The Ivy league vegan conference:
board of directors
The groundwork for the iV Conference was first laid in the Fall of 2011 after leaders of the peer organizations comprising this conference initiated their plan to build a new vegan conference that would occupy a unique and important niche. After a few months, the groups had developed the conference’s first meeting which took place at Penn in March 2012. Since that time, the conference has grown in scope, attendance, and media visibility. Please click below for summaries of the previous years' conferences.
Victor Galli is a healthcare data/IT consultant who helps hospital systems and health insurance companies improve their operations. Originally from Dallas, TX, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied biochemistry and the history of science. During his time at Penn, he founded both the Penn Vegan Society and the iV Conference. He was (and is) particularly passionate about reframing the vegan movement in academic and professional terms, which has been a divergence from the more common approach in the vegan movement of using activist strategies sourced from the counterculture era of the 1960s. He now lives in Philadelphia, PA, which he claims is the best city for excellent vegan cuisine from top-notch vegan restaurants.
Phaedra Randolph holds a degree in Operations Research & Information Engineering from Cornell University where she also studied pre-medicine and nutrition. During her time at Cornell, she was President of FACES, an epilepsy and seizure awareness organization, served as a Lime Connect Fellow, and co-founded and ran the Cornell Vegan Society. She has been involved with iV: The Ivy League Conference since its inception. She has been at Facebook, Inc. for the past 3 years where she has worked as a Risk Analyst and most recently, a Software Developer. During her time at Facebook, she founded and ran the corporate Vegan 'Lean-In Circle' and the corporate club Plant-Based Life@ which faciliate community and event-based education for those interested. Phaedra is an avid athlete, having been a 2x state women's ice hockey champion and an NCAA D1 lacrosse recruit. As a retired tri-athlete, she now enjoys HIIT and running. She is also an award-winning artist and is deeply passionate about leading and engaging in a healthy lifestyle as a solution to many of the environmental, health, and ethical disparities faced today by our global community. In her free time, she enjoys learning and separately, discovering new plants at local farmers markets for conducting culinary and gastronomical experiments.
Vasco Bilbao-Bastida, MBA is a Vice President, Group Account Director at VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency that helps brands meet business objectives using modern video production, media planning & distribution, influencer marketing, and everything in-between. Before Vayner, Vasco's professional background includes management consulting at Deloitte Consulting, environmental markets & conservation finance at Linden Trust for Conservation (including work on the Amazon Region Protected Areas "ARPA" Program), sales & trading at J.P. Morgan, and a teaching fellowship in rural Japan. Vasco is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and speaks advanced French. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School, an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Harvard University.
Matthew Hayek, PhD, is a Research Assistant at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, works with Professor Steven Wofsy on measuring greenhouse and reactive trace gases in the Brazilian Amazon. He has spoken on the impacts of our diet on the environment, health, and animals in the presentation, The Empirical Case for Plant-Based Diets at Harvard University. In addition to his graduate research, he has been vegan for over nine years and is drawn to the science of our food system and its environmental impacts.
Nina Gheihman, PhD Candidate in Sociology at Harvard University. Her dissertation is a comparative study of veganism in the United States, France, and Israel. Nina is interested in understanding how the same cultural practice is expressed differently across societies, and what we can learn about what makes a particular culture more receptive to a plant-based diet. In particular, she is interested in the emergence of cultural brokers who promote the practice through its embodiment. Unlike traditional activists, these brokers engage in cultural meaning work, knowledge production, and entrepreneurship, transforming activism itself. Nina is President of the Harvard Vegan Society, serves on the Council for Student Sustainability Leaders at the Office for Sustainability, and works with several groups on campus, including the Food Literacy Project, the Animal Law & Policy Program at the Harvard Law School, and is a Program Director of the iV League Vegan Conference. Perhaps not surprisingly, Nina is vegan herself and also founded a group called Boston Plant-Based Millennials which organizes monthly vegan potlucks in the Boston area, works with the Boston Vegetarian Society, and sees recipes as inspiration rather than rules to be followed.
Meera Kanabar, MPH, has a varied career and educational background with skillsets in information technology, creative digital multimedia tools, curriculum design, digital marketing, and healthcare. She founded Vault: The Journal during her second year of graduate studies at Columbia University due to a critical need to engage veganism with formal academic inquiry. She has lived or worked in many cities across the US and abroad. Her hobbies include traveling the world and exploring different cultures, anything creative, and reading philosophical works.