Mr. Martin, founder and CEO of The Martin Organization, is a technology entrepreneur, futurist, hedge fund manager, author and conservative activist from Destin, Florida. Fox Business News calls him a “tech guru”, Britain’s Guardian labeled him a “philosopher-capitalist”, Gawker called him “another of Peter Thiel’s brilliant nonconformists,” and George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management introduced him as “America’s foremost [conservative] expert on online politics.”
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.com, a Silicon Valley legend, which is today the dominant payments provider on the Internet. Launched during the dot-com bust by a team whose average age was just 23, PayPal amassed more than 25 million users in just over two years and was the first dot-com to successfully transition its user base to a paying status through use of the “Freemium” model. PayPal successfully drove giant competitors such as Western Union, AOL and Citibank out of its market and conducted the first successful post-bust technology pure-play IPO. In late 2002, PayPal ultimately merged with eBay for more than $1.5 billion. Moreover, PayPal enabled an entrepreneurial revolution, helping to create literally millions of small businesses around the world, and provided a previously impossible level of monetary security for the masses.
In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Rod is one of America’s leading experts on the conjunction of technology and politics. He serves as Advisory Board Chairman for the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, of which he was thrice elected President, and previously served as Policy Director for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. He is a member of the Gold Circle and Board of Governors of the Council for National Policy, a group of top conservative leaders from around the United States; and a member of the Arlington Group, a coalition of America’s principal Christian activist leadership, and former chairman of its National Security Committee. Along with several colleagues from PayPal and Apple, he also leads The Vanguard Project, which seeks to develop a state-of-the-art technology platform for driving and empowering large-scale activism.
Rod 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; he has served as faculty for the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Blackstone Fellowship program; he is a longstanding member of the Federalist Society; and he serves on the boards of several pro-liberty public interest legal groups, including the Gotham Legal Foundation in New York and the Everglades Legal Foundation in his home state of Florida.
A noted futurist, activist, and thought-leader, Rod’s extensive writings have appeared in such publications as FoxNews.com, Human Events, The Daily Caller, WorldNetDaily, The American Spectator, World magazine, 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.