Deena Shakir is a successful business professional. She and her husband Mehdi have two children, 6-year-old Lana and 4-year-old Adam. She earned a joint BA in Social Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard, and an MA from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, funding her education through a variety of merit scholarships and side ventures, including co-founding her first company while in college.
She is currently a partner at Lux Capital, a venture capital company focusing on emerging, futuristic ideas in science and technology investments. In addition, she is a lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to joining Lux, Deena was a partner at Google Ventures where she led several investments, including early-stage products in healthcare and directed social impact investments at Google.org.
During her career, Deena has had diverse experiences as an aspiring anthropologist, journalist, diplomat, aid worker and technologist. This was demonstrated by her role as 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.
Deena is a Forbes contributor featured in both print and broadcast sources such as Fortune, CNBC, and Marie Claire. She was named a "Top 30 Under 40 in Healthcare" by Business Insider, “Top 9 Women to Watch in Venture Capital" by The Wall Street Journal, and “Top 50 in Digital Health" by Rock Health. She holds memberships and fellowships within renowned leadership networks. Deena recently gave an interview with Bloomberg Technology on International Women's Day regarding women getting hired in the tech field.
After watching Deena's interview, ACDS Speech and Debate coach, Chris Wardner, shared that, "We weren’t competing in speech and debate during Deena’s tenure. However, after Deena took my public speaking class I reached out to the Leland coach and let her know that one of the most engaging and articulate 8th graders in the world was coming her way. Deena commanded the room and the respect of her peers in a way well beyond her years."
When asked in what ways her years at ACDS had an impact on her career and who she is today, Deena commented, "I have such fond memories of my time at ACDS, including making some lifelong friends who I still communicate with and see regularly." Her favorite tradition was the yearbooks! She related one of the memories she'll never forget was the time when all four of the Shakir siblings (Omar´99, Zade´06, and Laith´04) were at ACDS; "My mother came to pick us all up, and the Pre-K teacher reported that Laith, aged 4, had said to her, ‘What am I, chopped liver?’" Another fond memory was of her older brother, Omar, playing Rumpelstiltskin in the school play. During her years at ACDS she met Jessica Lee´00, who has remained her lifelong friend.
She advises younger alumni and current students to "Nurture and maintain those friendships." When asked what she would say to prospective families considering ACDS for their children, Deena said that ACDS is, “a beautiful, warm community, and has incredible teachers who become lifelong mentors.”
Deena was active in middle school community service, including serving as the chairwoman of the winter “Nacho Sales” fundraiser. Her ACDS 8th grade classmates voted her “Best Leader," and she has certainly confirmed that vote!
Visit Deena's website to watch her interviews, listen to her podcasts, and much more: https://deenashakir.com/