Co-founder, President, and Executive Director
Will Glaser is a recognized technology leader in Silicon Valley with the ability to detect trends and predict forthcoming changes across multiple industries. He has been the driving force behind a number of successful startup companies and brings equal curiosity and compassion as a board leader at diverse mission-driven organizations.
Glaser is the founder and CEO of Grabango, the leading provider of checkout-free technology for large-scale store chains. The company is currently working with nationally recognized brands to deliver a next-generation experience to people where they already shop.
Glaser co-founded Pandora Media, the first personalized online radio service that revolutionized the way music lovers discover new music while listening to their favorite songs and artists. He led Pandora for its first five years, serving as both COO and CTO. In these roles, he built the management and technology teams, led the senior staff, and trained his ultimate successors.
An astute entrepreneur, Glaser also co-founded Hydra Systems where he designed, developed and helped bring to market an integrated software/hardware product that allows IBM-PC compatible computers to seamlessly run Macintosh software. While in this role, he was named by Mircotimes as one of the 100 Most Influential People in High Technology.
In addition to launching new companies, Glaser ran a consulting practice specializing in new product architectures, business startups and high technology turnarounds. He was frequently brought in to perform early product design and valued for his ability to restore structure to preexisting projects. His clients ranged from early startups to Fortune-500 technology companies.
Glaser is a native of California and attended Cornell University where he earned a rare triple major in Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics. In addition to Berkeley Earth and his own companies, he serves on the board of Blue Shield of California, a mission-driven nonprofit health insurer.
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President and CEO of Future 500. Called a “master of environmental entrepreneurism,” Bill Shireman has over 20 years of experience developing and implementing programs that align the interests of major corporations and their stakeholders. He develops profitable business strategies that drive pollution down and profits up.
As President and CEO of the Future 500, he helps the world’s largest companies and most impassioned activists – from Coca-Cola, General Motors, Nike, Mitsubishi, and Weyerhaeuser, to Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, and the Sierra Club – work together to improve the profits and performance of business.
Advocating technology as a driver of green growth, Bill has led the development and deployment of these and other tools, at diverse companies in Asia, Europe, and throughout North America. While CEO of the largest state recycling lobby in the U.S., he wrote California’s bottle bill recycling law, shown by EPA and academic studies to be the world’s most cost-effective. He advocates market-based environmental policies – contending they can be more effective than many command and control laws.
In 2002, with former Mitsubishi CEO Tachi Kiuchi, he wrote the popular book, What We Learned In The Rainforest — Business Lessons from Nature, featured in the Harvard Business Review, which declares the business-as-machine era over, and shows how companies can become as innovative as the rainforest, leveraging feedback to grow more profitable and sustainable than ever.
Co-founder and Board Director
Richard Muller is Professor of Physics emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, co-founder and scientific director at Berkeley Earth, and co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Deep Isolation Inc., a company that proposes disposal of nuclear waste in deep horizontal drillholes.
Rich has been awarded the Breakthrough Prize (for the discovery of Dark Energy), MacArthur Prize Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Alan T. Waterman Award (for cosmic microwave anisotropy, atmospheric correction for astronomy, and for the invention of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry), the Texas Instruments Foundation Founders Prize, the Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Donald Sterling Noyce Prize. His class was voted best course on the Berkeley campus in all fields. He was named by Newsweek as one of top 25 innovators in the US in 1989. In 2011 he was cited by Atlantic Magazine as one of 21 Brave Thinkers, based on his work for Berkeley Earth. Foreign Policy Magazine cited him in 2012 as a top Global Thinker. Poder Business Magazine gave him a 2012 Courage Award. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the California Academy of Sciences. He is the author of over 120 scientific articles and ten books, including Physics for Future Presidents, Energy for Future Presidents, and Now, the Physics of Time.
While Rich is best known for his work in astrophysics and geophysics, he also spent over a decade researching paleoclimate. His primary interest was in the Milankovitch cycles, and is the author of a technical book “Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes” (co-author: the late Gordon MacDonald), published by Springer, which emphasizes methods of mathematical climate analysis. He published a series of papers on the subject in Nature, Science, Geology, Paleoceanography and elsewhere, and was a referee for the National Academy of Sciences on IPCC work.
He has over three decades of high level advising to the US Government (Dept. of Energy, NASA, Dept. of Defense, others) on science and technology issues relating to energy and national security.
He has been married to Rosemary Muller for over 50 years, and has two daughters, Elizabeth and Melinda. He refers to Elizabeth, who is the CEO of both Berkeley Earth and Deep Isolation, as “my boss.”
Jim is a founding Partner of Focus Ventures. While at Focus, he has led successful investments in Cosine Communications, Netscaler (Citrix), PA Semi (Apple), Pure Digital (Cisco), Starent Networks, Telera (Alcatel) and Teknovus (Broadcom). He is currently responsible for Focus’ investments in Apigee, 3VR, Cyan Optics, GSR Ventures, Infoblox, Marin Software, MuDynamics, PCH International, Picarro, Pivot3 and Stoke.
Jim was recently highlighted on AlwaysOn’s VC 100 List, Power Players West list and OnDemand’s Top 100 Power Players in the Cloud, and ranked 37th on Forbes Magazine’s 2011 Midas List. In addition, Jim is featured in Venture Capitalists At Work, a book highlighting how VCs identify and build billion dollar businesses authored by Tarang Shah.
Jim also spearheads Focus’ efforts in Asia, to which he brings to bear his 30 years experience in the region. Jim has initiated customer and partner relationships for numerous Focus portfolio companies including inCode Telecom, NetScaler, PixelWorks, Pure Digital and Silicon Optix. Jim is frequently tapped to speak about his experiences at events hosted by organizations such as Asian Venture Capital Journal and International Business Forum.
Jim was a cofounder in 1986 and a Managing Director of the successful merchant banking boutique, Amsterdam Pacific Corportation, which was purchased by a large European bank in 1994. Prior to forming Amsterdam Pacific Corporation, he was Vice President in the Telecommunications Section of the Bank of America’s Investment Banking Group where he led media and high technology assignments in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East. Outside of his work at Focus, Jim has successful investments in companies such as ONI, Alteon, Prism Radio Partners, Deeptech, Hello Direct, US Filter and USA Waste (Waste Management Inc.).
Jim has lectured on corporate and project financing at Stanford and has written numerous finance related articles including one published in the May-June 1982 issue of the Harvard Business Review, which was subsequently selected as one of the year’s best and published in a hardcover collection.
Jim has an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin and MBA (as an Arjay Miller Scholar) and MA degrees from Stanford University. Prior to attending business school, he worked for four years as a telecommunications engineer in the U.S. Air Force, specializing in analog/digital voice systems and digital networking.
Dr. Robert J. Budnitz has been involved with nuclear-reactor safety and radioactive-waste safety for many years. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He recently retired from the scientific staff at the University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he worked on nuclear power safety and security and radioactive-waste management. From 2002 to 2007 he was at UC’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, during which period he worked on a two-year special assignment (late 2002 to late 2004) in Washington to assist the Director of DOE’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management to develop a new Science & Technology Program. Prior to joining LLNL in 2002, he ran a one-person consulting practice in Berkeley CA for over two decades. In 1978-1980, he was a senior officer on the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, serving as Deputy Director and then Director of the NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. He earned a Ph.D. in experimental physics from Harvard in 1968.
Robert Murphy is a proven leader driven to explore and help solve hard global problems. The breadth of his expertise is unique—developed through engagement on energy, technology, transport, and environmental issues in both the private and public sectors. Robert has worked in a wide variety of locations around the world, utilizing an interrelated mixture of strategic planning, economics, business development, corporate development, public policy, and data analysis skills to drive change.
Today, Robert leads strategy and business development at Aclima, a San Francisco-based environmental intelligence startup with a mission to provide actionable, hyperlocal air quality data and insights. Aclima products deliver value for paid customers and benefit the public through free services—all within a financially compelling business model designed to scale globally. The company has previously been recognized as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, member of the Global Cleantech 100, and as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. At Aclima, Robert has focused on developing and refining the company’s business model, securing anchor customers and key strategic partners (including Google, regulators, and energy utilities), shaping product development, and engaging with venture and impact investors to fund growth.
In addition to serving on the Berkeley Earth Board of Directors, Robert also advises other startups directly and through accelerator programs.
Previously, Robert worked in a wide variety of roles primarily in and around the energy sector. This included Chevron (lead economist for emerging markets in Corporate Strategic Planning, later leading assessment of technology and policy outlooks for Chevron in Washington DC), Enbridge (international business development, primarily focused on energy generation, storage, and transmission projects/M&A), World Bank (energy projects in Pakistan, Iraq, Angola, and Ghana, in addition to engagement on organizational strategy around energy and innovation), Cleantech Group (building advisory service focused on renewable energy technologies), PFC Energy (assessing global energy markets and economics), and the Albright Group (working with leading global organizations on sustainability-related issues).
Robert received a Master’s degree in International Security from Georgetown University, and Honours Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario. He is Irish and Canadian, and grew up moving around the world from a young age. This has included working in and visiting dozens of countries, and living in Canada, Yemen, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and the United States. This exposure underpins Robert’s desire to build market-driven, inclusive technologies that help tackle challenging global problems.