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William Perry Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders:
Stanford University May 18th
I’m honored to introduce Secretary William Perry as our ETL guest.
Some of you are going to be lucky enough to have one distinguished career, but Dr. Perry has
made all his days count.
He’s been responsible for preparing us for war and keeping us at peace.
Some of you might know Dr. Perry as an expert in U.S. foreign policy, national security and arms
Or you might have seen him around Stanford as a Professor and senior fellow at the Freeman
Spogli Institute and the Hoover Institution, and as director of the Preventive Defense Project
working in reducing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Some of you might know Dr. Perry as the 19th secretary of defense. Or as undersecretary of
defense for research and engineering – when he was the father of the 2nd
offset strategy –
using software and semiconductors to build smart weapons, smart sensors, and stealth that
helped end the Cold War.
But for you engineers and entrepreneurs in the audience he was one of you – a Stanford
graduate, and has a Phd in math. He was not only a Director of engineering in a large company
– GTE Sylvania, - he then left and founded a startup - ESL - the first company to combine
computers and signals intelligence. His work in those two companies made him one of the 10
founders of National Reconnaissance. When he came back from his first stint in the
government, he moved into investment banking and venture capital at Hambrecht & Quist and
then later as founder of Technology Strategies & Alliances.
Dr. Perry has gotten more medals and decorations than I can count – though I thought being a
Knight Commander of the British Empire was pretty cool.
His book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink is the story of his coming of age in the nuclear
era, his role in trying to shape and contain it, and how his thinking has changed about
the threat these weapons pose. You all should own a copy.
If you want to understand how scientists and engineers can serve their country in
defense and diplomacy there’s no better person to emulate.
Please help me welcome Secretary Perry.