Position: Managing director, Manatt Jones Global Strategies LLC, a Washington-
based company that develops strategies for clients in global markets.
Career Highlights: Senior vice president, corporate development, NCT Group Inc.; chairman and chief executive, Digital Power Networks Inc.; president and chief executive, Environment Research Information Inc.; president and director, American Institute of Medical Climatology; chairman, air and other environmental ion technology, American Society of Testing Materials; assistant professor, Rockefeller University.
Education: AB, political science, Tufts University; PhD, applied social psychology, New York University; Rockefeller Foundation fellow, environmental affairs, Rockefeller University. Fluent in French.
Personal: Lives and works in Washington during the week, but commutes on weekends to his home in Chappaqua, N.Y., where he lives with wife Leslie, and their son, Jamie, 15.
How did you get to where you are?
After getting my PhD at NYU, I did post-doctoral work at Rockefeller University and became very interested in environmental issues. From there I became interested in technologies that could deal with certain kinds of environmental problems. That developed into a more general interest in technology. And when I left the academic environment, I became very interested in seeing how you can apply technologies in real world settings, and that led me into business. I just developed a wide range of business-oriented skills. At the end of the day, when you want to help companies expand their markets, it's very helpful to have all the tools you need to help them do that.
I have a broad range of interests, from information technology applications for very specific uses all the way to corporate mergers and acquisitions. But most of my interests are tied to technology in one form or another. However, in the process of building companies you develop a lot of other skills -- financing strategies and working with investment banks, forming strategic alliances with business partners -- and I've done this in the United States, Canada and Europe. And certainly one of the things that I think has led me to Manatt Jones is the fact that the business, which is opening foreign markets for U.S. companies and U.S. markets for foreign companies, draws on the skill set that I bring. I've run companies and built companies. I've formed strategic partnerships with major companies globally -- with Switzerland's Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) and General Electric, for example.
Everything I do has in some way -- or I wanted it to have -- a socially redeeming value. I'm certainly interested, for example, in corporate finance, not for its own sake but as a tool that can be used to make lives better, create wealth, make things work better. But generally I like to tie my activities to technology applications, particularly to information technology, because I think that's a very powerful, socially constructive tool.
It's all about access to information, sharing information, using information effectively. And it can level the playing field in both education and relations between large and small businesses and even, I think, geopolitically.
Choose opportunity carefully. Successful companies that are growing often have many opportunities, and it's critically important to be selective about which ones you follow up because the consequences of not doing that is a loss of focus.
-- Judith Mbuya