal of political equality, and for recognizing that democracy rests on the twin foundations of liberty and equality. These, affirms Allen, are not opposing but mutually reinforcing ideals.

Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. She is widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America.

Before joining Harvard, she was UPS Foundation Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the first African American faculty member to be appointed to the Institute that was Einstein’s home for two decades. She is also a contributing columnist for the Washington Post.

Allen is the author of six books, including Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, which won the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians and the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction and CUZ :The Life and Times of Michael A. (2017)

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and a 2001 winner of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Professor Allen's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

Photo credit: Laura Rose


View Video: YouTube with Danielle Allen

Food for Thought: Podcast with Danielle Allen