2023 Pacific Summit Explores Key Trends, Issues and Challenges

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The Klamath hosted its first-ever Pacific Summit this week (June 20) with top leaders in business, government, and academia converging for an engaging afternoon of discussion and relationship-building, with opening remarks from Presenting Sponsor Kaiser Permanente’s Kevin Hart, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development and Technology, Northern California, and Bay Area Council Chair Kausik Rajgopal, Executive Vice President, People and Sourcing for PayPal. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao joined Papia Gambelin, Managing Director, State and Local Government Affairs for United Airlines, for a conversation on the work they are doing to revitalize their cities’ economies and address the key challenges of homelessness and crime. Well-known political journalists Marisa Lagos and Phil Matier joined Council CEO Jim Wunderman for an unvarnished discussion on California’s politics and whether Gov. Newsom will make a run for the White House. With San Francisco getting set to host the historic APEC Leaders Summit this fall, East West Bank Senior Vice President and Head of Global Public Affairs Travis Kiyota talked with U.S. Senior Official for APEC Matthew Murray and Sean Elsbernd, Chief of Staff to Mayor Breed, about preparing for the event and what it means for the city, the region and the future of the broader Asia-Pacific region. 

Addressing rising public concerns about crime and public safety, Council Vice Chair and Hanson Bridgett Managing Partner Kristina Lawson District talked with SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and Stanford criminal justice professor David Sklansky about solutions. Delta Dental Vice President of Public and Government Affairs Jeff Album led an informative conversation on trends in healthcare with Kaiser’s Kevin Hart, Sutter Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bill Isenberg and UCSF Chief Strategy Officer Tim Kan. Alaska Airlines Director of Sustainability Scott Coughlin talked with Ken Wu, Executive Director of Sustainability for Gilead, on the outsized role of large corporations in achieving aggressive global net-zero emissions goals. And PayPal Senior Vice President of Human Resources Tami Cabaniss led a discussion on the future of DEI with April Alvarez, Global Head, Women, Latinx and Indigenous Communities and Programs for Google, and Thomas Sexton, Senior Director, Diversity, Equity and Belonging, LinkedIn. 

The afternoon concluded with a fascinating and thought-provoking conversation on the opportunities and threats of AI that Rudy Reyes, Regional Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Verizon, led with Mark Nitzberg, Executive Director, UC Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI, and Tawanda Sibanda, Partner at McKinsey. 

Overall, the afternoon provided a wealth of ideas and solutions for a better future in the Bay Area. While our region continues to recover from the pandemic and fight for change on housing, homelessness, the climate crisis, and more, it was heartening to see so many great minds join together to engage on the most important issues. 

From the entire team at the Bay Area Council, our deepest gratitude goes out to our presenting sponsor Kaiser Permanente whose consistent support makes great events like the Pacific Summit possible. We also want to thank all our Innovator, Trailblazer, Champion, and Leader sponsors. The important work the Council does on behalf of the Bay Area is because of you. We can’t wait to host you again at our Annual Dinner and Business Hall of Fame Awards. Stay tuned for an announcement coming soon. 

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