Mark Thaller, PhD
Dr. Thaller recently spent nearly three years at Hawaiian Electric at the invitation of the Board of Directors as an “Agent of Change,” charged with promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, and where he revitalized the firm’s approach to communications, collaboration and negotiation with renewable energy Independent Power Producers (IPP’s), the Hawaii Public Utilities’ Commission, the State of Hawaii, the SEC and the ratepayers of Hawaii. He also developed a universally applicable Code of Ethics for the firm, and promulgated complex negotiation techniques among senior executives and management. Previously Mark was the Managing Director of Jebel Associates, focusing upon advisory services and private investment in Iraq, Liberia, Afghanistan, Uganda, Djibouti, Sudan and South Sudan. Sectors of interest included energy, transportation and mining. He has established offices and/or lived full time on the local economy in each of these locations. For example, in Herat, Afghanistan, Mr. Thaller advised senior ministry and military officials on finance reform, innovation, entrepreneurial behavior and budget transparency. Similarly, he advised senior military and government officials in Southern Sudan on innovation, communications and transparency as South Sudan prepared for its declaration of sovereignty. Mark served in a variety of corporate executive positions at Bell Labs, Mantech and Dyncorp. At Dyncorp, as VP of Business Development, he was responsible for all of the firm’s BD, capture and proposal development efforts for several billion dollars of awarded service, infrastructure and contingency support contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and throughout the world. Prior to working in business development, Dr. Thaller served as a General Partner at several Venture Capital funds on Wall Street and in Boston, including Sprout Group (DLJ) and Zero Stage Capital, where he co- managed the investment of several billion dollars with top-quartile performance, and sat as a Director on over a dozen Boards. He has led and personally performed technical due diligence on dozens of M&A and direct investment deals comprising several hundred million dollars of equity and debt investments within the IT, drug development and high technology sectors. Mark is well known among his peers for his passion, ethical conviction and enthusiasm concerning entrepreneurial behavior and innovation. Prior to his career in business Mark served 10 years in various capacities on highly classified missions as an officer aboard nuclear “Attack” submarines in the Western Pacific. Mark’s numerous awards include the inaugural Springboard Leadership Award (2000) for his ardent support of women entrepreneurs. He was also recognized in 1996 as a Kauffman Venture Capital Fellow for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He has been featured or quoted in hundreds of publications including the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Wired, Red Herring, and many others. He recently served as a renewable energy mentor to the Energy Excelerator in Honolulu, HI, and is frequently consulted by entrepreneurs and not-for- profit executives on fund raising issues. Dr. Thaller has a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Nova Southeastern University. His dissertation was, The Effects of Corruption upon Lethal Violence in Regions of Extreme Violence. Mark has an MBA in finance from The Wharton School, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii, and two B.S. engineering degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy. Mark enjoys spending time with his family whenever possible. He also enjoys competitive athletics in a variety of sports, to include Ironman triathlon, crew, and weightlifting. He supports several orphanages and charity organizations in Liberia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda, as well as the U.S. Naval Academy Ethics Center and Type-1 Diabetes research efforts.