My old graduate school professor, Michael Crow, was recently recognized by TIME as one of the 10 best college presidents in the U.S. Professor Crow is now President of Arizona State University and I believe always destined for greatness in academia. Before ASU, he was Executive Vice Provost of Columbia University and had an incredible record of impact and success. He founded the Columbia Innovation Enterprise (now called Science and Technology Ventures), helped establish the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and helped established In-Q-Tel (CIA's venture capital arm) and currently serves as their Chairman of the Board. Basically, Crow is a stud.
He was an advisor to my first startup, ViewPlus, and another venture I did right after my time at Columbia. During ViewPlus, my co-founders and I had an initial meeting with him at his university office. I remember my close friend and colleague, Jimmy, saying afterward, "He's definitely one of the smartest people I have ever met..."