Ray Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, with a thirty-year track record of accurate predictions. Called "the restless genius" by The Wall Street Journal and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes magazine, Kurzweil was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, which described him as the "rightful heir to Thomas Edison." PBS selected him as one of the "sixteen revolutionaries who made America."
Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.
Among Kurzweil’s many honors, he received the 2015 Technical Grammy Award for outstanding achievements in the field of music technology; he is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, holds twenty-one honorary Doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents.
Kurzweil has written five national best-selling books, including New York Times best sellers The Singularity Is Near (2005) and How To Create A Mind (2012). He is co-founder and chancellor of Singularity University and a director of engineering at Google heading up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding. @raykurzweil
David Cameron served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 2010 to 2016, leading Britain’s first Coalition Government in nearly 70 years and, at the 2015 General Election, forming the first majority Conservative Government in the UK for over two decades.
Internationally, David Cameron developed a foreign policy in the post-Iraq era that addressed the new challenges of the Arab Spring, as well as a more aggressive Russia, while ensuring that Britain played a full role in the global fight against ISIS. Under his leadership, Britain built a strong partnership with India and became China’s preferred partner in the West. Throughout, David Cameron championed Britain’s special relationship with the US, working closely with President Barack Obama.
The family live in London and West Oxfordshire.
John Sculley III (born April 6, 1939) is an American businessman, entrepreneur and investor in high-tech startups. Sculley was vice-president (1970–1977) and president of Pepsi-Cola (1977–1983), until he became chief executive officer of Apple Inc. on April 8, 1983, a position he held until leaving in 1993. In May 1987, Sculley was named Silicon Valley's top-paid executive, with an annual salary of US$2.2 million.
Sculley is recognized worldwide as an expert in marketing, in part because of his early successes at PepsiCo, notably his introduction of the Pepsi Challenge, which allowed the company to gain market share from primary rival Coca Cola. He used similar marketing strategies throughout the 1980s and 1990s at Apple to mass-market Macintosh personal computers, and today he continues to speak and write about disruptive marketing strategies. Sculley is currently invested in and involved with a number of high-tech start-up companies, including 3CInteractive, XL Marketing (now rebranded as Zeta Interactive), Inflexion Point, Mobeam, OpenPeak, x10 Credit, Pivot Acquisition Corp., nextSource and WorldMate. He is currently Chairman of the PeopleTicker and SkillsVillage.
Born in New Jersey in 1962, Chris Christie is the Republican governor of New Jersey, known for his combative style and for being popular with Republicans throughout the country. During his tenure as head of the state, Christie's long-running battle with powerful and relatively popular teachers' unions mobilized strong opposition to many of his policies, but he has won national acclaim for his ability to move legislation forward and to win over constituents.
He is a member of the Republican Party and has been the 55th Governor of New Jersey since January 2010. His term ends January 16, 2018. Born in Newark, Christie volunteered for Thomas Kean's gubernatorial campaign at age 15. After graduating in 1984 from the University of Delaware, he earned a J.D. at Seton Hall. He practiced law 1987–2002. He was elected county freeholder (legislator) for Morris County, serving 1995–1998. By 2002, he had campaigned for Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush; the latter appointed him U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, a position he held 2002–2008.
Chris Christie married his wife Mary Pat in 1986. The couple has four children: sons Andrew and Patrick and daughters Sarah and Bridget. They live in Mendham, New Jersey.
Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and, columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six bestselling books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat. Thomas L. Friedman, a New York Times Op-Ed columnist, writes about foreign affairs, globalization and technology.
Friedman has won three Pulitzer Prizes: the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon), the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel), and the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. In 2004, he was also awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement and the honorary title Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2009, he was given the National Press Club’s lifetime achievement award.
David Alexander Paterson (born May 20, 1954) is an American politician. He was the 55th Governor of New York, in office from 2008 to 2010. He was the first African American governor of New York and also the second legally blind governor of any U.S. state after Bob C. Riley, who was Acting Governor of Arkansas for 11 days in January 1975.
Since leaving office, Paterson has been a radio talk show host on station WOR in New York City, and was in 2014 appointed Chairman of the New York Democratic Party by his successor as governor, Andrew Cuomo.
After graduating from Hofstra Law School, Paterson worked in the District Attorney's office of Queens County, New York, and on the staff of Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins. In 1985, he was elected to the New York State Senate to a seat that was once held by his father, former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson.
In 2003, he rose to the position of Senate Minority Leader. Paterson was selected as running mate by then-New York Attorney General and Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Eliot Spitzer in the 2006 New York gubernatorial election.Spitzer and Paterson were elected in November 2006 with 69 percent of the vote, and Paterson took office as lieutenant governor on January 1, 2007.
Jan W. Rivkin is the Senior Associate Dean for Research and a Professor in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School. As co-chair of HBS's project on the competitiveness of the United States, he has worked with a faculty team to explore steps that leaders--especially business leaders--can take to improve the ability of firms in the U.S. to win in the global marketplace and lift the living standards of the average American. He focuses especially on how leaders in different parts of a community can work together to generate prosperity and share it broadly. In partnership with faculty colleagues and senior leaders in a number of cities, he has launched the Young American Leaders Program, a “boot camp” on cross-sector collaboration for emerging civic leaders.
Rivkin’s research on business strategy focuses on how top managers make decisions that span functional and product boundaries within a firm. He currently teaches strategy in HBS’s Advanced Management Program.
Rivkin was trained at Princeton, the London School of Economics, and Harvard. He, his wife, and their two sons live in Newton, Massachusetts.
Arne Duncan is the ninth U.S. secretary of education. He served under President Barack Obama from January 20, 2009 through January 1, 2016. Arne’s tenure as secretary has been marked by a number of significant accomplishments on behalf of American students and teachers. He helped to secure congressional support for President Obama’s investments in education, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s $100 billion to fund 325,000 teaching jobs, increases in Pell grants, reform efforts such as Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, and interventions in low-performing schools. Additionally, he has helped secure an additional $10 billion to avoid teacher layoffs; the elimination of student loan subsidies to banks; and a $500 million national competition for early learning programs.
Before becoming secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he held from June 2001 through December 2008. In that time, he won praise for uniting education reformers, teachers, principals and business stakeholders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening more than 100 new schools, expanding after-school and summer learning programs, closing down underperforming schools, increasing early childhood and college access, dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers, and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives Prior to joining the Chicago Public Schools, from 1992 to 1998, he ran the nonprofit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative, which helped fund a college education for a class of inner-city children under the I Have A Dream program. Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, after majoring in sociology.
In 2016, Duncan opened a Chicago office for the Emerson Collective, a California-based philanthropy headed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs. He plans to support entrepreneurs who can provide jobs in underprivileged neighborhoods, and to create and expand training programs that equip young people with the skills they need to get those jobs. @arneduncan
Mr. Kudlow is a nationally syndicated columnist. He is a contributing editor of National Review magazine, as well as a columnist and economics editor for National Review Online. He is the author of "American Abundance: The New Economic and Moral Prosperity," published by Forbes in January 1998. "JFK and the Reagan Revolution" will be released September 6, 2016.
During President Reagan's first term, Kudlow was the associate director for economics and planning, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, where he was engaged in the development of the administration's economic and budget policy.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Extraordinary Commitment Award from St. Patrick's Church of Redding, CT; Bishop's Humanitarian Award from the Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens; Humanitarian Award from Pregnancy Care Center of New Rochelle, NY; Distinguished Communicator Award from the Brooklyn Diocese; Ambassadors for Mission Award from the Pontifical Mission Societies of the United States.
In addition, Mr. Kudlow received the Spirit Award from Hazelden Foundation of Center City, MN; Exemplary Achievement Award from Covenant House of New York; Ethical Angel Award from the Guardian Angels of New York; the Reagan Great Communicator Award from the New York Young Republicans Club; Discovery Award from Sacred Heart University; Visionary Award from Council for Economic Education; Community Recognition Award from Positive Directions; Reflection Award from Good Counsel; President's Award from Silver Hill Hospital;and Dwight-Englewood School Outstanding Alumni Award.
Mr. Kudlow received an honorary degree (Doctor of Laws) from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ in 2009 and an honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Rochester in 2013. He was a 2014 Media Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
Jeff Greene is an investor and philanthropist who manages a multibillion-dollar portfolio in financial investments and real estate. He has more than $2 billion in real estate development projects in South Florida, New York and Los Angeles. Greene is known for being among the first to recognize the housing bubble in 2006. His shorting of subprime mortgage-backed bonds has been described as the single most profitable trade by an individual in Wall Street history. He is the founder of the Greene Institute, which focuses on inequality, education and health. He also serves on the boards of numerous nonprofits and education institutions. He and his wife, Mei Sze, are signatories to the Giving Pledge, created by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Greene holds a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.