“Legacy’s mission has opened a dialog with many of the best venture firms on the planet. I believe they are inspired by the opportunity to see their good work provide rocket fuel for great philanthropy.”
Russ co-founded Legacy Venture in 1999. His background in venture capital, venture-backed startups, strategy, and financial management prepared him well for the challenge of starting and growing Legacy.
Russ began his venture career in 1987 at the venture capital firm Merrill Pickard Anderson & Eyre. Russ led the firm’s investment in Synopsys, an electronic design automation company recently valued at over $25 billion. As an operator, he was Vice President of Marketing for the venture-backed startup Logic Modeling, and Director of Sales at another venture-backed startup, Silicon Solutions. Russ was Senior Vice President for R. Eliot King & Associates, a boutique money management firm, and earlier in his career, he was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He also rose to the rank of captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving in Hawaii, Korea, Chicago, and the Pentagon.
In addition to his leadership at Legacy Venture, Russ served on the boards of The Gathering and The Philanthropic Workshop. These are two active networks of philanthropists who share skills, commitment, and imagination to help solve major social and environmental challenges. Russ earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar. He also earned a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating second in his class. He and his wife, Debbie, have one daughter, and one granddaughter, so far.