GES Featured Speakers Announced

For Immediate Release

President Obama will headline the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) to be hosted at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, June 22-24, 2016.  More than 1,000 attendees, including entrepreneurs, investors, educators, foreign government officials, and business representatives who represent the full measure of entrepreneurial talent from diverse backgrounds across our nation and the world will gather for two plenary sessions in addition to breakout sessions and master classes. The Plenary Session line up includes: 

9:00    Thursday, June 23: Opening Plenary
Welcome Remarks
•    Richard Stengel, Under Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State
•    John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State

Entrepreneurial Inspiration
•    Reid Hoffman, Entrepreneur, Executive, and Investor
•    Sheila C. Johnson, Founder and CEO, Salamander Hotels and Resorts
•    Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber
•    Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama
•    Brian Chesky, Founder and CEO, Airbnb
•    Aileen Lee, Founder, Cowboy Ventures

Success Stories from Previous GES: Moderated by Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and CEO, Social Capital
•    Cheryl Yeoh, former CEO, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center (MaGIC), Malaysia
•    Bedriye Hulya, Founder of b-Fit, Turkey
•    Prashant K. (PK) Gulati, The Smart Start Fund, UAE
•    Youssef Chaqor, Founder and General Manager of Kilimanjaro Environment, Morocco
•    Marion Moon, Founder-Director, Wanda Organic Limited, Kenya

9:30     Friday, June 24: Partner Plenary
•    Welcoming remarks: Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
•    Cast of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”
•    Steve Case, Co-Founder of AOL and Chairman of Revolution with four award-winning entrepreneurs
•    Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
•    President of the United States Barack Obama
•    Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook, and three young entrepreneurs
•    Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration

The Plenary Sessions will be livestreamed at 
Background: The 2016 GES is the seventh annual gathering of entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, business leaders, mentors, and high-level government officials.  The established tradition demonstrates the U.S. government’s continued commitment to fostering entrepreneurship around the world to build strong, prosperous, secure communities.  Numerous U.S. government programs and initiatives exist to improve enabling environments and to make tools and networks available to individual entrepreneurs.  Following his historic 2009 Cairo speech, President Obama elevated innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. engagement agenda and hosted the first GES at the White House in 2010.  An estimated 16,000 participants from all corners of the world have attended the six Global Entrepreneurship Summits held to date.  Additional information on the 2016 GES program agenda can be found at


Accreditation: All press who plan to attend the Summit must have applied for a GES media credential.  The accreditation request period has now closed. 
Interview Requests: Various U.S. government and private-industry leaders will be available for on-camera or on-background interview requests during GES.  To schedule or coordinate opportunities in advance, GES-accredited media should contact noting your name, media organization, theme/topic or nature of the interview, and specific deadline or time parameters if applicable.

Contact Information: For additional information or logistical inquiries, please contact the GES Media Team at