Building a High-Income Nation through a

Skilled STEM Talent Pipeline and Robust Ecosystems

NOVEMBER 03 - 05, 2022 | Manila, Philippines









Distinguished speakers from government, academe, industry and the STEM community will facilitate discussions and collaboration on various topics related to research, initiatives, curriculum models, case studies, education frameworks and more throughout the Summit.

Dr. Vijay M.S. Kumar

Dr. Vijay Kumar has been providing leadership for sustainable technology-enabled educational innovation at MIT for more than 21 years. He is currently MIT’s Associate Dean of Digital Learning and the Executive Director of the Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL). In his prior roles at MIT as Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Assistant Provost and Director of Academic Computing, as well at other institutions, Dr. Kumar has been responsible for strategy development and leading units engaged in the effective integration of information technology and media services in education.

Dr. Kumar was the Principal Investigator of O.K.I (Open Knowledge Initiative), an MIT-led collaborative project to develop an open architecture for enterprise educational applications. He is a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee of MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW). He has served as the Executive Officer for MIT’s Council on Educational Technology and as a member of the steering committee for I-Campus, the MIT-Microsoft Alliance initiative for educational technology.

Dr. Kumar plays a key role in MIT’s partnership with the Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, UAE, to strengthen and extend educational opportunities in the region and for displaced learners. He co-led CLIx, a Tata-MIT initiative to advance educational quality and access through technology in underserved Indian schools that won the the UNESCO-King Hamad Prize Excellence in the Use of ICTs in Education

 His research, as well as his engagements as advisor/consultant/trustee are directed toward strategy, planning and implementing technological innovations for education. These include:

  •  Center for Integrated STEM Education (International Advisor)
  • Education Development Center (Trustee)
  • New Media Consortium (Chair of Board of Directors)
  • Smithsonian (Advisor for Digital Futures)
  • LearnLaunch Institute (Advisor)
  • India National Knowledge Commission, (honorary advisor 2006- 2009).
  • UNESCO (developing strategies for open educational resources, open technology and policy)
  • Open University of Catalonia (Educational Innovation)
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design (IT)
  • Qatar Foundation International(educational technology and innovation)
  • Massachusetts STEM Council’s Network Operations Board.
  • Hewlett and Gates Foundation supported projects

Dr. Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela

Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela is presently the Director of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Secretariat (SEAMEO Secretariat). Dr Valenzuela took office on 1 April 2019 as the 18th Director of SEAMEO, marking 2 firsts, the first Female SEAMEO Secretariat Director and the first Filipina to lead a regional organization in education, culture and science.

At SEAMEO Secretariat where she served from July 2015 to 15 February 2019 as the first woman Deputy Director for Programme and Development, she worked and advocated for region-wide SEAMEO programmes with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for SEAMEO College, with UNICEF-EAPRO for the first region-wide grade 5 assessment called Southeast Asia’s Primary Learning Metrics (SEA PLM), and with UNESCO for inclusive and quality education, teacher professional development, open educational resources, massive open and online courses, education for sustainable development and global citizenship.

Dr Valenzuela served SEAMEO INNOETCH as Head/Senior Specialist of SEAMEO INNOTECH from 2006 to 2015, at the Philippine government as Education Commissioner of UNESCO National Commission from 2000 to 2010, Director IV at the Commission on Higher Education from 2000 to 2006, Chief Education Programme Specialist at CHED International Affairs Services from 1995 to 2000, and a graduate school Professorial lecturer at the University of the Philippines College of Education Diliman campus.

Dr Valenzuela’s expertise is on educational policy research in the areas of internationalization of education, transnational and distance education as well as teacher education. She has published international and local articles, journals, technical reports and guidelines for some SEAMEO and other international organizations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, CHED and DepED.

Among her well-noted work were: The K to 12 Regional Comparison in Asia, K to 12 Toolkit, Philippine Higher Education Guide (CHED), Quality Assurance, Mutual Recognition in Higher Education (UNESCO Paris), Toolkit for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (UNESCO BKK), Toolkit for National Information Centers (UNESCO Bangkok), Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit, Internationalization of Philippine Higher Education (UNESCO Natcom)to name a few. She also published Philippine Education in the International Encyclopedia of Education under Elsevier London.

Dr Valenzuela holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Management, Masters of Arts in Science Education and Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education. She holds Career Executive Service Officer IV rank (CESO IV) in the Philippine Government. She was awarded as Doctor Fellows at the Royal Institution Singapore, an Eminent Alumni and Blue Ribbon Awardee as Distinguished Alumni of the Philippine Normal University in 2013.

Dr. George Westerman

George Westerman is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Founder of the Global Opportunity Initiative (  He works at the intersection of executive leadership and technological innovation. During more than 20 years with MIT, he has written three award-winning books, including Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation. As a pioneering researcher on digital transformation, George has published papers in Harvard Business ReviewSloan Management Review, and other top journals.  He is now focused on helping employers, educators, and other groups to rethink the process of workforce learning around the world.

George is co-chair of the MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Awards, as well as a member of the Digital Strategy Roundtable for the US Library of Congress and the Learning Strategy Advisory Group for the World Health Organization. He works frequently with senior management teams and industry groups around the world. Prior to earning a Doctorate from Harvard Business School, he gained more than a dozen years of experience in product development and technology leadership roles.

Ms. Kelli List Wells

Kelli List Wells is the Founder and CEO of the STEM Leadership Alliance. A collaboration she built that includes the major STEM organizations, NASA, and the White House Office and Science Technology Policy, along with schools, districts, state department of educations, businesses, colleges and universities, and nonprofits.

Most recently, Kelli was the Executive Director for Global Education and Skills at the GE Foundation. She designed and executed a portfolio that focused on building education, skills and training initiatives to prepare the next generation for the demands of the workforce and the changing labor economy both nationally and globally.

Kelli has done extensive work in the PreK-12 education systems which has reached more than 10,000 teachers and 1.3 million students across more than 2,000 PreK-12 public schools, and has also saved school districts more than $20 million. She expanded the work to include higher education institutions and workforce development programs because she saw the growing skills gap.  This led to her development of the Brilliant Career Labs, first-of-its-kind, physical and virtual learning experiences that help students explore careers and understand the skills required for the jobs of the future using digital fabrication and she secured the Boston Celtics to be a partner.

Kelli also led a national convening with over 325 leaders in STEM education that included 28 states represented and 4 countries and is now leading global education Summits including the first-ever Asia Integrated STEM Leadership Alliance occurred in the Philippines in 2019.

Through her background in Six Sigma, social emotional training, and extensive leadership development courses, Kelli is known for leading strategic planning processes, developing leaders, and building collaborative cultures.

She is a member of various non-profit organizations and currently serves on the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, an appointment by the Governor,  board of directors for the Bridgeport Public Education Foundation, Center for Supportive Schools, and the Women in Manufacturing, and on the Stamford, Connecticut Mayor’s Council for Early Childhood Readiness that provided high quality PreK for all 3 and 4 year old children.

 Prior to her experience in corporate philanthropy, Kelli was a licensed financial advisor, holding her Series 7 and Series 63 Investment licenses with Charles Schwab where she designed and created seminars on financial planning.

Dr. Salvador Fernandez

Dr. Salvador Fernandez is a proven leader in STEM education, having designed and led the school achievement effort (also known as the turnaround plan) at the New York City Department of Education.

Dr. Fernandez is a strong advocate for life-long learning; he currently serves as a member of the Board of Education in New Rochelle, NY and is also a member of the board directors of It Takes a Village to Educate a Child.

Dr. Fernandez received his Master of Science degree from Hunter College. Soon after he acquired his educational administration certificate from City College of New York. Dr. Fernandez was also selected to participate in the Chancellor’s Incentive Doctoral Program where he graduated from St. John’s University in 2002 with highest honors.

Dr. Lance Bush

Lance Bush is President and CEO of Challenger Center. With a goal to inspire more students, Dr. Bush has led the growth and expansion of the organization, including the development of a simulation-based program that can be delivered in the classroom. Under Dr. Bush’s leadership, Challenger Center was recognized with the National Science Board’s Public Service Award for its work to promote a public understanding of science and engineering.

Dr. Bush started his career at NASA as one of the chief engineers designing the next generation space transportation. He managed the International Space Station Commercial Development program. He also co-founded and served as the Chairman of the International Space Station Multilateral Commercialization Group comprised of the five partner space agencies (Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia, and the United States) and 16 countries.

Prior to Challenger Center, Dr. Bush served as the Chief Strategic Officer at Paragon Space Development Corporation, a space vehicle design and build company. He helped grow and mature the firm to become nationally recognized, and as a result, Paragon was included on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list for five straight years.

Dr. Bush is a member of the Cosmos Club, President of Sea Space Symposium, and Founder and an Advisory Board Member of Space Generation Advisory Council. He has previously held positions including Board Member of International Space University, Chair of Education for World Space Congress, and Vice President of Education for American Astronautical Society.

Dr. Bush holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University, and a Ph.D. in technology policy and management from the Pennsylvania State University, along with a SSP from International Space University.

Dr. Carol O’Donnell

Dr. Carol O’Donnell is Senior Executive and Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, dedicated to transforming K-12 Education through Science™ in collaboration with communities across the globe. Carol serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Subcommittee on Federal Coordination in STEM (FC-STEM) of the US Office of Science and Technology Policy; InterAcademy Partnership Science Education Global Council (IAP SEP), the global network of science academies; and the UN Broadband Commission Working Group on School Connectivity. In her role on the Program Committee for the International Dialogue on STEM Education, Carol co-authored the position paper on STEM Education for Sustainable Development ( Prior to Smithsonian, Carol was a leader at the US Department of Education as both a research and policy analyst; she has expertise in K-12 education policy, professional development, cognition and student learning, education research, and curriculum development. A former teacher, Dr. O’Donnell is on the part-time faculty of the Physics Department at George Washington University, where she earned her doctorate.

Dr. David Barnes

Dr. David Barnes is the Associate Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the senior mathematics educator.  NCTM is the largest mathematics education membership organization dedicated to supporting mathematics teachers, teacher educators, teaching and learning at Pre-K through grade 12. 

Dr. Barnes leads the Research, Learning and Development division of NCTM which is responsible for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, the design and development of NCTM’s professional development offerings, the NCTM Research Conferences, NCTM’s Linking Research and Practice initiative, and NCTM’s advocacy and public relations work. He has been the staff lead and on writing teams for multiple NCTM’s landmark publications including Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics: Initiating Critical Conversations, and Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All.



Horst Hörtner

Horst Hörtner is a media artist and researcher. He is an expert in design of Human-Computer Interaction and holds several patents in this field. He started to work in the field of media art in the 1980s and co-founded the media art group x-space in Graz/Austria in 1990.

Hörtner is a founding member of the Ars Electronica Futurelab, launched in 1996, and since then Managing Director of the laboratory. Since 2020, he is also CTO of Ars Electronica and holds a position as conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle/Australia since 2013. He is working in the nexus of art & science and gives lectures and talks at numerous international conferences and universities.

Dr. Sheryl Lyn C. Monterola

Sheryl Lyn C. Monterola is a Professor at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, College of Education. She is the Executive Director of the Center for Integrated STEM Education (CISTEM, Inc.) and one of the leaders of the Education Futures Programme, Office of the Secretary, Philippine Department of Education. She is a consultant for the STEM in TVET initiative of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Philippines and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). In 2016, she was a visiting researcher at the Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore. She holds a doctorate degree in Physics Education from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Ms. Elizabeth Aristorenas

Ms. Elizabeth Aristorenas is the Executive Director of the Unilab Foundation Inc. She leads the Foundation in achieving its mission of cultivating an enabling environment that is responsive to the emerging needs of Filipinos through innovative programs that deliver sustainable impact. At present, she is a Board member of the League of Corporate Foundations, Inclusion Initiative, and Project Inclusion Network.

Before joining the Foundation in 2017, Lilibeth established The Teacher’s Gallery and the Inclusion Initiative in the Philippines, both founded on her advocacy for inclusive education. She also worked closely with UNICEF and The Asia Foundation in carrying out educational
programs for the marginalized sectors of society, such as persons with disability and young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

She has graduate degrees in Business Administration from the University
of the Philippines, and Human Services from the University of Massachusetts. Previously, she received the Book Award for outstanding academic performance and also the Boston College Award for outstanding community service, both from the University of Massachusetts. She divides her time throughout the year between Manila and the greater Boston area.

Dr. Gonzalo Serafica

Dr. Gonzalo “Al” Serafica received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (“RPI”) in Troy, New York in 1997. He has over 20 years of experience with technology commercialization and intellectual property expansion.  His research focused on production optimization and product development of biomaterials both during his academic career with RPI and at Xylos Corporation where he was a co-founder in 1996 and was Vice President for R&D, VP for Intellectual Property and Technology from 2005 until 2012. Xylos Corp. is venture capital backed company that has spent more than $25 million in developing various microbial cellulose-derived medical devices. The company’s products include 7 U.S. FDA cleared products, ranging from permanent implants as brain patch or dural substitute, to soft tissue replacements and adhesion barriers, and artificial skin or advanced wound dressings for treating chronic wounds. Dr. Serafica holds 10 U.S. granted patents and more than 20 international granted patents. Dr. Serafica was the principal investigator of the National Institute of Health-Small Business Innovative Research (NIH-SBIR) grant awarded to Xylos in 1997 to develop the biosynthesized cellulose wound dressing. Prior to his work on microbial cellulose, He also briefly worked in Boston, MA with Amicon, a membrane company and a division of Millipore Corporation in 1993.  

He was a registered Chemical Engineer in the Philippines after passing and obtaining 5th place in the November 1988 Board Examination. Dr. Serafica is DOST Balik Scientist in 2013-15 and is currently on an extended stay in the Philippines to initially help scientists and engineers in commercializing their technologies and expanding their intellectual property.  Dr. Serafica is also a consultant to various universities (UP System and DLSU), research and development institutions (PNRI and ITDI), funding agencies (USAID Stride), and private companies on various technology matters since 2014. He was the President of the Philippine American academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) for 2017. In 2018, he helped bring the US NSF Innovation Corp training program to the Philippines together with DOST, DLSU and USAID Stride. He was also the private sector representative to the DOST Science education Institute, ERDT Board for MS and PhD training of STEM graduates. In 2020, he was elected to National Academy of Science and Technology as a corresponding member.