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Hosts and Conveners

George Pratt Shultz is the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Shultz has had a distinguished career in government, in academia, and in the world of business. He is one of two individuals who has held four different federal cabinet posts; he has taught at three of this country’s great universities, and; for eight years he was president of a major engineering and construction company. He was appointed secretary of labor by President Nixon in 1969. In June 1970, he became the first director of the newly formed Office of Management and Budget. In May 1972, he was named secretary of the Treasury, a post he held for two years. During this period, Shultz also served as chairman of the Council on Economic Policy, negotiated a series of trade protocols with the Soviet Union, and represented the United States in the Tokoyo meeting on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Shultz held two key positions in the Regan administration: chairman of the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981-82) and secretary of state (1982-89). As secretary of state, he played a key role in implementing a foreign policy that led to the successful conclusion of the Cold War and the development of strong relationships between the United States and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region including China, Japan, and the Association of Southeast Asia Nations.

William Perry profile photo

William Perry is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies. He is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor at Stanford University and serves as co-director of the Nuclear Risk Reduction initiative and the Preventive Defense Project. He is an expert in US foreign policy, national security, and arms control. He was the co-director of CISAC from 1988 to 1993, during which time he was also a half-time professor at Stanford. Perry was the nineteenth secretary of defense for the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as deputy secretary of defense (1993–94) and as undersecretary of defense for research and engineering (1977–81). Perry currently serves on the Defense Policy Board, the International Security Advisory Board, and the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. He is on the board of directors of Covant, Fabrinet, LGS Bell Labs Innovations, and several emerging high-tech companies.

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 to 2009, Rice served as the sixty-sixth 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 adviser) from January 2001 to 2005, the first woman to hold the position. She served as Stanford University's Provost from 1993-1999.

Steven Chu profie photo

Steven Chu is a professor of physics and the William R. Kenan, Jr. professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology in the Medical School at Stanford University. He is the president-elect of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  He shares a Nobel Prize in Physics for work on cooling and trapping atoms with laser light. He has published over 280 papers in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology, batteries, and other energy technologies.  He holds 14 patents, and an additional 6 patent applications have been filed in the last 2 years. Dr. Chu was the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy from January 2009 until the end of April 2013. As the first scientist to hold a Cabinet position and the longest-serving Energy Secretary, he recruited outstanding scientists and engineers into the Department of Energy. He began several initiatives including ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy), the Energy Innovation Hubs, and was personally tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak.

Sally Benson profile photo

Sally M. Benson joined Stanford University in 2007. She holds three appointments at Stanford: professor of energy resources engineering in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, the campus-wide hub of energy research and education; and director of the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), a pioneering university-industry partnership to develop innovative, low-carbon energy supplies to meet global energy needs. Prior to joining GCEP, Benson completed a four-year term as Deputy Director of Operations at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Benson is an internationally recognized scientist with extensive management experience. She is the author or co-author of over 160 scientific publication and in a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society.

Arun Majumdar profile photo

Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Professor at Stanford University, a faculty member of the departments of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering (by courtesy) and co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, which integrates and coordinates research and education activities across all seven schools and the Hoover Institution at Stanford. In 2009, Majumdar was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate as the founding director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), and also served as the acting undersecretary of energy. In 2012, he joined Google, where as vice president of energy, he was tasked with driving Goole.org's energy initiatives and advising the company on their broader energy strategy. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

In March of 2012, Jay Precourt co-founded the Vail Global Energy Forum in partnership with Stanford University, the Precourt Institute for Energy, and the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center. He now serves as an advisor to the Stanford Global Energy Forum. Recently, Mr. Precourt was the Chairman and CEO of Hermes Consolidated of Denver, Colorado, a private company active in crude oil refining, pipelining, and marketing of petroleum products. He has subsequently sold the company. Mr. Precourt has spent his career in the energy industry, earlier holding president and/or CEO positions at Hamilton Oil Company, Tejas Gas Corporation, ScissorTail Energy, and Hermes Consolidated, the last three of which became substantial companies under his leadership, having begun as fledging start-ups in the energy sector. Mr. Precourt received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in petroleum engineering from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

Cindy A. Williams is the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy outreach and program manager where she is responsible for engaging the Stanford - Silicon Valley - Global corporate energy community in Stanford’s energy initiatives. These efforts include leading the development and implementation of the Global Energy Forum as Stanford's major annual energy event. Prior to joining the Precourt Institute for Energy she served 13 years at the Stanford University Office of Public Affairs where she led corporate outreach efforts as director of the Stanford Executive Briefings (2007-2016),  programming for Stanford University’s 125th Anniversary (2015-2017), community outreach as co-producer of Community Day at Stanford (2004-2006), as well as domestic and international protocol work and production of select programs such as Academic Council, Asian Pacific Rim Universities, Ivy Plus, Page Society and Public Affairs Seminars. She is a member of the Public Affairs Council, serves on the board of Ishimwe Center - a Rwandan aid organization, and as producer of Silicon Valley Night to Shine.