The judges

Lionel Barber, FT editor, chairs our panel of experts

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LIONEL BARBER

Editor, Financial Times

Lionel Barber is the editor of the Financial Times. Since his appointment in 2005, Barber has helped solidify the FT’s position as one of the first publishers to successfully transform itself into a multichannel news organisation. During Barber’s tenure, the FT has won numerous global prizes for its journalism, including Newspaper of the Year, Overseas Press Club, Gerald Loeb and Society of Publishers in Asia awards.

Barber has co-written several books and has lectured widely on foreign policy, transatlantic relations, European security and monetary union in the US and Europe and appears regularly on TV and radio around the world. As editor, he has interviewed many of the world’s leaders in business and politics, including: US President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani.

Barber has received several distinguished awards, including the St George Society medal of honour for his contribution to journalism in the transatlantic community. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Tate and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

MITCHELL BAKER

Executive chairwoman, Mozilla

Mitchell Baker co-founded the Mozilla Project to support the open, innovative web and ensure it continues offering opportunities for everyone. As executive chairwoman of Mozilla, Baker is responsible for organising and motivating a worldwide collective of employees and volunteers who are building the internet as a global public resource, open and accessible to all. Baker is deeply engaged in developing product offerings that promote the mission of empowering individuals. She also guides the overall scope and direction of Mozilla’s mission.

Baker is a strong advocate for the open web and open source, and is highly regarded as one of the pioneers who have built the web as it is today. She was instrumental in Netscape’s decision in 1998 to release its source code to the public. This later led to the release of the Firefox browser and the creation of the Mozilla Project as one of the most influential technology organisations in the world, spanning software product development, educational initiatives, and participatory movements. After co-founding the Mozilla Project, Baker served as its general manager and CEO from 1999 until January 2008, when the organisation’s rapid growth encouraged her to split her responsibilities and add a CEO.

Baker is a Board Member for the OpenMRS, the world’s leading open source enterprise electronic medical record system platform, and is an MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, Open Agriculture Initiative. She co-chairs the US Department of Commerce Digital Economy Advisory Board and serves on the United Nations High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Ms Baker was co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in 2015 and a member of the Icann High Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Baker received her BA in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley and her J.D. from Berkeley Law. In her early career, she worked as a Corporate and Intellectual Property Lawyer at Fenwick West LLP and as Associate General Counsel for Sun Microsystems.

Time Magazine profiled Baker in its global list of 100 Most Influential People under “Scientists and Thinkers”. Bloomberg listed her as one of the “25 Most Influential People on the Web”. She was honoured as winner of the Anita Borg Institute’s 2009 Women of Vision Award and received the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership in 2010. In 2012, Baker was inducted into the founding group of the internet Society’s Hall of Fame. She has appeared on NBC “Meet the Press”, BBC “HardTalk”, “The Charlie Rose Show” and “CNN Global Office”. She has spoken at high-level events like the World Economic Forum, Mobile World Congress, The Web Summit, Collision, Singularity University and Bits&Pretzels.

MOHAMED A. EL-ERIAN

Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz

Mohamed A El-Erian is Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz, the corporate parent of Pimco where he formerly served as chief executive and co-chief investment officer (2007-2014). He is a columnist for Bloomberg View and a contributing editor at the Financial Times, having previously chaired President Obama’s Global Development Council.

El-Erian first joined Pimco in 1999 and was a senior member of Pimco’s portfolio management and investment strategy group. He rejoined the company at the end of 2007 after serving for two years as president and CEO of Harvard Management Company. Prior to this, El-Erian was a managing director at Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup, London and previously spent 15 years at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC where he was Deputy Director.

El-Erian has published widely on international economic and finance topics. His 2008 book, When Markets Collide, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller and won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. His 2016 book, The Only Game in Town, is a New York Time bestseller. He was named on Foreign Policy’s list of “Top 100 Global Thinkers” four years in a row. LinkedIn named him as its Top Influencer for 2016.

Having served on the boards of the US Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, the International Center for Research on Women, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the IMF’s Committee of Eminent Persons and the New York Fed’ Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets, El-Erian currently sits on several non-profit boards including the NBER (Executive Committee), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Vice Chair). He is co-chair of the capital campaign for the University and Colleges of Cambridge (UK) and has been chair of Microsoft’s Investment Advisory Board since 2007.

El-Erian holds a masters degree and doctorate in economics from Oxford university and received his undergraduate degree from Cambridge university. He is an Honorary Fellow of Queens’ College Cambridge.

HERMINIA IBARRA

Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning, and Professor of Organizational Behavior, Insead

Herminia Ibarra is the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning at Insead and the Charles Handy Visiting Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School. Prior to joining Insead, she served on the Harvard Business School faculty for 13 years.

Thinkers 50 ranked Ibarra eighth among the most influential management thinkers in the world.

Ibarra is an expert on leadership development. Her latest book, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader, explains how to step up to bigger leadership roles. Her best-selling book, Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career shows how people reinvent their careers. Author of numerous articles in top academic journals, Ibarra also writes for business publications including the Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times, and speaks internationally on leadership and talent management.

A native of Cuba, Ibarra received her M.A. and PhD from Yale University, where she was a National Science Fellow.

RIK KIRKLAND

Partner and Director of Publishing, McKinsey & Company

Rik Kirkland has led McKinsey’s global print and online activities since 2008. These include the McKinsey Quarterly, mckinsey.com (with some 2 million registered users), the McKinsey Insights iPad and Android apps and numerous leading business books, such as No Ordinary Disruption (Public Affairs, 2015) and Reimagining India (Si n Schuster, 2013). From 2000-2005, he was the editor of Fortune magazine, which under his leadership was three times nominated as a finalist for general excellence by the American Society of Magazine Editors and won numerous other awards.

During more than two decades at Fortune, he served as Washington editor, Europe editor, international editor and deputy editor. He has been a frequent guest on CNN and CNBC and served as a moderator at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Fortune’s Global Forum, the Global Infrastructure Initiative and the Microsoft CEO Summit. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the board of the International Center for Journalists and plays guitar in a rock band, The Prowlers.

RANDALL KROSZNER

Norman R Bobins Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Randall Kroszner is the Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. From 2006 to 2009, he served as a governor of the US Federal Reserve System. He chaired the committee on Supervision and Regulation of Banking Institutions and the committee on Consumer and Community Affairs. In these capacities, he took a leading role in developing responses to the financial crisis and in undertaking new initiatives to improve consumer protection and disclosure, including rules related to home mortgages and credit cards. He represented the Fed on the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and chaired the OECD working party of deputy central bank governors and deputy finance ministers on international macro policy.

From 2001 to 2003, Kroszner was a member of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), where he was involved in issues including corporate governance reform, currency crisis management and sovereign debt restructuring, terrorism risk insurance, and banking and financial regulatory reform.

Kroszner has more than 100 publications. His paper on managerial stock ownership (with Clifford Holderness and Dennis Sheehan) won the Brattle Prize for best corporate finance paper in the Journal of Finance. His book co-authored with Nobel laureate Robert J. Shiller, Reforming US Financial Markets: Reflections Before and Beyond Dodd-Frank appeared on the Washington Post’s “Book World” political bestsellers list.

He currently serves as the vice-chair of the Financial Research Advisory Committee in the Office of Financial Research at the US Treasury and is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Academic Advisory Council. He is a member of the board of advisers of the Paulson Institute and the Booth Academic Director of the CEO Perspectives program. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Kroszner consults with financial institutions, government organizations, and central banks throughout the world.

Kroszner received a ScB (magna cum laude) from Brown University and a PhD from Harvard University.

DAMBISA MOYO

Dambisa Moyo is a pre-eminent thinker, who influences key decision makers in strategic investment and public policy. She is respected for her unique perspectives, her balance of contrarian thinking with measured judgment, and her ability to turn economic insight into investible ideas.

Moyo has earned a strong reputation as a top-tier opinion former and trusted adviser on macroeconomics, geopolitics, technology and millennial themes. She is a Board member of Barclays Bank, Barrick Gold, Chevron and Seagate Technologies. She holds a PhD in Economics from Oxford, a Masters from Harvard, and is recognised for fresh and innovative ideas as the Author of three (3) New York Times Bestselling Books: Winner Take All: China’s race for Resources and What it Means for the World (2012); How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly and the Stark Choices Ahead (2011); Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa (2009).

Moyo was named to the list of Time 100 Most Influential People in the world; writes for the Financial Times, WSJ, Barron’s, Harvard Business Review; and has travelled to 80 countries. She runs marathons and practices pilates and yoga in her spare time.

SHRITI VADERA

Chairman, Santander UK

Senior Independent Director, BHP Billiton and Non-Executive Director, AstraZeneca

Shriti Vadera is chairman of Santander UK, senior independent director of BHP Billiton and a non-executive director of AstraZeneca. She has advised governments, investors and companies ranging from the chair of the G20, European periphery countries on the eurozone crisis, the government of Dubai on the restructuring of Dubai World’s debt and Temasek Holdings (Singapore) on strategy to the African Development Bank on raising finance for pan-African infrastructure.

Vadera was a minister in the UK government from June 2007 to September 2009 in the Cabinet Office, Business Department and International Development Department. She worked on the government’s response to the financial crisis and was a key architect of the 2008 UK bank recapitalisation plan and 2009 G20 London summit. She was on the Council of Economic Advisers at the UK Treasury from 1999-2007, where she worked on business, productivity and international finance issues, and prior to that was an investment banker for 14 years with SG Warburg/UBS, with a particular focus on emerging markets.

This article has been updated since publication to reflect amendments to certain biographical details

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