Mr. Cohen is the Director of Google Ideas, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a non-fiction author. Previously he served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and as a close advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. Mr. Cohen has conducted research in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and throughout Africa. As part of his research, he has interviewed members of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Taliban. He is the author of Children of Jihad and One Hundred Days of Silence. Mr. Cohen and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt co-authored The New York Times bestselling book The New Digital Age, as well as the article "The Digital Disruption: Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power," which appeared in Foreign Affairs just a few months before the Arab Spring. Among his additional publications are "Diverting the Radicalization Track" (Policy Review), "Iran’s De Facto Opposition: Youth in Post-revolutionary Iran" (SAIS Review), and "Passive Revolution: Is Political Resistance Dead or Alive in Iran" (Hoover Digest).
In 2011, Vanity Fair named Mr. Cohen as a member of the “Next Establishment,” The Washington Post and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government named him one of six “Top American Leaders,” and Foreign Policy listed him as one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers.” In 2013, Time Magazine listed Mr. Cohen as one of its 100 most influential people. He currently serves as a member of the National Counterterrorism Center’s (NCTC) Director’s Advisory Board. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
John Faiz Kayyem, Ph.D.
Dr. Kayyem was born in Los Angeles and attended local schools, graduating from Harvard (now Harvard-Westlake) School in 1981. He then attended Yale University and received his combined Master and Bachelor of Sciences in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry in 1985. He went on to graduate school at The California Institute of Technology and received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 1991. He remained at Caltech as a Senior Research Fellow for several years before launching his own venture.
Throughout his education, Dr. Kayyem's research in molecular and cellular biology, genetics and DNA analysis has been focused on the development of powerful tools for the emerging genomics field. While at Caltech, Dr. Kayyem received several research awards including the Beckman Institute Research Fellow in Biology, the Helen G. and Arthur McCallum Fellow and the Office of Naval Research Predoctoral Fellowship.
Dr. Kayyem is a distinguished scientist with many research publications to his credit in such respected journals as the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Journal of American Chemical Society, Journal of Cell Biology, European Journal of Biochemistry, and Chemistry and Biology. Most of these publications address issues of electron flow in organic molecules. His other works have involved the development of new MRI contrast agents and studies of DNA using a novel chemical force microscopy system.
In 1995, Dr. Kayyem founded Clinical Micro Sensors, now called GenMark Diagnostics, Inc., to commercialize technical innovations he developed while at Caltech. GenMark uses advanced electronics and biochemistry to create electronic detectors of specific DNA sequences. These "biosensors" have been used in the diagnosis of disease, the detection of environmental pathogens and in monitoring food safety. A novel use for these sensors is emerging in the field of personalized medicine, where these sensors are being used to identify genetic signatures in individual patients that can help in the determination of which drug at what dosage is best for this particular individual.
GenMark Diagnostics is emerging as an important player in the new field of applied genomics. The company has 3 FDA approved tests for its XT-8 platform and intends to continue to launch and market new tests in such areas as genetic diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and personalized medicine.
Since 1997, Dr. Kayyem has been awarded 32 U.S. patents in nucleic acid detection technology, all licensed to or owned by Clinical Micro Sensors. The intellectual property describes the bio-electronic detection of DNA and numerous methods and compositions for detecting and analyzing DNA.
Dr. Kayyem serves on various private company boards, including an AIDS gene-therapy company and a Web 2.0 company developing web-based tools for business and personal presentations. He co-produced a soon-to-be completed feature-length film titled "Nobel Son," about a "Cal Sciences" Professor and the kidnapping of his son on the eve of the Professor's receipt of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is also Executive Producer on "The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends," a feature-length documentary about the emotional and psychological effects of war on US soldiers. "The Ground Truth" was well received by critics and audiences, including those at the Sundance Film Festival. This film also made the "short list" of Oscar potential nominees in 2006.
Dr. Kayyem serves on the Board of Trustees of Caltech. He recently served on the Board of Trustees of The Art Center College of Design. Finally, in support of his passion for renewable fuels, he is a founding board member of Green Depot, a non-profit organization supporting sustainable transportation. Green Depot seeks to build alternative fueling stations that will provide much-needed distribution points for biodiesel, ethanol and other renewable fuels and also serve as educational centers for those seeking information about energy, climate, pollution and transportation.
Professor George Olah, Ph.D.
Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry (1994); currently Director of the University of Southern California's Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and Distinguished Professor in Organic Chemistry. Dr. Olah served on the QSI Board of Advisors from 12/05 through his retirement on 12/31/14.
One of the world's preeminent scholars of hydrocarbon chemistry, Professor George Olah received the 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for groundbreaking work on superacids and his observations of carbocations, a fleeting chemical species long theorized to exist but never confirmed. Olah devised a way to "freeze" the chemical process in time, enabling chemists to study their properties. What he found has revolutionized organic chemistry, leading to new discoveries, new fields of research and countless applications. Olah has made significant research contributions to the practical development of improved lead-free gasoline, cleaner high-octane gas and other promising nonpolluting fuels, as well as many chemical processes now used in pharmaceutical and industrial chemistry.
Focus on Fuel Cells - Fuel Cells have long been a research interest of Dr. Olah. His discoveries have led to the development of a new kind of fuel cell, called the direct liquid methanol fuel cell, that is a highly efficient and convenient source of electricity. His most recent research centers on the conversion of two greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, into useful fuels and products, investigations driven by his long-standing interest in energy and environmental issues. To find new solutions to these pressing issues, Olah is working to develop new, cleaner and renewable energy technologies, based on methanol, to replace diminishing oil reserves while reducing levels of greenhouse gases.
Dr. Olah is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a member of foreign academies and societies. He has published some 1300 scientific papers, 15 books and has been issued some 120 patents. In 2003, he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan for his continued work promoting chemistry in Japan. In addition he was awarded the Priestly Medal in 2005 from the American Chemical Society.
Managing Director, Starboard Venture Partners
Past President, Tech Coast Angels, Los Angeles
Bill Collins is a managing director of Starboard Venture Partners, LLC and is an executive committee member of the Tech Coast Angels in LA. Bill started his career at Intel Corporation, quickly becoming a lead sales person on the IBM account and helping to establish the Intel-IBM relationship. He was a key executive for International Rectifier, ramping the company from $60M to over $700M. Collins was instrumental in taking IR's power MOS technology from the early adopter phase to global market leadership in multiple market segments. He then became an angel investor and is a prolific deal lead with a successful portfolio. He serves in multiple BOD and advisory roles and is a certified corporate director. He is a frequent industry panelist and guest lecturer at Caltech, USC and LARTA. Bill has an EE degree from Clarkson University.
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