Ian Steff

Ian Steff
Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service
U.S. Department of Commerce

Ian Steff is the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service.

He oversees approximately 1,400 trade and investment professionals based in more than 100 U.S. cities and 70 markets around the world. He manages a $300 million budget and a broad portfolio of International Trade Administration initiatives aimed at increasing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and service providers. In this capacity, he is among those senior officials responsible for executing the Administration’s plans to foster growth in U.S. jobs, exports, and investments. 

Before joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Steff served as the state of Indiana’s first Chief Innovation Officer under then-Governor Pence and subsequently Governor Holcomb. He was Executive Vice President for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the state’s senior advisor for science, technology, and advanced manufacturing. Steff oversaw Indiana’s strategy regarding science and technology economic development and was directly responsible for the implementation of the Governor’s billion-dollar innovation and entrepreneurship initiative. He worked to expand investments and public-private partnerships in information technology, life sciences, composite materials, nanotechnology, energy storage, and the Internet of Things. Steff served on the Board of the Battery Innovation Center, the Dean of Engineering’s Advisory Council at Purdue University, and the Vice Chancellor for Research’s Advisory Board at IUPUI. Steff also served on the Board of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.

Prior to his roles in the state of Indiana, Steff worked for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) for nearly a decade. At the SIA, he served as vice president of global policy and technology partnerships. He was Executive Chairman the Board of the United States Information Technology Office in Beijing. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors and the Advisory Board of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Microelectronics.

Steff started his professional career as a member of the Ways and Means trade staff in the U.S. House of Representatives under Chairman Thomas and Subcommittee Chairmen Shaw and Crane. Steff graduated Magna Cum Laude from American University where he possesses a B.A. in International Studies. He also completed graduate work at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and received a M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy from the George Washington University.

Recent Events and Presentations

September 17, 2020

Please join ITIF for an event featuring opening remarks by Sen. John Cornyn (T-TX) plus an expert panel discussion about a new report that will articulate how democratic, free-market economies can work together to enhance the innovation potential of their respective semiconductor industries while preserving the industry-led, market-based competition that has characterized the sector for a half-century.

September 20, 2012

The Budget Control Act would be a hard hit to federal R&D investments in life sciences, aerospace, defense and more, with significant long-term consequences to economic growth.