Professors Without Borders Think Tank

With such an exciting agenda coming up for the workshop in September, we wanted to take the time to spotlight some of our very impressive panelists, with more to be featured in the future!

James Monckton

Panel 4: Higher Education and Entrepreneurship

After completing his degree in philosophy and theology, Jamie travelled to Syria and Jordan for a year studying Arabic. Following that he attended the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst where he was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards. After a combat tour of Afghanistan Jamie was promoted to Captain and moved across to the information and influence brigade of the army. After just a couple of months at 77 Brigade he was seconded to the UK Special Forces to lead and conduct information, influence and resistance operations in Iraq and Syria. He now works as a director in an intelligence, research and strategic communications agency on Whitehall in London.



Manish Singh

Panel 1: Skills for the 21st Century Job Market

Manish Singh is Chief Investment Officer (CIO) as Crossbridge Capital in London overseeing over $3.5 billion in multi-asset investments. He has previously worked at Societe General and at UBS Investment Bank. Manish is an expert in global macroeconomics and finance and is interviewed regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg TV.

Manish holds a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, India; a Masters degree in Finance & Management from Cranfield School of Management, UK; and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.

Manish has a very keen interest in government policy with a focus on economy and education. He was Head of Policy Research (2007-10) at Conservative City Future, a Policy Research Group of the Conservative party of the UK. He is an ex-member of the Milken Institute Young leaders circle (YLC).

Paola Diana

Panel 2: Students of Generation Z

Paola Diana is an entrepreneur, bestselling author and philanthropist. She is the Founder and Chairman of Diana Group, leader in the recruitment and lifestyle management sector, through its subsidiaries: Sigillus, Nanny & Butler and SupremePA, which have been recognized in The Spear’s 500 as one of London’s most influential service providers for high net worth individuals. Paola has also established herself as one of the leading lights in the literary world as a result of her bestselling book: ‘Saving the World. Women: the XXI’s Century Factor for Change’. Paola regularly speaks at conferences and she contributes regularly to TV and radio in the UK and Italy.


Sallyann Della Casa

Panel 3: Educating Educators

Sallyann Della Casa is the Lead Skills Hacker at GLEAC, an APP with a patent pending method bridging behavioral psychometrics, 21-century skill development and A.I. to help ‘us’ become more human.

She also is the Founder of the Growing Leaders Foundation which delivers 21-century skills to at risk students in schools and universities across the Mena region and Caribbean. She began her career as a corporate lawyer in the US.

Sallyann has a very diverse educational background and holds a doctorate, degrees and certifications in Law, Urban Planning, French and Italian and Organizational Behavior from Harvard University, University of Miami, St Thomas University and Franklin College. Sallyann describes herself as “constantly under construction!”

Sophie Le Ray

Panel 5: Building Bridges

Sophie Le Ray is an entrepreneur, an author and an experienced business facilitator. In 2002, she co-founded Naseba, a business facilitation company specialising in emerging markets. She was appointed CEO in 2009 and is responsible for overseeing the operations of the company across its offices in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, China, the US and Europe.

Sophie has over twenty years of experience in producing and organising business platforms and has been based in the Middle East for over a decade. She began a career in public relations before finding her niche in B2B conference production.

She is the founder and spokesperson of the Global Women in Leadership Economic Forum, a platform that promotes women’s economic empowerment and celebrates diversity and inclusion worldwide. She is also the co-author of ‘Game Changers: How Women in the Arab World Are Changing the Rules and Shaping the Future’, published by Motivate Publishing in May 2016 and winner of ‘The Best International Non-Fiction’ award at Sharjah International Book Fair, 2017.