Berkeley Academic Ventures has lost its managing director Darek DaFreece, although he will remain an adviser for UC Berkeley's aerospace R&D unit.

Darek DeFreece has stood down as managing director of Berkeley Academic Ventures, the business partnership arm of University of California, Berkeley.

DeFreece has departed for a full-time role as general counsel at venture capital firm 500 Startups, although he will stay on with UC Berkeley as a part-time lead adviser for its aerospace-focused R&D hub Moffett Field Project.

He also continues to serve as general counsel to multiple early-stage startups.

DeFreece had previously spent more than a decade as an adjunct faculty instructor in business law with UC Berkeley Extension, the university’s further education campus, from 2009 until 2019.

He had earned his BA in political science from UC Berkeley in 1993, and later became president of the university’s alumni representative – California Alumni Association – from 2007 until 2009.

After leaving the alumni association, DeFreece joined University of California’s board of regents in 2009. He was hired by financial services firm Wells Fargo as a senior counsel in 2003, climbing the ladder over the following 12 years to become managing director of its foreign banknote services division from 2015 to 2018.

DeFreece was a guest on our Talking Tech Transfer podcast, released in April 2020 (though recorded in late January).