Eric TraupeOperating Partner.
Eric is a former public sector senior executive with 30+ years of combined experience in the CIA and the US Marine Corps. After leaving the public sector, Eric founded Azimuth Global LLC, a consulting firm that provides strategic advisory services in the technology, national security, and strategic risk sectors.
He joined Lightspeed in 2023 as an Operating Partner to accelerate new and existing portfolio companies’ ability to drive defense/govtec solutions in the national security sector. He brings to the firm a growth mindset and extensive understanding of foreign partnerships, the inner workings of Washington, D.C., and a broad network across the US government. He’s also an advisor, board member, and consultant to large and emerging tech companies, and is an active speaker on topics related to geopolitics, leadership, purpose, inclusion, innovation, and risk management.
“My interest in venture stems from my passion in identifying the intersection of amazing technology companies whose tools/talent/software meet national security needs,” said Eric.
Eric has always been a lifelong learner and welcomes the opportunity to work closely and build partnerships with creative and visionary founders of high performing companies. He’s moved countless times in his life, has traveled to over 65 countries, and lived abroad for over 11 years.
“The mix of different points of view, exposure to different languages, and being part of deep conversations about the world shaped how I approached my tenure in the Marines, the CIA, and now Venture,” said Eric. “I’ve been blessed with having several exceptional mentors and teachers on my journey who posed the right questions, didn’t just give me the answer to life, but helped me explore how I could become the best version of myself.”
At the CIA, Eric received several honors including—the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, CIA’s Director Award, Intelligence Medal of Merit, ODNI’s National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, and Directorate of Operations Excellence in Leadership Award. He holds an MBA in International Business from American University and a BA in Communications from the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, he played Division I football for the legendary coach Bo Schembechler as an inside linebacker and participated in two Rose Bowls and a Gator Bowl.
Today, when he’s not working, Eric enjoys golfing, traveling with his wife, and spending time outdoors with their new puppy “Mac”.