David DesJardins

David Desjardins of Burlingame, California, is backed by fellow members of the Patriotic Millionaires as he speaks at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. The group, which advocates for a tax increase for individuals with incomes over $1,000,000, visited Washington to lobby members of Congress' debt-cutting supercommittee. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg via Getty Images





Investor, Consultant

Political Party:

Democratic Party


Nancy Blachman

Main Philanthropy:

DesJardins-Blachman Foundation


Burlingame, California

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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.

Personal Life

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 2002.1

DesJardins is married to Nancy Blachman,2 a mathematician and computer scientist.3 The couple has two children, Sarah and Louis.4


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,5 ScanScout,6 and 23andme.8 He was a board member of Tigerlabs technology incubator.9

Political Activities

DesJardins has given $2,174,138 to Democratic candidates and causes between 2000 and 201610 including $200,000 each to the Sierra Club and House Majority PAC.11 In both 2012 and 2014, he gave $100,000 to American Bridge 21st Century,12 a Democratic-aligned Super PAC founded by Media Matters for America creator David Brock.13

In the 2012 election cycle, desJardins was one of Silicon Valley’s top ten Democratic super-donors, giving $965,100 to Democrats only.14 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.15

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.16


DesJardins and his wife Nancy Blachman created the desJardins-Blachman Foundation17 and the desJardins/Blachman Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a donor advised fund18 with contributions to the Center for Science in the Public Interest,19 the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund,20 and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities21 which receives support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.22

The desJardins/Blachman Fund has also supported a number of liberal organizations including the Campaign Legal Center,24 the Roosevelt Institute,25 and the Brennan Center for Justice.27

The couple is listed as a major funder of the PBS documentary series Point of View28 and has contributed to the Sierra Club Foundation.29

DesJardins serves as a trustee of the UC – Berkeley Foundation30 and a member of the Corporation of MIT.31

DesJardins is a board member of Democracy Alliance.32 He is on the steering committee of the Scholars Strategy Network,33 a group of progressive academics34 which is among 180 organizations connected with the Democracy Alliance.35

In 2007, with funding from the Democracy Alliance, desJardins joined fellow DA members Daniel Berger and Guy Saperstein to found the New Ideas Fund.36 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.”37

DesJardins is among 200 members of Patriotic Millionaires, which advocates higher taxes.38

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.39


  1. DesJardins, David Lawrence. “Precise coding with noiseless feedback: A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics in the Graduate Division of the University of California at Berkeley.” Spring, 2002. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  2. ”Nancy and David’s Wedding, January 1999.” ”Nancy and David’s Home Page.” “The Blachman Family Website.” Accessed April 26, 2017.
  3. ”Nancy Blachman’s Biography.” Accessed April 26, 2017.
  4. ”Nancy Blachman’s Biography.” Accessed April 26, 2017.
  5. Cloudera. “Cloudera, the Commercial Hadoop Company, Announces $5 Million Series A Financing Led by Accel Partners.” News release, March 16, 2009. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  6. “Scanscout.” Bizstanding. Company Profile. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  7. “23andMe Company Profile | PitchBook.” 23andMe Company Profile: Valuation & Investors. Accessed April 26, 2017.[/note] DesJardins is a General Partner at DJ Ventures, LP7 “DJ Ventures, LP.” Company Information. Bizapedia. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  8. “Alumni US.” Alumni US | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983). Accessed April 26, 2017.
  9. ” Data Navigator.” Show Me – Accessed April 26, 2017.
  10. “Data Navigator.” Show Me – Accessed April 26, 2017.
  11. “Data Navigator.” Show Me – Accessed April 26, 2017.
  12. Luo, Michael. “Effort for Liberal Balance to G.O.P. Groups Begins.” The New York Times. November 22, 2010. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  13. Stangel, Luke. “Silicon Valley’s 10 biggest Democratic super-donors.” July 10, 2013. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  14. “The Political 1% of the 1% in 2012.” Sunlight Foundation. October 26, 2016. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  15. Chorneau, Tom. “Analysis: national press misreads schools chief battle.” SI&A Cabinet Report – Trusted Source for What’s News in Education. November 04, 2014. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  17. Kopytoff, Verne. “O Googlers, where art thou? / Some employees found instant riches in the Internet search company’s initial public offering — affording them the luxury of pursuing new dreams.” SFGate. January 07, 2007. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  18. “Our Funding Sources.” Center for Science in the Public Interest. Accessed May 02, 2017.
  19. “Turning Environmental Values into National Priorities.” PDF. Washington, D.C.: League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.
  20. “2015 Honor Roll of Support”. PDF. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
  21. “Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – MacArthur Foundation.” RSS. Accessed May 02, 2017.
  22. “Funding.” Campaign Legal Center. April 28, 2017. Accessed May 02, 2017.[/note]23 “Campaign Legal Center Inc.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed May 02, 2017.
  23. “Roosevelt Institute 2013 Finances and Supporters at a Glance | International Brotherhood Of Teamsters | Franklin D. Roosevelt.” Scribd. Accessed May 02, 2017.
  24. “Brennan Center for Justice.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed May 02, 2017.[/note]26 “Democracy and Justice, Collected Writings.” PDF. New York: Brennan Center for Justice.
  25. “POV and The New York Times Collaborate to Explore the Future of Documentary With a New Interactive Project About Race; Now Seeking a Mediamaker to Work in Hybrid Formats.” News release. The New York Times. June 29, 2016. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  26. A thousand invisible cords.” PDF. The Sierra Club Foundation Annual Report 2013. San Francisco, CA. Accessed April 26, 2017.

  27. “Board of Trustees.” UC Berkeley Foundation. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  28. “The MIT Corporation.” Home | The MIT Corporation. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  29. “Board of Directors.” Democracy Alliance. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  30. “Steering Committee.” Steering Committee | Scholars Strategy Network. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  31. Markay, Lachlan. “Democracy Alliance-Backed Professor Downplays Liberal Donor Network.” Washington Free Beacon. October 12, 2015. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  32. Spring 2014 Democracy Alliance Recommendations.” PDF.
  33. “About the NIF.” About the NIF | New Ideas Fund. Accessed April 26, 2017.
  34. Payne, Erica. Practical progressive: how to build a twenty-first century political movement. New York: PublicAffairs, 2008.
  35. Briody, Blaire, and Alex Rader. “The Rich Want to Pay More Tax: Here’s How to Do It.” The Fiscal Times. December 14, 2010. Accessed April 27, 2017.
  36. Markay, Lachlan. “Podesta Nonprofit Poised for Influence After Years in CAP’s Shadow.” Washington Free Beacon. December 15, 2016. Accessed May 02, 2017.
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