September 20-22, 2019
San Francisco, California

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Lecture:
Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less

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Hayagreeva Rao, PhD
Stanford Professor, Organizational Psychologist and Wall Street Journal Best- Selling Author

Dr. “Huggy” Rao is the Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources and Professor, by courtesy, of Sociology at Stanford University.  Dr. Rao’s most recent book, co-authored with Bob Sutton of the School of Engineering at Stanford, is Scaling Up Excellence ( The book is a Wall Street Journal best seller, and was included in the best business books to read in 2014 by Financial Times, Inc Magazine, Amazon, Forbes, Washington Post and the Library Journal. 

His research has been published in journals such as the Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and Strategic Management Journal. He is also the author of “Market Rebels: How Activists Make or Break Radical Innovation”, Princeton University Press. 2009.   

Dr. Rao’s teaching specialties include leading organizational change, building customer focused cultures, and organization design. He teaches courses on these topics to MBA and executive audiences. He has consulted with, and conducted executive workshops for, organizations such as Aon Corporation, British Petroleum, CEMEX, General Electric, Hearst Corporation, IBM, Mass Mutual, James Hardie Company, Seyfarth and Shaw. Additionally, he also worked with nonprofit organizations such as the American Cancer Society and governmental organizations such as the FBI and CIA, and the intelligence community.  Among the awards he has received are the Sidney Levy Teaching Award from the Kellogg School of Management, and the W. Richard Scott Distinguished Award for Scholarship from the American Sociological Association.

Joint Keynote Lecture:
Can “Consent” Ever Be Informed?
Both Sides Reviewed from the Legal and Sedationist’s Perspective

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Steven Shafer, MD
Expert Witness, Michael Jackson Manslaughter Trial

Steven Shafer, MD is a Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford University. In 2011, the International Society of Anaesthetic Pharmacology (ISAP) awarded Dr. Shafer their Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Shafer is the Editor-In-Chief of Anesthesia & Analgesia. He was also the expert witness in the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial.
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Stewart L. Cohen, Esq.
Founding Partner: Cohen, Placitella and Roth

A Founding Partner at Cohen, Placitella, Roth P.C. , Mr. Cohen has had a long record of successes including the “Top Settlement or Verdict of 2013 in Pennsylvania”, a “Top 100 Jury Verdict in the United States”, and a “Top 20 Recovery” in New Jersey. He won a landmark $25 million case, recognized as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the United States. His clients have included children catastrophically injured at birth because of substandard medical care. He has made it possible for victims to successfully recover against hospitals and physicians.