Jonathan Ortmans serves as president of the Public Forum Institute, an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating the most advanced and effective means of fostering public discourse on major issues of the day. A current focus of the Public Forum Institute’s work concerns the economy where Jonathan serves as an interface between new research and initiatives to better understand entrepreneurship and the questions and concerns that arise from policymakers in the nation's capital. In this context, Ortmans oversees the Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship (PDE), an initiative to advance public understanding of the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship and the economy and human welfare. Through meetings, forums, use of available research and communications tools, PDE helps policymakers make sound public policy decisions to encourage entrepreneurship, job creation and economic growth.
Ortmans has also led the development of Global Entrepreneurship Week an initiative piloted in the United States in 2007 that inspires the under-30 generation to explore their entrepreneurial potential in more than 75 countries. He also serves as a senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation where he has advised the Foundation on its emerging global prominence and has helped develop partnerships and programs with international leaders. In this capacity, he has worked to help advance new thinking about the role of entrepreneurialism within a nation’s economy and culture and its power to address global problems.
Previously, Ortmans served as a congressional aide to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means; executive director of the Columbia Institute for Political Research; and, has founded three businesses. Educated in England, Ortmans serves as an advisor on public engagement and outreach initiatives to several government agencies and foundations, and devotes considerable time to moderating and facilitating meetings worldwide .