Amber Scorah is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is author of the memoir Leaving the Witness, published by Viking Books.
After growing up in the Jehovah's Witness faith, Amber learned Mandarin and moved to Mainland China to become an underground missionary. In China, encountering a new culture and making friends outside the faith for the first time, Amber came to question the beliefs she had been taught from childhood and ended up leaving the religion. Shunned by family and friends as an apostate, Scorah was alone in Shanghai and thrown into a world she had only known from the periphery, with no education or support system.
Amber was creator and host of the podcast Dear Amber—The Insider's Guide to Everything China, one of iTunes' Top 10 Podcasts of 2008. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, The Boston Globe, The Cut, The Globe and Mail and USA Today. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture by Brooklyn Magazine.
American government official
Daniel B. Poneman, author of Double Jeopardy: Combating Nuclear Terror and Climate Change, is president and CEO of Centrus Energy Corp., and a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
His public service under Presidents Obama, Clinton and George H.W. Bush included over five years as Deputy Secretary of Energy and nearly four years as Special Assistant to the President on the National Security Council staff. His third book, Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis, received the 2005 Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy.
Ten years ago, after 25 years of military service as an intelligence officer, Ilan Garibi realized that a military career was not for him. He retired at the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel and decided to change his life's course. Today he is a full-time origami artist, specializing in origami tessellations, with around 200 original models.
Garibi has been teaching origami for industrial designers at the Holon Institute of Technology for the last five years. He is also the founder and CEO (volunteering) of Origamisrael, the promoter and manager of the first-ever international convention for origami creators, co-editor of the Origami USA magazine and the author of Origami Tessellations for Everyone.
Garibi is one of the very few people who can fold metal into a tessellation, as well as wood, glass, leather, fabric and more. Garibi created a collection of brass jewelry, all folded, as well as art pieces folded from stainless steel and installed in various locations all over the world.
A native of Los Angeles, Grammy® nominated drummer Sammy Miller has become known for his relentless focus on making music that feels good as a drummer, singer and bandleader.
Upon completing his master's at The Juilliard School, Sammy formed his ensemble, Sammy Miller and The Congregation. They are on a mission to bring generosity back to jazz and art back to the people. From venues including the White House, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl, and with special guests Wynton Marsalis, Rhiannon Giddens and Pedrito Martinez, Sammy is always intent on spreading joy. After the success of his genre-bending theatre show, Great Awakening, Ars Nova commissioned Sammy to write The Last Medicine Show.
Get onboard: @smcongregation
Psychiatrist and PTSD specialist
In 2007, Shaili Jain was a psychiatrist comfortably ensconced in private practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During a spring road trip with her father, she stumbled upon the truth of what happened to his family during the 1947 Partition of India. Her father's testimony spurred her on a new career path, committed to advancing the science of psychological trauma and unlocking the secrets of what fosters human resilience after surviving the unspeakable.
Today Dr. Jain is a PTSD specialist at one of America's top VA hospitals, a trauma scientist at the National Center for PTSD and a clinical associate professor affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
In her book The Unspeakable Mind, she paints a textured portrait of PTSD, drawing on two decades she spent caring for survivors, her own family history of trauma, cutting edge neuroscience and conversations with top scientists in the field.
Dr. Yonatan Stelzer is an expert in the emerging field of epigenetics. Although every cell in the body contains the exact same DNA, epigenetics allows interruption of the genetic code in many different ways, determining which cells become muscle cells, and others nerve or skin cells. His research tackles fundamental questions concerning the roles of epigenetics in determining and maintaining cell identity. By decoding epigenetics in a normal developmental context, he is hoping to learn how these key processes can go awry, leading to diseases and cancer.
Dr. Stelzer earned his BSc, MSc and PhD in less than seven years from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2014 he became a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, working in the laboratory of stem cell pioneer Prof. Rudolf Jaenisch. In 2017, he joined the Weizmann Institute's Department of Molecular Cell Biology. He has long been active in his local community, volunteering with high-risk Israeli youth and critically ill Palestinian children.