top of page

Sven Steinmo
Mentor, Advisor, Coach

The amazing technological changes our world is witnessing offer both challenges and new opportunities. But it can be difficult to figure out what we as individuals can do to meet these challenges. Let me help you find your paths as you try to adapt to our quickly evolving world.

"I met Dr Steinmo at a time in my life when everything had fallen apart. I had just left medical school due to a cancer diagnosis paired with disillusionment about the career of being a physician. I was working as a waitress and was completely directionless in Tesuque, New Mexico. Sven took me under his wing, got to know me incredibly well, and help me get unstuck. I ended up beating cancer, getting my master's degree at an Ivy League university, and am currently working for the United National Institute for Training and Research on the Multilateral Diplomacy team. I’ll always be grateful for Sven’s insight, kindness, experience, and guidance and how much my life changed by meeting him.

Sven!! You believed in me when I couldn’t, and it made all the difference at a really low point in my life. I hope this new path is amazing, successful, and helps a ton of other people. I’m flying to Geneva in two weeks for UN work and am just amazed at how far I’ve made it since we met that day at Tesuque Village Market."

Sara Turzel

United Nations Institute for Training and Research Multilateralism Team 

"Simply said, Sven is built different. He is wildly curious and has the gift of seeing the world both as it is and as it should be. Sven also has the ability to look around corners and see what is coming and has been instrumental in my personal and professional life - questioning assumptions and helping to lay the groundwork for a career and roles that have been most rewarding." 

Matt Hirschland,

Co-Founder, H2A Partners

“Sven is brilliant, thoughtful and intellectually stimulating mentor who is deeply committed to the development and wellbeing of the people he works with. He is great at getting the best out of people without putting them under pressure or limiting their ability to think for themselves. He’s also a wonderful human being who takes the time to support people whenever they need it most."

-Ben Wagner

Director of AI Futures Lab

Delft University



"Sven Steinmo was key in changing my life path completely. I was so lucky to find amazing, untraditional support in a tall Norwegian political sciences professor. Sven could see what I might have wanted even before I did, and, importantly, what I might be capable of.


Before I met Sven Steinmo I had experienced a lot of chaos, with none of the traditional supports for education or much else. I had gone to four different high schools and took four and half years to graduate. By the time I transferred from community college to the University of Colorado, Boulder, I was a single mother, working, studying and raising a kid on my own.


I found myself in Sven’s class and would regularly come to his office hours with long lists of terms I didn’t understand. I didn’t even know the historical references that any high school graduate should have known.  In retrospect, I now think some of the questions I brought were silly. But Sven took me seriously and helped me understand what was important to focus on and what could be left aside.


Later that year, Sven offered me a job through work study and before I had any understanding of the value of this, he made me co-author on a publication. He also offered career advice that made me think he was the silly one. For example, he suggested that I might pursue public health. I really had no idea what that was. But Sven was proven so right when I ended up pursuing my masters in public health and going through the doctoral program as well.


To me, Sven is the paragon of what a mentor can be. He’s kind, patient, observant, and of course both brilliant and wise. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who is in need of academic guidance or professional coaching, regardless of your discipline, to seek Sven's mentorship!"


Alison Chopel


Escuela Graduada de Planificación, Universidad de Puerto Rico

"My journey has been profoundly shaped by Sven Steinmo, a mentor whose influence transcended academic guidance, greatly influencing my professional career and life in general.

What sets Sven apart is his deep-seated compassion and cultural competence. His unconventional perspective on post-PhD careers encouraged exploration beyond academia, highlighting the versatility and value of a PhD in various fields. Rather than simply hastening our academic progress, he dedicated time to ensure we were equipped with the knowledge and skills for a meaningful career. This advice was not just pragmatic but visionary, preparing me for a dynamic world where academic credentials could be leveraged in multifaceted arenas.

In conclusion, Sven Steinmo is a mentor in the truest sense. His global outlook and compassionate nature, coupled with his practical and academic guidance, make him a rare and invaluable guide. For his students, Sven is a lifelong advisor, whose impact echoes far beyond their university years, shaping not just their careers but their approach to life's diverse challenges."

- Augustin Rossi

Director, Responsible Technology

Omidyar Network, Washington DC

"Sven’s mentorship style is a rare blend of empathy and constructive criticism. He possesses the unique ability to challenge his mentees while simultaneously nurturing their growth.


One of the most significant lessons Sven imparted to me was the courage to venture beyond conventional boundaries. His encouragement to explore new avenues and resist being pigeonholed has been invaluable, particularly as I navigated my transition beyond academia. Sven’s open-door policy symbolized more than his availability; it was an invitation to a world of knowledge, support, and endless possibilities.

I wholeheartedly recommend Sven as a mentor. His commitment to placing mentees' needs at the forefront makes him an ideal guide. Future mentees will not only gain academic insights but also learn valuable life lessons under his tutelage. Sven is more than a mentor; he is a friend."

John D'Attoma

Senior Data Scientist, 

Internal Revenue Service

Sven Steinmo has provided life-changing coaching guidance to me at two critical points in my life.  My entire life, I had planned to become an officer in the military.  After graduating from officer candidate school, I realized that the military was not, in fact, the best place for me.  I was left adrift, truly I had spent my whole life angling for that outcome, and without it, I simply didn’t know what to do, or even how to approach the problem.  Through conversations, Sven teased out the aspects of the types of jobs that would enable me to fulfil my ambitions of serving my country, remaining academically curious, and still engaging in some level of adventure.  He made a few suggestions and explained his rationale why, and, not surprisingly, I took the first one, and joined the Department of Defense as an Analyst.  

A few years later, after my first deployment to Afghanistan, Sven once again provided life changing advice.  He pushed me to explore my life twenty years in the future:  What did my life look like? Was I married? Did I have children?  If so, how many?  How did I feel about my job? And so on.  Then he asked me to outline how I would end up there.  What steps needed to be taken now to put me on the trajectory to get to those goals?  These were not easy tasks, but they helped me build the framework to not only go in the direction I thought I wanted to go, but also to establish checks to see if I still wanted to go there.


Thank you, Sven, without your timely and insightful guidance and problem-solving efforts, I would be in a very different place.  Instead of wallowing somewhere, I’m happily married, have a beautiful daughter, starting a PhD program, and am about to be promoted and posted elsewhere abroad in my first supervisory role!  My success due, in a very large part, to you and your interventions.


Walker Bradley

International Monetary Fund

 Dakar, Senegal,

How I Can Help



Career Coaching

Our world is currently being transformed by technological changes. Still, it can be easy to get "stuck" in a job and it can be difficult to rethink your situation on your own. I try to help you see alternatives so that you can make choices that will help you become more productive and likely to succeed in a fast-changing world.

I won't tell you what I think you should do. Instead, I try to help you figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, and how you can get there.


I am a good listener. My practice is to listen to you first and then try to help you gain clarity and confidence. Whether you're facing a major life transition or simply want to improve your overall well-being, I try to help you to "think outside the box" and offer you some tools and support you need to thrive.


I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been able to teach and advise students in multiple countries and cultures over the past 30+ years. 

My basic approach is to encourage people to "think outside the box." One can sometimes spend years pursuing a particular degree (whether Ph.D, or MA, or BA) to the point where it can be difficult to see career paths outside and beyond that particular degree. I try to help you see beyond the immediate horizon.

 I've won several awards for my publications, but I am most proud of the teaching and advising awards... none more so than the "Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Award" and the "McNair Faculty Mentor Award" which I was horonored by at the University of Colorado. 

Who is Sven?

I have over three decades of experience as a teacher, mentor, and advisor. I have been privileged to work in multiple countries with students and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures.  


For the past several years I've focused my teaching and coaching toward helping individuals adapt to and (hopefully) take advantage of fast moving technological change.  I do not pretend to know exactly how your field, profession, or career path will be transformed. But I can tell you that it will.


I believe my strength is in helping people understand what they can do to succeed in our dynamic world, building on their strengths, and building up the areas where they can do and learn more.



Get in Touch

Ready to take the next step? Contact me here to schedule a free consultation. Let's work together to achieve your goals.

  • LinkedIn
  • Threads
  • Instagram
  • Twitter


Our first "Discovery session" (approx. 1 hour) is free.  Let's first meet to 'discover' whether we are a good fit.

Regular price:  $100 per hour.

Students and unemployed: $50 an hour.

Thanks for reaching out!

bottom of page