Stephen (Steve) Salyer, Davidson ‘72, has founded and led organizations and enterprises at the cutting edge of non-profit entrepreneurship.  

While still a student, he launched the Ohio Governor’s School and other public service internship programs in his home state and served for two years by appointment of the President (the youngest person ever confirmed by the US Senate) as a member of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future.  After President Nixon rejected the Commission’s recommendations he managed for two years a Citizen’s Committee to lobby Congress to fund sex education, contraceptive and abortion services and helped produce a documentary film aired nationwide on PBS.  Following a Watson Fellowship studying population policies in Africa, he led drafting of the keynote address for the first World Population Conference in Bucharest, Rumania which proposed a new direction for population and development programs privately and publicly supported.

 In 2005, he was appointed President & CEO of the Salzburg Global Seminar, a think tank and leadership development NGO located in Salzburg Austria and Washington, D.C.  The ranks of Salzburg Fellows and Alumni include Stacey Abrams, Anthony Blinken, Hillary Clinton, some 20 Davidson Faculty, former president Tom Ross, current Vice President for Academic Affairs Shelley Rigger and thousands of rising leaders and noted thinkers from more than 170 countries.


Mr. Salyer is the recipient of numerous awards including The Salzburg Cup, the highest honor awarded by Salzburg Global Seminar.  He served two terms on the Davidson College Board of Trustees and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws in 1997.


After retiring as Salzburg President in August 2022, he formed Salyer Associates, a consultancy advising non-profit leaders and boards on program development, funding strategy and governance.  He is a Senior Fellow at Salzburg Global and the founder of its Cutler Center for the Rule of Law and a member of its Advisory Board.  He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Susan Moeller, a professor of journalism and public policy at the University of Maryland, College Park.   Together they founded the Salzburg Program on Media and Global Change, now in its 16th year.