TEDMED Team

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Jay Walker
Curator and Chairman
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TEDMED's Curator and Chairman Jay Walker is also a longtime TED supporter. Beyond his role at TEDMED, he also chairs Walker Digital, a private invention lab, and is Executive Chairman and Lead Inventor for Patent Properties, both based in Stamford, Connecticut . Founder of three companies that each serve more than 50 million customers, Jay is the world’s 11th most patented living inventor, with his name on 700 U.S. patents across a dozen different industries. Best known as the founder of Priceline, Jay is also the founder and curator of the world’s only Library of the History of Human Imagination.


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Jay Walker
Curator and Chairman
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Nassim Assefi
Director of Stage Content
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Nassim Assefi is a doctor, novelist, civic activist, TED Fellow and active member of the TED community. An internist specializing in global women’s health, she cares for vulnerable urban patients in the US and tackles maternal mortality when working in low-income and post-conflict countries (most recently in Afghanistan).  She is the author of Aria and Say I Am You (forthcoming). She serves as an advisor to non-profit organizations and companies--from Hedgebrook to ZocDoc--and has curated many events—including a guest session at TEDGlobal in 2013.  A second generation Iranian-American, bridge-builder and global-nomad, she has traveled to more than 50 countries and speaks and sings in five languages.  Recent honors include a Jack Straw Writing Fellowship, a Woman of Courage award by the University of Washington, Top 40 Under 40 Feminist by Feminist Press, and being named one of the best doctors by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. 


Nassim Assefi
Director of Stage Content
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Melanie Howley
Manager of Delegate Relations
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Melanie Howley is TEDMED’s Manager of Delegate Relations and Event Registration.  As a member of the application review team, she is fully committed to making TEDMED a positive and rewarding experience for Delegates and Scholars alike. Among her other responsibilities, she is in charge of Delegate relations, TEDMED event support, and is the operations director for event registration.  As an original staff member of Jay Walker’s initial startup (NewSub Services), she helped with its transition into Synapse Group, Inc, a direct marketing subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.  In her personal life she is a dedicated runner with a passion for a healthful lifestyle.
Melanie Howley
Manager of Delegate Relations
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Lydia Marks
Community Manager
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Lydia Marks helps tackle the difficult issues facing health and medicine by supporting the Great Challenges Program at TEDMED. Having fallen in love with all facets of science after studying public health in rural communities in South Africa, researching environmental issues on the Great Barrier Reef, and experimenting on the motor cortex at the University of Queensland, she strives to make science accessible and enjoyable for all. 

An adventurer at heart, Lydia loves exploring new places and is happiest in the great outdoors. She holds a B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Philosophy from Dickinson College.
Lydia Marks
Community Manager
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Shirley Bergin
Chief Operating Officer
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Shirley Bergin is a Partner, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of TEDMED. She is an accomplished business leader with experience working with leading digital enterprises such as AOL, InterActiveCorp and Priceline.com, and with global brands including Johnson and Johnson, GE, Unilever and Nestle. Shirley has developed and executed innovative business and marketing strategies across a variety of verticals for start-ups and established firms alike, successfully reinventing and introducing brands and building large online communities.  As COO/CMO of TEDMED, Shirley is responsible for leading the day- to- day operations – including all marketing and brand building responsibilities. She is also responsible for the design and implementation of the Great Challenges Program and The Hive.
Shirley Bergin
Chief Operating Officer
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Zac Smith
Director, Website Operations
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Zac Smith is part of TEDMED’s marketing team, managing many of TEDMED’s digital projects including website development, mobile app development and marketing email delivery.  Prior to joining TEDMED a year ago, Zac spent the previous five years working with many on the TEDMED team for Walker Digital Management and a variety of WDM’s start-up companies.  As such, he is a named inventor on numerous existing and pending patents for ideas that have come out of the Walker Digital lab.  In May of 2006, Zac received a BA degree from the University of Mary Washington.  When not working, Zac may be found playing a variety of sports.  He is president of the Newtown Sandy Hooks Vintage Base Ball Team and an avid snowboarder.
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Zac Smith
Director, Website Operations
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Jing Xie
Staff Accountant
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Jing Xie is Staff Accountant of TEDMED, LLC.  Her major responsibilities include preparing, maintaining and examining account books and monthly financial statements; tracking actual costs to ensure conformance with budgets; monitoring risk and fraud; and reporting to the CEO.  Jing earned her MBA degree with a specialization in Accounting and Finance and a second master’s degree in Technology Management from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Additionally, she received a Bachelor of Food Science & Engineering from Jinan University, China.
Jing Xie
Staff Accountant
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Lisa Brockway
Writer & Community Manager
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Lisa Brockway is responsible for managing the Great Challenges Program, lending her voice as a writer on the marketing team, and implementing the TEDMED social media strategy. She joined TEDMED in July 2014, shortly after graduating with her MPH from Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, where she focused on the intersection of social determinants of health and healthcare policy. Her studies particularly concentrated on innovations to address issues involving children’s health, HIV/AIDS, and access to care, and she is passionate about the power of ideas and knowledge to generate change in these and other areas.

In her previous life, Lisa worked in pharmaceutical public and patient advocacy relations, in various disease areas including HIV/AIDs and oncology.  She loves fresh air and good wine, and can often be found concocting new creations in the kitchen. Originally from Philadelphia, Lisa currently lives in Astoria, Queens and is worried that talking about how much she loves it will bring tourists - so it's the worst. 
Lisa Brockway
Writer & Community Manager
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Jose Suarez
Chief Executive Officer
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Jose Suarez is a partner and CEO of TEDMED. A long-time partner with Jay Walker in several ventures, Jose served as President and COO of Walker Digital for eight years, where he managed the creation of more than 1,000 innovations. During his tenure at Walker Digital, Jose brought many of these innovations to market through licenses and strategic partnerships. Jose is CEO & founder of Suarez & Associates, LLC, a business advisory and investment firm, and yappr.com, a free, online learning site. Jose is an avid ultrarunner, who earned a Silver Buckle in 2010 finishing the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in 23 hours.

He graduated valedictorian from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research and has an MBA from The Wharton School.

Jose Suarez
Chief Executive Officer
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Courtney Olean Paige
Director of Marketing Operations
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Courtney Olean Paige joined TEDMED in March, 2012 as Director of Marketing Operations, managing event marketing, email communication strategy, social media planning, and PR/press support.  She also supports the CMO with overall content and branding strategy for the organization.

Prior to joining TEDMED, Courtney was responsible for digital branding, marketing and advertising efforts for Stamford Hospital. Courtney is known to spill things often, lives to run long and far, loves a good warrior pose, and regularly country hops with her two partners in crime - her husband and six year old daughter.

Courtney Olean Paige
Director of Marketing Operations
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Nicole Bumpus Finn
Event Manager
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Nicole Bumpus Finn founded c to c events at the request of a longtime client in 2008.  Nicole’s creativity, eye on the budget and personal attention to detail are the keys to her success. She has produced hundreds of events for over 15 years and in over 35 cities worldwide from small dinners for 50 guests to large-scale productions for over 50,000 attendees.  Nicole’s clients have included Hogan Lovells, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, and many other international law firms, Fortune 500 entities and local companies.  In addition, she has planned events in conjunction with the International Trademark Association, the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the American & International Bar Association, the Licensing Executives Society International, and the Democratic & Republican National Conventions.
Nicole Bumpus Finn
Event Manager
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Jon Ellenthal
President
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Jon Ellenthal is also Chief Executive Officer of Walker Digital, and is responsible for the P&L of all business operations, research and development, and IP portfolio licensing. He also serves as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Patent Properties, based in Stamford, Ct. Jon has 25 years' experience building and leading early stage companies with transformational business concepts to positions of industry leadership and large-scale customer bases. Prior to joining Walker Digital, Jon was the CEO of Synapse Group, Inc., a direct marketing subsidiary of Time Warner responsible for more than 30 million customers.

Jon Ellenthal
President
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Grace McElroy
Director of Partnership Development
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Grace McElroy heads up Partnership Development at TEDMED. For over 20 years, Grace has balanced a mix of creative and business pursuits in a wide range of industries. Formerly a script writer for a Grammy Award winning producer,  a publisher for regional magazines and an executive of a national health system, Grace has the  kind of multi-disciplinary experience that is fitting for a TEDMED team member. At TEDMED, her main responsibilities include developing sales strategies, enhancing existing partner relationships and building new ones. Some of Grace's non-work passions: her daughter Kate; music; cooking; and running.
Grace McElroy
Director of Partnership Development
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Julie Slater
Stage Content Program Manager
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Having been a passionate social scientist who practiced social action from a young age before applying the practice to academic work, Julie’s grassroots and AmeriCorps service work sprouted into advocacy pursuits that dovetailed into her work in media literacy, environmental justice, community economic development and food sovereignty. These threads wove a Women’s Studies B.A. from Metropolitan State University of Denver where she applied these issues to women’s health. She comes to TEDMED fresh from Berlin, Germany where she has been a Research Assistant while pursuing a Masters of Public Health with a Gender & Diversity focus at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin School of Public Health. Her research includes the HPV vaccine, female cancers, endocrine disruption and the social history of medicine. A self-proclaimed public health nerd and quinoa devotee with rural Montana roots and Denver branches, she loves to practice yoga and makes bicycling her primary transit.
Julie Slater
Stage Content Program Manager
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Tracy Loughlin
Vice President, Community Development
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Tracy Loughlin is Vice President, Community Development of TEDMED. She has spent her career working in cross-platform marketing and media, primarily at major media companies including Condé Nast, Time Inc. and Hearst Magazines. She also ran her own marketing and event consulting practice for more than a decade, working for diverse brands including InStyle, the New Yorker, Glamour, Schering Plough Health Care Products, SELF, TED, SmartMoney, ConsumerLab.com, Vogue and Vanity Fair. Tracy is responsible for attracting, engaging and growing the TEDMED community. She is a graduate of Colgate University, and volunteers for a variety of animal and wildlife causes.
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Tracy Loughlin
Vice President, Community Development
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Marcus Webb
Chief Storytelling Officer
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Marcus Webb is Chief Storytelling Officer for TEDMED, LLC and Walker Digital, LLC.  Marcus works closely with TEDMED chairman Jay Walker on his speeches and other presentations. He also assists TEDMED speakers to develop and refine their talks, and serves as liaison between presenters and the TEDMED Speakers Coaching Network.  His responsibilities range from speechwriting to creation of marketing collateral including brochures, booklets, decks, video scripts, website copy, press releases, research documents, white papers, correspondence, etc.  As an integral member of the TEDMED and Walker Digital management teams, Marcus participates in business management and invention sessions, contributing ideas and tactics for strategy and execution of a wide variety of projects and ventures.


Marcus Webb
Chief Storytelling Officer
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Zaina Awad
Stage Content Program Manager
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A native of East Jerusalem, Zaina’s dedication to overcoming health inequities was sparked by her personal experience with a public health system severely impacted by protracted violence and conflict.  She is passionate about effective health education, stigma reduction through honest and open dialogue, and meeting health needs in under-resourced areas.  Typically, Zaina can be found practicing photography, eating perhaps too much Indian food, or attempting to run more than a 5K.  She holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Anthropology from Princeton University. 
Zaina Awad
Stage Content Program Manager