Expert, Proven Leadership Board of Trustees
Max Boot is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and the Los Angeles Times, and a regular contributor to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and other publications. He is author of the bestselling book, Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present (2013).
Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, which he established in 1998 with just $25,000. The company is the leading global political risk research and consulting firm, with offices in New York, Washington, and London, as well as a network of experts and resources in 90 countries. Eurasia Group provides analysis and expertise about how political developments and national security dynamics move markets and shape investment environments across the globe. Bremmer created Wall Street’s first global political risk index (GPRI). He is the founding chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geopolitical Risk and is an active public speaker. He has authored several books including the national bestsellers Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World and The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? Bremmer is a contributor to the Financial Times A-List and Reuters.com. He has written hundreds of articles for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Foreign Affairs. Bremmer earned a PhD in political science from Stanford University in 1994 and was the youngest-ever national fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a global research professor at New York University and has held faculty positions at Columbia University, the EastWest Institute, and the World Policy Institute.
Clea Conner is CEO of Intelligence Squared U.S. Clea has produced more than 150 award-winning public policy programs spanning technology, culture, economics, law, and global affairs, convening the world’s most influential voices on the most provocative questions of our time. Named one of Crain’s New York “40 Under 40,” Clea developed “Up For Debate” and “That’s Debatable” as television programs on Bloomberg, PBS, and Newsy, and produced the first debate between artificial intelligence and a human debater in partnership with IBM’s historic Project Debater. She holds more than two dozen awards for excellence in public affairs programming in radio, television, and podcasting. Her full bio is available here.
Edward “Ed” Conard is the author of two New York Times top-ten bestselling books: Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong (2012) and The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class (2016); and a contributor to Oxford University Press’ United States Income, Wealth, Consumption, and Inequality (2020). He is an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he was a founding partner of Bain Capital, where he worked closely with his friend and colleague, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In May of 2012, Conard published Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong. The book was featured on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine and went on to become a New York Times top ten non-fiction bestseller. Because of the publicity surrounding the publication of his book, Conard was the tenth most searched author on Google in 2012. Since its publication, Mr. Conard has made over 250 television appearances in which he has debated leading economists including Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Alan Kruger, Austen Goolsbee, and Jared Bernstein; journalists including Jon Stewart, Fareed Zakaria, Chris Hayes, and Andrew Ross Sorkin; and politicians such as Barney Frank, Howard Dean, and Eliot Spitzer. Prior to Bain Capital, Conard worked for Wasserstein Perella & Co., an investment bank that specialized in mergers and acquisitions, and Bain & Company, a management-consulting firm, where he led the firm’s industrial practice. Conard has a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Michigan.
DAVID A. COULTER
David A. Coulter is vice -chairman of Warburg Pincus, a leading private equity firm, and had previously served as vice-chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase and as chief executive officer of Bank of America. Coulter is a director of Aeolus Re, MBIA, Santander Asset Management, Sterling Financial, Triton Container International and Webster Bank. He has been an enthusiastic follower of the Intelligence Squared debates for many years, and has a broad-ranging set of philanthropic interests. These are reflected by his board memberships at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Mellon University.
Vanessa Mendoza is the executive vice president of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a domestic public-policy think tank. She joined the Institute in 2006 as a policy analyst for its legal policy division. She was recruited to work with the development team, was named vice president for development in 2009, and in 2012 was named executive vice president of the Institute. As executive vice president, Vanessa works with MI’s president to develop and manage the Institute’s strategic focus and projects. Additionally, she focuses her time on the Institute’s next-generation leadership initiatives including the Institute’s Young Leaders program and Adam Smith Society. She has broad oversight of the Institute’s development team. Prior to joining the Manhattan Institute, she worked at a New York City-based lobbying firm, for the 2004 Republican National Convention, and for a private-practice attorney. Vanessa earned her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and her B.A. from New York University with a concentration in the fields of political science, history, and election law. She serves on the board of Teneo, an organization of young professionals committed to advancing ideas that promote human freedom and flourishing, and on the advisory board of Open the Books, a nonprofit that works to make government spending transparent to all. Vanessa lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with her husband and two children.
Alexandra Munroe, Ph.D is the co-founder of Intelligence Squared U.S., and the Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. She has led the Guggenheim’s Asian Art Program since its founding in 2006 and has organized several award-winning and top-attended scholarly exhibitions of modern and contemporary Asian art. Munroe is former Vice President of Japan Society, New York, and former director of its museum. She is a trustee of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and the United States-Japan Foundation, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York.
Ben Nelson is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Minerva Project. In 2012, Minerva Project received a $25 million seed investment from Benchmark Capital and has since launched the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship and the Minerva Schools, a reinvented university experience for the brightest and most motivated students that provides an interdisciplinary curriculum using an advanced interactive learning platform. Prior to Minerva, Ben spent more than 10 years at Snapfish, an online photo sharing and storage service, where he served as CEO from 2005 to June 2010. During his tenure as CEO, he lead Snapfish’s sale to Hewlett Packard for $300M. Previously, Ben was president and CEO of Community Ventures, a network of locally branded portals for America’s communities. Ben holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors. It was at Penn that Ben first realized his passion for reforming undergraduate education.
Gerry Ohrstrom is a private investor in New York City and former chairman of the Ohrstrom Foundation. He is or has been a director of various corporations and nonprofit organizations, including the Reason Foundation, the Santa Fe Institute, Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Gruter Institute, the Property and Environment Research Center, Africa Fighting Malaria, the International Policy Network, the Booker T. Washington Learning Center, the Museum of the Rockies, and the Yellowstone Park Foundation. He has been Co-Chairman of the President’s Council at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and is a member of the New York Academy of Science.
KELLY POSNER GERSTENHABER
Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber, widely recognized for her commitment to education, is a renowned philanthropist, and a leading international expert in suicide prevention and depression. She is the director of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and a recipient of the New York State Suicide Prevention Award in 2013. Among her notable achievements, the FDA commissioned Dr. Posner Gerstenhaber to establish methods of suicide identification, which are now required across the U.S and many countries. She continues to work with the FDA, CDC, NIMH, military health care agencies, the U.S. Department of Education, and other international agencies. In a lead article in The New York Times, her work was characterized as “one of the most profound changes of the past 16 years to regulations governing drug development.” Dr. Posner Gerstenhaber serves on the board of Hereditary Disease Foundation and SmartTots, an FDA/private foundation addressing the safety of pediatric anesthesia. She is the founding chairman of the board of Turnaround for Children, the groundbreaking model that has been proven to fix failing schools in high-poverty communities, and is co-founder of The Speyer Legacy School and Institute, the first independent school and education reform approach for advanced learners.
Robert Rosenkranz is the Chairman of the board. His full bio is available here.
Mortimer D.A. Sackler serves as a member of the Board of privately held Purdue Pharma and the associated international pharmaceutical companies since 1988. He is an active investor and venture capitalist having helped found and develop numerous companies, through his holding company Stillwater, across the technology, consumer goods and hospitality sectors. Mortimer serves on the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences and the Board of Directors of the Guggenheim Museum.
Philippe Selendy is a general trial lawyer and the Chair of Securities and Structured Finance at Quinn Emanuel. His practice covers many areas of complex civil litigation at both trial and appellate levels, with an emphasis on financial products, securities, energy, and insurance. Lauded by the Financial Times as “The Man Who Took on Wall Street,” Selendy is nationally ranked in Chambers, named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in America by Benchmark Litigation, and named a “Leading Lawyer” in America by LawDragon 500. Described as “outstanding” by The Legal 500, Selendy is a multiple Law360 MVP, a National Law Journal “Trailblazer,” and a three-time AmLaw “Litigator of the Week,” which reported that the Federal Housing Finance Agency “hit the jackpot” by hiring him as its lead lawyer for its “litigation assault” on the world’s largest banks. In 2016, The American Lawyer named him “Litigator of the Year” and awarded him its first Grand Prize in Litigation.