Darren is the Founder and Managing Principal of Zura Consulting and its regional subsidiaries, which are leading contractors and advisors in the energy, logistics, development, and finance fields.
Zura excels in quality, agility and consistency: quality of products and services, agility in response to need, and consistency in adherence to stringent professional standards. Zura is the Sanskrit word meaning “Warrior for Good” – which is the main guiding principle of the Firm around which all activities are organized.
Darren’s primary areas of expertise are stability operations, expeditionary logistics and development, and direct support to clients located in underdeveloped locations with high growth opportunity. As the Founder of Zura, he is intimately involved in all aspects of the business, including US government coordination and scoping, client relationship management, project initiatives, and developing deep inroads and strategic partnerships with stakeholders. Darren is known for his strong interpersonal skills, adaptability in different cultural settings, comfort in challenging environments, and ability to identify the right partners to fill gaps and achieve success.
Zura began as a small consulting business and has grown into a multi-national company with presence and subsidiaries in multiple countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East, serving clients that include commercial, federal, diplomatic, design-build contractors, security, and intelligence organizations, large contractors, and allied local-national agencies and companies. Zura has grown on average 10.5x year-over-year since its founding, and currently is the General Partner (project sponsor) on six developments in the US and Africa.
Zura’s prolific success and profound market impact is due to Darren’s focused vision and leadership. His astute business acumen is balanced by his dedication to maximizing social impact through wealth creation in communities through job creation and parallel investments.
Prior to establishing the Zura companies, Darren was President of Smith Charles Group where he led the infrastructure investment, design, and development or redevelopment of projects in the United States, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. In this role, Darren oversaw the financial analysis, industry research, investor relations and quality assurance aspects of all traditional real estate investment projects, including logistics hubs, airports, and multi-modal developments. During this time, he organized over $157 million in private equity investment, and assisted in kicking- off nearly $500 million in projects in frontier markets and high growth locations. While in this role he established deep relationships within the investment banking and multilateral banking communities.
Darren first gained emerging market experience as the founding Officer of the first construction detachment assigned to the Task Force in the Horn of Africa, earning his Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist Officer qualification while deployed.
Darren then managed the sustainment all US Navy bases and facilities throughout Washington, DC, where he interfaced with the senior-most levels of the US military, Presidential and Congressional Administrations, and foreign diplomats. During this time, he earned his Defense Acquisition University Level II certification and was intimately involved in the forecasting, budgeting, and appropriations cycles within the Department of Defense and US Congress.
In his spare time Darren enjoys sailing, hunting, philanthropy, emerging technology, and legislative affairs.