Michael J. Quinlan was born in New York City on June 30, 1941, to Mickey and Anne (Kelly) Quinlan. The son and grandson of Irish immigrants, Mike was raised and educated in New York City. Mike graduated from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1958 and received a BSEE degree from Manhattan College in 1962. In 1980 he earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
After five years with IBM as an engineer, Mike took a leave of absence and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Assigned to the National Military Command Center, he guided the programming of the Strategic Nuclear War Plan of the United States and acquired firsthand knowledge of the U.S. nuclear strategy during the Cold War.
During his extensive career at IBM, Mike eventually became the president of IBM's largest sales division. He also served as CFO of IBM's Asia Pacific business, living in Japan and traveling extensively throughout Asia, opening business in China, and managing staff in Hong Kong, Sydney, and Tokyo.
After retiring from IBM, Mike became the Director of Technology at the Wharton School for two years and lectured frequently about the emerging economies in Asia. He also founded a computer multimedia firm, served as the CEO of two NASDAQ-listed software companies, and consulted internationally in the mobile phone industry. He was actively involved in wheat production in the Midwest and in oil exploration in the Bakken Reserve in North Dakota.
Mike's diversified career gave him executive insights into technology, international finance, nuclear weaponry, the emergence of China, entrepreneurship, financial investments, agriculture production, and oil exploration. He drew on these broad perspectives to comment on the serious issues the United States will face in the 21st century.