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Keynote Speakers

Tracy Palandjian
Co-founder and CEO of Social Finance, Inc.

Tracy is committed to mobilizing investment capital to drive social change. In January 2011, she co-founded Social Finance, after having focused her career on building a more effective nonprofit sector and re-imagining the role of the capital markets in enabling social progress. Tracy was inspired by her work with Social Finance’s sister organization in the U.K. to bring Social Impact Bonds to the U.S.  The Social Impact Bond is an innovative public-private-nonprofit partnership designed to raise investment capital to fund proven social service programs in order to generate a positive social impact, financial returns to investors and cost savings to the government. The instrument has been recognized on national and global levels for its potential to provide financing solutions to some of the most persistent social problems within our communities.

Prior to founding Social Finance, Tracy spent over 11 years at The Parthenon Group, a global strategy consulting firm, as a Managing Director where she established and led the Nonprofit Practice. She is the co-author of Investing for Impact: Case Studies Across Asset Classes, a report that introduces an important asset allocation framework to impact investing from the investor’s perspective. Before joining Parthenon, Tracy worked at Wellington Management Co. and McKinsey & Co. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Facing History and Ourselves, a member of the Board of Overseers at Harvard University and a Director of Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE: AMG). She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a B.A. in Economics, and holds an M.B.A. with high distinction from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar.

Ben Rattray
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Change.org

Ben is the founder and CEO of Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social action, and leads the company’s strategic vision and product development. A graduate of Stanford University and the London School of Economics, Ben is a frequent public speaker about the intersection of technology and social change.

He was recently named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012 and one of FORTUNE’s 40 Under 40 rising young business leaders.

Jacqueline Novogratz
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Acumen Fund

Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty. Acumen Fund aims to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. Under Jacqueline’s leadership, Acumen Fund has invested more than $83 million in 73 companies in South Asia and Africa, all focused on delivering affordable healthcare, water, housing and energy to the poor. These companies have created and supported more than 58,000 jobs, leveraged an additional $365 million, and reached over 90 million lives.

In December 2011, Acumen Fund and Jacqueline were on the cover of Forbes magazine as part of their feature on social innovation. Prior to Acumen Fund, Jacqueline founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation. She also 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 MIT’s Legatum Center and the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative. She serves on the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees and the board of IDEO.org, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Social Innovation. She was also appointed by Secretary Clinton to the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.

She has been featured in Foreign Policy’s list of Top 100 Global Thinkers and The Daily Beast’s 25 Smartest People of the Decade. Jacqueline is a frequent speaker at forums including the Clinton Global Initiative, TED, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Her best-selling memoir The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World chronicles her quest to understand poverty and challenges readers to grant dignity to the poor and to rethink their engagement with the world.

She has an MBA from Stanford and a BA in Economics/International Relations from the University of Virginia. She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, Wofford College, Gettysburg College, and Fordham University as well the Freedom From Want Award from the Roosevelt Institute in 2011.

For more information on Acumen Fund, please visit www.acumenfund.org.