Eric Schmidt


Eric Schmidt headshot

Eric Schmidt is an accomplished technologist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman from 2001-2011 where he pioneered the company’s transformation from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology. Eric oversaw the company’s technical and business strategies alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Under his leadership, Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation.

Additionally, from 2018-2020, Eric served as the Technical Advisor to Alphabet, the holding company of Google, advising its leaders on technology, business, and policy issues. He was also the Executive Chairman of Alphabet from 2015-2018 and remained as the Chairman of Google until 2015.

Prior to joining Google, Eric was Chairman and CEO of Novell, a software and services company. Previously, he spent 14 years at Sun Microsystems, Inc., starting his career as a manager and rising to become their Chief Technology Officer. He also held technical positions at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Bell Laboratories, and Zilog. 

Eric has been honored with numerous accolades and supports a variety of esteemed organizations. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a fellow in 2007. He was on the Board of Trustees at Carnegie Mellon University from 2004 to 2006, and at Princeton University from 2007 to 2010. Additionally, since 2008, he has served as a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and after a 12-year tenure was named an emeritus board member in 2020. Eric was also a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science from 2009 to 2017. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of The Broad Institute, and on the board of The Mayo Clinic, the Advisory Board at UC Berkeley, and is a member of the Cornell Tech Board of Overseers.

Eric became the Chairman of the Department of Defense’s Innovation Board in 2016 and held the position for four years, during which he was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in January of 2017 by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. He was also a member of NASA’s National Space Council User Advisory Group for two years which was chaired by the Vice President. He served as the Chairman of the US National Security Commission for Artificial Intelligence for three years. In 2021, he launched the Special Competitive Studies Project, a new initiative that will make recommendations to strengthen America’s long-term global competitiveness for a future where artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies reshape our national security, economy, and society, of which he is also Chairman.

Eric also contributes much of his time to various programs at MIT. He is an MIT Visiting Innovation Fellow, a member of the Advisory Board for MIT IQ, a member of the MIT Commission on the Work of the Future, a member of the MIT CEO Advisory Board, and a member of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing Advisory Council.

An accomplished author, Eric and Jared Cohen co-wrote The New York Times bestselling book, The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives in 2013. In 2014, Eric published his second New York Times bestseller, How Google Works, which he and Jonathan Rosenberg co-authored with Alan Eagle. In 2019, Eric published his third New York Times bestseller, Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell, which he co-authored with Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle. In 2021, Eric co-authored the WSJ-bestselling book The Age of AI: And Our Human Future with Dr. Henry Kissinger and Professor Daniel Huttenlocher.

Inspired to continue to give back, Eric co-founded Schmidt Futures in 2017, which bets early on exceptional people making the world better, applying science and technology thoughtfully, and bringing people together across fields. In 2019, he and his wife Wendy announced a new $1 billion philanthropic commitment to identify and support talent across disciplines and around the globe to serve others and help address the world’s most pressing issues. As part of this effort, Schmidt Futures, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, launched the flagship initiative Rise, with the aim to increase opportunity for extraordinary young people worldwide and empower them to serve their communities. 

In August 2020, Eric launched a podcast, “Reimagine with Eric Schmidt,” a  series of conversations with leaders in government, business, science, and technology exploring how society can solve current challenges and build a brighter future after the global coronavirus pandemic.

Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

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