Job Title: Senior Advisor
Richard Steffens has over 30 years’ experience as a senior government official, diplomat, venture capitalist and entrepreneur supporting innovative companies with growth and global expansion. Prior to joining Vnesto Capital, Mr. Steffens served as U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary/Director for Asia (2020-2022), where he led the inter-agency Deal Team initiative, which tracked $150 billion in energy and infrastructure projects in Asia. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary/Director for Western Hemisphere (2015-2020). He had a 20-year career as a U.S. diplomat serving in Asia, Europe, and North America, rising to the rank of Minister-Counselor (two-star general equivalent). As a diplomat, he was instrumental in the negotiations of the $150 million World Bank Ukrainian hydro project, the $200 million rebuilding of Iraq’s major oil refinery, and the $40 billion Sakhalin off-shore oil projects. Before joining the Foreign Service, he managed New Jersey’s seed fund under Governor Thomas Kean, where he helped early-stage firms access over $150 million in federal R&D funding. He served as Assistant Director for Research with the Fels Center at the University of Pennsylvania, a think tank which supported the formation of early technology hubs and community development banks. He is a graduate of the Wharton School and holds a Masters in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Secrets of a Venture Capitalist, the Changing Software Market, has published over 50 articles, and has been interviewed on business topics by the BBC, 60 Minutes, and various media on three continents and in five languages.