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1776 Hires Margaret Shepard, Former U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive



Washington, D.C. — 1776 announced today that Margaret Shepard has joined its executive team as Managing Director. Shepard comes to 1776 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she most recently served as Executive Director for Communications and Strategy.

“Margaret is the quintessential liaison between 1776’s partner organizations and our startups,” said Donna Harris, 1776 Cofounder and Co-CEO. “Her experience in driving policy communications for the business community will help fuel dynamic strategies for 1776 and its members.”

“1776 is uniquely positioned as a global convener of startups, corporations and civic leaders,” said Shepard. “As a native Washingtonian, I’m thrilled to join the ranks of an organization that’s helping to transform the landscape of my hometown, as well as the overall startup community.”

In her most recent role, Shepard provided strategic guidance to the Chamber’s affiliates and divisions to advance its American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda. She led the organization’s Campaign for Free Enterprise through its digital property, She also led the Chamber’s partnership with 1776 on its Innovation That Matters report showing how American cities are best preparing for the next digital wave. In her nine years with the Chamber, Shepard oversaw the production of America’s Small Business Summit, the organization’s largest annual event.

Prior to the Chamber, Shepard executed wide-ranging public relations campaigns with Golin and CLS Strategies. Earlier in her career she worked in finance for the Kissinger McLarty Capital Group, a venture capital firm, and the Inter-American Development Bank. She graduated from Dickinson College and received her MBA from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. Shepard was named to PRWeek’s 40 under 40 list in 2015.


About 1776

1776 is a public benefit corporation that scouts and funds high-growth startups around the world focused on solving society’s most fundamental challenges in sectors like education, energy, transportation and financial services. Launched by co-CEOs Donna Harris and Evan Burfield and headquartered in Washington, D.C., with additional campuses in Dubai and San Francisco, 1776 serves hundreds of startups and institutions worldwide through its innovation curriculum, mentorship, investment and programming. It hosts more than 500 international events per year that attract heads of state, Fortune 500 CEOs, influential investors and global press. For more information, please visit and follow @1776 on Twitter and @1776vc on Instagram.