Youn Impact Scholars

Youn Impact Scholars | Social Impact | Kellogg School

Youn Impact Scholars

Youn Impact Scholars are an elite group of Kellogg students and alumni who are passionate about social impact. Highly regarded for their intellect, passion and drive, these innovators draw upon their business skills to create positive change in the world.

Endowed with a generous gift from Christopher and Courtney Combe in 2013, Youn Impact Scholars named its first cohort in 2014. A new group of Youn Impact Scholars is named each spring following an application deadline in the fall. Current students may apply in addition to nominating alumni.  Alumni are invited to nominate themselves or other Kellogg alumni.
Youn Impact Scholars: Kellogg Alumni Andrew Youn is passionate about social impact
Andrew Youn '06 and One Acre Fund partner with smallholder farmers, envisioning a future in which every farm family has the knowledge and means to achieve big harvests, support healthy families, and cultivate rich soil.

2016 Youn Impact Scholars

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Cardoso DudaDuda Cardoso
Student

Duda Cardoso is passionate about inspiring and empowering others to achieve their potential. Duda is currently pursuing her JD/MBA at the Kellogg School of Management in order to hone the legal and business skills needed to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. She spent the summer as a Portfolio Associate at Acumen where she focused on the off-grid energy space and worked closely with the Impact team.

At Kellogg, Duda has taken every opportunity to blend a market-based approach with social impact. She serves as President of the Net Impact Club, sits on the board of RefugeeOne as part of the Kellogg Board Fellows Program, and has represented the winning Kellogg team in the MIINT program. Duda has also conducted international projects in Kenya for mobile banking and Zambia for global health, and has worked with organizations such as Year Up, Posse Foundation, Impact Engine, and Future Brilliance.

Prior to Kellogg, Duda spent six months in Kenya with Kiva, testing the viability of a new character-based microfinance model aimed at providing individuals at the bottom of the pyramid with access to capital. Before Kiva, Duda was a consultant at Deloitte & Touche, where she helped Fortune 500 clients establish new governance structures to comply with the changing regulatory landscape. Duda is originally from Brazil and received her B.B.A from the University of Notre Dame in business and psychology.

Duda plans to use her Kellogg JD/MBA to leverage market-based solutions and public-private partnership to create an ecosystem approach to tackling poverty.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Ashima GuptaAshima Gupta
Student

Ashima Gupta believes in the power of private sector principles and market-based solutions to tackle today’s most pressing social issues. At American Express, she built expertise in both marketing and strategy, which she was able to leverage in consulting roles with Taproot Foundation, a pro-bono consulting non-profit. She provided recommendations on sustainable business practices to education non-profits leading to organizational growth and success. Following this, she was an Education Pioneer Fellow at Chicago Public School’s Department of Procurement. Through private sector principles, Ashima developed and grew a vendor performance and relationship management program to improve department operations reducing costs of a financially strapped, 3rd largest school district in the US.

At Kellogg, she co-founded a market-based social enterprise, The Graide Network, to tackle the challenges faced by teachers in 6-12th grade with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes. She is the Executive Vice President of Net Impact, developed a strategic plan for the NGO Future Brilliance, and conducted on-the-ground market research in Africa for the commercialization of low cost HIV and TB diagnostic medical devices.

Ashima graduated with honors from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. She will complete her MBA degree from Kellogg School of Management in June 2016 with a major in Entrepreneurship, and plans to join Boston Consulting Group post-graduation.

Ashima plans to use her Kellogg MBA to create systemic change within the world’s leading for-profit corporations by integrating the principles of shared value and triple bottom line to address growing global social and environmental challenges.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Sharanya JaidevSharanya Jaidev
Student

Sharanya Jaidev began her career at Citigroup, where she spent three years in corporate bond sales and one year trading hybrids. Shar’s passion for international development brought her to the Kellogg School of Management, where she sought to supplement her business background with strategy, operations, and marketing, all within the context of social impact.

In summer 2015, Shar was a Strategy and Operations Consultant with RTI International in Coimbatore, India, where she helped the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation assess the market for a new urban sanitation technology. This role involved overseeing the pilot of the technology, including securing pilot sites, working with local staff, and liaising with the government, and conducting qualitative and quantitative market research, synthesizing findings and insights, and presenting recommendations to stakeholders.

At Kellogg, Shar has been active with the Net Impact Club as the Vice President of Professional Development. Favorite experiences include the Medical Technologies in Developing Countries course, where she traveled to South Africa and Lesotho developing a go-to-market strategy for a new diagnostic tool for nurses, and the Global Lab course, where she will travel to Kenya conducting a mobile banking study.

Shar holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematical Methods in Social Sciences and Economics from Northwestern University, along with a Certificate in Service Learning from the School of Education and Social Policy. She will receive her MBA with concentrations in Social Impact, Finance and Marketing in June 2016.

Shar plans to use her Kellogg MBA to navigate the intersection of international development and the private sector, finding commonalities and creating market-based solutions that are efficient and effective.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Jamie LuJamie Lu
Student

Jamie Lu began her career at Citigroup’s Los Angeles office as an investment banking analyst focused on M&A in healthcare and industrial industries. After Citigroup, she joined the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a Bay Area-based foundation that focuses on environmental conversation, patient care, science and the San Francisco Bay Area. As an investment associate on the endowment investment team, she focused on manager due diligence and portfolio monitoring for the Private Equity and Real Assets portfolios. After three years at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, she pursued an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management. At Kellogg, she was part of the MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network & Training) program, an impact investing competition, and part of the Kellogg Net Impact Club Leadership Board, where she was responsible for bringing speakers and learning opportunities to campus.

She spent her summer at Sonen Capital, an impact-focused investment management firm, where she focused on social and environmental impact evaluation and manager diligence across various asset classes.

Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a minor in Global Studies from UCLA. In her free time, she is involved with RisingLeaders, a mentorship program for young women in the Bay Area that she founded. Prior to business school, she served on the Girls on the Run Bay Area Associate Board.

Jamie plans to use her Kellogg MBA to help organizations and companies adopt social and environmental considerations as part of decision-making processes and to scale those that have socially-minded and sustainable solutions.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Bobby PowersBobby Powers
Student

Bobby Powers is currently pursuing an MBA and MS in Design Innovation in the MMM program at the Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of Engineering and is expected to graduate in 2016.

Prior to Kellogg, Bobby worked as a technology consultant for Deloitte Consulting LLP. He focused on implementing major public sector projects that provided the state’s poorest citizens with better access to social services through web and mobile technology. Bobby first became interested in the social impact space when he spent summers in 2009 and 2010 in Bangladesh teaching English and conducting research in development and poverty studies. Through the experience, he came face to face with the struggles of teachers in poorly-funded schools. Motivated by this experience, he cofounded the social venture sharEd in 2015 with his classmates Kate Geremia, Derrick Wolbert, and Nihar Shah. Together the group is working to bring play-based learning to preschools across India through an innovative subscription based sharing model.

Bobby graduated from University of Notre Dame with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Bobby plans to use his MBA to develop sharEd into a sustainable social venture that scales to reach hundreds of thousands of children every year.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Tom AielloTom Aiello ‘02
Alumnus
President, MARCH Marketing

Tom Aiello is a 2002 graduate of the Kellogg School of Management and has created significant social impact. Specifically, Tom has made significant social impact around the 24 million Americans who have served in the US military along with their families. His passion for the veteran community comes from his undergraduate studies at the US Military Academy at West Point and years of service as an officer in the US Army.

In 2013 Tom started MARCH Marketing (www.marchcorp.com), a multicultural communications company focused on the insight of military service. He believes that more culturally-relevant communications to and about the military veteran population will create a positive social impact and close the perceived gap between the "1%” Veterans' and the rest of the US population. Clients of MARCH Marketing include many nonprofits such as Mission Continues, Leave No Veteran Behind, Veteran Launch, McCormick Foundation, American Legion, and many other nonprofits serving this community.

To date, Tom has raised over $120 million for nonprofits. In addition, Tom has created a social enterprise called Salute Snacks (www.salutesnacks.com). Salute Snacks sells snack foods with proceeds going directly to support military and veteran causes. This is another way that Tom has created positive social impact around the military and veteran community. Prior to MARCH Marketing, Tom held senior marketing positions at Leo Burnett Advertising, Monster.com, and Sears Holdings Corporation.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Patrick FisherPatrick Fisher ‘04
Alumnus
Founder and Managing Partner, Creation Investments

Patrick Fisher founded Creation Investments Capital Management in 2007, a leading Impact Investing firm with expertise in Financial Inclusion and Private Equity. Creation seeks to provide access to capital and needed products and services for those living in poverty to engage in small-business activity and income generation, significantly impacting those living at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Currently, Creation serves approximately 7 million entrepreneurs with over $2.1 billion in small business loans outstanding through its Social Venture Funds.

Patrick is responsible for overall leadership and management of the firm, including deal generation, due diligence, deal structuring, negotiations, capital raising, and investor relations. He is a market leader in Emerging Markets and Impact Investing with an exceptional track record in equity and debt transactions in businesses which serve the Bottom of the Economic Pyramid (BOP) through microfinance / financial services, health care, affordable housing, clean energy, and technology. Patrick currently serves as a director on the boards of several portfolio companies as well as other for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Prior to founding Creation Investments, Patrick spent the majority of his career working in the financial services industry, most recently for JPMorgan Chase. He is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he received an MBA degree in Finance and Marketing. He also received his Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, at the University of Notre Dame. He lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife Jenny Nicole, son Desmond, daughter Meara, son Brendan and dog Bacon.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Jamie JonesJamie Jones ‘09
Alumnus
Innovation Advisor, RTI International

Jamie Jones is an Innovation Advisor at RTI International, a leading nonprofit research institute based in North Carolina. As an Innovation Advisor, she supports companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations in their quest to grow their impact through deploying new innovations, commercializing technology, and understanding market insights. At RTI, she leads Market Intelligence and Business Planning efforts for the Sanitation Technology Platform, which supports the Gates Foundation Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program’s efforts to address the global urban sanitation crisis. Jamie leverages user-centered design to understand the pathway for introducing transformative sanitation technologies into the market and works with private-sector partners to craft viable business models for commercialization.

Prior to joining RTI, Jamie was a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Director of Social Entrepreneurship at Kellogg. While at Kellogg she co-launched the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge (formerly the International Impact Investing Challenge) and developed the NUvention Impact course, which brought together students from across the university to leverage user-centered design in developing sustainable business models to address unmet needs in underserved communities.

Jamie co-founded Impact Engine, an investment fund that empowers entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors to make a positive impact on society. Jamie earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, PhD in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar David MilestoneDavid Milestone ‘07
Alumnus
Senior Market Access Advisor, US Aid

David Milestone is senior advisor at USAID's Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact (CII). In his role on the Market Access team, he focuses on the development and implementation of market-based strategies to accelerate the adoption of priority health products. David has led several initiatives at CII, including the development of IDEA to IMPACT: A Guide to Introduction and Scale and The Aspen Management Partnership for Health.

Prior to this role, David held various strategic marketing roles at Stryker, a $10B medical device company, where he led innovation, introduction, and strategy initiatives in India. He also worked for several years as a management consultant with AT Kearney in New York. David started his career as an engineer, first as a design engineer with Boeing then at Stanford in biomechanics supporting the design and FDA approval of the X-Stop spinal fixation device, now being sold globally by Medtronic. He has worked as an entrepreneurship development consultant with TechnoServe in Ghana and Swaziland and as an English teacher in Costa Rica with WorldTeach.

David holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a Master’s in Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Mandy Taft-PearmanMandy Taft-Pearman ‘03
Alumnus
COO and Partner, The Bridgespan Group

Mandy Taft-Pearman has been with the Bridgespan Group since 2003. She is a partner in the Boston office and has served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer since 2012. In her role as COO, Mandy oversees Bridgespan’s HR/Talent, Finance and Information Services functions. She also works with the organization’s leadership team more broadly to set and manage Bridgespan’s annual strategic and operating agendas.

Prior to becoming COO, Mandy was an operating partner working with a variety of clients in the youth development, education and environmental sectors. In addition, she has developed a particular expertise in nonprofit networks, having served many different network clients of varying sizes, missions, and legal structures. Mandy is the co-author of two Bridgespan articles: “Getting Replication Right: The Decisions that Matter Most,” and “Growing Network Impact: How Nonprofit Networks are Raising the Bar on Results.”

Prior to joining Bridgespan, Mandy worked for the National Safe Kids Campaign, a national network focused on children’s public health, and served as an independent consultant for several other nonprofit organizations.

Mandy earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Yale University magna cum laude and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, where she was a F. C. Austin Scholar and president of the school’s Social Impact Club.

2016 Youn Impact Scholar Agustin VitoricaAgustin Vitorica ‘99
Alumnus
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, GAWA Capital

Agustin Vitorica is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of GAWA Capital, Spain’s leading impact investing firm with €50 million assets under management. Agustin has been instrumental in introducing the impact investing asset class in Spain among private and institutional investors, having involved in this endeavor one of the leading Spanish banks and high-caliber board members. The funds raised have allowed GAWA Capital to improve the lives of more than 150,000 families in developing countries.

Agustin has more than 15 years of experience in venture capital and private equity investments, having served as the CEO of one of Spain’s largest family offices. Previously he successfully launched and managed 6 new companies as Managing Director of New Businesses of the Spanish media conglomerate Grupo Zeta. These new companies employed more than 50 people and generated sales of over €30 million. Agustin started his career as an auditor and consultant for financial institutions at Deloitte.

Agustin earned a degree in Business Administration from Centro Universitario Villanueva (college ascribed to Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He has also completed Doctoral courses at the University of Manchester. Agustin teaches microfinance at the International Master in Microfinance Degree from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and is a founding member of REDIS, the Spanish Impact Investing Network.

2015 Youn Impact Scholars

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Nicole ChavasNicole Chavas
Student

Nicole Chavas is an associate at Covariance Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TIAA-CREF, where she is responsible for operational due diligence on investment managers across all asset classes including hedge funds, public equities, fixed income, private equity, venture capital and real assets. She is also spearheading an impact investing initiative to enhance the firm’s offering to its non-profit institutional clients. Prior to joining Covariance, Nicole was an operational risk analyst at Man Investments and staff accountant at Grosvenor Capital Management. During her 10 years in the fund of funds industry, she has performed due diligence on over 200 investment managers globally.

Nicole is also a co-founder of Fresh Coast Capital, an impact investment firm dedicated to solving the problem of vacant, blighted and contaminated properties across the United States through a scalable, profitable solution: planting hybrid poplar tree farms.

Nicole is a CPA and earned her BBA and Masters of Accountancy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently earning her MBA at Kellogg with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship. At Kellogg, Nicole is also the president of the Evening & Weekend Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club.

Nicole plans to use her Kellogg MBA to develop and scale market-based solutions to the problems faced by urban communities in the United States.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Laura Brenner KimesLaura Brenner Kimes
Student

Laura Brenner Kimes is a strategist for sustainability, cleantech and utility companies. Currently, Laura is an energy efficiency policy and market development manager at CLEAResult, an energy efficiency consulting firm. In this role, she leads government affairs and strategic account planning for 12 Midwest states and California. While at Kellogg, Laura also co-founded a brownfield revitalization timber fund, Fresh Coast Capital, to address the problem of vacant and blighted land in legacy cities like Flint, Mich. and Gary, Ind. At Fresh Coast Capital, she is responsible for environmental research, government relations, and market development. Previously, Laura worked for Southern California Edison in the Customer Energy Efficiency and Solar Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE).

Laura holds a BS in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Restoration and Management from the University of Maryland, College Park and a certificate in project management from the California Institute of Technology. Laura has served as a Kellogg Board Fellow on the board of a Chicago-based nonprofit, Women Employed, for a 2014-2015 term. She will receive her MBA from Kellogg in June 2015.

Laura plans to use her Kellogg MBA to lead the profitable and sustainable growth of organizations whose missions align with her personal mission of helping create resilient communities supported by healthier ecosystems and more sustainable economies.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Alexandra KorijnAlexandra Korijn
Student

Alexandra Korijn started her career at Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation in Mumbai, India. As a research and portfolio analyst, she conducted due diligence on nonprofits and social enterprises, and provided capacity building support to organizations in Dasra’s portfolio. After Dasra, she enrolled in Kellogg, where she focuses on management & strategy, social enterprise and finance. She is part of the Kellogg Board Fellows program, serving on the board of Spark Ventures, part of the MIINT program, an impact investing competition, and part of the Kellogg Net Impact Club Executive Board, responsible for organizing speaker events. She spent her summer as Consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, creating a landscape analysis of the innovative finance space for one of the largest foundations globally.

In addition to her activities at Kellogg, Alexandra co-founded New AJE Capital with her sister Josephine. As part of New AJE Capital, they invest in social-impact focused instruments across asset classes, with a particular focus on instruments that target the bottom of the pyramid in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Alexandra holds a BA in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University, where she was awarded the Ashoka Campus Changemaker Award, and selected as a StartingBloc Fellow.

Alexandra plans to use her Kellogg MBA to create systems change in the corporate and financial sector by making not only commercial, but also social and environmental considerations a key part of business and investment decisions.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Thiago PintoThiago Ascencao Carvalho Pinto
Student

Thiago Pinto is the co-founder of New Hope Ecotech, a social startup that aims to create an inclusive “recycling credits” market in Brazil. Prior to New Hope Ecotech, Thiago was a consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he was a member of its Sustainability Practice Area with projects in sustainability strategy and impact investing, focusing in communities impacted by mining activities. Thiago also co-founded PedalUSP, a startup that designed technologies to enable bicycle sharing in Brazil.

Thiago believes strongly in a hands-on, action-oriented approach to creating social impact. In Brazil, he led a project to connect unemployed women, UNICEF educational institutions and couture houses to create a dress-making cooperative to reduce inequalities by creating jobs. At Kellogg, Thiago was a project leader for the Impact Consulting Group, Kellogg Corps Club project and NUvention Impact course, where New Hope Ecotech’s concept was human-centered designed.

Thiago graduated with honors from Escola Politecnica da Universidade de Sao Paulo (POLI/USP) in Brazil with an Industrial Engineering bachelor and a Master in Science from Ecole Centrale in France. He is currently an MBA candidate at Kellogg with a major in Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Thiago plans to use his Kellogg MBA to scale New Hope Ecotech, a triple-bottom-line startup which aims to connect manufacturers with waste pickers via tradable environmental securities while creating financial, environmental and social impact.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Marvin SmithMarvin Smith
Student

Marvin Smith is a values-based leader with experience in K-12 public education, state & local policy and corporate social responsibility. Currently, Marvin serves as the government and public affairs manager at U.S. Cellular, where he cultivates relationships with governors, mayors, and other public officials within the company footprint to strengthen brand equity and advance legislative and regulatory priorities. He’s also managed CEO-level civic engagement strategy, signature charitable giving programs and external partnerships.

Marvin began his career managing policy advocacy at Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) on behalf of charter public schools in Illinois at the district and state levels. While at INCS, Marvin worked collaboratively with students, parents, teachers, community organizations, elected officials and school district leaders to expand access to quality education for local youth.

Marvin is an active member of the Kellogg student body. He’s competed in the Hult Prize competition, a startup accelerator for social entrepreneurship, and serves as a member of Net Impact and president of the Black Management Association. In addition, he volunteers on the board of directors at Erie Elementary Charter School and is an executive committee member on the Metro Board at Metropolitan Family Services.

Marvin holds a BA from Loyola University Chicago in Communications, and will graduate in June 2015 from Kellogg with an MBA in Management & Strategy.

Marvin plans to use his Kellogg MBA to scale proven programs that increase learning outcomes for youth by working collaboratively with frontline education leaders, policymakers and investors.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Paul ChengPaul Cheng
Alumnus
Chair of Trustees, SharedImpact

Paul Cheng is the chair of trustees of SharedImpact. SharedImpact is the world's first global Donor-Advised Fund — creating, designing and implementing smart philanthropy solutions. Headquartered in London and with foundation offices in New York City and Hong Kong, SharedImpact provides philanthropists, charitable foundations and family offices with access to social investment expertise.

Paul is the former head of CAF Venturesome, a pioneering social investment fund in the UK, and is currently the chair of the European Social Investment Taskforce. He is a regular industry commentator on social finance matters both in the UK and around the world. He also serves on the board of trustees of the LankellyChase Foundation (a £125 million grant-making trust), the FSE Social Impact Accelerator Loan Fund and The Foundry. He is also a BMW Foundation World Young Leader.

Previously, he worked as a corporate finance lawyer with the international law firm Slaughter and May, and as a business strategist for Microsoft. He holds an MBA from Kellogg and a law degree from Oxford University.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Deepa GuptaDeepa Gupta
Alumnus
Director of Education Initiatives and Strategy, Global Corporate Citizenship Group, Boeing Company

Deepa Gupta is the director of education initiatives and strategy in the Global Corporate Citizenship group at The Boeing Company. She is responsible for developing the company’s strategies to enhance support of early learning, primary and secondary education, and ensure alignment with higher education and STEM initiatives across the company aimed at developing the future workforce.

Prior to Boeing, Deepa served as a senior program officer for The MacArthur Foundation, where she managed its institution-building program called the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, the arts and culture program, and internal efforts to define a framework for MacArthur’s programmatic strategy development and impact assessment. Before MacArthur, she was a senior associate at McKinsey & Company and, earlier in her career, she worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development. In 2012, President Obama appointed her a member of the National Council on the Arts, the governing board of the National Endowment for the Arts. She also serves on the local Chicago advisory board of New Leaders, a principal leadership development program, and is on the national board of the New Teacher Center, which focused on new teacher induction programs and leadership development.

Deepa holds an MBA from Kellogg and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy and Biology from the University of Chicago.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Jim SchorrJim Schorr
Alumnus
CEO, Social Enterprise Alliance

Jim Schorr is CEO of Social Enterprise Alliance, an organization that has been at the forefront of the social enterprise movement in North America since 1998. Previously, Jim was executive director of Juma Ventures, one of the United States’ most successful and admired social enterprises, and taught coursework on social enterprise as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University and as senior fellow in Social Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. As a student at Kellogg in 1992-94, Jim helped launch Net Impact, and subsequently served as a board member and chair during Net Impact’s growth and global expansion in the 2000s. He currently serves on the steering committee of the Social Enterprise World Forum, and as chair emeritus at Net Impact and Social Enterprise Alliance, where he was a board member for seven years before his appointment as CEO.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Luca TorreLuca Torre
Alumnus
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, GAWA Capital

Luca Torre is the co-founder and co-CEO of GAWA Capital, the leading impact investment firm in Spain with more than €35 million assets under management, investing in companies that are financially sustainable and have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Luca spent most of the last 15 years working with and advising microfinance, SMEs and financial institutions.

Prior to founding GAWA Capital, Luca was an investment banker at Credit Suisse in the Latin America Financial Institutions group, working on a variety of microfinance related transactions. Previously, he worked in India for a microfinance bank called Annapurna, supporting the turnaround of the organization to support financial sustainability and at the International Finance Corporation in Cambodia to support local Social Entrepreneurship. He started his career at the Boston Consulting Group, focusing on the Financial Services sector and worked extensively with the largest Italian banking group in better serving the Small and Medium Enterprise segment.

Luca received a First Class BSc from University of Brighton and an MBA from Kellogg, where he was awarded the Siebel scholarship for leadership and academic achievements.

2015 Youn Impact Scholar Ursula WrightUrsula Wright
Alumnus
Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary for Special Projects, U.S. Department of Education

Ursula Wright is the associate assistant deputy secretary for special projects at the U.S. Department of Education. She serves as the department’s lead on place-based initiatives (e.g. Promise Zones, My Brother’s Keeper, SC2, etc.) that aim to improve life outcomes for those living in our country’s most vulnerable communities. She also leads the department’s work on innovation clusters and contributes to the Race to the Top — District program.

Previously, Ursula worked at the National Alliance for Pubic Charter Schools, the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the quality growth of the charter school movement. Ursula has also contributed to public education through her board service, including tenures with The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, a non-partisan non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to preparing, certifying, and supporting people who want to improve their communities by becoming a teacher, and Achievement Preparatory Academy, a high-performing charter school in Washington, D.C.’s most economically disadvantaged ward.

Ursula earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College and an MBA from Kellogg. She has also completed executive education coursework at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

2014 Youn Impact Scholars

2014 Youn Impact Scholar Elissa DensbornElissa (Elise) Densborn
Student

Elissa Densborn is the director of risk management for MPI Corporation, a growing, multi-corporate, multi-national holding company headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind. Prior to that, she worked for PwC in Chicago, providing assurance services to clients in the utility, manufacturing, logistics and healthcare industries. She also has had public sector internships with the White House National Economic Council, the Mitch Daniels’ 2004 Gubernatorial Campaign and the Office of the Indiana Lieutenant Governor.

Elissa is committed to serving her communities with her business acumen. She has led United Way, Junior Achievement and Indianapolis Zoo fundraising campaigns, and currently supervises an underprivileged student at Providence Cristo Rey High School, teaching her skills necessary to succeed in the business world. Through involvement in Kellogg Corps, Elissa has become an adviser to Byoearth, a social impact startup in Guatemala that creates vermicomposting systems to sustain the environment and enhance the living conditions of Guatemala’s most vulnerable populations. Elissa plans to drive Byoearth’s expansion into the United States and further its mission for international sustainable development.

Elissa graduated with honors and high distinction from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Finance. She expects to earn her MBA from Kellogg in June 2014 with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, Management, Strategy, and Marketing.

Elissa plans to use her Kellogg MBA to create positive social impact through application of her business acumen. Specifically, her efforts to internationalize Byoearth’s vermicomposting system are motivated by a desire to address inefficiencies in, and increase the security of, the global food system, to address food health and environmental challenges worldwide, and to drive sustainable socio-economic development. 

2014 Youn Impact Scholar Meladee EvansMeladee Evans
Student

Meladee L. Evans is a 2014 MBA candidate at Kellogg. She is a graduate of Spelman College and Georgia Institute of Technology with degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering. Prior to Kellogg, Meladee worked as an engineer for Lexmark International in the areas of product development and manufacturing systems. Though she enjoyed the challenging work in the technology space, her passion for service was also recognized within the company. She was appointed to several corporate community-outreach steering committees, through which she was given opportunities to advocate for the company’s financial support of math and science teachers in the public school system.

At Kellogg, Meladee is an executive member of the Black Management Association (BMA) and was co-chair of the 2013 BMA Conference. She has participated as an executive member of the Day At Kellogg (DAK) committee and has continued to pursue social impact through participating in Kellogg’s Neighborhood Business Initiative as well as supporting Chicago inner-city mentorship programs. Meladee plans to graduate with majors in Management & Strategy, Management & Organizations, and Social Enterprise. After business school, she plans to enter the education sector and use her business acumen to support the transformation of our country’s educational ecosystem, focusing particularly on helping provide equal educational opportunities for low-income and minority students.

Meladee plans to use her Kellogg MBA to understand the interconnections between educational achievement gaps and economic growth in underserved areas. After education industry experience, she plans to establish a social enterprise that provides resources to help minority communities build and sustain healthy businesses and offers support for upward mobility.

2014 Youn Impact Scholar Katherine HandKatherine Hand
Student

Katherine Hand started her career in the nonprofit sector as a program associate with the Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation in New York City, where she oversaw all grant-making activities for the organization’s economic and workforce development, criminal justice, environment and reproductive rights funding areas. As a development associate for the City Parks Foundation, she raised funds to support the organization’s sports and education programs, provided free of charge in public parks in underserved NYC neighborhoods.

At Kellogg, Katherine has taken every opportunity to blend a business-minded approach with social impact, having participated in the Neighborhood Business Initiative (now Kellogg Impact Consulting), Global Health Initiative, a venture lab position with A Better Chicago, Innovate for Impact, and more. This past summer, Katherine worked with B Lab, the pioneering nonprofit behind the B Corp Certification, which exposed her to a growing community of businesses and entrepreneurs that are actively integrating stakeholder interests into their business model. Katherine believes strongly in the power of markets and the private sector, when stewarded intentionally, to truly scale impactful solutions to seemingly intractable problems. She hopes to pursue this passion in an internal CSR role or in a communications role with an impact-focused business.

Katherine holds a BA from Vassar College in Urban Studies, and will graduate from Kellogg with an MBA in Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Management and Organizations.

Katherine plans to use her Kellogg MBA to help scale innovations, solutions and programs that intentionally focus on creating sustainable sources of opportunity for disadvantaged populations.

2014 Youn Impact Scholar Akifumi KitaAkifumi (Aki) Kita
Student

Akifumi (Aki) Kita most recently was a management consultant with BCG in Boston. He advised companies in a wide range of industries, particularly focused on manufacturing. He was a volunteer consultant with business-solution-focused nonprofit TechnoServe in Zambia and Malawi, and worked on a private-public partnership funded by USAID+General Mills to improve local food manufacturing capabilities.

In the last two years, he has also had the opportunity to work on a rural market access strategy in India, rural development program redesign in Mexico and a job-creation strategy for Afghanistan. He spent his summer with international development consulting firm Dalberg Global Development Advisors and will be returning to BCG in Boston after graduation.

At Kellogg, Aki has been co-president of the Emerging Markets Club and on the leadership teams for Net Impact, Impact Consulting Club and the Innovating Social Change Conference.

He graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations and is currently a dual-degree MBA/MEM candidate at Kellogg and the McCormick School of Engineering.

Aki plans to use his Kellogg MBA to develop a local business/government strategy or an entrepreneurial concept that reduces the risk of starting a small manufacturing firm or develops scalable turnaround practices to improve underutilized manufacturing assets to create sustainable middle-class jobs in the least-developed countries.

2014 Youn Impact Scholar Charag KrishnanCharag Krishnan
Student

An electronics engineer by education, Charag served as a primary school teacher at Teach for India and subsequently designed and implemented Corporate Sustainability projects for Bharat Petroleum. He has also been associated with Seeds of Empowerment, a nonprofit spin-off of Stanford University on educational technology projects.

At Kellogg, Charag serves as an admissions counselor, Kellogg Student Association Club director, co-president of the India Business Club and a Board Fellow. Outside of these roles, he has also initiated a partnership between UNICEF and Kellogg and has co-authored a Marketing case study with Kellogg faculty. Charag was a UNICEF Fellow during his summer internship and worked on the team for Backpack PLUS, a project that was named one of the top-ten lifesaving innovations in global health in 2013. He will be joining McKinsey & Company post graduation.

Charag plans to use his Kellogg MBA to facilitate partnerships between corporates and the international development sector and leverage technology to develop innovative, cost-effective solutions for pressing challenges in primary education and global health.

2014 Youn Impact Scholar David ChenDavid Chen
Alumnus
Co-Founder and Principal, Equilibrium Capital Group
Adjunct Lecturer of Finance, Kellogg

Dave Chen’s focus on sustainability is a result of his work in venture capital, regional economic development and energy policy. In 2007, as a visiting executive at the Meyer Memorial Trust, he developed an investing thesis on mission-related investing (MRI); this tool has since been adopted by several institutions. In late 2007, he formed Equilibrium Capital Group, an investment firm focused on growth equity investment opportunities in the area of sustainability.

Previously, Dave was a general partner at OVP Venture Partners. Joining the firm in 2001, he focused on early stage tech venture investing. Until 2002, he served on the board of HNC Software and merged it with FICO (NASDAQ:HNCS, now NYSE:FIC). Prior to OVP, Dave founded GeoTrust (acquired by Verisign 2006) & The Ascent Group; was vice president at Marketing Mentor Graphics; was an associate at McKinsey & Co; and was an early team member in 1978-84 at Solectron.

2014 Youn Impact Scholar Matthew FortiMatthew Forti
Alumnus
Managing Director, One Acre Fund USA

Matthew Forti is the managing director of One Acre Fund USA, leading the organization's global support unit, including its development, communications and measurement functions. One Acre Fund assists over 180,000 of Africa's hardest-working smallholder farm families to double their farm incomes through a comprehensive bundle of finance, farm inputs, training and post-harvest support.

Matt played an instrumental role in One Acre Fund's founding, helping to raise the seed capital to launch the organization and becoming its first Board Chair. Prior to joining One Acre Fund's staff, Matt was a manager and co-head of the Performance Measurement Practice at the Bridgespan Group, a social sector advisory firm. He writes extensively on the topic of performance measurement, including through a blog series for SSIR and Bridgespan.org called Measuring to Improve. Matt received an MBA with distinction from Kellogg and graduated summa cum laude with a BA from Northwestern.

2014 Youn Impact Scholar Debra SchwartzDebra Schwartz
Alumnus
Director, Program-Related Investments, MacArthur Foundation

Debra D. Schwartz is director of program-related investments for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She oversees a $300-million portfolio of innovative loans, equity investments and guarantees designed to advance the Foundation's philanthropic work in the United States and abroad. Before joining MacArthur in 1995, she was chief financial officer for a Chicago-based child welfare agency and an investment banker at John Nuveen & Co., specializing in municipal and health care finance.

An expert on affordable housing, community and economic development, social enterprise and philanthropy, Debra originated and taught a University of Chicago undergraduate course, "The Business of Nonprofits and the Evolving Social Sector," from 2009-2012. She also has guest taught classes at graduate schools of business, law and policy at Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, the University of Chicago and Oxford.

She is a past presidential appointee to the United States Treasury Department Community Development Advisory Board and a founder of the Mission Investors Exchange. She holds a Master's in finance and nonprofit management from Kellogg and received her Bachelor's Degree in History, summa cum laude, from Yale.

2014 Youn Impact Scholar Andrew YounAndrew Youn
Alumnus
Senior Partner, Executive Director and Co-Founder, One Acre Fund

Andrew Youn started the One Acre Fund in 2006. Andrew graduated from Yale magna cum laude, is a former management consultant, and received his MBA from Kellogg. Andrew co-founded the program in Kenya with John Gachunga, and lives in western Kenya.