The George Washington University
School of Business: Management

The Howard Hoffman Distinguished Lecture Series

In the spirit of interfaculty collaboration and private sector participation, CFEE, through the Howard Hoffman Distinguished Lecture Series, brings together faculty, students, business leaders and members of the wider GW community for discussion on a variety of entrepreneurship issues. The series encourages philosophical reflection and practical experiences on problems and opportunities regarding entrepreneurship. Frequently, lectures are co-sponsored with other schools and departments. The series has served as a model for several of the successful university-wide forums for intellectual interchange that are now flourishing.

Howard Hoffman donated a generous grant to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and discussion at GW. It is our pleasure to honor him by continuing to host successful businessmen and -women, entrepreneurs, and local leaders as role models to GW students.

Past distinguished speakers include, among many others, Jim Kinsey, founder of AOL; Robert Johnson, CEO and founder of Black Entertainment; Louis Kane, founder of Au Bon Pain; and Linda Rabbit, founder of Rand Construction.



Monday, February 10th, 2014

Start-up Strategies and Building a Scalable Internet Business

Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk

Gary Swart

Gary Swart is the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace. A seasoned tech executive and mentor to entrepreneurs and students, Gary’s professional background ranges from working with early entrepreneurial ventures to top corporate organizations, managing thousands of people and working in a variety of team environments. Drawing on his experiences and knowledge, Mr. Swart will speak to the GW community about start-up strategies and how to build a scalable internet business, with a focus on career and management guidance. Attendees will benefit from his passion for helping small businesses thrive and his experience working closely with entrepreneurs.


Reception @ 6:30 PM

Lecture @ 7:00 PM



About Gary

Gary Swart is the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace—which has more than 5 million freelancers and 1 million clients, and on which more than $1 billion of work has been done to date. Gary is a thought leader in entrepreneurship; how best to hire and manage teams; and the future of work, including online work.

Gary has spoken at the Inc. Leadership Conference, The Economist’s Ideas Economy panel, South by Southwest, TechCrunch 50, TiECon, GigaOM’s Net:Work Conference in 2010 and 2011, and at Harvard Business School which teaches a case study on oDesk. His commentary has appeared in a variety of publications including Forbes, TechCrunch and The Washington Post. He is a Linkedin Influencer and has also appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, including BBC, National Public Radio, and the Fox Business program “After the Bell.”

Previously, he led SMB Sales for the Americas at IBM’s Rational Software Product Group, and also served as VP of Worldwide Sales at Intellibank, where he was responsible for leading the sales organization.

Gary holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.