Ben Veghte


WASHINGTON, DC – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today announced the appointment of Jeff Farrah as Vice President of Government Affairs and the promotion of Jessica Straus to Vice President of Development effective immediately.  Farrah comes to NVCA from the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation where he served as Counsel.  Straus assumes her new position at NVCA after serving most recently as Director of Strategic Initiatives for NVCA.

“After a rigorous search process that yielded a number of very competitive candidates, Jeff established himself as the clear leader in the clubhouse.  An attorney and Capitol Hill veteran, Jeff has a unique professional background and complimentary skill set that will deliver value to our membership on day one,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “Through his myriad of experiences in the Senate and before, Jeff established a strong understanding of the policy issues important to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and developed a firm understanding of how to get things done in Washington.  We are very fortunate to have Jeff join the NVCA family and excited to have him roll up his sleeves and get to work.”

“First joining NVCA as part of the communications team and then shifting her attention to our efforts to advance inclusion in venture and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Jessica routinely establishes herself as an important member of the team,” said Franklin of Straus’s promotion.  “We are delighted to put her passion for venture capital and the broader startup community to greater use through member and partner engagement, collaboration with outside groups, and programming development.  Service-driven and committed to our members and partners, we know Jessica will flourish in her new role and are excited to see how far she takes it.”

As Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Jeff advised Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Republican members of the committee on communications, technology, and Internet policy, including introduction and advancement of the Digital Trade Act, DOTCOM Act and Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act.  Previously, Jeff served as General Counsel to U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), serving has his head legal advisor and policy advisor on international trade, telecommunications, intellectual property, technology and sanctions.  Prior to the Senate, Jeff was an attorney at a leading Washington, DC law firm for international trade.  His trade law experience includes World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement and trade remedies cases before U.S. agencies.  Complimenting his legal and Capitol Hill policy background, Jeff served as a member of Governor Romney’s Trade Policy Advisory Committee during the 2012 Presidential Election.

A native of southern California, Jeff earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his Juris Doctor from Seattle University School of Law.  Jeff was a Visiting Student at Georgetown University Law Center.

As Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jessica was responsible for executing on large projects for the organization, including serving as NVCA’s point person on the launch of the Diversity Task Force and all related activities surrounding NVCA’s efforts to advance inclusion.  Previously, she served as Manager of Communications for NVCA, contributing to all aspects of NVCA’s communications operation.  Prior to joining NVCA, Jessica worked as an independent consultant, leading communications projects for a diverse client portfolio.  Jessica’s passion for expanding inclusion in venture capital and entrepreneurship stems from her experience leading communications for SocialFlow, a venture-backed social media platform, and the Millennial Trains Project, a mobile incubator for young changemakers to launch projects that support diverse communities.  Prior to setting off for the startup world, Jessica worked in a variety of communications roles in the U.S. Congress, most recently as Speechwriter and Deputy Press Secretary for former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

She serves on the Young Advisory Board of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco, the board of DC Innovates in Washington, DC and is a member of the Women’s Association of Venture and Equity.  Jessica earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Davidson College in North Carolina.

About National Venture Capital Association

Venture capitalists are committed to funding America’s most innovative entrepreneurs, working closely with them to transform breakthrough ideas into emerging growth companies that drive U.S. job creation and economic growth. As the voice of the U.S. venture capital community, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers its members and the entrepreneurs they fund by advocating for policies that encourage innovation and reward long-term investment. As the venture community’s preeminent trade association, the NVCA serves as the definitive resource for venture capital data and unites its over 300 member firms through a full range of professional services. For more information about the NVCA, please visit