Education Business Bio

Paul Zane Pilzer

Professor Paul Zane Pilzer is an economist, social entrepreneur, adjunct professor, public servant, and author of nine best-selling books and dozens of scholarly publications. His books have been published in 25 languages and he has lectured at the world’s leading universities from New York to Peking.

Pilzer earned his BA from Lehigh University in 1974 in three years and his MBA from University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) in 1976 at age 22 in 15 months. At Wharton Graduate School, where he was a student-teacher in computer science, his thesis was an interactive teaching machine on a mainframe computer. In 1976 he wrote on the cover of his thesis: “One day this technology will be used to affordably bring the best teacher of every subject to every student.”

In 1976, Pilzer joined Citibank to work on credit card/EFT transfer systems and electronic banking. He became Citibank’s youngest officer at age 22 and its youngest vice president at age 25. Since leaving Citibank in 1981, Pilzer has started, and/or taken public, six companies in the areas of education and health benefits–fulfilling the social entrepreneur ambition of “doing well by doing good.”

In 1978, at age 24, while working at Citibank, Pilzer was appointed an Adjunct Professor at New York University.  He taught at NYU for 21 consecutive years without missing a class and was voted “best professor” five times by NYU students.

In 2003, he joined the White House where he served (1983-1989) as an appointed economic advisor and senior regulatory official in two presidential administrations.  In 2004,  he received an honorary doctorate from Parker University for his work in public service. He has been a guest lecturer at Moscow University in the USSR (1983-1990), at Peking University (2009), at University of Hong Kong (2013), and he was a candidate for the U.S. Congress (1991).

After leaving the White House in 1989, Pilzer started Zane Publishing to actualize his 1976 dream of affordably bringing the best teacher of every subject to every student. Zane Publishing became the world’s leading high school educational CDROM publisher and became a public company in 1995 (NASD:ZANE).

In 2005, he started The American Academy which quickly grew to become one of the leading online high schools. TAA today serves students worldwide and is particularly focused on addressing the U.S. high school dropout epidemic.

In 2011, he created Zane Math, a 12,000-problem K-8 math curriculum featuring customized workbooks and transparent tracking for every student. In 2012 he founded Zane Prep to distribute Zane Math and offer supplemental STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in a fun, exciting retail campus environment.

In healthcare, he is the Founder of Extend Health (1999) and Zane Benefits (2006), suppliers of personalized health benefits to U.S. employees. Extend Health was acquired by Towers Watson in 2012 for $435 million. Zane Benefits, a software company, is the leading U.S. provider of online defined contribution platforms to employers who allow their employees to choose their own health benefits. Zane Benefits was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal (2007).

In public service, he has testified before Congress, was an appointed economic advisor and financial regulator in two U.S. presidential administrations (1983-1989) and today advises CEOs and government officials worldwide.

Pilzer’s book on government financial crisis, Other People’s Money (Simon & Schuster), was critically acclaimed by The New York Times and The Economist magazine, and reviewed by John Kenneth Galbraith for The New York Review of Books.

Pilzer served as an appointed economic adviser in two presidential administrations and warned of the impending $200 billion savings and loan crisis years before official Washington was willing to listen–a story that he later shared in Other People’s Money (Simon & Schuster) which was critically acclaimed by The New York Times and The Economist magazine.

Pilzer’s Unlimited Wealth (Crown) explains how we live in a world of unlimited physical resources because of rapidly advancing technology. After reading Unlimited Wealth, the late Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, said that he was “amazed at Pilzer’s business capacity” and his “ability to put it into layman’s terms.”

Pilzer’s God Wants You to be Rich: The Theology of Economics (Simon & Schuster) explains how the foundation of our economic system is based on our Judeo-Christian heritage. This New York Times business best-seller was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and on television shows ranging from 60 Minutes to First Person with Maria Shriver.

In The New Wellness Revolution (Wiley) Pilzer identifies the newly emerging wellness business. For this book he received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service and was called a “wellness guru” by The New York Times. The New Wellness Revolution has been published in 25 language and in 2009 he addressed the Peoples Republic of China from the Center Podium of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The Next Millionaires (Momentum Media) explains why the number of U.S. millionaires doubled in the 1990s, how the economy is now creating one million millionaires a year from 2006-2016, and how ordinary people can become one of them. He lectured on this book in Hong Kong and spoke on social entrepreneurship at University of Hong Kong in 2013.

The New Health Insurance Solution (Wiley) sets forth a bold new direction for U.S. health insurance and explains how individuals can now get affordable health insurance independent of their employer. This book also explains how employers can end their health insurance nightmare while still being able to hire great employees.

A former commentator on National Public Radio and CNN, Pilzer was profiled on the front page of The Wall St. Journal in 2007 and has appeared three times on the Larry King Live! television program. He speaks live each year to approximately 200,000 people, and more than 20 million audiotapes of his speeches have been sold. He lives in Utah with his wife and four children where they are all avid snowboarders, mountain bikers, and chess players.