Bringing Together the Leaders of Localization and Beyond

by Drew Evans
7 Minute Read

Editor's Note: Ascend 2020 has passed. To access Ascend 2020 on-demand, click here to access all of the recorded sessions and panels.

We can’t wait for Ascend 2020 to kick off in just a few days. And with our fall conference comes a list of extraordinary speakers that we’re looking forward to hearing from. We wanted to highlight a bit about each of our speakers to share who they are, what they’ve done, and why they’ll provide great insights.


Loïc Dufresne de Virel
Head of Localization at Intel 

Loïc Dufresne de Virel, a 20-year industry veteran, is currently the Head of Localization at Intel. Loïc has significant experience in and direct involvement with all aspects of localization, internationalization, translation, translation memory tools, QA, interpretation, voice-overs, and more.

In addition to managing advanced localization projects involving language models and multilingual speech recognition engines, Loïc also has direct ownership for functional areas such as innovation and business operations. Loïc received his MBA from IAE France, and his MSc from ESTP Paris.

Loïc will be speaking on Leadership in a Time of Change on October 22nd at 9:00 am PDT.


Tom Davenport
Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, Babson College 

Tom Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, fellow of the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy, and a senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics. 

Davenport has been at the forefront of the process innovation, knowledge management, and analytics and big data movements. He has been named one of the world’s Top 3 Business/Technology Analysts, and one of the 100 Most Influential People in the IT Industry. He has written or edited 20 books and over 250 print or digital articles for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, the Financial Times, and more. 

Davenport earned his doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at the Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, the Tuck School of Business, Boston University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Tom will be speaking on AI and the Future of Work Now on October 22nd at 9:30 am PDT.


Alessandra Binazzi
Head of Global Localization at ASICS Digital

Alessandra Binazzi is a 20 year multilingual professional with a range of experiences across international markets and customers. Proficient in all major European languages, Alessandra has dedicated her professional life to marketing, selling, supporting, and educating customers on all continents. 

University educated in Boston, MA, she was exposed to global technology companies from the beginning of her career, with particular focus on localization and multilingual digital content. 

Alessandra will be speaking on Optimizing Speed to Market While Maintaining High Quality on October 22nd at 10:15 am PDT.


Paul Buckley
Localization Project Manager at Canva, 30 minutes

Paul Buckley is a Localization Project Manager at Canva, where he currently manages Canva’s large and constantly growing localization needs. Paul’s career has always led him to the intersection of language and technology. Prior to Canva, Paul worked at Google as a Program Manager, where he was responsible for outreach program and localization vendor management, as well as in a number of other roles circling the localization and globalization industry. Paul received his BA in Linguistics from the University of Sydney.

Paul will be speaking on Navigating Complex Content Localization on October 22nd at  12:15 pm PDT.


Kyunghyun Cho
Associate Professor of Computer Science and Data Science at New York University

Kyunghyun Cho is an associate professor of computer science and data science at New York University and CIFAR Associate Fellow. He was a research scientist at Facebook AI Research from June 2017 to May 2020 and a postdoctoral fellow at University of Montreal through Summer 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Yoshua Bengio

He received his PhD and MSc degrees from Aalto University in April 2011 and April 2014, respectively, under the supervision of Prof. Juha Karhunen, Dr. Tapani Raiko, and Dr. Alexander Ilin

Kyunghyun will be speaking on The Future of Translation on October 22nd at 10:45 am PDT.


Shaun Johnson
Head of Product at Lilt

Shaun Johnson is the Head of Product and Interim Head of Engineering at Lilt. With 15+ years managing product development and strategy, Shaun has built innovative people-centric products and experiences his entire career. Most recently, Shaun led product at NimbleRx, and Paypal prior to that. Shaun received his MBA at UC Berkeley, his MSEE at  Stanford, and his BSEE at UT Austin.

Shaun will be speaking on Lilt Features: Localization Tools for Success on October 22nd at 11:30 am PDT.


Paula Shannon
Chief Evangelist at Lilt

Paula (Barbary) Shannon is the Chief Evangelist at Lilt. Paula previously served for 20 years at Lionbridge as the CSO of Lionbridge’s $300M Global Localization and Translation division, where she ensured the continued delivery of innovation and execution excellence. Prior to Lionbridge, Paula was the chief marketing and sales officer for ALPNET, Inc. (now SDL), and held a number of senior roles at Berlitz International. 

In 2008, Paula was named to the "Women in the Lead — Femmes de Tête”, and in 2006, she was honored with a Women in Business award as “Best Canadian Executive.”  Educated in the United States and Belgium, she holds a BA in Russian and German with a minor in linguistics from McGill University in Montréal, Canada. 

Paula will be hosting the Women in Localization Networking Event: Coffee and Conversation event on October 22nd at 7:15 am PDT.


Spence Green
CEO and Co-Founder at Lilt

Spence Green is the CEO at Lilt, the SF-based localization services provider on a mission to be expert partners for the world’s hardest language problems. Spence received a PhD in computer science from Stanford University, where he focused on the intersection of natural language processing and human-computer interaction. Prior to Stanford, Spence received a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Virginia. 

Spence will be speaking on Building Digital Community Through Localization on October 22nd at 8:15 am PDT.


John DeNero
Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Lilt

John DeNero is the Chief Scientist at Lilt. In addition to his role at Lilt, John serves as the Giancarlo Teaching Fellow in the UC Berkeley EECS department. John is the author of Composing Programs and co-author of Computational and Inferential Thinking, and his research focuses both on natural language processing and computer science education.  Prior to becoming a professor, John was a senior research scientist at Google working on Google Translate and natural language processing.

He received his Masters in Philosophy from Stanford University and his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2010.

John will be speaking with Kyunghyun Cho on The Future of Translation on October 22nd at 10:45 am PDT.


Register for Free

Lilt Ascend is a fully virtual live event, completely free of charge. If you’re interested in joining the conversation, join us on October 22nd at Lilt Ascend 2020. For more information, please visit or reach out to