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Speakers for LEAP 6.0

TeNita Ballard

TeNita Ballard leads the D&I strategy for the Asian Pacific Islanders, Individuals with Disabilities and Veterans

segments where she partners with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure AT&T is seen as a great

place to work and their service provider of choice.

Nicole Chang

P. Y. Nicole Chang leads companies with Vision, Strategy and Execution in their journey from Good to Great as they tackle Global Expansion and Strategy-aligned Branding. With a background in investment banking at Morgan Stanley, management consulting at McKinsey and operational and M&A experience in media/technology, luxury goods and FMCG in the C-Suite and other Senior Management roles, P.Y. Nicole Chang is internationally recognized as a transformative leader to companies in an ever-changing market, and her expertise is particularly sought after as it relates to Greater China.  She currently serves as SVP, Strategy and Corporate Development for East West Bank (Nasdaq: EWBC).  Previously, she spent a decade in Greater China as Vice President, Global Business Development at DFS, member LVMH luxury group, and the world’s largest and most progressive travel retailers; CEO of a media company producing content for broadband and mobile telephone market; and COO of leading Chinese wine importer.  A French Chinese-American, she has also worked extensively in Europe where she was COO/CFO for a media conglomerate and was co-founder/CEO of a Lifestyle Management company.  She has two teenagers.

Patrick Duan

Patrick Duan is VP of Rail Development at BYD Motors Inc. He currently oversees all of the company’s monorail development efforts in the United States and Mexico.


Prior to this role, Patrick served as BYD’s VP of Operations and Project Management where he oversaw the successful buildout of the company’s electric vehicle production facilities in Los Angeles, California. Before this position, he managed BYD’s battery-related engineering projects with client Motorola. Patrick also served as the lead design engineer of BYD’s Motor Development Division, where he was responsible for motor modeling and performance analysis. His motor designs have been integrated into several BYD products, including the F3, BYD’s best-selling sedan.


Patrick received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Beijing Institute of Technology, one of the premiere scientific research institutions in China.

Angela Efros

Angela started her career in China as a volunteer English teacher in Changsha, then started her own online channel and marketing platform to use humor and entertainment to teach about English and American culture. She became a mini celebrity in Changsha, often performing on TV programs around the country including 汉语桥 (China Bridge), 花儿 朵朵 (blossoming flowers), and 超级女声 (Super Girl), just to name a few. After a blossoming career in entertainment, Angela started working with American toy manufacturers who owned factories in China while simultaneously completing her MBA. Angela now works as Vice President for HG Plus, where her purpose is to help international students at US Universities to find excellent internship and job opportunity. She believes that young talent in the right job can bridge cultures and change the world.

Chongying Guo

Chongying Guo, Senior HR Leader at Gemalto Inc., holds a master’s degree in HRM. She progressed her career from business consulting, to leadership & talent consulting with Korn/Ferry and business HR operations for multi divisions and businesses with 3M. Gemalto is world leader in digital security.

Yijia Guo

Dr. Guo’s research focuses on organizational and intercultural communication in business. She is particularly interested and specialized in identity development and strategic negotiation in various international organizational contexts. Her research has appeared on top-tier journals that examined topics such as organizational culture, conflict management, emotion management, communication technology use in business (e.g., social media, mobile), and leadership communication. Professor’s pedagogical expertise in academia includes organizational communication, communication strategies in business, leadership communication, business and professional communication, communication in non-western culture, and persuasion. Prior to academia, Dr. Guo held program and event coordinator positions in Chinese and U.S. multinational companies, specializing intercultural business communication.

Yutao He

Dr. Yutao He is a Senior Technologist at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) leading technology development in innovative avionics systems for future space exploration missions. Since joining JPL in 2004, he has worked on a variety of projects with increased responsibilities as a hardware/software designer, a system analyst and architect, and a technical/project manager. He has won numerous NASA/JPL awards, including NASA Group Achievement Award, NASA New Technology Awards, and JPL institutional awards.

Dr. He is an adjunct faculty member at UCLA and CSU-LA, and an Executive-in-Residence of College of ECST at CSU-LA, teaching graduate/undergraduate courses in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Dr. He has been serving as reviewers for numerous professional journals and conferences and as organizers of technical conferences, and on the review boards of NASA AIST and SBIR proposals in the area of avionics and information technology.

Joshua Kahn

Joshua started in Chemical Engineering to challenge myself, discovered he enjoyed applying engineering principles to biology and moved to Biomedical Engineering and began work in biosciences research. He’ve designed experiments in stem cell biology, automation for neurodegeneration, assays to test HIV therapeutics, environments to examine tendon damage, and other projects. He's worked in academic as well as startup and large biotech environments. He continues to learn about new aspects of biology and find ways to apply lessons from different aspects of medical research, biology, and engineering to them. I heartily encourage interdisciplinary learning, amongst the science community as well as in science communications, business, and policy. He also promote the idea of side projects, learning and gaining experience in avenues beyond his primary work or studies.

Bo Li

Dr. Bo Li is currently an Assistant Professor of the Management Department in the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Los Angeles. He received a Ph.D. in Operations and Supply Chain Management and a M.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Toledo in Ohio, and received a B.S. in Computational Mathematics from South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China. He holds the CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) and CFPIM (Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management) from APICS. He is also a certificated SAP ERPsim instructor. Prior to joining Cal State L.A., he was an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, and worked as a supply chain analyst at the headquarters of Libbey Glass Inc. in Toledo, Ohio.  

Richard Liu

Richard Liu created, an online career service platform focusing on customizing resumes and intelligently recommend right companies for job seekers. Graduating from the Ph.D program of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Florida, Richard worked as an engineering manager in Google for 4 years. Also, he was the partner of TEEC Angel Fund, which successfully invested 140 companies with 9 successful exits and 7 companies with over 100 million valuation. Later he became the partner of Tsingyuan Venture, a technology-focused venture fund investing in seed to A-round startups both in U.S. and China.

Zizuo Liu

Zizuo Liu received his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from USC and Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Prior to founding Techbow and becoming its chief lecturer, Zizuo was a software engineer for Uber and Paypal. Techbow is the only Silicon Valley training organization who delivers “offer guarantee” and full coverage CS training curriculum.  

Cliff Ma

Dr.  Ma is a member of China National 1000 Recruitment Plan (千人计划).   Before  cofounded VoiceOn, Dr.Ma spent most of his professional career in Silicon Valley. He cofounded Anchor Semiconductor and iView Solutions pioneering DFM technologies in early 2000. He held Sr. director of business development position at KLA-Tenor and other director positions both in business and technical at several other public hi-tech companies in Silicon Valley. He had managed 200M business worldwide. In late 90s, as one of the early returnees to China, he served as the China Chief Representative for a US public company.  He was a guest scientist at Siemens Corporate Research in Munich and gave technical talks at numerous IEEE conferences and universities in the US, Europe and Asia. He studied electrical engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing, china, and received his Ph.D. from University of Washington.

Xiaojie Meng

Xiaojie (Marta) Meng is a licensed attorney in the state of California, founder of boutique immigration law firm Song & Meng, PC. She practices exclusively in the field of immigration and nationality law, specializing in employment-based immigration and work visas. Xiaojie has extensive immigration experience serving a diverse array of clients, including multi-national corporations, small businesses, and individuals from all walks of life. Xiaojie is a member of the American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA) and a frequent contributor to Immigration Daily.

Doug Schafer

Doug Schafer cofounded DataFrameworks in 2009. The company's ClarityNow storage analysis product has quickly become the leading solution for TV and film post production, life sciences (genetic research), and chip design. Prior to DataFrameworks, Doug was the VP Product Development for DataDirect Networks, which provides storage to the majority of the Supercomputing Top 100. Prior to DDN, Doug was the VP Engineering, Platform for Ixia, which develops TCP/IP test equipment. Ixia sold to Keysight Technologies in 2016 for $1.6B. Doug holds a BSEE from the California Institute of Technology.

Jun Wang

Dr. Jun Wang got his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in June 2014. His research was focused on cognitive radio networks and related technologies in wireless communications and sensor networks. He has published 13 papers in top journals and conferences in his field. After

graduation, Dr. Wang joined Broadcom Corporation, where he became part of the R&D team for the next generation wireless connectivity solutions. He currently serves as the project lead of system design for Broadcom's first connectivity solution targeted at Internet of Things (IoT) and Home Automation.

Eirc Wu

Dr. Eric Wu obtained the Master of Science in Engineering from Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and received his Ph.D. from Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USC. 


Dr. Wu is a California licensed professional engineer.  His experience includes remedial investigation and feasibility study for mitigating soil and groundwater contamination, and designs of air stripping towers for major gas companies. Dr. Wu was the Chief of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Unit and involved with watershed management and developed many TMDLs for multiple stressors including trash, metals, pesticides, nutrients, chloride, bacteria, and algae for watersheds in the Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.  He also participated in multiple interagency negotiations for TMDL implementation. Dr. has been invited by USC, UCLA, Center of Watershed Management, and conferences to present his experience in developing and implementing TMDLs.


Currently, Dr. Wu is the Chief of Groundwater Permitting Unit at the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.  Major projects include the establishment of general waste discharge requirements (WDRs) for in-situ site remediation, and the design and construction of a centralized wastewater treatment plant in Malibu.


Dr. Wu also actively involved with professional associations.  He is the President of the Southern California Chinese American Environmental Protection Association, and a Director of the Overseas Chinese Environmental Engineers and Scientist Association.

Fangting Xia

Fangting acquired my PhD degree in Statistics in September 2016, from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), under the supervision of Prof. Alan Yuille. Her research focus is on machine learning and computer vision. Specifically, Her interest is in human semantic part segmentation and pose estimation, combining traditional graphical models with recent deep learning techniques. After graduation, she has been working in the Mobile Vision team of Google, Los Angeles, focusing on landmark recognition and its application to Google products.

  She received her B.Eng degree of Computer Science in 2011, from University of Science & Technology of China. She was a research intern at the Web Search & Mining team of MSRA, and a technical intern at AdSense and DoubleClick Search of Google.

Ken Yao

Job title: IT Strategy Lead Technologist

Company: Booz Allen Hamilton

Bio: Ken is a management consultant and specializes in cyber security, digital strategy, and data analytics. In his current role as a Lead Technologist and Engagement Manager with Booz Allen Hamilton, Ken serves clients across North America and Asia Pacific, leading mission-critical projects and driving enterprise change initiatives for global Fortune 500 companies and government entities. Starting his career journey in the world of finance, Ken spent several years interning in asset management, investment banking, and corporate finance including in the mergers & acquisitions division at a top-tier investment banking firm where he learned how to work hard and deliver results.

Lisa Yuan

Job title: Senior Associate

Company: KPMG LLP

Bio: Lisa is a senior associate at KPMG Deal Advisory, providing accounting advisory services to clients in various industries who experience accounting changes, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, and debt and equity issuance or investment. Lisa previously served as an audit senior at Deloitte in Chicago and Southern California, providing financial statement, internal control, and IPO audit services to clients in technology, real estate, and consumer and industrial manufacturing industries. Lisa holds a Master of Accounting with Distinction from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Peking University.

Bill Zhang

Bill is a consultant at FTI Consulting, a leading global management consulting firm with specialties in financial and operations advisory. Bill assists corporate management in stabilizing finances and operations to reassure all parties-in-interest that proactive steps are being taken to enhance value through developing liquidity forecasts, improving cash flow management, obtaining additional financing, negotiating loan covenant waivers and guiding complex debt restructuring. 

Adam Zheng

Yi (Adam) Zheng is a co-founder of Adam's career first started as a co-founder of in 2003. In 2007, Adam became a venture partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. Adam received the Master's in Financial Engineering from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley (2003), and a Ph.D. in transportation system from UC Davis (2003), and MS in Environmental Engineering from Tsinghua University in China in 1998. While Adam studied his Ph.D., he published papers in Atmospheric Environment, Environmental Science and Technology, and Transportation Research Part B. Adam speaks both Chinese (native) and English.

John Zhuang

John Zhuang is Corporate Counsel and Interim Director of Human Resources at BYD America Corporation. He currently oversees all of the company’s legal and human resources operations in the United States and Canada.


Prior to joining BYD, John has represented a variety of entities ranging from Fortune 500 conglomerates to startup technology companies. His experience includes mergers and acquisition, business development, and government and regulatory affairs work for the automotive, aviation, and clean technology industries. He also has experience advising governments and nonprofits with clients that include City of Santa Clarita, City of Gardena, and the education reform nonprofit StudentsFirst.


John received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He earned his law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law (King Hall). John is a licensed attorney with the State Bar of California.

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