Michelle Lee is the Founder, CEO and Principal Advisor of Obsidian Strategies. Ms. Lee has spent most of her career building and advising some of our country’s most innovative, data-driven companies, and brings multi-disciplinary perspectives from her experiences at the top levels of technology, law, business, government, and the boardroom. She advises her clients on transforming their organizations using artificial intelligence (AI) and data to gain competitive advantage. Most recently, Ms. Lee was a senior executive and the Vice President of the Machine Learning Solutions Lab and Computer Vision businesses at Amazon Web Services. She led a global team of consultants who helped clients from a wide range of industries use AI (particularly machine learning) to create new lines of business, enhance customer experiences and increase operational efficiencies. Ms. Lee has a deep understanding of the most fruitful applications of AI within organizations and the change management required for successful implementation. Ms. Lee also played a key role in addressing policy, regulatory and ethical risks associated with AI services and applications and was the founding business executive lead for AWS' responsible AI efforts.
Before Amazon, Ms. Lee was appointed by the President of the United States to serve as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In this role, she led one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world and was the principal advisor to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on intellectual property policy. Ms. Lee brought the use of AI and data analytics to this 200+ year-old governmental agency to increase the quality, speed and consistency of patents issued. She understands as a business leader the opportunities and challenges of implementing successful AI initiatives and how to navigate the complex regulatory landscapes for AI applications if needed. Before public service, Ms. Lee served as an executive for 8 years at Google. She also held the appointment of the Herman Phleger Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford University from 2017-2018. In this role, she taught about disruptive technologies (including AI) and their impact on existing laws and regulations. Ms. Lee began her career as a computer scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence and Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories.
Ms. Lee is a frequent keynote speaker on AI, innovation, intellectual property, digital transformation, and board governance of the same, including with the Wall Street Journal, The World Knowledge Forum, Fortune, Bloomberg, NPR, the MIT Sloan Management Review, South-by-Southwest, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the National Association of Corporate Directors. She has spoken and written on “Unlock[ing] the Predictive Power of Machine Learning,” “Machine Learning and Your Business: The Journey from Concept to Reality,” “7 Lessons To Ensure Successful Machine Learning Projects,” and “Deploying Real-World Machine Learning.” Ms. Lee has testified before Congress about 10 times in her various areas of expertise and has received numerous awards for her leadership and professional accomplishments.
Ms. Lee holds a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and a J.D. from Stanford. Ms. Lee currently serves as a board director on The MIT Corporation, MassMutual and Unity Technologies. She is a Silicon Valley native and enjoys contemplating how technologies can improve our society.
Roy Ben-Alta is an advisor at Obsidian Strategies and a seasoned technology executive with over 20 years of experience in the data and analytics industry. He was the Head of Global Data & Analytics/ML Practice at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Director at Meta AI research. Mr. Ben-Alta is a recognized thought leader in the data/analytics and AI field. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and featured in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He is also a member of the board of directors of several technology companies.
Mr. Ben-Alta holds a BSc in information systems and an MBA from the University of Georgia. He is also a certified data scientist (CDS). He is passionate about using data to solve real-world problems. He believes that data can be used to improve the lives of people around the world. He is committed to helping businesses and organizations use data to make better decisions.
Some of Mr. Ben-Alta's key achievements in the field of AI:
• Part of Amazon SageMakerlaunch team focusing on first launch of SageMakeralgorithm.
• Launched PlayTorch at Meta: AI Mobile framework for engineers
• Led the engineering team of the popular data science open source awswrangler: AWS SDK for Pandas (Open source that was downloaded over 100M times)
• Part of the AWS COVID19 Data Lake launched team •AI presentations/articles: interview on computerworld, streaming data to AI-based analytics, Transforming the Diagnosis and Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease with Machine Learning
Tony Tjan has been at the forefront of transformations across several organizations. As a multiple time founder and a trusted strategic counsellor to numerous CEOs, leaders and entrepreneurs, he has become known for his human -centric and multidisciplinary approach as well a master of pattern recognition. He identifies and capitalizes on disruptive trends while creating purpose-driven and durable value. The two firms he most recently co-founded are Cue Ball Capital and MiniLuxe.
Mr. Tjan was pioneering in the commercialization of the Internet. He founded ZEFER, a multi -disciplinary Internet advisory firm that gre w to $100M before merging with NEC, and served as the senior strategic advisor to Dick Harrington, CEO of the Thomson Corporation. Together, Tjan and Harrington catalyzed one of the largest information media
transformations, developing the strategy that ultimately resulted in the creation of Thomson Reuters.
In addition to Thomson, Mr. Tjan served for 15 years as a Senior Partner and Vice Chairman of The Parthenon Group (now EY Parthenon) and started his career at McKinsey & Company. He’s been named at Top 10 consultant in the country.
As an author, he’s authored 125 articles for the Harvard Business Review, and authored Good People and co-authored the New York Times Bestseller, Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck that was also named one of Fast Company’s “Best Business Books” of the year. Mr. Tjan holds AB and MBA degrees from Harvard University, where he served as a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government. He sits on the Advisory Council for the MIT Media Lab and is board member The Tory Burch Foundation that focuses on empowering the next generation of women entrepreneurs. In 2018, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor