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Anderson Cooper 
Host of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° 

Anderson Cooper takes audiences inside the news of the day, sharing sometimes provocative yet always eye-opening insights on the stories impacting people and issues around the world.

As the anchor of the Emmy-winning CNN news program “Anderson Cooper 360°,” he brings the most pressing stories of the day to a worldwide audience from multiple perspectives. In addition to his role as a correspondent for CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” Anderson is widely respected for his courageous on-the-scene reporting of breaking and oftentimes tumultuous news events at home and abroad, including Hurricane Katrina, the Egyptian Revolution and the Haitian earthquake catastrophe. Through election cycles, he has become a highly-sought debate moderator, praised most recently for his sharp, even-handed questioning yet assertive fact-checking of 2016’s presidential candidates. 

On stage, Anderson brings warmth, humor and relatability to his role as a premiere broadcast journalist as he shares insights on American politics, culture and the oft-overlooked stories that matter to citizens. Drawing on his experience covering news in Russia, Haiti, Rwanda, Somalia, the Balkans, and the Middle East, he also brings audiences an experienced and comprehensive perspective on international affairs and the challenges that we face in a rapidly changing world.

2017 ROMBA Conference Plenary Speakers


Jim Fitterling
President & Chief Operating Officer,
The Dow Chemical Company

James (Jim) R. Fitterling is President and Chief Operating Officer of The Dow Chemical Company, a global material science company with 2016 annual sales of nearly $48 billion. He is a member of the Office of the Chairman and CEO.

As a member of Dow’s most senior leadership, Fitterling has played a key role in developing and executing Dow’s strategy to invest in a market-driven portfolio of advantaged and technology-enabled businesses that create value for our shareholders and customers.

Fitterling has executive accountability for all of Dow’s businesses excluding Dow AgroSciences. He also oversees operations including Environment, Health & Safety and Sustainability, Manufacturing and Engineering, and Supply Chain, as well as Research & Development. In addition, Fitterling has a strong commitment to diversifying the Company’s global talent and actively serves as the Executive Sponsor for the Dow’s Women’s Innovation Network.

Fitterling joined Dow in 1984 and served in a variety of Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain positions before being named Commercial Director for Liquid Separations, Dow Pacific in 1994. He was appointed Global Business Director for Liquid Separations and President and CEO of FilmTec Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company in 1998. In 2000, he was named General Manager for Dow Thailand and Managing Director for the SCC-Dow Group of joint venture companies.

In 2002, Fitterling was named CEO of The OPTIMAL Group, affiliate of Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Malaysia's state-owned oil corporation and The Dow Chemical Company. He added responsibility for the Southeast Asia and Australia region in February 2004. He also served as the Vice President of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) and was the Dow Representative to U.S. ASEAN Business Council.

Fitterling was named Business Vice President for Polyethylene in December 2005; President, Basic Plastics in March 2007; Vice President of Corporate Development in April 2009; Senior Vice President of Corporate Development in April 2010; Executive Vice President of The Dow Chemical Company & President, Plastics & Hydrocarbons in August 2010; and Executive Vice President of The Dow Chemical Company & President, Corporate Development & Hydrocarbons in March 2011. Fitterling assumed additional executive oversight of the Company’s Chemicals & Energy Division in August 2011, in addition to his existing executive role for Corporate Development and Hydrocarbons. In September 2012, he assumed executive oversight for Feedstocks, Performance Plastics. Fitterling was named Vice Chairman, Business Operations in 2014. He was named Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer in 2015 and promoted to his current role in February 2016.

Fitterling is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers, a member of the Board of Directors of the Chemical Financial Corporation, and a member of the Board of Directors of Sadara Chemical Company.

Fitterling earned a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri - Columbia.

Beth Ford
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,
Land O'Lakes

Beth Ford is the Group Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Land O'Lakes, Inc.  Her portfolio includes the company’s two well-known consumer-facing branded businesses, enterprise-wide operating infrastructure and key enterprise initiatives in technology and big data. 

In this role, Beth has P&L responsibility for both the heritage Land O'Lakes Dairy and the iconic Purina Animal Nutrition businesses with 2016 revenue of $8 Billion.  In addition, Beth has overall functional responsibility for Information Technology, Research and Development. Supply Chain and Operations, and Quality/CI.  She plays a key leadership role as Land O’Lakes develops breakthrough ag technology and Big Data platforms, further maximizes the farm-to-fork supply chain and grows the business and product innovation pipeline.

In her 30 years in business, Ford has held senior and line leadership positions in seven companies across six industries.  Her seats on the Board of Directors of two publicly traded companies, PACCAR, Inc. and Clearwater Papers, Inc, expose her to two additional industry sectors.

Beth earned an MBA from Columbia University Business School and a BBA from Iowa State University, and serves on multiple non-profit and university boards.

Jan Siegmund
Chief Financial Officer,

Jan Siegmund is Chief Financial Officer at ADP, the leading Human Capital Management solutions provider. Jan joined ADP in 1999, and his previous roles at the company include Chief Strategy Officer and President of the Added Value Services Division. He has been instrumental in the development of ADP’s new growth strategy, which has resulted in the company's expansion into a number of important growth markets. 

Jan has worked as an out gay man and is one of the most senior out executives of any S&P 500 company who has been openly gay through his entire career. In 2006 Jan launched ADP’s LGBTQ business resource group, ADP Pride, and today serves as its Executive Sponsor. During this time, he grew ADP Pride into an international network with a membership well in the thousands. ADP consistently ranks high on LGBTQ diversity, and has achieved a perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index for 8 consecutive years now.

Jan is a frequent guest speaker at LGBTQ conferences and events. He is also active in the community and serves on the Board of Directors of the New York City LGBTQ Community Center. Just last month, Jan led a team of 150+ ADP executives riding the Cycle for the Cause from Boston to New York in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS. 

Jan holds a PhD in Economics and an MSc in Industrial Engineering. He was named one of the Top 100 LGBTQ Executives by the Financial Times, and received the 2017 Corporate Impact Award from the New York City LGBT Community Center.   


Friday Leadership Lunch

Dominic Barton
Global Managing Partner,
McKinsey & Company

Dominic Barton is the global managing partner of McKinsey. He is based in London and leads the firm’s focus on the future of capitalism and the role business leadership can play in creating long-term social and economic value. Before becoming managing partner, Dominic served as McKinsey’s chairman in Asia from 2004 to 2009.

He also headed McKinsey’s office in Korea from 2000 to 2004. He is the chair of the Canadian Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, the chair of the Seoul International Business Advisory Council, and a cochair of the Focusing Capital on the Long Term initiative.

He is also a trustee of the Brookings Institution, a Rhodes trustee, and an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Dominic has authored more than 80 articles and is a coauthor, with Roberto Newell and Greg Wilson, of Dangerous Markets: Managing in Financial Crises (Wiley & Sons, 2002) and of China Vignettes: An Inside Look at China (Talisman, 2007). 

He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA Honors in economics and studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Brasenose College, Oxford University.

Martine Rothblatt
CEO, United Therapeutics

Martine Rothblatt is CEO of United Therapeutics (UTHR) and its Lung Biotechnology public benefit company. She previously created and led Sirius XM as its Chairman & CEO. She has JD and MBA degrees from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Medical Ethics from the Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry. Her patented inventions cover aspects of satellite radio, prostacyclin biochemistry and cognitive software. She created the world’s first electric helicopter and in 2017 used it to set dual‐pilot electric helicopter speed, altitude and endurance records. Dr. Rothblatt’s recent books are on xenotransplantation (Your Life or Mine) and cyberethics (Virtually Human).


Margaret Cho

In 1999, Margaret’s Off-Broadway show, I’m The One That I Want, toured the country and was made into a movie, the show and tour garnered incredible review and won New York Magazine’s Performance of the Year Award, a MAC Award, and was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s Great Performances of the Year. The concert was filmed at The Warfield in her hometown of San Francisco and was released in August 2000. Called “the indie success of the year” by Liz Manne of Sundance Channel, this self-produced and self-distributed phenomenal film made more money per print than any movie in history; grossing $1,400,000 with only 9 prints.

In the year 2000: Margaret received GLAAD’s first-ever Golden Gate Award – honoring her as “an entertainment pioneer who has made a significant difference in promoting equal frights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity;” Her E! Celebrity Profile, produced by Tammie Smalls, won a Gracie Allen Award from the American Women in Radio and Television organization acknowledging its “superior quality and effective portrayal of the changing roles and concerns of women;” She was featured on Kweisi Mfume’s show Remarkable Journey which highlights the accomplishments of people of color. The others on the show were Dolores Huerta, Cornel West, and Hank Aaron; and, she appeared on Sesame Street with Big Bird!

In 2001, Margaret embarked upon a record setting 37-city North American Tour with her new show, The Notorious C.H.O., which ended Jan. 16th, 2002 with a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall. She was awarded a Lambda Liberty Award by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund for “pressing us to see how false constructions of race, sexuality, and gender operate similarly to obscure and demean identity.” Her book, I’m The One That I Want hit many bestseller lists, and the concert film came out on video/DVD. She also found time to write and produce 6 visual essays for the new PBS show Life 360.

This year The Notorious C.H.O. at Carnegie Hall will be released on CD. The movie of the show, which was filmed in Seattle, will also come out later in the year. The movie I’m The One That I Want begins on Sundance Channel in April and the book will be out in paperback in May with a big “NATIONAL BESTSELLER” on the cover! The audio version of this book is nominated for a Grammy for Spoken Word Comedy. She has also been honored with a Media Award from the National Organization For Women.


2016: Dallas

Jimena Almendares LGBT Speaker

Jimena Almendares
Chief Product Officer, OKCupid


Aydian Dowling LGBT Speaker

Aydian Dowling
Founder, Point 5cc Clothing

Ken Mehlman LGBT Speaker

Ken Mehlman
Member & Global Head of Public Affairs, KKR

Vivienne Ming LGBT Speaker

Vivienne Ming
Founder & Executive Chair, Socos

Darnell Moore LGBT Speaker

Darnell Moore
Senior Editor, MicNews
Co-Managing Editor, The Feminist Wire

Zach Quinto LGBT Speaker

Zachary Quinto
Actor & Activist

2015: Chicago

Morgana Bailey
Vice-President, State Street

Laverne Cox
Actress & Advocate

Tim Gill
Entrepreneur & Philanthropist

George Kalogridis
President, Walt Disney World

Bruce Rauner
Governor of Illinois

2014: San Francisco

Trevor R. Burgess
Chief Executive Officer, C1 Bank

Kevin Jennings

Executive Director, The Arcus Foundation

Kathy Levinson
Operational Strategist & Philanthropist

Jonathan Mildenhall
Chief Marketing Officer, Airbnb

Janet Mock
Author, "Redefining Realness; My Path to Womanhood, Love & So Much More"

Peter Thiel
Entrepreneur & Investor

2013: New Orleans

Billy Bean LGBT Speaker

Billy Bean
Vice-President of the Ben Cohen Standup Foundation

David Paltiel LGBT Speaker

David Paltiel
Chief Product Office of

Margaret Stumpp LGBT Speaker

Margaret Stumpp
Senior Advisor of Quantitative Management Associates

2012: Boston

Brian Elliott LGBT Speaker

Brian Elliott
Founder of FriendFactor

Julie Goodridge LGBT Speaker

Julie Goodridge
CEO & Founder of Northstar Asset Management

Dan Savage LGBT Speaker

Dan Savage
Creator of “It Get’s Better” Project

Brian Sims Keynote Speaker

Brian Sims
Pennsylvania State House Representative

2011: Dallas

Howard Bragman Keynote Speaker

Howard Bragman
Founder Fifteen Minutes

Joel Burns Keynote Speaker

Joel Burns
Council Member, Fort Worth, TX

Elyse Cherry Keynote Speaker

Elyse Cherry
CEO Boston Community Capital

Joe Solmonese Keynote Speaker

Joe Solmonese
President, HRC

2010: Los Angeles

Dustin Lance Black LGBT Keynote Speaker

Dustin Lance Black
Academy Award Winning Screenwriter, Producer and Director

Brian Graden LGBT Keynote Speaker

Brian Graden
Former President of Entertainment at MTV Networks

Meghan Stabler LGBT Keynote Speaker

Meghan Stabler
Senior Director and Executive Advisor, CA Technologies

2009: Atlanta

Carleen Haas LGBT Keynote Speaker

Carleen Haas
Vice President, Talent Strategies, Humana

LZ Granderson LGBT Keynote Speaker

LZ Granderson
ESPN Columnist and GLAAD Award Winner

Cleve Jones LGBT Keynote Speaker

Cleve Jones
Founder of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt

2008: Washington DC

Doug Coblens LGBT Keynote Speaker

Doug Coblens
President, Broad Spectrum Media

Michael Guest LGBT Keynote Speaker

Michael Guest
Former Ambassador to Romania

Donna Rose LGBT Keynote Speaker

Donna Rose
Transgender and Transsexual Leader

Andrew Tobias LGBT Keynote Speaker

Andrew Tobias

2007: San Francisco

Lisa Sherman LGBT Keynote Speaker

Lisa Sherman
Senior Vice President and General Manager of Logo

Margaret Cho LGBT Keynote Speaker

Margaret Cho
Actress and Comedian

Chip Conley LGBT Keynote Speaker

Chip Conley
Founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality

2006: New York

Christie Hardwick LGBT Keynote Speaker

Christie Hardwick
Executive Coach and Consultant

Barry Herstein LGBT Keynote Speaker

Barry Herstein
Senior Vice President of American Express

Kirk Snyder LBGT Keynote Speaker

Kirk Snyder
Head of Equality Career Group Inc.

2005: Chicago

Amy Errett LGBT Keynote Speaker

Amy Errett
CEO of Olivia

Karen Magee LGBT Keynote Speaker

Karen Magee
 Executive Vice President of Time Warner

Brian McGuinness LGBT Keynote Speaker

Brian McGuinness
Executive Director of Gay Games VII

Judy Teeven LGBT Keynote Speaker

Judy Teevan
Vice President of American Express

Keith Farazzi LGBT Keynote Speaker

Keith Farazi
Author, Speaker

2005: Boston

Ted Childs LGBT Keynote Speaker

Ted Childs
Vice President of Global Workforce Diversity, IBM

Jean Dolan LGBT Keynote Speaker

Jean Dolan
Principal of Booz Allen Hamilton

Lowell Selvin LGBT Keynote Speaker

Lowell Selvin
Chairman and CEO of PlanetOut Inc.

Tim Gill LGBT Keynote Speaker

Tim Gill
Entrepreneur, Philathropist

2004: Los Angeles

David Bohnett LGBT Keynote Speaker

David Bohnett
Founder of Geocities, David Bohnett Foundation

Nina Jacobson LGBT Keynote Speaker

Nina Jacobson
President Buena Vista Motion Picture Group

Hilary Rosen LGBT Keynote Speaker

Hilary Rosen
Former CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America