Ken Howery

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Ken Howery
Kenneth A. Howery official photo.jpg
United States Ambassador to Sweden
Assumed office
November 7, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byAzita Raji
Personal details
Kenneth Alan Howery

(1975-11-04) November 4, 1975 (age 44)
Alma materStanford University
Known forCo-founder and CFO at PayPal; Co-founder and partner at Founders Fund

Kenneth Alan Howery (/ˈhaʊəri/; born November 4, 1975) is an American entrepreneur. He is currently serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden and is a co-founder of PayPal and Founders Fund.


Born in 1975,[where?] Howery graduated from Stanford University in 1998 with a B.A. in economics. While at Stanford, he was managing editor of The Stanford Review, a student-run newspaper.[1] The same year he graduated, he co-founded PayPal with Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, Elon Musk, and Max Levchin. From 1998 to 2002, Howery served as PayPal’s CFO. Following PayPal's acquisition by eBay in 2002, Howery served as eBay's Director of Corporate Development until 2003. Howery then rejoined Thiel in 2004 at Clarium Capital Management, where he served as vice president of private equity, as well as a member of the research and trading teams.[2]

In 2005, Howery and Thiel, along with fellow PayPal alumnus, Luke Nosek, started Founders Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm with over $3 billion under management, where he served as co-founder and partner. He has served on the boards of Quantcast and ZocDoc. In 2010, Venture Capital Journal named Howery one of the Top 10 VCs under 36.[3] He has lectured on entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School and Stanford, and has helped students at UC Berkeley and UT Austin's McCombs School of Business to develop business models.

On January 16, 2019, Howery was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Sweden.[4][5] Following a confirmation hearing on May 16, 2019, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee favorably reported Howery’s nomination to the Senate, which confirmed Howery on September 17, 2019 by a vote of 62–32.[6][7] In his confirmation hearing, Howery stated his priorities as Ambassador would include pursuing expanded economic and trade relationships, advancing mutual security commitments, and promoting science, technology and entrepreneurship opportunities.[8]

Public engagement[edit]

In March 2012, the World Economic Forum named Howery a Young Global Leader,[9] a community of “socially-minded men and women selected under the age of 40, who operate as a force for good to overcome barriers that elsewhere stand in the way of progress."[10] He is also a member of the Selection Committee for the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers Program.[2]

Howery is a member of The Explorers Club, a non-profit group that promotes scientific exploration. In 2016, Howery stated that he had visited "eighty-six or eighty-seven countries".[11]

Howery serves as an advisor to Kiva, a 501(c)(3) charity organization which enables people to lend money via the Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries. He is a member of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, which has a stated goal of increasing the United States' economic competitiveness in the global marketplace.[2]


  1. ^ "Life After the Stanford Review". The Stanford Review. February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Board and Advisors | Kiva". Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  3. ^ Staff (August 2, 2010). "Hot prospects: Top 10 VCs under 36". Reuters.
  4. ^ "Nominations Sent to the Senate". The White House. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Sweden one step closer to getting a US ambassador – after more than two years". May 29, 2019.
  6. ^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 116th Congress - 1st Session".
  7. ^ "PN127 — Kenneth A. Howery — Department of State". Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Statement of Kenneth A. Howery" (PDF). Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  9. ^ "List of 2012 Young Global Leaders Honourees" (PDF). World Economic Forum. July 20, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  10. ^ "Young Global Leaders". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  11. ^ "Behind the Scenes with PayPal Co-Founder Ken Howery". IVY MAGAZINE. October 11, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2017.