The Judging Process

  • First Round judges will review all valid Elevate submissions with the completed online form and optional short video.
  • Up to 16 SemiFinalist teams will deliver 8-minute pitches via webconference, expanding on their ideas. SemiFinal judges will provide written feedback.
  • Up to 8 finalist teams will pitch polished, 8-minute pitches (powerpoint slides are optional) at the ELEVATE Live Pitch Finals on October 16, before a live HAAAA Summit audience and the Finals Judging Panel. This fresh set of distinguished judges will ask questions following each pitch. Time permitting, finalists will field one question from the audience.

Judging Criteria
Contest submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Innovativeness (the degree of successful implementation, if applicable)
  • Game-changing potential for an industry, a community or society at large
  • Persuasiveness of your presentation
  • Likelihood of success, based on the submission’s merits, the audience/market being targeted and the strengths and persuasive ability of the pitch team presenting them.

___________________________________________________________________________________________ The Elevate Pitch Competition Judges

Our Elevate judges include Harvard venture capitalists, successful entrepreneurs, creative executives, philanthropists and others who have expertly identified great ideas and talent and connected them with success. Our distinguished alumni judges include the following, with more to be announced:

Live Pitch Finals Jury:


Prelim & SemiFinals Judges:


Bios of the Elevate Pitch Competition Judges

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Nicole Chang ’89

P.Y. Nicole Chang ’89

P.Y. Nicole Chang ’89‘scareer has spanned the entrepreneurial and corporate worlds and three continents – Europe, Asia and North America. Currently, she is Vice President of Worldwide Business Development for DFS Group, the world’s largest luxury travel retailer with over 150 stores in 18 countries and territories. Headquartered in Hong Kong and owned by LVMH (Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A),  the French luxury goods conglomerate, DFS’s retail locations feature many of the world´s most sought-after brands, including Cartier, Chanel, Gucci and Tiffany. Nicole’s current focus is to spearhead DFS’ growth and development in new businesses and partnerships in Greater China (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau) — the fastest growing luxury market in the world. She works with many local and national governments, especially in the Greater China market to leverage luxury brands and the duty free industry to help revitalize their economies by boosting their tourism and investment industries.

Prior to joining DFS, Ms. Chang was based in Beijing and Shanghai respectively as the CEO for Go Digital Media Services, a digital rights management provider in broadband and mobile markets, and the COO for Montrose International Food and Wine, the leading wine importer in Mainland China and Hong Kong. She was also co-founder and CEO of ELVESNET, a Paris-based customized lifestyle and real estate management services company that was successfully sold to a US-Canadian acquirer.

Prior to her years in China and France, Nicolewas COO and CFO of Bonton, a leading Central and Eastern European multi-media conglomerate with businesses in publishing, film, video, television, retail, music, and radio. Nicole led the Prague-based company’s restructuring efforts, its acquisition of 6 media companies, and established joint ventures with Sony Music, Bertelsmann, Clear Channel, France Telecom and Gaumont. She also led Bonton’s successful private equity fundraising efforts and its IPO process. Earlier in her career, Nicole was a McKinsey management consultant and a Morgan Stanley derivatives analyst.

Independently, Nicole is an angel investor and advisor to several companies focused on the Chinese market in the travel, hospitality, and high-tech sectors. She earned a BA in Economics from Harvard College and both a JD and MBA from Stanford University. She is also a member of the California Bar.

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Richard Chin ’88, M.D. '94

Richard Chin ’88, M.D.’94 OneWorld Health

Richard Chin ’88, M.D.’94, is CEO of Institute for OneWorld Health, the first U.S. nonprofit pharmaceutical company. OneWorld Health, which is largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, develops affordable drugs for the most impoverished patients in the developing world.

Previously, in the for-profit sector, Dr. Chin oversaw the development of numerous breakthrough drugs, with aggregate current sales of several billion dollars, including Lucentis, Tysabri, Rituxan for autoimmune diseases, and Xolair. His earlier roles also include President and CEO of Oxigene, Senior Vice President of Global Development at Elan, and Head of Clinical Research for the Biotherapeutics Unit at Genentech.

Dr. Chin is currently on the faculty of UCSF and was previously on the adjunct faculty at Stanford. He has also authored a major textbook on clinical trial medicine. In 2006, he was named by Businessweek as one of the youngest 99 public company CEOs in the United States.

He received a A.B. in Biology, magna cum laude, from Harvard University and the equivalent of a J.D. with honors from Oxford University in England under a Rhodes Scholarship. Dr. Chin holds a Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School and is licensed to practice medicine in California. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of RXi Pharmaceuticals, a company founded by Craig Mello developing novel RNAi based treatments for human diseases, and of Genmedica Therapeutics, a leading biotech company in Spain developing innovative treatments for diabetes.
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David Eun ’89, J.D. '93

David Eun ’89, J.D.’93

David Eun ’89, J.D. ’93, is President of AOL Media and Studios, where he oversees AOL’s network of content sites, as well as the SEED.com publishing platform, the StudioNow video platform and AOL’s New York City and Los Angeles studios. In this role, Eun is responsible for AOL’s efforts to build one of the strongest large-scale journalistic organizations while becoming the leading publisher of high-quality content and journalism in the world. Eun joined AOL from Google, where he was responsible for global business development efforts in video, print and local content businesses. Prior to joining Google in 2006, Eun helped to oversee AOL while working at Time Warner as Vice President, Operations for the Media & Communications Group. In this role, he helped provide operational oversight and develop new businesses, particularly in digital distribution and broadband content and services, for AOL, Time Warner Cable and Time, Inc. divisions. Before joining Time Warner, he was a partner at Arts Alliance, a venture capital firm focused on digital media, information technology and business services, and co-managed the U.S. office. Eun started his career in media at NBC, where he led some of NBC’s first cross-media initiatives involving television programming, the Internet and retail consumer products. He also worked as a management consultant at Bain & Co. Eun graduated magna cum laude with a major in government from Harvard College and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
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Melissa Lee '95

Melissa Lee ’95

Melissa Lee ’95 is the host of CNBC’s “Fast Money” (M-Thu 5PM-6PM ET, Friday 5PM-5:30PM ET) which originates from the NASDAQ’s MarketSite studio in New York’s Times Square. “Fast Money” gives you the information normally reserved for the Wall Street trading floor, enabling you to make decisions that can make you money. Lee is also the host of “Options Action,” (Fridays 5:30PM ET) a new weekly half-hour program that explains the advantages of options trading and demonstrates the strategy using the news of the week.

Before hosting “Fast Money” and “Options Action,” Lee was a reporter and anchor for CNBC covering investment banking, hedge funds and private equity. In 2009, Lee reported two one-hour documentaries, “Porn: Business of Pleasure” and “Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing.” In 2008, Lee reported and anchored a one-hour documentary, “Made in China: People’s Republic of Profit” from Beijing and Shanghai. She reported extensively for CNBC on China from the country’s growth to its challenges to the opportunities for U.S. businesses.

Lee also contributes reports to NBC’s “Today” show. Lee received a 2010 Gracie Award for Outstanding Host-News and a Gerald Loeb Award nomination in 2009 for a CNBC Special Report entitled “Is Your Money Safe? The Fall of Lehman Brothers” in which she co-anchored. Lee has also been nominated for two Emmy awards in Business News. In 2007, she was recognized for her report, “The $50M Con,” about a college student-turned scammer who ran a fake hedge fund and was ultimately caught by the FBI. And in 2003, she was nominated for her reporting on the proxy voting of mutual funds.

Prior to joining CNBC in 2004, Lee worked for Bloomberg Television and CNN Financial News. Before her career in television, Lee was a consultant at Mercer Management Consulting. Her cases focused on the banking and credit card sectors. Lee graduated with honors from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts in Government. She also served as Assistant Managing Editor of the Harvard Crimson.
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Sheila Lirio Marcelo, MBA ’98, JD ’99

Sheila Lirio Marcelo, MBA ’98, JD ’99, is founder and CEO of Care.com.  Sheila is an entrepreneur whose passion for business and family led to the founding of Care.com in 2006. After enduring frequent struggles to find quality caregivers for her two boys, Sheila recognized a lack in resources available to help families address their care needs, and she founded Care.com to fill that void. Since then, the site has paired thousands of families throughout the U.S. with qualified caregivers, establishing Care.com as the largest and fastest growing solution for care on the web.

The company has been featured in national news outlets such as NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, ABC News Now, The Wall Street Journal, Parenting Magazine, Cookie magazine, and BusinessWeek. In 2007, Care.com won the Stevie Award for “Best New Company of the Year.” In 2009, as Founder and CEO of Care.com, Sheila was recognized as one of the Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. And this year, she was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in New England.

Care.com is a continuation of Sheila’s interests in community involvement and helping others through successful internet businesses. The company has received funding from both Matrix Partners and Trinity Ventures. Other prominent investors and advisors include: Brian Swette, former COO of eBay; Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn; Jonathan Kraft, President of the New England Patriots, and the Kraft Family; Steve Kaufer, President and CEO of TripAdvisor; and others.

Prior to founding Care.com, Sheila was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the venture capital firm Matrix Partners. Sheila has also served as an executive at several successful Internet companies. She was the Vice President of Product Management and Marketing for Upromise, a site helping families save for college. And she held the position of Vice President and General Manager at TheLadders.com, an executive job search engine. Sheila currently serves on the Board of Trustees for several non-profit organizations including the Ayala Foundation USA, an organization that helps over 100 Philippine non-profits; and the Achievement Network, which helps students reach academic excellence by providing effective, data-driven strategies.

Sheila graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Economics. She went on to pursue both an M.B.A. and a J.D. from Harvard University, graduating with honors and receiving two prestigious awards: the Dean’s Award for overall leadership and contributions to Harvard Business School; and the Fitzie Foundation Award, given by the Margaret Fitzgerald Grogan Petersmeyer Foundation, which honors the most outstanding female students. She resides in the Boston, MA area with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.
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Joseph Park, MBA ’04

Joseph Park, M.B.A. ’04, is Senior Vice President, Consumer Digital Business, for HarperCollins Publishing, where he manages its overall consumer digital strategy, which includes directing the company’s e-commerce efforts and leveraging online, mobile and new technologies as new distribution channels to monetize HarperCollins’ content. He is also tasked with building out consumer content, communities and websites to exponentially increase HarperCollins’ relevance and engagement with the world’s book lovers.

An entrepreneur himself, Joe was the Founder and CEO of two startups, Askville, com and Kozmo.com. Askville is a leading social network-based community question & answer (Q&A) website which he sold and incubated at Amazon. Kozmo.com was the first e-tailer to provide a same-day, one-hour delivery service to consumers, delivering dvds, books, electronics, food and other consumer goods in the Boston, San Francisco, New York, Seattle and 7 other major metropolitan cities. Under his leadership, Joe raised approximately $300 million in venture capital, and grew revenues to a $60 million run-rate.

Prior to his move to Harper Collins’ Digital unit, Joe was President of BibleGateway, a division of Zondervan Publishing, a HarperCollins and News Corp. company. BibleGateway is the #1 biblical reference website online with over 1 billion pageviews per year. Within 6 months, Joe grew traffic by over 50% to over 8 million unique visitors a month. Joe has also worked for Goldman Sachs as a senior financial analyst, for Microsoft’s corporate strategy group, and as Amazon’s head of new product development for four years. Currently, at NYU’s Center for Publishing, Joe is a Fall 2010 NYU adjunct professor teaching the course, Idea to Empire: New Business Development.

Joe graduated from New York University with a BA in Economics, Journalism, and Political Science. He also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. While at Harvard, Joe was one of 5 finalists in the HBS Business Plan Contest. He also co-authored and filed two patents on mobile local search technologies and nine additional technology patents while at Amazon. His experience building Kozmo has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including The Industry Standard’s Most Effective Start-up CEO; New York Magazine’s Top 50 Influential People; and the Harvard Business School’s Entrepreneur Award.



Richard de Silva'94, MBA '00

Richard de Silva ’94, MBA ’00

Richard de Silva ’94, M.B.A. ’00, is General Partner at Highland Capital Partners focused on digital media investments with specific experience and interest in online advertising, online media properties, consumer payment systems and internet infrastructure. Based in Highland’s Menlo Park office, he invests in early stage companies as well as later stage opportunities including growth equity, venture buyouts, spin-outs and recapitalizations.

Richard serves on the board of Affine Systems, Digg, FanSnap, Metacafe and NameMedia, and is or has been actively involved in Highland’s investments in Fastclick (IPO, sold to ValueClick), Quigo (acquired by AOL) and Turbine (acquired by Warner Bros.)

Before joining Highland in 2003, Richard was co-founder and President of SiteBurst Inc., a channel marketing software company. Prior to SiteBurst, Richard was part of the team that founded IronPlanet.com, a venture-backed marketplace for used heavy equipment.

Previously, Richard was an Engagement Manager at Mercer Management Consulting, where he led strategic initiatives for clients including IBM, Tribune and Leo Burnett. He has worked extensively in the cable television industry as a consultant to Scientific Atlanta and as a product manager at the @Home Network. He has also worked at Apax Partners, and as a reporter for Newsweek magazine and the Washington Post.

Richard graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in History. He also earned an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

James Cham '95

James Cham ’95, is a Principal at Trinity Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, where he focuses on investing in entrepreneurs who start consumer services, enterprise software and digital media companies.  Prior to Trinity, James was a Vice President at Bessemer Venture Partners where he was instrumental in eight new investments in consumer internet services, security and digital media sectors along with a number of seed investments.

Before Bessemer, James was a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group where he developed marketing strategies for entertainment and IT companies. Earlier, he built web applications for startups as a Principal at Zefer and developed IT systems for Fortune 500 companies as a software developer at Accenture. While at Bessemer, James was a board member at CrowdFlower and Open Candy and a board observer at LifeLock, ReputationDefender, Sonic Mule and BillShrink.

David Chan '95

David Chan ’83, CFA, is a managing director with Jennison Associates and the portfolio manager of the Prudential Jennison Health Sciences Fund since its inception in 1999. The fund’s assets are currently greater than $500M, and is one of the top performers in its category. The firm has been an active financier of emerging bio-pharmaceutical companies (public and private) but also invests across the spectrum of the healthcare space. David joined Jennison in 1992 from the Boston Consulting Group where he was a team leader and a project consultant for a wide variety of industries, with a special focus on the healthcare area. Prior to his career in financial services, David also attended the Directing Program at the American Film Institute, worked at WGBH-TV in Boston, and co-produced and directed “Passing It On”, a documentary film portrait of jazz pianist Barry Harris. David graduated with a B.A. in Biochemistry from Harvard University in 1983 and received an M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1989.


Darryl D. Chiang J.D. '94

Darryl D. Chiang, J.D. ’94

Darryl D. Chiang, J.D. ’94, is the Executive Director Emeritus of the Asian American Theater Company (AATC), a non-profit performing arts company in San Francisco, California. AATC was established in 1973 and continues to produce world premieres of new plays and revivals of classics through its mainstage performance seasons. AATC also champions the work of emerging playwrights, actors and other artists through its NewWorks Incubator program. Darryl joined AATC’s Board in 2001 and became its Executive Director in 2008. By day, Darryl is Senior Corporate Counsel at Google Inc. in Mountain View, California, where he works on intellectual property licensing transactions for Google Maps and Google Earth. He joined Google’s Legal Department in 2006 after working at Hitachi America, Ltd., Bio-Rad Laboratories, Latham & Watkins, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Darryl earned his A.B. magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1990 and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1994.

Dana Cho, M.Arch ’01

Dana Cho, M. Arch ’01, is an Associate Partner and a Location Director for IDEO in Palo Alto, California. She leads a group of 40, multi-disciplinary designers who are passionate about branded experiences and design for community.

Dana has led multiple, large-scale projects in retail, hospitality, healthcare, workplace, education and urban planning. As project lead for the Gap Kids project, she created a new, kid-centric retail strategy that resulted in multiple prototype stores. For the Ritz-Carlton Scenography project, Dana created a series of designed moments that mobilized a new approach to service design in hotels world-wide. Dana has taken on multiple roles and responsibilities since joining IDEO in 2000. She helped establish the Smart Space group at IDEO, which tackles design at the scale of environments, architecture and urban planning using IDEO’s human-centered methodology. Dana also managed the Marriott client relationship through 10 separate project engagements, ranging from repositioning their core Marriott brand to reinventing lobby experiences. Since joining IDEO, she has worked with clients such as Nike, Banana Republic, Ritz-Carlton and the Mayo Clinic.

Dana holds a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where her thesis work was carried out under Rem Koolhaas. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining IDEO, Dana has worked at architectural firms such as Gwathmey Siegel, Morphosis and Skidmore Owings and Merill. She has taught classes and lectured at California College of Arts and has served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard’s GSD.

Zen Chu

Zen Chu

With over fifteen years of investing and operating experience, Zen Chu works at the earliest stages of medical technology development to envision, create, de-risk, and commercialize medical innovations that impact patients. Zen is the Director of Business Development for Harvard Medical School at Harvard’s Office of Technology Development. Simultaneously, he serves as the Director of the Wyss Institute Accelerator Fund at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, a new entity that spans Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and partner engineering and clinical institutions worldwide. With a focus on revolutionary biomaterials, medical devices and disease reprogramming technologies, Zen works closely with Harvard faculty, physicians, staff and students to map the rapid development and commercialization of Wyss Institute innovations through patenting, clinical collaborations, corporate partnerships, licensing and spin-out companies.

Zen is also an active entrepreneur and investor in medical technologies, including co-founding three successful healthcare companies, and serving as board director to a handful of others. Prior to the Wyss Institute, Zen founded Accelerated Medical Ventures to advise and invest in early-stage medical devices, consumer medical products, and healthcare information technology. Prior to AMV, Zen co-founded 3DM Biomaterials along with a group of MIT scientists, serving as the CEO of the venture-backed regenerative medicine company for five years before selling it in 2008. In Silicon Valley, Zen founded and directed Hewlett Packard’s HPGarage New Technology Ventures program. He has also served as an advisor on healthcare innovation to Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology (HST).

Zen earned a BS in Biomedical/Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University and a Masters of Business Administration from Yale University.

Andrew Chung '99

Andrew Chung ’99

Andrew G.W. Chung ’99 is a Principal at Lightspeed Venture Partners and focuses on investments in cleantech, Internet and tech-enabled services, including education, genomics, and bioinformatics. Andrew helps lead the firm’s activity in cleantech and currently is a director or active observer on the boards of Orbis Education, Coaltek, Stion and Solazyme.

Andrew has been involved in completing 15 of Lightspeed’s investments in the U.S., China and India — across sectors that include solar (Stion), biofuels (LS9; Solazyme), storage (Leyden Energy), fossil energy (Coaltek; MSP/Drilex), lighting (Exclara), nursing education (Orbis), genomics (2 undisclosed), social gaming (Serious Business, acquired by Zynga) and supply chain services (PCH International).

Andrew chairs the Cleantech Advisory Board for The Indus Entrepreneurs Group (TiE), serves on the Advisory Board for Stanford Energy Crossroads, and is actively involved as an advisor for the Cleantech Open. Andrew has also been asked to present to former Lt. Governor John Garamendi, U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, and the California Commission for Economic Development on cleantech- and energy-related policy issues.

Prior to Lightspeed, Andrew worked at Bain Capital and TL Ventures, where he supported leveraged buyout and venture investments in software, semiconductors and healthcare. He also co-founded UberWorks (acq. by NWKC), an e-commerce content aggregation startup incubated at Trilogy. Andrew also directed product management at OnStation, a CRM software company, and worked as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company in Greater China, servicing clients in the energy generation, industrial automation, consumer electronics and private equity sectors.

Andrew graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Andrew is an avid musician, having performed as a vocalist and conductor at distinguished venues like the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre, and an off-Broadway musical theatre.

Joyce Lan Kim, M.A. '01

Joyce Lan Kim M.A. ’01

Joyce Lan Kim, M.A. ’01, is CEO of Soompi.com, the largest English site for Korean and Asian pop entertainment fans. Initially started as a hobby, Soompi has grown into a rapidly growing startup with a community that receives more than 1 million unique visitors a month. Joyce was also the co-host of The Giga-Om Show, a weekly online show regarding the internet industry and the business side of technology and social media.

Joyce is also currently attorney at Fortis General, but is on sabbatical currently to run Soompi. Her practice focuses on outsourced general counsel services, with an emphasis on the representation of emerging growth technology companies, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital financings. She represents a variety of clients ranging from software companies, angel and seed investors, and consulting services companies.

Prior to Soompi and Fortis, Joyce was an attorney practicing venture capital financing and mergers and acquisitions in the Palo Alto office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and in the capital markets group in the New York office of Shearman & Sterling LLP where she worked on public securities offerings. Joyce entered college after completing one year of high school, graduated from Cornell University at the age of 19 and went on to receive an A.M. in Regional Studies, East Asia from Harvard University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Originally from New York City, Joyce currently lives San Francisco, California.

Derrick Lee, MBA ’03, is a Vice President at Bessemer Venture Partners’ Menlo Park office and focuses primarily on cleantech and semiconductor investments. He spent a year with BVP China in Shanghai developing that practice during 2006-2007. Derrick serves on the board of Summit Microelectronics and previously served on the board of BA Systems.He is a board observer with Berkeley Design Automation, Exclara, Miasole, PowerGenix, and Xtreme Power. Derrick is also involved with Bessemer’s investments in Avalanche Technology, Avnera, ChinaEDU (Nasdaq: CEDU), PA Semi (acquired by Apple), Siano Mobile Silicon, and Tilera.

Prior to BVP, Derrick was part of the sales team at Barcelona Design, an early-stage design automation software company. He has held senior technical and product management positions at Maxim Integrated Products. Derrick started his career as an analog circuit designer at Silicon Systems (acquired by Texas Instruments) and holds two US patents.

Derrick graduated with an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He earned an MSEE degree from Stanford University, where he was awarded a School of Engineering Fellowship. He also holds a BSEE degree with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia.

Theresa Loong '94

Theresa Loong ’94

Theresa (Tree) Loong ’94 is a digital media professional. She is a partner at Intellitoys, a media and technology company that has created an innovative learning and entertainment platform for children. Intellitoys won honors in both the MIT 50K and Wharton Business Plan competitions.

Theresa has provided interactive editorial and strategic consulting services to American Movie Classics, nymag.com, the New York Times, Fashionista.com, the NYC Department of Education, and more.

Theresa is also an award-winning multimedia producer whose work has been exhibited at the SVA, Teriennale di Milano and Circulo de Bellas Artes. She has directed and produced documentary films for non-profits and for public television. She is working on a feature documentary called Every Day Is a Holiday.

Theresa is a proud alumna of Currier House.


Perla Ni, J.D. '98

Perla Ni, JD ’98

Perla Ni, J.D. ’98, is founder and CEO of GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user-generated ratings and reviews of nonprofits. Together with partners like GuideStar, the premiere source for donor research on nonprofits, GreatNonProfits’ mission is to promote greater nonprofit excellence through feedback and transparency. GreatNonprofits is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization itself, which is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Sand Hill Foundation, Morgan Family Foundation, Peery Foundation, and others.

Perla is also the founder and former publisher of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the leading journal on nonprofit management and philanthropy. While at the Review, she also launched their successful Web site and blog. Prior to her work at SSIR, Ni co-founded and was editor in chief of Grassroots.com, a nonprofit advocacy Web site named by Forbes as “Best of the Web.” A frequent speaker on nonprofits and philanthropy, Ni continues to blog at SSIR at www.ssireview.org.

She has a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is also on the advisory board of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and on the board of Goodwill Industries. Perla has been named a “Top Game Changer” by the HuffingtonPost.


Lindsay Wai, M. Arch '08

Lindsay Wai, M.Arch.’08

Lindsay Wai, M. Arch ’08, is an IDEO environments designer who is passionate about putting into practice innovative design and business strategies. Since joining IDEO, she has brought her systems and design thinking to the Systems at Scale Practice. She has worked with clients such as University of Phoenix to envision a new learning model as well as the government of Singapore around enabling and managing organizational change. As a designer, she taps into other interest areas such as behavioral economics, psychology and business to inform her work.Prior to joining IDEO, Lindsay worked as an architect under David Adjaye and Moshe Safdie on a wide variety of projects, ranging from materials research to large-scale urban design and master-planning. Her works have been exhibited at the Beijing National Library, Harvard Gund Hall Gallery and published in I.D. Magazine and Domus. Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her master’s thesis was carried out under Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, exploring urban models of contemporary preservation and the financial mechanisms that are driving them.

Mia Wenjen '87

Mia Wenjen’87

Mia Wenjen ’87 co-founded Aquent in 1986 with fellow Mather House residents John Chuang and Steve Kapner. Originally founded as MacTemps, Aquent is now the world’s largest talent agency for the marketing and design industry. Aquent represents talent in virtually every marketing discipline, from brand managers to copywriters to data analysts and web designers. Aquent has 70 offices in 17 countries and works with two-thirds of the Fortune 500 and 90 of the Fortune 100.

Mia has been a member of the board of directors ever since and has held a number of roles at the company. Mia launched the West Coast operations and grew Los Angeles, California into the company’s largest market. She later managed the Boston market, where she introduced Aquent’s Partner Program, an innovative effort securing the loyalty of the company’s contingent workforce. This initiative reduced turnover among freelancers to below 20% per year, lower than that for many firms’ full-time staff.

Mia served as general manager for an internal Aquent start-up, managed PR efforts, and served as publisher of 1099 magazine, an award-winning print publication for freelancers. Mia has also worked as a freelance marketing consultant and co-founded Mizanne, a women’s golf apparel company.

Mia graduated from Harvard College cum laude in history and science in 1987 and earned an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management in 1993. She is also obsessed with social media and writes a parenting blog, Pragmatic Mom, authors a group blog on blogging, CoffeeShop Bloggers, and consults on social media marketing.

Katherine Woo '95

Katharine Woo ’95

Katherine Woo ’95 graduated with an AB Economics and was a member of the last class that graduated from North House instead of Pforzheimer. She cut her teeth at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), then attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business. After business school, Katherine joined PayPal shortly before its IPO and subsequent acquisition by eBay. She held various roles, including Director of PayPal’s Merchant Services Product team, Sr. Director of PayPal Product Strategy, and Chief of Staff to the CEO of eBay.

Currently, Katherine is co-founder and head of Product at Sofa Labs, an incubator whose first product is Thread.com. Thread is a dating/introduction service, where people meet friends of friends. It was a member of Facebook’s fbFund incubator, and raised a seed financing round from investors such as First Round Capital, Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund, and SV Angels.

Jeff Yang '89

Jeff Yang ’89

Jeff Yang ’89, is co-chair of the Harvard Asian American Alumni Summit and co-producer of the ELEVATE Pitch Competition. By day, he is Vice President and principal global strategist at Iconoculture, a leading consumer insights firm, where he directs the company’s activities in Greater China, Japan and Korea. He also writes the biweekly column “Asian Pop” for the San Francisco Chronicle, and has authored several bestselling books, including Eastern Standard Time; I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action (the international action hero’s official autobiography); Once Upon a Time in China; and the graphic novel collection, Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology. Shortly after graduating from Harvard, he founded aMagazine: Inside Asian America, which grew into Asian America’s largest and most influential English-language media institution, and later raised $4.8 million to launch aOnline.com, one of the first Asian American content and community sites on the web. He is also a Harvard Lampoon alumnus.