Sean Randolph, PhD

Economic Institute Senior Director

Sean Randolph is Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, where he served as President & CEO from 1998-2015. The Economic Institute is a public-private partnership of business, labor, government and higher education that works to foster a competitive economy in California and the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley. It produces authoritative analyses on economic policy issues affecting the region and the state, including infrastructure; science and innovation, energy, technology and global business, and mobilizes California and Bay Area leaders around targeted policy initiatives.

Dr. Randolph previously served as director of international trade for the State of California (1994-98), where he directed international programs to stimulate exports and introduce California companies to overseas markets. Before service with the state, he was Managing Director of the RSR Pacific Group, an international business consulting firm specializing in Asia and Latin America, and before that served as International Director General of the Pacific Basin Economic Council (1988-1993), a 15-nation international organization of leading U.S., Asian and Latin American corporations active in Asia-Pacific trade and investment.

His professional career includes extensive experience in the U.S. Government, on the U.S. Congress staff (1976-1980), and White House staff (1980-1981). From 1981–85 he served in the Department of State: on the Policy Planning Staff, as Special Adviser for Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Deputy/Ambassador-at Large for Pacific Basin affairs. From 1985–88 he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, managing nuclear proliferation, research, and global oil and gas issues.

Dr. Randolph holds a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center, a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts and Harvard Universities), a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and studied at the London School of Economics.

He has served on numerous government, university and non-profit boards and commissions, and is currently a member of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), which he chaired from 2005–2012, the District of Columbia Bar Association and the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the University of San Francisco’s Center for Asian Studies, and is Visiting Scholar at the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) and the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE).

Dr. Randolph speaks frequently before business, government and university audiences, and writes for U.S. and international media on global, national, state and regional economic and policy issues. Married for thirty years, in his private time he is an ocean kayaker and an avid ultramarathon and mountain runner.

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