Whether facing the Fed Challenge as a USM student or tackling global issues as a member of the Uber executive team, Gus Fuldner ’00 has always relished solving complex problems. Fuldner, a senior director and global head of insurance with Uber, a ridesharing app that provides transportation to users in nearly 500 cities in the U.S.
and abroad, has helped pass more than 40 state laws and changed regulations in many other countries that have allowed each Uber ride to be insured. As a result of his efforts, Fuldner was named Business Insurance’s 2016 Risk Manager of the Year.
“When we started at Uber, the concept of ridesharing was still pretty new, so there wasn’t legislation governing the process, nor products for the market,” Fuldner said. “I feel incredibly fortunate to be here on the front lines reshaping both the transportation and insurance industries.”
Fuldner’s passion for solving complex problems was cultivated at USM, where he was challenged as a student and in extracurricular activities such as the Fed Challenge and Academic Decathlon. Fuldner credits USM’s senior speech program for providing a “running start” for his ability to effectively communicate in front of regulators and at industry conferences, and cited former Upper School math teacher Tom Bergen and former history teacher and Fed Challenge coach John “J.S.” Stephens as influential in his development as a thinker and problem-solver. He remembered Bergen as a teacher who “always pushed for his students to master the concepts instead of memorizing formulas,” and Stephens, who “used current events and real-world examples to bring the theoretical part of economics come to life.”
After graduating USM in 2000, Fuldner matriculated to Yale University, where he double-majored in economics and computer science and turned his professional focus to the payments industry. Fuldner worked for Higher One, a payments industry startup, and McKinsey & Company, where he gained international business experience serving as a consultant in New York City and Hong Kong. Fuldner then earned his MBA from the Stanford Business School in 2011 and became a venture capitalist at Benchmark Capital, a major firm in the San Francisco Bay Area that was an early investor in current thriving business such as Twitter, SnapChat, Yelp, and Uber, which he joined in 2013.
Moving forward, Fuldner sees himself continuing to serve as he always has—as an elite problem-solver.
“I want to keep learning and solving complex problems,” Fuldner said. “I didn’t expect to be in the insurance industry, but whether I’m working insurance or something totally unrelated, albeit likely in the technology world, I anticipate that I’ll continue to seek out complex problems to solve.”