Alex Dehgan

Dr Alex Dehgan

CEO and co-founder

Conservation X Labs


Dr. Dehgan is the CEO and co-founder of Conservation X Labs, an innovation and technology startup focused ending the Sixth Mass Extinction. Conservation X Labs both builds new technologies for addressing the underlying drivers of extinction, and harnesses open innovation & mass collaboration to attract new solvers and new solutions. Through its programs, CXL has built the field of conservation technology, supporting over 141 innovators, from 70 countries, on 6 continents, investing in them $12M since 2017, and helped them raise over $315M in additional investment.

Alex previously served as the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Agency for International Development, with rank of Assistant Administrator. He founded and headed the Office of Science and Technology, and created the vision for and helped launch the Global Development Lab, the Agency’s DARPA for Development. Alex was the architect of a number of new Agency institutions, including the Grand Challenges for Development program, Agency partnerships with universities (HESN) and federal science agencies (PEER), the independent office of science and technology (OST), the position of the Agency geographer and the GeoCenter, and data for development programs, and the Global Development Lab. 

Prior to coming to USAID, Alex worked in multiple positions at the Department of State, including the Policy Planning Staff, the Office of the Secretary, the Office of the Science Adviser (STAS), and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Alex Dehgan was also the founding Afghanistan Country Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Biodiversity Conservation Program. Through his leadership, WCS led efforts to create Afghanistan’s first national park, conducted the first comprehensive biological surveys of the country in 30 years, helped develop Afghanistan’s biodiversity conservation laws and policies, and curtailed illegal wildlife trade on US and ISAF military bases.

Dr. Dehgan holds a Ph.D and M.Sc. from The University of Chicago’s Committee on Evolutionary Biology.  He also holds a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings, and a B.S. from Duke University.