John Sage

March 17, 2021 | secon2017
John Sage' Bio
John is the CEO of Pivotal Ventures, which was founded by Melinda Gates to expand equality and opportunity in the United States through partnership, investment, and advocacy. John joined Pivotal Ventures from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he served as Melinda’s chief of staff.

In a career spent at the intersection of business and philanthropy, John has demonstrated practical ways to leverage capitalism for social change, holding firm to the idea that the private sector can be both “tough-minded and tender-hearted.”

In the 1990s, he co-founded Pura Vida Coffee, a social enterprise and one of the first companies to sell fair-trade coffee nationwide. Under John’s leadership, Pura Vida Coffee achieved dual goals of scaling business while delivering economic benefit for coffee farmers and families around the world. Prior to Pura Vida Coffee, John led strategic initiatives as part of management teams at Microsoft, Starwave (a media company purchased by Disney), and Starbucks, where he drove the development of the Starbucks Foundation’s long-range strategic plan.

John received his MBA from Harvard University after earning a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Stanford University, where he wrote his thesis on modern strategies for fighting hate groups. He is a former guest lecturer at Harvard Business School and an Ashoka Fellow, an honor that recognizes entrepreneurs using business to transform society.

John and his wife, Shelly, live in Seattle and have three sons: Jackson, Nick, and Matthew.