The Stanford Economics Alumni Speaker Series concludes our 2016-2017 program with an all-star cast of alums in finance, consulting, and technology. The current guest list is below and may include one or two more. This is a great opportunity to connect with Econ alums who have risen to more senior-level positions and learn more about career paths open to Econ majors.
Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company
As head of McKinsey's Silicon Valley Office, I advise financial institutions, lead the firm’s banking organization practice in the Americas, and co-lead McKinsey’s “Women in the Workplace” research.
My work centers on driving change at scale including redesigning customer experience, innovating products and services, and guiding executive-capability building. I serve financial services and technology companies as they seek to align their organizations for growth and productivity.
Passionate about leadership development, I lead McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace research initiative in partnership with LeanIn.Org and serve as faculty at McKinsey’s Executive Transitions Master Class and Change Leaders Forum. I also counsel executive teams on improving top team performance in their organizations.
Kevin M. Pleasant
Executive Director, Commercial Banking - JPMorgan Chase
Kevin Pleasant was raised in Southern California and received his B.A. in economics from Stanford University in 1999. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City and joined Deutsche Bank AG as a money market trader. In this role, Pleasant was responsible for managing the $20 billion overnight investment portion of the organization’s 2a-7 money market mutual funds. In 2002, Pleasant left Deutsche to join Moody’s Investor Services’ Real Estate Finance Group. With Moody’s, Pleasant tracked the credit statistics and fundamentals of more than 25 multi-family and lodging REITs. While getting his M.B.A. in finance and real estate at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Pleasant interned with GE Real Estate’s Asset Management Division. He is also a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow. After completing his M.B.A. in 2006, Pleasant joined JPMorgan Chase where he is now an Executive Director and Regional Sales Manager.
Director of Product Marketing at Comodo.
Comodo is a leading IT security company. Vernon has over ten years of experience in B2B marketing at technology companies large and small and has also worked in finance and sales. In addition to an A.B. in economics from Stanford, he holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Associate, Silver Lake Partners
Emily Tian joined Silver Lake as an Associate in 2016. Previously, she worked in the Technology Investment Banking Group at Morgan Stanley & Co. in Menlo Park. Ms. Tian graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Management Science & Engineering and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Director of Product, Zynga
Ms. Villegas currently works as the director of product at Zynga, a video game company most well-known for creating FarmVille and Words with Friends, after a long career spanning many different fields. She graduated from Stanford with a BA in International Relations. At this time, she spent her summers interning with World Bank and Deutsche Bank, before going to work with UBS Investment Bank as an analyst, primarily in regards to housing. After three years with UBS, Ms. Villegas moved to work for Disney as a business analyst, helping to establish a new resort in Shanghai.
After her work at Disney, Ms. Villegas made the decision to go back to school. She returned to her alma mater and received her MBA from the GSB in 2011. But instead of returning to the world of finance and real estate after graduation, Ms. Villegas moved to the world of mobile gaming and product management. After working at RockYou, she worked with GREE International, known for Crime City and Kingdom Age, where she increased her role from product manager to director of product. She took these skills to be the director of product at Storm8 and MachineZone, before, finally, making her way to Zynga.