BizWorld Names Tech Diplomacy Leader Keith Krach 2023 Riskmaster of the Year
BizWorld.org, a global non-profit that provides entrepreneurship education programs to youth, has named Keith Krach, Chairman of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, former Under Secretary of State and Silicon Valley entrepreneur its 2023 Riskmaster of the Year. The award is in recognition of Krach's fearless leadership and transformative impact, spanning business, technology, academia, mentorship, economic diplomacy, social causes and national security. Past Honorees include Eric Schmidt, Mark Benioff, Tom Siebel and Elon Musk. This tribute, set to be commemorated at an exclusive event at the Computer History Museum on December 13th, honors a man who has consistently turned risks into world-shaping opportunities.
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Keith Krach, Chairman of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, former Under Secretary of State and Silicon Valley entrepreneur honored as BizWorld's 2023 Riskmaster of the Year (Photo: Business Wire)
"The Riskmaster of the Year Award is a tribute to that extraordinary leader who has shown the greatest level of innovation and the boldness to distinguish themselves within Silicon Valley," said BizWorld and Draper University founder Tim Draper. "Keith embodies the essential qualities of a Riskmaster through his historic achievements, including architecting the Bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act that secured a $280 billion in funding for the tech industry. He successfully defeated the Chinese Communist Party's attempt to gain a stranglehold on global 5G telecommunications infrastructure, which may have threatened the freedom of generations to come."
Before his service as America's top economic diplomat, Krach had already left an indelible mark on the business world. As Chairman and CEO of DocuSign, he grew the DocuSign Global Trust Network to one billion users, transforming the company name into a verb. His founding of Ariba led to the creation of the world's largest B2B e-commerce network, which currently transacts $3.7 trillion annually. Before becoming Benchmark Capital's first Entrepreneur-in-Residence, he created the category of Mechanical Design Synthesis as co-founder/COO of mechanical design software leader Rasna Corporation.
Krach kickstarted his career at General Motors, quickly becoming the youngest Vice President in the company's history and leading the formation of GMF Robotics, which gave rise to today's largest manufacturer of industrial robots. His entrepeneurial journey traces back to the values and work ethic instilled in him as a young welder in his father's five-person machine shop.
"I'm immensely grateful for this recognition and deeply moved by the mission of BizWorld which champions the transformative power of trust and entrepreneurship across all communities," said Krach. "It also serves as a reminder that every risk I've taken has been built on unwavering support of family, friends and teammates. I am just a small-town Ohio boy blessed with living the All-American dream. I learned at an early age that diversity of thought is the catalyst for genius and the biggest risk of all is not taking a risk at all."
Krach's role as Under Secretary of State was marked by the rare distinction of unanimous Senate confirmation. Senator Todd Young hailed Krach as a true asset to the nation, whose leadership has made a profound impact on countless lives: "At Purdue he is beloved for his commitment to students. He transformed DocuSign into not only the market leader but also 'Glassdoor's Best Place to Work' and 'Bold Business's Greenest Company on the Planet.' What he has chosen to do with his success demonstrates his character and devotion to causes that will leave this planet better for future generations."
Krach's tenure running U.S. economic diplomacy was praised by former National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster, who said, "Keith's defeat of the CCP's masterplan to control 5G was the first time a U.S. government-led initiative proved that China's economic warfare is beatable. I don't think anybody has done more to integrate economic security and national security than Keith Krach."
During Krach's historic visit to Taiwan as the highest-ranking State Department official in 41 years, he was met by 40 Chinese fighters and bombers. Undeterred, he advanced his Trust Doctrine by spearheading the Lee Economic Prosperity Partnership and the $12 billion onshoring of TSMC. These efforts fortified Taiwan's economic resilience against China's assertive policies, earning Krach the designation of 'Taiwan's Number One Friend' from Taiwan's U.S. ambassador, Hsiao Bi-khim.
U.S. Religious Freedom Commission Vice Chair Nury Turkel emphasized Krach's courageous stance on human rights, marking a bold departure from diplomatic reticence: "Under Secretary Krach was the first U.S. official to publicly label the CCP's atrocities against my Uyghur brothers and sisters as genocide which he did during a national television broadcast on the 4th of July 2020. This unprecedented move ignited a widespread divestment movement against Chinese companies enabling these atrocities."
Krach's national security initiatives did not go unnoticed by adversaries or allies. China's Xi Jinping declared him an enemy of the State and sanctioned his family. A year later, he was nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize for developing the "Trust Doctrine" and his efforts to combat technological authoritarianism, bolster democracy in Taiwan, protect human rights and safeguard global economic security.
Krach continues to shape the future of technology and public policy as leader of the congressionally mandated Global Tech Security Commission and co-founder and chairman of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue. The nonpartisan Institute was formed on the belief that technology must advance freedom, rather than be used as a tool of oppression. Its mission champions the widespread adoption of trusted technology to stand as a bulwark against the weaponization of technology by authoritarian regimes.
Krach's enduring spirit of adventure informs his philanthropic work. As the founder and chairman of the DocuSign Impact Foundation and the Krach Family Foundation, he champions a wide array of causes, from City Year to New Story to Opportunity International and the founding of the Children's Autistic Network.
About the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue
The Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue is the world's preeminent nonprofit trusted technology accelerator. As the leader of a new category called Tech Diplomacy, the Institute is focused on driving outcomes three core areas: the creation of action-oriented strategies and solutions that will help advance principles of trusted tech at a global scale; the growth of the Global Trusted Tech Network of individuals and organizations who support the fight against techno-authoritarianism; the creation of education and training to increase the widespread practice of Tech Diplomacy.
BizWorld.org is a global non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA, whose mission is to empower young entrepreneurs to become 21st century thinkers by awakening their entrepreneurial spirit, inspiring them to become the architects of their futures, and giving them the confidence to transform their world. Founded over 25 years ago by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, BizWorld.org programs teach students real-world 21st century skills and leadership that encourage them to become responsible leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. More than 850,000 students in more than 100 countries have participated in BizWorld programs.
Please visit www.bizworld.org or call toll-free 1-888-4-BizKid.