Prea Fall 2020 Hero

Speaker Bios

Jonathan (Jon) Gray

Jonathan (Jon) Gray is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Blackstone and is a member of Blackstone’s Board of Directors. He sits on its Management Committee and most of its investment committees. Gray previously served as the firm’s Global Head of Real Estate. He joined Blackstone in 1992.

Gray currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Hilton Worldwide and is on the board of Harlem Village Academies. Gray and his wife, Mindy, established the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine focused on the prevention and treatment of BRCA-related cancers. They also established NYC Kids RISE in partnership with the City of New York to accelerate college savings for low-income children.

Gray received a BS in Economics from the Wharton School as well as a BA in English from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.


Leslie D. Hale

Leslie D. Hale is the President and Chief Executive Officer of RLJ Lodging Trust, a hotel real estate investment trust. Since joining RLJ in 2005, Hale has played a pivotal role in setting and executing the strategic vision at RLJ. She progressively held senior roles at RLJ: she was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2007, Chief Operating Officer in 2016, and Chief Executive Officer in 2018. Hale helped successfully lead the execution of the initial public offering of RLJ in 2011 and is on RLJ’s Board of Directors.

In addition to the RLJ board, Hale serves on the Board of Directors of Macy’s, Inc., and is a Howard University Trustee. Other organizations of which she is a member are the MINA Advisory Board, NAREIT Advisory Board of Governors, AHLA Executive Board, and IREFAC.

Before joining RLJ, Hale held senior positions at GE, working in GE’s Commercial Finance Mergers & Acquisitions Group and Real Estate Strategic Capital Group. Hale was also an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, advising on mergers, acquisitions, and corporate finance.

Hale earned a BBA from Howard University (summa cum laude), and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Goldman Sachs and Toigo fellow.


Kim Y. Lew

Kim Y. Lew is Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a private foundation established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie that supports, “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” While at Carnegie, she also served as Co-Chief Investment Officer and Director of Investments with responsibility for private equity.

Prior to joining Carnegie, Lew spent 13 years at the Ford Foundation, where she first managed a portfolio of public technology stocks and then managed the private equity portfolio. Before Ford, Lew invested in private placements while at Prudential Capital and started her career working in middle-market banking at Chemical Bank.

Lew serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Stevens Cooperative School. She is also on the boards of Ariel Investments Mutual Funds and TIFF Advisory Services, where she serves on both Audit Committees, and on the board of Girls Who Invest, where she serves on the Compensation Committee. She is a member of the Investment Committees of the ACLU and Wesleyan University. Lew earned a BS from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business. Additionally, she was awarded a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and served as both a grader and standard setter for the CFA exam.


Betty Liu

Betty Liu is the Executive Vice Chairman of NYSE Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. She leverages her substantial experience working with thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and C-level executives to oversee the NYSE marketing strategy, including its content platform, customer-centric messaging, brand, digital, and events consistent with Intercontinental Exchange’s growth strategy.

Prior to joining the NYSE in 2018, Liu was an award-winning business journalist. She most recently anchored the Bloomberg Television Daybreak Asia program. She also co-created and anchored In the Loop for eight years on Bloomberg. Prior to the NYSE acquisition, Liu served as the Founder and CEO of Radiate. Radiate’s content of empowering leaders with expert advice continues to scale through NYSE’s platforms today.

Before joining Bloomberg Television, Liu was an Anchor for CNBC Asia based in Hong Kong. Prior to that, she was the Atlanta Bureau Chief for the Financial Times. Earlier in her career, Liu was the Taiwan Bureau Chief for Dow Jones Newswires and a Hong Kong–based Regional Correspondent for the newswire. In 1997, she received a Dow Jones Newswires Award for her coverage of the Asian financial crisis. Liu is also the author of the career guide Work Smarts: What CEOs Say You Need to Know to Get Ahead. Liu earned a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania.


Daniel Neidich

Daniel Neidich is the Chief Executive Officer of Dune Real Estate Partners LP, a New York City–based real estate investment firm broadly focused on opportunities stemming from capital dislocation in the real estate market. He leads a senior team of professionals in executing Dune’s strategy, which generally focuses on debt and equity in deep value-add, contrarian, and distressed investments. Neidich launched the Dune Real Estate Funds in 2005.

Prior to founding Dune in 2004, Neidich was at Goldman Sachs, where he was a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Vice Chairman’s Council, Co-Head of the Merchant Banking Division, and Chairman of the Whitehall Investment Committee. In 1984, he became a Partner at Goldman Sachs, and in 1990, he was named Head of the Goldman Sachs Real Estate Department.

Neidich has held leadership positions in industry organizations for decades. He is a Trustee and a member of the America’s Executive Committee of the Urban Land Institute, the former Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Real Estate Academic Initiative at Harvard University, and a member of Columbia Business School’s MBA Real Estate Program Advisory Board. He was the Chairman of the Real Estate Roundtable and a Trustee of the International Council of Shopping Centers as well as a member of the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York, the International Advisory Board of Eurohypo AG, and the Board of Directors of General American Investors Company, Inc. Neidich serves on the boards of Prep for Prep, the Child Mind Institute, and the Trust for Governors Island. He is a former member of The Hotchkiss School’s Investment Committee, the Board of Governors of the Nature Conservancy, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Neidich received an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a BA from Yale University.


Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

Henry M. Paulson, Jr., is a conservationist, a businessman, a China expert, and an author. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Paulson Institute and Co-Chairman of the Latin American Conservation Council of the Nature Conservancy and the Risky Business project. Paulson served as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, from July 2006 to January 2009. Prior to that, he had a 32-year career at Goldman Sachs, serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the White House Domestic Council as well as a Staff Assistant at the Pentagon.

A “think-and-do” tank founded in 2011, the Paulson Institute comprises programs, advocacy, and research with partners around the globe. A lifelong conservationist, Paulson was Chairman of the Nature Conservancy Board of Directors and, prior to that, founded and co-chaired the organization’s Asia-Pacific Council. In 2011, he also founded and continues to co-chair the Latin American Conservation Council, which includes global business and political leaders. He also co-chairs the Risky Business project with Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, which explores the economic impacts of climate change in the US. Additionally, he serves as an active supporter of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science’s What We Know initiative.

In his best-selling book On the Brink, Paulson details his experiences as Treasury Secretary, fending off the near collapse of the US economy during the Great Recession. His second book, Dealing With China, Paulson draws upon his unprecedented access to modern China’s political and business elite, including its three most recent heads of state, to unmask the new economic superpower.

Paulson graduated from Dartmouth College and earned an MBA from Harvard University.


Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. She is also a Founding Partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC and became the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution on September 1, 2020.

From January 2005 to January 2009, Rice served as the 66th US Secretary of State, the second woman and the first black woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from January 2001 to January 2005, the first woman to hold the position.

Rice served as Stanford University’s Provost from 1993 to 1999, during which time she was the institution’s chief budget and academic officer. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military. From February 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H. W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as Director and then Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs, as well as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As Professor of Political Science, Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the university’s highest teaching honors—the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

She has authored and co-authored numerous books, most recently To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth (2019), co-authored with Philip Zelikow. Among her other volumes are three bestsellers, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (2017); No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011); and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010).

In 1991, Rice cofounded the Center for a New Generation, an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, CA. Since 2009, Rice has served as a Founding Partner at Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to implement strategic plans and expand in emerging markets. Rice currently serves on the boards of Dropbox, Inc.,, and Makena Capital Management. In addition, she is the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a Trustee of the Aspen Institute.

Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master’s in the same subject from the University of Notre Dame; and her PhD, also in political science, from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.


John Rice

John Rice is the Founder and CEO of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a national nonprofit organization that prepares men and women of color for the high-trajectory, post-college jobs that deliver economic mobility for their families and then provides the social capital they need to become senior leaders who can transform vulnerable communities. MLT also provides a comprehensive solution for institutions that combines best-in-class recruitment, retention, and diversity strategy offerings. MLT is a leading source of minority talent at its blue-chip partner companies, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citi, and Target, as well as at the nation’s top MBA programs.

Prior to MLT, Rice was an executive with the National Basketball Association, where he served as Managing Director of NBA Japan and Director of marketing for Latin America. Before joining the NBA, Rice spent four years with the Walt Disney Company in new business development and marketing.

Rice serves on the Board of Trustees of Yale University, and he is a Director and Governance Committee Chair of Walker & Dunlop. He was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commissions on Educational Excellence for African Americans and on Historically Black Colleges. He serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and venture philanthropy fund New Profit. Rice has been featured on CNN and on the cover of Fortune, and he was named one of Forbes’ top 30 social entrepreneurs in the world.

Rice received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his BA with honors from Yale, where he was a three-year starter on the basketball team.


David M. Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein is the Cofounder and Co-Executive Chairman of the Carlyle Group, a private investment firm he cofounded in 1987. He is Chairman of the boards of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Council on Foreign Relations; a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation; a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution; a Trustee of the National Gallery of Art, the University of Chicago, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Constitution Center, the Brookings Institution, and the World Economic Forum; a Director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and President of the Economic Club of Washington.

Rubenstein is a member of the American Philosophical Society, Business Council, Harvard Global Advisory Council (Chairman), Madison Council of the Library of Congress (Chairman), Board of Dean’s Advisors of the Business School at Harvard, Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University (former Chairman), and Board of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Duke University and the Smithsonian Institution, and Co-Chairman of the Board of the Brookings Institution. Rubenstein is an original signer of The Giving Pledge, a significant donor to all the above-mentioned nonprofit organizations, and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award, among other philanthropic awards.

Rubenstein is the host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS and Leadership Live with David Rubenstein by Bloomberg Media, and he is the author of The American Story: Conversations With Master Historians (2019) and How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers (2020). From 1975 to 1976, he served as Chief Counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.

From 1977 to 1981, Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy under Jimmy Carter. After his White House service and before cofounding Carlyle, Rubenstein practiced law in Washington, DC, with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.

Rubenstein is a graduate of Duke University (magna cum laude), where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Following Duke, Rubenstein graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.


Darren Walker

Darren Walker is the President of the Ford Foundation, an international social justice philanthropy. He is the Cofounder and Chair of the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy. Before joining Ford, Walker was a Vice President at the Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs. In the 1990s, he was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.

Walker co-chairs New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers and the New York City Census 2020, and he is a member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Reimagining New York Commission. He has also served on the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and the UN International Labour Organization Global Commission on the Future of Work. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is the recipient of 16 honorary degrees and university awards, including Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.

Educated exclusively in public schools, Walker was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and earned BA, BS, and JD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been included on Time Magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential People, Rolling Stone’s 25 People Shaping the Future, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, and OUT Magazine’s Power 50.