“Don’t be constrained by what is, open up your mind to what could be…”

– Steve Ciesinski

Steve Ciesinski is a seasoned operator, investor, board member, and advisor to tech- and science-based companies in a broad range of industries. Based in Silicon Valley, he has traveled extensively and respects the nuances of local cultures and markets while engaging in executive business development and deal-making. Steve has considerable familiarity with a wide variety of business models and partnership arrangements, as well as board governance issues.

Summary Experience

Steve and Clients of a major corporation
Steve and clients of a major corporation

Steve was most recently president of Silicon Valley-based SRI International, one of the world’s leading independent R&D organizations. He has held executive positions with Applied Materials (General Manager), the global manufacturer of semiconductor capital equipment; Octel Communications (COO/EVP), the worldwide leader in voice-messaging products; Resumix (Chairman/CEO), the inventor of Web-based personnel recruiting applications; and Laszlo Systems (Chairman/CEO), a pioneer in Web 2.0 software. He started his career at Procter & Gamble, was a consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and also served as a venture capital partner with Earlybird Ventures.

He has a BSEE and AB from Union College and an MBA from Stanford University.


Steve with a Stanford MBA entrepeneur

Board Member, Investor, and Advisor

Steve has been a trusted partner for public, private, and not-for-profit organizations, and he has served on strategy, compensation, audit, finance and investment, DEI, and other board committees. He’s equally adaptable to working with startup entrepreneurs as well as corporate officers of larger companies, serving in roles that provide significant value to their companies and initiatives.

Steve after conducting MBA class with guest entrepreneurs
Steve after conducting MBA class with guest entrepreneurs


Steve has been on the faculty at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) since 2009, creating new courses, writing case studies, and teaching on entrepreneurship and innovation topics. His current focus is on creating high-growth, tech-based companies and VC firms in developing economies. His lifetime service to Stanford includes board memberships for the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, the GSB Management Council, the Buck/Cardinal Club (athletic scholarships), and the GSB Dean’s Advisory Committee.

Steve moderating an innovation panel in Sweden
Steve moderating an innovation panel in Sweden

Executive Workshops and Speaking Engagements

He is a frequent speaker, moderator, and panelist at conferences and executive programs on digital transformation, innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital, and related topics.

Steve Ciesinski with Legendary Yosemite Ranger, Dick Ewart
Steve with legendary Yosemite ranger Dick Ewart


Steve has applied his leadership and organizational skills to a number of societal issues that require attention. He is heavily involved with the Yosemite Conservancy, LifeMoves (homeless shelters), Hidden Villa (social justice/environment), and other mission-oriented organizations.