Steve L. Poizner

Steve Poizner

B.S.E.E., 1978
Insurance Commissioner
State of California

Steve Poizner has had a successful career as a business consultant, an inventor of life-saving technology, a volunteer public school teacher, the founder of several non-profit organizations designed to provide better education to disadvantaged students and as a public servant. Today, Poizner is one of California’s highest-ranking elected officials.

An inventor and entrepreneur, Poizner developed the cutting-edge technology that allowed GPS receivers to be placed into cellular phones. The technology Poizner developed can be found in more than 200 million cell phones around the globe, and has already saved dozens of lives.

After selling his company, he was selected to serve in the non-partisan White House Fellowship program, where he was appointed Director of Critical Infrastructure in the National Security Council. Beginning work just one week before 9/11, Poizner was tasked with protecting the nation’s network systems and electrical grids against terrorist attacks.

After concluding his service in Washington, D.C., Poizner returned to California where he taught American Government in a disadvantaged high school – a position for which he refused to take a salary. Wanting to continue in public service, Poizner ran for the position of Insurance Commissioner, one of California’s eight statewide elective offices. On the campaign trail, he earned the respect of voters and editorial boards across the state. He earned endorsements of more than 35 major newspapers and won by more than a million votes. As California’s Insurance Commissioner, Poizner regulates the fourth largest insurance market in the world.

Poizner’s commitment to bettering society is evidenced in his government service and his efforts to improve public education by focusing on under-privileged schools to ensure that every student has the opportunity to receive a quality education. Steve is an exemplary role model for taking on challenges and seeking to make the impossible possible. During his stellar rise in both business and politics, he has maintained his integrity and his values. From his humble middle-class upbringing in Houston, Texas, he is a shining example to students that the American Dream can be realized with hard work, vision and integrity.

OYEG Honorees

An "Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate" (OYEG) is a graduate who is under the age of 40 at the time of selection. Learn more about OYEG honorees.