Steve Ciesinski


Steve Ciesinski

Lecturer in Management

Teaching Statement

Stephen Ciesinski is a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches Creating High Potential Ventures in Developing Economies. Steve is a believer that innovation drives job creation, economic growth and societal good. His role and responsibilities at SRI International, and his experiences as an executive, investor, advisor, and board member of numerous early stage ventures in a variety of industries, provide him with a unique perspective on entrepreneurial practices in the U.S. and in countries outside the U.S. As a passionate advocate of team learning, he believes that his students will gain from valuable interactions with fellow students, mentors, consultants and other professionals as part of the coursework, while having a truly enjoyable experience.


Stephen Ciesinski is past president of SRI International (, one of the world’s leading independent research and development organizations. SRI performs client-sponsored R&D for government agencies, commercial businesses, and private foundations.

Steve’s professional experience includes a number of industries and businesses: consumer products, semiconductor capital equipment, telecommunications, mobile/wireless, applications software, Web 2.0, open source, medical devices, and many others. As a corporate officer, board member, advisor and investor, he has participated in or managed numerous strategic events, including new business formation, major product launches, private financings, IPOs, M&A transactions and leveraged buy-outs.

Over the course of his career Steve has held executive management positions with Applied Materials, the global manufacturer of semiconductor capital equipment; Octel Communications, the worldwide leader in voice-messaging products; Resumix, Inc., the inventor of Web-based personnel recruiting applications; and Laszlo Systems, a pioneer in Web 2.0 software and provider of complex Internet applications to Global 2000 and telecommunications service operators. He started his career at Procter & Gamble, was a consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and also served as a venture partner with Earlybird Ventures.

Steve is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Union College and is a lifetime trustee. He is also past chairman of The President’s Cabinet at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), and has been on several advisory boards at Stanford University.

Steve is an active angel investor, and assists several Silicon Valley-based private companies as advisor and board member.

He is a graduate of Union College with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Modern Languages, and received an MBA from Stanford University.

Steve resides in Los Altos Hills, California with his wife. They are founders of the Kalele Foundation, dedicated to providing character and self-esteem development experiences for disadvantaged children.

Stanford Case Studies

Stanford GSB Affiliations

  • Faculty Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

School News