Personal Interests: playing many sports, cooking, and traveling with his family

A father of a young man with Type 1 diabetes and past president & CEO of JDRF, the world’s largest non-government funder of diabetes research and a major advocacy group, Derek is passionate about advocating for the diabetes community.

Derek K. Rapp


It's inspiring to help talented people turn their concepts into life-altering therapies, even cures. RiverVest plays a key role in that product development continuum.

Derek joined RiverVest in 2019, bringing broad healthcare experience, along with strong entrepreneurial, deal-making, and strategic skills. In addition to being involved in RiverVest’s investment process, Derek works closely with the management team on strategy, operations, fundraising and investor relations. He also serves as liaison to the St. Louis region’s growing innovation system.  Currently, Derek serves as a board observer of Biolinq, Inc.

Prior to RiverVest, Derek served as president & CEO of JDRF, the world’s largest non-government funder of diabetes research and a major advocacy group for the type 1 diabetes community, and as CEO for life sciences start-up Divergence, Inc., which he led to a successful exit. He also served as Monsanto Company’s head of mergers and acquisitions, where he led transactions totaling more than $7 billion, and as the company’s director of investor relations. Derek began his career in mergers and acquisitions with Lazard Freres & Co. in New York.

Derek is a current member of the board of directors  of Research!America, chairman of the board of directors of WeedOUT, a member of the board of directors of Cancer Research Foundation and Cortex Innovation Community, and a member of the Global Mission Board of JDRF. He has served on numerous other boards, including chairing each of the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation Board of Directors, the Plant and Life Sciences Working Group in St. Louis, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Friends Board.

Derek earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. from Brown University.


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