Keynote and Plenary Sessions

The GHTC 2019 Keynote speakers are:

  • Neil Sahota, Chief Innovation Officer, University of California (Emerging
    Technologies Research & Policy Institute)
  • Thomas Coughlin FIEEE, President of IEEE-USA and President, Coughlin Associates

The GHTC 2019 Plenary Panel sessions are:

  • Disaster Recovery, Disadvantaged Communities and Displaced People Panel (Friday)
  • Health-Related Issues in Resource Constrained Environments Panel (Saturday)


Neil Sahota (萨冠军) is an IBM Master Inventor, United Nations (UN) Artificial Intelligence (AI) subject matter expert, Faculty at UC Irvine, and author of Own the A.I. Revolution. With 20+ years of business experience, he works with organizations to create next generation products/solutions powered by emerging technology. His work experience spans multiple industries including legal services, healthcare, life sciences, retail, travel and transportation, energy and utilities, automotive, telecommunications, media/communication, and government. Moreover, Neil is one of the few people selected for IBM’s Corporate Service Corps leadership program that pairs leaders with NGOs to perform community-driven economic development projects. For his assignment, Neil lived and worked in Ningbo, China where he partnered with Chinese corporate CEOs to create a leadership development program.

In addition, Neil partners with entrepreneurs to define their products, establish their target markets, and structure their companies. He is a member of several investor groups like the Tech Coast Angels and assists startups with investor funding. Neil also serves as a judge in various startup competitions and mentor in several incubator/accelerator programs.


Humanitarian Activities in the USA

Tom Coughlin, President, IEEE-USA

Tom Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates is a digital storage analyst and business and technology consultant.  He has over 37 years in the data storage industry with engineering and management positions at several companies.  Coughlin Associates consults, publishes books and market and technology reports (including The Media and Entertainment Storage Report), and puts on digital storage-oriented events.  He is a regular storage and memory contributor for and M&E organization websites.  He is an IEEE Fellow, President of IEEE-USA and is active with SNIA and SMPTE. For more information on Tom Coughlin and his publications and activities go to





Disaster Recovery, Disadvantaged Communities and Displaced People Panelists

  • John Berglund, Territorial Emergency/Disaster Services Director, The Salvation Army USA
  • Stanley Atcitty, Navajo Nation
  • Jim Conrad, IEEE MOVE, UNC-Charlotte USA

Health-Related Issues in Resource Constrained Environments Panelists

  • Tim Wood, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Skye Gilbert, Deputy Director, Digital Health, PATH

Confirmed Panelists (Disaster Panel)

The topic of the panel is disasters, displaced and indigenous peoples – providing aid and assistance where the infrastructure has been destroyed or is nonexistent, and how can evolving technologies serve to support or enable this.

Stan Atcitty, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories 

Dr. Stan Atcitty is a member of the Navajo Tribe and he received his BS and MS degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University in 1993 and 1995, respectively. In 2006, he was the first American Indian male to receive a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Virginia Tech University. He is presently a Distinguish Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in the Energy Storage Technology and Systems department. He leads the power electronics subprogram as part of the DOE Energy Storage Program and has gained international recognition for its state-of-the-art research and development under his leadership. Five of his projects have won the prestigious R&D 100 award from the Research & Development magazine. His interest in research is power electronics necessary for integrating energy storage and distributed generation with the electric utility grid. Stan has over 50 publications and holds four patents and another two pending. In 2007, he received the American Indian Science and Engineering Society Technical Excellence Award for his American Indian community involvement and technical achievement. He was recently featured in a middle school level children’s book titled “Energy Basics – Energized!” published by Sally Ride Science book in 2012. In 2013, he coauthored a book titled Power Electronics for Renewable and Distributed Energy Systems. In addition, President Barack Obama presented Stan with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers on July 31, 2012. This is the highest honor bestowed by the US government for outstanding scientist and engineers who show exceptional leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the twenty-first century.


John Berglund, Territorial Emergency/Disaster Services Director, The Salvation Army USA

John Berglund serves as the Territorial Emergency Services Director for The Salvation Army’s US Western Territory, based in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.  The territory’s service area includes thirteen Western states, including Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, the Marshall Islands, and Micronesia.

Previously, John served as the National Emergency Services Director at Salvation Army National Headquarters in Alexandria, VA, as well as the Emergency Services Director for the Greater New York Division (NYC), the Intermountain Division (Denver), and the Southwest Division (Phoenix).  He also serves as a team leader and trainer for The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services (IES), based in London, UK.

Mr. Berglund’s career in nonprofit arts and social services includes instructing nonprofit management at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona (1995-2005).  For the past two decades, his focus has been on the role of the nonprofit sector in both domestic and international humanitarian work.



James Conrad, IEEE-USA President-elect and a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte USA

MOVE Community Outreach, an IEEE-USA Initiative, is an emergency relief program committed to assisting victims of natural disasters with short-term communications, computer, and power solutions. These temporary emergency relief provisions help those affected stay connected and make sure they can access the help they need. Services include phone charging, internet & communications support, and lighting to disaster victims. Partnering with the American Red Cross, IEEE’s U.S. highly-skilled volunteers provide this technical assistance via a Mobile Outreach VEhicle which is accessible during a disaster.    Dr. Conrad is a charter member of the MOVE Community Outreach Project, serves a a driver of the vehicle, and serves as a volunteer who responds to natural disasters and other outreach activities where the vehicle’s technology is needed.




Confirmed Panelists (Health Panel)

The Health Plenary Panel will share perspectives on the importance of multi-stakeholder, inter-disciplinary/cross-disciplinary collaboration, with representatives from different stakeholder groups (including the public, education and research, policy, societal and funding sectors).

Tim Wood, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Tim Wood specializes in applying information technology to address the problems of poverty and health in developing countries. After 12 years at Microsoft working on software development, in 2002 Mr. Wood joined the Grameen Foundation’s Technology Center where he pioneered replication of the Grameen Village Phone program, launching sustainable initiatives in Uganda and Rwanda and co-authoring the Village Phone Replication Manual. Mr. Wood went on to implement money pilot programs for microfinance institutions in the Philippines and Kenya and spent four years as the Director of Mobile Health Innovation at the Grameen Foundation, creating the MOTECH platform to deliver multiple mobile-service initiatives at scale in India and Africa.  Tim joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013 and is working across a wide range of information technology initiatives with a particular focus on “digital health tools”, country data systems, and aligning global efforts around country-defined priorities.



Skye Gilbert, Executive Director, Digital Square

Skye Gilbert serves as the Executive Director of Digital Square, a consortium (housed at PATH) of 40+ leading digital health organizations working together with countries to strengthen digital health systems. From 2016 to 2019, Skye supported strategy, business development, adaptive management, and data use efforts as deputy director of PATH’s Digital Health program. Her work touched on projects including the Data Use Partnership in Tanzania, the BID Initiative, the Joint Learning Network’s Information Technology Initiative, and many others. Prior to joining PATH in 2016, Skye worked on health and information systems, first as an academic researcher living in Senegal and China, then as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, and finally as a program and strategy officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Skye has a Global Executive MBA from INSEAD and a bachelor’s degree in economics, international studies, and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.






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Key Dates

Oct 17

GHTC 2019

October 17 @ 8:00 am - October 20 @ 12:00 pm PDT
Oct 17

GHTC 2019 Student Poster Competition

October 17 @ 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm PDT