Plenary Speakers and U.S. Government Principals at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 27, 2017

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit is being held for the first time in South Asia in Hyderabad, India, from November 28-30. Co-hosted by the Governments of the United States and India, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will inaugurate the summit and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump will lead the U.S. contingent to GES.

This is the eighth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the preeminent gathering of entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters from around the world. The summit will focus on the theme of “Women First, Prosperity for All,” and this will be the first GES in which women are the majority, over 52.5 per cent, of the participants. More than 10 countries will be represented by an all-female delegation, including from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. A number of leading female voices will speak at various plenaries, breakout sessions, master classes, and workshops, including Google’s Vice President of Next Billion Users Diana Louise Patricia Layfield, tennis champion Sania Mirza, and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company Roya Mahboob. This year’s summit theme demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. and Indian governments to the principle that when women are economically empowered, their communities and countries thrive. Women entrepreneurs help drive innovation and job creation, as well as address the world’s greatest and most critical challenges.

The inaugural plenary of the high-powered, three-day summit will take place on Tuesday at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre followed by two days of networking, mentoring, and workshops, anchoring the collaborative environment for entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, create networks, and take their passions to the next level. A line up of the speakers at the plenary session is listed below.

Tuesday, November 28, 4:30 p.m.

Be the Change: Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership

  • Remarks by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
  • Remarks by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao
  • Remarks by Advisor to the President of the United States Ivanka Trump
  • Remarks will be followed by a panel session on opening up opportunities for women entrepreneurs in their countries and communities.
    • Moderated by John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus, Cisco
    • Panelists:
    • Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States
    • Sibongile Sambo, Managing Director, SRS Aviation and SRS Petroleum
    • Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Defense, Government of India
    • Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB)

Wednesday, November 29, 9:00 a.m.

We Can Do It! Innovations in Workforce Development and Skills Training

  • A discussion on increasing women’s participation in the workforce through access to skills training, education, and mentorship. Innovators in workforce development and training will discuss what works and what more can be done to open doors for women in the workplace.
  • Moderated by K.T. Rama Rao; Minister for IT E&C, MAUD, Industries and Commerce, Mines and Geology Public Enterprises, and NRI Affairs; Government of Telangana, India
  • Panelists:
    • Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, CBE, QC
    • Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank, Limited
    • Karen Quintos, Chief Customer Officer, Dell EMC
    • Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States

Thursday, November 30, 3:45 p.m.

When Women Win, We All Win: Promoting Inclusive Environments for Women Entrepreneurs

  • The closing session of GES will bring together key influencers that support, promote, and fund women entrepreneurs. Panelists will share efforts to advance women in leadership positions and ensure that women have “seats at the table” while breaking down the barriers that disproportionately affect women’s ability to start and grow businesses.
  • Moderated by Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India
  • Panelists:
    • Kristina Perkin Davison, Co-Founder and Managing Director, iEurope Capital LLC
    • Dipali Goenka, CEO and Joint Managing Director, Welspun India
    • Mark Green, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
    • Lerato Motsamai, Founder and CEO, PETROLINK
    • Manish Sabharwal, Chairman, TeamLease

These plenary participants will join dozens of other session speakers and experts and an outstanding group of 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters of entrepreneurship from more than 150 countries and territories across the world. In addition to entrepreneurs traveling from across the globe to share their incredible stories and innovative projects, several U.S. government officials will also participate in GES, including:

  • Mark Green, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Ray Washburne, CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Jovita Carranza, Treasurer of the United States
  • Neomi Rao, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
  • Patricia Green, Director of the Women’s Bureau, Department of Labor

For more information on these and the other GES speakers, and about the summit itself, please visit Media inquiries about the summit should be sent to