Rob Newson

Partner, Portfolio Operations


Dr. Rob Newson, Ph.D., was the first Partner selected at BV. Rob is accountable for the firm’s day-to-day portfolio support operations, including overseeing Schoolhouse, the fund’s seven-week accelerator experience. Rob will occupy a seat on the Investment Committee. 

Immediately before joining the Fund, Rob was the VP of Strategy and Vision at the Philadelphia 76ers, supporting culture, innovation, leadership, and decision-making from the front office to athletes. 

Rob served nearly 35 years in the United States Navy, rising to the rank of Captain as a Navy SEAL. He is a “start-up” specialist, having led or been a part of six separate new military organizations over twelve years, including two national strategic planning elements and a first-of-its-kind organization designed to collect and integrate battlefield intelligence (Special Reconnaissance Teams) to identify and disable terrorist networks. This effort increased mission success from 35% to 96% in four years, changing SEAL Team operations forever. He also served as the Deputy Director and Acting Director of the White House Military Office, responsible for all military support to the President of the United States.

“There is a shared combat and camaraderie amongst founders and warfighters. It is difficult, doubtful, and dangerous to start something new. Etched in me lives a profound connection to our mission-first founders. Their experience echoes that of special operations. My new call to service is centered on supporting their journey toward excellence.”

– Rob Newson, Partner/Portfolio Operations

He served fourteen years as a strategist – working with small, multi-disciplinary work groups, teaming across organizations and government agencies, analyzing and framing complex challenges, combining alternative solutions in creative ways, and writing about critical national security issues. He has led diverse teams and task forces – coalitions of the willing where he honed an ability to encourage and inspire cooperation, collaboration, and action; harness information and reputation; leverage networks and alliances; and frame and shape conversations of meaning. 

Rob was hand-selected by the Chief of Naval Operations to serve as the Navy Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. He holds a BS in computer science from the University of Kansas. He is a graduate of the Naval War College and Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Graduating with Distinction from NPS, he holds an MS in Defense Analysis (Special Operations / low-intensity conflict) and an MA in National Security Affairs (Strategic Studies). He also holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego.

Rob is a cancer survivor and catalyst for #SwarmCancer in the military, focusing on building an “assembly line” of support to the Special Operations Community, which is hard hit by cancer. He is also a graduate and ambassador of The Honor Foundation, the premier career transition institute for the U.S. Special Operations Forces communities.