Stephen (Steve) Salyer, Davidson ‘72, has founded and led organizations and enterprises at the cutting edge of non-profit entrepreneurship.  While resident at the Davidson Rusk Center March 13-16, he will discuss “maximizing personal and organizational impact for the public good”.

While still a student, he launched the Ohio Governor’s School and other public service internship programs and served, by appointment of the President (the youngest person ever confirmed by the US Senate) on 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.  As a Watson Fellow in Africa, he led the drafting of the keynote address for the first World Population Conference in Bucharest, Rumania which set a new course for public and private population and development programs.

Over 25 years in public television and radio he launched a fleet of news and education series ranging from Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends to Marketplace, The World, and This American Life. In 2005, he was appointed President & CEO of the Salzburg Global Seminar, a think tank and leadership development center located in Salzburg Austria and Washington, D.C.  The ranks of Salzburg Fellows and Alumni include Stacey Abrams, Anthony Blinken, Paul Volcker, some 20 Davidson Faculty and thousands rising leaders from more than 170 countries.

Mr. Salyer is the recipient of numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Davidson College and the highest honor awarded by Salzburg Global Seminar – The Salzburg Cup. 

After retiring as Salzburg President in 2022, he formed Salyer Associates, a consultancy advising non-profit leaders and boards on matters of program development, governance, and sustainability.  He is a Senior Fellow at Salzburg Global and the founding member of its Cutler Center for the Rule of Law.  He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Susan Moeller, a professor of journalism and public policy at the University of Maryland, College Park.