I have enjoyed an unusual leadership career in business, government, and nonprofit organizations. I currently serve as the Executive Director of the San Francisco campus of the Hult International School of Business — a young, fast-growing school that is in only ten years has become the most global business program in the world. Hult operates campuses in Boston, London, Dubai, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai, as well as San Francisco. We attract students from 135 countries who speak 100 languages. The Financial Times ranks us in the top five business schools worldwide for international business and the Economist rated Hult as the best investment (highest ROI) of any business school in the world. The Hult Prize awards $1 million each year to a promising social entrepreneur. Good video here lays out bits of the business strategy.
When I am not supporting the faculty, staff, and students at Hult, I help some terrific entrepreneurs, including Kiyo, Anno, Todd, Georgios, and Joe. I have founded several companies, including RedLink, Reputation Networks, and Alibris, once the premier global exchange for used, rare, and out-of-print books. I raised the money and hired the team that built the company and served as CEO for ten years. In 2005 Alibris was named to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and to the Silicon Valley Fast 50 list of North America’s fastest-growing technology companies. That year the New York Times declared that Alibris had “radically changed the buying and selling of used books”, and I was named a Finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Oak Hill Capital purchased Alibris in 2006. National Public Radio produced a brief history of Alibris in 2004 that you can listen to here.
In 1993, President Clinton appointed me to serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor. Following Senate confirmation, I created the Office of the American Workplace under Labor Secretary Robert Reich to promote high performance workplaces. Prior to my government service, I advised the leaders of large and often troubled companies as a partner with Waterman & Company and as a consultant with the San Francisco office of McKinsey & Company.Before starting Alibris, I served as Managing Director of Kaiser Permanente, where I led a restructuring of Kaiser Hospitals. We decided to abandon plans to build a hospital across the street from the Alibris offices in Emeryville, California. It now looks like this.
During the seventies and early eighties I was a union organizer. I held elected or staff positions with the Silicon Valley AFL-CIO and several labor unions, including this one, this one, this one, and this one. I was a journeyman machinist in the heart of Silicon Valley here, a room service waiter here, and a hot grabber for two seasons in a green bean cannery run by these guys here. My first employer was Richard Nixon’s cousin who owned this restaurant in Whittier, California (my departure 35 years ago appears to have frozen it in time. Or was it Dick’s resignation?).
I live in Oakland, California with my wife, a wonderful woman who is a highly entrepreneurial Dean of the Information School at UC Berkeley. She is a scholar who, unlike her husband, confines her writing to things she knows a lot about. A thoughtful, somewhat orthodox Bay Area liberal, she frequently disavows the views expressed in this blog. We have two phenomenal sons and an energetic Boston Terrier. Jamie is an excellent photographer and shows some of his work here. Robbie is one of the nation’s strongest high school debaters and a fearsome rugby player.
I received honors BA degrees in Politics and Education from the University of California in the mid seventies and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School in the mid eighties. I am a husband, a dad, a voracious reader, and a junkie for business, technology, politics, bicycles and woodworking.