Speakers & Panels: Keynotes

Morning Keynote Address

9:30 AM–10:00 AM - Lincoln Hall

Pam El

Pam El

Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
National Basketball Association

As Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at the National Basketball Association, Pam El is responsible for global marketing for the NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League.

With more than 30 years of experience, El is recognized as an industry leader for her expertise in brand management, marketing strategy, creative development, and media and sponsorships. Prior to joining the NBA, El was Senior Vice President of Financial Brand Marketing for Nationwide Insurance and also spent over a decade with State Farm Insurance as Marketing Vice President, where she led sales and marketing strategy for the U.S. and Canada. Earlier in her career, El held positions with Terebeam Corporation in Seattle, U.S. West Communications in Denver, and The Martin Agency in Phoenix and Richmond. She began her marketing career in 1983 with Siddell, Matus, & Coughter, also located in Richmond.

El earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the LeBron James Family Foundation. El currently serves on the board of the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter and the Ad Council.

El has received multiple distinctions: named to Advertising Age’s 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising, recognized twice by Adweek as one of the 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports, selected by Black Enterprise as one of the top 50 Women in Marketing and Advertising and listed by Forbes as one of the top 25 Most Influential Minorities in Sports. She also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from her alma mater.

Pam and her husband, William, reside in New York City.


Closing Keynote Address

3:40 PM–4:10 PM - Meade Room

Laura A. Liswood

Laura A. Liswood

Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders
Former Managing Director and Senior Advisor, Goldman Sachs

Laura Liswood was named Managing Director, Global Leadership and Diversity for Goldman Sachs. Working on issues of globalization and workforce diversity, she was a Senior Advisor to the firm from 2002-2016. She provides a unique perspective on diversity and inclusion and has presented to many global companies, the U.S government, and non-profit organizations around the world.

Liswood is the Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders, located in Washington, DC, which is composed of women presidents, prime ministers, and heads of government. The work of the Council expands the understanding of leadership, establishes a network of resources for high-level women leaders, and provides a forum for the group to contribute input and shape the international issues important to all people. Liswood co-founded the Council with President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland.

From 1992 to 1996, as director of the Women’s Leadership Project, Liswood identified global leadership contributions by women heads of state. She interviewed 15 current and former women presidents and prime ministers, which is chronicled in her book and video documentary, Women World Leaders (Harper Collins).

Liswood’s professional experience includes CEO/President of the American Society for Training and Development, and executive-level consulting to Fortune 500 and international companies. She received the Westinghouse Award of Excellence for her contribution to women and minorities in the work place. She is also the author of a book on service quality, Serving Them Right (Harper Business). Liswood, a nationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor, has contributed to leadership and diversity in the diversity community for many years. Former commissioner of the City of Seattle Women’s Commission, Liswood was the owner/publisher of Seattle Woman. In 2000, the Secretary of Defense appointed her to a three-year term of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). After the events of September 11, 2001, Liswood became a reserve police officer in Washington DC and retired after 13 years in law enforcement with the rank of sergeant.

Liswood has also held management positions in the airline industry, and was a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group. She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from California State University, San Diego. She holds a J.D. degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in California and Massachusetts.

Her latest book, The Loudest Duck (Wiley and Sons), is a business guide that uses parables and anecdotes to examine the challenges to traditional workplace diversity efforts and provides innovative strategies to create truly effective workplaces for all.


Laura A. Liswood’s closing keynote address is moderated by:

Laura Zarrow

Laura Zarrow

Executive Director
Wharton People Analytics

Laura Zarrow is the host of the Gracie Award winning radio show, Women@Work on SiriusXM111, Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School, and the Executive Director of Wharton People Analytics. She has spent her career implementing innovations to advance the strategic goals of educational institutions, and the needs and ambitions of diverse array of learners. Having built Wharton‘s Lifelong Learning program as a member of Wharton‘s Innovation Group, she is now working to develop Wharton‘s People Analytics Initiative and its ground-breaking work in evidenced-based management.

Prior to her time at The Wharton School, Laura served as the Dean of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and the Associate Provost at The University of the Arts. Laura holds a BFA from the University of the Arts and an MSEd from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a devoted swimmer, an exuberant cook, and the proud mother of a spirited teen-age feminist.