After diplomatic postings took her to Asia and Europe, Priya was appointed British Consul General in San Francisco. That in turn led her to the tech sector, where she led startup incubator RocketSpace and is now a venture capital partner. Covering ideas of innovation and leadership from Silicon Valley, she also discusses the intersection of technology and politics, and what a Western-centric view of both could mean.


Former diplomat Priya Guha is a Venture Partner at Merian Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in women-led innovation. 

Previously she was the Ecosystem General Manager for RocketSpace, a company that helps tech startups grow their business. Prior to entering the tech sector, Priya was British Consul General in San Francisco, the latest role in an international diplomatic career that had previously taken in postings in New Delhi and Madrid.

Priya focuses on the importance of innovation and examines how technological advances are changing the nature of bureaucratic and governmental structures. As well as looking at how the most advanced companies in the world operate, and influence, she also examines the intersection of technology and politics, from the nature of regulation to the political use of social media.

Priya also discusses the Western-centricity of the digital transformation, as well the complexity of regulating data in a global context. She considers how strong leadership traits have changed, something that is particularly noticeable in Silicon Valley. She stresses that modern innovation comes from creativity and diversity, and understanding this shift in culture is a key ingredient to good leadership.

As well as her role at the pioneering California-based VC, Priya is a member of the Innovate UK Council and the Adjunct Faculty at the Ashridge Hult Business School. She holds Non-Executive Director positions within both the UK's innovation agency, Digital Catapult, as well as GB Badminton. In addition, she is on the Advisory Board of Tech London Advocates and Chairs the Board of Trustees of Modern Muse, a charity empowering girls to make more informed career decisions, to increase diversity in the workplace, and close the gender pay gap. Priya has been named in the Top 50 Most Influential Women in UK Tech.


JLA Speakers Breakfast


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JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

We were joined at 87 Barts Close by three brilliant speakers on a panel that delved into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. Over the hour our panellists de-mystified AI, speaking about AI’s immense promise for enhancing our lives, alongside the apprehension it has generated regarding job security, privacy infringement, and ethical considerations.


87 Barts Close, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, Julia Gillard, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, London