Meet the Joint Venture Team

Russell Hancock

President & Chief Executive Officer

Russell HancockRussell Hancock is President & Chief Executive Officer of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a position he has held since 2003. In these roles Dr. Hancock is best described variously: as a civic leader, community gatherer, institution builder, civic entrepreneur, social scientist, and outspoken advocate for regionalism. Since taking the helm he has grown the size of the organization ten-fold; assembled a potent board filled with mayors, CEOs and university presidents; built strategic partnerships; recruited a highly talented staff; founded the Institute for Regional Studies, and launched initiatives that are delivering measurable results to the region.

Russell is also the founder of the annual State of the Valley conference, a “town hall” meeting attracting more than 1,500 leaders for a day spent in dialogue and discussion about the Valley’s challenges and opportunities. The conference features the release of the Silicon Valley Index, a document now receiving national and international attention.

Hancock's leadership in Silicon Valley builds on earlier work he led as Vice President of the Bay Area Council (1994-1999). There, he spearheaded the campaign extending BART to the San Francisco Airport. He also directed a broadly-based effort which ultimately created the Bay Area Water Transit Authority, charged with delivering a high-speed ferry system to the San Francisco Bay.

Educated at Harvard in the field of government, Russell received a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University where he currently teaches in the Public Policy Program. He returned to Stanford in 2000 to become the inaugural director of the Shorenstein Forum for Asia-Pacific Studies, Stanford's gathering place for ranking officials, senior executives, journalists, and scholars who shape outcomes in the Pacific Rim. In addition to the research output of the Forum, he built up corporate programs, established international fellowships, raised money, and generated public events featuring a stream of presidents and ministers.

Russ was recruited to Joint Venture at a time when the organization was in a period of transition and instability. He is credited with the growth and increasing influence of the organization, to the point where today Joint Venture is Silicon Valley’s recognized clearing house for regional analysis, and for collaborative approaches to solving the region’s problems. The Joint Venture model is now being replicated in various metropolitan regions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and Russ has most recently provided advice to regional governments in Beijing, London, Madrid, the Netherlands, and Taipei. In 2011 the United States Government Accounting Office launched a national indicators project modeled on Joint Venture’s Index, with Russell providing high-level advice.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal perpetually names Russell to its annual list of Silicon Valley’s most influential “players.” Considered one of the Valley's leading expositors, his interviews regularly appear in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business Week, The Financial Times and Forbes. He is also a frequent guest on NBC Nightly News.

In private life Russ lives in Palo Alto where he raised three children with his wife Marguerite. A devout Mormon, he serves in the stake presidency of the Menlo Park LDS Stake. He also leads a parallel life as a concert pianist, appearing as soloist with symphony orchestras across the nation. He is a founding member of The Saint Michael Trio, artists in residence at Montalvo Arts Center and a sensation on Spotify. His most recent solo appearances include the Flint Center, Bismarck’s Belle Mehus Auditorium, the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, and the Mostly Mozart Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He enjoys promoting the Bay Area's civic orchestras, and has appeared as soloist with the Peninsula, Saratoga, Nova Vista, Oakland Temple Hill, and Redwood Symphonies.

Russell Hancock photos

Select Speeches and Editorials

Contact Info

Contact Russ through his executive assistant, Melinda Chacón:
(669) 223-1331,