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Corporate Culture | Environmentalism | Leadership | Strategic Planning | Entrepreneurship | Computer Security | Corporate Social Responsibility
Rod Beckstrom is a highly successful entrepreneur, founder and CEO of a publicly-traded company, a best-selling author, avowed environmentalist, public diplomacy leader and, most recently, the head of a top-level federal government agency entrusted with protecting the nation's communication networks against cyber attack.
Throughout 2008, Mr. Beckstrom served as the Director of the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he reported to the Secretary of DHS, and was charged with cooperating directly with the Attorney General, National Security Council, Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Prior to joining DHS, he served on the DNI's Senior Advisory Group. Rod is unique in having experienced the inner workings of two, highly charged, often competing, federal security agencies created in the wake of the September 11th attacks, an event that he says, "changed my life."
On July 1, 1009, Rod Beckstrom has taken up his new role as CEO of ICANN, the policy organization for Internet names, numbers, and parameters. In a way, ICANN helps to support the domain name system (DNS) and root servers--which are very much like the starfish nerve ring of the Internet--allowing all arms (users) to connect to any other, anywhere in the world. ICANN's goal is "One world. One Internet. Everyone Connected."
Rod Beckstrom is widely regarded as a pre-eminent thinker and speaker on issues of cybersecurity and related global issues, as well as on organizational strategy and leadership. He is also an expert on how carbon markets and "green" issues affect business. While Director of the NCSC, he developed an effective working group of leaders from the nation's top six cybersecurity centers across the civilian, military, and intelligence communities. His work led to his development of a new economic theory that provides an explicit model for valuing any network, answering a decades-old problem in economics.
Mr. Beckstrom co-authored four books including The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, a best-selling model for analyzing organizations, leadership styles, and competitive strategy. The Starfish and the Spider has been translated into 16 foreign editions and is broadly quoted.
At age 24, Rod Beckstrom started his first company in a garage apartment and, subsequently, grew it into a global enterprise with offices in New York, London, Tokyo, Geneva, Sydney, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong. CATS Software Inc. went public and later sold. Nobel Laureates Myron Scholes and William F. Sharpe served on the company's boards of directors and advisors. While at CATS he helped advance the financial theory of "value at risk," now used globally for all key banking risk management. He co-edited the first book to introduce "value at risk." He also co-founded Mergent Systems, a pioneer in inferential database engines, which Commerce One later acquired for $200 million. He has co-launched other collaborations, software, and Internet service businesses, as well. From 1999 to 2001, he served as Chairman of Privada, Inc, a leader in technology enabling private, anonymous, and secure credit card transactions over the Internet.
In 2003, Mr. Beckstrom co-founded a global peace network of CEO's that initiated Track II diplomatic efforts between India and Pakistan. The group's symbolic actions opened the borders to people and trade, and contributed to ending the most recent Indo-Pak conflict. It's one of several non-profit groups and initiatives he has started. He now serves on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund, which Fortune Magazine ranked as one of the seven most powerful boards in the world and Jamii Bora Trust an innovative micro-lending group in Africa with more than 200,000 members.
Rod Beckstorm is a graduate of Stanford University with an MBA and a BA with Honors and Distinction. He served as Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the combined Stanford student body (ASSU) and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.
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