Mike Milken is often said to have revolutionized modern capital markets, making them more democratic and dynamic. A Washington Post column said he “helped create the conditions for America’s explosion of wealth and creativity,” a process Business Week said “shook the defeatist Establishment out of its gloom.” Starting in 1969, he financed thousands of companies that created millions of jobs. A New York Times article said he “helped create a new generation of companies and an entirely new way to finance nascent ideas that have fueled the global economy.” The former editor of the Harvard Business Review wrote, “Much of the strength and resilience of the economy today – including its ability to rebound in times of adversity – is due to the way people using Milken’s financing vehicles remade ailing companies or put their entrepreneurial zeal to work.”
Milken was called “The Man Who Changed Medicine” by Fortune magazine for his nearly four decades of medical-research initiatives. In 1982, he formalized his previous philanthropy in the Milken Family Foundation, a national leader in medical research, educator recognition and education reform. Recently, he helped launch the Melanoma Research Alliance and he heads FasterCures, which accelerates progress against all life-threatening diseases. He also chairs the Milken Institute, a non-partisan economic think tank whose annual Global Conference brings 3,000 thought leaders from 60 nations to Los Angeles each spring. In the past decade, Milken has delivered keynote speeches in more than 35 nations around the world. He graduated with highest distinction from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.