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Advisory Council

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Launched in 2023, our Advisory Council consists of a collection of leaders in industry, government, and academia. They will be working with faculty, students, and staff to help shape new initiatives and also help maximize our impact in the world. 

Anela Arifi
Stanford E-IPER PhD Student and Knight-Hennessy Scholar

Arifi is an Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) PhD student and a Knight-Hennessy Scholar researching the role of waste biomass energy in energy system decarbonization, with a current focus on the difficult-to-decarbonize sectors like aviation. She received her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, where she worked on designing biomass conversion processes to aid in sustainably setting biofuels in a circular economy paradigm. Before coming to Stanford she worked as a Junior Energy Analyst for the Western Balkans at the World Bank and as a Climate Ambassador for The Climate Initiative. To raise awareness about energy poverty, Anela gave a TEDWomen Talk and addressed the United Nations at the UNICEF Activate Talks. While in her home country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, she developed renewable energy systems for rural communities, using waste chicken feathers and municipal solid waste. Through her bioenergy research, Anela aspires to contribute to energy poverty alleviation by identifying opportunities for innovative energy technology and energy policy. 

Sandra Begay

Sandra Begay
Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories

Begay, a Navajo engineer, has been a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories for more than three decades. She has an AS degree in pre-engineering, a BS in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico, and an MS from Stanford University in structural engineering. For 20 years, she has provided technical assistance to U.S. tribes and is a subject matter expert on tribal energy. She received the 2020 Indigenous Excellence Award and the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society; the 2007 ZIA Alumni Award and the 2005 Distinguished Engineering Alumni from the University of New Mexico; and the 2000 Stanford University Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame Award. 

Natarajan “Chandra” Chandrasekaran
Chairman, Tata Sons 

Chandrasekaran has served as the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of all Tata Group companies, since 2017. He is also the chairman of several group companies: Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Air India, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer, Indian Hotel, and TCS, of which he was the CEO from 2009 to 2017. He is on the International Advisory Council of both the Singapore Economic Development Board and Mitsubishi Corporation, and is co-chair of the U.S.-India CEO Forum. In 2022, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India. Chandrasekaran is the author of Bridgital Nation, a groundbreaking book on harnessing technological disruptions in order to bring Indians closer to their dreams. 

Steven A. Denning
Chair Emeritus, General Atlantic; Former Chair, Stanford University Board of Trustees

Denning is chairman emeritus of General Atlantic and has been part of the firm since 1980; he formerly worked with McKinsey & Company. He serves on numerous boards of directors, including at the Rocky Mountain Institute, the National Park Foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he is vice chair. He is on the Columbia Climate Board of Advisors and is former co-chair of The Nature Conservancy board of directors. At Stanford, Denning holds many volunteer roles, including vice chair of the Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council; chair of the GSB Global Advisory Council; member of the Freeman Spogli Institute Advisory Board; and member of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program Global Advisory Boards. He is former chairman of the Stanford Board of Trustees and emeritus chairman of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. He earned his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; his BS at the Georgia Institute of Technology, from which he has an honorary doctorate; and his MS from the Naval Postgraduate School. The Stanford Alumni Association awarded Denning the Gold Spike Award in 2022. 

Ann Doerr

Ann Doerr
Chair, Khan Academy

Doerr is chair of Khan Academy, former board member and current advisory board member of the Environmental Defense Fund, and former trustee of Rice University. At Stanford, she has served as a member of Stanford Medicine’s Cancer Council and Under One Umbrella Steering Committee. Motivated by a deep and urgent desire to avert the worst impacts of climate change, she and her husband, John, partnered with the university to launch the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. They have generously supported numerous other Stanford priorities including Stanford Medicine, Stanford Cancer Center, School of Engineering, Athletics, the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and Lively Arts.

John Doerr

John Doerr (Co-Chair)
Chair, Kleiner Perkins

Doerr is an engineer, venture capitalist, chair of Kleiner Perkins, and author of bestsellers Measure What Matters and Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now. John was an original investor and board member at Google and Amazon, helping to create over a million jobs and the world’s most valuable companies. He serves entrepreneurs with ingenuity and optimism, helping them build bold teams and disruptive companies. As a pioneer of Silicon Valley’s cleantech movement, Doerr has been investing in zero emissions technologies since 2006. At Stanford, he and his wife, Ann, partnered with the university to launch the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability in order to dramatically accelerate scientific, technological, and policy breakthroughs and solutions.

Angela Filo

Angela Filo
Co-founder, Skyline Foundation; member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees

Filo founded and leads Skyline Foundation, which she established in 2000 with her husband, Yahoo co-founder David Filo. Climate is the largest of the foundation’s four strategic areas, which also include education, democracy, and maternal health. In its climate work, the foundation funds organizations working to advance climate solutions that secure lasting and just results based on effective, scalable strategies. At Stanford, Filo is a member of the Board of Trustees and chairs its Committee on Development, is a member of the Campaign Committee, and serves on the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates
Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Founder, Breakthrough Energy

Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Breakthrough Energy. He founded Microsoft in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen and led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software and services. In 2008, Bill transitioned to focus full-time on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people. At Breakthrough Energy, he is putting his experience as an innovator and problem-solver to work to address climate change by supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, big thinkers, and clean technologies.

Jamshyd Godrej

Jamshyd N. Godrej
Chair, Godrej & Boyce

Godrej is chairman of the board of Godrej & Boyce in Mumbai, India, founded in 1897. He serves as chairperson of the boards of directors of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, India Resources Trust (aka WRI India) Council on Energy, Environment & Water, and CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre. He is a director of ClimateWorks Foundation and World Resource Institute, and a trustee of WWF India. He is a former president of the Confederation of Indian Industry. In 2003, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India.

Hal Harvey
Founder, Energy Innovation Policy and Technology LLC

Harvey is the founder of Energy Innovation Policy and Technology LLC®. He was founder and chief executive officer of the Energy Foundation, and helped establish Energy Foundation China, the European Climate Foundation, and the Indian Sustainable Energy Foundation. He is president of the board of directors of the New-Land Foundation and a member of the Fifth Third Bank board of directors; the Mercator Climate Center Expert advisory board; and the Agora Energiewende supervisory board. He has served as environment program director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Harvey has been honored with the Heinz Award for the Environment; the United Nations’ Clean Air and Climate Change Award; and the California Air Resources Board’s Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award. Early in his career, he designed and built solar homes and built an electric car for his commute. He holds BS and MS degrees from Stanford University in engineering, specializing in energy planning.

Mark Heising. Photo by Drew Bird.

Mark Heising
Founder, Medley Partners 

Heising founded Medley Partners, a private market investment firm. Previously, he was the founder of VLSI Cores, which designed and licensed cryptographic integrated circuits. He holds six U.S. patents in cryptography, compression, and data communications. Heising is chair of the Environmental Defense Fund. He is a trustee for the Institute for Advanced Study and a board member for the Heising-Simons Foundation and the Heising-Simons Action Fund. He and his wife, Liz Simons, took the Giving Pledge in 2016, publicly committing the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. He earned a BS in physics and an MS in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.

John Hennessy

John L. Hennessy (Co-Chair)
President Emeritus of Stanford and Shriram Family Director, Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, Stanford University

Hennessy, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, served as Stanford University’s 10th president from 2000 until 2016. He is now director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. He was chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1994 to 1996; dean of the School of Engineering from 1996 to 1999; and university provost from 1999 to 2000. He co-founded MIPS Computer Systems and was the founding board chair of Atheros Communications, one of the early developers of WiFi technology. He is currently chairman of the board of Alphabet. His honors include the 2017 ACM Turing Award, which he received jointly with David Patterson of the University of California, Berkeley.

Martin Lau

Martin Lau
President, Tencent 

Lau became president of Tencent in 2006 to manage its day-to-day operations, after joining the company in 2005 as chief strategy and investment officer. Prior to Tencent, he was an executive director at Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC's investment banking division and the chief operating officer of its Telecom, Media, and Technology Group. Prior to that, he worked at McKinsey & Company, Inc. as a management consultant. He received his BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan; his MS in electrical engineering from Stanford University; and his MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.

George Pavlov
Chief Executive Officer, Bayshore Global Management 

Pavlov oversees a broad range of activities including investments, operations, and philanthropy. He has developed and implemented new investment and grant-making strategies to pursue value-oriented results in select areas, including neurological diseases, economic mobility, and most recently, climate change. Prior to BGM, Pavlov spent over two decades in the investment business based in Silicon Valley as a General Partner at Tallwood Venture Capital and the Mayfield Fund. He has served on public company, private company, and non-profit boards. Pavlov is currently an active board member for a number of organizations, including the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and Blue Meridian Partners. Pavlov graduated from Boston College with a degree in accounting.

Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs
Founder and President, Emerson Collective

Powell Jobs is the founder and president of Emerson Collective, an organization designed to develop opportunities and solutions in education, environment, immigration, and health equity through philanthropy, creativity, and investments. In 1997, she founded College Track, a program created to empower students who face systemic barriers, providing the tools and resources necessary to pursue a bachelor’s degree and achieve a life of opportunity. She remains board chair at College Track; serves as board chair for XQ Institute, The Atlantic, and Elemental Excelerator; and sits on the boards of Chicago CRED, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Ford Foundation.

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice
Tad and Dianne Taube Director, Hoover Institution

Secretary Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and a Senior Fellow on Public Policy. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm. From January 2005 to January 2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor from January 2001 to January 2005. She served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999; has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981; and has won two of the university’s highest teaching honors: the School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Tom Steyer

Tom Steyer
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chair, Galvanize Climate Solutions

Steyer is an American investor committed to investing in the people and solutions driving climate progress. He founded and ran Farallon Capital Management, a multi-strategy global investment business based in San Francisco, from 1986 to 2012. He then stepped away from Farallon to dedicate his time, resources, and energy to mobilizing bold climate action. Steyer is the founder of NextGen America, the largest youth voter engagement organization in American history, and co-founder of Beneficial State Bank, a triple-bottom-line community development bank focused holistically on justice and sustainability. In 2019, he became a Democratic presidential candidate and later served as co-chair for Governor Newsom’s Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force. Today, Steyer is the co-executive chair of Galvanize Climate Solutions, a climate-focused global investment firm accelerating climate solutions.

Gene Sykes

Gene Sykes
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co.; member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University

Sykes is Managing Director of Goldman Sachs & Co. and co-chair Global Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and of the Global Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Group. He is chair of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and served as chief executive officer of Los Angeles 2024 and Los Angeles 2028, the organizations responsible for bidding for and organizing the Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sykes is a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees and the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. He serves on the boards of the Pacific Council on International Policy and Common Sense Media. He earned an MBA from Stanford University and an AB from Harvard University.

Wang Yi

Yi Wang
Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy, School of Public Policy and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Science

Wang is Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at the School of Public Policy and Management of the University of Chinese Academy of Science (UCAS) and former vice president of the Institutes of Science and Development at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He is a member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China and its Committee of Environment Protection and Resources Conservation. He is vice chair of the National Expert Panel on Climate Change of China. He has advised numerous global organizations, foundations, and associations related to climate, energy, and the environment. He has been a professor and director-general of CAS Institute of Policy and Management and vice-chair of the ISO CCCC. Earlier in his career, he was Professor of Public Policy at the CAS Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences. He holds a BA in environmental engineering from Tsinghua University and a PhD in ecology from UCAS.

Akiko Yamazaki

Akiko Yamazaki
Chair, Stanford Sustainability Task Force; Co-Founder and Director, Wildlife Conservation Network

Yamazaki served as chair of the Sustainability Task Force, which convened in support of the launch of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability and included key faculty and volunteer leaders of the university. Yamazaki has been a longtime member of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Advisory Council. She co-founded the Wildlife Conservation Network in 2001 and recently joined the Wildlife Conservation Society board. An art lover, she served as board chair of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum during its $100M+ capital campaign. She is a member of the Director’s Advisory Board of the Cantor Arts Center and  the Department of Asian Art visiting committee at The Met. Yamazaki has been a life-long equestrian and sponsor of multiple Team USA Olympic horses.

Eric Yuan

Eric Yuan
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Zoom

Eric founded Zoom in 2011 to deliver happiness and bring people together in a frictionless video environment. Zoom’s communications platform continues to transform the way global organizations connect, communicate, and collaborate. As the company’s chief executive, Eric led Zoom to one of the highest-performing tech IPOs of 2019. Business Insider named Eric one of the Most Powerful People in Enterprise Tech in 2017. In 2018, Glassdoor recognized him as the top CEO for large U.S. companies. In 2019, he was recognized in the Bloomberg 50 as a leader changing the game in global business. Time Magazine named Eric its 2020 Businessperson of the Year as well as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2020. He was also named Comparably’s Best CEO for Diversity in 2021. Prior to founding Zoom, Eric was corporate vice president of engineering at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco’s collaboration software development. Eric was also one of the founding engineers and vice president of engineering at Webex. Eric is a named inventor on 11 issued and 20 pending patents in real-time collaboration.

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria
Host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, CNN; Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Washington Post

Zakaria is the host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, a columnist for The Washington Post, and a bestselling author. Since its debut in 2008, GPS has featured interviews with Barack Obama, Emmanuel Macron, Narendra Modi, and Vladimir Putin, among others. Zakaria’s programs have earned him an Emmy and a Peabody Award. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers: Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World; The Post-American World; The Future of Freedom; and In Defense of a Liberal Education. He holds a BA from Yale University and a PhD from Harvard University. He has served as a member of the Yale Corporation and is currently on Stanford University’s Global Advisory Council.

Last updated April 4, 2024.