Rich Barton, Reid Hoffman, Salman Khan and others named Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship

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Rich Barton at the GeekWire Summit

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced 11 members of its Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship program, a new effort designed to spark entrepreneurial activity worldwide.

In some ways, the program is kind of like a Peace Corps for business.

“America’s entrepreneurial spirit has always been a key driver of our economic growth and success,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Through this group, we will take what we know about transforming innovative ideas into thriving companies and share that knowledge around the country and the world.”

Ambassadors include Expedia and Zillow co-founder Rich Barton; LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman; Khan Academy founder Salman Khan; record industry pioneer Quincy Jones; Coursera founder Daphne Koller; former AOL CEO Steve Case and others.

The program was first announced last October at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur, an event that Barton keynoted.

“When we encourage and support the innate excitement, innovation and drive of young entrepreneurs around the world, magic can happen,” said Barton. “Technology has made the world much smaller, and there are local and virtual resources available to aspiring entrepreneurs today that didn’t exist just a few years ago. I’m excited to do what I can to help ensure creative and transformative ideas can become a reality, wherever they happen.”

Here are the 11 ambassadors:

  • Tory Burch, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tory Burch (New York, NY)
  • Rich Barton, co-founder, Zillow (Seattle, WA)
  • Steve Case, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Revolution (Washington, DC)
  • Helen Greiner, Chief Executive Officer, CyPhyWorks (Danvers, MA)
  • Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn (Mountain View, CA)
  • Quincy Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Quincy Jones Productions (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Salman Khan, Founder and Executive Director, Khan Academy (Mountain View, CA)
  • Daphne Koller, Founder, Coursera (Mountain View, CA)
  • Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chobani (New York, NY)
  • Nina Vaca, Chief Executive Officer, Pinnacle Technical Resources (Dallas, TX)
  • Alexa von Tobel, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, LearnVest (New York, NY)
  • Alec Matias

    That’s really cool, they couldn’t have picked a better Seattleite to represent us globally.