George Conrades was at the wheel of Akamai technologies through giddy dot com–era beginnings, a spectacular bust, and the solid recovery that made it a billion-dollar company. Akamai is the stunning capper to the enviable 53-year career of a man who reveled in the thrill ride of technology from early mainframes through internet success. Conrades, who started out as an enthusiastic salesman at IBM in love with technology, synopsizes the entire journey in one sentence: “I’m fortunate to have lived in the world of the next big thing.”
Shortly after Dhiraj Rajaram arrived at Chicago Booth in 2001, he saw the future. Solving complex business problems required a radical departure from the silo mentality that separates programmers, analysts, and mathematicians at many consulting firms. Rajaram envisioned a fresh, interdisciplinary approach that brought together math, business technology, behavioral science, and design thinking. Today his company, Mu Sigma, leads the burgeoning field of decision science, with more than 125 Fortune 500 companies as clients and a valuation of more than $1.5 billion.
As minister of foreign affairs for the republic of Chile, Alfredo Moreno shaped his nation’s foreign and trade policy, driving economic growth and paving the way for a wave of foreign investment. His efforts to deepen regional trade, attract innovative industries, and professionalize the foreign service have grown deep roots over his four-year term. Going forward, Moreno is confident that sound economic policies inculcated in generations of Chilean economists by the University of Chicago will improve living standards for Chileans and keep the nation’s economy on course.
Amy Lehman is on a mission to bring health care to 3.5 million people living along a Lake Tanganyika in central Africa by building a floating clinic—a fully equipped hospital ship with operating rooms, an ICU, and an inpatient ward. She’s gained credibility with four governments and the local population, allowing her to make progress on what she calls a “huge, insane, massive project.” in the meantime, Lehman’s organization has distributed thousands of bed nets in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help prevent malaria, installed communications equipment at healthcare facilities in both countries, and provided surgical procedures to dozens of women.