Keynote Speakers

The Ecosystem Approach to

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

Meet The Keynote Speakers

Dr. Claude M. Steele

Social Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Stanford University

Mayor Jane Castor

Mayor of Tampa Florida

Paul Luna

President & CEO of Helios Education Foundation

Dr. Claude M. Steele

Stereotype Threat and Identity Threat:

The Science of a Diverse Community

Claude M. Steele is a social psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. He is know for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. In 2010, he released his book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, summarizing years of research on stereotype threat and the underperformance of minority students in higher education.


He holds B.A. in Psychology from Hiram College, an M.A in Social Psychology from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology and Statistical Psychology from Ohio State University. He is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Board, the National Academy of Education, and the American Philosophical Society.

He currently serves as the Chair of the Russel Sage Foundation Board of Directors, and also serves on the board of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Professor Steele is a Fellow for both the American Institutes for Research and the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and serves on the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab. Professor Steele holds Honorary Doctorates from Yale University, Northwestern university, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, DePaul University and Claremont Graduate University.

Mayor Jane Castor

Transforming Tampa's Tomorrow

Jane Castor is the 59th Mayor of the City of Tampa. Born and raised in Tampa Florida, Castor graduated from Chamberlain High School and attended the University of Tampa on an athletic scholarship.

Upon graduating, she joined the Tampa Police Department and worked her way up from serving as a beat cop to being appointed Tampa’s first female Chief of Police.


She served six years in that role, during which major crimes dropped by 70% citywide at the same time that Tampa played host to some of the nation’s most significant events including the 2012 Republican National Convention and the Super Bowl.

In 2019, Jane was elected mayor of the City of Tampa. In just her first few months in office, she successfully launched numerous initiatives, including the city’s largest ever water/wastewater infrastructure plan (PIPES); the Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow Advisory Teams to focus on building a strategic roadmap for the City’s top priorities; establishing a minimum wage of $15 an hour for full-time city employees; securing a federal grant for body-worn cameras; initiating a renewal of the City’s transportation master plan (Tampa MOVES); designating Tampa as a Vision Zero city; and originating a range of community-based initiatives such as Art on the Block, Crosswalks to Classrooms, and Bridges to Business. All of this was done while achieving unanimous adoption of the City’s one billion dollar budget - the first budget in the black since the create recession.

Under her leadership, the City of Tampa has received numerous awards and recognitions. In 2019, Tampa Bay was recognized amongst the top areas for women-owned business growth; one of the top 10 best metro areas for startups; the best small tech market in North America; the  5th best city for recreation; and the best city in Florida and 23rd amongst large US Cities. Tampa has also been recognized as the best city for veterans to live in and one of the most fun cities in America.

The Mayor is a proud Seminole Heights resident where she lives with her longtime partner, Ana Cruz, and her two sons Sergei and Seely. 

Paul LunaS

CEO of  Helios Education Foundation

Paul J. Luna is a nationally recognized leader in philanthropy, education, and community development.  Since 2006, he has served as President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation, where he has led the foundation to create opportunities for individuals to succeed in postsecondary education. Paul J. Luna is a nationally recognized leader in philanthropy, education, and community development.


Since 2006, he has served as President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation, where he has led the foundation to create opportunities for individuals to succeed in postsecondary education. 


In this role, he is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the organization, cultivating strong community relationships, and initiating strategic partnerships in Arizona and Florida.  He brings more than 25 years of public and private professional experience to leadership of Helios. 

A native of Miami, Arizona, Mr. Luna graduated from Miami High School, and as a first-generation college student, attended Stanford University, where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering.   In addition to his role at Helios, Mr. Luna currently serves as a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the National College Access Network Board of Directors, the America's Promise Alliance Board of Directors, the Center for the Future of Arizona Board of Directors, the Partnership for Economic Innovation Board of Directors, the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities President’s Council, and was Founding Chair of the Expect More Arizona Board of Directors.

Sponsorship Questions:

Patsy Sanchez