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Leadership Team

Zaw Thet – Chairman and Founder

Zaw Thet is a veteran entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of search, social networking, mobile, and advertising since the age of 19. In 2011, Zaw was selected as one of ten entrepreneurs to serve on the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council. Currently, Zaw is incubating two stealth projects, as a co-founder and chairman of the board ( and, that cross between the mobile, social, gamification, loyalty, ecommerce, video, and advertising sectors. His success as an entrepreneur and angel investor has enabled him to raise over $100mm in venture funding for his category-defining companies. 


Most recently the Founder and CEO of 4INFO, which he founded 2004, the AdHaven division of 4INFO has become the largest mobile advertising platform in the US under his leadership: working with thousands of top tier publishers, advertisers, online advertising partners and platforms, and reaching hundreds of millions of mobile users every month. Among his many accolades, Zaw was selected as one of Business Week’s “Mobile Barons” and he is quoted in the national press on a regular basis in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. As a featured speaker, he has recently appeared at TechCrunch Disrupt, Summit Series, EO Alchemy, Guardian Activate, , SxSW, ad:tech, the MMA, and the 4A’s.

He is also dedicated to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector: Zaw is the Chairman and Founder of Palindrome Advisors, a nonprofit he launched in March 2011 whose mission is to change how leaders give back, which has over 100 elite business leaders that have taken Palindrome Pledge and are matched with nonprofit boards. He is also is on the national board of After School All Stars, founded by Gov. Schwarzenegger, the largest nonprofit serving underprivileged 6-8th graders across the country. He is also an honorary board member of the San Francisco SPCA. Zaw studied Political and Computer Science at Stanford, where he was a President’s Scholar. He also received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was a Soros Fellow, and is still the youngest graduate in the school’s history.

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Follow Zaw Thet on Twitter @zawthet 


Charlaine Thet – Executive Director 

Charlaine is Executive Director at Palindrome Advisors. Charlaine has extensive experience in management, sales, public relations, elite event planning, and operations– dealing with some of the highest end clientele in the world. She has 8+ years in senior management for luxury hotels, travel and concierge companies.

Charlaine’s efforts are currently focused on expanding the Palindrome community, building out corporate sponsorship, and growing the organization globally.

Charlaine is an avid animal rights activist, supporter and member of several animal rights organizations including: SFSPCA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ASPCA’s Founders Circle, Ace of Hearts, the Humane Society of America, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Charlaine is best known for her efforts to help save impounded dogs from euthanasia and lead annual drives to support the efforts of shelters throughout the United States.  An accomplished and articulate advocate, Charlaine is a frequent speaker and lecturer on animal rights issues and continues to help accelerate nationwide efforts to put an end to animal cruelty.

Charlaine is a graduate of UCF and UCLA, with a background in Psychology and Communications.

Follow Charlaine on Twitter: @charlainethet

Anna Khan – Co-Founder, Board of Advisors

Anna is a venture capitalist at Bessemer Venture Partners in New York. Prior to Bessemer, Anna was instrumental in the founding of Palindrome and helped build the organization from the idea stage to a full-fledged nonprofit.  Before Bessemer, Anna was Chief of Staff at 4INFO, a mobile advertising startup. Anna also worked as a summer analyst at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in their investment management division and at The Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm led by Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright where she analyzed emerging markets in Turkey, Lebanon and China.

Anna’s interest in the nonprofit space originates from her upbringing in Lahore, Pakistan where she volunteered at the SOS Children’s Village for four years, teaching elementary math and english. She was raised to “give back intelligently,” not only through money but also through her own skill set. This set of values fits in perfectly with Palindrome’s mission. Anna is also deeply passionate about the lack of women in technology. Anna was President of Stanford Women in Business (SWIB), a leading undergraduate organization focused on building a community for leaders in business. SWIB continues to stand out as the premier student organization at Stanford, having won the Dean’s Award for excellence in contributing to student life. As a student, Anna was the Public Relations Chair for the Class of 2010 Student Cabinet and also Philanthropy Chair for the Delta Delta Delta Sorority where she spearheaded efforts in raising money for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Anna graduated from Stanford University with three degrees: a BA in Political Science, English Literature, and an Honors degree in Science, Technology & Society (with a focus in Entrepreneurship.)

Follow Anna Khan on Twitter @annarchyy or read her blog. 


Michael Sharf – Director of Strategy and Communication

Michael is Director of Strategy and Communication at Palindrome Advisors.  In this capacity he manages strategic growth projects and leads Advisor and Non-Profit outreach campaigns to keep the Palindrome community connected.     Michael is an avid supporter of initiatives aiming to bolster the support structure of underprivileged youth as a means to bridge the mounting gap between the academic haves and have-nots.  Michael’s interest in educational inequality originates from his background in athletics and volunteer coaching.  As a player, mentor, and coach, Michael saw firsthand the profound positive impact that a robust support system can have on adolescent development.
Michael, an SF Bay Area native, grew up in Orinda, Ca.  After earning a BS in Business Administration from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, he went on to work at Goldman, Sachs & Co. before leaving to join the U.S. National Water Polo team.  He played professional seasons in both Sevilla and Madrid, Spain and competed for the United States in over 50 international games including the 2010 Fina World Cup and 2010 Fina World League Superfinal.
In addition to his responsibilities at Palindrome, Michael runs a freelance consulting business and holds a number of leadership positions.  Michael currently serves as Commissioner of Water Polo at the Olympic Club in San Francisco; and Volunteer Assistant Coach at Miramonte High School in Orinda. Michael is currently enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he is a candidate for a Masters in Business Administration focusing on Entrepreneurship.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelGSharf

Derek Shanahan – Founding Advisor, Social & Community Director

Derek Shanahan is a Founding Advisor at Palindrome Advisors and acts as a Social & Community Advisor to the Leadership Team. In this capacity he manages the social communication strategy for Palindrome campaigns and partnerships, helping the organization to widen its reach, maintain a fruitful relationship with it’s community advocates, and leverage partnerships to enrich their relationship to constituents. Derek is deeply passionate about the potential for technology to fuel progress in nearly every facet of the human experience, and believes that emerging tools and platforms have the ability to empower us as humans like never before. His belief is that Palindrome enables a tomorrow in which world changers can donate their minds to the benefit of causes they care about, while contributing to a wider community of learning that addresses broad challenges that all non-profits face.

Derek is a Midwest native and grew up in St. Charles, Illinois. After earning a BA in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University he spent a number of years building a wealth management practice in Chicago. During that time he also co-founded and grew the largest personal blogger community in the world, called 20 Something Bloggers. In 2009, he left the finance industry to co-found Foodtree, a tech startup that helps specialty food businesses market their products on the social and mobile web. All along the way he’s built communities, on and offline, to bring people together around their core interests and values. His service to Palindrome is no different.

Follow Derek on twitter: @dshan


Geoffrey Gougion

Through his work with Palindrome he supports the messaging, marketing and outreach of the organization and of the work Palindrome does with its partners.  Geoff is a veteran marketer and entrepreneur and an advocate of the role technology can play in the implementation and success of social initiatives.


Geoff is originally from Des Moines, Iowa and has spent the last 20 years living and working around the USA and Europe.  With a BS in Business Administration from Georgetown University and an MBA with Honors from Thunderbird, Geoff has had a varied career in marketing, government relations and media.  Spanning from politics, working on two Presidential elections and in the Office of the Governor of Iowa, to business, working with great organizations like (PRODUCT) RED, Stand Up 2 Cancer and the IM4U Campaign, Geoff’s work has had a connective tissue of cause-related initiatives woven into everything he has done.

Geoff currently serves as Managing Partner at Mediatavern (, a marketing and entertainment studio and accelerator.  He is also an Advisor to the Global Change Network ( and Plyfe (  Previously he held executive roles at Tribal DDB, Nestle, Weber Shandwick and Modem Media.


Follow Geoff on Twitter: @the_goug


Lincoln Gunn

Lincoln has worked with non profits through the game of basketball for over 10 years in organizations from the west coast to the east coast as a Coach and a Director. Throughout his life he has strengthen his conviction to give of himself as a team member in academics, athletics and community service. He has always had a passion to work with youth; from developmentally challenged children with special needs to underprivileged children, his greatest reward is coaching and watching them as they find not only athletic skills, but more importantly as they discover their own personal development of self confidence and understanding the role of being a team player. From an early age he has traveled extensively throughout the world and has be able to use his abilities in basketball to teach children to play the game from Beijing to Bali, realizing infinite ways to reach and connect with people on a global and universal level.

Lincoln, a Bay Area Native grew up in Orinda, and graduated from De La Salle High School with High Honors as Athlete of the Year in 2006. As a starting guard for the Men’s Varsity Basketball team, Lincoln attended Princeton University and graduated with an BA in Sociology and also earned a Certificate of Independent Research.

Lincoln also holds a Graduate Certificate from the Stanford’s Graduate School of Business as well as a Certificate in Agile Management for the University of California. Lincoln’s choice to study Sociology at Princeton, with research in human behavior, interaction and social theories, has led him to a career in technology and social media. With experience at Bertelsmann, Inc in New York City and Textual Ads in San Francisco, he currently holds the position of Business Development Manager at Wikia Inc, the largest collaborative publishing company in the world. He continues his personal passion for playing basketball as a member of the National Basketball Team for The Olympic Club. He is also an avid traveler, golfer and reader.


Max Frye

Max leads Advisor and Non-Profit outreach campaigns to keep the Palindrome community connected and up to date. Max is deeply passionate about giving back to the community and he holds a strong belief that Palindrome offers a unique platform for today’s successful executive leaders to teach the leaders of tomorrow.

Max is a Bay Area native and grew up in Atherton, California. He just recently earned a BS in Business and Enterprise Management from Wake Forest University, Schools of Business and has been with Palindrome since graduating. At Wake Forest, Max was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order, where he played a significant role in helping organize and coordinate philanthropy events to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


Thank you to Mike Gribkoff of Sierra Web Development and Jason Glance of Glance Integrations LLC