Jerry Yang, a Stanford graduate who co-founded the search engine and web services provider Yahoo! and is currently the founding partner of the venture fund AME Cloud Ventures, has been elected chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees. His two-year term begins July 1, 2021.

Jerry Yang (Image credit: Courtesy Jerry Yang)

Yang, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in 1990 from Stanford, succeeds Jeff Raikes, co-founder of the Raikes Foundation and former chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Raikes has served as chair since 2017. He will remain on the Board of Trustees after his term as chair concludes.

“I’m humbled and honored to serve my fellow trustees, and to work with Stanford’s exceptional leadership and faculty members,” Yang said. “Stanford has the opportunity to execute on its Long-Range Vision, to be part of the solution that faces our communities, nation and globe.”

Raikes praised Yang as being “uniquely positioned to help lead Stanford as it emerges from these challenging times and continues pursuing its mission of being a purposeful university. His experience in founding and leading several Silicon Valley companies, his knowledge of and commitment to Stanford and his insightful understanding of the issues facing higher education make him an exceptional choice as chair of the Board of Trustees.”

He added, “Jerry and his wife, Akiko, have made inspiring contributions to Stanford that have been as visionary as they are generous. Their interests and areas of expertise are wide-ranging, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the university itself. Stanford has been fortunate to have benefited from their talent and support.”

Silicon Valley entrepreneur

Yang was born in Taipei and immigrated to the United States in 1978, growing up in San Jose, California. Yang co-founded Yahoo! in 1995 with fellow Stanford graduate student David Filo and served on its board and as a member of its executive team until 2012, including as CEO from 2007 to 2009. In 2012, he founded AME Cloud Ventures, a venture fund that invests in seed-stage to later-stage tech companies that build infrastructure and value chains around data.

At Stanford, Yang has served twice on the Board of Trustees, the first time from 2005 to 2015. He joined the board again in October 2017 and has served as its vice chair. He currently serves on numerous Stanford boards and committees, including the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) Advisory Council, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program Advisory Board, the Cantor Arts Center Director’s Advisory Committee and the School of Engineering’s Accelerator Task Force.

Yang and Filo were recognized as Engineering Heroes by the Stanford School of Engineering in 2013. The program recognizes the achievements of Stanford engineers who have advanced the course of human, social and economic progress through engineering.

Varied philanthropic interests

Yang and his wife, Akiko Yamazaki, also a Stanford graduate, have been long-term supporters of many areas of the university, including naming the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building, better known as Y2E2. In addition, they have supported the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, the Bing Concert Hall, the renovation of Frost Amphitheater and a number of athletic facilities, including the new Stanford Stadium.

Yang and Yamazaki also have supported many professorships, fellowships and scholarships in academic departments throughout the university, ranging from a professorship in HAI to an undergraduate scholarship fund to a faculty scholar position in Pediatric Translational Medicine. They have supported a wide range of programs, including COVID-19 research under the Innovative Medicines Accelerator. Other areas of support include the Woods Institute for the Environment, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, Stanford centers in Japan and China, the Haas Center for Public Service and the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.

Yang was also involved in endowing the Yahoo! Founders Professorship and the David Filo and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar Fund, both in engineering.

Yang currently sits on the boards of Alibaba, Workday and Lenovo. He also serves as director of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and a trustee of Dunhuang Foundation (USA). He is a member of the Committee of 100 and the Council on Foreign Relations. He previously served on the boards of Cisco Systems and Asian Pacific Fund of San Francisco.

Media Contacts

E. J. Miranda, University Communications: