About the Speaker

Peter Thiel is an American financier, entrepreneur, and prominent donor to charities focusing on economic liberty and technology. With Max Levchin, he co-founded PayPal and is its former CEO. Peter once proposed that PayPal could be a catalyst for change in world politics. From Foster City, California, Thiel is an avowed libertarian. He studied 20th-century philosophy at Stanford University before going on to Stanford Law School. While at Stanford, he founded The Stanford Review, now the university’s main conservative newspaper. Thiel also has been a contributing author to the Hoover Institution’s journal, Policy Review and the co-author of the book, The Diversity Myth: ‘Multiculturalism’ and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford. In 2002, Thiel sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion. Since then, he has served as the Founder and Managing Member of Clarium Capital Management LLC, a global macro hedge fund company managing over $2 billion. In 2005, Clarium was honored as the global macro fund of the year by both MarHedge and Absolute Return. Thiel’s approach to macro investing became the subject of a chapter in Steve Drobny’s book, Inside the House of Money. Thiel is also a partner in The Founders Fund, a $50 million venture capital firm, and he has personally made early-stage investments in several companies, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, Rapleaf, and Ironport. Thiel also serves on the boards of such nonprofit educational organizations as Stanford Law School (where he has also taught) and the Hoover Institution. His cultural pursuits most recently include co-producing Thank You For Smoking, a feature film based on the Christopher Buckley novel of the same name. He is also a nationally ranked chess master. Last year, he won the Herman Lay Award for Entrepreneurship.