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RAFAT ALI, FOUNDER/CEO, SKIFT
Rafat is the CEO/founder of Skift, the largest industry intelligence and marketing platform in travel, providing news, information, data and services to all sectors of the world’s largest industry.
Previously, he was the founder/CEO of paidContent and ContentNext, which he sold to UK's Guardian News and Media in 2008, and left in 2010. Prior to that, he was managing editor of Silicon Alley Reporter.
Rafat was the Knight Fellow at Indiana University, where he completed his Masters in Journalism, 1999-2000. Prior to that he completed his BSc in Computer Engineering, from AMU in Aligarh, India.
ELIZABETH SPIERS, FOUNDER, THE INSURRECTION
Elizabeth Spiers is the founder of The Insurrection, a creative and research firm. She was previously a digital launch consultant and until Fall of 2012 was the editor in chief of The New York Observer and editorial director of Observer Media Group, where she oversaw the flagship newspaper and its digital analogs, and a variety of ancillary trade and lifestyle publications.
Prior to the Observer, she was the founder of Breaking Media, an online media company, which produces DealBreaker (a Wall Street tabloid), AboveTheLaw (a legal tabloid) and Fashionista (a fashion tabloid). She was also the founding editor of Gawker, Gawker Media’s flagship site which she launched with publisher Nick Denton in December of 2002.
She teaches a new media class for SVA’s Design Criticism MFA program and is a Young Leaders Forum Fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
She also serves or has served on the advisory boards of Flavorpill Media, Counsyl, OfAKind, Selfie, and Wall Street Cheat Sheet. Spiers earned a BA in Public Policy and Political Science from Duke University.
JENNA WEISS-BERMAN, CO-FOUNDER, PINEAPPLE STREET MEDIA
After almost a decade working in public radio on such shows as The Moth and StoryCorps, Jenna started the podcast department at BuzzFeed where she created Another Round and Women of the Hour with Lena Dunham. She left in 2016 to start Pineapple Street Media, whose shows include Missing Richard Simmons, Still Processing with wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, and the brand new shows Heavens Gate and Stay Tuned With Preet Bharara, among others. She currently sits on the advisory board of The Moth.
MODERATOR: J. MAX ROBINS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR COMMUNICATION
J. Max Robins is a veteran editor and media business executive with extensive management and marketing expertise across platforms. Before joining the Center for Communication, Max was the Vice President/Executive Director of the Paley Center. Prior to this, Max was the editor-in-chief of Broadcasting & Cable, where he oversaw a relaunch of B&C across platforms.