Meet the Keynote

Fanta Traore

We are excited to announce Fanta Traore, co-founder of the Sadie Collective, as this year's conference keynote speaker.

In 2018, Fanta Traore co-founded the Sadie Collective, the only organization dedicated to addressing the pipeline and pathway access for Black women in economics and related fields. The Collective has been featured on NPR, Fortune, Forbes, and the World Economic Forum.

Fanta is currently pursuing a joint MPP and MBA degree at Yale University. Prior to attending Yale, she worked as a senior research assistant in the Federal Reserve System’s International Finance division and spent nearly a decade in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem, working for Echoing Green and the Anzisha Prize. She has been recognized as a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum and is on the Board of Directors of WAKE Academy, an all-girls school in Guinea.

Fanta speaks four languages and has worked across Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a proud alumna of Howard University where she obtained dual degrees in economics and political science and graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.


Chancellor Rebecca Blank

We are proud to share that our conference features opening remarks from respected economist and University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

Rebecca Blank is an internationally respected economist, public servant, and current Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Chancellor Blank served as Deputy Secretary and Acting Secretary of Commerce under President Obama and was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. She previously worked as Dean and Professor of Public Policy and Economics in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Chancellor Blank has also been a member of the faculty at Northwestern and Princeton Universities and is a former fellow at the Brookings Institution. She previously served on the board of directors of the Economic Policy Institute, MDRC, and the Urban Institute. Blank was a long-time faculty affiliate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, vice president of the American Economic Association, and president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Chancellor Blank earned her B.S. in Economics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and her PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Meet Our Speakers, Panelists, and Presenters


Dr. Susan Dynarski

Professor of Economics

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor


Mary Gage

Vice President of Business & Community Development

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation


Anita Knotts

Founder & CEO

LOTUS Women's Institute


Cindy Ivanac-Lillig

Director of Media Relations

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago


Dr. Lauren Schmitz

Assistant Professor of Public Affairs

University of Wiconsin-Madison


Carrie Zethmayr

President & Partner

Zethmayr Consulting


Corissa Pennow, JD

Associate Attorney

Ogletree Deakins

Morgan Klaeser

Senior Research Analyst

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston


Rebecca Royer

PhD Candidate in Behavioral Economics

University of California-San Diego


Lindsey Jacques

J.D. Candidate

University of San Diego School of Law


Mary Morris

Advisory Associate

Grant Thornton Public Sector


Juliette Richert

Venture Associate

The Artemis Fund


Dr. Marcella Alsan

Professor of Public Policy

Harvard University


Dr. Cesi Cruz

Assistant Professor of Political Science

University of California-Los Angeles


Anastasia Razumova, CPA

Assistant Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis

QBE North America


Stacey Everton, JD

Judicial Law Clerk

Delaware Superior Court


Ilsa May

Economics Career & Outreach Coordinator

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Brandi Beals

Manager of Data Analytics

Artisan Partners

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Lois Miller

PhD Candidate in Economics

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Erika Frost

PhD Candidate in Economics

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Natalie Duncombe

PhD Candidate in Economics

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Nisha Chikhale

PhD Candidate in Economics

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Clare Porter

Professional Outreach Chair

National Conference on Women in Economics


Emma Lai


Women in Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Andrea Clark

General Manager


Yemi Ajagbe

Customer Account Manager II