Reboot America! Participants
The Daily Beast is pleased to bring together some of the brightest minds from the worlds of business, culture, media, and government to help brainstorm new ways to Reboot America!
Ken AulettaNew Yorker Writer and Author of Googled: The End of the World As We Know It
Award-winning journalist and mainstay of the American literary scene for decades, Ken Auletta has authored the “Annals of Communication” column in The New Yorker since 1992. Having pioneered the popular understanding of the “information superhighway” as a media critic, Auletta is also a prolific author, earning a Literary Lion title from the New York Public Library. He has written 11 books, most recently Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, a shrewd profile of the company that, for better or worse, has permanently changed the landscape of media and communications in the 21st century.
Sheila C. BairChairman of the FDIC
In 2006, Sheila C. Bair was sworn in for a five-year term as the 19th chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and as a member of the FDIC board of directors through July 2013. She has previously served as the dean's professor of financial regulatory policy for the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, as assistant secretary for financial institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as senior vice president for government relations of the New York Stock Exchange, and has held a number of prestigious positions in both government and academia. Bair was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2009; received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award; and was given the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights award. In 2008, Bair topped The Wall Street Journal’s annual 50 women to watch list, while Forbes magazine named her as the second most powerful woman in the world after German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She has also received several honors for her published work on financial issues, including her educational writings on money and finance for children, and for professional achievement.
Peter BeinartSenior Political Writer for The Daily Beast and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation
As senior political writer for The Daily Beast, a frequent contributor to Time magazine, and author of two books (most recently The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris), Peter Beinart has fast become one of the media’s go-to voices of reason when it comes to American politics. His distinguished background in journalism includes work for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and Newsweek. In 2004, The Week magazine named him Columnist of the Year. An associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York and a 1993 recipient of a Rhodes scholarship, Beinart is a frequent guest on NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Rose, The McLaughlin Group, The Colbert Report, and many others.
Kara Bobroff Echoing Green Fellow, Native American Community Academy
Bold Idea: Create a small charter school for grades six through 12 that uses culturally appropriate programs focusing on the success of the Native American population.
Kara Bobroff, who is from the Navajo/Sioux Nation, has experienced firsthand how some schools fail Native American children. She is a former middle school principal on a reservation, as well as an assistant principal of a California distinguished school in San Rafael, California. Before that, Bobroff was a student, a teacher, and an assistant principal in the Albuquerque public school district.
Steven BrillFounder of Court TV and the Co-Founder of Press+
A leading figure in today’s changing media landscape, Steven Brill is the co-founder of Press+, an e-commerce platform that allows publishers to collect revenue from their online readers. Brill also teaches a journalism seminar at Yale College, where he and his wife, Cynthia, established the Yale Journalism Initiative, aimed at channeling students into the profession. After working his way through Yale Law School by writing magazine articles for New York and Harper’s magazines, Brill became a legal columnist for Esquire. He is the founder of The American Lawyer magazine and CourtTV and the author of The Teamsters and After: How America Confronted the September 12th Era. Over the last year, Brill has written “The Rubber Room” for The New Yorker and “The Teachers’ Unions’ Last Stand” for The New York Times Magazine. He is now working on a book about the battle over American public education.
Tina BrownCo-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast
Tina Brown was the first woman editor of three leading magazines. At the age of 25, soon after graduating from Oxford University, she edited and tripled the circulation of Britain’s historic Tatler. She was then invited to the United States to rescue the relaunched Vanity Fair and, after succeeding in driving sales from 200,000 to 1.2 million, became the first woman editor of The New Yorker. Subsequently, she hosted the CNBC show Topic A With Tina Brown, and wrote The New York Times No. 1 bestseller The Diana Chronicles. In 2008, she partnered with Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive officer of IAC, in the successful founding of The Daily Beast, a non-partisan, curated site for news, original reporting and opinion.
LaToya Cantrell-New Orleans InnovatorPresident of the Broadmoor Improvement Association and Broadmoor Development Corporation
LaToya Cantrell has over ten years of non-profit management experience and an extensive background in customer relations and community development. Before serving as president of the Broadmoor Improvement Association and Broadmoor Development Corporation, Cantrell served as manager of the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation. Cantrell has been recognized for her post-Katrina recovery efforts as a Restore America Hero by the National Trust of Historic Preservation and as a Trailblazer by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She has been asked to present her work at conferences around the country, including the Aspen Institute, NeighborWorks America, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
James CarvillePolitical Consultant
Known by many as the “Ragin’ Cajun,” James Carville has been a cornerstone of the Democratic Party for the past 20 years, most famously garnering attention as part of Bill Clinton’s winning team in the 1992 presidential campaign which was chronicled in the documentary The War Room. Besides consulting on a variety of international campaigns, Carville is currently a Professor of Practice at Tulane University, a frequent contributor to CNN, and a prolific author, most recently of 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation. Carville is also the co-founder of Democracy Corps, a non-profit polling organization responsible for over 200 surveys designed to help the government better understand the needs of the American people.
Robin ChaseCEO Meadow Networks, Founder Zipcar
Robin Chase leads Meadow Networks, a consulting firm that advises city, state, and federal government agencies about wireless applications in the transportation sector, and impacts on innovation and economic development. Chase was also founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest car-sharing company in the world, and founder and CEO of GoLoco, an online ride-sharing community. A major advocate for responsible transportation solutions, she is on the board of the World Resources Institute, the National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Department of Commerce, and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee for the Department of Transportation. She also served on the Massachusetts governor’s transportation transition working group, and in Boston on the mayor’s wireless task force. Chase lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment, including Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, Fast Company’s Fast 50 innovators, and BusinessWeek’s top 10 designers.
Jane Chen Echoing Green Fellow, Embrace Global
Bold Idea: Reduce infant mortality by developing and comprehensively distributing a low-cost infant incubator for use in developing countries.
Jane Chen graduated from a joint M.B.A./M.P.P. program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She formerly worked for the Chi Heng Foundation and the Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDS Initiative in Africa.
Stephen ColvinPresident of The Daily Beast
In October 1995, Stephen Colvin left his position as group publishing director of Dennis Publishing U.K. and moved to New York to set up Dennis Publishing’s U.S. sister company. Within three years he had established a profitable U.S. media company which included Maxim magazine and Dennis Interactive, a trail-blazing digital-interactive advertising agency. With Colvin as CEO, the company grew to include Blender and The Week magazines, Dennis Digital, Moving Pictures (an L.A-based TV production company) and a brand-development division. In 2002, both Advertising Age and AdWeek named Colvin publishing executive of the year. In 2007 Colvin led the sale of Dennis Publishing to Quadrangle. He immediately moved to CNET Networks as executive vice president, and in May 2008 became executive vice president of CBS Interactive after CBS acquired CNET Networks. Colvin joined The Daily Beast as president in December 2009.
Stacey James Danner-New Orleans InnovatorBoard Chairman of Sustainable Environmental Enterprises
Stacey James Danner most recently served as a community revitalization program officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where he analyzed financial structures and sourced $66 million of development financing opportunities for the National Trust Loan Fund and the National Trust Community Investment Corp. Danner also founded, owned, and operated Urban Solutions Real Estate Services, a consulting company that performed economic-development planning, urban planning and real-estate investment and development. While operating USRES, Danner worked at Cosmopolitan Mortgage, Philadelphia branch as a senior business development analyst. Danner holds a B.A. in sociology and justice and peace studies from the University of St. Thomas and an M.A. in geography and urban studies with a concentration in banking and urban economic development from Temple University. Prior to beginning his tenure with Sustainable Environmental Enterprises, Danner came to New Orleans as a Rockefeller fellow, for which he earned a certificate in redevelopment excellence from the University of Pennsylvania.
David del Ser Echoing Green Fellow, Frogtek
Bold Idea: Boost the productivity and income of small shopkeepers in the developing world with affordable business tools that can be run on mobile phones.
After spending five years building applications for Vodafone research and development, David del Ser studied at Columbia University to understand how inclusive business can foster economic development. While in school, he founded Microlumbia, a nonprofit fund that focused on investments and consulting for microfinance institutions. He earned an M.B.A. from Columbia in 2008 and received the Nathan Gantcher award in social enterprise.
Barry DillerChairman and CEO of IAC
Barry Diller is the chairman and CEO of IAC, the chairman of Expedia, Inc. and the chairman of Live Nation Entertainment. Over the course of his unparalleled business career, Diller has served as chief executive for a number of media companies, and during his tenure as chairman and CEO of Fox, Inc., was responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Co., in addition to Fox's motion picture operations. He also served for 10 years as chairman and chief executive of Paramount Pictures Corp., as well as president of the conglomerate's entertainment and communications group, which included Simon & Schuster, Inc., Madison Square Garden Corp., and SEGA Enterprises, Inc. In addition to his role as a leading figure in the business world, he serves on the boards of The Washington Post Co., the Coca-Cola Co., the executive board for the medical sciences at UCLA, the board of Conservation International, and the board of councilors for the School of Cinema-Television at USC. He is also a trustee of New York University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Cheryl DorseyPresident of Echoing Green
Cheryl Dorsey is president of Echoing Green, a pioneer in the social-entrepreneurship movement that has awarded close to $30 million in start-up capital to close to 500 social entrepreneurs worldwide since 1987. Dorsey has served in two presidential administrations, as a White House fellow and special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor; special assistant to the director of the women’s bureau of the U.S. Labor Department; transition team member of the innovation and civil society subgroup of the technology, innovation, and government reform policy working group, and vice-chair of the president’s commission on White House fellowships. Currently, Dorsey serves on several boards and has received numerous public service awards and recognition for her work, including the Robert Kennedy distinguished public service award. In 2009, Dorsey was named one of America's best leaders by U.S. News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. In 2010, she was named as one of The NonProfit Times’ Power and Influence Top 50.
Sir Harold EvansAuthor of They Made America and Editor-at-Large of The Week Magazine
Sir Harold Evans is the author of two critically acclaimed bestselling histories of America: The American Century and They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators, as well as a recent memoir of his career in journalism, My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times. He is currently editor-at-large of The Week Magazine, and a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report. Evans has had a long and distinguished career in journalism, having served as editor of both The Times and The Sunday Times in London; as the founding editor of Conde Nast Traveler magazine and president and publisher of Random House Trade Group; and as editorial director and vice chairman of U.S. News & World Report, the New York Daily News, The Atlantic Monthly Press and Fast Company. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including the European gold medal from the Institute of Journalists and a lifetime achievement award from the U.K. Press Award Committee. In 2000, he was honored as one of 50 world press freedom heroes on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Press Institute, and in 2001, British journalists voted him the greatest all-time British newspaper editor. He was honored with a knighthood in the Queen's 2004 New Year's honors list.
Sergio FajardoFormer Mayor of Medellin, Colombia
Having come to the conclusion that politicians are responsible for the most crucial decisions in society, Sergio Fajardo left a successful academic and scientific career to create an independent civic political movement in Medellin, Colombia when drug cartels were formidable. He was elected mayor of the city in 2003 and served in that post until 2007. Over the course of his tenure as mayor, Fajardo earned numerous awards and oversaw a major transformation of the city, and is now a sought-after commentator and public figure. Fajardo received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Niall FergusonHistorian, Author, Professor of History at Harvard University, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is Laurence A. Tisch professor of history at Harvard University and William Ziegler professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. His cultural and political commentary earned him a spot on the 2004 Time magazine list of the world’s 100 most influential people. A distinguished scholar, author, and historian, as well as a prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics, Ferguson writes and reviews regularly for the British and American press. He is a frequent contributor to television and radio, as well as a contributing editor for the Financial Times and a regular contributor to Newsweek. In 2003 he wrote and presented a six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4 in the U.K., and the accompanying book, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power was an international bestseller. He recently completed a biography of the banker Siegmund Warburg and is now working on the life of Henry Kissinger.
John FettermanMayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania
John Fetterman, a Harvard graduate with a master's degree in Public Policy, first came to Braddock, Pennsylvania in 2001 as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Within four years, Fetterman found himself staging a successful run for mayor, winning the election by a single vote. Facing seemingly insurmountable challenges in a town severely depressed by the decline of the steel industry, Fetterman’s main emphasis as mayor is threefold: improving the quality of life for the young people in Braddock, attracting the kind of outside energy, ideas, and interest from the artistic, urbanist, and creative communities, and subverting the $2.5 billion Mon-Fayette expressway designed to run through the middle of Braddock. Fetterman has consistently taken a hands-on approach to revitalizing Braddock. In May of 2009, Fetterman won re-election in a 2-to-1 landslide. His efforts have been recognized in The New York Times, CNN, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and on The Colbert Report. Braddock also partnered with Levi Strauss & Co., and served as the centerpiece of their 2010 brand campaign.
Harold Ford, Jr.Executive Vice Chairman, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council
After a decade of service in the United States Congress, Harold Ford, Jr. currently serves as executive vice chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he continues to strengthen the company’s ties to the international business and investment communities. During his five terms in Congress representing Tennessee, Ford, who still serves as chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, was a member of the House Financial Services and Budget Committees, and was described by President Bill Clinton as “the walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st Century.” In addition to writing his recently released memoir More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education, Ford is actively involved with a number of non-profits, including the International Rescue Committee, the Pentagon’s Transformation Advisory Group, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Theodore ForstmannChairman and CEO of IMG
Ted Forstmann is chairman and CEO of IMG and the senior founding partner of the pre-eminent leveraged buyout firm, Forstmann Little & Co. Since acquiring IMG in 2004, Forstmann has established a world-class management team and has transitioned IMG from a company known primarily for its sports businesses to one that is now taking advantage of the strong synergies between sports, entertainment, and media. Forstmann is also committed to improving the lives of children worldwide and is a co-founder of the Children’s Scholarship Fund, a director of the International Rescue Committee, and a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Forstmann has co-founded two camps for chronically ill children, the Benedict-Forstmann Silver Lining Ranch and the Boggy Creek Gang Camp. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of Freedom House, Empower America, the CATO Institute, and the Preventative Medicine Research Institute. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Elizabeth Teel Galante-New Orleans InnovatorDirector of Global Green’s New Orleans Resource Center and Office
Beth Galante is responsible for the operation of Global Green's New Orleans Resource Center and Office, for the supervision of the Holy Cross Project, and for rebuilding initiatives involving green affordable homes, schools, and neighborhoods. A former assistant district attorney of New Orleans, Galante was previously deputy director of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic at Tulane Law School, which was the first recipient of the American Bar Association's Award for Distinguished Environmental Achievement. Galante is the former legal representative of the Quapaw Indian Nation regarding damages to their natural resources, as well as the former co-chair of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Sustainability Task Force. She is an Aspen Institute Fellow in its Henry Crown leadership program and co-chair of the Green Collaborative of New Orleans.
Leslie H. GelbPresident Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations
After a distinguished career in journalism and politics that included many years as a New York Times correspondent and several high-level government positions, including a post as assistant secretary of state in the Carter Administration, Leslie H. Gelb is now the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, of which he served as president from 1993 to 2003. He is also the author of Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy, which draws on Gelb’s unparalleled experience to lay out a sharp but realistic plan for maintaining American power in the 21st century.
Bianna GolodrygaCo-anchor of Good Morning America’s Weekend Edition
Bianna Golodryga is the co-anchor of Good Morning America's weekend edition, as well as ABC News' business correspondent. She contributes to all ABC News' broadcasts and platforms in her role as business correspondent, including Good Morning America, World News with Diane Sawyer, and Nightline. Golodryga joined ABC News in July 2007, covering the economy and business beat. Golodryga has been a key reporter for ABC during the financial crisis and the 2008 elections. Prior to joining ABC, Golodryga covered economic news for CNBC as a reporter and substitute anchor, and also as a segment producer for The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo. In 2004, Golodryga was named one of the top journalists under the age of 30 by the NewsBios/TJFR Group. Golodryga graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a bachelor's degree in Russian/East European and Eurasian studies and a minor in economics. She is fluent in Russian.
Mark Hanis Echoing Green Fellow, Genocide Intervention Network
Bold Idea: Change the way the United States and the international community respond to the world’s worst crime by providing ordinary citizens with tools to prevent and stop genocide.
As a grandchild of four Holocaust survivors, Mark Hanis has a deep understanding of individual persecution and of hope and opportunity. A Swarthmore College graduate, Hanis has been honored with Ashoka, Echoing Green, and Draper Richards fellowships, and he is a 2009 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
James F. Hoge, Jr.Chair of Human Rights Watch and Counselor of the Council on Foreign Relations
Before he became chairman of Human Rights Watch in October 2010, James Hoge edited Foreign Affairs, a bi-monthly magazine of analysis and commentary on international affairs and U.S. foreign policy. During his 18 years as editor, Foreign Affairs more than doubled its circulation, to an all-time high of 161,000, and launched editions in Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. Prior to joining Foreign Affairs, Hoge spent three decades in newspaper journalism as a Washington correspondent, then as editor and publisher of The Chicago Sun-Times, and finally as publisher of the New York Daily News. Under his direction, the Sun-Times won six Pulitzer Prizes and the Daily News one. Hoge has been a Fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Freedom Forum Media Center at Columbia University, and the American Political Science Association’s Congressional Fellowship Program. He is the Chairman of the International Center for Journalists, a director of the Center for Global Affairs at NYU, and a director of several other non-governmental organizations.
Robert HormatsUnder Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs
Prior to serving as under secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, Robert Hormats was vice chairman of Goldman Sachs (International). He has held a number of leadership positions in government including, assistant secretary of state for Economic and Business Affairs, deputy U.S. trade representative, and senior adviser on the National Security Council. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars from the Revolution to the War on Terror. Hormats earned his B.A. from Tufts University and his Ph.D. in International Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Yasheng HuangProfessor of International Management, International Program Professorship in Chinese Economy and Business, and Founder of China Lab and India Lab, MIT Sloan School of Management
Yasheng Huang is an international program professor in Chinese economy and business at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. In addition to academic publishing, Huang is a prolific author of books and articles including Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics, which The Economist named one of the best books of 2008. Huang’s research has been profiled in many publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Economist, and he has published op-ed articles in the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy. He is also a columnist for Entrepreneurs and Global Entrepreneurs magazines in China. At MIT Sloan School, Huang founded and runs China Lab and India Lab, and in 2010 the National Asia Research Program named him as one of the most outstanding scholars conducting research on issues of importance to the United States. He has held or received prestigious fellowships, such as the national fellowship at Stanford University and the Social Science Research Council/MacArthur fellowship. He has served as a consultant at the World Bank and the OECD and is serving on a number of advisory boards of non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Glenn HutchinsCo-Founder & Co-Chief Executive Officer of Silver Lake
Glenn Hutchins is the co-founder and co-chief executive of Silver Lake Partners, a leading global firm for technological investments. An active figure in the investment world, Hutchins also serves as chairman for SunGard Corp. and is director of the NASDAQ OMX Group and Mercury Payment Systems. In addition to his work in finance, Hutchins is closely involved with politics and philanthropy, acting as special adviser to President Clinton on economic and health-care policy and in his roles as director of the Harvard Management Company, as well as the chairman of Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research. Hutchins is also involved locally in New York public life, and is a trustee of the Brookings Institution and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a director of the Partnership for New York City, and a member of the Investors Advisory Committee on the Financial Markets of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Rafiq Kalam Id-Din Echoing Green Fellow, Teaching Firms of America
Bold Idea: Reshape the educational enterprise from the ground up by combining the very efficient professional organization structure of the law firm with the highly effective home school environment.
Rafiq Kalam Id-Din most recently served as the executive director of the AnBryce Foundation. Previously, he was a corporate attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York and Hong Kong. He holds an MA in teaching from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Walter IsaacsonPresident and CEO of the Aspen Institute
Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute. He is also the author of a number of bestselling biographies, most recently Einstein: His Life and Universe in 2007. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar. He joined Time magazine in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of new media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003. He is also the chairman of the board of Teach for America, as well as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. He is vice-chair of Partners for a New Beginning, a public-private group tasked with forging ties between the United States and the Muslim world. He is on the board of United Airlines, Tulane University, and the Overseers of Harvard University. A New Orleans native, he served as the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority from 2005 to 2007.
John KaoChairman of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation and Contributing Editor for The Daily Beast
Dubbed “Mr. Creativity” by The Economist, John Kao is the chairman of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation, whose i20 group is an association of 35 national “chief innovation officers” and a frequent investor in emerging technology companies. He has advised numerous nations and regions on innovation strategy and execution, and created executive and M.B.A. programs on innovation as a member of the Harvard Business School faculty. He currently serves as director of the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium, as a founding member of Cisco System’s Innovation Commission, and as chairman of the Global Advisory Council on Innovation of the World Economic Forum. He is a contributing editor to The Daily Beast’s innovation channel and a BusinessWeek bestselling author of books, including Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity. He is a director of TwoFour54 a Mubadala company, and Phylotech, a company that bridges cleantech and life sciences. He is also active in the arts as a Tony-nominated producer of film and stage, and in 1969 he apprenticed to Frank Zappa as a jazz pianist."
Lea Keal-New Orleans InnovatorChief Executive Officer of Sustainable Environmental Enterprises
Lea Keal is the chief executive officer of Sustainable Environmental Enterprises and most recently served as a public finance law and finance manager with the Finance Authority of New Orleans. While there, she provided legal guidance on city-wide homeownership programs for home buyers and developers, including program design for a $50 million community development block grant (CDBG) funded second-mortgage program. Keal worked under the environmental toxic torts law group at Masry & Vititoe, the law firm made famous by the movie Erin Brockovich. Keal has also consulted for the city of Calabasas, California, where she drafted the pedestrian master plan as part of the city's general plan. Keal holds a law degree from Pepperdine University where she provided legal assistance to the residents of the Many Mansions affordable housing community as part of a human-rights advocacy initiative. Prior to her tenure with Sustainable Environmental Enterprises, Keal came to New Orleans as a Rockefeller fellow, for which she earned a certificate in redevelopment excellence from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vinod KhoslaVenture Capitalist and Founder of Khosla Ventures
As the founder of Khosla Ventures, Vinod Khosla grew up dreaming of being an entrepreneur, despite growing up in an Indian Army household with no business or technology connections. He is one of three founders of Daisy Systems, which was the first significant computer-aided design system for electrical engineers. He went on to start the standards-based Sun Microsystems in 1982, and in 1986 joined Kleiner Perkins, where he was, and continues to be, a general partner of KPCB funds through KP X. While at KPCB he pioneered the very early advertising-based search strategy for Excite, and transformed the moribund telecommunications business and its archaic SONET implementations with Cerent, which was later sold to Cisco for $7 billion. He is also a charter member of TiE, a not-for-profit global network of entrepreneurs, as well as a founding board member of the Indian School of Business. He is a supporter of many microfinance organizations in India and Africa. Mr. Khosla holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
David KirkpatrickAuthor of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World and Contributor to The Daily Beast
David Kirkpatrick’s definitive book on Facebook’s history and significance, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, was published in June 2010 in the U.S. and U.K., and soon in 10 other languages. One of the world’s top technology journalists, Kirkpatrick was for many years the senior editor for Internet and technology at Fortune magazine. While at Fortune, he wrote cover stories about Apple, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Sun, and numerous other technology subjects. Beginning in 2001, he created Fortune’s Brainstorm conference series. More recently, he organized the Techonomy conference on the centrality of technology innovation for all human activity. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and appears frequently on television, radio, and the Internet as an expert on technology.
Joel KleinNew York City Schools Chancellor
A product of the New York City public school system, Joel Klein is now one of the nation’s foremost advocates for education, and is currently the chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. He also launched Children First in 2002, a reform strategy that has already led to significant increases in student performance. Prior to his work in the education system, Klein was chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, Inc. as well as assistant U.S. attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. From 1993 to 1995 Klein served as deputy White House counsel to President Clinton following a distinguished private legal career. Klein earned his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude at both institutions, and also has received the Lewis Rudin award for exemplary service to New York City from New York University in recognition for his work as chancellor.
Marc KoskaFounder of The SafePoint Trust
Marc Koska OBE has been a consistent champion of global health care for the past three decades, and a crucial pioneer in injection safety. It’s estimated that Koska has saved more than nine million lives by inventing the K1, an auto disable (AD) syringe that prevents re-use, which he developed after learning about the spread of HIV through syringe re-use. Through his charity, SafePoint Trust, Koska campaigns for safe-injection legislation. On a recent trip to India, he led the minister of health to mandate the use of AD syringes in all government medical facilities.
Howard KurtzWashington Bureau Chief of The Daily Beast
Prior to joining The Daily Beast earlier this month, Howard Kurtz spent 29 years with The Washington Post and was the paper's longtime media reporter and columnist. He is also the host of CNN's weekly media program, Reliable Sources, and has won a National Press Club award for media criticism. Kurtz is the author of five books, two of them New York Times bestsellers, including Media Circus, Spin Cycle and, most recently, Reality Show: Inside the Last Great Television News War. He has also covered the Justice Department and Congress for The Post and served as the paper’s New York bureau chief. He has written for such magazines as Vanity Fair, The New Republic, and New York.
Mitch LandrieuMayor of New Orleans, Louisiana
A New Orleans native, Mitch Landrieu was elected as the city’s 61st mayor on February 6, 2010 with a clear mandate to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the people of New Orleans. He immediately launched Transition New Orleans to bring together the best and the brightest for his administration. As lieutenant governor of Louisiana, Mitch has served as an executive, managing a $127 million budget and 800 employees. To deliver results, he put in place strict standards of accountability. After Hurricane Katrina, he led the effort to rebuild the tourism industry, and the thousands of jobs it creates. When other government agencies failed, Landrieu’s team got more than $22 million in grant money from Congress into the hands of hundreds of homeowners quickly. During his tenure, Landrieu has focused on creating jobs. He launched the Cultural Economy initiative, which now accounts for 144,000 jobs in Louisiana.
Rita Benson LeBlancOwner and Executive Vice President of the New Orleans Saints
Rita Benson LeBlanc is the owner, executive vice president, and leader of the business operations of the New Orleans Saints. She represents the club at NFL ownership meetings, where she chairs the league’s employee benefits committee and serves on the NFL international committee. In addition to her responsibilities with the Saints, LeBlanc has taken an active leadership role in tackling the economic, environmental, and community challenges that face New Orleans and the Gulf South region through serving on the boards of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, and GNO, Inc., the official economic development agency serving the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region. She played a key role in securing Super Bowl XLVII for New Orleans, and serves on the executive board of the New Orleans 2013 Super Bowl host committee. Recently, LeBlanc served on New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s economic development task force, a group of business leaders that teamed up to gather opinions from the public on how city government could help create jobs and facilitate economic development in the city.
Spike LeeFilm Director, Producer and President of 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Inc., Artistic Director and Professor at New York University Graduate Film School
Spike Lee is a writer, director, actor, producer, and author who revolutionized the role of black talent in cinema with award-winning films including She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing, and Malcolm X. Lee is known for his ability to showcase a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions. His latest endeavor is the follow-up documentary If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, which revisits the recently storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region as residents attempt to rebuild in their cities. This film comes on the heels of When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the groundbreaking first documentary that followed the plight of Americans stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Lee has also authored a number of books, most recently a career retrospective titled That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It. Lee is the artistic director of the graduate film program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, from which he holds his M.F.A. Lee recently completed Kobe Doin’ Work a one-day, 18-camera documentary. Drawing on his years of success in advertising, Lee launched Spike/DDB, a full-service advertising agency.
General Stanley A. McChrystal (USA-Ret.)Former Commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces Afghanistan; Joint Special Operations Command
General Stanley A. McChrystal is a retired four-star general, the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), once described by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as “one of America’s greatest warriors.” After 9/11 until his retirement in 2010, General McChrystal spent more than six years deployed to combat in a variety of leadership positions and his command included more than 130,000 troops from 45 allied countries. Over the course of his career, he held several leadership and staff positions in the Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, 82nd Airborne Division and the XVIII Army Airborne Corp and the Joint Staff. On August 1 of 2010 General McChrystal retired from the US Army. General McChrystal is currently the President of McChrystal Associates. This fall he is teaching a seminar at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
Michael MendenhallSenior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of HP
Michael Mendenhall is senior vice president and chief marketing officer at HP, where he directs all aspects of corporate marketing operations globally. Prior to joining HP, Mendenhall served as executive vice president in charge of all marketing and communications for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts at the Walt Disney Co. He has overseen work that has won a number of prestigious awards, including an Emmy and the 2000 and 2001 Silver Lion’s Best Corporate Campaign Award at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s global agenda council on marketing and branding, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the CMO Inner Circle. He serves on the boards of the Churchill Club, Brandweek’s editorial advisory board and the Advertising Council. In 2008 and 2010, he was named one of BtoB Magazine’s top marketers of the year and was No. 22 on Advertising Age’s list of power players. Also in 2008, the Delaney Reported selected Mendenhall as marketer of the year, while Marketing Daily named HP the technology marketer of the year.
Ron MeyerPresident and Chief Operating Officer of Universal Studios
Ron Meyer was appointed president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios in 1995. Prior to joining Universal, Meyer was president of Creative Artists Agency, Inc., which he founded in 1975 with four fellow agents from the William Morris Agency. Over the years they built the company into the preeminent talent agency, representing many of the industry's most influential and talented people, and later expanded its range of services to include consulting with leading American and international corporations. Previously, Meyer was a television agent with the William Morris Agency from 1970 to 1975. Prior to that, he worked as a messenger at the Paul Kohner Agency in Los Angeles from 1964 to 1970. Before joining the Paul Kohner Agency, Meyer served in the United States Marine Corps. He lives in Malibu, California, with his wife, Kelly Chapman, and their son and three daughters.
Ashni Mohnot Echoing Green Fellow, Enzi
Bold Idea: Enable people to invest in students’ higher education in exchange for a share in future income for a set time, to reduce the financial barrier to education and create a new asset class.
Frustrated with the lack of funding options for international students, and having faced difficulty funding her own education, Ashni Mohnot decided to build a sustainable social business using income-collateralized loans to serve people facing a financial barrier to education. Mohnot has an undergraduate degree in human biology (international health) and English, and a graduate degree in international education from Stanford. She directs the education program at Stanford's Martin Luther King Institute. She has worked with two other social ventures, and has written on social innovation for PopTech.
Dambisa MoyoEconomist and Author of Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa
A leading commenter on the global economy, Dr. Dambisa Moyo’s consistent public role as a voice of economic reason earned her a spot on Time magazine’s 2009 list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” After completing her Ph.D. in Economics at Oxford University, Dr. Moyo wrote The New York Times bestseller Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better way for Africa as well as How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly and the Stark Choices Ahead, which will be released in January 2011. She also contributes regularly to various publications, including the Financial Times and The Economist.
David NeelemanChairman and CEO of Azul Airlines
The founder of JetBlue and now the chairman and CEO of Azul Airlines, Brazilian-born entrepreneur David Neeleman has made it his mission to make flying cheaper and easier for Brazilians, giving access to air travel to many who have never flown before. An amazing success by any measure, JetBlue was the first airline to earn $100 million annually within five years, and won Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice award for best U.S. airline for seven consecutive years. Neeleman’s career began in 1984 when he co-founded a low-fare air carrier called Morris Air. As president, he implemented the industry’s first electronic-ticketing system and pioneered a home-reservation system where calls are handled by reservationists working from their homes. Neeleman took the electronic-ticketing system that he had initiated at Morris Air and developed it into Open Skies, the world’s simplest airline-reservation system. David currently splits his time between Brazil and Connecticut, where he lives with his wife Vicki. They have nine children.
Johan de NysschenPresident of Audi of America, Inc.
Johan de Nysschen is the president of Audi of America. He joined the company in December 2004 and is responsible for all aspects of Audi’s business in the United States. He is leading Audi’s efforts to become the most progressive premium brand in the luxury segment. Joining Audi of America after many successful international assignments for Audi, de Nysschen most recently served as president of Audi Japan. Prior to joining Audi Japan in 1999, de Nysschen held various management positions in the industry for a total of 15 years of automotive experience. During this time, de Nysschen earned his MBA from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Peter OrszagDistinguished Visiting Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations
The former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration, Peter Orszag now serves as a distinguished visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Orszag has also shaped economic policy as the director of the Congressional Budget Office and as the Joseph A. Pechman senior fellow and deputy director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution, the director of the Hamilton Project, the director of the Retirement Security Project, and co-director of the Tax Policy Center. Orszag attended Princeton University, from which he graduated summa cum laude in economics, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics as a Marshall Scholar.
Maureen OrthSpecial Correspondent for Vanity Fair
Maureen Orth is an award-winning journalist, author and special correspondent for Vanity Fair. She is also the founder of the Marina Orth Foundation, which promotes advanced learning in technology and English in Colombia at The Marina Orth School in Medellin and at a second rural school. Orth first helped to build her school in the ‘60s as a Peace Corps volunteer. Since 2005, she has traveled frequently to Colombia where her school became the country’s first One Laptop per Child school.
Paul PastorekState Superintendent of Education for Louisiana
Paul Pastorek was appointed Louisiana’s state superintendent of education in March 2007 by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Pastorek served on the BESE from 1996 to 2004, and served as president of the board for the last three years. On his departure from the board, Louisiana was noted as having the best-rated statewide accountability program in the U.S. For the last 20 years, Pastorek has been working to improve public education in Louisiana. After stepping down from the board in 2004, Pastorek formed Education’s Next Horizon, a non-profit organization that serves as a statewide think tank supporting school improvement. In February 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Pastorek, an attorney, to serve as general counsel to NASA. He also served on and led several senior management and leadership committees, and he received NASA’s exceptional achievement medal and NASA’s distinguished service medal. Pastorek is also a volunteer in his community; he has served on several boards, participated in many business groups, and is the recipient of numerous awards and medals from various organizations.
Peter G. PetersonFounder and Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Peter G. Peterson is founder and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation whose mission is focused on “undeniable, unsustainable and untouchable” threats to the nation’s fiscal and economic future and to future generations of Americans. He is also the chairman emeritus and co-founder of The Blackstone Group, chairman emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, founding chairman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., and founding president of The Concord Coalition. He is a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a former chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers, and was named by President Nixon as assistant to the president for international economic affairs in 1971, and secretary of Commerce in 1972. In addition to his work in the field, Peterson has been awarded numerous honorary Ph.D. degrees, and is the author of several books, including Running On Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It.
Wendell PierceActor and and President of Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp.
An accomplished actor of stage and screen, Wendell Pierce is recognized by film audiences for his extensive work for directors including Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Sidney Lumet, and Paul Schrader. He is perhaps best known for his role as Detective William “Bunk” Moreland on five critically acclaimed seasons of The Wire, and is now pairing up with David Simon for his new series Treme. In 2008, he won the NAACP Image award for best actor in a television movie for HBO’s Life Support, as well as the Women’s Image Network WIN award. He also received an Obie award in 2010. Pierce is a native of New Orleans and appears in Spike Lee’s documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. He has worked to rebuild the neighborhood in which he was raised, and formed Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp., a non-profit corporation to rebuild 500 affordable and environmentally friendly homes.
Sam PitrodaAdvisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations
Sam Pitroda is a leading figure in technological development and innovation. He is widely credited as a key force behind India’s technological revolution in the 1980s during his tenure as adviser to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, part of his continuing efforts to bridge the global digital divide. Having founded and acted as chairman of India’s Telecom Commission and headed up technology missions for telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization, dairy and oil seeds, Mr. Pitroda is now the adviser to India’s prime minister on public information infrastructure and innovations. A prolific inventor, Pitroda holds nearly 100 worldwide patents. He is also the former chairman of India’s National Knowledge Commission, an advisory board providing practical recommendations for reform and development.
Michael PolskyFounder and CEO of Invenergy LLC
As the president of sustainable power company Invenergy, which he founded in 2001, Michael Polsky is an industry pioneer and major advocate for cogeneration and independent power. Prior to his latest venture, Polsky gained extensive experience in the industry, founding SkyGen Energy in 1991 and co-founding Indeck Energy Services. Both companies led to crucial developments for independent power. In 2002, Polsky endowed a center for entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, from which he received his M.B.A., and now sits on the entrepreneurship advisory board. He also sits on the boards of the American Wind Energy Association, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Chicago, the Council of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the CEO Council for the United States Olympic Committee and the World Resources Institute. He is also a member of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.
Michelle RheeChancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools
Chancellor Michelle Rhee has been at the helm of the Washington, D.C. public school system since 2007, working closely with Mayor Adrian Fenty. Rhee, who began her career in education with Teach for America and also sits on the advisory boards of the National Council on Teacher Quality, has adopted a hands-on approach and has set the standard for educational reform over the past decade. Perhaps Rhee’s best-known initiative is The New Teacher Project (TNTP), which has spread nationwide to place outstanding teachers in the schools that need them the most. TNTP is just one project that represents Rhee’s consistent commitment to finding solutions that address the often-troubled public school infrastructure to create real change for students across the nation.
Connie RiceCo-Director of the Advancement Project in Los Angeles
As the co-director of the Advancement Project in Los Angeles, Connie Rice is renowned for her unconventional approaches to tackling problems of inequity and exclusion. Building on a legal career that includes a former position as co-director of the L.A. office of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Connie has led multiracial coalitions of lawyers and clients to win more than $10 billion in damages and policy changes that have led to vast improvements in the Los Angeles school system, as well as in public transportation. Connie has also worked closely with the LAPD, reducing gang violence through a regional, multi-jurisdictional comprehensive strategy to right the balance between suppression and prevention. In 2006, Los Angeles Times West Magazine named Connie one of the 100 most powerful people in Southern California, and California Law Business twice named her one of the top 10 most influential lawyers in California. Connie serves on the boards of the Public Policy Institute of California and public radio station KPCC.
Shane RobisonExecutive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer of HP
Shane Robison is responsible for shaping HP’s corporate strategy and technology agenda, and oversees the company’s corporate marketing function. He is instrumental in steering the company’s multibillion-dollar research and development investment, and leads the company’s merger and acquisition activities. He was one of the principal architects of HP’s merger with Compaq Computers and led the acquisitions of Mercury, Opsware, EDS, and 3Com, along with 30 smaller acquisitions since 2005. Previously, Robison was senior vice president and chief technology officer of strategy and technology at Compaq. Prior to joining Compaq, he served as president of Internet technology and development at AT&T Labs, where he led a team responsible for the architecture, planning, and development of AT&T’s Internet technologies and services. Robison has been a technology executive in Silicon Valley for three decades, serving in leadership positions at Cadence Design, Apple Computer, and Schlumberger Research. In 2004, InfoWorld named him one of the world’s 25 most influential chief technology officers.
Kermit RuffinsJazz Musician
New Orleans native Kermit Ruffins is a jazz trumpet player, singer, and composer, most recently featured in a role on HBO’s Treme. A major proponent of New Orleans jazz, Ruffins is heavily influenced by Louis Armstrong and has released 11 studio albums with his band the Barbecue Swingers. He was named Offbeat magazine’s Best Traditional Jazz Band or Performer in 2007 and was described by The New York Times as “an unabashed entertainer who plays trumpet with a bright, silvery tone, sings with off-the-cuff charm and never gets too abstruse in his material.”
Leslie SanchezPolitical Analyst and Board Member of Resurgent Republic
An author, political analyst, and former director of a White House education initiative, Leslie Sanchez is known for her in-depth understanding of the nation's political and cultural landscape. She was an on-camera member of CNN's award-winning 2008 election coverage team and is the author of the critically acclaimed book about women in politics You’ve Come a Long Way, Maybe, and of Los Republicanos: Why Hispanics and Republicans Need Each Other. She is also founder of Impacto Group LLC, a communications research firm that specializes in defining social and economic trends affecting women and the emerging U.S. Hispanic community. For her work, Hispanic Business named her one of the nation’s 100 most influential Hispanics.
Bob SchiefferChief Washington Correspondent of CBS News and Moderator of Face the Nation
Bob Schieffer is CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent, moderator of Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer and former anchor of the CBS Evening News. He is one of Washington’s most experienced reporters, having covered all four major beats in the nation’s capital – the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill. This year marks his 53rd year as a reporter and his 41st year at CBS News. Schieffer has received virtually every award in broadcast journalism, but he feels the greatest honor was bestowed upon him in March 2005 when his alma mater, Texas Christian University, created the Schieffer School of Journalism. Schieffer is the author of four books, including his 2003 New York Times bestselling memoir This Just In: What I Couldn’t Tell You on TV.
Jennifer Schnidman-New Orleans InnovatorFounder and CEO of Drop the Chalk
As a founding teacher at a New Orleans charter school and a Teach for America alum, Jennifer Schnidman knows firsthand the challenges of tracking student-academic progress with limited resources. Schnidman and her colleagues relied on handwritten notes, Excel spreadsheets, and school-mandated, yet often unreliable, websites to track and measure student progress. None of these tools allow teachers to organize data in one central location or analyze it effectively. Frustrated by the shortcomings of these methods, Schnidman left the classroom to design a system that she wished she had when she was teaching. Schnidman holds a B.A. in computer science from Columbia University and she leveraged her software-development expertise to create the beta product from scratch in July 2009. She currently serves as founder and CEO of Drop the Chalk, LLC.
Lori SenecalPresident and CEO of kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners
Industry thought leader Lori Senecal took the helm of the newly rebranded kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners as president and CEO last September. Well-known for pioneering innovative new approaches, she spearheaded several major new initiatives, including the kbs+p Client Stock Index, to align employee rewards with client financial performance, and Speed to Genius, a future facing new business model that disrupts the speed creativity paradigm to maximize ROI for clients. Prior to kbs+p, Senecal served as president of McCann Erickson’s flagship New York office. Before that, as global chief innovation officer for McCann Worldgroup, she conceived of and launched TAG Ideation, a young-adult marketing specialist unit. Kbs+p is proud to serve a blue-chip roster of clients, including BMW, Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets, Cablevision, Capital One, Church’s Chicken, Coca-Cola Co., Delta, HomeGoods, Levi Strauss & Co., Mohegan Sun, and Weight Watchers.
Dan SenorFounder of Rosemont Capital
Dan Senor is co-founder of Rosemont Capital, LLC. He is a former investment professional with the Carlyle Group's U.S. venture capital fund, and has helped a number of start-up companies through their seed founding and early growth periods. Senor was one of the longest-serving civilian officials in Iraq, where he served in 2003 and 2004 as a senior adviser and the chief spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition, earning the highest civilian honor by the U.S. Department of Defense. Senor also served as an aid to Central Command in Qatar and as a foreign-policy and communications adviser in the U.S. Senate. Senor's analytical pieces are frequently published in The Wall Street Journal; he has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, Newsweek and Time magazine and is the co-author of the The New York Times business bestseller Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. Senor is an adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
David SimonCo-Creator of HBO's Treme
For the past decade, David Simon’s writing has set the bar for television crime drama, first with NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street, then The Corner and later The Wire and Generation Kill on HBO. Simon’s scripts are informed by his background as a Baltimore crime reporter, which also inspired two books, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. Along with writing for a number of publications, including The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire, Simon has now turned his attention to New Orleans with the HBO drama Treme, set during the troubled aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Last month Simon won a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation, which cited his "riveting stories that engage wide-ranging audiences and confront some of the most daunting challenges facing America’s urban centers."
Ralph SimonChairman Emeritus and Founder of Mobile Entertainment Forum Americas and CEO of Mobilium International
Ralph Simon predicted in 1997 that mobile phones would become the indispensable voice/social networking companion for consumers and their increasingly mobile lifestyles. A founder of the global mobile entertainment industry, he introduced ring tones into the Americas, Europe, the U.K., Australasia, and Africa and became known as “The Father of the Ring Tone.” Today he advises companies and individuals worldwide seeking to innovate using mobile as a platform for entertainment, health, education, and mobile payments. He has received international recognition for his expertise and farsighted contributions to the mobile industry since 2005. Based in London, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the U.K.
Sister Mary Lou Specha, PBVM-New Orleans InnovatorExecutive Director of Reconcile New Orleans, Inc.
Sister Mary Lou Specha arrived at Reconcile as executive director in June 2008 with more than a decade of experience in nonprofit leadership and administration. She has not only nearly doubled the size of the program, but has also been charged with overseeing Reconcile’s strategic planning, fiscal reporting, and staff and board development. She is also leading the organization’s ambitious $5.8 million capital-expansion project. Prior to her arrival at Reconcile, Sister Mary Lou, a Presentation Sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary, served as director of campus ministry at the University of Northern Iowa. Organizing service trips to New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina ignited her passion for the city and its people, and inspired her move to New Orleans to take on Reconcile’s leadership. Sister Mary Lou served as chair of the social innovation transition team for Mayor Mitch Landrieu. The New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council recently honored her as citizen of the year. She was also recognized by New Orleans Citizens and Victims Against Crime for her efforts to combat crime and violence in the city.
George Stephanopoulos-ABC Chief Political Correspondent and Anchor of Good Morning America
George Stephanopoulos is anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. He is also the network’s chief political correspondent, reporting on political and policy stories for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms. Before being named co-anchor of Good Morning America in December 2009, Stephanopoulos held the dual role of ABC News’ chief Washington correspondent and anchor of This Week. Over more than a decade at ABC News, Stephanopoulos has played a pivotal role in the network’s coverage of breaking news stories. In spring 2005, he reported from Rome and contributed to ABC News’ duPont Award-winning coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II. On September 11, 2001, he was one of the first reporters on the scene at ground zero. Prior to joining ABC News, Stephanopoulos served in the Clinton administration as the senior adviser to the president for policy and strategy. He is the author of All Too Human, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller on President Clinton’s first term and the 1992 and 1996 Clinton/Gore campaigns.
Joseph StiglitzUniversity Professor at Columbia University
Joseph Stiglitz is a groundbreaking economist who helped to create a new branch of economics, the Economics of Information, and is currently a university professor at Columbia University and a chair of Columbia’s committee on global thought. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was a member of President Clinton's economic team and was chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers in the mid-1990s. He then joined the World Bank as chief economist and senior vice president, as well as the chair of the commission of experts on reform of the International Financial and Monetary System for the United Nations. Stiglitz has received the John Bates Clark medal. He was a Fulbright scholar at Cambridge University, held the Drummond professorship at All Souls College, Oxford, and has taught at M.I.T, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton.
Tarun J. TejpalCEO of Tehelka
Tarun J. Tejpal is a journalist, publisher, and novelist. In a 26-year career, he has been an editor with the India Today and the Indian Express groups, and managing editor of Outlook, India’s premier news magazine. In March 2000, he started Tehelka, a news organization that has earned a global reputation for its aggressive public-interest journalism. In 2001, Asiaweek listed Tejpal as one of Asia’s 50 most powerful communicators, and BusinessWeek declared him among 50 leaders at the forefront of change in Asia. In 2007, The Guardian named him among the 20 who constitute India's new elite, and in 2009 BusinessWeek dubbed him one of India’s 50 most powerful people. He is also a successful author whose 2005 debut The Alchemy of Desire was published to wide acclaim. Mr. Tejpal’s second novel, The Story of My Assassins was published in 2009 to rave reviews and described by Altaf Tyrewala as “an instant classic.”
Frances TownsendPartner at Baker Botts LLP and former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
Currently a partner at Baker Botts LLP, Frances Townsend is a national security leader who has worked across party lines to address some of the world’s most complex and volatile security issues. She served as assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council from May 2004 until January 2008. She previously served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism from May 2003 to May 2004. Townsend is a contributor to CNN as a counterterrorism, national, and homeland security expert. Prior to serving the president, Townsend was the first assistant commandant for intelligence for the U. S. Coast Guard. Before that, Townsend spent 13 years at the U.S. Department of Justice under the administrations of President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. Townsend is a director and chairs the compensation committees of two private company boards. She serves on numerous government advisory and nonprofit boards. Townsend is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Robbie Vitrano-New Orleans InnovatorCo-Founder and Chief Brand Architect of NakedPizza
Robbie Vitrano is a co-founder and chief brand architect of NakedPizza, a New Orleans-based company backed by Mark Cuban and Robert Kraft. NakedPizza’s mission is to reinvent fast food with an eye to nutrition, health, and social consciousness. Vitrano is also chairman of Trumpet, a venture-marketing studio and full-service branding agency. He co-founded The Idea Village, an entrepreneurship think tank responsible for supporting the launch of hundreds of companies in New Orleans, and creating partnerships with major business schools and organizations to support the regeneration of New Orleans. An avid advocate for New Orleans as a center for growth, Vitrano is an adjunct professor at Loyola University New Orleans, serves on the board of Greater New Orleans Inc., and co-chairs its Digital Media Alliance. Vitrano is also a co-founder of the Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans, StartupNewOrleans.com, and The Building Bloc, a sustainable building incubator. He was an Ernst & Young entrepreneur of the year finalist, was named City Business Magazine’s innovator of the year, and won the Louisiana Technology Council’s technology of the year award. Vitrano is also a member of Adweek’s creative all-star
Diane von FurstenbergDesigner, President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America
Diane von Furstenberg first arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her iconic wrap dress, the seed of what is today a full fashion house. By 1976, von Furstenberg had sold millions of her dresses, coming to symbolize female power and freedom to an entire generation. In 1997, after a hiatus from fashion, she re-emerged on the New York fashion scene with the re-launch of the dress that had started it all and built her company into a global luxury lifestyle brand. In 2005, von Furstenberg was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America for her impact on fashion, and one year later, was elected the CFDA’s new president. A firm believer in the infinite power of women, she sits on the board of Vital Voices, and in 2010 she established The DVF Awards with The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to honor women who have displayed leadership, strength, and courage in their commitment to their causes. Through her company and her family foundation, she supports a variety of women’s and environmental causes.
Tim Williamson-New Orleans InnovatorCo-Founder and CEO of The Idea Village
Tim Williamson is the co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village, a private, independent 501(c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 2000 with a mission to identify, support, and retain entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans. An entrepreneur by trade and training, Williamson has successfully started and operated five entrepreneurial ventures in four different cities, and has been a steadfast advocate for making New Orleans a vibrant entrepreneurial community. Williamson is a frequent speaker on innovation and entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of Stanford University’s executive program for non-profit leaders, New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, and the Council for a Better Louisiana’s leadership program. He was honored as a member of New Orleans CityBusiness magazine’s Power Generation in 1999; was among Gambit Weekly’s 40 under 40 in 2004; and was named a Young Leadership Council role model in 2009. Williamson also received the Junior Achievement Rising Star award, and a “Heroes of the Storm” award in 2008.
Lauren ZalaznickPresident of NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks
As president of NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, Lauren Zalaznick oversees Bravo Media, Oxygen Media, and iVillage. She also founded and oversees the NBCU portfolio's pro-social initiatives–Green is Universal and the newly established Healthy at NBCU, NBC Universal’s health and wellness program. She was named to her current post in May 2008, when she added iVillage to her portfolio and announced the launch of [email protected], a sales and marketing initiative designed to create custom solutions for advertisers seeking to connect with a highly targeted female demographic. Zalaznick is also a member of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s MediaNYC2020. In 2010, Fortune included her in their 50 most powerful women issue. In 2009, Time magazine named Zalaznick one the world’s 100 most influential people, and Vanity Fair named her to their “New Establishment” list. In October 2008, she was the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story.
Jochen ZeitzChairman and CEO of PUMA
Chairman and CEO of PUMA since the age of 30, Jochen Zeitz was not only the youngest-ever person to run a publicly traded German company, but since taking the job in 1993, he has also been one of the international business community’s most innovative leaders. As a visionary in the CSR and CSO movement, he introduced an inspiring and groundbreaking corporate approach in 2008–PUMAVision. In April 2010, Zeitz launched a comprehensive sustainability program to make PUMA the most desirable and sustainable sportlifestyle company. Zeitz also founded the Zeitz Foundation for Intercultural Ecosphere Safety, a not-for-profit in support of creative and business solutions to problems of conservation, the environment, and sustainability. He is a member of the board and executive committee of PPR, a member of the board of directors of Harley Davidson, and a board member of Wilderness Safaris. More than almost any other leader in the international business community, Zeitz has consistently raised the bar for businesses’ commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. Like Zeitz on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zeitzj.