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Directors' College 2014
Directors' College 2014

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Please check back later for more information about 2015 Keynote Speakers.

2014 Keynote Speakers


Marc Andreessen


David L. Calhoun


Senator G. Kent Conrad


Kenneth C. Frazier


Gen. (R) Stanley McChrystal


Dr. Condoleezza Rice


John W. Thompson


Mary Jo White


John C. Williams

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Keynote Videos

Marissa Mayer and John Donahoe

Gary Retelny

Larry Sonsini

2014 Keynote Biographies

Marc Andreessen

Co-Founder and General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz; Director, Facebook, eBay, and HP

Marc Andreessen is an innovator and creator, one of the few to pioneer a software category used by more than a billion people and one of the few to establish multiple billion-dollar companies.

Marc co-created the highly influential Mosaic Internet browser and co-founded Netscape, which later sold to AOL for $4.2 billion. He also co-founded Loudcloud, which as Opsware sold to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion.

He is now a co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm that provides seed, venture and growth-stage funding to technology companies. Andreessen Horowitz has $2.7 billion under management across three funds, with portfolio holdings that include Airbnb, Actifio, Box, Fab.com, Facebook, Foursquare, GitHub, Jawbone, Lytro, Pinterest, Silver Tail Systems and Twitter.

Marc serves on the boards of eBay, Facebook, Glam Media, Hewlett-Packard, and TinyCo. Marc holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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David L. Calhoun

Executive Chairman and former CEO, Nielsen; Senior Managing Director & Head of Private Equity Portfolio Operations, The Blackstone Group; Director, The Boeing Company and Caterpillar

David L. Calhoun is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Private Equity Portfolio Operations of Blackstone and a Member of Blackstone’s Management and Executive Committees.

Mr. Calhoun joined Blackstone in January of 2014 and oversees a team within the portfolio operations group focused on creating and driving added value initiatives with Blackstone portfolio company CEOs.

Since the beginning of 2014, Mr. Calhoun serves as Executive Chairman of the Board for Nielsen, a company he joined in 2006 as Chief Executive Officer, shortly after it was acquired by a consortium of private equity investors including Blackstone. Throughout his seven years’ tenure, Mr. Calhoun led Nielsen’s transformation into a leading global information and measurement company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NLSN) and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Before Nielsen, Mr. Calhoun served as Vice Chairman of The General Electric Company and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Infrastructure, the company’s largest business unit. During his distinguished twenty-six year tenure at GE, Mr. Calhoun ran multiple business units, including GE Lighting, GE Employers Reinsurance Co., GE Aircraft Engines, and GE Transportation (Aircraft and Rail).

Earlier in his career at GE, he held a wide range of operating, finance, and marketing roles across the company, including within GE Plastics and GE Capital.

In addition to Nielsen, Mr. Calhoun also serves on the Board of Directors of The Boeing Company and Caterpillar. He is the co-author with Rick Kash of the book “How Companies Win.” Mr. Calhoun is a 1979 graduate of Virginia Tech, and is a member of Virginia Tech’s Pamplin Advisory Council, which advises the university on student and alumni issues.

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Senator Kent Conrad

Former U.S. Senator representing the State of North Dakota; Director, Genworth Financial

Sen. Conrad served as a U.S. Senator representing the State of North Dakota from January 1987 to January 2013. He served as the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee from 2006 until his retirement. Prior to serving in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Conrad served as the Tax Commissioner for the State of North Dakota from 1981 to 1986 and as Assistant Tax Commissioner from 1974 to 1980. Sen. Conrad holds an A.B. degree in Political Science from Stanford University and an M.B.A. degree from George Washington University.
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Kenneth C. Frazier

Chairman & CEO, Merck & Co.; Director, Exxon Mobil Corporation

Kenneth C. Frazier is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., Inc.

Previously, Ken served as president of Merck with responsibility for the company’s three major divisions: Global Human Health, Merck’s sales and marketing division for pharmaceutical and vaccine products; Merck Manufacturing Division, Merck’s manufacturing and supply division; and Merck Research Laboratories, Merck’s research organization.

Ken has held a broad range of senior management positions since joining Merck in 1992 as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Astra Merck Group. He was elected vice president of Public Affairs in 1994, and, in 1997, assumed the additional responsibilities of assistant general counsel, corporate staff. Ken was promoted to vice president and deputy general counsel in January 1999. In December 1999, he became senior vice president and general counsel. In this role, he oversaw Merck’s legal and public affairs functions and The Merck Company Foundation. In November 2006, he was promoted to executive vice president and general counsel. Ken served as executive vice president and president, Global Human Health, from 2007 to May 2010, when he became Merck president. Ken became CEO and member of the board of directors January 1, 2011, and became chairman of the board on December 1, 2011.

Prior to joining Merck, Ken was a partner with the Philadelphia law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Ken sits on the boards of PhRMA, Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Exxon Mobil Corporation, The Pennsylvania State University and Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia, PA. He also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the President’s Export Council, The Business Council, the Council of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association.

Ken received his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
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General (R) Stanley McChrystal

Former Commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces Afghanistan; Co-Founder, The McChrystal Group; Director, JetBlue

A transformational leader with a remarkable record of achievement, General Stanley A. McChrystal was called “one of America’s greatest warriors” by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Currently a partner at McChrystal Group, General McChrystal co-founded the company in January 2011, with the mission of delivering innovative leadership solutions to American businesses in order to help them transform and succeed in challenging and dynamic environments. A retired four-star general, he is the former commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of the premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He is best known for developing and implementing the current counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan, and for creating a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the interagency operating culture.

The son of Major General McChrystal, General McChrystal joined the infantry after graduating from West Point in 1976. He began his military career as a platoon commander in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Over the course of his career, he held several leadership and staff positions in the Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, 82nd Airborne Division, the XVIII Army Airborne Corps, and the Joint Staff. He is a graduate of the US Naval War College, and completed fellowships at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and the Council on Foreign Relations in 2000.

After 9/11 until his retirement in 2010, General McChrystal spent more than 7 years deployed to combat in a variety of leadership positions. In 2002, he was the chief of staff for military operations in Afghanistan. A year later he was selected to deliver nationally televised Pentagon briefings about military operations in Iraq. From 2003 to 2008, General McChrystal commanded JSOC, where he led the US Military’s counter-terrorism efforts all over the world. From the summer of 2008 until June 2009

General McChrystal was the Director of the Joint Staff. In June 2009, the President of the United States and the Secretary General of NATO appointed General McChrystal to be the Commander of US Forces Afghanistan and NATO ISAF. His command included more than 150,000 troops from 45 allied countries. On August 1, 2010 General McChrystal retired from the US Army.

General McChrystal is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches a course on Leadership in Operation. He sits on the board of the Franklin Project, Navistar International Corporation, and JetBlue. He also heads the White House Initiative Joining Forces, which is dedicated to encouraging companies, schools, philanthropic and religious groups, and local communities to recognize the stress that is endured by families of active-duty personnel, reservists, and veterans, and to strive to meet their needs.

General McChrystal resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife of 35 years, Annie.

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Dr. Condoleezza Rice

Former U.S. Secretary of State; Professor and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow, Stanford University; Founder, RiceHadleyGates LLC

Condoleezza Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates, LLC.

From January 2005-2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001-2005, the first woman to hold the position.

Rice served as Stanford University’s Provost from 1993-1999, during which she was the institution’s chief budget and academic officer. As Provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender — Integrated Training in the Military.

From 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as Director; Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs; and, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As professor of Political Science, Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the highest teaching honors – the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

She has authored and co-authored numerous books, including two bestsellers, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011) and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010); Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995) with Philip Zelikow; The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin; and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984).

In 1991, Rice cofounded the Center for a New Generation (CNG), an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California. In 1996, CNG merged with the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (an affiliate club of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America). CNG has since expanded to local BGCA chapters in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Dallas. She remains an active proponent of an extended learning day through after school programs.

Since 2009, Rice has served as a founding partner at RiceHadleyGates, LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to implement strategic plans and expand in emerging markets. Other partners include former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley and former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

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John W. Thompson

CEO, Virtual Instruments; Chairman, Microsoft

John W. Thompson was named CEO of Virtual Instruments in April of 2010. He has been an investor and member of the Virtual Instruments Board of Directors since 2009.

Prior to joining Virtual Instruments, John was chairman of the board and CEO of Symantec Corporation, the leader in internet security, from April 1999 to April 2009. During his 10-year tenure as CEO of Symantec, Thompson transformed the company into a leader in security, storage and systems management solutions, delivering world class products to a global customer base, from individual consumers to many of the world’s largest enterprises. He helped grow revenues from $600M to over $6B in ten years. He continued to serve as chairman of the board until October 2011. John also served in a number of senior leadership roles at IBM Corporation, including general manager of IBM Americas, prior to assuming the CEO role at Symantec.

Thompson has served on the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee (NIAC), making recommendations regarding the security of nation’s critical infrastructure, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the cause of the 2008 financial collapse and to make recommendations to Congress on steps to avoid or mitigate the impact of a reoccurrence. He is an active investor in early-stage companies and currently serves on the board of directors of Liquid Robotics, the world’s first wave-powered autonomous platform, DOMO, an emerging platform for business intelligence, and is an advisor to PernixData, a Flash Virtualization Platform (FVP) provider. John also serves on the board of Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, and is a trustee for Wetlands America Trust.

He has also served on the boards of NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company), Fortune Brands, Seagate Technologies, and UPS.

Thompson has been recognized by a number of industry and business associations for his leadership and public service. In 2012, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group recognized him with the Spirit of Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement award, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation named him Pioneer Business Leader in 2010 and in 2008 Junior Achievement recognized him as a Business Hall of Fame Laureate. Thompson was also awarded the David Packard Medal of Achievement from TechAmerica Foundation for his contributions to the high-tech industry.

Thompson completed his undergraduate studies at Florida A&M and holds a Master’s degree in Management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business.

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Chair Mary Jo White

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Mary Jo White was sworn in as the 31st Chair of the SEC on April 10, 2013. She was nominated to be SEC Chair by President Barack Obama on Feb. 7, 2013, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 8, 2013.

Chair White arrived at the SEC with decades of experience as a federal prosecutor and securities lawyer. As the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1993 to 2002, she specialized in prosecuting complex securities and financial institution frauds and international terrorism cases. Under her leadership, the office earned convictions against the terrorists responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the bombings of American embassies in Africa. She is the only woman to hold the top position in the 200- year-plus history of that office.

Prior to becoming the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Chair White served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney and later Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York from 1990 to 1993. She previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1978 to 1981 and became Chief Appellate Attorney of the Criminal Division.

After leaving her U.S. Attorney post, Chair White became chair of the litigation department at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, where she led a team of more than 200 lawyers. Chair White previously was a litigation partner at the firm from 1983 to 1990 and worked as an associate from 1976 to 1978.

Chair White earned her undergraduate degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from William & Mary in 1970, and her master’s degree in psychology from The New School for Social Research in 1971. She earned her law degree in 1974 at Columbia Law School, where she was an officer of the Law Review. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marvin E. Frankel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Chair White has won numerous awards in recognition of her outstanding work both as a prosecutor and a securities lawyer. The 2012 Chambers USA Women in Law Awards named her Regulatory Lawyer of the Year. Among other honors she has received are the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the George W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Distinction in Public Service, and the “Women of Power and Influence Award” given by the National Organization for Women.

Chair White is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International College of Trial Lawyers. She also has served as a director of The NASDAQ Stock Exchange and on its executive, audit, and policy committees. Chair White is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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John C. Williams

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

John C. Williams took office as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on March 1, 2011. In this role, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Fed’s Twelfth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington.

Dr. Williams was previously the executive vice president and director of research for the San Francisco bank, which he joined in 2002. He began his career in 1994 as an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, following the completion of his Ph.D. in Economics at Stanford University.

Dr. Williams’ research focuses on topics including: monetary policy under uncertainty; innovation; productivity, and business cycles. He has collaborated with economists from throughout the country and across the globe to examine economic and policy issues from different perspectives, and has published numerous articles in leading research journals.

Dr. Williams currently serves as the managing editor of the International Journal of Central Banking. Previously, he served as associate editor of the American Economic Review. Additionally, he served as senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Prior to completing his doctorate at Stanford, he earned a Master’s of Science with distinction in economics from the London School of Economics in 1989, and an A.B. with high distinction from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984.

Dr. Williams, 51, is a native of Sacramento, California.  He is married with two teenage sons and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.