About the Conference

At the 2012 Siebel Scholars conference—amidst a backdrop of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the upcoming Presidential election—Siebel Scholars pursued a thoughtful exploration from a variety of perspectives on the subject of Class Warfare in America.

The issues of economic freedom, power, and income inequality have contributed to an increasingly fervent discourse and class conflict has captured a growing share of the national consciousness.

Siebel Scholars tackled this topic with experts representing a broad array of perspectives, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, New York Times columnist David Brooks, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, author Charles Murray, activist Ralph Nader, Lapham’s Quarterly editor Lewis Lapham, and William Galston, chair of the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program.

Economists and historians joined civic leaders to debate the subject of class conflict and the social and economic trends that are fueling disparities in income, wealth, and power. We also explored the best approaches for solving the underlying problems contributing to class warfare.

The 2012 Conference began the evening of Friday, October 12 at the Claremont Hotel & Spa with a reception and keynote address by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, followed by dinner with Siebel Scholars, speakers, and special guests.

On Saturday, October 13, Siebel Scholars and conference speakers engaged in highly interactive panel discussions at the University of California, Berkeley. The morning panel topic was “Are We Becoming More Unequal in America?” moderated by KQED Host Michael Krasny, featuring New York Times columnist David Brooks; Brookings Institution Senior Fellow William Galston; Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute; and Robert B. Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. In the afternoon, another panel of distinguished thought leaders including Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson; Lewis Lapham of Lapham’s Quarterly; and consumer advocate Ralph Nader critically examined the social and economic implications of class warfare in America.

Conference attendees and speakers continued their discussions more informally Saturday evening at a dinner and celebration on the San Francisco Bay.

Sunday was a working session devoted to helping advance research and initiatives led by Siebel Scholars, who are on the cutting edge of their respective fields, including machine learning, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and healthcare. These presentations offered attendees a unique opportunity to learn about interesting, relevant topics, and help further Siebel Scholars’ endeavors by offering business or technical advice.


  • Speaker

    David Brooks

    Author and Columnist, New York Times

    David Brooks became an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times in September 2003. He has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly, and he is currently a commentator on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer." He is the author of Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense, both published by Simon & Schuster. In March of 2011 he came out with his third book, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, published by Random House.

    Mr. Brooks joined The Weekly Standard at its inception in September 1995, having worked at The Wall Street Journal for the previous nine years. His last post at the Journal was as op-ed editor. Prior to that, he was posted in Brussels, covering Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and European affairs. His first post at the Journal was as editor of the book review section, and he filled in for five months as the Journal's movie critic.

  • Speaker

    Niall Ferguson

    Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Professor of History, Harvard University; and Author

    Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.

    He has published twelve books. His most recent book is Civilization: The West and the Rest, also a PBS/Channel 4 documentary series. His first book, Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation 1897-1927, was short-listed for the History Today Book of the Year award, while the collection of essays he edited, Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, was a UK bestseller. In 1998 he published to international critical acclaim The Pity of War: Explaining World War One and The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild. The latter won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History and was also short-listed for the Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Literary Award and the American National Jewish Book Award. In 2001, after a year as Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, he published The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000.

    He is a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic. A prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics, Niall is a weekly columnist for Newsweek and a contributing editor for Bloomberg TV.

    In 2003 he wrote and presented a six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4, the UK terrestrial broadcaster. The accompanying book, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, was a bestseller in both Britain and the United States. The sequel, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, was published in 2004 by Penguin, and prompted Time magazine to name him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Two years later he published The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, a television adaptation of which was screened by PBS in 2007. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World followed in 2008 and was also a PBS series, winning the International Emmy award for Best Documentary. High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg appeared in 2010.

  • Speaker

    William Galston

    Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; and College Park Professor, University of Maryland

    William A. Galston holds the Ezra Zilkha Chair in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program, where he serves as a senior fellow. A former policy advisor to President Clinton and presidential candidates, Galston is an expert on domestic policy, political campaigns, and elections. His current research focuses on designing a new social contract and the implications of political polarization.

    He is also College Park Professor at the University of Maryland. Prior to January 2006, he was Saul Stern Professor and Acting Dean at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, founding director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), and executive director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal, co-chaired by William Bennett and Sam Nunn. A participant in six presidential campaigns, he served from 1993 to 1995 as Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy.

    Galston is the author of eight books and more than 100 articles in the fields of political theory, public policy, and American politics. His most recent books are Liberal Pluralism (Cambridge, 2002), The Practice of Liberal Pluralism (Cambridge, 2004), and Public Matters (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005). A winner of the American Political Science Association’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.

    Galston has appeared on all the principal television networks and is a frequent commentator on NPR. He writes a weekly column, The Vital Center, for the online edition of The New Republic.

  • Speaker

    Michael Krasny

    Host, KQED’s Forum

    Michael Krasny, Ph.D., is host of KQED's award-winning Forum, a news and public affairs program that concentrates on the arts, culture, health, business, and technology. Forum is one of KQED’s most-popular shows and the nation’s most-listened-to locally produced public radio talk show.

    Before coming to KQED Public Radio in 1993, Dr. Krasny hosted a nighttime talk program for KGO Radio and co-anchored the weekly KGO television show Nightfocus. He hosted Bay TV's Take Issue, a nightly news analysis show, programs for KQED Public Television, KRON television, and NPR, and did news commentary for KTVU television. He has also served as host of NPR's Talk of the Nation.

    Since 1970, he has been a professor of English at San Francisco State University and has taught at Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest, published in fall 2010, and Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life, coauthor of the textbook Sound Ideas, and creator of the DVD presentation “Masterpieces of Short Fiction.” He is a widely published scholar and literary critic, a fiction writer, and a guest and frequent interviewer on the City Arts & Lectures stage. He has worked widely as a facilitator and host in the corporate sector and as moderator for a host of major nonprofit events.

    Dr. Krasny has interviewed many of the leading newsmakers and cultural icons of our time, including former President Jimmy Carter, Cesar Chavez, Noam Chomsky, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Francis Ford Coppola, Don DeLillo, Newt Gingrich, Vice President Al Gore, Norman Mailer, and Toni Morrison. He, also, interviewed President Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Redford, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, John Updike, and countless others.

    Dr. Krasny is the recipient of many awards and honors, including The S.Y. Agnon Gold Medal for “Intellectual Distinction,” The Eugene Block Award for “Human Rights Journalism,” “The Inclusiveness in Media” Award from The National Conference for Community and Justice, and a Koret Foundation Fellowship. He has been named best talk show host by Focus magazine, a number of Bay Area newspapers, The San Francisco Publicity Club, and Citysearch.

    Michael Krasny received his B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. degrees from Ohio University, where he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and his Ph.D. degree from The University of Wisconsin.

  • Speaker

    Lewis Lapham

    Editor, Lapham's Quarterly

    Lewis H. Lapham is the founder and editor of Lapham's Quarterly, an award-winning journal of history and ideas praised by the historian David McCullough as "a god-send and a genuine treasure" and by the novelist, Dave Eggers, as "brilliant and much needed." The editor emeritus of Harper's Magazine, Lapham in 2007 was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. He is the author of thirteen books, among them Money and Class in America, The Wish for Kings, Waiting for the Barbarians, Gag Rule and Theater of War. For Bloomberg Radio he produces a weekly podcast, "The World in Time," and his documentary film, "The American Ruling Class" has become part of the curriculum in many of the nation's schools and colleges. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Lapham has lectured at many of the nation's leading universities, among them Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth and Stanford and the Universities of Michigan, Virginia and Oregon.

  • Speaker

    Charles Murray

    Author and W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

    Charles Murray is a political scientist, author, and libertarian. He first came to national attention in 1984 with the publication of Losing Ground, which has been credited as the intellectual foundation for the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. His 1994 New York Times bestseller, The Bell Curve (Free Press, 1994), coauthored with the late Richard J. Herrnstein, sparked heated controversy for its analysis of the role of IQ in shaping America’s class structure. Murray's other books include What It Means to Be a Libertarian (1997), Human Accomplishment (2003), In Our Hands (2006), and Real Education (2008). His most recent book, Coming Apart (Crown Forum, 2012), describes an unprecedented divergence in American classes over the last half century.

    Murray has been an AEI scholar since 1990. Prior, he was Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Research Scientist at American Institutes for Research, and a Peace Corps Volunteer and US-AID contractor in Thailand. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.A. in history from Harvard University.

  • Speaker

    Ralph Nader

    Consumer Advocate and Author

    Honored by Time magazine as One of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the Twentieth Century, and recently as One of the 100 Most Influential Figures in American History by The Atlantic, consumer advocate and Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has devoted his life to giving ordinary people the tools they need to defend themselves against corporate negligence and government indifference. With a tireless, selfless dedication, he continues to expose and remedy the dangers that threaten a free and safe society.

    The subject of the critically acclaimed documentary "An Unreasonable Man," Nader also penned the introspective book The Seventeen Traditions about the earliest days of his own life, where he revisits seventeen key traditions he absorbed from his parents, siblings, and the people in his community, and draws from them inspiring lessons for today's society.

    Nader recently released his first novel, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us. The book presents a “practical utopia,” outlining the lasting improvements to society that America’s most powerful figures could achieve if they pooled their resources toward a singular goal. Legendary magazine editor Lewis Lapham called the book “as inspirited a work of the political imagination as Tom Paine’s Common Sense.”

    Nader’s foray into public life began in 1965 when he took on the Goliath of the auto industry with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a shocking exposé of the disregard carmakers held for the safety of their customers. The Senate hearing into Nader’s accusations and the resulting life-saving motor vehicle safety laws catapulted Nader into the public sphere.

    Ralph Nader's most recent book is: Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future (HarperCollins).

  • Speaker

    Robert Reich

    Former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

    Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. He also served on President-Elect Obama's transition advisory board. He has written 13 books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet; and his most recent best-selling ebook, Beyond Outrage. Mr. Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine and Chairman of Common Cause. His commentaries can be heard weekly on public radio's Marketplace. In 2003, Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclav Havel Vision Foundation Prize, by the former Czech president, for his pioneering work in economic and social thought.

    As the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor, Reich implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act, led a national fight against sweatshops in the U.S. and illegal child labor around the world, headed the administration’s successful effort to raise the minimum wage, secured worker's pensions, and launched job-training programs, one-stop career centers, and school-to-work initiatives. Under his leadership, the Department of Labor won more than 30 awards for innovation. A 1996 poll of cabinet experts conducted by the Hearst newspapers rated him the most effective cabinet secretary during the Clinton administration.

    In 2008, Time magazine named him one of the ten most successful cabinet secretaries of the century. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

  • Speaker

    Condoleezza Rice

    Former U.S. Secretary of State; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Professor, Stanford University

    Condoleezza Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of political science at Stanford University. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates.

    From January 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s assistant for national security affairs (national security adviser) from January 2001 to 2005, the first woman to hold the position.

    Rice served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999, during which time she was the university’s chief budget and academic officer. From 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff, serving as director; as senior director of Soviet and East European affairs; and as special assistant to the president for national security affairs.

    Rice currently serves on the board of KiOR, a renewable fuels company, C3, an energy software company, and Makena Capital, a private endowment firm. In addition, she is a member of the boards of the George W. Bush Institute, the Commonwealth Club, the Aspen Institute, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

    Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master's from the University of Notre Dame; and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

  • Speaker

    Thomas M. Siebel

    Chairman of the Siebel Foundation, First Virtual Group, and C3

    Thomas Siebel is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company with interests in commercial real estate, agribusiness, global investment management, and philanthropy. Mr. Siebel is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of C3, an energy and emissions management company.

    Mr. Siebel was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Siebel Systems, one of the world's leading software companies, which merged with Oracle Corporation in January 2006. Founded in 1993, Siebel Systems rapidly became a global leader in application software with more than 8,000 employees in 32 countries, over 4,500 corporate customers, and annual revenue in excess of $2 billion.

    Before founding Siebel Systems, Mr. Siebel served as chief executive officer of Gain Technology, a multimedia software company that merged with Sybase in December 1992. From 1984 through 1990, he was an executive at Oracle Corporation, where he held a number of senior management positions.

    Mr. Siebel serves on the board of advisors for the Stanford University College of Engineering, the University of Illinois College of Engineering, and the University of California at Berkeley College of Engineering. He is a director of the University of Illinois Foundation and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and is the chairman of the board for the American Agora Foundation. Mr. Siebel is the founder and chairman of the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, Meth Project Foundation, and the Siebel Scholars Foundation.

    He is a frequent industry spokesman and the author of three books: Taking Care of eBusiness and Cyber Rules, published by Doubleday, and Virtual Selling, published by The Free Press.

    In 2002, the Business Executives for National Security presented Mr. Siebel with the David Packard Award for his achievements as a technology entrepreneur and his contributions to national security. In 2000 and 2001, he was recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the Top 25 Managers in the World. Barron’s named Mr. Siebel #3 in its ranking of “Top 25 Best Givers” for his high-impact philaphtropy.

    In 1999, 2000, and 2001, Fortune magazine recognized Siebel Systems as the fastest, third fastest, and second fastest growing company in the United States, respectively. Call Center Magazine inducted him to its Hall of Fame in 2000 in recognition for contributions to the business and technology of customer service.

    Mr. Siebel is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History, an M.B.A., and a Master of Science in Computer Science.


Friday, October 12

  • 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

    Welcome Reception

    Claremont Horizon Room

  • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

    Introductory Remarks Claremont Ballroom • Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman, Siebel Scholars Foundation Overview Presentation • Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of State of the United States of America; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; and Professor of Political Science and Political Economy, Stanford University

    University of California, Berkeley

  • 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

    Reception and Dinner

    University of California, Berkeley

Saturday, October 13

  • 8:30 am – 9:00 am

    Welcome Remarks • Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman, Siebel Scholars Foundation • Shankar Sastry, Dean, University of California, Berkeley, College of Engineering

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 9:00 am – 11:45 am

    Morning Panel Discussion: “Are we Becoming More Unequal?” • Moderator: Michael Krasny, Host, KQED’s Forum • David Brooks, Author and Columnist, New York Times • William Galston, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; and College Park Professor, University of Maryland • Charles Murray, Author and W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute • Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor of the United States of America; and Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 11:45 am – 12:00 pm

    Group Photo

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


    University of California, Berkeley, Campanile Esplanade

  • 1:15 pm – 3:45 pm

    Afternoon Panel Discussion: “Class in America: Social and Economic Implications” • Moderator: Michael Krasny, Host, KQED’s Forum • Niall Ferguson, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Professor of History, Harvard University; and Author • Lewis Lapham, Editor, Lapham’s Quarterly • Charles Murray, Author and W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute • Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate and Author

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 3:45 pm – 4:00 pm

    Closing Remarks • Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman, Siebel Scholars Foundation

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm

    Reception, Dinner, and Celebration • Livingston Taylor, Singer and Songwriter

    San Francisco Bell

Sunday, October 14

  • 9:30 am – 10:00 am

    Welcome Remarks • Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman Siebel Scholars Foundation

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 10:00 am – 11:15 am

    Siebel Scholars Presentations • Christopher Bradford, Co-founder, African Leadership Academy and Siebel Scholar Class of 2005, Stanford University Graduate School of Business Joined by Paul Lorem, Student, Yale University and African Leadership Academy Graduate “Building Networks of Opportunity to Develop Future African Leaders” • Hala Fadel, Portfolio Manager, Comgest and Siebel Scholar Class of 2001, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management “Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Arab Region” • Daniel Kagan, Business Development Manager, eBoost Consulting and Siebel Scholar Class of 2012, University of California, San Diego “MedfourUS: Garnering Grassroots Support for a More Efficient Healthcare System”

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 11:15 am – 11:30 am


    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 11:30 am – 12:45 pm

    Siebel Scholars Presentations • John Langford, Doctor of Learning, Microsoft Research and Siebel Scholar Class of 2002, Carnegie Mellon University “Interactive Machine Learning for Industry” • He “Jimmy” Zhang, Software Engineer, Facebook and Siebel Scholar Class of 2012, Tsinghua University “Entrepreneurship in China” • Amy Chen, Innovation Director, PepsiCo and Siebel Scholar Class of 2007, Stanford University Graduate School of Business “Integrating Social and Business Impact”

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 12:45 pm – 1:00 pm

    Siebel Scholars Program Updates

    University of California, Berkeley, Stanley Hall

  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

    Closing Luncheon

    University of California, Berkeley, Hearst Mining Building