Please join us for the inauguration of Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite as the ninth president of Bentley University. Our community is honored to bring the following speakers to campus to commemorate the two-day celebration.
Marcelo Claure is an entrepreneur and investor. He founded Brightstar in 1997 and built it into the world’s largest global wireless distribution and services company, with operations in more than 50 countries and revenues exceeding $10 billion, making it the largest Hispanic-owned business in U.S. history. Brightstar was sold to SoftBank in 2014.
In 2014, Claure was appointed as CEO of Sprint, where he led the company’s strategic turnaround, delivering the best financial results in its 120-year history. In 2018, under Claure’s leadership, Sprint announced a $195 billion merger with T-Mobile that was later approved in 2020 after one of the most challenging regulatory review processes in U.S. history. Shortly after the merger, Claure led the largest non-government secondary offering in financial market history delivering $23 billion in up-front proceeds for SoftBank.
In 2018, Claure was also promoted as SoftBank’s COO and CEO of SoftBank Group International where he oversaw SoftBank’s operations and strategy alongside CEO Masayoshi Son, with full operational responsibility for over $300 billion in assets. Claure occupied this position until he left SoftBank in January 2022.
In 2019, Claure founded and launched the now $8 billion SoftBank Latin America Fund, the largest VC fund in Latin America, and grew it to become one of the best performing funds at SoftBank with a diverse portfolio of 80 companies, including two-thirds of the region’s unicorns. In 2019, Claure was also appointed as executive chairman of WeWork, where he is recognized for turning the company around and putting it on a path to profitability as well as taking the company public in October 2021.
In 2020, Claure launched the SB Opportunity Fund with a $100 million commitment to invest in companies led by underrepresented racial minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanics, establishing the largest fund of its kind. To date, the fund has invested in approximately 50 companies.
Claure currently serves as vice chairman of the board of TelevisaUnivision and is a member of the board of directors of T-Mobile, Brightstar and Carnegie Hall. Claure is also the president of Club Bolívar, Bolivia’s largest soccer team. In partnership with City Football Group, he is also a co-owner of Girona FC, a Spanish soccer team.
Claure immigrated to the U.S. from Bolivia. He received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance and an honorary doctorate of Commercial Science from Bentley University. He is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute and a member of the Presidential CEO Advisory Board of MIT. Claure is married with six children.
Since 2004, Dr. Michael L. Lomax has served as president and CEO of the UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students and a leading advocate of college readiness: students’ need for an education, from pre-school through high school, that prepares them for college success. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $3 billion and helped more than 110,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF’s work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black college and universities (HBCUs).
At UNCF’s helm, Dr. Lomax oversees the organization’s 400 scholarship programs, which award 10,000 scholarships a year. He also launched the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, which helps UNCF’s member HBCUs become stronger, more effective and more self-sustaining.
Under Dr. Lomax’s leadership, UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform through partnerships with reform-focused leaders and organizations and worked to further advance HBCUs with Congress, the administration and the Department of Education. He serves on the boards of the KIPP Foundation, America’s Promise, Teach for America and the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Before joining UNCF, Dr. Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a literature professor at UNCF-member institutions Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. He also founded the National Black Arts Festival, was a founding member of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African American elected to that post.
Debora Spar is the Jaime and Josefina Chua Tiampo Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and senior associate dean for Global Business and Society. Her current research focuses on issues of gender and technology and the interplay between technological change and broader social structures. Dr. Spar tackles some of these issues in her latest book, Work Mate Marry Love: How Machines Shape Our Human Destiny.
Dr. Spar served as the president of Barnard College from 2008 to 2017, and as president and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts from 2017 to 2018. During her tenure at Barnard, Dr. Spar led initiatives to highlight women’s leadership and advancement, including the creation of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the development of Barnard’s Global Symposium series.
Before joining Barnard, Dr. Spar spent 17 years on the HBS faculty as the Spangler Family Professor as well as senior associate dean for Faculty Research and Development. A prolific writer, Dr. Spar’s books include Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Discovery, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet (2001), The Baby Business (2006), and Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection (2013).
Dr. Spar is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves as a director of Value Retail LLC and Thermo Fisher Scientific as well as a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She has also served on the boards of Goldman Sachs and the Wallace and Markle Foundations. Dr. Spar earned her PhD in Government from Harvard University and her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
She and her husband, Miltos Catomeris, are the parents of three grown children.
B. Joseph (Joe) White is president emeritus and professor emeritus of the University of Illinois and dean emeritus and professor emeritus of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where he also served as interim president.
Dr. White is the author of The Nature of Leadership (2007) and Boards That Excel (2014). He has practiced and taught, as well as written, spoken and advised on leadership and management, corporate governance and human capital development.
Dr. White is a director and family advisor of Gordon Food Service, one of America’s largest private companies. He advises companies and families that want to thrive in perpetuity and is a mentor to CEOs and senior executives. He is a director of the non-profit W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Dr. White earned his bachelor’s degree at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, an MBA at Harvard University and a PhD in Business Administration at the University of Michigan.