Our distinguished speakers

More to come soon!

Etienne Denoël, MS '87

Director Emeritus, McKinsey

Etienne joined McKinsey in 1987 and was one of the leaders of its Public and Social Practice with a deep interest and expertise in the field of Education. He was one of the leaders of the McKinsey Knowledge Network and he founded the global McKinsey Solutions venture. He has been a member of the Education and Training Expert Panel set up by the European Commission since 2018 and the chairman of the NGO Teach for Belgium since 2013. Since he left McKinsey in September 2018, he has been leading a not-for-profit venture funded by private foundations and philanthropists to support the government and the key protagonist of the K12 school system in Belgium in implementing a much-needed whole-system transformation, called the Pacte pour un Enseignement d’Excellence.

Prior to joining McKinsey, he worked as a research engineer in Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems for Philips (1984-1986) in the context of the ESPRIT project of the European Commission.



Larry Diamond, MA '78, PhD '80

Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science and Sociology, Stanford University

Larry's research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world, and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. He has edited or co-edited more than 40 books on democratic development around the world, and has served as Fulbright Visiting Lecturer at Bayero University Kano, Nigeria (1982-83) and as a Visiting Scholar at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan (1997-98).  He directed the Stanford Program on Democracy in Taiwan for more than ten years. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy.

At Stanford University, Larry is professor by courtesy of political science and sociology, and is a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He also served from 2010-2016 as Faculty Co-Director of the Haas Center for Public Service, where he helped launch the University’s signature public service initiative, Cardinal Service. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development, democracy promotion, and US foreign policy, and advises many Stanford students.

Larry has also advised and lectured to universities and think tanks around the world, and to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. He writes a monthly column for The American Interest and frequently consults on policies and programs to promote democracy.




Marjolaine Grondin

CEO & Cofounder, Jam

Marjolaine is the cofounder and CEO of Jam, the French most popular chatbot. She studied at Sciences Po and spent a year at UC Berkeley, where she discovered entrepreneurship. Back in France, she joined HEC and decided to launch her startup along with Loïc, an engineering student. After they graduated, they raised 1M€ to accelerate their growth and build their team.

With more than 3 million visitors each month, Jam is the leading 100% Messenger-based conversational media in France. Marjolaine has been nominated Top Innovators Under 35 by the MIT and is part of the 30 Under 30 Forbes ranking; she is also the first French entrepreneur invited to speak at the F8, Facebook’s annual conference.



Jean Guo, '13

CEO & Cofounder, Konexio

Jean Guo is the CEO and Cofounder of Konexio, a French-based social startup focused on digital skills training and work placement for the most vulnerable, including refugee and migrant populations. A joint MPP/MBA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School, she founded Konexio based on her research as a Fulbright fellow investigating migrant policy at the Paris School of Economics, graduated from Stanford with dual degrees in economics and human biology, and worked as a strategy consultant at Analysis Group.

She is an occasional contributor to the Huffington Post Public Health column.



Frédéric Mazzella, MS '01

Founder & Chairman, BlaBlaCar

Frédéric Mazzella is the Founder and Chairman of BlaBlaCar since 2006 and was Chief Executive Officer from 2006 to 2016. In 2018, Frédéric has also been elected Co-President of France Digitale, the largest startup association in Europe representing 1300 startups.

Prior to founding BlaBlaCar, Frédéric held the role of scientific researcher at NASA (USA) and NTT (Japan). He holds an M.B.A. from INSEAD, a Master's degree in computer science from Stanford University and a Master's degree in physics from École Normale Supérieure. Frédéric is also an accomplished classical pianist.




Howard E. Wolf, '80

Vice President for Alumni Affairs, Stanford University

President, Stanford Alumni Association

Howard Wolf, who has led the Stanford Alumni Association and its staff since 2001, earned his bachelor's degree in psychology, with distinction, from Stanford in 1980 and his MBA from Harvard in 1985. Before his appointment as Vice President for Alumni Affairs and President of SAA, he worked as both an entrepreneur and business manager in the publishing and commercial real estate development and management industries.

An active alum and volunteer, as well as an avid Stanford athletics fan, he received the Stanford Associates Outstanding Achievement Award in 2000. In addition to his Alumni Association role, Howard is one of eight officers of the University and part of its senior management team, with particular responsibility for advising the University's President and the Provost on alumni affairs.


Peter Zemsky, PhD '95

Deputy Dean & Dean of Innovation, INSEAD

Professor Zemsky has been a faculty member at INSEAD since 1994 and a member of the school’s leadership team since 2010. As Deputy Dean, he is responsible for external relations including fundraising, alumni relations and communications. As Dean of Innovation he is responsible for the school’s digital strategy including the development of its award winning online courses.

He is a leading scholar in the economics of strategy, where he develops rigorous analysis of topics such as disruptive technologies, the trade-offs between value creation and value capture, and the choice of generalist versus specialist strategies. His doctoral students have been recognized three times for having the best dissertation in strategy by the Academy of Management. He currently offers the popular online executive education course Strategy in an Age of Digital Disruption. He also led the development of large scale customized online courses for leading companies including Accenture, Microsoft and Schneider Electric.