Leslie Berlin has been studying the history of innovation in Silicon Valley for nearly two decades. She strongly believes that although it is not easy to capture the history of a place that considers self-obsolescence the pinnacle of success, it is important. As Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once told her, “You cannot understand what is happening today without understanding what came before.”
Leslie is Project Historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University. In this capacity, she works to find and preserve key papers and artifacts pertaining to the history of Silicon Valley. She also helps researchers, students, and others interested in using Stanford’s collections.
For the 2012-2013 academic year, she is a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.
Leslie has written extensively about Silicon Valley for both popular and academic audiences. She contributed the monthly “Prototype” column on innovation to the Sunday Business section of the New York Times, and her biography of Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the microchip and co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor, has been praised as “so engagingly narrated that you don’t realize how much business and technology you are learning along the way.” Her current book project explores Silicon Valley during the 1970s.
Leslie has served as the speechwriter to a Fortune 500 CEO and consulted with a number of organizations and individuals, including PBS and Intel. She serves on the advisory committee to the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Leslie received her Ph.D. in History from Stanford and holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale.