Steve Craven has more than three decades in international business. Most of that was spent as an American diplomat for the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Steve’s “clients” in government service include companies in a vast spectrum of industries, and range from one-person SMEs to the Fortune 500. Some of those include Boeing, United Technologies, Xcel Energy, Adtranz, Fluor, Stewart & Stevenson, Alliant Techsystems, General Electric, Chrysler and many, many more. Steve’s efforts and those of his staff achieved proven sales of more than $50 billion.
Steve established Kekepana International Services in 2004.
2002-2003 Senior Counselor, U.S. Commercial Service
Steve advised the Director General of the U.S. Commercial Service about business policy issues, such as planning for the U.S.-Russia Energy Summit, coping with dwindling trade promotion budgets, and using domestic trade shows to promote American exports.
2000-2002 Director, Rocky Mountain/Southwest Region, U.S. Commercial Service
Based in Denver, Steve managed U.S. Export Assistance Centers in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. His Denver operation was named “2002 Office of the Year” ahead of 106 other U.S. Commercial Service offices.
1996-2000 Commercial Minister, American Embassies in Austria and Slovakia
Based in Vienna, Steve negotiated intellectual property issues with Austria and Slovakia, and advised the Slovak government on import licensing and customs valuation. He successfully lobbied the Austrian Government to buy Sikorsky Blackhawk helicopters worth $200 million, the company’s breakthrough sale of the Blackhawk to a European government.
1993-1996 Commercial Counselor, American Embassy in Singapore
Steve won the Department of Commerce’s Silver Medal for advocacy that led to $110 million for U.S. companies on Singapore’s light rail system. He initiated U.S. Government commercial operations in Vietnam following the end of the trade embargo. His policy advice contributed to Boeing’s sale of seventy-seven 777’s to Singapore Airlines, the largest sale in commercial aviation history.
1989-1993 Commercial Counselor, American Embassy in Germany
Steve spearheaded a campaign to enable U.S. power producers to break into Germany’s energy market, resulting in a $5 billion deal by Xcel Energy. He won the Commerce Department’s Bronze Medal for lobbying that enabled McDonnell Douglas to break the French monopoly on European space launches. Steve managed the American pavilions at CeBIT, the world’s largest trade fair, helping American companies win more than $500 million in off-the-floor sales. He led the first U.S. environmental mission into eastern Europe.
1986-1988 Chief, Commercial Unit, American Institute in Taiwan
Steve led the lobbying for U.S. suppliers that won the prime contracts for the heavy rail lines of the Taipei subway system. He lobbied successfully for General Electric’s victory on a power plant in Taichung. He helped negotiate an end to Taiwan’s embargo on American wine, beer and tobacco products, and persuaded Taiwan to buy U.S. equipment for their first island-wide environmental monitoring system.
1982-1986 Director, U.S. Export Assistance Center in Honolulu
Steve introduced companies from Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas to international markets. For example, he positioned a small woman-owned firm to supply automotive polish to Mazda and Toyota. He represented the Commerce Department in economic development missions to the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and China, and drafted the commercial provisions of the Compacts of Free Association with the Marshalls and Micronesia.
1981-1982 Director, European Community Policy Division, U.S. Department of Commerce
Steve created the Commerce Department’s first unit devoted to trade policy negotiations with the European Union.
1980-1981 Director, Industry Consultations Program, U.S. Department of Commerce
Steve managed 26 Industry Sector Advisory Committees (now known as ITACs), the primary means by which American industry provides input to the U.S. Government for trade negotiations. He testified to Congressional committees on negotiating and trade policy issues.
1974-1980 Director & Negotiator, Trade Negotiations Division, U.S. Department of Commerce
Steve was a U.S. negotiator in the Tokyo Round multilateral trade talks. Based in Washington, he was often in Geneva at meetings of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – now the World Trade Organization. He helped negotiate international agreements on subsidies, antidumping duties, import licensing, customs valuation, treatment of least developed countries, dispute settlement, trade in civil aircraft and more. He conducted bilateral talks with Japan, the European Union, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, Indonesia, Colombia, Canada and others on such subjects as telecommunications liberalization, tariff reductions and intellectual property rights.
1971-1972 Economist, Africa Division, U.S. Department of Commerce
Steve drafted proposals for the National Security Council on business responsibilities vis-à-vis apartheid in South Africa.
1970-1971 Economist, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Steve developed U.S. positions for NATO negotiations on maritime safety and marine pollution prevention. He even wrote a book about shipping subsidies.
Get in touch with Kekepana. Email is often the best due to travel commitments, but we are always willing to "talk story."
Steve holds an MA in Economics from the University of Hawaii, an MBA in International Business from George Washington University, and a BSFS in International Trade from Georgetown University.
Chair, Hawaii Pacific Export Council, since 2007
Member, Advisory Board for the Business Marketing Management Program, Kapi’olani Community College, since 2011
Chair, PlanSEA Foundation, since 2009
CEO, Saipan DOW LLC, 2006-2011
Treasurer, Common Heritage Corporation, 2004-2011
Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Export Council, 2000–2002
Board & Executive Committee, Rocky Mountain World Trade Center, 2000–2003
International Committee, Colorado Environmental Business Alliance, 2000-2002
Board of Directors, American Chamber of Commerce in Austria, 1996–2000
U.S. Delegate, Trans-Atlantic Business Dialog CEO Conference, 1998
President, Foreign Trade Representatives in Singapore, 1994-1996
Board of Directors, American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, 1993–1996
Board of Directors, German-American Business Club, 1989–1993
Board of Directors, American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, 1986–1988
Board of Directors, Taipei Youth Program Association, 1986-1988
Executive Director, Hawaii Pacific Export Council, 1982-1986
Chair, Aerospace Industry Advisory Committee, 1979-1980
Languages: professional German, college French
Steve is a competitive outrigger canoe paddler.