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Home > Press > James Woolsey and Richard Foster join Lux Capital as venture partners: Former CIA Director and former McKinsey Senior Partner help Lux Capital expand its Energy and Life Sciences investment practices
Lux Capital, a leading venture capital firm, today announced that the Honorable R. James (Jim) Woolsey and Richard (Dick) Foster have joined the firm as Venture Partners. Woolsey will help identify novel breakthroughs and new investment opportunities in Energy that offer significant economic and environmental benefits, and can help end America's addiction to foreign energy resources. Foster will leverage his experience and network to seek new technologies and business models for Life Sciences and healthcare IT investment.
"We are excited to bring Jim and Dick onto the Lux Capital team," said Josh Wolfe, Managing Partner at Lux Capital. "Both are first-rate individuals, experts with tremendous intellect and a track record of meaningful success. They will be hugely valuable in working with our existing portfolio of more than 20 private companies, as well as attracting and advising the remarkable entrepreneurs and innovators we seek to back."
Mr. Woolsey is a Venture Partner with Lux Capital and Chairman of Woolsey Partners LLC. He also Chairs the Board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and is a Senior Fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Mr. Woolsey currently chairs the Strategic Advisory Group of the Washington, D.C. private equity fund, Paladin Capital Group, and he is Of Counsel to the Washington, D.C. office of the Boston-based law firm, Goodwin Procter. In the above capacities he specializes in a range of alternative energy and security issues. Mr. Woolsey previously served in the U.S. Government on five different occasions, where he held Presidential appointments in two Republican and two Democratic administrations, most recently (1993-95) as Director of Central Intelligence. From July 2002 to March 2008 Mr. Woolsey was a Vice President and officer of Booz Allen Hamilton, and then a Venture Partner with VantagePoint Venture Partners of San Bruno, California until January 2011, during which time he sourced the firm's investments in Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) and Solazyme. He was also previously a partner at the law firm of Shea & Gardner in Washington, DC, now Goodwin Procter, where he practiced for 22 years in the fields of civil litigation, arbitration, and mediation. Mr. Woolsey serves on a range of government, corporate, and non-profit advisory boards and chairs several, including that of the Washington firm, ExecutiveAction LLC. He serves on the National Commission on Energy Policy. He is currently Co-Chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger. He is Chairman of the Advisory Boards of the Clean Fuels Foundation and the New Uses Council, and a Trustee of the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. Previously he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of The Smithsonian Institution, and a trustee of Stanford University. Mr. Woolsey has served in the past as a member of boards of directors of a number of publicly and privately held companies, generally in fields related to technology and security, including Martin Marietta; British Aerospace, Inc.; Fairchild Industries; and Yurie Systems, Inc. In 2009, he was the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
"Innovation in energy will be the primary challenge of our time - whether seen through the lens of national security or that of the environment," said Woolsey. "This will require a deep understanding of, as well as networks throughout, the scientific, industrial and policy communities. Lux Capital has great people and a strategic platform that provides a unique advantage in bringing energy breakthroughs to market. I look forward to working with Lux to build new companies that matter."
Richard Foster also joins Lux Capital as a Venture Partner. Mr. Foster is also Managing Partner of Investment and Advisory Services (Invaserv). Prior to forming Invaserv, Mr. Foster was a Director and Senior Partner with McKinsey & Company where he co-founded the healthcare and private equity practices. While at McKinsey, he served as a senior partner and director for 22 years and retired from the company in 2004. Foster co-founded the firm's high technology practice in the late ‘70s, the chemicals practice in the early ‘80s, the healthcare practice in the late ‘80s, and the private equity practice in the '90s. Mr. Foster has written two bestselling and award winning books on innovation: "Innovation: The Attacker's Advantage" (1986) and "Creative Destruction" (2001). He serves on the Board of Directors of: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Executive Committee), W. M. Keck Foundation (Executive Committee), athenahealth (Nominating & Governance Committee Chair), Trust Company of the West (Audit Committee). In addition Mr. Foster is Co-Chair of the National Academies President's Circle, Chairman, 2011 National Meeting of the Health Data Initiative (joint venture of DHHS and the IOM); Member, Yale School of Medicine Dean's Advisory Board; Member, National Research Council, Policy and Global Affairs Committee; Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Foster was formerly a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations (where he serves on the Membership Committee), the Santa Fe Institute and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Mr. Foster is a Senior Faculty Fellow at Yale University School of Management where he teaches "Managing in Times of Rapid Change" and Healthcare Information Technology. Mr. Foster received his BS, MS, and PhD from Yale University in Engineering and Applied Science.
"Lux Capital thinks differently from most venture investors—a distinct edge in the investment business," said Foster. "The team's enthusiasm and experience in building companies from scratch - either based upon original theses or transformative science - is attracting both brilliant and ambitious entrepreneurs. I'm delighted to be part of the organization"
In Energy, Lux is a founder or founding investor in sector leaders from energy efficient power conversion to nuclear waste remediation. Recent Lux Capital energy investments include Accelergy, Kurion, Siluria, and Transphorm. In Life Sciences, Lux is a founder or founding investor in sector leaders from rapid vaccine discovery to nano-enabled drug delivery. Recent Lux Capital life sciences investments include Cerulean Pharma, Genocea Biosciences, Kala Pharmaceuticals, and Visterra Therapeutics.
About Lux Capital
Lux Capital is a leading venture firm focused on founding, seed and early stage investments in emerging technologies. Lux takes an active role in helping entrepreneurs build successful businesses in Energy, Life Sciences and Technology. The Lux investment team has founded more than 20 companies from scratch, including Caliper, Genocea, Illumina, Kala, Kurion, Lux Research, Nanosys, Neurocrine, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
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