Jeff Schmidt is currently the senior director of strategy and communications for the Student Affairs Division at Stanford. He helps the university enhance the student experience, communicate about complex issues, and deliver world-class programs and services. Prior to joining Stanford, Jeff was the chief executive officer of Ignited, a national education nonprofit focused on advanced science and technology career awareness for underserved students. Jeff was instrumental in establishing Sustainability and Water as one of Ignited’s ten career pathways and he helped focus the organization on bringing green and blue jobs to a larger number of students across California and beyond. During his twenty-five-year career in industry, he’s held a variety of business, communications, and operational roles based in the U.S., Switzerland, and Ireland at Lockheed Martin, Lam Research, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Quantum, and Texas Instruments and has led global teams across the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.
Jeff is also the vice chairman of the Environmental Quality Commission for the City of Menlo Park and helps the commission make recommendations to the City Council on policy matters related to environmental protection, water and energy conservation, the urban canopy, and sustainability. He’s a member of 350 Silicon Valley, a local climate policy and advocacy group active in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, and is on the Leadership Council for the statewide California Environmental Literacy Initiative. He’s also on the Steering Committee for the Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Project, working to advance PK–12 climate and environmental literacy, justice, and action through an innovative partnership between the UC-CSU systems, and he also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill Community College.