San José State University 2015 Economic Summit



Mr. Matthew R. Mahood 



Sam Liccardo, Mayor, City of San José
Dr. Christopher Thornberg

Mr. Matthew R. Mahood 

Matthew Mahood

Mr. Mahood (pronounced May-hood)is the President and Chief Executive Officer the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, one of California’s largest chambers of commerce with nearly 1,400 members who employ roughly 275,000 employees throughout Silicon Valley. His extensive background as an executive in business operations spans over two decades in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. 

The SJSV Chamber is currently leading Silicon Valley’s new Regional Economic Development Initiative. REDI is a business-driven, community-supported initiative that is bringing industry leaders together to focus on Silicon Valley’s next great wave of innovation—The Internet of Things. The goal is to create and implement a collaborative economic development strategy to retain existing jobs, to stimulate job growth and to sustain the strongest possible economy throughout the Silicon Valley region.

Previously, Mahood served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, where he was named Western Association of Chamber Executives 2010 Executive of the Year.  Additionally, Mahood has held senior operations management positions with FedEx, BAX Global and 

Sam Liccardo

Sam Liccardo
Sam Liccardo was elected the 65th Mayor of San José on Nov. 4, 2014. From 2007-2014, he represented San José’s Third District on the San José City Council, one of the most diverse communities in the city, where he focused on improving public safety, revitalizing the Downtown, expanding affordable housing, and making San José an environmental leader. 

Prior to winning election to City Council, Sam served in the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor of sexual assault and child exploitation crimes and as a federal prosecutor. His work in the community includes teaching political science at San José State University, co-founding a program (“1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds”) to expand tutoring for low-income elementary school students, supporting the launch of the innovative college preparatory school (Cristo Rey San José) to launch low-income students to a college-going path, serving on the boards of several affordable housing organizations, and advocating for two successful countywide transit ballot measures responsible for bringing BART to San José.

Sam and his wife, Jessica García-Kohl, live in Downtown’s Northside, which boasts San José’s oldest neighborhood association. Sam and Jessica live a block from where Jessica grew up, and a dozen blocks from the neighborhood grocery store that Sam’s paternal grandparents operated in the 1940s and ’50s. On his mother’s side, Sam’s ancestors were among the first Mexican settlers in the Bay Area, while his maternal grandmother emigrated from Ireland.

After graduating from Bellarmine College Prep in San José, Sam attended Georgetown University. Sam was captain of the Georgetown heavyweight crew, and graduated magna cum laude in 1991. Two years later, he enrolled at Harvard Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and graduated with a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy in 1996, when he returned to the Bay Area.

Sam has served in several regional leadership roles during his tenure as a councilmember, including as President of the Santa Clara County Cities Association, Chair of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and on the executive boards of the Association of Bay Area Governments and Association and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. He is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum, and of the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship.

Dr. Christopher Thornberg


Dr. Christopher Thornberg is Founding Partner of Beacon Economics, LLC and widely considered to be one of California's leading economists. An expert in economic forecasting, regional economics, labor markets, economic policy, and real estate analysis, he was one of the earliest and most adamant predictors of the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007, and of the global economic recession that followed. Since 2006, he has served on the advisory board of Wall Street hedge fund, Paulson & Co. Inc. Between 2008 and 2012, he served as a chief economic advisor to the California State Controller John Chiang, and is Chair of the Controller's Council of Economic Advisors.

A highly sought-after speaker, Dr. Thornberg regularly presents to leading business, government, and nonprofit organizations including REOMAC, the California State Association of Counties, Colliers International, State Farm Insurance, and the California and Nevada Credit Union, among many others.He has testified before the U.S. Congress House Committee on Financial Services on municipal debt issues, and before the California State Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation regarding rule changes related to Proposition 13.

Dr. Thornberg has been involved in conducting research and developing analytic products for international clients that explore the trade and economic connections between the United States and the world. This has included analysis and speaking presentations regarding the impact the U.S. trading partners have on U.S. global competitiveness for the Centre for Investor Education in Melbourne Australia, and U.S. and international economic outlooks and their effect on global trade activity for the African Cashew Alliance in Cotonou, Benin. He has also conducted a number of special studies measuring the effect of important events on the economy, including the NAFTA treaty, the California electricity crisis, port security, California's water transfer programs, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Dr. Thornberg serves on the Residential Real Estate Committee at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Residential Real Estate. He is also a panel member of the National Association of Business Economists’ quarterly “Outlook” and a contributor to the “Economic Consensus Outlook” published by the Journal of Business Forecasting.

Dr. Thornberg also serves on the boards of a number of business, civic, and nonprofit organizations including the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, as an Executive Member of the Central City Association (Los Angeles), as a Business Leader Member of America’s Edge, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening businesses and the economy through public investments in youth and education, and on the Advisory Board of the Asian Real Estate Association of America.

Prior to launching Beacon, Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA's Anderson Forecast where he regularly authored economic outlooks for California, Los Angeles, and the East Bay, and developed specialized forecasts for a variety of public and private entities. He previously taught in the MBA program at UCLA's Anderson School, in the Rady School of Business at UCSD, and at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has also held a faculty position in the economics department at Clemson University.

A well-known media commentator, Dr. Thornberg has appeared on CNN and NPR and is regularly quoted in major national dailies including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Thornberg holds a Ph.D in Business Economics from The Anderson School at UCLA, and a B.S. in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.