Global Speaker Series

The Global Speaker Series seeks to enrich the GSB community’s global perspective by inviting top executives, government leaders, and other distinguished guests to speak on globally relevant topics. Speakers share personal reflections on leading a global career and inspire students to develop as future leaders in their fields of choice.

2013-2014 Speakers

Peter Henry, Dean, NYU Stern School of Business (May 2014)
Peter Henry is the Dean of NYU’s Stern School of Business and a former Professor of International Economics at Stanford University. In 2008, he led Barack Obama’s Presidential Transition Team in its review of international lending agencies such as the IMF and World Bank.

Victor Koo, CEO, Tudou; CEO and Founder, Youku (May 2014)
Victor Koo has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Youku, China’s leading internet television company, since its inception in 2005. He has more than a decade of experience in internet and media-related industries in China with companies such as Sohu and the Richina Group.

Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda (April 2014)
President Kagame has received recognition for his leadership in peace building and reconciliation, development, good governance, promotion of women’s empowerment, and advancement of education and ICT.

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google (March 2014)
Eric Schmidt served as chief executive officer of Google from 2001 to 2011. A member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Schmidt also chairs the board of the New America Foundation and is a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Jared Cohen, Director, Google Ideas (March 2014)
Jared Cohen is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Rhodes Scholar and the author of several books, including Children of Jihad and One Hundred Days of Silence. He is a member of the Director’s Advisory Board at the National Counterterrorism Center.

Joseph Jimenez, CEO, Novartis (February 2014)
Joseph Jimenez has been CEO of Novartis since 2010. Mr. Jimenez is responsible for leading the company’s diversified healthcare portfolio of leading businesses in innovative pharmaceuticals, eye care, generics, vaccines and diagnostics, and OTC and animal health.

Marvin Odum, President, Shell Oil Company and Upstream Americas Director (February 2014)
Marvin E. Odum is President of Shell Oil Company and Upstream Director of Royal Dutch Shell’s subsidiary companies in the Americas. Odum directs a broad portfolio, from traditional oil and gas development to emerging technologies in a wide range of areas, including heavy oil, onshore gas, light tight oil, deepwater, wind and biofuels.

Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company (January 2014)
Muhtar Kent is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. He is also Chairman of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council on Health and Innovation, a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, a member of the Business Roundtable, immediate past Co-Chair of The Consumer Goods Forum, a past Chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. ASEAN Business Council. 

John Prendergast, Co-Founder, Enough Project (January 2014)
John Prendergast is a human rights activist and best-selling author who has worked for peace in Africa for over 25 years. He is the co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity affiliated with the Center for American Progress. 

Iván Mancillas, CEO at Fundación Gentera (December 2013)
Iván Mancillas is Chief Executive Officer of Fundación Gentera, subsidiary of Gentera, a listed holding company on the Mexican Stock Exchange focused in the eradication of financial exclusion. He is part of the founding team of the institution, and has been Human Matters Officer, Executive Business Officer and Leadership Officer for the bank. Also, he is member of the Board of Compartamos Banco.

Jonathan Berman, Author, Success in Africa: CEO Insights from a Continent on the Rise (November 2013)
Mr. Berman is the author, most recently, of Success in Africa: CEO Insights from a Continent on the Rise, featuring the views of global and African CEOs on the unique dynamics of fast-growth markets. His views have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg and Harvard Business Review, where he writes a regular blog. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has advised numerous global Fortune 500 companies on entry and operations in emerging and frontier markets.

Major General Buster Howes, British Defense Attaché (October 2013)
As Defense Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, Major General Buster Howes is focused on operations and contingency planning, defense intelligence, cyber and space, service personnel, defense education and doctrine.


2012-2013 Speakers

Dr. Philipp Rösler, German Vice Chancellor & Federal Minister of Economics and Technology (May 2013)
Dr. Philipp Rösler became Germany's Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics and Technology in 2011. He is also the leader (chairman) of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and as such heads the smaller partner in Germany’s ruling coalition between Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the FDP. The 40-year-old is the second youngest member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet and shot to fame when he first joined the top ranks of government as Federal Minister of Health in 2009. Video of Speech

Elizabeth Buse, Group President - APCEMEA at Visa, Inc. (May 2013)
Elizabeth Buse is the group president, APCEMEA for Visa Inc., with responsibility for overseeing Visa's global sales and client service functions across Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Visa's fastest growing geographies. Previously, Buse was the global head of product for Visa Inc., leading all aspects of product strategy, development and growth. Prior to assuming the role of global head of product, Buse was executive vice president of product development and management for Visa USA, where she was responsible for the product development cycle — research, product innovation, new product development and product deployment — and for managing Visa USA’s consumer, small business and commercial products.

Paul Jacobs, CEO & Chairman at Qualcomm (April 2013)
Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is chairman of Qualcomm’s board of directors and the Company’s chief executive officer. He recently presented the eve-of-show keynote at this year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show, a slot long occupied by Microsoft’s Bill Gates. As a global leader in wireless technologies, Qualcomm is working to bring mobile technology to markets worldwide. Dr. Jacobs is responsible for looking for new ways technology can help address the challenges that our global community is facing through broadband networks. Video of Speech

Moisés Naím, Senior Associate at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (April 2013)
Moisés Naím is a Senior Associate in the International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the chief international columnist for El Pais and La Repubblica, Spain's and Italy's largest dailies and is one of the columnists in The Financial Times "A-List." In 2011, he was awarded the Ortega y Gasset prize, the most prestigious award in Spanish journalism. Video of Speech

Dana White, UFCDana White, President at Ultimate Fighting Championship (April 2013)
Dana White is the President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts sports organization that produces over 30 live events worldwide each year, from Los Angeles to London to Abu Dhabi. UFC programming is available in over 354 million homes in more than 145 countries, in 19 different languages. Mr. White is responsible for bringing mixed martial arts to the mainstream, through strict medical regulation reform and creative marketing of exciting Pay-Per-View fighting matches on television. Video of Speech

Lorraine Twohill. GoogleLorraine Twohill, VP of Global Marketing at Google (March 2013)
A native of Carlow, Ireland, Lorraine joined Google in 2003 and is responsible for the company's marketing efforts globally. With Lorraine’s 20 years of experience in marketing, she built and led all of Google's regional marketing teams and activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before joining Google, Lorraine built and led the Marketing team for Opodo, the European travel portal created by nine of Europe's airlines.

Heidi Ueberroth, NBA InternationalHeidi Ueberroth, President of NBA International (March 2013)
Heidi Ueberroth joined the NBA in 1994 and has been instrumental in expanding the league’s global presence. In November 2009, she was named President of NBA International and is responsible for leading the NBA's operations outside the United States. She oversees a staff based in 14 offices worldwide that manage the NBA's international business activities across television and media, marketing partnerships, consumer products, events, marketing communications, and new business initiatives. Under her direction, NBA games and programming are televised to 215 countries and territories in more than 47 languages.

Riley Bechtel, Chairman & CEO of Bechtel Group Inc. (March 2013)
Riley P. Bechtel is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Bechtel Group, Inc. In the 1980’s, Mr. Bechtel served as area superintendent at the Badak LNG Plant in Indonesia, general field superintendent on the New Zealand Gas-to-Gasoline project, and eventually moved to London where he served as a business development representative, pursuing projects in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Africa. After receiving a combined JD/MBA degree from Stanford University’s School of Law and Graduate School of Business, he joined the law firm of Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges, where he worked on matters for Bechtel and other clients.

Ratan Tata, Tata GroupRatan Tata, Former Chairman of Tata Group (February 2013)
Mr. Tata was Chairman of Tata Group from 1991 until his retirement in December 2012. He started his career at Tata as an apprentice on the shop floor of Tata Steel in 1962 and then worked his way up. Tata is credited with turning Tata from a largely India-centric company into a global business, with approximately 65% of revenues coming from abroad. Video of Speech

Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director at McKinsey (January 2013)
Dominic Barton is the Global Managing Director of McKinsey. In his 24 years with the firm, Barton has advised clients in a range of industries — including banking, consumer goods, high tech, and industrial — but his core area of work is in financial-sector development and reform. Video of Speech

Alejandro Toledo, Former President of Peru (December 2012)
President Toledo was democratically elected President of Peru in 2001. During his five-year term, the central aim of Toledo’s presidency was the fight against poverty through investment in healthcare and education. As a result of sustained economic growth and deliberate social policies directed to the poorest of the poor, extreme poverty was reduced by 25 percent in five years, and employment rose at an average rate of 6 percent from 2004-2006. Video of Speech

Arnold EpkeArnold Epke, Group CEO at Ecobank (November 2012)
Ecobank is a pan-African bank founded in 1985 and with a presence in 32 countries. Mr. Epke has been Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated since 2005. He has over 26 years of African and international banking experience, having also worked in Europe, South Africa and West Africa for Citibank and First Chicago.

Ma Jun photoMa Jun, Founding Director, Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (October 2012
Ranked #1 in Fast Company’s 2012 100 Most Creative People in Business Ma Jun is an influential Chinese environmentalist and writer. He is the founding director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) and led the efforts in developing theChina Water Pollution Map, an open-source online database created to monitor corporate environmental performance.


2011-2012 Speakers

Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey

Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey (May 2012)
Turkish President Abdullah Gül praised the technological innovations that have come out of the university and Silicon Valley as critical to expanding freedom and enabling democracy around the world. News Story | Video of Speech 

Karl Eikenberry, Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and Retired Army GeneralKarl Eikenberry, Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and Retired Army General (May 2012)
Ambassador Eikenberry spoke about the unique organizational, cultural and leadership challenges he has faced leading U.S. efforts in one of the most high-interest and high-pressure missions in the world.  

Álvaro Uribe, Former President of Colombia (February 2012) 
Stick to your core beliefs when confronted with unanticipated moments of crisis, and build a team that can help you effectively confront difficult challenges, advises former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe.  He employed a tough leadership style in a once dangerous part of the world, and remains an opposition party leader. News Story

Jared Cohen, Director, Google Ideas (January 2012)
Online technology challenges citizens to build better societies, not just revolt against bad ones, Google Ideas leader Jared Cohen says. Quote: “It’s great to have so many people online, but in the case of Egypt, you can’t have 90 million people sitting around a table writing a constitution.” News Story

David Miliband, Member of Parliament, U.K.Sally Osberg, President and CEO, Skoll Foundation (December 2011)
Sally Osberg believes headlines like "Child Soldiers Exchange Guns for Books in Africa" or "U.S. Imports Last Barrel of Oil" might be achievable through social entrepreneurship. Speaking to a GSB audience, she emphasizes that both social entrepreneurs and their for-profit peers are "agents of creative destruction" but that the former has to face much greater challenges. News Story

David Miliband, Member of Parliament, U.K.David Miliband, Member of Parliament, U.K. (September 2011)
David Miliband, a British Labour Party Member, became the UK's youngest foreign minister in three decades when he served from 2007 to 2010. While visiting the GSB in September, he co-taught a crisis management class with Professor Condoleezza Rice and engaged in a fireside chat with Professor Ken Schotts on a number of topicsNews Story


2010-2011 Speakers

Laura Chinchilla, President, Costa RicaLaura Chinchilla, President, Costa Rica (May 2011)
Costa Rica now exports 4,000 products and is working to attract more technology companies President Laura Chinchilla told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience as the nation broadens its economic base from the focus on eco-tourism. News Story

Silvio Gabriel, Executive Vice President and Head, The Malaria Initiative, NovartisSilvio Gabriel, Executive Vice President and Head, The Malaria Initiative, Novartis (March 2011)
Gabriel spearheaded a pilot project called SMS for Life, enabling Tanzanian public health workers to keep ample supplies of lifesaving anti-malaria drugs on hand at their medical clinics using cell phone text messaging alerts. The effort has dramatically reduced occurrences of the mosquito-borne illness. He described the program during a talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business on March 3. News Story 

Marcos Galperin, Founder and CEO, MercadoLibreMarcos Galperin, Founder and CEO, MercadoLibre (March 2011)
Marcos Galperin, founder of MercadoLibre and alumnus of the GSB, addressed students at the GSB on March 3 as part of the Global Speaker Series. He detailed moves the company is making to capitalize on the trends that have boosted internet penetration in the region from 3% in 1999 to 36% today. News Story

Carlos Brito,CEO, AB InBevCarlos Brito, CEO, AB InBev (November 2010)
As head of the world’s largest beer marketer, Carlos Brito of AB InBev says success of a corporation hinges on hiring high-performing individuals, who bring passion and commitment to the job, and on building a company culture that keeps them. News Story 

Bret Clayton, Group Executive, Business Support and Operations, RioTintoBret Clayton, Group Executive, Business Support and Operations, RioTinto (November 2010)
Bret Clayton discusses the topic of The Global Dynamics of Strategic Resources. RioTinto is one of the world's leading mining and exploration companies with operations in six continents and $85B in assets. News Story.

Bill Drayton, Founder AshokaBill Drayton, Founder and C.E.O., Ashoka: Innovators for the Public (October 2010)
Listen to a conversation between Rick Aubry and Bill Drayton as they discuss how Drayton used entrepreneurship to drive sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Ashoka: Innovators for the Public is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding and fostering social entrepreneurs worldwide. News Story


2009-2010 Speakers

Amr Al-Dabbagh , Governor, Saudi Arabian General Investment AuthorityAl-Dabbagh, Governor, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (May 2010)
Saudi Arabia is nearing its goal to become one of the world’s top 10 investment destinations, with plans to spend $600 billion in the next decade, Governor Amr Al-Dabbagh, head of the agency responsible for promoting investment, told an MBA audience. News Story

Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Nissan and RenaultCarlos Ghosn, CEO, Nissan and Renault (January 2010)
Auto companies can expect to be shaken up by the emergence of at least one significant carmaker in China and India each over the next 10 years, said the CEO of Nissan and Renault. He further warned that by looking the other way, established companies will only fuel the silent growth of such disruptors, and instead suggested a strategy of subduing such competition through alliances. News Story

James D. Wolfensohn, Founder & CEO, Wolfensohn & Co, and former president of the World BankJames D. Wolfensohn , Founder & CEO, Wolfensohn & Co, and former president of the World Bank (January 2010)
The former President of The World Bank addressed the GSB students and elaborated on the huge power shift that will occur in the next 40 years . As population and GDP grows in countries such as China and India, they will assume a larger role in relationship to the United States and Europe. "There will be a monumental shift of economic power. It's not just a moderation trend, but a fundamental change in the world balance," he said. News Story