A Global Community

Acumen’s dedicated team works across its five global offices in Accra, Karachi, Mumbai, Nairobi, and New York to support our work investing in companies, leaders, and ideas. Our entire global community — including our staff, board, and advisors — are integral to the success of our team.

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    Jacqueline Novogratz

    Founder & Chief Executive Officer, New York, USA

    “I believe that we have a chance to build a world in which all human beings can live with dignity, freedom and choice. It starts with imagining that world and then working together.” [READ MORE]

    Prior to Acumen, Jacqueline founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation. She also co-founded Duterimbere, a micro-finance institution in Rwanda. She began her career in international banking with Chase Manhattan Bank. Jacqueline currently sits on the advisory boards of Sonen Capital and the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative. She also serves on the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees and the board of IDEO.org, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, World Economic Forum and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Jacqueline was recently awarded the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship. 

    CONTACT

    E:cerb@acumen.org
    @jnovogratz

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    C. Hunter Boll

    COO, Source Audio LLC

    “Hunter is the Executive Chairman of Acumen's Investment Committee and a former managing director of Thomas H. Lee Partners, one of the largest private equity firms in the world.” [READ MORE]

    C. Hunter Boll is a former managing director of Thomas H. Lee Partners, which was one of the largest private equity firms in the world. He joined the firm in 1986. In 2005, he co-founded Source Audio LLC, a start-up venture focused on providing consumers with next generation accessories for the musical instrument market. Mr. Boll is Chief Operating Officer for Source Audio LLC. From 1984 to 1986, Mr. Boll was with the Boston Consulting Group, a corporate strategy consulting firm. He previously served as an Assistant Vice President, Energy and Mineral Division of Chemical Bank. Mr. Boll received a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

    CONTACT

    E:hboll@acumen.org

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    Stuart Davidson

    Chair, Acumen Investment Committee & Managing Director, Labrador Ventures

    “Stuart has been working with and investing in early stage companies for over 20 years.” [READ MORE]

    Stuart Davidson has been working with and investing in early stage companies for over 20 years. He is a Managing Director of Labrador Ventures and Chairman and co-founder of Sonen Capital, a dedicated impact investment management firm generating financial returns with lasting social and environmental impact. Previously, Stuart was CEO and founder of Combion, Inc., which was acquired by Incyte Genomics (INCY) and President of Alkermes, Inc. (ALKS), a biopharmaceutical company. Prior Alkermes, he worked for MCI Communications and for Warner Communications, where he was engaged in the development of businesses in electronic messaging, data networking and interactive cable TV. Stuart is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. In addition to his board membership of Acumen, he is Board Chair of IDEO.org, Vice-Chair of REDF and a Trustee of Woodcock Foundation.

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    Pat Mitchell

    Senior Advisor, Paley Center for Media

    “Pat Mitchell is the Senior Advisor of the Paley Center for Media.” [READ MORE]

    Pat Mitchell’s diverse background in media includes work as a journalist and producer and executive. She has worked in front of the camera and behind, anchoring the news and reporting for broadcast networks, producing award winning documentaries as President of CNN Productions, becoming the first woman President and CEO of PBS, and currently is the President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media whose mission is to convene media professionals and media consumers for programs that explore the role of media in society. Throughout her career, Mitchell has engaged the power of media and storytelling as an agent of social change.  She was the first woman to launch, produce and host her own nationally syndicated Emmy winnng talk program “Woman to Woman,” and continues to be active in breaking new ground for women across the media landscape, including a current series of initiatives and programs called Women@Paley which includes producing an annual TEDxWomen conference in partnership with the TED organization. Her many awards, include multiple Emmy Awards, five Peabody’s and two Academy Award nominations. Mitchell is also a sought after speaker and mentor.  Most recently featured in Fast Company’s Special Report, The League of Extraordinary Women and Huffington Post named Pat one of the Powerful Women Over 50.  Pat was named one of the 21 Leaders For The 21st Century and Newsweek’s 150 Women who Shake the World. She has received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Leadership, the Women in Cable’s Woman of the Year Award, was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. The Women’s Media Center has honored Ms. Mitchell with the Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement award, an award that will be given annually in her name.  Ms. Mitchell serves on the boards of VDAY, a movement to end violence against women and girls, is Vice Chair of the Sundance Institute, a Trustee of the Mayo Foundation, and a board member of Global Green USA.  She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s Forum Inc. and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mitchell also sits on the corporate board of AOL.

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    Nate Laurell

    Founder & Managing Partner, NewFrontier Holdings

    “Nate Laurell is the founder and Managing Partner of NewFrontier Holdings, an investment firm focused on sustainable energy and agriculture.” [READ MORE]

    Nate Laurell is the founder and Managing Partner of NewFrontier Holdings, an investment firm focused on sustainable energy and agriculture. He is a cofounder of Energy.me and the founder and CEO of AMP Americas, a company that builds, owns, and operates sustainable infrastructure to create and supply renewable energy. Nate currently sits on the boards of AMP Americas, Carbon Solutions Group, Energy.me, and Infinium Capital Management. Prior to NewFrontier, Nate was a principal and director of Infinium Capital Management, a proprietary-trading firm with offices in Chicago, New York, and London. He holds a BS and MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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    Shaiza Rizavi

    Partner at Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co.

    “Shaiza Rizavi is growth investor and a partner at Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co., a brokerage firm committed to giving the individual investor who possesses long-term patience and fortitude an opportunity to create wealth.” [READ MORE]

    Her philosophy for aggressive growth involves investing in companies creating a new class of products and services that look to change people’s lives while building capital.

    Rizavi began her career working in Thailand learning about opportunities to replicate successful youth development programs and she continues today to analyze companies and non-profits to assess whether they can be successful over a long period of time.

    A graduate of Vanderbilt University and Columbia Business School, Rizavi sits on the Advisory Board of Columbia’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and on the Investment Board of the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. In addition, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History, the Calhoun School, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and is a member of the Economic Club of New York and the NationSwell Council.

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    Margo Alexander (Chair Emeritus)

    Retired Chairman & CEO, UBS Global Asset Management

    “Margo served as Board Chair for nine years of Acumen's first decade and continues to work with the organization as Chair Emeritus and Chairman of the Social Impact Investing Committee.” [READ MORE]

    Margo Alexander served as Board Chair for nine years of Acumen’s first decade and continues to work with the organization on the Social Impact Advisory Committee.  She is the retired Chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management (previously, Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management).  She retired in 2003 after thirty years at UBS/Paine Webber, in equity research, sales, trading and asset management.  Ms Alexander is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Harvard Business School.  She is a member of the advisory board of Haas School and its Center for Responsible Business, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee and The New York Stem Cell Foundation.

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    Andrea Soros Colombel

    Founder & President, Trace Foundation

    “Andrea Soros Colombel is the founder and president of Trace Foundation and a founding partner of Acumen. She is also a member of the Open Society Foundations global board....” [READ MORE]

    Andrea Soros Colombel is the founder and president of Trace Foundation and a founding partner of Acumen. She is also a member of the Open Society Foundations global board. Founded in 1993, Trace Foundation supports the continuity, development and vitality of Tibetan communities, with a focus on those within China. Acumen Fund is a non-profit social enterprise investment fund that uses “patient capital” as an alternative to traditional aid or pure market approaches to address the critical problems of poverty in the developing world. The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies worldwide.

    In addition, she is a co-founder and trustee of Tsadra Foundation, which promotes authentic understanding of Tibetan wisdom traditions in the West. She serves on the board of the French American School of New York and is an advisor to Scenic Hudson and the Bard MBA program. Colombel received her BA from the University of Chicago with honors in literature and holds a graduate certificate from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

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    David B. Heller (Lead Director)

    Trustee, The New Museum of Contemporary Art & Third Way

    “He is former Co-Head of the Goldman Sachs Global Securities Division where he sat on the firm's Management Committee as well as the Firmwide Risk Committee, Business Practices Committee and Finance Committee.” [READ MORE]

    David B. Heller is a private investor.  Prior to managing his own money he was the Co-Head of the Goldman Sachs Global Securities Division where he sat on the firm’s Management Committee.  His current investment focus is on financial companies that benefit from regulatory and technological disruption as well as consumer brands that benefit from demographic and lifestyle changes.  His largest current investments include stakes in the Standard Hotel management company, the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, Crystal Palace Football Club, Peloton Fitness and Stone Ridge Asset Management.  Other investments include iSentium, Openfolio, The Infatuation, Aloha and The New Stand.  David currently serves as a trustee of The New Museum of Contemporary Art where he also chairs the Board of Advisors for their incubator NEW INC.  He is also on the boards of Acumen and Third Way, and co-chairs the fundraising efforts of his class at Harvard College. He lives in New York with his wife and three children.

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    Thulasiraj Ravilla

    Executive Director, Aravind Eye Care System

    “Thulasiraj Ravilla is Executive Director of Aravind Eye Care System, the largest eye care facility in the world.” [READ MORE]

    Thulasiraj Ravilla is Executive Director of Aravind Eye Care System, the largest eye care facility in the world. Mr. Ravilla heads the Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology which focuses on contributing to the prevention and control of global blindness through teaching, training, consultancy, advocacy and research in eye care delivery. He was the Regional Chair of International Agency for Prevention of Blindness for the South East Asia Region and now serves on its Human Resource Working Group. Mr. Thulasiraj currently is a trustee of the Dhan Foundation and serves on the boards of the Seva Foundation, Friends of Aravind, the Indian Institute of Management, and the Institute of Health management and Research, Bangalore. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from Madras Christian College and a MBA in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

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    Julius Gaudio

    Managing Director, D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P.

    “Julius is a managing director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and, as a member of the Executive Committee of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and D. E. Shaw & Co., L.L.C., jointly supervises the group’s worldwide asset management businesses” [READ MORE]

    Julius Gaudio is a managing director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and, as a member of the Executive Committee of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and D. E. Shaw & Co., L.L.C., jointly supervises the D. E. Shaw group’s worldwide asset management businesses. In addition, Mr. Gaudio is a member of the firm’s Risk Committee, which is responsible for firmwide risk management and capital allocation, and he has oversight responsibility for the D. E. Shaw group’s financing activities. He joined the D. E. Shaw group in 1993 and has been engaged in the formation, trading, and management of a number of investment strategies operated by the D. E. Shaw group. Mr. Gaudio oversees certain businesses focused on the Asia-Pacific and European regions and is ultimately responsible for the firm’s global corporate credit, convertible, asset- backed securities, and special situations investment activities. He earned his A.B. in honors economics at Harvard University in 1993, graduating magna cum laude, and was awarded a John Harvard Scholarship for academic distinction, with coursework focusing on international monetary economics.

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    Bob Collymore

    CEO, Safaricom

    “Robert (Bob) Collymore is the CEO of Safaricom Limited, a leading communications company in Africa and pioneer...” [READ MORE]

    Robert (Bob) Collymore is the CEO of Safaricom Limited, a leading communications company in Africa and pioneer of M-PESA, the world’s most developed mobile payment system.

    His work experience spans across diverse countries such as Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom where he’s held progressively senior roles in marketing, purchasing, retail and corporate affairs. Bob has more than 30 years of commercial experience working in the telecommunications sector and he has used the technology as a tool to enable unprecedented access to essential services such as healthcare, education and financial inclusion.

    Mr. Collymore believes that the global business community is a key catalyst to fast-track inclusive economic growth, with the Global Goals being the most effective lens that can drive businesses to see inequalities as business opportunities.

    As a commissioner for the Global Commission for Business & Sustainable Development and member of the B-Team, Mr. Collymore drives a progressive agenda that brings together high-level business leaders to catalyze a better way of doing business, for the wellbeing of people and the planet.

    As part of his work on the board of Acumen, Mr. Collymore has driven a progressive agenda that aims to leverage the power of private-public partnerships to improve the lives of the poor.

    In April 2015, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon re-appointed Mr. Collymore to the United Nations Global Compact Board. This was in recognition of Safaricom’s commitment to environmental, sustainability and anti-corruption issues, as well as the work it is undertaking to address maternal health and child mortality. Mr. Collymore has also served as a Commissioner on the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for women and children.