Person

Nicole Shanahan

Occupation:

Attorney and Philanthropist

Founder and Former CEO:

ClearAccessIP

Personal Philanthropy:

Bia-Echo Foundation

Spouse:

Sergey Brin

Nicole Shanahan is a California-based attorney, founder of ClearAccessIP, wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and a philanthropist focused on left-of-center political issues.

Shanahan is the founder and president of the Bia-Echo Foundation, a grantmaking foundation that invests in left-of-center criminal justice policy, environmentalism, abortion access advocacy, and medical research regarding female infertility and reproductive longevity. [1]

In 2018, Shanahan married Google co-founder and billionaire Sergey Brin. As of May 2021, the couple live in Los Altos, California. They work together on philanthropic efforts and have similar interests in political issues. [2]

ClearAccessIP

Before her philanthropic endeavors, Shanahan worked in both the law and technology industries. In her early career, Shanahan worked at a firm known as RPX Corporation, which at the time was trying to develop a patent exchange market. [3]

Later, she founded her own patent managing company, ClearAccessIP, which used AI to help owners of intellectual property assets develop and transact patent-protected technology. [4] In 2020, she sold the company to IPWe, Inc. [5]

Philanthropy

Bia-Echo Foundation

In 2019, she founded Bia-Echo Foundation, her own private grantmaking organizing. As president, she oversees the Foundation’s donations to left-progressive criminal justice policy initiatives, environmentalist groups, abortion access advocacy, and medical research into female reproductive longevity. [6]

Shanahan is particularly interested in criminal justice policy. In a 2021 interview with San Francisco Magazine, she recalled having told the head of Brin’s philanthropic foundation “about five years ago” that criminal justice reform would become one of the biggest issues of the generation. She added that she was proud to be a major donor for Measure J in Los Angeles County, a charter amendment to reallocate county funds to alternatives to incarceration. [7] Shanahan argued that if there was a “mental health professional” at the scene of George Floyd’s arrest the situation would have been de-escalated. [8]

Her environmental efforts center on regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration efforts. The relevant initiatives Bia-Echo funds include Kiss the Ground, Iowa State University Foundation’s Prairie Strips project, and the 50 Farms Project. [9]

With the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Shanahan through the Bia-Echo Foundation launched the Center for Reproductive Longevity and Equality, the world’s first institute dedicated to finding solutions to the problem of infertility among women over the age of 35. [10]

Shanahan’s Bia-Echo Foundation also collaborated with Stanford University to launch the Stanford Computational Policy Lab. The Lab’s purpose is to provide data analysis to criminal justice reform research efforts and help develop technical innovations for the movement. [11]

Sergey Brin Family Foundation

The Sergey Brin Family Foundation, the private foundation of Shanahan’s husband, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, was the primary vehicle through which Shanahan carried out her philanthropy prior to creating the Bia-Echo Foundation. Shanahan used Brin’s foundation to fund initiatives in the same issue areas to which Bia-Echo now contributes. [12] [13]

CodeX Research

Shanahan is a research fellow at CodeX, the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. Her “Smart Prosecution” research project experiments with the application of data science to the prosecutorial process with the help of partnering district attorneys, community organizations, and police departments. [14] [15]

Her research is also engaged with Ronald Coase’s transaction cost theory, which she employs in theorizing about the effects artificial intelligence will have on the legal system and the government at large. [16]

References

  1. “Areas of Investment.” Bia Echo Foundation, August 10, 2020. https://biaecho.org/#areasofinvestment. ^
  2.  Nathan, Sara. “Google Founder Sergey Brin Marries Nicole Shanahan.” Page Six. Page Six, October 3, 2019. https://pagesix.com/2019/10/02/google-founder-sergey-brin-marries-nicole-shanahan/. ^
  3. Jones, Laura Eckstein. “Nicole Shanahan Is Fighting The Good Fight.” San Francisco Magazine, May 19, 2021. https://sanfran.com/nicole-shanahan-interview-cover-story. ^
  4. “Nicole Shanahan.” Stanford Law School. Accessed September 15, 2021. https://law.stanford.edu/directory/nicole-shanahan/. ^
  5.  Jones, Laura Eckstein. “Nicole Shanahan Is Fighting The Good Fight.” San Francisco Magazine, May 19, 2021. https://sanfran.com/nicole-shanahan-interview-cover-story. ^
  6. “Areas of Investment.” Bia Echo Foundation, August 10, 2020. https://biaecho.org/#areasofinvestment. ^
  7.  “Los Angeles County, California, Measure J.” Ballotpedia. Accessed September 15, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Los_Angeles_County,_California,_Measure_J,_Budget_Allocation_for_Alternatives_to_Incarceration_Charter_Amendment_(November_2020). ^
  8. Jones, Laura Eckstein. “Nicole Shanahan Is Fighting The Good Fight.” San Francisco Magazine, May 19, 2021. https://sanfran.com/nicole-shanahan-interview-cover-story. ^
  9. Jones, Laura Eckstein. “Nicole Shanahan Is Fighting The Good Fight.” San Francisco Magazine, May 19, 2021. https://sanfran.com/nicole-shanahan-interview-cover-story. ^
  10. Jones, Laura Eckstein. “Nicole Shanahan Is Fighting The Good Fight.” San Francisco Magazine, May 19, 2021. https://sanfran.com/nicole-shanahan-interview-cover-story. ^
  11. “Nicole Shanahan.” Stanford Law School. Accessed September 15, 2021. https://law.stanford.edu/directory/nicole-shanahan/. ^
  12. “Nicole Shanahan.” Bia Echo Foundation, January 21, 2020. https://biaecho.org/project/nicole-shanahan/. ^
  13. “Nicole Shanahan.” Bia Echo Foundation, January 21, 2020. https://biaecho.org/project/nicole-shanahan/. ^
  14. “Nicole Shanahan.” Stanford Law School. Accessed September 15, 2021. https://law.stanford.edu/directory/nicole-shanahan/. ^
  15. “Nicole Shanahan.” Bia Echo Foundation, January 21, 2020. https://biaecho.org/project/nicole-shanahan/. ^
  16. “Nicole Shanahan.” Bia Echo Foundation, January 21, 2020. https://biaecho.org/project/nicole-shanahan/. ^
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