“Always intelligent and provocative, as well as disciplined and civil. A stimulating way to spend an evening.”
- The Wall Street Journal
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.
Edward Conard is a scholar, a public intellectual, and a highly successful business leader. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong (2012), an astute analysis of the financial crisis. He is often on television as a commentator on economic affairs. He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute where his work focuses on U.S. economic policy - in particular, on the effect of taxes, government policies, and finance on risk-taking and innovation. Conard was formerly a partner at Bain Capital, where he led the firm’s acquisition of large industrial companies, and before joining Bain, served as a director at Wasserstein Perella & Co., an investment bank that specialized in mergers and acquisitions. Conard is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan.
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 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.
Ilona Nemeth has had a varied career spanning three industries, and currently is pursuing interests across a similarly wide range. After running Global Sales at DoubleClick (now owned by Google), she then led the build-out of DoubleClick’s Rich Media platform, which became the fastest-growth area within online ad-delivery. Previously, she headed high-tech materials Strategy & Acquisitions for AlliedSignal (now Honeywell) and worked at Goldman Sachs. Ilona received an MBA from INSEAD in France and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University. She has served on several councils and advisory boards, including technology-provider Catchpoint, and at Rockefeller University, INSEAD, and the American Advisory Board of the London Symphony Orchestra.
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, 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 has, as principal, overseen the growth of varied businesses over the course of his career, in fields as diverse as lawn and garden products, home improvement, natural gas utilities, investment management, and insurance. Most recently, he sold Delphi Financial Group, an NYSE listed insurance company he controlled, to Tokio Marine Group. He serves on the board of directors for the Manhattan Institute and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He is also a member of the Yale University Council, the Yale School of Architecture Dean’s Council, the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Visiting Committee for the Department of Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A graduate of Yale University (A.B., summa cum laude, 1962) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1965), he was a tax lawyer with the New York law firm of Cahill, Gordon & Reindel and an economist with The RAND Corporation, where he was engaged in research on foreign policy issues and municipal finance. In 1969, he joined Oppenheimer & Company, where he was a general partner, when he left to form Rosenkranz & Company in 1978. Mr. Rosenkranz lives in Manhattan in an apartment that reflects his interests in Asian art and modern design. He has two adult children, Nicholas and Stephanie, and is married to Alexandra Munroe, Ph.D., a senior curator at the Guggenheim Museum.
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.
Ross Sandler is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School. He is the author of numerous publications on environmental law, transportation, and government issues. In 2003, Yale University Press released his new book, Democracy by Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government, written with Professor David Schoenbrod.
Dan Stern is Founder and Co-CEO of Reservoir Capital Group, a New York-based investment management firm. Prior to founding Reservoir in 1998, Dan was President of Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment advisory firm, and previously worked with the Burden Family in New York and the Bass Family in Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Stern has participated in the formation and development of numerous investment management entities, including Starwood Capital, Och-Ziff Capital Management, HBK Investments, Ellington Capital Management, and Anchorage Capital, among others. Mr. Stern is President of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He is a trustee of the Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the Educational Broadcasting Corporation (PBS Channel 13), DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids), the Allen-Stevenson School, the Big Apple Circus, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.