Owen West attended Harvard College on a ROTC scholarship and rowed for the varsity crew team. He was an all-Ivy League rower and 2nd Team all-American. He graduated cum laude as a Government/Soviet Studies major in 1991 and spent six years in the Marine Corps infantry as a platoon commander and a reconnaissance platoon commander. He twice deployed overseas to Asia and the Middle East before attending Stanford Business School. At Stanford, Owen was co-president of his class and the CEO of Challenge for Charity, the largest business school non-profit corporation with over 2,500 members, benefiting the Special Olympics.
In 1997, Owen joined Goldman, Sachs as an energy trader. He has 19 years of experience in risk-management and international markets. He is the partner who leads the global natural gas and U.S. power businesses. As the leader of one of the largest worldwide energy risk businesses in the most volatile markets, he sets strategy for a diverse team spread across five international offices that negotiates with a nationalist client base.
While at Goldman, Owen took two leaves of absence to rejoin the Marines in Iraq. In 2003 he was the fire support officer for Force Recon Company. In 2004, he used his vacation time to embed as a reporter in Fallujah, Iraq for Slate/Newsweek. In 2006-2007 he deployed as an advisor to an Iraqi infantry battalion holding a remote outpost in Anbar Province where he led a mixed group of 12 soldiers and Marines living among 500 Iraqis.
An endurance athlete, Owen has taken additional leaves to attempt the North Face of Mount Everest and compete six times in 400-mile Eco Challenge adventure races, labeled the “world’s toughest race.” He captained two Marine Corps teams, and was once the lone male navigator alongside three Playboy centerfolds. He has completed multiple Ironman and Ultra-marathons, and is the 2015 Clydesdale (220 lbs+) national triathlon champion for the 40+ age group.
He is the author of three books about military affairs. Sharkman Six (Simon and Schuster, 2001) won the Boyd literary award for best military novel. The Snake Eaters (Simon and Schuster, 2012) detailed the combat advisory mission in Iraq. He has written dozens of articles and op-eds on the military and adventure sports published in The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Playboy, Men’s Journal, the NY Post, the Marine Corps Gazette, Popular Mechanics, Topic, and The New York Times.
Owen is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Director of the Positive Coaching Alliance, and is a certified trainer of youth coaches and a multi-sport coach for his two boys. He is also a Director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. Owen and his wife have founded two $250,000 scholarships benefitting the children of fallen troops. He has sponsored two Iraqi interpreters for VISAs; they today reside in the U.S.