R2 leverages private capital markets to promote American resilience by serving our front-line public servants


Risk and Return is re-inventing venture philanthropy with a hybrid model that optimizes flexibility and scale of impact to accelerate solutions and technologies for the community of high-risk public servants. Our unique Risk and Return model solves for both impact and performance, without sub-optimizing for either.



companies that are tackling directly the RISKs encountered by our community, and;


companies that we believe will generate RETURNs for our investors and our associated private foundation.


Strong Community

Effective solution generation will be accelerated by building and cultivating a renewed
sense of community among those who know what it takes to serve in extreme

Power of Purpose

Uniting and identifying this community with a clear sense of purpose and meaning will catalyze the development of more effective solutions.

Asset Framing

While this community is deserving of assistance, it is not viewed as a group of victims. Rather, it is a national resource of human performance knowledge that is
deserving of investment.

We have a diverse team of industry professionals, former practitioners and experienced operators, united by a common interest in the mission we serve.


Robert Nelsen

Founding Partner

Robert is a co-founder and a Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners. He has played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing and development of more than 100 companies, including twenty-three which have reached valuations exceeding $1 billion.

Bob Kerrey

Managing Partner

Bob Kerrey is Managing Director at Allen & Company. Mr. Kerrey was previously the President of The New School and represented Nebraska in the Senate. Mr. Kerrey served as a U.S. Navy SEAL during the Vietnam War. For his service, he received the Medal of Honor.

Jeff Eggers

Managing Partner

Jeff was previously the Executive Director of the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute, and co-author of the U.S. best-selling book “Leaders: Myth and Reality”.  Following his military service as a Navy SEAL officer, he served five years at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

Josh Berglund

Venture Partner

Josh was previously an Investment Principal with Prospect Capital, where he focused on originating equity and debt investment. Josh also served as a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army Special Operations Command, and has been active as an early-stage angel investor with nearly two decades of experience.

Andrew Chang

Investment Principal

Andrew was previously the Co-Founder & CEO of Eastern Foundry, an incubator and accelerator for GovTech startups.  Andrew has a deep background in intelligence and cybersecurity including service as a counter-intelligence officer in the US Army and also worked as lead for intelligence & analysis at Novetta and Endgame.

Jelani Hale

Investment Principal

Jelani is currently an Investment Principal to Risk and Return and advisor/consultant to Arch Venture Partners. He worked previously in the hospitality industry where he worked in casino marketing and people operations for Wynn Las Vegas. Jelani served as an officer the United States Navy prior to joining the private sector.

Lauren Carpinella

Research Analyst

Lauren is currently a fourth-year student at the University of Texas at Austin where she is pursuing a degree in Corporate Finance with a minor in Economics.

Angel Zajkowski

JSOC Fellow

Angel is a transitioning service member from Army Special Missions and Joint Special Operations. She is an executive leader with expertise in strategy, execution, organizational renewal and transformation, and talent management for high-performance organizations and cross-functional teams.

Max Hodak


Max Hodak is an entrepreneur-scientist based in San Francisco. He is currently CEO of Science, a biology-driven consumer tech products company, and previously was cofounder and President of Neuralink.

Ray Kelley


George Tenet


Toni Verstandig


Toni Verstandig is a philanthropist, leading political and economic policy advisor, and the founder of strategic consulting practice Prospect Global.  She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs at the US Department of State and was a member of the US negotiation team tasked to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Hank Crumpton


Ambassador Crumpton is the Co-Chairman of Martin+Crumpton Group LLC, an international business intelligence, strategy, advisory, and business development firm. A 24-year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Service, he operated mostly in the foreign field, including tours as Chief of Station. In 2005 President George W. Bush appointed him Ambassador-at-Large and US Coordinator for Counterterrorism.

Nick Lavery


Nick Lavery is an active-duty warrant officer with the U.S. Army Special Forces.  His military service awards include the Silver Star and multiple Purple Hearts.  Wounded in combat, he is one of a handful of amputees that has return to combat status through the use of prosthetics.