Featured Speakers

Broas-editSpeaker at the Opening Reception:

Timothy Broas – United States Ambassador to the Netherlands

A respected attorney who has distinguished himself through more than 30 years of service to individual and corporate clients throughout the world, Timothy Broas was appointed United States Ambassador to the Netherlands on March 19th, 2014.
Alongside his professional success, Tim Broas has given back to his community through philanthropic efforts, providing leadership expertise to several non-profit organizations and participating in charity events.

Political representatives from the highest levels of government have chosen him to assist in the leadership of important civic organizations; Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley appointed him to the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s College, two Virginia Governors have placed him on Mount Vernon’s Board of Visitors, and President Obama appointed him to the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Additionally, Tim Broas serves on the leadership team of Partners in Health, a charity focused on bringing healthcare to underserved communities around the world, and he has participated in events such as the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 165-mile bike ride supporting the ground-breaking research performed at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute.


BorisDittrich-editedPanel 1: Connecting NGO’s with employers in international environments

Moderator: Boris Dittrich, Human Rights Watch with the participation of Hivos and Amnesty International

Borris Dittrich is a human rights activist, former Dutch politician and writer.

Boris Dittrich grew up in Utrecht and went to law school at Leiden University. He worked as a lawyer in Amsterdam from 1981 till 1989 and later as a judge in the district court of Alkmaar from 1989 till 1994. Dittrich is married to the Dutch / Israeli sculptor Jehoshua Rozenman.

In early 2007 Dittrich became Advocacy Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Rights Program at Human Rights Watch in the Headquarters of the non-governmental organization in New York City.

Dittrich works on different levels to achieve non-discrimination and equal rights for LGBT people. On a national level he supports grass roots organizations to achieve the goals they set out in their country specific context. For instance when groups in Cameroon asked Human Rights Watch to research the effects of the law that criminalizes homosexual conduct in that country. The research resulted in a joint report that Dittrich and the groups’ representatives discussed at a national level with the Cameroonian prime minister, minister of Justice, members of Parliament, and other stakeholders. On an international level Dittrich presented the findings from the report on Cameroon to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva.

In New York he co-organized yearly events at the United Nations to celebrate International Human Rights Day on December 10. In 2007 he chaired the event that introduced the Yogyakarta Principles to the UN in New York. In 2008 the event introduced a joint statement by 66 countries to denounce violence and discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2009 the Holy See took the floor and called upon the more than 76 countries in the world to decriminalize homosexual conduct. The events became increasingly important. In 2010 and 2012 UN secretary-General Ban Ki Moon gave the opening address. In all events human rights defenders from different parts of the world shared their personal stories about how discriminatory laws and practices influenced their lives. In most cases also positive examples of activism were given to inspire the hundreds of attending diplomats.

Mid 2013 Dittrich moved from New York to Berlin, Germany where he continues to work as advocacy director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. He will remain a global advocate, with a special focus on Russia and Eastern Europe.



Executive Roundtable (By Invitation only)

Moderator: Claudia Brind-Woody,Vice President and Managing Director for IBM Global Intellectual Property and Advanced Technology Licensing

Claudia Brind-Woody is currently the Vice President and Managing Director for IBM Global Intellectual Property and Advanced Technology Licensing. She is responsible for licensing and assignment of IBM patents and technologies to companies in the Software, Services, WebTech and Financial Sectors. She also runs IBM’s Small Divestiture Practice and the specialized consulting group known as IP Management Services.

Claudia has been with IBM since 1996, and has held multiple global roles during her tenure. She has been a Vice President in the Industrial Sector, the Managing Director of the IBM Nokia account in Finland and a Vice President in Global Technology Services to name a few. She received the coveted IBM Chairman’s Award for her work on the Global Y2K team, and also has two IBM patents pending.

In her “night job” at IBM, Claudia serves as the co-chair of the IBM Executive LGBT Taskforce that focuses globally on the issues of LGBT employees in the work place. She is an accomplished keynote speaker who has represented IBM in Copenhagen, Zurich, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Brussels, London, Munich, Paris, Helsinki, Bangalore, Tokyo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Austin, Chicago and Washington, DC.

In addition to speaking on LGBT issues, Claudia serves on the Board of Directors of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and co-chairs their International Advisory Committee. She has also served on the Lambda Legal Board of Directors and the John C. Stennis Institute of Government Board of Advisors. In 2011, she received the Out & Equal Trailblazer award for her work in LGBT diversity and was listed in GO Magazine’s “100 Women We Love” Class of 2011. In 2012, she received the “Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award” from Mary Baldwin College and was named to The Guardian’s WorldPride Power List Top 100.

Before joining IBM in 1996, Claudia worked for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as the Technology Program Director for the Olympic Results System. Earlier in her career, Claudia was the Vice-President for Business Development at CenturyTel (CTL). She served as the Assistant Dean of the College & Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. She also served as the Assistant Athletics Director at two major universities: the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Claudia coached a 1979 USA National Team in women’s basketball, and was an assistant coach for two years under Pat Head Summitt at The University of Tennessee.

Claudia holds a J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Georgia State University, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.S. from the University of Tennessee. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mary Baldwin College where she earned her B. A. summa cum laude. She is admitted to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia.

She lives with her wife, Tracie, in Oxfordshire, England.


HughMitchellExecutive Roundtable (by invitation only)

Host:Hugh Mitchell, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Officer, Shell

In March 2005, Hugh was appointed Human Resources Director of Shell and became a member of the Executive Committee in October 2007.

Hugh graduated from Edinburgh University, Scotland, with an MA (Hons) in Modern History in 1979. Later that year he joined Human Resources in Shell Exploration & Production in Aberdeen. Further HR and business roles followed across the UK and Brunei in both the upstream and downstream businesses. In 1997 he became HR Vice President for the Global Oil Products business.

Hugh moved to Shell headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands, in 2003 as Director International. His responsibilities included co-ordinating the company’s worldwide government relations activities. In March 2005, Hugh was appointed Human Resources Director of Royal Dutch Shell. He became a member of the Executive Committee in October 2007.

Hugh is a member of the Board for the Centre for Advanced Human Resources at Cornell University in the USA, and a Foundation Board member of IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland. He was appointed a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources in the USA in 2009. He is also an Honorary Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK).