Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen

Jacqueline Novogratz
Acumen Founder and CEO

Jacqueline’s work began in 1986 when she quit her job on Wall Street to co-found Rwanda’s first microfinance institution, Duterimbere. The experience inspired her to write the bestseller, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor, and create Acumen. Indeed, when she founded Acumen in 2001, few had heard of the words impact investing. Nineteen years later, under Jacqueline’s leadership, Acumen has invested $128 million to build more than 128 social enterprises across Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. These companies have leveraged an additional $611 million and brought basic services like affordable education, health care, clean water, energy and sanitation to more than 260 million people. In 2015, Fast Company named Acumen one of the world’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profits. 

Prior to Acumen, Jacqueline founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation. Jacqueline serves on boards of the Aspen Institute and 60 Decibels and sits on the Advisory Councils of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, the Oxford Said Global Leadership Council, the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, and UNICEF.

She is a frequent speaker at forums including TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Her best-selling memoir The Blue Sweater chronicles her quest to understand poverty and challenges readers to grant dignity to the poor and to rethink their engagement with the world. In 2017, Forbes listed Jacqueline as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.

She holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA in Economics/International Relations from the University of Virginia.

Manifesto for a Moral Revolution

Manifesto for a Moral Revolution provides a moral compass for creating change in an interdependent world – one that requires us to renew our institutions, starting with how we define success.

Most of us want our lives to count for something, while many are eager to join the fight against climate catastrophe, poverty, injustice or corruption. In this book, Jacqueline Novogratz reveals what it takes, by drawing on stories from inspiring, responsible change-makers around the world and the author’s own experiences with difficult challenges. Novogratz addresses the most common hurdles faced by those who want to do good—and shares ideas to successfully move through those challenges.

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