Jonathan Ortmans advises the Kauffman Foundation principally on its global footprint and its interface with policymakers. He runs the Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship (hosted on entrepreneurship.org), a public policy initiative to focus the attention of policymakers and opinion leaders on the importance of entrepreneurship to the economy and society. Based in Washington, DC, Ortmans serves as an interface between new research and initiatives to advance entrepreneurship at the Foundation and the questions and concerns that arise from policymakers in the nation's capital. Since 2004, he has also advised the Foundation on its emerging global prominence and has helped develop some key partnerships and programs with international leaders.
Ortmans has also led the development of the Foundation's Global Entrepreneurship Week initiative (unleashingideas.org). Piloted in the United States in 2007, Global Entrepreneurship Week now inspires the under-30 generation to explore their entrepreneurial potential in more than 115 countries.
Ortmans started his first business, Microchips, at 19, and his second at 34, before beginning a career on Capitol Hill on the House Ways and Means Committee focusing on trade policy work. Previously, Ortmans served as executive director of the Columbia Institute for Political Research concentrating on health care economic policy. Currently, he serves as president of the Public Forum Institute, an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that enjoys strong bi-partisan congressional support in fostering public discourse on major issues of the day.