Conference Luncheon Speakers


Brian Sandoval

The Governor is the highest-ranking constitutional officer in Nevada, and serves as the state’s Chief Executive. He is responsible for coordinating the work of all state agencies, recommends the budget to the Legislature and serves on many state boards and commissions.

Brian Sandoval was elected the 30th Governor of Nevada in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. In 2005 he was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Nevada and in 2002 he was elected Attorney General of Nevada. He has previously served the Nevada Gaming Commission and in the Nevada Legislature.

His accomplishments as Governor include work to make Nevada the most veteran and military-friendly state in the nation, innovative gaming policy and sweeping reforms to the state’s public education system.

During the 2015 Legislative Session a comprehensive plan to provide additional support to military veterans and their families through educational, employment and healthcare services was signed by the Governor. In addition to these policy changes, he also pursued substantial funding for veterans initiatives including state-match funding for construction of the Northern Nevada Veterans Home.

The Governor has also directed regulation and innovation for gaming policy. By setting the pace and standards through pioneering legislation and state policy he continues to identify the potential within the industry for interactive gaming, skill-based games and other developments in this evolving industry.

The hallmark of the Governor’s administration is his vision for transforming and modernizing Nevada’s education system. An unprecedented investment to reform Nevada’s education system was enacted in 2015 which will provide targeted programs to boost student achievement and equip students and teachers with the tools for success as innovators, job creators, and leaders of the new Nevada economy.

The Governor has held several national positions during his tenure including the chairmanships of the Western Governors Association, the Education Commission of the States, and the Council of State Governments. He also serves as a member of the Council of Governors for the National Governor’s Association.

The Governor is married to Kathleen, his wife of 26 years, who is the Director of Operations for the Children’s Cabinet and has three children, James, Maddy, and Marisa.


Mridaul Gautam, PhD
Vice President for Reasearch and Innovation, University of Nevada Reno
Mridul Gautam, PhD, works to inspires the shared vision for world-class research and innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno. As Vice President for Research and Innovation, he leads the divisional team that supports research, scholarly and artistic endeavors, discovery, innovation and commercialization. Since joining the University in 2013, he has helped usher in new ideas, collaborations and partnerships both on and off campus. The former Associate Vice President for Research at West Virginia University (WVU) and Vice President for the WVU Research Corporation is an internationally recognized expert and researcher in the area of heavy-duty mobile source exhaust emissions, aerosol sampling, and particulate matter measurement, characterization and control. Dr. Gautam serves on the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities' Council on Research Executive Committee.