Judge Bios: Grand Prize Event

The Grand Prize Event | The Judging Process | Round 3 Judges

Rebecca Allen
Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

Rebecca Allen is an internationally recognized artist, designer and researcher inspired by the potential of advanced technology, the aesthetics of motion and the study of behavior. Over the past three decades, Rebecca’s work has defined new forms of art and technology. Her interactive art installations, short films, large-scale performance works and digital media research have received outstanding recognition from the diverse worlds of fine art, performing arts, media entertainment and technology research.

Rebecca holds a professorship at the UCLA Department of Design, Media Arts. She was one of the inventors of the One Laptop per Child award-winning XO laptop and has served previously as Senior Research Scientist at MIT Media Lab Europe, Creative Director/Executive Producer at video game company Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Senior Researcher at NYIT Computer Graphics Laboratory and Researcher at MIT's Architecture Machine Group. Rebecca’s clients include TimeWarner, Island, Mattel, Philips, Nintendo, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, Seville World Expo, Taejon World Expo, Apple and DARPA. Awards include an Emmy award in Design.

Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D
Senior Vice President, Community Benefit, Kaiser Permanente
Oakland, California

Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D. joined Kaiser Permanente as senior vice president for Community Benefit in 2002. As a member of Kaiser’s National Leadership Team, Dr. Baxter leads the organization’s activities to fulfill its social mission, including charitable care and coverage, community health initiatives, philanthropy, and support for community-based organizations. In January 2008 his responsibilities expanded to include leadership of the Institute for Health Policy, Utility for Care Data Analysis, Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, Kaiser Permanente International, and environmental stewardship.

Dr. Baxter has more than 30 years of experience managing public health, hospital, long-term care and mental health programs, including heading the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. In 2001 the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health honored him as a Public Health Hero for his service in the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. In September 2006 he received the CDC Foundation Hero Award for addressing the health consequences of Hurricane Katrina by supporting public health teams in the Gulf Coast, and for his longstanding commitment to improving the health of communities.

Dr. Baxter holds a doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.

Steve W. Cole, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research, HopeLab
Redwood City, California

Steve Cole is responsible for HopeLab’s research programs and oversees the HopeLab research staff in ongoing studies to evaluate the effectiveness of HopeLab’s interventions. He is also responsible for ensuring that HopeLab’s interactive technology solutions are based on the latest medical and psychological information available. In addition to his responsibilities at HopeLab, Steve is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine. Steve is an associate member of the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute and the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. His research examines how social factors regulate gene expression in human, viral, and tumor genomes. One of his recent studies on gene expression in chronically lonely people was cited as one of Discover Magazine’s Top 100 Science Stories of 2007.

Steve received his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1992 from Stanford University and his B.A. with highest honors, in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a frequent presenter at research meetings and the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Fred Dillon
Director of Product Development, HopeLab
Redwood City, California

Fred Dillon provides planning and project management leadership on a range of initiatives aimed at improving the health and quality of life of young people with chronic illness. He convenes and facilitates interdisciplinary teams to vet, develop and refine potential innovative solutions and oversees research efforts to inform HopeLab’s strategic initiatives. Fred has over twelve years of public policy, communications and project management experience. Most recently he served as Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Communications at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, where he oversaw all aspects of the agency’s government affairs and communications efforts. Fred is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied Social Welfare and Public Policy.

Simone Edwards
Los Angeles, California

Simone Edwards is a 15-year-old Los Angeles native who has struggled with her weight all of her life. Like many teens, Simone has image problems and with lots of help and support, she has learned to accept her self for who she really is and to love herself unconditionally, regardless of size and shape. Simone attends a performing arts high school and she enjoys basketball, performing arts, butterflies, nature, and music. She encourages other teenagers to be themselves and to live their lives to the fullest.

Julio Garcia, Ph.D.
Research Consultant
San Francisco, California

Julio Garcia received his doctorate from Stanford University in Social Psychology, has taught at Tufts University, and has been a research scientist at Yale University. His research is primarily focused on improving the academic performance of students, with a special emphasis on the academic performance of minority students. He is currently a principal investigator on a multi-year research project being conducted in Connecticut and Colorado middle schools that has, as was reported in Science magazine, significantly improved the performance of African-American students. This research has received funding from the NellieMae Educational Foundation, National Science Foundation, Russel Sage Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and W.T. Grant Foundation.

Darell Hammond
CEO & Co-Founder, KaBOOM!
Washington, D.C.

Darell Hammond grew up with seven brothers and sisters at Mooseheart, a group home outside of Chicago. Serving as a Boy Scout and earning its highest honor Eagle Scout during his formative years, the Mooseheart community instilled in Darell the power of volunteerism and helping those less fortunate. It is this beginning that shaped Darell’s perspective on the importance of a strong community and the transformative power of volunteer service.

His journey would eventually lead him to found KaBOOM! in 1995, and thus begin his lifelong commitment to give all children the opportunity to play. As Chief Executive Officer, Darell has grown KaBOOM! into a $23 million-a-year organization that has directly built over 1,300 playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields, and ice rinks and improved thousands of others across America in just 12 years.

Don Johnson
President, Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation
Littleton, Colorado

Don joined the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation in February 1999 after a 20-year career in professional sports management. Don spent 13 years with the NBA as an employee of the Denver Nuggets, serving his last four years as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Following his time with the Nuggets, Don spent seven years as Vice President of Marketing with the San Diego Padres. In addition to his marketing efforts for both teams, Don worked extensively with community outreach efforts. Both clubs had significant and active charitable arms that functioned as official 501(c)3 operations. In July 2007, Don was named President of The Teammates for Kids Foundation. Currently, he oversees comprehensive development and procedures of organization goals and guidelines established by the Board of Directors. Don is married and has two children, Awna and Pierce.

Katie Salen
Executive Director, Institute of Play
New York, New York

Katie Salen is the Executive Director of the Institute of Play and Associate Professor in the Design and Technology program, Parsons the New School for Design. Co-author of Rules of Play, a textbook on game design, as well as The Game Design Reader (MIT Press, 2004 and 2006), she recently completed an edited volume for the MacArthur series on Digital Media and Learning called The Ecology of Games and is serving as co-editor of The International Journal of Learning and Media (MIT Press). Katie just completed a stint as lead designer on Gamestar Mechanic, a game developed by Gamelab to teach young people the play and practice of game design fundamentals. She lectures and writes extensively on game design, design education, and game culture, including authoring some of the first dispatches from the previously hidden world of machinima.

Mark Shriver
Vice President and Managing Director, U.S. Programs; Save the Children
Washington, D.C.

Mark Shriver leads Save the Children’s programmatic and advocacy efforts to improve the literacy, physical activity and nutrition of children living in impoverished rural communities across the United States. He also leads Save the Children’s domestic emergency preparedness and response programs. An advocate for vulnerable children and families for more than 17 years, Shriver served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and was Maryland’s first-ever Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families. He also founded and led The Choice Programs, an innovative public/private partnership that serves delinquent and at-risk youth through intensive community-based counseling and job training services. He received his undergraduate degree from The College of the Holy Cross and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. In 1994, he was awarded an Honorary Degree from Loyola College in Baltimore for his work in The Choice Programs.

Jennifer Smart
Lake Elsinore, California

At 11 years old, Jennifer Smart is a veteran radio talk show host, entertainment reporter and voiceover artist. She has co-hosted a radio program with her parents for six years. She attends red carpet events in Hollywood and has interviewed more celebrities and industry insiders than anyone else her age. In January, Jennifer broadcast from her fourth Consumer Electronics Show. She and her parents have now taken over the reins of Online Tonight, the longest running technology-themed radio program, heard on stations around the country six nights a week.

Jennifer's voice has been featured in exhibits at the Philadelphia Zoo and National Medal of Honor Museum. In 2007 she visited 48 states, broadcasting from a new location each week. Jennifer is home schooled, and enjoys baseball, ballet, playing with her dog and reading.

Paul Tarini
Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, New Jersey

Paul Tarini is the team leader for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio, which actively seeks innovative projects that can lead to fundamental breakthroughs in health and health care. Because the team is dedicated to thinking and talking about new ideas and groundbreaking approaches, including those from nontraditional sources and fields, he says Pioneer enables the Foundation to make conceptual leaps and take risks in grantmaking that would otherwise not be possible. Tarini, who joined the Foundation in 1994, also has served as a senior communications officer working with the Quality Program Management Team, which focuses on improving care for chronic conditions in outpatient settings, and with the Human Capital Portfolio, which focuses on assuring the nation has a capable and diverse health and health care workforce. For seven years, he was also the executive editor for Advances, the Foundation’s quarterly newsletter, and worked on five annual reports.

Daniel Winter
London, England

Daniel J. Winter is 15 years old and attends Cardinal Wiseman High School in London, England. He has been a member of the school's Recycling Group for three years. Daniels interests include friends, music, art, computer games, and making and producing films, which can be seen on sites such as YouTube. His favourite subjects in school are religious education, drama, music and media studies. His favourite sports are badminton, basketball and football (soccer). Daniel’s dream is to one day become a writer/director.

Samuel Yeung Shan Wong, M.D.
Associate Professor, Chinese University Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Professor Samuel Wong joined the Chinese University of Hong Kong as Clinical Assistant Professor in 2003. He became Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine and the School of Public Health in 2008. He received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Toronto and completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University, Canada in 2001. He is a certificant member of the Canadian College of Family Practice and a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He is the Chief Editor of the Hong Kong Practitioner, the official journal of the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians and is Associate Editor on the Medical Case Report, an international peer-reviewed journal. His research interests include mental health; primary health care; mind, body and behavioral medicine; and men’s health. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts in international journals. He is also the Programme Director for Men's Health Diploma, a quotable qualification under the Hong Kong Medical Council.

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