Venture Capital and Senior Counselor, Ashoka

Advisory Council, Committee on Global Thought

After careers in law, technology, and venture capital, Richard Fishman became senior counselor to Ashoka, the world’s largest organization of leading social entrepreneurs. He is also an active angel investor in technology and Broadway (The Book of Mormon being his most notable success). Richard began his career as a civil rights and legal services lawyer and created the first housing and economic development law program in the Southern U.S. He subsequently headed the American Bar Association’s National Housing Law Program and its National Advisory Commission on Housing and Urban Growth. In private law practice, as a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, he headed the firm’s Structured Finance practice, representing major Wall Street investment banks in structuring complex financial instruments, as well as doing initial public offerings and bank M&A deals. He left the law to become president of Thinking Machines Corporation, which, at the time, used massively parallel processing to build the world’s fastest supercomputers. Upon the reorganization of TMC, he began investing in early-stage companies, initially through boutique VC firms and then heading venture capital investing for MacAndrews & Forbes Group (the diversified holding company of Ronald O. Perelman). Richard has served and currently serves on the boards of numerous publicly traded and privately held companies and non-profit organizations.

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