David desJardins is an American mathematician, software engineer, investor and philanthropist. He was the 20th employee of Google, joining in 1999. After leaving the company in 2005, he invested in a number of startup companies and philanthropic endeavors with his wife, Nancy Blachman.
He is a top donor to Democratic candidates and causes. DesJardins also serves on the board of George Soros’s Democracy Alliance and is involved in DA-connected groups including the Scholars Strategy Network and Agenda Project.
David desJardins received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983 and completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 2002.
In 1999, desJardins became Google’s 20th employee, working as a software engineer until 2005. He was an early investor in companies such as Cloudera, ScanScout, and 23andme. He was a board member of Tigerlabs technology incubator.
DesJardins has given $2,174,138 to Democratic candidates and causes between 2000 and 2016 including $200,000 each to the Sierra Club and House Majority PAC. In both 2012 and 2014, he gave $100,000 to American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic-aligned Super PAC founded by Media Matters for America creator David Brock.
In the 2012 election cycle, desJardins was one of Silicon Valley’s top ten Democratic super-donors, giving $965,100 to Democrats only. During that year, he was also among the Sunlight Foundation’s “Political 1% of 1%,” putting him in the top 31,385 (.01% of the U.S. population at the time) disclosed political givers.
In the 2014 race for California Superintendent of Public Instruction, desJardins gave $63,000 to back school reformer Marshall Tuck in an unsuccessful effort to unseat teacher union-backed incumbent Tom Torlakson.
DesJardins and his wife Nancy Blachman created the desJardins-Blachman Foundation and the desJardins/Blachman Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a donor advised fund with contributions to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities which receives support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
DesJardins is a board member of Democracy Alliance. He is on the steering committee of the Scholars Strategy Network, a group of progressive academics which is among 180 organizations connected with the Democracy Alliance.
In 2007, with funding from the Democracy Alliance, desJardins joined fellow DA members Daniel Berger and Guy Saperstein to found the New Ideas Fund. In her 2009 book, The Practical Progressive: How to Build a Twenty-first Century Political Movement, DA co-founder Erica Payne writes that the New Ideas Fund “provides grants to promising scholars to establish a foundation for a progressive thought infrastructure in national security and foreign policy.”
Emails obtained and released by Wikileaks revealed that desJardins was among a handful of wealthy liberals considered for solicitation to fund a D.C.-based policy group called the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, founded and steered by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chair.