Chris Larsen is Executive Chairman of Ripple’s board of directors and former CEO and co-founder of Ripple. Prior to Ripple, Chris cofounded and served as CEO of Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, and E-LOAN, a publicly traded online lender. During his tenure at E-LOAN, he pioneered the open access to credit scores movement by making E-LOAN the first company to show consumers their FICO scores.
Susan Athey is Professor of Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her Ph.D. from Stanford, and she holds an honorary doctorate from Duke University. She previously taught at the economics departments at MIT, Stanford and Harvard. In 2007, Professor Athey received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded by the American Economic Association to “that American economist under the age of forty who is adjudged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.” She was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2012 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008. Professor Athey’s current research focuses on the economics of the internet, internet search, online advertising and the news media, and virtual currencies. She advises governments and businesses on the design of auction-based marketplaces, notably since 2007 serving as a long-term consultant to Microsoft Corporation in a variety of roles, including chief economist.
Brad is the CEO of Ripple and a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to Ripple, Brad served as the CEO of file collaboration service Hightail. Previously, he was President of Consumer Applications at AOL from 2009 to 2012 and held various positions at Yahoo! from 2003 to 2009, including Senior Vice President. Brad formerly served as CEO of Dialpad Communications, held management positions at SBC Communications and @Home Network and was an advisor to Silverlake Partners. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Animoto and OutMatch and has held board positions at Ancestry.com and Tonic Health.
Ken Kurson is Editor in Chief at Observer Media. He wrote Esquire’s “Green” column for 17 years, focusing on personal finance, financial investment and financial technology. He also founded Green Magazine and published a book entitled The Green Magazine Guide to Personal Finance (Doubleday, 1997). Ken used these platforms to take complex financial concepts and explain them in a way that is less intimidating to the average reader. Previously, he was a financial analyst for CNNFN, an editor at large for Money and the Executive Vice President at Jamestown Associates.
Ben has over 20 years’ experience in law and financial services regulation at both the federal and state levels, including being the former superintendent of financial services for the state of New York, chief of staff for Governor Andrew Cuomo, and co-chair of Governor Cuomo’s Cyber Security Advisory Board. He also created BitLicense — an industry-leading regulation for digital-asset businesses operating in New York state.
Since 2009, Ms. Manuel has served as a founding partner at RiceHadleyGates, LLC, with Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, and Robert Gates. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to evaluate strategic and political risk, and expand in emerging markets. She served as Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary for Political Affairs at the U.S. Department of State from 2005 – 2007. Ms. Manuel was an attorney at Wilmer-Hale specializing in international and Supreme Court litigation, and governance issues such as anti-corruption matters and Congressional investigations from 2001-2005, and also from 2007 to 2009. Early in her career she was an investment banker at Salomon Brothers. She currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Risk and Governance Committee for Ripple, Inc. and on the Board of Advisors for Flexport, Inc. and Synapse, Inc., as well as several non-profit boards. Simon & Schuster recently published her book on India and China. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and holds BA and MA degrees with distinction from Stanford University. Her extensive experience in government relations and governance makes her a valuable asset to the Board.
Yoshitaka Kitao is the President and CEO of SBI Holdings Inc. He earned degrees from both Keio University (1974) and Cambridge University (1978). Prior to his role at SBI, he held multiple positions within Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. (1974-1995) as well as Softbank Corporation (1995-1999). Kitao became the Representative Director, President of SOFTBANK INVESTMENT CORPORATION, currently SBI Holdings Inc., in 1999, and has led the company to become one of the biggest financial conglomerates in Japan.
Gene Sperling served as National Economic Council Director and National Economic Advisor under President Clinton from 1997 to 2001 and then under President Obama from 2011 to 2014. Prior, he was senior counselor to Treasury Secretary Geithner, advising on financial crisis and auto rescue issues as well as being lead advisor on fiscal and jobs issues. In 2008, he was a chief economic advisor to Hillary Clinton during her Presidential campaign.
He is currently President of Sperling Economic Strategies, which advises financial companies, start-ups, Fortune 500 companies and philanthropies, including PIMCO. Sperling was named one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Global Finance by Worth Magazine and as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Washington by GQ. Sperling graduated from the University of Minnesota and Yale Law School, and attended Wharton Business School.