Stephen van Helden
Principal, Novo Holdings
San Francisco, California

Stephen van Helden joined the Board in 2021. Growing up in, and having worked across Africa, he is passionate about sustainably supporting communities across the continent to become self-sufficient in a changing climate and world.

Stephen is currently an investor at Novo Holdings, a leading life-sciences investor where he focuses on financing and scaling new technologies that benefit society.

Previously, he was an Executive in Residence at The Production Board, and prior to that, the Head of Agriculture and Emerging Industries at Zymergen, where his teams developed high-performing products and materials using novel approaches to chemical and biological production.

Previously, Stephen worked at McKinsey and Company across sectors and geographies, including extensively in the US and Africa. His professional experiences in South Africa, Kenya and Zambia have covered multiple functions across sectors including Agriculture, Mining, Telecoms, Energy and Transportation. Stephen also co-led and developed McKinsey’s analytical approach to understand global water resources in a partnership with the IFC, WEF and others that resulted in the 2030 Water Resources Group.

A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Stephen holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town, and an MBA from Stanford University, and lives with his family in San Francisco.