Campus & Community

ZEFER founder Tjan named Belfer fellow

3 min read

Anthony K. Tjan, founder and former executive vice president of ZEFER, a leading Internet-focused consulting and services firm, is returning to Harvard June 7 as a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) and the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project (HIIP).

Tjan is a Harvard College graduate who received his M.B.A. at the Harvard Business School (HBS), where he won the John Lebor Fellowship for entrepreneurship and, along with two founding ZEFER members and classmates, won the 1998 HBS Business Plan Competition. While at HBS, Tjan raised $2 million in first-round financing for his business plan. Within two years, the company raised an additional $100 million in capital and grew to more than 500 employees providing strategy and implementation services for Fortune 1000 clients.

Prior to ZEFER, Tjan was a consultant with the international strategy consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Tjan has also been named by Management Consulting magazine as one of the top 25 most influential consultants.

Since 1993, Tjan has served as a regular participant and external staff member to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its annual summit in Davos, Switzerland. Earlier this year, he was one of 100 people worldwide named by the WEF as a Global Leader for Tomorrow.

“There is now little doubt that technology – in particular the Internet and genetics – will profoundly impact cultures, economies, and policies of populations throughout the world,” Tjan said. “I am honored to return to Harvard University as a Kennedy School of Government Belfer Center Fellow. I hope that my background will bring a useful private sector and entrepreneurial perspective to the center’s research.”

Tjan has been the subject of profiles in several leading national business and technology publications including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, CNet, and Industry Standard. He has served as a commentator on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and was also a columnist for the technology publication, The Red Herring, where he wrote a series of articles on entrepreneurship.

As a fellow at the Kennedy School’s Harvard Information Infrastructure Project and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Tjan plans to focus his research on cyber-terrorism and the expanding role of technology in emerging countries.

The latter interest stems from a project in South America in which Tjan and ZEFER helped transform an online directory into Colombia’s largest portal.

“Anthony Tjan’s ability to bring technological change to emerging nations such as Colombia underscore his extraordinary business and political skills,” said Graham T. Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Kennedy School and director of BCSIA. “He should be a tremendous asset to the Belfer Center.”

“Tony was one of the outstanding students in my course before he went on to found Zefer,” said Deborah Hurley, director of the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project. “I have been pleased to follow his very successful career and am delighted that he will be back collaborating with us directly on some of the most complicated and compelling issues of the Internet era.”

Previous HIIP and BCSIA Fellows include Y.T. Chien, former director of the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation (NSF); David Johnston, president, University of Waterloo, Canada, and special adviser to the Minister of Industry on information highway matters; Thomas Kiessling, chief operating officer and chief technology officer, ISION Internet AG, a Pan-European business-to-business Internet solutions provider; and Eli Turk, former senior policy adviser to the Canadian Minister of Industry.