Keynote & Honorees
Jeffrey Housenbold (TPR'91)
President and CEO, Shutterfly Inc.
Jeffrey Housenbold, an Andrew Carnegie Presidential Scholar, is one of the most successful new-media entrepreneurs in the world with a successful track record of building profitable, online consumer brands by artfully combining commerce and community. As president and CEO, he has been the driving force behind Shutterfly Inc.'s transformation from an online photofinisher into a personal publishing and social expression platform, used every day by tens of millions worldwide to tell their personal stories.
Under Housenbold's leadership, Shutterfly Inc. has been recognized for both its business achievements and its distinctive company culture. Shutterfly Inc. was named as one of the Top Ten Fastest Growing Tech Companies by Forbes magazine, and it has received numerous accolades as a great place to work. Housenbold has been recognized as an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year and a Most Admired CEO by the San Francisco Times. He was named one of the "40 Under 40" by both BusinessWeek and Corporate Leader magazines and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Newsweek. Housenbold is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox News, Bloomberg, NBC and PBS.
Before joining Shutterfly Inc., Housenbold was vice president of Business Development & Internet Marketing at eBay, where he managed customer acquisition and retention. He also served as vice president of Corporate Development at WinStar Communications and as manager and co-founder of Accenture's Media & Entertainment Strategy Group.
Housenbold serves on the board of directors of Shutterfly Inc.; Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the world's largest casino entertainment company; Groupon, the leading online marketplace for local deals; and Chegg, the online student hub. He also serves as a special industry advisor to KKR & Co. L.P. Housenbold has formerly served on the board of directors of several leading venture backed companies including Touch Commerce, There Inc., Digital Chocolate and Clover. He has also served on the board of directors of the nationally recognized Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose.
Jeffrey Housenbold is a trustee of Carnegie Mellon University.
Student Speaker & Honorary Degree Recipients
Student Speaker Bryan M. Lewis (E'13,'14)
Bryan Lewis is a self-described "Social Engineer" with a deep interest in U.S. energy policies and renewable energy technologies.
Originally from Southfield, Michigan, he is receiving a master's of science in energy science, technology, and policy; he received his bachelor's in civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon in 2013.
At Carnegie Mellon, Lewis has distinguished himself, both in his academic work and in service to the university community. He was an Arthur C. Ruge Scholar, a Tom Johnson Engineering and Public Policy Fellowship Awardee, and (for three years) the corporate liaison for the National Society of Black Engineers.
Lewis has held internships in energy policy at the U.S. Department of Energy, where he worked to reduce the costs of installing, permitting and inspecting PV (photovoltaic) panels for solar power, and at the Center for American Progress where he published articles discussing how to achieve a clean energy future.
Lewis believes that this clean energy future is achievable and is passionate about ensuring that it is also equitable. He wants to develop and employ financing methods to encourage the adoption of clean energy technologies among America's poor and disadvantaged.
Honorary Degree Recipient Manfred Honeck
Music Director, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Doctor of Fine Arts
Manfred Honeck has been music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2008. He has thrilled sellout crowds in the Pittsburgh Symphony's home at Heinz Hall and around the globe with his emotionally stirring interpretations of Mahler, Beethoven, Strauss, Bruckner and other symphonic masters.
He has also opened up the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to a wider audience by creating new opportunities to experience symphonic music, including a series of "Music for the Spirit" concerts around the city, a popular program of Strauss waltzes every Thanksgiving, and an annual "Composer in Residence" program that explores the work of contemporary American composers. He has led the Pittsburgh Symphony in acclaimed performances across Europe and the Far East. His work with the Pittsburgh Symphony has been captured in several recordings, among them is Mahler's Symphony No. 4 that won a 2012 Classical Music Award. These recordings are available on Japanese label Exton. Honeck's successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now captured by Reference recordings. The first super audio CD−of Strauss tone poems−was released in fall 2013 and received rave reviews.
Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado in Vienna and went on to conducting posts in Zurich, Leipzig and Oslo. From 2000 to 2006, he was music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and he is principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Honeck is also in demand as a guest conductor with opera companies throughout Europe.
As a sought-after guest conductor, Honeck has performed with the leading orchestras of the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The New York Times has called his conducting "compelling" and "luminous," and noted that orchestra members seemed "inspired" by Maestro Honeck's direction.
Honorary Degree Recipient John Wells (A'79)
Writer, Producer and Director
Doctor of Fine Arts
John Wells is one of the most influential and successful writer-producer-directors working in American film and television today.
He was the creative force behind two of television's most popular and acclaimed programs of the past two decades, "ER" and "The West Wing." "ER" was one of television's most-watched dramas for 15 seasons and won 23 Emmy awards. "The West Wing," a drama about the lives of White House staffers, ran for seven seasons and won four Outstanding Drama Series Emmys, 23 other Emmys and many additional awards. Wells' most recent work in television includes the TNT series "Southland" and Showtime's "Shameless."
Wells and his colleagues at John Wells Productions have produced a number of recent notable films, including "Duma," "White Oleander" and "The Good Thief." In 2013, Wells produced and directed "August: Osage County," which starred Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, and received two Academy Award nominations.
He also has brought award-winning works to the stage, including productions of "Judgment," "Balm in Gilead," "Battery" and "She Also Dances."
Wells has continued his engagement with the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon, returning often for visits. In 2010, he endowed the John Wells Directing Program at the school.
Wells was awarded the 2005 David Susskind Achievement Award in Television from the Producers Guild of America, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Paddy Chayefsky Award by the Writers Guild of America for his work in television. He also has served as a president of the Writers Guild of America.
Honorary Degree Recipient Telle Whitney
President and CEO, Anita Borg Institute
Doctor of Science and Technology
Telle Whitney has served as president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) since 2002. ABI provides support and networking for women in technical fields and "was founded on the belief that women are vital to building technology that the world needs." Under Whitney's leadership, ABI has expanded opportunities for women, and opened the door for women to make new and varied contributions to the computing professions.
Whitney has 20 years of experience in the semiconductor and telecommunications industries. She has held senior technical management positions with Malleable Technologies (now PMC-Sierra) and Actel Corporation. She served as the secretary treasurer of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in 2003-2004, and is currently co-chair of the ACM Distinguished Member Committee.
Whitney has been a member of the National Science Foundation Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering and the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate Advisory Committee, and is a co-founder of the National Center for Women and Information Technology. She serves on advisory boards for Caltech, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and Illuminate Ventures.
Whitney has received numerous awards and honors, including the ACM Distinguished Service Award, the Marie Pistilli Women in EDA Achievement Award and the Women's Venture Fund Highest Leaf Award. She was also one of the San Jose Business Journal's "Top 100 Women of Influence."
Whitney received her Ph.D. from Caltech and her bachelor's degree from the University of Utah, both in computer science.