John S. Needham, Founder & CEO
John Needham has long worked with leaders at the highest levels of business and government, including in his capacity as a senior executive with Fortune, as the CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative, and subsequently in the company he founded. John has developed or directed a wide range of high-impact initiatives, including The Wall Street Journal CEO Council, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Microsoft CEO Summit, the Fortune Global Forum, Fortune’s Brainstorm conferences, the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summits, the TIME 100 Gala Dinner and TIME 100 Summit, and the Paulson CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization.
In 2005, President William J. Clinton named John the first CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative. Over the next two years, he helped to build CGI into one of the world’s most influential membership organizations, focused on addressing global challenges including poverty, climate change, education, and global health.
Today John Needham is President of Needham Partners, working with a select group of top-level clients. Needham Partners is a full-service company based in Westchester County, NY, that specializes in building membership communities, creating and managing summit meetings (in-person and virtual), and other purpose-driven initiatives that engage and connect influential people across business, government, philanthropy, sports, media, and entertainment.
A graduate of Yale who completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, John is also engaged in nonprofit activities and lives in Bedford, NY, with his family.
President Clinton commended Needham as follows:
“Throughout your time at CGI, you’ve drawn upon your unparalleled energy, experience, and expertise to share a wealth of wonderful ideas—and you have inspired many new ones as well. CGI began as something of an experiment, but guided by your leadership and wisdom, it soon gained acclaim that transcends geographic, political, and cultural boundaries. Quite simply, we could not have done it without you. You represent the very finest in what we, as Americans, have to offer both domestically and abroad.”
“John Needham has made a larger contribution, by far, than any single individual, onstage or off, to Fortune’s events over the decades.”
-Adam Lashinsky, Executive Editor, FORTUNE