- Global Exchanges
- About Us
October 18th, 1 - 7 pm | M&T Bank Exchange at the Hippodrome
For the past seven years, the World Trade Center Institute’s AGILE Global Innovation Series has curated panel discussions about topics executives at globally minded businesses need to be up to speed on if they want to succeed in the rapidly changing world economy.
In 2023, we are taking this programming to the next level. Partnering with the Maryland Tech Council and TEDCO, the inaugural Global Innovation Summit will bring together top minds from the mid-Atlantic and around the globe. Innovators, economic change-makers, investors, and more will unite for an afternoon of inspired conversation, impactful networking, and invaluable takeaways.
Head, Section, Economics and Data Analytics
World Intellectual Property Organization
President & CEO
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR)
U.S. Department of State
Founder & CEO
Ruppert International, Inc
Chair, WTCI Board
(Doors open at 1 PM)
The 2023 Global Innovation Index (GII) “Innovation in the Face of Uncertainty” launches on Sept 27. How can global business leaders and economic developers utilize the GII to uncover challenges and opportunities for innovation-driven growth? Published annually by WIPO, the GII takes the pulse of global innovation trends and tracks the performance of 130+ world economies.
Dr. Sacha Wunsch-Vincent - Co-Editor of the Global Innovation Index and Head of the Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization
Kristin Lewis, Vice President of Strategic Development & Innovation - World Trade Center Institute
Todd Ruppert - Founder & CEO - Ruppert International, Inc. - WTCI Board Chair, Antler Board
Eddie Resende - CEO - World Trade Center Institute
Despite escalating global instability, global investment and corporate venture capital are bustling. How can proactive business leaders and economic developers position their companies and regions for growth in this fiercely competitive innovation economy? This panel aims to contextualize these global capital trends so you can make the most informed decisions possible.
Daniel Saunders - CEO - L Marks
Dina Routhier - President - Stanley Ventures
Emily Durfee - Director, Corporate Venture Capital - Healthworx
Troy LeMaile-Stovall - CEO - TEDCO
Eddie Resende - CEO - World Trade Center Institute
Craig Bandes - President & CEO - Pixelligent Technologies
Rebecca Bellinger - Executive Director, Center for Global Business - Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
Maryland is at the heart of groundbreaking innovation in high-tech sectors like quantum computing, cybersecurity, and life sciences. It's also growing as a nexus for global collaboration among investors, business leaders, startups, economic developers, and policymakers. How can global business leaders leverage this proximity for a competitive edge? Learn more about key players and global conferences taking place in our dynamic regional innovation ecosystem.
Kelly Schulz - CEO - Maryland Tech Council
Bob Ackerman - Founder & Managing Partner - AllegisCyber Capital
Dr. Darryll Pines - President - University of Maryland
Dr. Fiyinfolu Oladiran - Partner - McKinsey & Company
Kevin Anderson - Secretary - Maryland Department of Commerce
Kristin Lewis - Vice President of Strategic Development & Innovation - World Trade Center Institute
Nina Bankova - VP of Global Engagement & Fellowships - World Trade Center Institute
Kim Harrington - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy - Bureau of Energy Resources
Today's world demands individuals who pair deep expertise with a holistic grasp of global dynamics. But how can we nurture more individuals and truly innovate for a global era when we are naturally inclined to specialize? Join our panelists as they delve into innovation strategies rooted in storytelling and culture-building. They'll highlight the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, embracing diversity, and cultivating an unyielding curiosity.
Nancy Novak - Chief Innovation Officer - Compass Datacenters
Paul Herring - Global Chief Innovation Officer - RSM International
Casey Smith - Director of Innovation - Pompeian, Inc
Dr. Daria J. Willis - President - Howard Community College
Mark Anthony Thomas - President & CEO - Greater Baltimore Committee
Annushka Aliev – Student & Chapter President - UMD, Engineers Without Borders
Join the panelists and fellow attendees for an hour of stimulating conversation, drinks, and light bites.
Managing Partner & Founder
Student & Chapter President
University of Maryland, Engineers Without Borders
Maryland Department of Commerce
VP of Global Engagement & Fellowships
World Trade Center Institute
Since 2006, Nina has worked with funders, participants, and local professional resources and community organizations across the United States to create high-impact interactions for foreign and domestic audiences. She is driven by the transformational power of citizen diplomacy that leads to stronger international ties between people and nations.
Before coming to WTCI in December 2022, Nina led the transition of the federal awards portfolio of Graduate School USA’s International Institute to American Councils for International Education. This involved integrating all programs, processes, and systems with the new organization. She also managed all aspects of grant capturing and administration for the organization. And she built collaborative relationships with program partners and domestic and international stakeholders.
Prior to that, Nina shepherded the Graduate School USA’s International Institute, where she also led a cross-departmental effort to bridge the activities of domestic workforce development training with global engagement programs and initiatives.
Nina’s career in global exchanges started at WTCI in 2006,. Under her leadership, the footprint of the exchange programs in Maryland broadened and deepened through attracting and managing new local and international professional exchange initiatives, academic enhancement programs, and international business networking receptions.
Nina holds a master’s degree in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Towson University. She started her higher education at the American University in Bulgaria, where she studied economics and political science. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute and holds a certificate in International NGO Management through Cornell University.
Fun fact: Nina is an avid supporter of heritage language learning and volunteers as the executive director of the Bulgarian Cultural Center of Baltimore.
Executive Director, Center for Global Business
Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
Director, Corporate Venture Capital
Global Chief Innovation Officer
Chief Innovation Officer
VP of Innovation & Strategic Development
World Trade Center Insitute
Kristin has more than 20 years of experience in international business, economic development, and growth marketing for private sector and non-profit organizations. She focuses on accelerating rapid growth for start-up entities and undervalued organizations.
Among the jobs she has had are executive vice president of economic development for the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, an entity that serves a 13-county distressed rural region in Appalachia. She also was the vice president of marketing for Fransmart, the leading U.S. franchise consulting firm. In that job, she worked on the franchise launches for Five Guys Burgers & Fries and The Halal Guys and secured the firm’s first multi-unit Middle East and North Africa development deal. Prior to all of this, she was an intern at WTCI during college.
Kristin earned a degree in international studies, with an emphasis on business, from Johns Hopkins University.
Fun Fact: Kristin served as a U.S. House of Representatives congressional page during her junior year of high school.
McKinsey & Company
University of Maryland
Eddie has worked at WTCI since 2007. He has served in various leadership roles, including chief operating officer. His passion for international business and affairs, coupled with a desire to develop the next generation of global leaders, has contributed to the success of many of WTCI’s professional development programs.
Prior to WTCI, Eddie worked with TESSCO Technologies Inc., a leading global supplier of wireless communications products. He also played a central role in the development of Gems of the Earth, a nonprofit organization that promotes social and economic development in the rural communities of Brazil, making modern technology accessible to all who seek it.
Eddie and his family migrated to the United State from Brazil when he was 11. He is an advocate for human rights issues and serves as vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services.
Eddie earned his bachelor’s degree in international business from Towson University and Master of Business Administration degree from Georgetown University. He has also studied culinary arts at Académie de Cuisine.
Fun fact: Eddie is an All-American Soccer Player.
Maryland Tech Council
Director of Innovation
President & CEO
Greater Baltimore Committee
Howard Community College
Dr. Daria J. Willis serves as the fifth president of Howard Community College. She assumed office as the first African American to lead the college in its history after a unanimous vote by the college's Board of Trustees.
Prior to her appointment at Howard Community College, Dr. Willis was the president of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. Among her accomplishments are the adoption of the Guided Pathways framework across Everett Community College to help close achievement gaps and promote student success and achievement, the adoption of a new advising model to assist students with course selection and degree completion, and securing a $43.5 million from the Washington Legislature to fund the new Learning Resource Center that broke ground in September 2021.
She currently serves as a 2021 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow and on the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, the Howard County Economic Development Board, Local Children’s Board, Rising Leaders, and Phi Theta Kappa advisory board. Dr. Willis most recently received the Daily Record’s 2022 Most Influential Marylander, Baltimore Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, 2023 cohort of VIP Women of Influence and was honored as a Living Legend by Councilmember Opal Jones.
Earlier in her career, Dr. Willis was the provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Onondaga Community College; the dean of academic studies at Lee College in Baytown, Texas; executive dean of centers/dean of instruction at the Lone Star College-North Harris Greenspoint Center and Victory Center; department chair of social and behavioral sciences and kinesiology at Lone Star College-University Park Campus in Texas and the Faculty Senate president; an adjunct faculty member in history at Florida A&M University; and an adjunct faculty member in history at Tallahassee Community College (Florida).
Dr. Willis earned her Ph.D. in history from Florida State University. She holds a master’s degree in history and a bachelor’s degree in history education from Florida A&M University, a historically Black college in Florida.
Dr. Willis and her husband, Dr. Isiah David Brown, are the proud parents of daughter Lyric, son Isiah, and daughter Imani.