Thomas Stephenson

Mr. Stephenson is a long time partner of Sequoia Capital, a prominent Silicon Valley based venture capital firm. Prior to joining Sequoia in 1988 he spent 22 year at Fidelity Investments in Boston where he helped found Fidelity Ventures in 1969 and later ran that very successful operation for many years. More recently Mr. Stephenson served a 19 month stint as the United States Ambassador to Portugal, 14 months at the end of the Bush ‘43 Administration and then for the first 5 months of the Obama Administration.

While serving as our Ambassador to Portugal, Mr. Stephenson continued his service as a member Of the Board of Overseers, and its Executive Committee, of Harvard University where he has held a number of leadership roles over the years. Since returning from Portugal, Mr. Stephenson has reengaged as a member of the Board of Overseers, and its Executive Committee, of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. At Hoover, he has helped Senior Fellow George Shultz form the Shultz-Stephenson Energy Task Force which is working on a series of comprehensive and coherent energy policy recommendations for our country. He also serves on the Precourt Institute Energy Advisory Council at Stanford and on the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board. Former Amb. Stephenson has also joined the Council of American Ambassadors, the Diplomatic Council on Energy Security, and Business Executives for National Security (BENS). He has also rejoined the Board of Directors of Conservation International where he had helped form the Center for Conservation and Government.

Prior involvements include the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and serving on the boards of numerous public and private companies over the years as a venture capitalist. For many years while living in Boston, Mr. Stephenson was actively engaged in the affairs of the Tufts New England Medical Center, serving on its Executive Committee, chairing its Finance Committee, and acting as Chairman of the Board of NEMIC, the Medical Center’s malpractice insurance subsidiary. During the Bush ’43 years, Mr. Stephenson played an active role in the two election campaigns, holding leadership positions on the Campaign Teams, the Republican National Committee and the California Republican Party.

Mr. Stephenson received his AB in Economics from Harvard College in 1964, his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966, and JD from Boston College Law School in 1969. He resides in Atherton, California with his wife Barbara. They have a 21 year old son Alexander who joined his parents for the 19 month adventure in Portugal. Mr. Stephenson also has three adult daughters, who all live in the San Francisco Bay area, and seven grandchildren.

Ambassadorial Post(s)

Portugal, (2007 - 2009)

Areas of Expertise