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Tom Stephenson


Partner, Sequoia Capital

After a nearly 40 year career in venture capital, Mr. Stephenson began transitioning into the world of policy about a dozen years ago. He had helped found Fidelity Ventures in Boston in the late 60’s before joining Sequoia Capital in the mid 80’s, and acted as managing partner for a while at both firms. He remains a limited partner at Sequoia Capital today. His interest in Republican politics had led to a friendship with George W. Bush and after helping in President Bush’s initial election and in his reelection, Mr. Stephenson was asked to join the State Department and serve as our Ambassador to Portugal. Upon returning from Portugal, Mr. Stephenson reengaged very actively at the Hoover Institution where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Overseers. At Hoover, he has also worked very closely with former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz on a variety of policy projects in the fields of energy, national security, and foreign policy. Mr. Stephenson co-founded and co-chairs, with Sec. Shultz, the Shultz/Stephenson Energy Task Force at the Hoover Institution. Another major portion of Mr. Stephenson’s policy devoted efforts have been with Business Executives for National Security (BENS) where he is a board member and frequent participant in BENS missions to various hot spots around the world including Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan, UAE, Qatar, India, China, Korea, and Japan. These visits are typically at the request of the State Department, the Department of Defense, one of our Combatant Commands, or the resident U.S. Embassy, and BENS’s role is to visit and provide some fresh perspective on our top military, diplomatic, and business challenges in these countries or regions. Other current involvements include the Board of Advisors of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, the Precourt Institute Energy Advisory Council at Stanford, the Stanford Global Energy Council, the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board, and The Council of American Ambassadors. Previous involvements over the years have included serving as a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and as a longtime member of the Board of Directors of Conservation International. Mr. Stephenson received his AB in Economics from Harvard College in 1964, his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966, and a JD from Boston College Law School in 1969.