Jacqueline Novogratz is founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. Acumen Fund seeks to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Acumen Fund currently manages more than $30 million in investments in South Asia and East Africa, all focused on delivering affordable healthcare, water, housing and energy to the poor. The organization also includes the Acumen Fund Fellows Program, focused on building the next generation of business leaders with an understanding of global issues and poverty. The organization has offices in New York, Pakistan, India and Kenya.
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 microfinance institution in Rwanda. She began her career in international banking with Chase Manhattan Bank. She has acted as a consultant for World Bank and for UNICEF. She is currently on the advisory boards of Stanford Graduate School of Business and of Innovations Journal published by MIT Press, and she serves on the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees and as a member of two World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils, on Social Entrepreneurship and on Water. She is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow and a Synergos Institute Senior Fellow, and she was recently honored as an Ernst & Young Metro New York Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 award. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences, including the Clinton Global Initiative and the TED conference. She has an MBA from Stanford University and a BA in Economics/International Relations from the University of Virginia. She speaks Spanish and French and has a working knowledge of Swahili.
In March 2009, her book The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, was published. The book relates how she left international banking for an adventure in Africa that proved the starting point for a career as a social investor with a mission to change radically the way the problems of the developing world are approached.