Taelen Thomas

2016_taelen_thomasTAELEN THOMAS creates and performs biographical dramas in which he “brings to life” historical personalities including Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, Jack London, John Steinbeck, Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dylan Thomas, and Ogden Nash. A master of the oral tradition, he has performed in theatres, universities, public schools, banquet halls, and private homes throughout America. The most recent edition of Taelen’s own poetry is entitled “Inside of a Galloping Buffalo”.  He has also recorded a powerful CD of the poetry of Robinson Jeffers.

Taelen was officially honored last year as a “Living Legend” in the excellent and well-researched book, “Legendary Locals of Carmel-by-the-Sea”

Ross S. Stein

2016_ross_s_steinROSS S. STEIN is CEO and cofounder of Temblor.net, Consulting Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University, Scientist Emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey, and President-Elect of the Tectonophysics section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He is a Fellow of the AGU and the Geological Society of America, was Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research, and later chaired AGU’s Board of Journal Editors. He received an Sc.B. from Brown University magna cum laude and with honors, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Stein received the 2012 Gilbert F. White Natural Hazards Award from AGU, gave a 2012 TEDx talk, ‘Defeating Earthquakes,’ and received the 2000 Eugene M. Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award of the USGS. In 2003, the Science Citation Index reported that Stein was the second most cited author in earthquake science during the preceding decade; he was tenth most cited during 1900-2010.

In 2003, the Science Citation Index reported that Stein was the second most-cited author in earthquake science during the preceding decade; he was the 10th most cited earthquake scientist for the 110-year span, 1900-2010. Stein was Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research in 1986-89, and later chaired AGU’s Board of Journal Editors. He has been published in Science and Nature many times, and Scientific American twice.

In 2009, Ross cofounded the Global Earthquake Model, a public-private partnership building a seismic risk model for the world. Ross chaired GEM’s Science Board through 2014; the GEM Foundation is now staffed by 24 people. Stein sits on the Natural Catastrophe Advisory Council of Zurich Insurance. Stein is a speaker in the 2015-2016 MPSF Speaker Series, the largest community lecture series in the U.S., with 5,000 subscribers.

Ross has appeared in the Emmy-nominated documentary, ‘Killer Quake’ (NOVA, 1995), the ‘Great Quakes’ series (Discovery, 1997-2001), ‘Earthquake Storms’ (BBC Horizons/Discovery, 2003). He appeared in the multiple award-winning 2004 National Geographic IMAX movie ‘Forces of Nature,’ which he helped to write and animate. Stein has been on NPR’s News Hour and Science Friday and CNN three times each, and on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered about a dozen times. He is frequently interviewed by the San Francisco Bay area TV and radio news stations, and quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, SF Chronicle, Science and Nature.

MORE INFO: www.temblor.net 

Hampton Sides

2016_hampton_sidesHAMPTON SIDES is best-known for his deeply researched adventure narratives set in war or depicting epic expeditions of exploration. He is the author of the best-selling histories Ghost Soldiers, Blood and Thunder, Hellhound on His Trail, and, most recently, In the Kingdom of Ice.

An editor-at-large at Outside magazine and a frequent contributor to National Geographic, his journalistic works have been frequently anthologized and have twice been named Finalists at the National Magazine Awards.

A native of Memphis and a graduate of Yale, Hampton is a 2015 Miller Distinguished Scholar at the Santa Fe Institute. He is also a partner of Atalaya Productions, an independent film company that develops historical stories for the screen.

Hampton divides his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Colorado College, where he teaches narrative non-fiction and serves as Journalist in Residence. He is now at work on a book for Doubleday about the Korean War Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

MORE INFO: www.hamptonsides.com


Bernard Roth

2016_bernard_rothBERNARD ROTH is a co-founder and the Academic Director of Stanford’s “d.school.” He has published widely in the areas of design, creativity, education, kinematics and robotics, and has many awards for both his teaching and research.

His latest book, The Achievement Habit, was published by HarperCollins in 2015.

MORE INFO: www.muse.socoslearning.com


Peter Ricchiuti

2016_peter_ricchiutiPETER RICCHIUTI (Ri-Chooty) is the business professor you wish you had back in college. His humor and insight have twice made him the top professor at Tulane University’s Freeman’s School of Business.

Peter is a graduate of Babson College, started his career at the investment firm of Kidder Peabody & Co and later served at the chief investment officer for Louisiana. There he successfully managed the State’s $3 billion portfolio.

In 1993 he founded Tulane’s nationally acclaimed Burkenroad Reports student stock research program. Here he leads 200 business students in search of overlooked and underpriced stocks in six southern states.

He and his program have been featured widely in the financial press including; The Wall Street Journal, BARRON’s and The New York Times.

 MORE INFO: http://www.peterricchiuti.com  

Vivienne Ming

2016_vivienne_mingVIVIENNE MING, named one of 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013 by Inc. Magazine, is a theoretical neuroscientist, technologist and entrepreneur. She co-founded Socos, where machine learning and cognitive neuroscience combine to maximize students’ life outcomes. Vivienne is also a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, where she pursues her research in neuroprosthetics. In her free time, Vivienne has developed a predictive model of diabetes to better manage the glucose levels of her diabetic son and systems to predict manic episodes in bipolar sufferers.

She sits on the boards of StartOut, The Palm Center, Emozia, Engender, and Genderis Inc., and is a Chief Science Advisor to Cornerstone Capital, Platypus Institute, Shiftgig, and Bayes Impact. Dr. Ming also speaks frequently on issues of LGBT inclusion and gender in technology.

MORE INFO: www.muse.socoslearning.com


Abbas Milani

2016_dr_abbas_milaniProfessor ABBAS MILANI is the Director of the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies, co-director of the Iran Democracy Project and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. His expertise is U.S.-Iran relations as well as Iranian cultural, political, and security issues.

Milani is the author of Modernity and Its Foes in Iran (Gardon Press, 1998); The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution (Mage, 2000); Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Persian Modernity in Iran in English (Mage 2004) and Persian (Ketob Corp. 2004); Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memoir (Mage, 2006); Eminent Persians: The Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941-1979, two volumes (University of Syracuse Press, 2008); The Myth of the Great Satan (Hoover Institution Press, 2010);  The Shah (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011), his own Persian version of the book has also been published inside and outside Iran.

Culture and Politics in Contemporary Iran (Lynne Rienner, 2015) is his most recent book, edited with Larry Diamond. Milani has also translated numerous books and articles into Persian and English. He has published more than 200 essays and book reviews in journals and papers.

MORE INFO: abbbasmilani.stanford.edu.

Mas Masumoto

Mas Masumoto

2016_mas_masumotoMAS MASUMOTO is an organic peach and grape farmer and the author of ten books including: Epitaph for a PeachWisdom of the Last Farmer, Heirlooms, Letters to the Valley, Four Seasons in Five Senses, Harvest Son, Country Voices, and Silent Strength. His latest book, Changing Season, A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm was published in 2016 and written with his daughter, Nikiko Masumoto. He, along with his wife, Marcy, and daughter, Nikiko, published a family farm cookbook, The Perfect Peach in 2013. A feature documentary, Changing Season on the Masumoto Family Farm, about the theme of succession on a family farm, has been featured at film festivals and nationally broadcast on PBS in May, 2016.

A third generation farmer, Masumoto grows organic peaches, nectarines, and raisins on an 80 acre farm south of Fresno, California. Masumoto is currently a columnist for The Fresno Bee and the Sacramento Bee. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-2008. His writing awards include Commonwealth Club Silver medal, Julia Child Cookbook award, the James Clavell Literacy Award and a finalist in the James Beard Foundation awards. Wisdom of the Last Farmer was honored as “Best Environmental Writing in 2009” by National Resources Defense Council. The Perfect Peach was named by USA Today as one of best summer cookbooks in 2013. Masumoto received the “Award of Distinction” from UC Davis in 2003 and the California Central Valley “Excellence in Business” Award in 2007.

He is currently a board member of the Central Valley Community Foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California. He has served on the James Irvine Foundation from 2002-2014 and is the former chair of the California Council for the Humanities board. In 2013, President Obama appointed Masumoto the National Council on the Arts, the board for the National Endowment for the Arts.

MORE INFO:  www.masumoto.com

Mark Laret

Mark R. Laret

Mark LaretMARK R. LARET is president and chief executive officer of UCSF Health and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.  Laret, who joined UCSF in 2000, is a 30-year veteran of health care management and a national leader in health care reform. His career began at UCLA Medical Center, where he served from 1980-1995 in several leadership positions, before being named CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center, which he led from 1995 to 2000.  

As CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, Laret heads one of the most distinguished medical institutions in the world, one that is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top hospitals in the United States and as the best in Northern California. At UCSF, he has led initiatives to improve quality of care and patient safety and to modernize facilities and equipment. He led an effort to build a $1.5 billion UCSF hospital complex at the Mission Bay campus – including hospitals for children, women’s services and cancer — and raised $600 million in private contributions for the new facility.

He is immediate past Chair of the California Hospital Association and past chair of the board of directors of the Association of American Medical College.

Laret’s volunteer service includes membership on the board of the international charity Mercy Ships, which delivers medical care on hospital ships to indigent communities in Africa. He chaired corporate fundraising drives in San Francisco for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and American Heart Association.

He is a member of the board of directors of Varian Medical Systems Inc. in Palo Alto and Nuance Communications in Boston, Massachusetts.

Laret earned a bachelor’s degree at UCLA and a master’s degree at the University of Southern California (USC), both in political science.

Dan Klein

Dan Klein

2016_dan_kleinDAN KLEIN is an improviser. Other than two months as a lifeguard at the YMCA, every job he has ever had come from improvisational theater. As a Lecturer in Theater and Performance Studies and a Lecturer of Management at the Stanford GSB, Dan spends his time sharing, coaching, facilitating and playing games.

When Dan was an undergrad at Stanford, he took a class in improvisational theater from Patricia Ryan Madson. He slowly learned to shoot for average, fail cheerfully, pretend you are an expert, make your partner look good, serve the narrative, and to really, really be there. Now he gets to teach that same class!

Along with teaching Beginning and Advanced Improvisation, Dan has helped form the Stanford Improvisers, the Robber Barons (original sketch comedy) and the Flying Treehouse (children’s theater) student groups on campus.

At the GSB, Dan teaches Generative Leadership STRGM 259 and co- teaches Acting With Power OB333 with Deb Gruenfeld. At the d.school, Dan teaches Improv & Design, ReDesigning Theater, and Game Design: Making Fun.

When not in the classroom, Dan is either on the road teaching leadership communication with Stand & Deliver, or helping look after Rinconada, the all-freshman dorm where he and his wife are Resident Fellows.

Dan’s mission is to spread the Improviser’s Mindset around the entire world. Yes, let’s!