Executive Directors

Executive Networks

Martin Pfaendler
Executive Director, Global Total Rewards Network (“GTRN”)

Martin Pfaendler is a senior Compensation & Benefits expert. His areas of expertise are Executive Compensation, international employment/compensation of Executives, global compensation management, global equity programs, corporate governance, international HR.

Many years of a corporate career, management responsibility and consulting experience are the foundation of Martin’s remit of independent consultant. He is offering interim or project management services and strategic or operational advice in his areas of expertise. He owns MPF Compensation Services Ltd. (GmbH) based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Martin Pfaendler comes with a range of practical knowledge and corporate management experience in executive compensation and compensation governance, as well as in global employment, compensation and benefits management. Mr. Pfaendler held permanent or interim corporate positions such as Head Executive Compensation, Head Global Reward, Head International Personnel, of some large global corporations. Earlier in his corporate career he had management responsibility for business services and support functions in investment and retail bank operations (Finance, HR, Information Technology, Operations, infrastructure). He worked in large and small consulting firms as e.g. Director global employment solutions, Vice President corporate consulting, Partner, advising corporate management on international compensation, employment and HR Management. He worked in North America, UK, Germany, and Switzerland. In his career he oversaw or led teams from around the world.


Rick Watt
Executive Director, Global Total Rewards Network (“GTRN”)

Rick is the Director Total Rewards at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – a global foundation headquartered in Seattle, Washington. He leads the Benefits, Compensation and Global Mobility teams aligning services to support the foundation’s strategies and mission.

Rick’s experience in this area spans more than 25 years gaining experience with organizations including American Express, Wang Computers, PeopleSoft, Computer Sciences Corporation and Unisys. He has had geographical responsibility for Asia Pacific – during the height of the IT Outsourcing activity to India and China; Europe and Latin America. Over the past decade holding global roles and utilizing his experience in developing and implementing programs to meet today’s organizational needs.

The diverse need for talent at the world’s largest foundation have allowed Rick and his team to develop a variety of programs that align the employee experience to the core objectives of the foundation’s global mission including:

Global Mobility offerings to support the recruitment and transfer of talent supporting the countries that the foundation operates in as well as major initiatives such as providing leadership and technical support during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa;

Benefit Programs including the rollout of a 52 week paid Parental Leave Program globally as well as unlimited Paid Time Off program and opening an onsite Health and Wellness Clinic.

An organization-wide Compensation Program that supports the attraction and retention of talent that comes from more than 15 industry sectors to support the work of the foundation.


Jonathan Donner
Executive Director, Global Talent Innovation Network (“GTIN”)

Jonathan currently serves as Strategic Advisor and Chief of Capability Development for the World Food Programme (WFP), the food assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. His current role involves designing and implementing a world-class, long-term learning and development capability strategy for WFP, in support of 14,000 employees around the world. Key areas of focus include: creating learning governance, shaping a service and delivery infrastructure centered on an LMS; establishing a central and distributed expertise resource supporting key functional learning initiatives in areas such as logistics, nutrition, and emergency programmes; developing a leadership and supervisory curriculum for all employees; and guiding senior leadership assessment and development. Jonathan joined WFP last year from Unilever, one of the worlds leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods, where he most recently held the position of Vice President Learning and Capability Development. His responsibilities included: designing and delivering global leadership programmes through Unilevers Four Acres Leadership Centres in London and, more recently, the Singapore site; and managing the infrastructure which provides training to over 120,000 employees in over 100 countries. During his time with Unilever, Jonathan held a number of senior roles in Talent, Leadership Development and Learning, based in Singapore and London. 

Jonathan work has been featured as part of the teaching curriculum of Harvard Business School, in journals such as the Harvard Business Review and in many leadership books. Jonathan serves as Chairman of the NGO, Common Purpose Student Experiences (CPSE) http://commonpurpose.org/leadership/programmes/students/ one of the largest global societal leadership development programmes for students.


Cristina Grace
Executive Director, Global Talent Innovation Network (“GTIN”)

Cristina has been working with leaders and organizations internationally to achieve business and professional goals through coaching, strategic advice and hands-on execution for over two decades.

As a coach, she helps leaders to lead change effectively and amplify their contribution.  Her consulting practice focuses on helping clients build the requisite people capabilities through effective leadership development, talent buy & build approaches, culture shaping and organizational effectiveness outcomes.  She brings to all her work a passion for enabling others to perform at their best as well as to find purpose, clarity and joy in life’s journey.

Cristina established Grace Leadership in 2009 to support organizations undergoing major transformation with executive coaching, top team effectiveness work and organizational development consulting.  Most recently, she has completed a long assignment as the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Leadership, Talent and Learning for Royal Philips in Amsterdam, where she led the transformation of the company’s global approach to talent buy and build, leadership development, global learning, organizational culture, employee engagement and diversity & inclusion.

She was previously a Partner at Whitehead Mann (now part of Korn Ferry) where she worked with boards and executive teams to address leadership challenges.  She also led private equity firm 3i’s in-house portfolio company board-level recruitment function globally. Her early career was in strategy consulting with The Boston Consulting Group and investment banking.

Cristina holds an MBA at INSEAD in France and a B.A. (Hons) from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.  She is a qualified coach, and is certified as an NLP Practitioner and in a range of psychometric instruments.


Maureen Solero
Executive Director, Global Sourcing & Recruiting Network (“GSRN”)

A global talent executive with more than 25 years of experience, Maureen has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and North America.  She’s designed, developed and implemented award winning impactful talent strategies and practices that have delivered significant business results.  Her corporate experience includes CHRO and Chief Talent Officer roles with Jefferies (Broadview International); Deutsche Bank AG and Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Maureen is President of Transformational Leadership & Coaching, LLC where she designs and delivers leadership development and HR consulting projects and services.  She’s also an Executive Coach, working with executives and mid level professionals on further career development and business success. Maureen also works as an Associate Coach and Leadership Development Consultant with Lee Hecht Harrison, the world’s leader in career transition and leadership development services.

A frequent presenter at professional conferences and a published author, Maureen received her BS in communications from City University of New York and my MA in Organizational Development from New York University.  Her executive coaching credential was obtained through the Columbia University Program at Teacher’s College.

In addition, Maureen is a guest lecturer at Columbia University’s Coaching Program as well as at New York University, and is an active volunteer in several not for profit organizations in the Hudson Valley.  She’s a yoga practitioner studying to be a yoga teacher and enjoy integrating my studies into her coaching work and her life.


Dr. Anna Tavis
Facilitator & Subject Matter Expert, Innovation Radar Network – Performance Management

Dr. Tavis is a Senior Organizational Consultant and Partner at Global Lab Plus with an extensive global practice in business, academia, and consulting. Anna’s corporate career spans a broad variety of industries including financial services (banking and insurance), technology, manufacturing and pharmaceutical firms. Most recently, her consulting practice expanded in the nonprofit sector.

Dr. Tavis is currently on the faculty at New York University teaching graduate and senior level courses in the departments of Organizational Behavior and Change and in Master’s Program in HR Management. She is the Executive Editor of People and Strategy Journal, a highly regarded strategic practitioner focused publication of HRPS, a SHRM affiliate.

Her publications include:

Collection of edited essays: Point Counterpoint, New Perspectives on People and Strategy (SHRM in 2012.)

Co-author of Practicing Internal OD in Practicing Organizational Development (Pfeiffer, 2008)

RM Rilke’s Russia. A Cross Cultural Encounter. (Northwestern University Press 1994)

Dr. Tavis is on the Board of Human Resource People and Strategy Association; a member of the Brain Trust at NeuroLeadership Institute and an Advisory Board member at East West Institute. She holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and an Executive MBA certificate in International Business from University of South Carolina School of Business.


Freddye Silverman
Co-Executive Director, HR Technology Solutions Network

Freddye Silverman is an independent consultant and principal of Silver Bullet Solutions who has been in the HRIS field since 1986. Formerly Vice President of HR Technology Solutions at Cendant Corporation, she was responsible for technology strategic planning and oversight of global HR systems and the U.S. payroll system, serving 90,000 employees of multiple businesses in more than 50 countries. The businesses were in various sectors, including travel, hospitality, vehicle services, relocation, financial services, real estate and mortgage. She managed the outsourcing relationship for HRTS which began in 2004. Prior to her role at Cendant, she directed the HRIS area at PHH Corporation, an outsourcer of vehicle management, mortgage and relocation services to corporate customers.

Ms. Silverman has been actively involved in the International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM) since 1986, serving as Midatlantic chapter president for three years and as an Association board member for six years. She was President of the International Association in 1997. In the education area, she has been an adjunct professor in HRMS for Johns Hopkins University, an instructor in HRMS for the AMA, has made many presentations on related topics both in the U.S. and abroad and has published many journal articles. The most recent one is entitled ‘Versatility – the Key to Success in HRIS’ and appears in the December/January 2008 issue of IHRIM.link.;

Silverman has a B.A. in Spanish from Adelphi University, a master’s degree in Education from Towson University and taught Spanish at the secondary and university level for ten years before making a career change into I.T. and then specializing in HRIS.


Pat Crane
Co-Executive Director, HR Technology Solutions Network

Patrick Crane brings over 25 years of HR Technology Consulting and HR Operations experience to his role as Regional Vice President for Jeitosa Group International. Patrick’s most recent positions prior to joining Jeitosa, were as the Director of HR Operations for Dollar Financial Group (DFG) and Director of HR Services for VWR International. For both organizations Patrick lead the effort to create global HR shared services organization, enabled by the implementation of cloud-based, global HR technology solutions.

Patrick’s career prior to DFG and VWR, was spent equally divided between project management consulting engagements and direct employment, including extensive, multi-year positions in purely HR functional and IT management roles. His core competency and passion lie in establishing strategic direction for enterprise-wide global HR solutions, as well as their implementations and optimizations.

Patrick began his career at IBM as an HR Generalist and Employee Relations Advisor. As a consultant, he worked for The Hunter Group, ADP’s Enterprise Solutions Group and CapGemini, where he served as a project manager for over 15 ERP implementations. He also served as Corporate Systems Application Manager for Genesis Healthcare. Patrick received his MBA in Human Resources Management from the University of Connecticut and BA in Social Psychology from the University of Rochester. He also holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI).


Satish Pradhan
Executive Director, HR Innovation-Asia (“HRIN-Asia”)

Satish is currently Advisor, Tata Sons Limited. He was the Chief of Group Human Resources at Tata Sons from April 2001 to May 2013. Prior to joining the Tata Group in 2001, he was with ICI Plc in London at their Head Office leading the Organization Design & Development function.

Mr Pradhan has a Masters in History from Delhi University and has worked in several Public & Private Sector companies over the last 30 years. The companies that he has been associated with are – Steel Authority of India, CMC, ICI India, Brooke Bond Lipton India Ltd (now Unilever India) and ICI Plc in various capacities in the HR area.

Mr Pradhan is a Non-Executive Director at TAL Manufacturing Solutions and a member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees. He is also a Non-Executive Director at Tata Services Limited at the Headquarters of the Tata Group. He serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Tata AutoComp Systems Limited (TACO) and is a Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Tata Green Yuasa (TGY).

He is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD. He also supports the SAID Business School on their International Advisory Board and AIESEC on their Global Board. Mr. Pradhan is an active Board member on the National Advisory Board of Enactus in India, subsidiary of Enactus International (earlier known as SIFE) a Non-Profit organization.

Mr Pradhan is an avid naturalist and is on the Governing Council of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).


Barry Leskin
Moderator, Thought Leader Series

Barry Leskin is President of Talent Management Consulting which offers services primarily focused on the assessment and development of General Managers and the development of Business Acumen. During the past 4 years he has been engaged in business acumen work for Goldman Sachs, Agilent, Hewlett-Packard, Electronic Arts, British Petroleum, KLA-Tencor and others.

He has headed up Human Resources for 3 Fortune 500 companies (Sun Oil , Natomas/APL and HR Partner for Ernst & Young UK) and has been Chief Learning Officer for Chevron/Texaco and Ernst & Young. Barry also has extensive experience in academia. He served as Department Chairman, Organization and Management at the University of Southern California for 9 years (working with Bennis, Lawler, Kerr) and was Executive Director of the EMBA and Director of the Human Resource professional track.

Business and consulting work has taken Barry to Asia, Latin America, Africa, Australia and Europe. He has consulted extensively in the energy business, in professional services and more recently in the high tech area in Silicon Valley. He worked for 3 years on the General Electric WORKOUT program and has taught at GE Crotonville. He has consulted for Fortune 500 and global organizations such as GE, IBM. Hewlett Packard, and British Petroleum.

Barry started the Bay Area Executive Development Network 4 years ago. About 60 organizations have participated and he continues as its co-founder. He writes a monthly column for the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Myth and Reality in The Management of Human Resources” and he is on the Board of Directors for the Special Olympics and the East Bay Leadership Foundation.

Barry has BS and MS degrees in Organization and Human Resource Management from Temple University and has attended executive programs at Harvard and Columbia Universities.


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