Olaf Groth

Olaf J. Groth is an executive, strategist and negotiator with 20 years of experience in business and academia building ventures and advising clients in energy, natural resources, technology and transportation sectors globally in 30+ countries.  Most recently, Olaf has been a senior practitioner at global advisory firm Monitor Group where he headed engagements on innovation, investment, competitive and product strategy for industry, private equity and foundation clients, as well as innovation capability building, national economic development and security frameworks for the US government. Previously, Olaf was a business executive for strategic finance, international business, market and operations development and public policy with Qualcomm, Boeing, Vodafone, AirTouch Communications, a clean-tech IT startup, and innovation-focused boutique advisory firms.  He helped qualify, negotiate and develop new business ideas, ventures and operations in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and East Asia, with opportunity sizes ranging from a few million to several billion dollars.  He also led a Qualcomm delegation for the India-US innovation cooperation taskforce and advised Boeing top executives negotiating the Airbus subsidy dispute in Germany.

Olaf is a frequent moderator and panelist on globalization, innovation, technology and energy related issues, having authored whitepapers on topics such as the future of global smart grids investment and innovation capability building.  He is also involved in a number of related forums and thinktanks, maintaining a broad and deep global network of professionals and thought-leaders.  He was a member of the national steering committee of Cleantech for Obama (CT4O) and subsequently served on the steering committee of the San Francisco chapter of the Clean Economy Network.  He is a judge for GE’s Ecomagination Challenge, a co-chair for Energy, Environment and Security of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and co-chair of the cleantech industry group of the German American Business Association.  He also serves on the research council of the Bay Area Economics Institute and the international leadership council of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and he is a member of BMW Foundation Transatlantic Forum and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. 

Olaf holds professional school Master’s and Doctorate degrees with international business relations, negotiation, technology management and policy, and political economy concentrations from The Fletcher School and the Monterey Institute of International Studies of Middlebury College.  He is a dual EU and US citizen who immigrated 20 years ago from Germany, speaks native English and German, and has basic comprehension of French, Spanish and Dutch.  He lives in Berkeley with his wife and two daughters.

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