Position: Chief operating officer of Thayer Capital Partners, a Washington-based investment firm.

Career highlights: General partner at Hancock Park Associates in Los Angeles until 1993; associate at Brentwood Associates in Los Angeles in 1989; worked at Morgan Stanley Group Inc.'s high-technology group in New York and London; worked at Robertson Coleman & Stephens in San Francisco.

Age: 39

Education: BS in industrial engineering from Stanford University in 1983; MBA from Harvard University in 1987.

Personal: Lives in McLean with his wife, Maria Eitel, and his stepdaughter.

You've been a partner with Thayer Capital since 1994 and are a founding partner of Thayer Equity Investors III and IV. What's going to change now? What are your priorities? "Two important factors that led to the COO role is emphasizing our commitment to continue to invest aggressively in local technology and to underline the issues to managing the firm that has grown this rapidly ... from two people to 25 people, from having no companies in the portfolio to 14, with over $2 billion of revenue. It's a large management challenge that really requires a lot of hands-on management."

So the company is focusing its resources on the technology industry? "It's been our strategy since 1994. We invested over $200 million in technology companies in the last three years. There's just tremendous growth potential. We see that as a way to get the highest potential return for our investors. We've really experienced great growth [in] the Northern Virginia area and Maryland. It's the greatest area in the U.S. to invest because of great technical talent that comes from [places such as] America Online and MCI. You can find great people and it's not as nearly a crazy market [as] Silicon Valley. And it's a better place to live."