Virginia Blaser recently retired as the CEO and board chair of a global tech company, focusing on machine learning and AI development in open-source intelligence. Prior to her work in the private sector, she served over three decades as a U.S. diplomat across three continents and as the acting ambassador to five countries in Africa.
Virginia has led complex teams with budgets up to $1 billion a year and enjoyed significant diplomatic successes including mediation and negotiation of many commercial, security, and military treaties and agreements. She is a recognized advocate for human rights, women’s issues, youth employment, and innovative technology initiatives. She is the winner of dozens of awards in management and leadership, including the prestigious Presidential Rank Award. Virginia is the author of The Manager’s Workbook, which helps managers improve engagement with staff across sectors, and a wide variety of think pieces. op eds, and book contributions across the foreign policy industry.
Virginia is a guest lecturer at the Washington International Diplomatic Academy, a member of the U.S. Leadership Council for Women in National Security, a board director at Cape BPO – an industry organization bringing training and employment to women and youth in South Africa, a sought-after public speaker, a licensed buchu farmer, an expert-ranked markswoman, an enthusiastic novice artist, and mother of four. She and her husband live in Cape Town.