Peter Thiel, President of Clarium Capital Management and co-founder of the internet site PayPal, will speak as the Burkett Miller Distinguished Guest Lecturer on Monday, October 8, at 12 noon in the University Center Auditorium at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Thiel, an American financier, entrepreneur, and prominent donor to charities focusing on economic liberty and technology, co-founded PayPal with Max Levchin. As its former CEO, Thiel once proposed that PayPal could be a catalyst for change in world politics.

The Probasco Chair of Free Enterprise, Dr. J. R. Clark, suggests the Chattanooga audience will benefit from the lecture because “Mr. Thiel’s example of extraordinary business success at a very young age, public life, and philanthropy is representative of the very best that the free enterprise system produces. His story of striving, ingenuity, and the critical importance of freedom in American life is an inspiration to the business community and aspiring entrepreneurs, young and old alike.”

Thiel, from Foster City, California, studied 20th-century philosophy at Stanford University before attending Stanford Law School. While at Stanford, he founded The Stanford Review. Thiel has been a contributing author to the Hoover Institution’s journal, Policy Review and the co-author of the book, The Diversity Myth: ‘Multiculturalism’ and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford.

In 2002, Thiel sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion and since then, he has served as the Founder and Managing Member of Clarium Capital Management LLC , a global macro hedge company managing over $2 billion.

In 2005, Clarium was honored as the global macro fund of the year by both MarHedge and Absolute Return. Steve Drobny’s book, Inside the House of Money, featured a chapter based on Thiel’s approach to macro investing.

Thiel is a partner in The Founders Fund, a $50 million venture capital firm, and he personally made early-stage investments in companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, Rapleaf, and Ironport.

Thiel serves on the boards of nonprofit educational organizations such as Stanford Law School, where he has also taught, and the Hoover Institution. His most recent cultural pursuit has been co-producing Thank You for Smoking, a feature film based on the Christopher Buckley novel of the same name. Last year, he won the Herman Lay Award for Entrepreneurship. Thiel is also a nationally-ranked chess master.

“Anyone interested in learning the secrets to a full and rewarding life, will be impressed with Mr. Thiel, because, he has been there, done that (several times), and can tell you how,” Clark proposes.

Dr. Edward Stringham will critique Thiel’s presentation. Stringham earned a B.A. in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross in 1997 and his Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2002.

This event is sponsored by the Scott L. Probasco, Jr. Chair of Free Enterprise and is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on the speaker and speech, contact the Probasco Chair at 425-4118.

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