Industry Insights Speakers
Award-Winning Journalist & News Anchor, NBC
Reena Ninan is a television journalist, media executive, and entrepreneur who has worked as a news anchor, foreign correspondent, and White House reporter for ABC News, CBS News, and Fox News. She is the founder and CEO of two media companies: Good Trouble Productions, which creates content with purpose, and News3, a groundbreaking Web3 project that seeks to fund and distribute the work of independent journalists in countries where democracy is struggling. She is also the host and co-creator of the popular podcasts Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting, with psychologist Dr. Lisa Damour, and HERO: The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women, with Foreign Policy and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Both are available on Apple and Spotify. Reena began her reporting career in Baghdad in 2005 after her hotel was car bombed by militants. She has since reported around the world, from India to Jerusalem, Libya to Lebanon. She also anchored the Saturday evening news on CBS, in addition to reporting for CBS This Morning and other programs. Prior to CBS, Ninan was a co-anchor of ABC News’ World News Now and America This Morning. At ABC she also covered the Obama White House and State Department. Ninan is a gifted speaker as well as an expert moderator – having moderated conversations for the Council on Foreign Relations, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Centerview Partners, PhRMA, Foreign Policy, and many more.
"It's Not About the Moment, It's About the Momentum"
Founder & CEO | Daraja Capital
Alumna | Toigo Foundation
With 25+ years of institutional investing expertise and a unique perspective, Raudline Etienne’s ability to recognize the investment opportunity inherent in nascent investment talent is unparalleled. Capitalizing, developing, and elevating the fund managers of tomorrow is the primary mission of Daraja Capital. Working as both as an investor and a coach to diverse alternative asset management firms, Raudline is focused on bridging the capital access gap faced by these entrepreneurs in finance. Raudline also organizes the resources and tools they need to penetrate the institutional investor market; her boasts a featured executive profile at Bloomberg.com where the highlights of her expertise include some of the industry’s biggest and most influential firms. Prior to founding Daraja Capital, Raudline served as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), the third largest public fund in the United States with assets of $145 billion from 2008 through 2011. Appointed by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli as Deputy Comptroller for Pension Investment and Cash Management, Raudline directed portfolio decisions for the nation’s third largest public pension fund. As CIO, she oversaw all aspects of CRF’s investment strategy, including asset allocation, policy and governance, investment structure, partner selection, and risk management. Her responsibilities included oversight of 60 professionals and management of a global portfolio of equity, fixed income, hedge funds, real estate, private equity and opportunistic investments. She also was responsible for CRF investment operations, including internal portfolio management, custodial services, and securities lending, as well as management of external investment advisors and consultants. Her team was responsible for the College Savings Program with assets of $12 billion, and the state’s $6 billion short-term investment pool consisting mainly of tax-revenue collections and federal aid. Previously, Raudline was a Managing Director, and Co-Head of Non-Traditional Investment Group at Rogerscasey in Darien, Connecticut. She headed consulting relationships for public and corporate retirement systems on issues of investment policy and governance, asset-liability management and asset allocation, and investment manager selection and monitoring. During her 11-year tenure with Rogerscasey, she developed wide expertise in asset classes, investment strategies, and institutional investment managers. Earlier, Raudline was an investment consultant at WHP, the predecessor of FIS Group. Raudline was instrumental in creating the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association where she was a board member, and the Robert Toigo Alumni Endowment Board on which she served as the first president. Raudline also served on the Toigo Foundation’s Governing Board. She was appointed to the International Accounting Standards Board, and the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Financial Crisis Advisory Group which considered financial reporting improvements to enhance investor confidence. Raudline earned a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and MBA in finance from the University of California at Berkeley where she was awarded the Robert Toigo Foundation Fellowship and served as President of the Black Business Student Association.
Founder & Executive Director | Aspen Institute Business & Society Program and Vice President | Aspen Institute
Judy Samuelson led a 10-year campaign to disrupt Milton Friedman's narrative about profit-maximization to successfully challenge conventional thinking in board rooms and classrooms about the Purpose of the corporation; she produced the Aspen Principles of Long-Term Value Creation to challenge short-termism in business and capital markets; and is promoting a set of Principles designed to disrupt the status quo in boardrooms about the design of CEO pay. Judy's career spans working in the California State Legislature, banking in New York's garment center and directing the Ford Foundation's exploration of impact investing - the Office of Program-Related Investments. Samuelson writes regularly for Quartz at Work. She is a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow and a director of the Financial Health Network.
Global Head of Sustainability | Franklin Templeton
Anne Simpson is Global Head of Sustainability for Franklin Templeton, reporting to the President and CEO. In this newly created role, Ms. Simpson is responsible for driving the company's strategic direction on stewardship, sustainability and ESG investment strategy globally, while fostering best practices within the firm's autonomous specialist investment managers. She serves as the firm's primary spokesperson on matters related to sustainability and participates in industry engagement initiatives and advocacy activities with policy makers and regulators. Ms. Simpson joined Franklin Templeton in 2022, bringing 35 years of sustainable investment and academic expertise as well as extensive experience in the international regulatory and policy arena. She is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University appointed by the Chancellor and teaches at University of California, Berkeley Haas Business School as a Lecturer in Sustainable and Impact Finance. In addition, Ms. Simpson is an advisory council member for the Official Monetary Financial Institutions Forum, a board member at Ceres, serves on the Leadership Council for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and on the steering committee of Climate Action 100+. She has previously served on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Investor Advisory Committee, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's Investor Advisory Group and the International Financial Reporting Standards Advisory Council. Prior to joining FT, Ms. Simpson was with the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), one of the largest asset owners in the world, where she served as Managing Investment Director for Board Governance & Sustainability, leading the development and execution of CalPERS' award-winning Sustainable Investment Strategy across a global portfolio of US$500 bn with 80% assets internally managed. At CalPERS, Ms. Simpson served as a member of its Investment Management Committee, which determines asset liability management, capital allocation, risk management and operations across global public equity, fixed income, private equity, private credit, real assets and infrastructure. In addition, she served as the inaugural Chair of Climate Action 100+ and its Asia Advisory Group, a global investor alliance of $60 trillion which CalPERS convened and co-founded. Ms. Simpson also led the CalPERS investment office diversity, equity and inclusion business initiative, including the founding of 3D (Diverse Director DataSource). Prior to joining CalPERS, Ms. Simpson was a Sr Faculty Fellow and Lecturer at the Yale School of Management, Head of the Global Corporate Governance Forum at the World Bank, Executive Director of the International Corporate Governance Network and Joint Managing Director of Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) Ltd. In 2019, Time Magazine named Ms. Simpson as one of the 15 women leading the global fight on climate change. In 2020, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in US Finance by Barron's. For 11 consecutive years from 2010-21, she has been ranked by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the year's 100 most influential people in the boardroom. Simpson has published several books in the field, including, most recently, "The Financial Ecosystem: The Role of Finance in Achieving Sustainability" with Satyajit Bose and Dong Guo of Columbia University (Palgrave MacMillan), and "Fair Shares: The Future of Shareholder Power and Responsibility" with Jonathan Charkham (Oxford University Press). She graduated from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, where she studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics, received bachelor's and master's degrees and was a Slater Fellow at Wellesley College, Massachusetts.
"Continuing On the Inclusion Course"
Partner & Chief Public Pension Strategist - Institutional Client & Product Solutions Group | Apollo
Shawn Wooden is a Partner and Chief Public Pension Strategist in the Institutional Client & Product Solutions group. Prior to joining the firm in 2023, Shawn was Treasurer of the State of Connecticut from January 2019 to January 2023. As State Treasurer, he served as the sole trustee of the $45 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, administered a $26 billion debt management program, managed more than $259 billion in annual cash transactions and held seats on 25 quasi-governmental authorities, boards and commissions. Prior to that, Shawn was a Partner at the law firm of Day Pitney LLP where he headed the firm's Public Pension Plan investment practice. Shawn previously served as President of the National Association of State Treasurers, a bipartisan organization that serves as the nation's foremost authority for responsible State Treasury programs and related financial practices, policies and education. Shawn holds a Certificate in Public Treasury Management, Investments and Pensions from the National Institute of Public Finance. Shawn graduated from Trinity College with a B.A. degree in History and received his J.D. from New York University School of Law.
"Continuing On the Inclusion Course"
Taffi (Woolward) Ayodele
Director of DEI & Emerging Manager Strategy | NYC Office of the Comptroller
Taffi Ayodele has been appointed director of diversity, equity and inclusion and emerging manager strategy for the New York City bureau of asset management, which handles investments for the $242.4 billion New York City Retirement Systems. "Diversity is a proven strength in business, driving value creation and economic growth," said Brad Lander, the city comptroller and fiduciary of the five pension funds in the city pension system, in a news release Monday. "It is also critical for securing a just, thriving and equitable economy." The news release described Ms. Ayodele's role as guiding the strategy "to expand engagement with and allocations to minority- and women-owned business enterprises and emerging investment managers" for the pension system. The position had been vacant for two years. Previously, she was a principal at Harpia Asset Management, a real estate investment and development company, the news release said. A company representative did not respond to a request for information.
Chairman & CEO | Palladium Equity
Board Member | Toigo Foundation
Marcos Rodriguez founded Palladium in 1997 and serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to forming Palladium, Marcos was a partner of Joseph Littlejohn & Levy (JLL), a buyout firm which he joined in 1989. Before launching his private equity career, he worked in operations for General Electric Company in the U.S., Mexico and France and graduated from GE’s Manufacturing Management Program. Marcos serves on the Board of Directors of Palladium portfolio company TransForce. Marcos has served on the Board of Directors of Palladium portfolio companies ABRA, Castro Cheese, Daniel's Jewelers, Jordan Health Services, Second Nature Brands, Teasdale, Taco Bueno, Trachte and Wise Foods, among others. Marcos serves on the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian, the University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell. Marcos also serves on the Boards of the Robert Toigo Foundation and the Alfred E. Smith Foundation. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Investment Officer | Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund
Angela Miller-May currently serves as the Chief Investment Officer for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, a $50.2 billion pension fund that services a membership of over 457,000 members and over 3,030 employers. She focuses on providing strategic portfolio construction, excellent manager selection and rigorous due diligence and provides leadership to a team of investment professionals in meeting IMRF’s investment goals. Ms. Miller-May joined Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund in August 2021. Prior to serving as IMRF’s Chief Investment Officer, she served as the CIO for Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund and in several progressively responsible positions since 2010 when she joined Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund. Ms. Miller-May serves on the First Women’s Bank (FWB) advisory board, on the Women Investment Professionals (WIP) Board, on the Toigo Advisory Board, as a member of Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN), a member of the NASP Africa Institutional Investors Advisory Council, a member of SEO’s LP Advisory Council, a member of the NIRS Board and NCPERS CIO Summit Advisory Faculty, a member of Accelerate Investors CIO Council, on the St. Ignatius College Prep Board, on the Link Unlimited Board, as a member of The Economic Club of Chicago and engages with many other organizations. Ms. Miller-May was honored with the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) 2022 Pacesetter Award, the Institutional Investor’s 2022 DEI Leadership Award, named as Trusted Insight’s 2022 Top Chief Investment Officers, the Women Investment Professional (WIP) 2020 Trailblazer Award “Distinguished Woman Investment Professional of the Year”, named as one of Institutional Investor’s 2020 Industry Voice Innovators, Crain’s 2019 most Notable Women in Finance, 2019 Trusted Insight’s Top 30 Chief Investment Officers, Institutional Investor’s 2019 Change Maker of the Year and has had the honor of testifying at a 2019 Congressional Hearing on the topic of Diversity and Inclusion. Ms. Miller-May holds an MBA from Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and has earned her BA in Economics from Northwestern University.