Esther Dyson is a true Renaissance woman: Over the course of her distinguished career, Dyson has been a journalist, a Wall Street tech analyst, an entrepreneur, an author, an angel investor and a philanthropist. A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in economics, she started her career at Forbes, where she spent three years as a fact-checker/reporter in the mid-1970s. She later worked as a tech analyst at Oppenheimer before joining Rosen Research. She bought the firm from her boss in 1983 and renamed it EDventure Holdings; it ran the PC Forum conference and published the Release 1.0 newsletter until 2007 (after it was acquired by CNET and subsequently shut down).
Widely regarded as a digital visionary and innovation evangelist par excellence, Dyson spends most of her time with the many startups she has invested in, including 23andMe, Airship Ventures, Evernote, Meetup, Voxiva, XCOR Aerospace and Yandex. She briefly served as chairwomen of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit civil liberties organization. She was also the founding chairman of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the group that administers the Internet’s domain name system. Dyson has recently become a high-profile critic of ICANN over the group’s expansion of generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which drastically increases the level of domains to include .technology, .computers, and .anything. Dyson also serves on the boards of the Sunlight Foundation, The Long Now Foundation, and the Eurasia Foundation. She is currently focused on health technology, space travel and Russia and has a variety of investments in those areas.
Note — 7/24: This slide has been updated with additional details about Dyson’s time at Forbes, her investments, and her board memberships.
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