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Sean Doherty, Chairman of the JDRF T1D Fund on tackling type 1 diabetes through venture philanthropy

Sean Doherty is the Chairman of the JDRF T1D Fund — a venture philanthropy fund aimed at creating a market in type 1 diabetes (T1D) by using capital and expertise to convince venture capital, biotech and pharma to make the investments needed to cure T1D.

In 2015, there was virtually no private investment in T1D which was causing a gap between scientific advancements and the delivery of solutions to the people who need them.

Today, the JDRF T1D Fund is one of the largest disease-focused venture philanthropy funds in the world, with $175m in assets and their philanthropic dollars are spurring private investment to ultimately secure the billions needed to generate cures.

This episode showcases venture philanthropy and impact investment; it provides an overview of the funding and technologies being focused to tackle type 1 diabetes; and provides much insight on how philanthropy can catalyse private investment through innovative thinking.

About Sean Doherty

Sean Doherty is an innovator in disease philanthropy whose career includes leadership in the investment industry, law, and the military.

He is a founder and the chairman of the T1D Fund, an impact investment fund that has used a venture philanthropic model to catalyze over $700 million of private capital investment in type one diabetes cure therapeutics. As a volunteer, Sean led the design, team building, and capital raising of the Fund and has driven its strategy since its launch in 2016. Motivated by close family connections to the disease, he has held a range of volunteer leadership positions for nearly 20 years at JDRF, the leading public charity in T1D.

He is currently a Fellow at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, a program focusing on unleashing the potential of experienced leaders to help solve society's most pressing challenges.

Sean is a former managing director of Bain Capital LP, a leading global alternative investment firm. As the firm’s first general counsel, he built an industry-leading legal, compliance and public affairs group and led crisis management and efforts in branding and philanthropy. Earlier in his legal career, Sean was an attorney at Ropes & Gray LLP and a clerk for Judge Patti Saris of the Massachusetts federal district court.

Sean is a veteran of the United States Navy, in which he was an officer on a Middle East Force frigate. He earned a B.A. magna cum laude in American government from Harvard College and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.  


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