February 16, 2016
NYU Washington, DC hosted an expert panel of NYU alumni who discussed their international careers and offered advice to students and young alumni on preparing for success in an increasingly interconnected world. This group of intelligent and passionate professionals shared their own stories, addressed the challenges and progress in workplace diversity initiatives, and provided insight on how to become successful and contributing members of today's global economy.
This panel was part of the NYU Wasserman Center's Career Week programming as well as NYU Washington, DC's Women in and of the World program series.
Marjuan Canady, a native Washingtonian with Trinidadian/African-American roots, is a published writer, actress, playwright, director, entrepreneur, educator and producer for both film and the stage. She is the Founder of her multi-media production company, Sepia Works. Ms. Canady is the Founder/CEO of Callaloo, a cultural children’s media brand that promotes cultural literacy for kids. In three years, she has led her Callaloo team in producing two children's books, a web-series, live performances and digital content for children worldwide. As an educator, Ms. Canady is committed to empowering young people through the arts. She is the founder and president of the Canady Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) that serves young people of color in the arts in Washington, DC. As an actress, her work includes plays, films, television, commercials and voiceovers. Her one-woman play, Girls! Girls? Girls. has been featured Off-Broadway, at national festivals and regional theaters. Her second original play, Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale has been seen at the Ellington Theater, IATI Theater and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Director's Lab. Her film work ranges from documentaries, narratives and children's media. Most recently she starred and co-produced the short film The Resort shot in Trinidad and Tobago and is currently directing her first documentary, Girls! Girls? Girls. set to release in 2016. An accomplished cultural arts scholar activist, she has held fellowships at The Schomburg Center for Black Research and Culture and The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. Her research interests include African Diaspora migration, food and folklore culture, gender studies and media literacy. Ms. Canady is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and holds a B.A. in Theater/African-American Studies from Fordham University and an M.A. in Arts Politics from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has lived in New York and Los Angeles for many years and has recently relocated back to her hometown of Washington, DC to enhance the film and arts industry in the city.
Sharron P. A. Levine serves as Director of FHFA Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI). She has been with FHFA since June 2012, and held positions as Senior Examiner and Associate General Counsel before recently becoming the Director for the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) in October 2014. Before going to FHFA, Sharron worked at Fannie Mae for more than 11 years in the General Counsel’s office as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. She managed the team of attorneys and paralegals supporting the Multifamily Housing Division debt and equity production and asset management businesses, among other areas. She collaborated with outside counsel supporting Fannie Mae’s multi-billion book of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit investments to ensure the inclusion of minorities and women in the critical legal work underlying acquisitions and asset management of the LIHTC portfolio.
She was also a member of the Legal Department’s Diversity Committee and was responsible for their multi-year sponsoring of partnerships with urban area high schools to teach financial literacy and expose students to the basics of residential real estate and housing finance. Through her professional involvement, Sharron has developed a deep appreciation of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the housing finance market and their impact on access to credit and affordable housing.Prior to her tenure at Fannie Mae, Sharron worked as in-house counsel at Archon Group, L.P. (a Goldman Sachs company) (DC), The J.E. Robert Companies (VA), The Artery Organization, Inc. (MD), and the New York City Housing Development Corporation. She also practiced general real estate law as an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (NYC), and Day, Berry & Howard (CT). She has broad and deep experience in complex real estate and corporate transactions across many asset classes. She knows the financial services industry well and brings that knowledge and experience to bear in her current role as Director, OMWI at FHFA, where she seeks to expand the Agency’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in its business activities and those of the entities it regulates.
Sharron has a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and Romance Languages (French and Spanish) also from New York University. She is licensed to practice law in Washington, DC, Maryland, New York, and Connecticut.
Sharron is originally from Kingston, Jamaica but lived in New York City for many years before relocating to Maryland and then Washington, DC where she currently lives with her husband. They have a son and a daughter. She has traveled extensively and enjoys reading, movies, great food, sports, and design (construction).
Libby Locke is Partner at Clare Locke LLP and is a highly accomplished defamation lawyer and commercial litigator who devotes her practice to representing clients facing high-profile reputational attacks and litigating complex business disputes. Libby has extensive experience representing clients in defamation matters adverse to national print, broadcast, and online media outlets — and she routinely advises clients who are dealing with the media in crisis situations. She has litigated high-profile libel and slander cases and — both in and outside of the litigation process — has obtained prominent corrections, retractions, and apologies for her clients. Some of Libby’s biggest defamation “wins” are stories the public will never hear about; she has killed flawed articles and broadcast segments in outlets including The New York Times, Vanity Fair and The Dr. Oz Show.
As a former partner at one of the nation’s premier law firms, Libby also has extensive experience handling complex business disputes in state and federal courts around the country. Libby has litigated class actions, mass actions, data breaches, defamation cases, agent compensation issues, hurricane and catastrophe coverage issues, associational standing cases, efforts by the media to intervene and unseal confidential documents and information, internal leak investigations, securities matters, RICO, and construction matters. As a former law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and mentee of senior appellate litigation partners at Kirkland, Libby has extensive experience handling appeals and amicus briefs in the federal Courts of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court and the Virginia Supreme Court. In 2014, she was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine in appellate litigation.
Libby’s recent litigation representations include the successful prosecution of a high-stakes contract action in the Eastern District of Virginia (the “Rocket Docket”). Joining the team less than two months before trial, Libby played a critical role in securing summary judgment establishing the breach of a complex development contract and, after a six-day bench trial, obtaining a mandatory specific performance order requiring the defendant, a national homebuilder, to complete construction of critical development infrastructure within a specified timeframe. Following the judgment, Libby lead the briefing team resulting in an order requiring the defendant to pay her client’s legal fees and costs for the litigation, an award in excess of $4 million.
Michelle Wyman currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Council for Science and the Environment. She has worked on energy and environmental policy with states and local governments for over 15 years. In close consultation with regional and local governments and their constituencies, she developed strategic and tactical solutions to their energy planning, climate mitigation, and adaptation challenges.
She previously served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In that role, Michelle led the Department’s engagement activities with state, regional, and local governments on issues across the DOE complex, including renewable energy, science, fossil energy, and environmental clean up.
Michelle’s extensive experience prior to joining the Department of Energy includes founding Applied Solutions- Local Governments Building a Clean Economy, and leading ICLEI USA, both of which are nonprofits engaging directly with cities, counties, and states on clean energy, environmental, and sustainability issues.
Michelle has served in a wide variety of leadership capacities including work with the World Bank, United Nations, and other multilateral institutions. Michelle has served as the Natural Resources Director for the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, and established a public sector practice focused on the environment and sustainable development working with states, local governments, and related national nonprofits, based in Washington DC.
Amy Zalman, Ph.D. is Director at Council for Emerging National Security Affairs (CENSA). She previously served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of the World Future Society, the world's largest membership organization dedicated to framing the future to galvanize people take action. In her 18-month tenure, Dr. Zalman led the 50-year old organization through a transformational restructuring of both internal and governance structures, raising global brand value and net profit. She also chaired the organization's 44th annual international conference, Making the Future, held in San Francisco for 650 attendees. Dr. Zalman was formerly the Department of Defense Chair of Information Integration at the National War College in Washington DC, where she led the integration of the Information element of national power into the senior level course of study provided to U.S. and foreign military officers and federal officials.
Her keynotes and briefings include: U.S. Congress, the U.S. intelligence community, Forbes Mexico, TEDx, the G-20 Young Entrepreneurship Alliance Summit, the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability 2025 Forum, the Abu Dhabi Interior Ministry, the Turkish Futurists Association, NATO, the Heritage Foundation, the Marine Corps Public Affairs Leadership Conference, OSD Highlands Forum, KBS Future Forum and many others. She is frequently cited and interviewed on topics related to the future of global and national security, select international affairs issues, and strategic narratives and communications on public sector issues.
James Pooler is a sophomore at the College of Arts and Science studying political science and philosophy. Raised in Paris, France, James developed an interest in international relations and academia. While in high school, he spent summers studying U.S. Foreign Policy and Sino-American relations at Stanford University then at Capitol Normal University in Beijing. He also founded what is now the largest English Parliamentary high school debate association in France, and successfully debated against French universities including Sciences Po, École Normale Supérieure and École Polytechnique. Last fall, James was nominated an NYU Global Experience Scholar, and was selected to attend the Brademas Center "EU in Focus” Leadership Retreat in Brussels. James has a passion for government surveillance, and cyber security and warfare policy, which he developed last fall as a research analyst at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C. James is currently Program Manager of the NYU DC Dialogues program, and intends to pursue a career in diplomacy and international relations.