Carnegie Mellon University
May 20, 2019

Bess, Dempo Join CMU Board of Trustees

By Jason Maderer

Jason Maderer
  • Marketing and Communications
  • 412-268-1151

Two Carnegie Mellon University alumni are the newest members of the university’s board of trustees. Lane Bess, a 1983 graduate of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Shrinivas Dempo, a 1995 MBA graduate of the Tepper School of Business, join the 45-person panel. They were unanimously elected as members at the most recent board meeting on May 18.

“I’m pleased to announce the addition of Lane and Shrinivas to our board of trustees,” said Carnegie Mellon President Farnam Jahanian. “Their leadership skills, expertise and business acumen will be valuable assets to the board and the university as a whole, and we are grateful for their service and commitment to CMU.”

Bess, who earned his degree in managerial economics, has spent 30 years in technology and venture capital roles. He is the principal at Bess Ventures and Advisory, a strategic management, investment and marketing services firm he founded in 2015. His previous roles include chief operating officer at Zscaler and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks. 

Bess is a member of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and has also shared his expertise as a Dietrich Entrepreneurship Speaker. Together with his wife, Letty, the Bess family has been loyal contributors to Carnegie Mellon, most recently with gifts in support of undergraduate scholarships, internships and the Grand Societal Challenges Initiative. 

Dempo is chairman and managing director of the Dempo Group, a 77-year-old, family-owned mining operation in Goa, India. Dempo Group is a conglomerate diversified across a variety of industries, from software and shipbuilding to real estate and professional sports.

Dempo is a strong advocate of the Tepper School of Business, hosting events in Mumbai and serving on panel discussions as a representative of the school. Dempo and his wife, Pallavi, have supported Carnegie Mellon since he earned his MBA in 1995, most recently with a gift to the David A. Tepper Quadrangle and previously to create the Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo Professorship, named in honor of Dempo’s grandfather. 

“Lane and Shrinivas have been exceptional members of the Carnegie Mellon community for decades,” said James E. Rohr, chair of CMU’s Board of Trustees. “We are pleased to welcome them into this new role during this exciting time of innovation and discovery for our university.”

The board of trustees for Carnegie Mellon has fiduciary responsibility for the university and provides guidance and support as CMU pursues its mission of education, research and transfer of knowledge to society. Members offer expertise in financial and regulatory matters, are leaders in their respective fields and reflect diversity in all its dimensions, including gender, race, nationality and breadth of experience. They also are tasked with recruiting, supporting, and evaluating the president. 

More on the Carnegie Mellon Board of Trustees can be found on the leadership website.