Rod D. Martin, founder and CEO of The Martin Organization, is a technology entrepreneur, futurist, hedge fund manager, thought leader and activist from Destin, Florida.
Fox Business News calls him a “tech guru,” Britain’s Guardian labeled him a “philosopher-capitalist,” while Gawker described him as “another of [PayPal founder] Peter Thiel’s brilliant nonconformists.” He has addressed audiences on four continents, has written extensively for publications such as Forbes, Human Events, Inc., Fortune and FoxNews.com, and is a member of Stratfor‘s Board of Contributors.
An investor, director or officer in numerous ventures, focusing in the Internet, biotech, aerospace and energy sectors, Mr. Martin is especially noted for his role as a member of the pre-IPO startup team at Silicon Valley legend PayPal — the so-called “PayPal Mafia” — where he served as a senior advisor to founder and CEO Peter Thiel. Launched during the worst of the dot-com bust by a team whose average age was just 23, PayPal amassed more than 25 million customers in just over two years, drove giant competitors such as Western Union, AOL and Citibank out of its market, and conducted the first successful post-bust tech IPO.
Mr. Martin helped lead the takeover and turnaround of Galectin Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GALT), where in addition to serving as managing member of the company’s largest institutional shareholder he has also served in a variety of capacities including Chairman of the Compensation Committee and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. GALT’s lead candidate drug, which has successfully reversed liver and kidney fibrosis in preclinical studies, is now in human clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation from the FDA. The company is also has a psoriasis treatment in Phase II trials, and is developing a drug which promises to greatly enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy agents while nearly eliminating their side-effects.
Among other ventures, Mr. Martin is a Founder and Executive Chairman of Global PET Imaging, which seeks to bring state of the art diagnostics to millions of patients who currently lack them; a Founder and Executive Chairman of Advanced Search Laboratories, which is developing an entire new generation of internet search tools; and a Founder of 10X Capital Management and of Agincourt Ventures.
Mr. Martin has been recognized as one of America’s leading experts on the conjunction of technology and politics. He formerly served as Policy Director to Governor Mike Huckabee and as an aide to senior Congressional leader John Paul Hammerschmidt. He is a member of the Board of Governors and Gold Circle of the elite Council for National Policy, and a three-time past president of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, where he currently serves as National Advisory Board Chairman. In 2014 he was named Distinguished Visiting Professor of History, Government and Entrepreneurship at Hannibal-LaGrange University, a highly ranked private liberal arts college.
Mr. Martin was a Sturgis Fellow at the University of Arkansas, studied political and economic thought at Cambridge University in Great Britain, and is an award-winning civil rights scholar. He was elected student body president at Baylor Law School, where he was also named “Outstanding Oral Advocate.” He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (General Joseph Martin Chapter, named for his fifth great grandfather), is deeply involved in charitable work aimed at alleviating global poverty, and has raised significant sums for scholarships for disadvantaged children.
Mr. Martin serves on the boards of several charitable and educational institutions, including The Martin Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Biotechnology, the Board of Trustees of Criswell College, previously the Board of Regents at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Board of Governors at Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), and most recently the Florida Baptist Convention State Board of Missions and (as Chairman) the Committee on Order of Business of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination.
He is married to Sherri, proud father of Dolly, Archer and Haley, and grandfather of Annabelle and Beatrice.