U.S. News STEM Solutions Presents: Workforce of Tomorrow will examine how executives, policymakers, consumers and others are working together to improve education and workforce development to meet the urgent and evolving labor needs of today’s – and tomorrow’s – employers. The event will bring together leaders from industry, education, government and other sectors to showcase promising practices and proven solutions that are making a difference in solving the nation’s skills gaps. Workforce of Tomorrow is the latest evolution of the U.S. News STEM Solutions conference. Since 2012, the annual event has focused on improving America’s science, technology, engineering and math skills. The conference program will be informed by a number of related U.S. News rankings and data projects, including Best Colleges, Best Jobs and Best States.

2019 Content Themes:

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Ballroom
More than 7 million jobs in the U.S. remain unfilled as employers struggle to find workers with the right mix of skills. This talent gap only promises to widen as the economy fully enters what experts are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a period of exponential change whose disruptions are predicted to dwarf those of previous eras. What must employers and workers do to prepare to tap into the opportunities (and dodge the dangers) brought about by globalism, increasing connectivity, and rapidly advancing technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence? This session will examine the current workforce landscape, including the so-called new-collar and gig economies; the unprecedented shifts coming in the years ahead; and emerging best practices in worker recruitment, employee development and the creation of a robust talent pipeline, particularly in the STEM fields.

Eric J. Gertler, Executive Chairman, U.S. News & World Report

Jack Markell, Former Governor of Delaware; Chairman, National Advisory Council – Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative
Eric J. Gertler, Executive Chairman, U.S. News & World Report (moderator)

Michelle R. Weise, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Workforce Strategies; Chief Innovation Officer, Strada Institute for the Future of Work, Strada Education Network

Michael P. Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Topcoder; Global Head of Crowdsourcing, Wipro

PANEL: Rethinking Talent Development for the 21st Century
Christine Bastian, Senior Vice President, Engineering Human Resources, Cisco Systems
Deb Bubb, HR Vice President and Chief Leadership, Learning and Inclusion Officer, IBM
Julia Pollak, Labor Economist, ZipRecruiter
Eric Westphal, Senior Director, Global Workforce Strategy and Economic Development, Cognizant
Tom Temin, Host and Managing Editor, The Federal Drive, Federal News Network (moderator)

Oren Cass, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Michael Morella, Assistant Managing Editor, Publications and Events, U.S. News & World Report (moderator)

Gerald R. Solomon, Executive Director, Samueli Foundation


11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Ballroom
Women remain vastly underrepresented in corporate America, accounting for only about 1 in 5 senior leaders, with little progress to show in the last few years, according to a 2018 study by McKinsey and LeanIn.org. Black and Hispanic professionals continue to be similarly lacking in representation, and they often face significant employment and wage gaps. Recruiting, retaining and advancing more women, people of color, veterans and other underrepresented populations is a key priority for many organizations, and research demonstrates that doing so can have a wide range of cultural, financial and other benefits. Success requires a multifaceted approach, including K-12 and college outreach programs, engaging with professional societies and affinity groups, and enhancing mentoring and professional development programs. This session will offer an in-depth look at some of the latest research on the diversity gap as well as solutions-oriented approaches to closing it in education and industry.

Byron G. Auguste, D.Phil., Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Opportunity@Work

Bill Taylor, Vice President, Outreach and Partnership Development, NAF

Charles Eaton, Chief Executive Officer, Creating IT Futures; Executive Vice President, Social Innovation, CompTIA

PANEL: Broadening Participation in the Workforce: A Roundtable on Diversity
Rosanna Durruthy, Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, LinkedIn
Lorraine Hariton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst
Michelle Murphy, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion and Global Talent Acquisition, Ingersoll Rand
Kimberly Churches, Chief Executive Officer, American Association of University Women (moderator)

Chloe Kontos, Executive Director, National Science and Technology Council, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Jon Werner-Allen, Ph.D., AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy


1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Ballroom
Today’s educators have a responsibility to ensure that their students are prepared to meet the demands of tomorrow’s workforce. By many accounts, the current situation is mixed: The nation’s high school graduation rate hit a new high earlier this year, but achievement and college-readiness scores on tests like the ACT, SAT and the National Assessment of Educational Progress have been generally flat in recent years. At the same time, employers are clamoring for students with a wider set of future-oriented skills – in computing and the STEM fields, as well as in critical thinking, creativity and teamwork. To help fill the gaps, many K-12 schools, community colleges and four-year institutions are revamping their courses and curricula; partnering with companies on industry-aligned programs, apprenticeships, career pathways and reskilling efforts; and otherwise rethinking the ways that people teach and learn. Hear from voices from across the education spectrum as they share their thoughts on the best ways to align education with the demands of a changing jobs landscape.

Dan Mantz, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation

CONVERSATION: K-12 Education Innovation
Vince Bertram, Ed.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Project Lead The Way
Nancy Butler Songer, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, Drexel University
Lauren Camera, Education Reporter, U.S. News & World Report (moderator)

Gregory H. Johnson, National Innovation and Strategy Advisor, Boy Scouts of America

PANEL: Working Toward the College of the Future
Laurie Leshin, Ph.D., President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges
Philip Regier, Ph.D., University Dean for Educational Initiatives; Chief Executive Officer, EdPlus, Arizona State University
Barbara R. Snyder, President, Case Western Reserve University
Brian Kelly, Editor and Chief Content Officer, U.S. News & World Report (moderator)

Martin Dahinden, Ph.D., Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States


3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Ballroom
Many of the most promising solutions aimed at improving education and workforce training are happening at the local level in cities and states across the country. Public-private partnerships – between corporations, schools, government agencies, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and more – have formed the backbone of efforts to fill the talent pipeline. Hear from government leaders, state and local experts, employers and others about best practices, policies and approaches for success. This session will also include be informed by the U.S. News Best States rankings, an interactive data and news analysis platform designed to inform citizens, business leaders and policymakers about where states excel in education, economic opportunity, infrastructure and more.

Allen Shaheen, Executive Vice President, North American Regional Delivery Centers, Cognizant
Brian Kelly, Editor and Chief Content Officer, U.S. News & World Report (moderator)

PANEL: A U.S. News State Leadership Roundtable
Lindsay H. Kurrle, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Labor
Nancy Leppink, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
James E. Rzepkowski, Acting Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Eric J. Gertler, Executive Chairman, U.S. News & World Report (moderator)

PANEL: The Power of Partnerships
Angela Baker, Director, Corporate Responsibility, Qualcomm
Earl Buford, Chief Executive Officer, Partner4Work
Molly Elgin-Cossart, Director, Rework America Task Force, Markle Foundation
Rebecca Lewis, Director, Amgen Biotech Experience Program Office; Managing Project Director, Education Development Center
Julie Gehrki, Vice President, Philanthropy, Walmart (moderator)



Subject to change. As of 5/20/19.