Numerous TFAS alumni are entrepreneurs; many run their own law firms, lobbying firms, consulting businesses and more.
In order to shine the light upon these self-starters, a new feature has been added to @TFAS, entitled “CEO Corner.” This month features Tony Costanzo (E 82), president of Business and Government Strategies International (BGSI) located in Alexandria, Va.
Costanzo graduated from Point Park College in Pittsburgh in 1983 and attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh thereafter.
He began his career as an international economist and trade specialist and worked at the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce from 1984 until 1987. From there he moved on to the finance development organization, Aries Group Ltd. where he served as vice president from 1988 until 1989.
It was following his time with Aries in 1990 when Costanzo decided to begin his own business.
BGSI is a world-renowned company which works with foreign governments, private companies, public enterprises and international, regional and bilateral development partners. He most recently returned from a trip to the Federated States of Micronesia where he worked with their national government to improve their budgeting and planning processes and capacities.
While BGSI is now a successful international company, getting the company off the ground was not easy, says Costanzo.
“The greatest obstacle was starting a business from zero and establishing a footprint in the international economic development sector. There was and remains much competition.”
However, Costanzo says he was able to achieve such success because his time in ICPES helped him “to sharpen career and life interests,” at an early age. “My time in ICPES helped me enormously and made an impact [on my career path],” said Costanzo. “That one summer exposed [me] to other people, events and activities that are challenging and opened avenues I didn’t think existed.”
It was with his newly-found knowledge, clear career goals and sense of empowerment from ICPES that Costanzo attended the University of Pittsburgh graduate school and earned his master’s in public and international affairs, which in turn gave him the skills necessary to begin his own business, BGSI.
As an alumnus in the D.C. area, Costanzo remains involved with TFAS.
“I still cherish the memories and experienced gained. I continue to contribute to TFAS so that it can expand its coverage worldwide. TFAS is a great development tool not only for the U.S. but for all countries, and all students should have a chance to attend.”
If you know an alumnus we should profile for CEO Corner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.