Steve Westly Inspires Students at Commencement

Steve Westly, founder of The Westly Group, a venture capital firm specializing in green technology,delivered the keynote address at Menlo College's 2009 Commencement exercise on May 9th.

Prior to founding The Westly Group, Steve Westly served as the Controller and Chief Fiscal Officer of the state of California – the world's sixth largest economy. As Controller, he chaired the State Lands Commission and served on 63 other boards and commissions, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation's two largest public pension funds, which together invest more than $350 billion. During his four-year term, Mr. Westly spearheaded innovative tax programs that helped close the State's budget deficit and also led an effort to commit more than $1 billion to clean technology investments.

Before running for office, Mr. Westly helped guide the online auction company eBay through its period of most rapid growth, serving as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Business Development, M&A and International. Mr. Westly helped bring eBay to Europe and Asia and developed the marketing and acquisition strategies that paved the path for the firm's exponential growth.

Mr. Westly began his career in Washington, D.C., where he worked first on Capitol Hill and later in the Office of Conservation and Solar at the U.S. Department of Energy. He published two books on alternative energy and the utilities. Mr. Westly also held senior positions at Sprint Communications, Netcom, and WhoWhere?.

Mr. Westly holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where he served on the faculty for five years. Mr. Westly and his wife, Anita, run the Westly Foundation, which provides education and health care services for children and underserved communities throughout California.

“We were extremely fortunate to have Steve Westly address our students at Commencement,” said Menlo College President Dr. G. Timothy Haight. “His experience in government spending, entrepreneurship and environmentally-conscious technology made him a timely choice to motivate and inspire our students.”