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Deena Shakir

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Biography

Deena Shakir is a Partner at Lux Capital, where she invests in transformative technologies streamlining analog industries and improving lives and livelihoods. She is particularly interested in entrepreneurs building breakthrough companies enabling human and environmental health, access, and productivity.

Deena believes humanity-focused venture investing is about more than just capital, approaching company building with support and empathy for founders and a lens towards the ethical and societal implications of technologies. Since joining us in late 2019, she has led Lux’s investment in Mos, a technology platform seeking to make college more affordable; Shiru, a company that leverages computational design to create enhanced proteins to help feed the world sustainably, where she is also a board director; and Neo, which simplifies SMB accounting to unlock scientific innovation. Deena has also joined as an observer on the board of directors of RDMD, a data platform for rare disease drug development.

Prior to joining Lux, Deena was a Partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures). She previously led strategic partnerships for early stage products in healthcare, research, machine intelligence and search at Google and also directed social impact investments at Google.org.

Before she became an investor, Deena had diverse people-centric global experiences as an aspiring anthropologist, journalist, diplomat, aid worker and technologist. She was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State under Secretary Clinton, where she helped launch President Obama’s first Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2010. Her non-traditional path to venture capital landed her in roles that brought people together to foster partnerships through diplomacy, public service, and technology. It has also cultivated Deena’s deep conviction in the power of founders of new ventures to positively transform the future and an unparalleled network to help them achieve it.

Deena serves on the Boards of several non-profits including Tarjimly, TechWadi, Technovation and AMIDEAST. She is a Kauffman Fellow, a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member, and a Forbes Contributor. Deena was a founding VC member of the Valence Fund Network for black entrepreneurs. Financially independent since the age of 18, Deena self-funded her undergraduate and graduate degrees through a variety of merit scholarships and side hustles, including co-founding her first internet company while still in college. Deena earned a joint BA in Social Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard (where she delivered the graduation address) and an MA from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Key Facts

  • Deena is the first-generation daughter of immigrants from Iraq and speaks fluent Arabic and French; she is also conversational in Spanish

  • A former journalist, Deena once hosted the pilot episode of a bilingual Arabic-English TV news series modeled after 60 Minutes

What you seek is seeking you. Jalaluddin Rumi

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