Valla Vakili

Valla Vakili

Managing Director & Head of Studio

"It’s moments of change – in technology, society, and industry – that inspire me to search for and create the possibilities that only the unexpected can bring."


Digital Transformation, Corporate Innovation, Product Strategy, Ecosystem Development, Storytelling


Valla Vakili envisions and builds strategies, teams, and products that help businesses thrive within changing and challenging environments.

As Head of Studio at Citi Ventures, Valla works to foster economic vitality in an era of rapid societal change. His team leverages data, design, and partnerships in unique ways to create new and expanded growth opportunities for people, businesses, and cities. Previously, Valla helped create the D10X accelerator program as the first Entrepreneur in Residence, mentoring Citi teams in entrepreneurial principles to help them reimagine consumer financial services.

Valla began his career at Yahoo, creating revenue-driving products and teams that anticipated shifting online customer behavior. He is a former digital startup founder and CEO, experience that gave him valuable insight into the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship.

A graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Valla has conducted doctoral research at the University of Oxford and holds patents for inventions in interactive television content delivery and commerce. He also is a fan of fine whisky, great fiction, and good movies.