Breakthrough Inspiration Awards 2016: Bios



Dinesh Paliwal

Dinesh Paliwal is chairman, president and chief executive officer of HARMAN, the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets. Prior to joining HARMAN in 2007, he spent 22 years with ABB Group, where he last held the dual role of president of ABB Group and chairman and CEO of ABB North America.

Paliwal serves on the boards of Bristol-Myers Squibb, the U.S.-India Business Council, and the Business Advisory Council of the Farmer School of Business, Miami University. He also is a member of the CEO Business Roundtable and the U.S.-India CEO Forum. Previously, he served on the boards of Tyco, ADT, the U.S.-China Business Council, the National Symphony Orchestra, and Embarq, and as chairman of ABB India. Paliwal acted as chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council, and he served as economic advisor to the governor of Guangdong province in China.

Paliwal holds a master’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Roorkee). He also earned master’s degrees in applied science and engineering and in business administration from Miami University of Ohio. He was named to Fortune magazine’s “Business Person of the Year” list in 2014.

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Ila Paliwal

Ila started her vocal training with Late Pandit Sitaram Vyavhare of Gwalior Gharana at the age of 12. Over the years Ila has had a great fortune to learn from the Indian classical music stalwarts of Jaipur Gharana: Mrs. Padma Talwalkar, Mrs. Arati Ankalikar and Pandit Raghunandan Panshikar. Ila travels to India frequently to further her musical quest with her gurus. She has performed all over the world including India, USA, China, Switzerland and Dubai.

She received her BA in English, Economics, Music and Fine Arts from Dayalbagh University, Agra and was awarded Director’s highest medal. She received MA in Fine Arts from Agra University. She also received her MA (Sangeet Praveen) with distinction in Hindustani classical vocal music from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. She received a BA in Mandarin (Chinese) from Language and Culture Institute, Beijing, China and worked as cross cultural consultant in Beijing China.

In last 25 years, Ila has lived in six countries on four continents and during this time, she has chaired many cultural committees and served on international school boards. Ila supports several philanthropic organizations in the US and India. She works with local organizations to promote Indian classical music in the US and regularly hosts visiting artists.

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Amy Ziering

Amy Ziering is a two-time Emmy Award–winning and Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker. Her most recent film, The Hunting Ground — a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on college campuses— premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, was released by Radius/The Weinstein Company and CNN, is the 2016 recipient of the Producer Guild of America’s Stanley Kramer award, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Her previous film, The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigation into the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military, won the Audience Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, won two 2014 Emmy Awards for Best Documentary and Outstanding Investigative Journalism and was nominated for an Oscar. The film spurred Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to announce significant policy changes and catalyzed the passing of 35 pieces of reform legislation in Congress. Her previous film, Outrage, which received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, is an indictment of the hypocrisy of powerful, closeted politicians and the institutions that protect them. Ziering also co-directed and produced Derrida, a documentary about the world-renowned French philosopher.

She is the 2012 recipient of the Nestor Almendros Prize for Courage and Filmmaking, the 2013 Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize, the 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Producer – News/Non-Fiction and the 2013 Peabody Award.

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Dr. Giovanni Caforio

Giovanni Caforio joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2000, and has served as the CEO since January, 2015. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, Giovanni spent 12 years with Abbott Laboratories in a number of leadership positions. Born and educated in Italy, Giovanni received his M.D. from the University of Rome. In addition to Italian and English, he is fluent in Spanish, French, and Portuguese. He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

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Miri Ben-Ari

Miri Ben-Ari is a Grammy Award-winning violinist/producer, UN Goodwill Ambassador, humanitarian. Originally from Israel, she is a recognized musical pioneer, having created her own unique sound – a revolutionary fusion of classical, soul and dance music. She has worked with artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z and Armin Van Buuren and has been honored by First Lady, Michelle Obama at the White House as a “Remarkable Woman”. Ben-Ari is the CEO and co-founder of “Gedenk,” a nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness of the Jewish Holocaust and tolerance among young people. She also received the 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

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Bill Phan

Bill Phan is currently a senior studying sports communication at Indiana University. Bill was born and raised in the inner-city of Chicago where he first started his work as a community activist. He is the past chapter president of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the past director of Men Against Rape & Sexual Assault (MARS). Bill is passionate about empowering his peers to step up and create a culture of care for all.

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Will McElhaney

Will McElhaney is a junior studying business economics in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He is the current president of Kappa Delta Rho at Indiana University and Director of Policy for Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault (MARS). Will was born in Santa Claus Indiana, a small town in Southern Indiana. Will is passionate about raising awareness of the ways that IU perpetuates rape culture, and working with his fellow MARS members as well as members of other organizations such as RAISE, to help remedy the issues.

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Judy Gold

Judy Gold has written and starred in 2 critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway hit shows: The Judy Show – My Life As A Sitcom, (Outer Critics Circle Nom) and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, (Glaad Media Award – Outstanding NY Theater, Drama Desk Nom – Actor). Judy will be co-starring in the all female The Taming Of The Shrew for NYC’s 2016 season of Shakespeare in the Park.

Judy is an ambassador for The Hetrick Martin Institute, and on the board of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Judy won 2 Emmy Awards for writing and producing The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

Judy will appear in the upcoming seasons of Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Hulu’s Difficult People, and the new TBS show Search Party. Judy can be seen doing stand-up regularly at NYC’s top comedy clubs including The Comedy Cellar, Carolines, and Eastville Comedy Club, and recently had a sold-out run at Feinstein’s 54 Below. Judy’s popular weekly podcast “Kill Me Now,” is on CBS’ network and can be downloaded at or on iTunes.

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