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, and has written extensively for publications such as Forbes, Human Events, Inc., Fortune and FoxNews.com.
Rod is an investor, director or officer in numerous ventures, specializing in the Internet and biotech spaces. He is especially noted for his role as a member of the pre-IPO startup team at PayPal, a Silicon Valley legend, which amassed more than 25 million users in just over two years, was the first dot-com to successfully transition its user base to a paying status through use of the “Freemium” model, spawned companies like YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yelp, Yammer, Palantir, Tesla and SpaceX, and is worth over $40 billion today.
Rod 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, Rod 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 and Managing Partner of 10X Capital Management and of Agincourt Ventures.
Rod 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.
Rod 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” in his first year; he belongs to Phi Delta Phi, the international legal honor society; and he is a member of the Boards of Trustees of Criswell College and of Hannibal LaGrange University, where he was previously named Distinguished Visiting Professor of History, Government and Entrepreneurship. He was also an architect of an innovative entrepreneurship curriculum for the Universidad Francisco Marroquín, lauded by Milton Friedman as “one of Latin America’s leading universities.”
He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (General Joseph Martin Chapter, named for his fifth great grandfather), chairs the Grace Hall Shakespeare Society, and holds Life Memberships in the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America. He is deeply involved in charitable work aimed at alleviating global poverty, has raised significant sums for private K-12 scholarships for disadvantaged children, and serves or has served 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.
A noted futurist, activist, and thought-leader, Rod’s extensive writings have appeared in such publications as Forbes, FoxNews.com, Inc., Fortune, Human Events, The Daily Caller, WorldNetDaily, The American Spectator, World magazine, Jewish World Review, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Manchester Union-Leader, the San Francisco Examiner and Diario Las Américas, and he has been featured on numerous national radio and television news programs. He is married to Sherri, proud father of Dolly, Archer and Haley, and grandfather of Annabelle and Beatrice.