Vivek Varma is the ceo and vice chair of the Schultz Family Foundation. A long-standing counselor to Sheri and Howard Schultz, Vivek stewards the family’s investments and strategic focus on creating greater opportunity, accessible to all Americans.
He also serves as ceo of emes project, llc. The emes project is the policy, advocacy, and investment arm of the Schultz family.
Vivek leads a multi-disciplinary team seeding innovation and scaling solutions in partnership with employers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics, non-profits, and governments to co-design new approaches that enable young people to successfully navigate the transition to adulthood, aspiring to unleash potential and unlock opportunity so that everyone can access America’s promise.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Vivek served 15 years on the executive leadership team at Starbucks Coffee Company, continuing today as an advisor to the company on select matters of brand and global business.
Prior to Starbucks, Vivek had a variety of public affairs and communications roles at Microsoft, most notably defending Microsoft in the Department of Justice antitrust case as a member of the legal and communications team. At Microsoft, he co-led the company’s corporate communications function and was immersed in the technology competition, partnerships and acquisitions of that era.
Vivek started on Capitol Hill in 1988 as congressional staff serving Oklahoma constituents and working on legislative issues, eventually progressing to lead the Washington DC office of the late Congressman Mike Synar of Oklahoma.
In 1995, Vivek became Executive Director of the Campaign for America Project, a project focused on campaign finance reform that was founded by Rep. Synar with backing from Wall Street financier Jerome Kohlberg.
He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Swarthmore College and a law degree from the American University Washington College of Law.
An avid tennis player, Vivek is a two-time Oklahoma singles state champion, two-time NCAA Division 3 All-American, a member of the 1985 NCAA Division 3 National Team Champion, and a 2013 inductee into the Swarthmore College Athletic Hall of Fame.
More recently, Vivek has won five USTA Men’s Senior Tennis National Doubles Championships in the over 50 and 55 age divisions.
He is known by those closest to him as a wise counselor, bridge builder and curious student of history who seeks and champions unconventional, practical, and collaborative answers from our country’s next generation of brilliant leaders.
Vivek grew up in Chickasha, Oklahoma, as a first-generation Indian American and devout Oklahoma Sooner fan. He and his family reside in Mercer Island, Washington.