Joe Hurd

Vice President of Global Public Policy and Corporate Affairs, UniversityNow

Joe Hurd
Joe Hurd’s expertise lies at the intersection of policy, business and the law. Currently, he is the Vice President, Global Public Policy and Corporate Affairs for UniversityNow, Inc (, a San Francisco-based company that seeks to address the challenges of college access and affordability through a network of online private universities. New Charter University (, the flagship, was launched in April 2012. In his role, Joe runs the public policy and global expansion strategy for UniversityNow, engaging federal, state and local officials worldwide on issues relating to higher education, job creation, skills-based vocational training, college affordability, entrepreneurship, social media and the digital divide.

Prior to joining UniversityNow, between 2009 and 2012 Joe was a political appointee in the Obama Administration, helping Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and his successor, John Bryson, implement the National Export Initiative. At the Department of Commerce, Joe provided political leadership and policy guidance for the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC). Under Joe’s direction, the TPCC delivered the first-ever National Export Initiative Report to the President in September 2010 ( and the 2011 National Export Strategy (NES) to Congress in June 2011 ( He also served as a member of the White House Business Council, travelling around the country to engage with business leaders, state and local government officials, and the public to promote U.S. exports.

Before entering public service, Joe spent ten years in senior business development and international sales/operations positions for AOL Time Warner, Friendster and VideoEgg, opening international sales offices in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines and negotiating internet and e-commerce deals that delivered over $50M in global revenue. Joe is also the Managing Partner of The Katama Group, LLC, a strategic advisory consultancy specializing in international expansion for startups. Earlier in his career, Joe practiced corporate and securities law in London with Linklaters. He is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the New York bar and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. A frequent lecturer and panelist, Joe has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Straits Times, Guardian, and other publications worldwide on entrepreneurship, online advertising and social media business issues. Joe was raised in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a masters in international affairs from Columbia, and an A.B. in East Asian Studies and Government with honors from Harvard College. He currently lives in Los Altos, CA with his wife, daughter and son.


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