Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix as a DVD rental-by-mail company in 1997 and since led its transformation to become the world’s leading streaming subscription service for watching movies and television programs. With more than 30 million streaming members in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Nordics, Netflix has revolutionized the way people enjoy entertainment.
Previously, Reed founded Pure Software, which made tools for Unix software developers. He guided Pure into becoming one of the world’s 50 largest software companies before selling it to Rational Software in 1997.
In addition to being CEO of Netflix, Reed is a member of the board of directors of Facebook, as well as several educational nonprofits. Reed is an active educational philanthropist and served as President of the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004.
Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983 and an MSCS in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University in 1988. Between Bowdoin and Stanford, Reed served in the Peace Corps as a high school math teacher in Swaziland. Reed is married with two children.
Peter A. Reiling is Executive Vice President for Leadership, and Executive Director of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program at the Aspen Institute. In these roles, he oversees the Institute’s growing portfolio of leadership initiatives (the Aspen Global Leadership Network) and seminars (including The Aspen Seminar, offered at the Institute since 1950) as well as its flagship leadership program. Peter is a trustee, officer, and senior moderator of the Aspen Institute and a Henry Crown Fellow (Class of 1998).
He is also the founder of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI), a joint venture between the Aspen Institute and five African business leaders, and co-founder of similar initiatives in Central America (CALI), India (ILI), the Middle East (MELI), and China, with plans to expand into Southeast Asia and Mexico. Similar programs have also been launched in the fields of US politics, education, healthcare and the environment, with plans to expand into financial services shortly. The goal of all these ventures, knitted together as the Aspen Global Leadership Network, is to stimulate a new generation of accomplished, entrepreneurial leaders to play a greater role in the social and political development of their communities and countries.
Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, from 1996 to 2004, Peter was President and CEO of TechnoServe, helping entrepreneurs across Africa, Latin America, India and Central Europe to build businesses in their communities. He is co-founder of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and currently serves as chairman of the board of the CALI Foundation as well as on the boards of Unique Solutions Ltd., Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, ALI/East Africa, ALI/West Africa and ALI/South Africa, MELI and the China Fellowship Program. Peter is a former adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and guest lecturer at the Institute for Developing Economies in Tokyo.
He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was named “Outstanding Social Entrepreneur” by the Schwab Foundation in Geneva. A graduate of Georgetown University (BSFS) and the University of California/Berkeley (MBA), with additional studies at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Peter is married to Denise Byrne of Fajardo, Puerto Rico and is the father of two children, Dylan and Eva Luna..
Sidney Smith is the founder and President of SRS Counsel PLLC, a solo law practice that provides virtual general counsel services on a range of corporate and transactional matters. He serves as general counsel to Syncom Venture Partners, a leading media and communications venture firm, and the National Association of Investment Companies, the leading trade association for investors in ethnically diverse companies. He is also a co-founder of Discourse Analytics, Inc., a data analytics company launched in 2011 that enhances audience messaging and activation by building issue-weighted profiles on individuals and providing micro-segmenting of groups, audiences and communities based upon common activation points.
Prior to founding SRS Counsel, Sid practiced for nearly 14 years at the law firms of K&L Gates LLP and Cooley LLP. Most recently, he was a partner in the corporate and securities group at K&L Gates. Before becoming an attorney, Sid was Assistant for External Affairs for New Jersey Governor James J. Florio and prior to that he was Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs for New Jersey Congressman Robert G. Torricelli.
Sid is active in many organizations dedicated to service in the areas of education and economic development. He is a member of the Board of the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law Foundation and was involved with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) for over a decade. His past education focused activities also include serving as Chair of the Multicultural Affairs Committee on the Phillips Academy, Andover Alumni Council, and as pro bono counsel for The Seed School of Washington, D.C.
Sid graduated from Yale with a B.A. in English, where he was a member of the varsity basketball team, and received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is also a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover.
Gene Wade is a leading US education entrepreneur. He recently founded UniversityNow, a social venture that operates an online, self-paced university serving working adults in the US. In addition to providing each student with a personalized learning experience using a combination of committed faculty and adaptive learning software, tuition is affordable “out of pocket” (at $2,800 per academic year). As a result, no student has to borrow to afford college.
Prior to founding UniversityNow, Gene was Co-founder and CEO of Platform Learning, a tutoring company that served tens of thousands of low-income students throughout the United States. He was also Co-founder and CEO of LearnNow, a school management company that managed urban charter schools and public schools. Prior to becoming an education entrepreneur, he was a corporate attorney. Gene earned an MBA from The Wharton School, a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from Morehouse College.
As a serial education entrepreneur, Gene’s work has been profiled by several national media outlets, including, Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, Fast Company and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Gene also shared his personal story and vision for UniversityNow as a TEDx speaker.