2020 Keynote Speakers Nominations

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Please include a description and any relevant links and try to keep the list in alphabetical order.

The criteria for nominating a candidate to act as keynote are below:

  • Speaker’s name (First Name, Last Name)
  • Brief description of individual (250-word max)
  • Pertinent links (Maximum of 3)
  • Contact information of candidate (email address)

We strongly encourage you to nominate speakers who are local to the Pittsburgh area. If you would prefer to submit a nomination anonymously, please send your nominee(s) to Clara Turp at: clara.turp@mcgill.ca.

Please follow the formatting guidelines:

== Nominee's Name ==

Description of no more than 250 words.

[[Link(s) with contact information for nominee]]

Jane Doe (example)

Jane works at ________, doing _______.

Some pertinent history/biography/hyperlinks that elucidates why Jane would be a good keynote speaker.

Lea Kissner

Lea formerly built the privacy engineering team at Google (where she specifically valued building a diverse team to capture all sorts of threat models) and is now the Chief Privacy Officer at Humu and cofounder of the USENIX Conference on Privacy Engineering Practice and Respect. She's whip-smart, candid, and funny.


James Mickens

James Mickens is a computer science professor and researcher currently at Harvard University and formerly of Microsoft Research. A well-travelled conference speaker, James has given keynotes and presentations from Oslo to Sidney, with hilarious titles such as "Life is Terrible: Let's Talk About the Web," and "Life As A Developer: My Code Does Not Work Because I Am A Victim Of Complex Societal Factors That Are Beyond My Control." James' presentation style reveals a breadth of experience in technology that few possess, and a zany and brilliant sense of humor.

James Mickens at Harvard University


NDC Sydney Keynote

(I am currently auditing Prof. Mickens' class at Harvard -- can confirm he is like this all the time -- would be willing to speak to him personally. --andromeda)

Karen Sandler

"Karen Sandler is the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, former executive director of the GNOME Foundation, an attorney, and former general counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center." (per wikipedia) She's known for advocacy on copyleft and other copyright issues as well as on free software more generally; notably, e.g., because proprietary software means she cannot audit the implantable medical device that keeps her alive (OSCON talk). The Software Freedom Conservancy is a fiscal sponsor, copyright holder & advocate, etc. for open source software projects. Sandler also co-organizes Outreachy, a paid internship program that particularly encourages people from underrepresented genders and races to contribute to FOSS, and was formerly on the advisory board of the Ada Initiative. She teaches entertainment law at Columbia from a copyright-rebel perspective.


Leo Lo

Leo Lo is the Associate University Librarian for learning and undergraduate services at Penn State University Libraries. Leo is a talented presenter, creative thinker and offers very interesting ideas relating to organizational research and development, appreciative inquiry, fostering collaborative works and communications including one's strengths and gifts to the organization. He would make an excellent speaker for Code4Lib when connecting to bigger frameworks within our communities/workflows.

More on Penn State News, Linked In, ODU digital commons

Chuck Pell

"A confessed 'congenital geek,' Chuck is inventor, artist, scientist and expressive raconteur. As a practitioner of Design Coup d'œil (the habit of seeing overarching structural issues at a glance), Chuck seeks the essential core of any system, whether science, art, or technology. He is most at home in novel situations, figuring things out on the fly. These tendencies have led Chuck to garner experience in surgical robotics, functional morphology, biomechanics, fluid dynamics, miniature robotics, autonomous underwater vehicles, ballistics, maritime communications, entertainment effects, teaching, design (graphic, exhibit and industrial) and filmmaking. Never at rest, he’s had 100 shows of his paintings and sculpture, with dozens of papers published in biology, engineering and patents issued or pending. Having raised millions for research and now on his third startup, Chuck has the nagging suspicion he’s become a serial entrepreneur." (excerpted from Chuck's TEDMED bio)

Chuck Pell is a sculptor, roboticist, Emmy-winning television host, and force of nature. His philosophies towards creativity and invention include: uncover hidden assumptions, pursue surprise, and "fail early and often, when it's cheap." His passionate approach to real-world problem solving has a lot to offer the world of GLAM-tech; combined with an avowed love of technology, libraries, and knowledge generally, he is sure to bring a wealth of insight and creativity to the Code4Lib community. Chuck is 1/4 of the way to an EGOT and is the consulting scientist for an asteroid mining company.

Contact Chuck via Physcient, Inc.