Cisco LGBT & Advocates Speaker Series

Collaboration is Hard:
How to Work within Conflicting Points of View

As today's business environment continues to expand across regions and generations, working with conflict both internally and externally becomes more prevalent.

Join us to learn how to handle these situations and maintain a productive environment:

  • Community leaders will share their experiences in achieving equal rights, both locally and globally
  • Our panel will discuss best practices that can be applied to your own workplace, helping you collaborate and pool resources together to achieve a common goal

The event recording is now available..


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Our Featured Speakers

Boris Dittrich

Hon. Boris Dittrich
Director, LGBT Rights Program,
Human Rights Watch

Member Netherlands Parliament 1994-2006
Sponsored NL same sex marriage legislation



Evan LowHon. Evan Low
Campbell, California


Youngest Asian and Gay Mayor in USA 2009




Sherri Liebo

Sherri Liebo
VP Segment Marketing,
Cisco Services






Collaboration is Hard - How to Work within Conflicting Points of View

Across business and public policy, all of us are being tasked to work with teams that are increasingly global and diverse. But while diversity can add strength to a team, it can also introduce disagreement. In business, this sometimes means working with internal conflict and even industry competitors. In public policy, it can mean working with those with differing goals and principles.





Doors Open




When is Collaboration really cooperation? And when is it conspiring with the enemy? How can you make progress on issues that are divisive and controversial?


Hon. Boris Dittrich

Throughout his career in public service, Boris has led his community to expand the recognition of LGBT rights. He helped lead the Netherlands to be the first country to recognize gay marriage. Learn how he led his fellow Members of Parliament to support his initiatives.


Hon. Evan Low

At age 26, Mr. Low was among the youngest Mayors in the United States. As both an Asian-American and gay man, he brought unique perspectives to the office. Hear how Mr. Low worked through conflicts and built coalitions in city government.


Panel and Q & A

Join us for Questions and Answers with the entire speaker panel, moderated by Ms. Sherri Liebo.


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As part of our June 2011 Pride Month Celebration, the Cisco GLBT & Advocates Employee Resource Group in cooperation with our Cisco Asian Affinity Network Employee Resource Group is proud to present two respected leaders of our communities to share their lessons and style to successfully collaborate with others - even when they are in conflict.

Our speakers will share how they persevered within their government, business and public circles and structures to overcome obstacles and gain cooperation on their most valued initiatives. Please join us as we learn how they used an arsenal of collaborative techniques to achieve success in public service.

The views presented represent those of the speakers and not of the Employee Resource Group or Cisco.

Mr. Boris Dittrich is a human rights advocate who works with leaders across Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe to promote LGBT rights with governments, members of parliament and civil society. He co-organized the launch of the Yogyakarta Principles, principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, at the United Nations in New York.

Prior to his work at Human Rights Watch, Mr. Dittrich was a member of the Dutch Parliament for over 12 years and is recognized as one of its most productive members.  He was awarded Knighthood in the Order of Orange Nassau by Queen Beatrix for his legislative contributions including his sponsorship of legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in the Netherlands.  This legislation made the Netherlands the first country to assign equal marriage rights to its lesbian and gay citizens.

Mr. Evan Low was elected in November 2006 as a member of the Campbell City Council. As a community leader, local city councilmember and mayor, Evan Low has worked for over a decade to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing Silicon Valley. He has been a regional leader on a diverse range of issues including job creation, protecting the environment, civil rights, transparency in government and fiscal reform.

Mr. Low was elected by the Campbell City Council to serve as Mayor for 2010. At age 26, he became one of the youngest gay men and Asian-Americans to ever be elected to the office of mayor in the United States. He was reelected to the Campbell City Council in 2010 and he is a declared candidate for California's 24th Assembly District Representative in 2012.

Ms. Sherri Liebo is Vice President of customer segment marketing and communications for the global services organization of Cisco. Cisco Services aims to help solve the toughest challenges in business and society with architectural solutions enabled by the network as the platform. It is an $8 billion global business, representing more than 20% of Cisco's total revenue.

Ms. Liebo leads the Segment Marketing team with responsibility for the services solution offerings to the enterprise, commercial, and small business segments. She also leads a team of global communications professionals to develop market positioning, messaging, collateral and global campaigns in support of the Corporate and Services business strategy.

In addition to her primary function, Ms. Liebo serves as Co-Executive Sponsor for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Advocates Employee Resource Group. As a member of Cisco's Global Inclusion and Diversity Board, she is responsible for guiding Cisco policy and engagement with Cisco's employees, partners, customers and suppliers.

Ms. Liebo holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida. She also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

The LGBT&A Speaker Series

Judy Shepard - September 13, 2010

Replacing prejudice with understanding, compassion and acceptance - at home and in the workplace.

Inaugurated in September 2010, the LGBT & Advocates Speaker Series is produced by the Cisco Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Advocates Employee Resource Group, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.  The series is designed to bring recognized community leaders to speak to the Cisco family and our Silicon Valley neighbors on current topics vital to the GLBT community.  The views presented represent those of the speakers and not necessarily those of the Employee Resource Group or Cisco.

The series supports Cisco's culture of Inclusion & Diversity and the policies that underpin that culture. It visibly demonstrates Cisco's commitment to boldly promoting acceptance of bringing your whole self to work. All employees are encouraged to fully participate in building strong teams as it is understood that this fosters the greatest number of ideas, the fastest path to plan formulation, and best way to exchange and transfer knowledge.

About Cisco GLBT & Advocates ERG, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

The GLBT & Advocates ERG chapter is a volunteer employee organization chartered by Cisco's Inclusion and Diversity organization. Our mission is to create a climate where GLBT employees and their allies are a respected part of Cisco and can contribute fully to Cisco's business success and the communities where we work, live, play and learn.

To learn more about the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter please contact Chapter Co-Leader Tony Harris. Cisco employees can learn more on CEC.

Who you are shapes who we are... Cisco Inclusion & Diversity (

Event Details

Program Length:
90 Minutes


Cisco Gay, Lesbian Transgender & Advocates Employee Resource Group

Cisco Asian Affinity Network Employee Resource Group