Francis J. Skrobiszewski has 30 years of experience spanning investment fund management, law, socio-economic development, crisis communications/public affairs, government agency reform and strategy development working in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. For much of his career, he has been called upon to conceive and implement innovative solutions to extraordinary challenges.
On the collapse of Communism in Central Europe in 1989, Mr. Skrobiszewski was called to The White House by then-President Bush to discuss privately strategies for the redevelopment of the Polish economy, and later to met human-rights activist Lech Walesa. In early 1990, he prepared a forward-looking US Labor Dept strategy for the Soviet Bloc in anticipation of the collapse of the remaining Communist regimes. He was then recruited to draft the business plan for the Polish-American Enterprise Fund (PAEF), a successful pioneering private equity firm conceived by the President and US Congress to promote the development of the Polish private sector and the institutional foundation for a free market economy. Over the next 15 years, he served initially as an officer of the PAEF and later its sister Enterprise Fund in Hungary (HAEF), where he managed the latter’s high-tech VC fund. He has been engaged in practically all aspects of investment fund management from conception of funds through running them and closure, and the creation of their “legacy” institutions to continue supporting socio-economic development. He serves today on the Investment Committee of Poland’s National Capital Fund (KFK) capitalizing new high-tech venture funds in Poland, and is a Director of the US-Polish Trade Council in Silicon Valley.
Beyond Central Europe (CEE), Mr. Skrobiszewski has provided advice on venture funds and other intermediaries financing indigenous businesses in Africa, Central Asia and West Bank/Gaza. As the guest of a prominent Arab businessman, he presented a proposal for a Palestinian Fund during the MENA Economic Summit in Casablanca, and more recently, OECD hosted him in Dubai to discuss his experiences in CEE and application of the Enterprise Fund model in MENA countries. He has spoken extensively on deploying this model as well in “post-conflict” reconstruction for DOD seminars; on using “risk capital” in African countries as a “social risk mitigation” tool at a major infrastructure security conference; and on “lessons learned” in investing in the CEE that could be applicable in Afghanistan today. He has been working closely with Armenian IT entrepreneurs and assisting them on accessing opportunities in Silicon Valley and advising a private equity fund operating across 11 southern African countries. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier in response to the Superfund controversy, the US Environmental Protection Agency asked Skrobiszewski to serve on a 3-person team, which conducted an unprecedented review of the Agency and prepared the Administrator’s report to President Reagan on internal weaknesses responsible for the Agency’s problems and on the corrective actions new management would undertake. Mr. Skrobiszewski was then seconded to the President’s Council on Management Improvement to streamline a similar US Government-wide reporting process. He subsequently became Vice President of a crisis and strategic communications firm, where he prepared strategies and coordinated tactical responses of major multinational corporations (MNCs) in the midst of high-profile public controversies. Accordingly, his capabilities have been tested under extreme conditions.
In 2004, Mr. Skrobiszewski led creation of a Booz Allen Hamilton service to facilitate trade and investment of major MNCs in newly-emerging countries while promoting indigenous socio-economic development at the grassroots level as a means of mitigating social risk. Earlier, Skrobiszewski served as legal counsel to Bank of America and as an officer of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section.